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A bad day at the office

A bad day at the office

Rob Green’s goalkeeping error cost his team a World Cup win – by any account, he had a bad day at the office. But who hasn’t?

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June 13, 2010 11:58 by



Poor old Robert Green. The England goalkeeper will be having a torrid time of it today, after his howling goalkeeping error handed the USA a draw in last night’s FIFA World Cup game.

Everything started well for England – an early goal gave them a margin of comfort, and despite never looking in full control, they were largely unthreatened by the USA. Until Clint Dempsey hit a speculative shot towards the England goal; Green knelt to gather the ball, took his eye off it for a moment and saw it clip past his knee and bobble into the open goal. All in all, pretty embarrassing for a professional goalkeeper.

But let’s face it: Who hasn’t had a howler at work? A professional error we’d give anything to erase? A work mistake we thought at the time might bury us? Yes, Kipp thought so. The only difference between us and Rob Green is that his happened in the most public, most unforgiving arena possible.

Kipp could list a half dozen examples of emails that have been sent to “reply all” rather the intended recipient. One of our bosses (not current bosses) once sent a highly inappropriate and suggestive comment about a potential employee to the entire office and the applicant in question, instead of his friend in another department.

And we’re still haunted by some of our own early career errors. Once, while in college, Kipp was working part-time in a restaurant. You haven’t felt truly embarrassed until you’ve launched a drink onto someone’s head, or a full plate of food into a lap, both of which has happened to us. (And somehow we still didn’t get the sack. We really should have.)

Later, while working at a radio station, we forgot the name of a guest mid-interview. Live. There really is no feeling like that realization, that sinking feeling deep in the pit of your stomach, that things have gone horribly wrong. Your head throbs, your stomach churns, the sweat flows.

The only consolation is that this feeling won’t last. No matter what your mistake, the world keeps turning, time keeps moving, and sooner or later things get forgotten. Green should take heart that we all make these mistakes – the important thing is, we learn from them, chalk it down to experience, and move on.

If you have any horror stories you’d like to share with Kipp please feel free – it might make us all feel better.



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