I sort of lost it at a semi-work function. Should I apologize to my colleagues who were present?
August 6, 2012 8:57 AM Subscribe
I sort of lost it at a semi-work function. Should I apologize to my colleagues who were present? We work in the web industry and were having a sort of day where we all get together in one room and fix bugs, discuss new features, etc. Present were people from our company as well as other users of the software.
posted by starpoint to human relations (47 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We work in the web dev industry and were having a sort of day where we all get together in one room and fix bugs, discuss new features, etc. Present were people from our company as well as other users of the software. Just before I started working, my computer setup out of the blue stopped working, and I got frustrated. Then when i finally got that working again, a bunch of other things went wrong (I couldn't get online to download this software I needed, etc). All around me, it seemed like people were having discussions about bugs and fixing issues and laughing and contributing, and I'm here unable to help because my computer isn't acting right. I thought about asking for help, but I've asked for help a lot in the past and people seemed so focused on bug fixing that I didn't want to be seen as a burden. The longer I sat there, the more frustrated I got. Finally I gave up and left, going home and joining them remotely. I sort of left in a huff, not really looking at anyone and not saying goodbye. I did help fix bugs when I was home but it wasn't the same.
Later in the evening I joined my colleagues at a restaurant for a dinner and I felt bad about storming out later. In hindsight, I don't think my actions were professional. I didn't scream or cuss or slam things on the table or anything, but more like left out of frustration. I found out that the internet had been down for everyone (not just me) and they had fixed the problem 30 seconds after I'd left. So I felt guilty. They were laughing and joking about my "rage" and about how I just left. I should have apologized then but being the idiot I am, I laughed along with them and admitted that yeah, I was mad.
I noticed that one of my team leaders didn't really talk to me for the rest of the night, or if he did, it seemed reluctant. Before my incident it was fine but afterward it felt like he was ignoring me. It could be just my imagination but it's really bothering me. He did say "cheers" to me at the restaurant when my drink arrived, but that's about it. After we had dinner we all went to a company party. He left without saying goodbye. I know he has an early flight today so I texted him last night saying goodbye and safe travels but he has not responded so far. I really like/look up to him (and the rest of my colleagues) a lot and care what they think of me.
I just feel really guilty about my actions. Because I was frustrated I missed out on working physically with everyone. I should have taken a walk or not taken it so seriously. I wish I could turn back the clock. I had been having such a good weekend with my co-workers and I ruined it in a moment of frustration. I overreacted. I have been feeling insecure about my skills and abilities in comparison to my co-workers. I try my personal best at work but I am still average, I have no stand-out skills like the rest of my team members do (and I've been on the team the second-longest). I love my job and I love my co-workers very much but I feel lower than them. Even though my team lead is always so encouraging, I still have trouble believing that I'm good enough. I think my frustration when the computer quit working was due to my insecurities, and not the computer itself. I really wanted to contribute and prove that I am worth something.
Anyway, I was thinking about sending a quick online apology to my 3 co-workers who were present when I walked out (we use online apps a lot to communicate). I worry that I've permanently tainted my reputation on my team and in the company. People were still nice to me last night but you never know what someone is really thinking, plus as I mentioned above, one of the team leads seemed like he was ignoring me.
Do you think an apology would be appropriate? Or do you think I should just do nothing and let it go? I'm very ashamed and I feel like a horrible person for what I did. I can barely stand to look at myself. The apology would be quick, something like, "Hi guys! Hope you're having a great morning. I woke up feeling guilty about walking out yesterday, and wanted to apologize. It won't happen again. Have a great day!"
Thanks for any insights.