Possible Work screw up. What now?
December 7, 2019 4:25 AM   Subscribe

I may have just made a huge mistake at work, I need to figure out what to do ASAP.

I started a new bartending job that uses lo-tech cash register and credit card systems. Anyway, with minimal training, I closed up by myself today. I printed out the ticket reports from the registers, and it seems like after I took the bank cash (what I filled the register with to start) and my credit carts tips out in cash, the drop was only $2. I’m very very exhausted and stayed after closing until 7 am trying to figure it out. Either I did the report completely wrong, the register came out exactly even, or I somehow lost $100. I already left a note in the money drop to the manager that I was unsure if I had understood/ filled out the closing procedure correctly. Should I text him the same? What specific wording should I use? I really don’t want to lose this job, and I’m worried I did something wrong, but am not sure how to convey this to the manager. What would you text in my situation?
posted by Champagne Supernova to Work & Money (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Deep breath.

Definitely text the manager. Say something like: I'm sure I've made a mistake closing up. The drop was only $2, and either I did the report completely wrong, the register came out exactly even, or I show lost$100. I've stayed trying to figure out what the mistake was but I'm exhausted and I'm not familiar enough with closing to figure it out. Can we look at it together later today? I can come back in, just let me know. Sorry for the early text but I wanted to let you know ASAP.
posted by wearyaswater at 4:43 AM on December 7, 2019 [39 favorites]

When will the manager see the note? I’d be inclined to leave it and not text. If you do text, something relatively casual like - I had some issues cashing up last night - I’ve left you a note in the money drop - give me a call if you need to discuss.

Would you texting in addition to having left a note really affect the outcome, it or would it mostly just serve the purpose of lowering your anxiety levels (or maybe not, if you’re then just on tenterhooks waiting for a reply?)

What’s done is done. The most important thing right now is to get some sleep, so that you’re capable of dealing with this adequately when you wake.
posted by penguin pie at 4:47 AM on December 7, 2019

Lots of people use cards today. The most common time I use cash it to leave tips. It is completely conceivable that you did everything correctly and that is the actual correct drop, especially if there was a ton of card charges.

What happens if you made a mistake is largely dependent on the manager. Presumably he was the one responsible for the “minimal training,” and he should recognize that. But, sometimes people are good and insightful and sometimes not, and you are about to get some early intelligence on which is true in this case. All you can do is be guided by that. Good luck.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:12 AM on December 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

Hey ! I had this exact same panic at my job and it turned out when I recounted the next day after I'd calmed down and had some sleep I realised I'd added the receipts incorrectly - you almost definitely haven't lost $100 !!
posted by Roger Schredderer at 5:18 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

Thanks all,
I sent a quick text to the manager. I realize it’s not about writing the perfect message. It’s more about having done my best in the situation, and letting the chips fall where they may. Thanks again for the clarity, my tired brain appreciates all the comments!
posted by Champagne Supernova at 5:24 AM on December 7, 2019 [19 favorites]

I have working in places where I was responsible for the drawer and drop. These things happen even when one has more experience. It will be fine. If it isn’t then you’re likely working for an asshole. My bet is it will be fine. Good luck.
posted by terrapin at 5:26 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

I am a bar owner and use the same low tech cash register and credit card system you described.
I fully expect new hires to screw up the paperwork the first time or two because the math is not exactly intuitive.

We also have very low drops sometimes just because of the payouts that have happened throughout the night, sometimes even into the negatives because people have paid and tipped more with credit cards than they have with cash.

I wouldn't worry about it, the manager has probably seen your same mistake many times before and they should just explain to you where it went wrong and go over with you the register closing procedure again.

If you have some shift sheet/paperwork that you fill out, I would recommend keeping a sample completed one handy to look at until you get it down.
posted by newpotato at 6:14 AM on December 7, 2019 [14 favorites]

It’s more about having done my best in the situation, and letting the chips fall where they may.

A lot of people early in their careers think that admitting mistakes is a sign of failure or an impediment to advancement or growth, but that's the opposite of the truth. Mistakes happen all the time, everywhere in every field, and it's not really about having done your best; it's about acknowledging mistakes and taking responsibility for them immediately.

You did the right thing here, and it'll be good for your career if you make a practice of it.
posted by mhoye at 7:22 AM on December 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

Please come back and say how it went.
posted by theora55 at 8:25 AM on December 7, 2019 [15 favorites]

You. Guys. I did the paperwork correctly. The manager is going to send me some visual aides to show me how to organize everything for future reference, but the count was, in fact, correct. Thank you wonderful people for helping me see the forest for the trees.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 4:07 PM on December 7, 2019 [70 favorites]

Thanks for the update. I'm so glad it turned out all right, and it sounds like the manager was chill.
posted by theora55 at 5:23 AM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

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