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Episode 18 - Making a mistake

Making a mistake

The scene - Blakes, a gym in Leighton Buzzard... Tuesday 6.45pm

The ice in the diet Coke was almost all melted.  Faye was staring at it rather too intently she suddenly realised.  Would other people have noticed her?  No she was just having a bit of “me time” after a tough session with her personal trainer.

Her thoughts, as they had been for most of the day and indeed for most of the week, were on the 2 cm thick green file in her (much prized) Longchamp bag.  M. Smith-Evans - File Ref. ABR/FD/147632/15.  This time she wasn't only feeling guilty about having a paper file that she could drag around, while almost everyone else had complied with the new paperless regime. 

For the last seven working days the file had accompanied her back to her flat, onto her sofa, on to her dining table, then back to her sofa and back to the office.  She had opened it and looked at it and then cooked supper, done some cleaning, sent some emails, even done some ironing.

Ok so she had made a mistake.  The initial lease period should have been two years not ten years – but that was fixable.  She would just – JUST! – have to tell M.Smith-Evans, plus the solicitor on the other side with the strangely interesting accent, plus her head of department …. and finally the firm’s head of risk.  The last was a particularly depressing prospect.  

“Get it right, first time, every time!” wasn’t that what had been drummed into her as a trainee?  It seemed to make sense back then and everyone else seemed to manage it.  And then there was that training course where the theme had been about learning and developing by making mistakes and embracing setbacks.  She like the others in the room thought this was basically silly – and in any event the trainer was not a lawyer so what could he know. 

Faye got up and left the gym.  Tomorrow, she promised herself, she would get things sorted.

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Faye should:

Episode 18 - A mistake

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What’s your experience of a similar difficult situation? Have friends or colleagues come to you when they have made a mistake. Do you have any advice, suggestions, do’s or don’t’s to share?

You can choose to add your name and any contact details - otherwise comments will be anonymous.  Up to you.


+2 # Kevin Poulter 2017-08-10 12:25
It's essential to own up to mistakes at the earliest opportunity. Mistakes happen and they are sadly part of life. That's why firms have insurance. Own it, own up and lift the weight that's hanging over you.
+1 # Mac Mackay 2017-08-10 14:34
When I deliver the Professional Standards and Client Care module of the PSC the case studies, where there has been an over-sight, all illustrate the dangers of 'cover-up', 'going it alone', not 'owing up'. The Legal Ombudsman web site has plenty of examples of the consequences of persisting with such deceptions. We need to apply our training in practice! (Although I was interviewing a candidate for a firm in Bath; he was asked, "Stephen, how do you respond to criticism?" He replied, "Surprised!")
+1 # Simon McCall 2017-08-17 17:21
The difficult bit is not saying something immediately and then the longer it goes on the bigger deal it is to "own up".

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