You’ve Completely Blown Your First Assignment at a New Job: What’s Next?
Editor’s Note: Today’s blog comes from guest blogger Low-T Pete, one of the least masculine and inspiring men in Corporate America today. To guest blog for the site, email a sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all reach this moment:
First two weeks at a new job and training is complete – time to start “adding value,” as your manager may say. No matter the task, it’s always daunting. Anything as simple as running numbers in excel, or as high-pressure as making your first sales call will render you scared shitless of floundering. This is your first REAL impression, your time to show everyone that you’re semi competent. Succeed now, and proof to management you’re semi-reliable. Screw it up, and the team’s opinion of you will be tainted. No worries – you have an 250k private college degree, your resume says “Intermediate Microsoft Office skills” and you convinced your boss that you understand all of their acronyms just by nodding your heading and saying “yep… makes sense… got it…” for 15 minutes. You’re readier than ever.
Well guess what. You fucked it up.
The excel report meticulously maintained by your coworker has #REFd into oblivion. You can’t get any of the charts to line up in your deck. You fall off script on your cold call, become flustered, and resort to offering your prospect sexual favors and feet pics in return for them agreeing to a demo. Shit happens; unfortunately for you it happened at a critical moment. You rightfully feel like an idiot. Coworkers may offer words of encouragement but believe me – they think you’re as much of a turd as the shit that came out my dog’s ass this morning.
Essentially, you’ve hit the bottom before working long enough to see the taxes on your paycheck make you seriously consider joining the Tea Party. But fret not; You can still maneuver your way out of this mess. Here’s how:
Option 1: Buy Yourself SOme time
Since this is your first assignment, the deadline you have is likely artificial. If you can find a legitimate excuse to push it back to fix your work, then DO IT. If you’re working from home, you can drop the classic “sorry, lost my internet”, or you can fake being sick without being face to face to prove it.
But what if you’re in the office? Technical difficulties will be hard to explain, so you need to dig deeper into your bag. One (allegedly) tried and true option is to literally shit your pants. Nothing will make your manager forget about a deadline more than the stench of literal shit radiating from your underside. Top it off with an “Oopsie, I make a pootie” and waddle your way out the office; free from the embarrassment and ridicule of fucking up your first assignment. You’ll have the reputation as the incontinent, not incompetent, new hire. Play it off as a medical condition, and you’ll never have to openly face any consequences.
Option 2: Blame that Douchebag Frank
Honestly fuck Frank and his stupid fucking face, he deserves this. Two years into the job and he acts like god to all of the new hires. He constantly berates them for mistakes he still makes, confuses them when explaining processes that he doesn’t even understand, all the while parading that he’s a “mentor”.
Here’s a secret: Nobody likes Frank. Not his manager, not his coworkers, not even his family. His shit eating grin has zero redeeming qualities. Nobody gives two fucks about how many white claws he slammed on Stone Street during happy hour, and everyone saw him getting bitch slapped on 5th Year after grabbing a girls’ ass at Hair Of The Dog. Blaming your mistakes on his poor directions will be believable, likely truthful, and may finally give management the ammo needed to fire his dumb ass.
I hope you’re reading this, Frank. I fucking hate you.
P.S. Stop wearing a midtown uniform, you’re an SDR at a failing start up in Jersey City, not a Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banker.
Option 3: Own up to your mistakes and do better next time
It may be hard for many of us to come to terms with this option, but ultimately, it’s the best one. You were given this assignment as your first for a reason: there’s no real impact if you mess it up. Sure, your coworkers may need to pick up the slack, but they were once in your shoes too. Even if some didn’t fuck it up the first time, they probably did soon after. What’s valued is the self-awareness to own up to your mistakes and take the steps to improve. Barring working in a boiler room, people want to see you succeed. Your manager gets evaluated for your development, and coworkers score brownie points when they mentor new hires
You don’t need to be perfect from the start. Work hard, make connections, show improvement, and you’ll be well on your way to finding success.