I got chewed out pretty bad today.

Cliffs notes version: I made mistakes on some things that were, according to my boss, a really big deal in terms of our grant funding. It’s not unfixable- it’s some things I missed during documentation that I just have to go back and edit and be more mindful of.

There have also been some miscommunication issues. I work at a satellite office and don’t see main office staff but once a week. I only see my boss once a week and I’ve only been here for about a month- there are things I missed that I didn’t get trained on that were brought up today. I also didn’t have an office phone for several weeks and there have been IT issues etc that I wasn’t clear on being my responsibility until today.

Anyway. I had a meeting with my boss and my boss’s boss today. I didn’t know that any of the above mentioned was a problem or that I was messing up in anything until today. The meeting...was harsh. It went on for about an hour and a half and my boss’s boss especially was expressing a lot of frustration. I felt blindsided and super, super embarrassed. I guess I just thought I would’ve been pulled aside by my immediate boss first to get coached on some of this stuff, instead of being pulled into a long meeting and getting torn into. 

I held it together and listened to everything I was told, but towards the end I teared up a little. That part to me, was very embarrassing. I hate that I got that washed away, but I think I was just so surprised and got overwhelmed.

I just don’t know where to go from here. I don’t want to walk on eggshells. My job is important to me- up until this point, I’ve loved it. It’s the first time I’ve been able to see a career instead of just a job. This is also my first post college job in my field. I want to move forward from this and get better.

Advertisement

I’m also wondering if there’s a tactful way to express that I want feedback and want to meet/exceed expectations, but that the way that it was delivered today made it hard for me to hear and understand (or if the answer is going to be “get a thicker skin”) I generally think I’m good at accepting feedback, but today was pretty damn intense for it being the first time i was approached about anything.

My immediate boss offered to come up one day a week to my office to help me adjust which I think will help. I just feel...so, so uneasy now. I really hope this is just a one off, bad timing, miscommunication and not how all coaching/feedback is going to go :( or if I’ve truly just missed the boat in some ways, that now I know and can navigate it differently now.

TL,DR: got in trouble at work, I had no inclination that anything was truly wrong and got emotional, now I’m wondering what my next moves should be.