Jun. 16th, 2017

twicketface: (Default)
I work for a company that conducts online surveys. Like, SurveyMonkey, but with actual reporting and metrics and safeguards to prevent the same person from taking the survey 17 times.

Exit interview are our bread and butter and we work directly with companies of all sizes to give a platform for their employees to provide feedback so those companies can work to make things better. Our software (which was literally built from nothing by one person) is highly configurable and most companies want certain things a certain way. It's not an exaggeration to say that a client could make 50 or 60 decisions in how their account is setup and run.

It's a long story, but in short, I made a mistake by allowing a client to have certain information revealed to them when it should have been kept anonymous, based upon a unique setting choice they negotiated. We didn't lose any money over this mistake nor did we break any laws or anything, but it's something I should've caught (and had an easy fix applied before the client even saw it).

When client brought it to my attention (and how happy they were that they could see this info), I realized I needed to get it fixed and also tell the client why it needed to be changed. So I did.

But not before fretting over it for literally months. My boss was going to be pissed. The client was going to be pissed. They're a big client and in spite of just signing a three-year extension, 'getting client pissed off' isn't good business practice. Anxiety occupied my head for most of the waking hours and led to me waking up multiple times in the night, worrying just how bad it was going to get.

I thought about how best to broach it with my boss. How it was a really unique situation (in that, our tech team had to create some custom coding to handle it), how the damage was minimal and how I'd address it with the client. The client was going to perceive it as a takeaway and likely go over my head to demand it get set back to the way it was.

Finally, I bit the bullet and spoke with our tech team about how best to fix it. They admitted it was easy enough to address and had a fix installed in a few days. I emailed the client about it, explaining the rationale and how it was standard to have it this new, correct way.

Boss got wind of it secondhand and ... said nothing. Not a peep.

Client (and I still can't totally figure this out) THANKED ME for the new way as it would allow them to use us as an intermediary if a situation came up with an anonymous survey where the employee wanted to meet with HR.

I'm ashamed that it took me so long to face the music (even though there really wasn't any) because so much of what I try to teach Nate is to address and not ignore problems. Take ownership when mistakes are made and work to fix them. And yet, when it's my time, I avoid the problem in the hopes that they'll evaporate.


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