We’ve all been caught daydreaming or wasting time at work. A little too much Facebook here, a little laughing with friends too long there, and pretty soon the boss is giving you sharp looks.
So imagine getting caught while distracted on the job…but in front of a live TV audience.
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) April 9, 2017
Australian newscaster Natasha Exelby went viral for this very reason. Her dramatic response to being caught red-handed on ABC News 24 speaks volumes about how we all feel when we’re found out in the office: shock, followed by scrambling. At first, many were worried about rumors that Exelby had been fired, but a statement from the station manager said she will eventually be back on air.
Exelby also tweeted about the situation.
Thank U all for ur generous support. Not my finest hour. Myself and my mesmerising pen honourably salute you!
— Natasha Exelby (@NatashaExelby) April 10, 2017
Here are ways to move on from being caught doing something other than work while at work— whether it was a big or small error.
Own your mistake
If you made a blunder in plain sight of your boss, don’t hide— be transparent, but maybe don’t harbor on it for too long.
David Parnell, an author and columnist, told Business Insider how to tell your boss head-on that you did something wrong, and show you won’t make the same error again. “No buffering. No euphemism. No misdirection,” he suggested.“Forgiveness is much easier if they are comfortable that the error won’t be repeated,” he added.
Being distracted could mean that you’re unhappy with your job. The Harvard Gazette reported that “people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy,” according to “a study that used an iPhone Web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.” There were 2,250 participants in the study.
Remind your boss why you want to be here— demonstrate that you’re serious about your job by picking yourself back up again and getting right back to work.
A Harvard Business Review article said that Paul Schoemaker, the research director for the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at The Wharton School, and Christopher Gergen, the director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative at Duke University, “emphasize that many employers look for people who made mistakes and came out ahead.”
And who knows? It may be a good story someday. You might be able to talk about how you 0vercame an embarrassing mishap at a job interview in the future.