I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t very funny at the time.
A couple of weeks ago, on a football Saturday, we were preparing for the day as usual; extra beer on ice, sufficient Bloody Mary mix, making sure everything was in place for the rush that lie ahead. About 8:15am, an employee handed me the phone, indicating it was a police officer.
“This is Officer Chamberlain. I’m calling to inform you that your liquor license has expired and if you sell alcohol today, you will be out of compliance.”
I replied, “Yes, I know. I renewed it with the commission yesterday and they told me I was all set.”
The officer continued. “Yes, you renewed it, but you failed to pick it up. It is still sitting on the desk of the City Clerk. And since they are closed today, you won’t be able to get it until Monday. Until then, you can’t sell alcohol.
Guess how that made me feel.
I wrangled with the officer a little more, but it was evident that no quarter would be shown and I had no choice other than to throw in the towel. Of all days to overlook a detail of this nature, a game day was the worst.
Needless to say, I felt pretty dumb and even dumber explaining to our guests why our $4 NE craft pint would not be available. I went home that evening feeling pretty defeated.
Yet mistakes are bound to happen. No one in the history of baseball has batted 1.000. In my world, the toast gets burnt. The oven temperature is too high. The timer didn’t’ get reset. The stock got left out. Someone dropped the chicken on the floor.
No one is perfect, yet we all want to be. And most of us are probably harder on ourselves than we are on others. I speak from experience.
I had to come back to an oft quoted phrase from Danny Meyer that states, “The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled.” It’s not paved by being mistake-free. It’s how we recover and learn from those mistakes that allow us to move forward. Here’s a few things I’ve learned.
Admit the mistake. Own it. Call it what it is. Don’t justify it or make excuses. Trying to act like it never happened diminishes the opportunity to learn from it.
Don’t listen to the voices in your head. The Spies feed on mistakes. It’s like chum in their water.
Lean on those who have perspective. Karen threw me a life preserver by reminding me it’s not the end of the world. We’ve survived cancer. Surely we can survive the wait til Monday to pick up the license.
One funny thing out of all this. Many of you reading this probably had no idea this even happened, which is another lesson in itself. What seems like a catastrophe to me is a funny story to someone else.
And as I said above, I now see the humor in it, too.