My mentor still hasn’t answered even my first ever email to her asking for help, I am going to take the advice of the nice people who cheered me up. I don’t think I should want to take my mentor’s advice now even if she gave it to me. I don’t think she is very good at her job. > (

oh yes, indeed… try being ‘meek’, use self-depricating half-smiles, and nod (don’t verbally respond) in agreement to whatever an overling (opposite of ‘underling’ while not being big enough to be a ‘lord and master’) says… if the office supplies tea &/or coffee but doesn’t supply the biscuits, bring the biscuits… this technique should see you there long enough till people start to recognise you, much like wallpaper – and you know what a bother it is to replace wallpaper – at which point you should be fine – a vague and anonymous sort of fine, but a safe in the workplace sort of fine, and that’s the important thing…

I’m sure you won’t get the boot, the best thing to do when something goes wrong is admit it if its your mistake….say sorry…and keep going! Good luck as its your first job…

I know it is easy for me to say, but seriously, don’t worry about it. Everyone makes mistakes (and it sounds like it wasn’t even your mistake to begin with), even if this wasn’t your first job in publishing. I’ve been at Hachette for 6 months (my first publishing job) and I still make mistakes – I find if I’ve been working on something for a long period of time I won’t notice a mistake, yet I can find mistakes in the work of my team-mates. Everyone notices different things.


Don’t beat yourself up about it – realistically, someone else should have proofed the quiz aswell. I would be really suprised if there were repercussions from this one error. (If there isn’t anyone checking your work, it would be a good idea to get your supervisor PLUS another person to start proofing – as I said before, different people notice different things) And if anyone is kicking up a stink about a ‘competition’, just send them an email saying their first answer was the one that counted (maybe don’t mention that they should get a life) and any reasonable person should be happy with that.


I was really stressed and overwhelmed when I started (and still get worked up) but I’ve found that b vitamins help a lot! The Blackmores ‘Executive B’ is incredible – it helps you keep your cool and helps you to deal with huge levels of stress (mind you, I have also started smoking again – which I don’t recommend…)(and no, I don’t get a commisionfrom Blackmores)


Anyway, I hope I’ve helped set your mind at rest a little bit – trust me it will blow over and you’ll get another chance to prove yourself. The fact that you’re upset says to me that you take pride in doing a good job and you are going to be great at it.


First thing’s first: to survive in an office situation, DON’T FREAK!

The best that I can suggest is keep plugging on; computer errors do occur and (as long as they don’t happen on a regular basis, ha ha) the bosses will accept it (albeit somewhat sceptically) and you can move on. Just grovel a little. It sounds trite and obvious but what else can you do?

Also get some of your email subscribers to tell the boss what a fantastic job you have been doing and how the company would be mad to let you go J I’ll write one of those emails if it helps.

Best of luck June.

I thought it was weird that the answer was wrong also, i was going to e-mail you about it but i forgot. If jasper was the one that added the question and checked the answer then you should not get in trouble.



I’ve been the store buyer here for about 4 years so I know what it is like to work in an office. I’m not sure about working in publishing. In bookselling I’ve always tried to work out what is expected of me & then to work out how far I can shatter that expectation.


If you think that what you are doing is worth fighting for then fight. See how much of a difference you can make.

I committed tons of howlers when I first started working as a temp – I wince now when I think of the cock-ups I caused but I only got sacked twice (which I’m very proud of!). Nevertheless, I learnt from my mistakes and now have done reasonably alright since then! I don;t know how old you are, but if this is your first job, you’re allowed to make mistakes! And if they do sack you, you’ll find another job quickly…

I wouldn’t worry too much about the error. If your boss gets funny and wants to know what happened, I’ve come up with some possible options for you to say –

1) The computer guy put the wrong answer on (assuming someone else uploaded teh website with the answers)

2) You thought that you’ll make it a trick question as to befit Jasper Fforde’s books!

3) Look terribly shocked that it was your fault (if it was) and splutter about how embarrassed you are/sorry you are!

4) I note that you sent your email at 23:52 – you can always go with the “I was so overworked and tired at the time” scenario!

If none of those work, then I suggest smiling inanely and giving a “whoops I’m so young and inexperienced” impression – worked for me!

Hope this helps!





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