Geek Thoughts: “I screwed up”

A special comment. My most vivid memory of my late Grandpa.

Even after retiring, Grandpa needed to do small jobs around town to make ends meet. One was cleaning a small sporting goods store. Once, with all the excitement of visiting family from out of town (that would be us), he forgot to clean one night. The next day, the shopkeeper was understandably irate, and waited around to speak face-to-face. “I screwed up,” Grandpa simply said. A short exchange followed, with typical Midwestern bluntness and politeness, the resolution being that it would never happen again. The shop got exceptionally well cleaned that day. Crisis averted.

That’s been a powerful lesson for me. When you screw something up, admit it, fix it the best you can, and move on.

-m

P.S. No, I haven’t done any major screw-ups lately, at least any that I know about. I was reminded of this by a much-publicized interview on Letterman.

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