Recently I was asked how I was good at a particular program at work. Without any hesitation or forethought I answered the question. “Well, I did it wrong in so many ways that I had to figure it out somehow. So I kept track of all my mistakes and tried different methods until I found solutions that worked. I then wrote my own set of directions for me, in a language and format I understood so I could practice doing it the way that worked.”
The manager then said “Who was paying you to do this?”
I gave the first answer that came into my head. “There was no payment, it was an investment in my future.”
It was a manager I have never spoken with or met. He said “I think that’s against the rules.”
“Oh, I am sorry you feel that way. I think what I do on my own time is private and if I want to invest in me, I am thinking it’s a good choice. I am not getting paid right now and it’s time to make breakfast. If you need to speak with me again I will be back to work at 8:00 pm. Have a great day.”
I am not ashamed that I can learn from my mistakes.