It’s never a good idea to let your boss do your job for a week. Especially when it involves doing the payroll for 2,400 employees on a brand new system. Even if said boss was actually involved with the implementation of said system. Even when that boss is yours truly. Especially then.
But it happened anyway. By necessity. A few weeks ago, my partner in crime and I were supposed to attend a week-long training on how to write reports from the new system, but since we run a weekly payroll, which takes three full days, well, we obviously couldn’t both attend. And since she is smarter than I am when it comes to learning the more technical stuff, I volunteered to stay behind and do both our jobs (or maybe it was part of a subversive subconscious strategy so that she would have to create ALL the reports from now on). I’ll never fess up to that, just saying…
Bonehead moves occur when 1) we rush, 2) we are distracted, 3) both of the above
The first bonehead move occurred on Tuesday. We track tips reported by employees in a spreadsheet and then import them into the timesheets. When I closed the spreadsheet before importing I noted that there were about 1,100 lines of data to import. After the import was complete, I noticed that only 550 lines actually imported. And so, I rushed ahead and imported the file again.
When I realized that I had just imported 550 duplicate records into the timesheets, my face burned with embarrassment. In an attempt to cover up my bonehead move, I calmly explained to the staff that “somehow, the tips got entered twice in the timesheets, but no worries, we can just delete the duplicate records.” And then, laughing a little too loudly proclaimed, “besides, it’s good practice, right?”
The second, and most important, bonehead move occurred on Wednesday. I had just begun the final calculation of the payroll when the system consultant called to help me troubleshoot another, unrelated problem. The calculation takes about 15 minutes and is the last step before finalizing the payroll.
Because I was distracted, I didn’t wait for the payroll calculation to finish before I finalized the payroll. The result? Only about 1,800 out of 2,400 actually got paid. Now, I work at a Casino, where a 75% chance of a payout would create lines around the block (heck, probably the entire town), but when it comes to employees getting paid? Not so much.
Luckily I noticed that the payroll totals were much less than they should be and called back the system consultant (whom I promptly blamed for calling me at the wrong time) and we were able to resolve the issue and get everyone paid (a day later than they’re used to getting paid but come on people, you’ve been getting paid a day early for twelve years so cut me some slack).
The moral of the story is this: If you make an embarrassing bonehead mistake, just make another (bigger) bonehead mistake and nobody will remember the first one. And if that fails, blame it on someone (or something) else.
What about you? Have you ever made a bonehead move that you’re willing to share?