What Sony’s accidental YouTube upload can teach us about making embarrassing blunders

An embarrassed woman sitting in a car.
An embarrassed woman sitting in a car.

Someone at Sony Pictures was having the kind of day that no one wants to have.

Channel24 reports that the company was left more than a little red-faced when an employee accidentally uploaded an entire movie to their official YouTube channel instead of the red band trailer it was supposed to.

Apparently thousands of people watched the crime film drama, Khali the Killer before the entertainment company realised their mistake.

So, for a good six hours people got access to a free screening of a movie that, although apparently released on DVD, has yet to hit the big screen.

It’s a painful reminder that sometimes bad things happen to the best of us – no matter how detail-orientated you are as a person. It’s also comforting to know that no one is exempt from the rite of passage that making mistakes entail.

Because the truth is that sometimes some of the biggest learning curves we go through are because of an error we’ve made. 

I asked a few folk on social media to share some of the most embarrassing mistakes they’ve made and the responses we received will remind you that a) it’s okay to laugh at yourself and b) there's some comfort in knowing that there are always mistakes made out there that are probably worse than yours.

In an ideal world, we’d all wave magic wands and make it go away, but since we can’t, the next best thing we can do is provide you with some guidelines to help you cope when you’ve mucked up beyond all reasonable doubt.

1. Admit to your mistake and flag the issue as soon as possible.

The worst thing you can do is to sit and stew in silence. Being quiet not only says that you’d rather wish the problem away, but it also subtly implies that you don’t want to be held accountable. But most importantly, problems that could have been fixed if you owned up immediately can easily become unfixable if you wait too long.

Remember being able to own up to an error not only proves that you’re only human, but goes a long way to minimise the damage you’ve inadvertently caused. No one expects you to be perfect, but most reasonable people do expect you to be as transparent as possible.

Own up, apologise and do your best to make amends.

2. Offer to do some damage control

Unless your boss or someone higher up in the hierarchy offers to help to lessen the amount of damage from the fallout of your error, always offer to fix whatever went wrong.

If you show that you’re willing to take on the responsibility of righting your wrongs, you’ll prove that despite your error you’re still a trustworthy employee.

WATCH: How not to let your mistakes ruin you

3. Don’t try to blame others (even when they’re at fault)

Playing the blame game is very tempting, especially when you’re in a situation where you’re actually not the main culprit.

But, according to Business Insider, blaming others not only makes you look petty, but it also makes you look like you’re deflecting whatever responsibility you may also have had in the error.

4. Forgive yourself

We don’t put enough merit in saying this, but the one thing we really need to do more of, is to learn to forgive ourselves for making mistakes.

To be fair, it’s not easy if you find yourself surrounded by people who constantly remind you of your blunders (in which case, you might want to seriously consider making a change if you’re able to), but if other people can move on from the mistakes you’ve made, then you definitely deserve to move on too.

Remember (and we hate to tell you this), this won’t be the only mistake you’re going to make, so learn to let go and focus on your personal and professional growth at work. Allow yourself to wallow for a bit, but get up and move on up.

Lifehacker.com suggests focusing on what you can learn from your mistakes is a better way of spending your time.

Try to understand where you went wrong and how you can improve yourself in order to try and avoid making the same mistake. Use your errors as a learning curve and not as a definitive moment in your life.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made at work and how did you deal with the situation? Share your stories with us.

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