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A $50000 mistake

About two months ago, I made a mistake while programming invoicing system that was causing about $50,000 lost to my company. My boss was very angry about it and shouted to one of the accounting staff saying we should not ever stick with computer result and human check is always required before processing in the real world.

I was also been called to have a private talk to her. Surprisingly, she was being nice to me. she said human errors cannot be avoided before I tried to explain myself. There was a lot of bla..bla.. during the conversation but overall the tension was lower than I expected. I was quite happy about it however when I looked back at the different experiences between me and the accounting guy, I was confused a little bit. She said we can’t trust the computer result to him but she also comforted me with “unavoided human mistakes”. So human vs computer, which side was she? Was it because I am a better employee who needs to be treated nicer than the poor accountant? I am not sure. Maybe the accountant was the first person she met and when it’s my turn, she had already cooled down a lot, was becoming a nice, elegant lady again.

A few days later after the conversation, I was caught by our CEO, he smoldered with the lost money and we had a long long time argument in his office. People admired me because they can hear my fightback from two rooms always but It was still a terrible memory that I still don’t want to recall, even he apologized when the day finished.

I talked with my friend back in China. “It is very unwisely to fight back with your boss. Stupid! I rather call it stupid”, He replied to me in the WeChat app. I was about to explain to him the differences in workplace culture but he stopped me.

“No matter which country you are, the nature of human remains the same”, he insisted.