First Flubs on the Job

January 22, 2010 Douglas Cootey

I pay attention in class. I really do. I sit there with eyes open and brain straining to follow. I hear everything the instructor tells me. Then something usually goes horribly wrong in the follow through.

[caption id="attachment_74" align="alignleft" width="126" caption="Fail Rd. by fireflythegreat"]Fail Rd. by fireflythegreat[/caption]

Take my first week on the job here at I started off by forgetting to both sign my contract and send them my email address so they could pay me. It’s nice to know that I was proving to them my authenticity as an adult with ADHD.

Then it was time for me to post a blog. I followed along during instruction without any major difficulties. Yet somehow my first blog here never posted. Didn’t I schedule it properly? I set the date. I set the time. The keywords were all nice and keywordy. The summary was concise. The blog writing was thoroughly bloggish and even spelled correctly. Yet I got a kindly email from one of my editors around 8pm with a prompt to post.

Oh! You mean I have to click on the “Schedule” button after setting up the schedule? Whoops. Somehow I missed that and left my first post in draft form all day. No, I didn’t think to check back and make sure things were alright. That would have been too easy.

Then came Thursday’s blog. I wasn’t going to let anything mess up this time. I set the date. I set the time. I hit “Schedule” with flair and verve. The post even appeared at the designated hour. Yet in my mailbox again was another kindly reminder. This time I somehow forgot to title my blog before posting it so that its URL was something useful like /adhd/something-useful not /adhd/42/.

So I deleted the blog and reposted it. Now it was number 61, but still not something-useful.

In the past, this sort of failure would drive me into Depression. I would be wracked with guilt over my lack of skills. I would worry. I would ruminate. Then I would spend every waking hour (and sleeping hour) trying to troubleshoot the problem. I wouldn’t be able to leave it alone.

That isn’t dedication. That is an aspect of ADHD that is referred to by Hallowell & Ratey as the “tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with inattention to or disregard for actual dangers.”

Now, I’m not sure about that last part. I don’t recall ever putting myself in harms way while worrying about something, but I sure wore tracks in the carpet with all my pacing. Over time, though, I taught myself to not worry so much. It took great effort in the beginning, but my perseverance paid off.

So when it seemed I was hopelessly messing up my blog posts, I conceded that I had no idea what I was doing wrong, let my editor know what I had tried, told myself that they were still working out bugs in the system, and moved on to other projects. A few hours later the word came back that even they were having problems. It was a glitch.

As for my first week on the job, well at least they can rest assured that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to Adult ADHD. I’m not sure that comforts them, but it might be good for a laugh.

I’d love it if you could tell me about your first week foul-ups. Surely something is far enough in your past that you won’t mind letting us have a giggle along with you as you share it. Please leave a comment below.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, January 22). First Flubs on the Job, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

Carmen Long
January, 24 2010 at 12:15 pm

OK, I just posted on the wrong blog. As I keep telling my daughter who also has ADD, "Great minds forget alike."

Carmen Long
January, 24 2010 at 12:13 pm

Once I was getting to the panic stage looking for my baby. I finally realized I was carrying her on my hip!

Aimee White
January, 22 2010 at 5:16 pm

Hi Douglas,
I can't tell you how glad I am to here I am not the only one giving the editors problems. I did the same title/url problem and I accidentally posted one of my posts an entire day early! I was worried I was the only one giving them grief! I'm sure we'll all eventually get it all figured out. :)
Oh yeah, my first job in high school- I bussed tables at a local restaurant. I showed up the first day on the job wearing high heels. They sent me home to change- I obviously had no idea what I had signed up for.

Douglas Cootey
January, 22 2010 at 4:55 pm

Tess ~ Great story! Thanks for sharing. There’s nothing like a hot cup of water that smells faintly of coffee in the morning, or so I’ve been told. ;)
Brendan ~ I usually stop at the first week because I have to quit before they fire me, but that’s just me. Haha!

January, 22 2010 at 5:36 am

"First week foul-ups"? How about my "constant foul-ups"? I don't stop at the first week!
"..far enough in your past"? mmmmm ... yesterday does not seem that far enough in my past.
The best thing is just laugh at your foul-ups and think of us as "a genious at work too busy thinking of important things to be paying attention to the mundane".

Tess Messer
January, 22 2010 at 5:10 am

I once had a job at a coffee cart. On my first day alone on the job I arrive at the cart in a rush and there were several people there anxious to get their coffee. I quickly turned everything on and assured my new clients that their delicious coffee was on it's way. I forgot to grind the coffee beans before I put it in the filter for brewing so all they got was hot water. This was not a happy beginning but I must have looked miserable because the clients kindly waited for me to do it correctly. The people waiting suggested that I have a cup of coffee. I had three and everything seemed better after that!! Spacey ADD behavior can be pretty funny.

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