Back in the good ol’ middle school days, I made a silly deal with my dad. It started off with him trying to motivate me to get straight A’s on my report card, however nothing really seemed to motivate me except when he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse… he promised we could get a PUPPY if I got straight A’s and I believe he had a small doubt that I would get these grades considering he had always reminded me of the many reasons why our home would never own a dog or pet (besides fish, bloop bloop) of any kind. BUT THEN…. yes, of course, you expected it correctly! I GOT STRAIGHT A’s!! My teachers even put those super cool 3D, or puffy stickers on my report card when they handed it to me! I remember it so vividly, and I can even tell you that the stickers were puffy Care Bear stickers!! haha Anyways, while walking home from the bus, I was gleaming with pride and I went straight to my dad. The first thing I said was, LET’S GO GET MY PUPPY and I placed the report card straight to his face! However, he said he was happy for me, but then reality hit and he of course, told me that there will be no puppy purchasing happening anytime soon. He said, it would have to wait until I got my own house. 😦 Believe me, I was tremendously upset, however somewhat expected it. But in the end, it was okay because he allowed me to put a fish tank in my room with my own fishes! Butterfly guppies were my pets at the time. My cousin introduced me to that type of fish and I got hooked to them because they were so colorful and also multiplied so quickly!
Honestly, I cannot really recall another moment in my life where I had felt so accomplished, until…… a couple of days ago! And this is how my greatest accomplishment so far occurred…
So over the past couple of months, I have been creating some special reports at work along side our Chief Operating Officer (COO) and my supervisor. At this point in time, I had felt pretty confident in my numbers and I could present this to anyone without hesitation. However, our COO had a different employee create a similar report (let’s call it report x) that somewhat connected to my reports as well. This report was going to been seem by our Department’s Chairman as well as other higher level administration. He showed me report x at our standing meeting, and since the data was so similar to mine, I could glance over it and spot check to see if our reports were complimenting each other or working against. I did happen to see a couple of things that he could not particularly explain, however he said that he would go over it and ask the employee who created it later on.
The next morning, I received an email saying that there were no errors in report x and that our reports’ numbers would and should not match up since the purposes of each report was different. In addition to that email, there was also a request for me to meet up with that particular employee to go over their numbers in report x. After looking at report x a little more closely, I really did find an error in the formulas that would ultimately change report x completely! At first, I thought that I was overthinking it or perhaps I was incorrect in my findings because at first glace the formula made sense. However, after seeing multiple errors, I was confident in my findings and wanted to share it as soon as possible. The other employee didn’t find the need the meet in person, so I explained it to her over the phone and why I believed there was an error. It seems as though she didn’t quite understand and kept saying that the COO was the one that chose that formula particularly, so she didn’t really question it. After our phone call, the COO wanted to meet us both before the end of the day. Thus, we both went to his office and I tried to explain to him the situation and the error I found in report x. It seemed like what I was saying didn’t make much sense to them at the meeting and I felt a little discouraged and embarrassed (what if I was really trying to prove nothing?). However, by the end of the meeting, he said I was correct and that they would be changing it.
But then, the next day came along, and report x remained the same in an updated chain email that I received. I was upset that my message did not get across and that they completely disregarded everything that I said in the meeting, however I was still confident in my findings and at that point, I wanted to show my supervisor so that perhaps she could explain it clearly to our COO. I understand that sometimes my way of explaining things may be hard to follow. So, I went step by step with my supervisor to ensure that she understood my message and recommendation and she seemed like she completely comprehended my words after explaining it and showing her an example. After all the explanations, she agreed with me and tried to schedule a meeting with our COO to really clarify things. And so, we waited until his scheduled opened up later that day to meet with him. During that wait, my supervisor called me one more time to make sure she understood my point. After that phone call, I was excited to hear that someone finally understood me!!!!
So, we eventually went into our COO’s office and my boss explained it to him this time. It took a little bit of time, however we believed we finally got our point across, and it seemed like he really really really did understand this time! We were ecstatic as we left his office and it was a great way to end the working day!!! As I was finishing up some work to end the day, our COO suddenly came into my office and wanted me to follow him into his office to show me something! He didn’t say what it was about or anything at all, so I thought I had made a mistake or that they really did change the formula and he had the newer version to show me. But….. when we got to his office, instead, he thought he had found a way to explain why my finding wasn’t valid, however I just kept persisting that report x was in correct. (I am quite stubborn when it comes to something I am completely confident about.) Eventually, I had pointed out an example so obviously wrong in report x, that he finally AND I MEAN FINALLY, GOT MY MESSAGE!!! 🙂 And this time he really got it because he explained it back to me and called the other employee on speakerphone to tell her to change it!!! I WAS SOOOOOOO HAPPY AT THAT POINT AND I FELT SOOOO ACCOMPLISHED! I mean, I didn’t really feel accomplished by finding the error, but rather getting my message across to them was really, and literally my greatest personal accomplishment thus far.
After leaving our COO’s office, I went straight to my supervisor’s office and excitedly told her that our COO finally understood me!!! Over that period of time, I kinda thought and felt that perhaps they weren’t listening to me since I am low on the totem pole in our department, or perhaps it was because to them, I was still a kid in their eyes. Moreover, as I was talking happily to my supervisor, our COO stopped by her office as well to explain the situation and he told us that he was responsible for the error because it was a formula that he had been used to/been told to use in the past. He said he was very thankful that I had caught the error and that lunch would be on him! I told him there was no need for lunch and that I was just happy that I got my words across in the end! That was really all I wanted that whole time! I just wanted someone to really understand me and take my words seriously. That is all. 🙂