“Dude, that’s like the third packet of crisps”, Sam said. “I don’t care!!! I messed it up”, I said, grabbing the nearest packet of chips. “It’s alright man… It’s not like you got fired. Chill”, my new friend reassured. “I’m not so sure. You didn’t look at boss’s face. His look was…”, I cried. “Well, talking about the same thing isn’t gonna help”, said Sam wisely, opening a coke bottle to prepare his fourth glass of drink. Suddenly, I saw a spark in his eyes.
“Hey, Max! I don’t think your mistake would be a big deal! I mean, this could be the best mistake of your life!”, said a grinning Sam, positively beaming. “I don’t know what you mean. How many glasses have you had already? “, I asked him skeptically, munching the potato chips. “Did you know, that the stuff you are chomping for the past hour was discovered by accident?”, questioned Sam, with utmost authority. “You mean, invented? What was invented by accident?” I asked, not really interested. “Discovered, invented whatever!!! Chips, man, chips. Just imagine, if not an accident or an oversight, we wouldn’t be having chips!!! Imagine, a life without potato chips”, said Sam.
I noticed that he was already staring into space, one hand over his belly and the other hand clutching his glass, wondering how the world would be, without his favorite pack of chips. “Hmph! Well, I don’t know if screwing up my part in the annual report is going to get anyone anything to eat! Oh Well, it might help feed the guy who’ll take my place after I’m sacked!”, I complained. Oblivious to the statement I made, Sam squeaked hyper actively, “Dude! The coke… Even coca-cola was discovered…”. “Invented”, I interjected. “WHATEVER!! Alright, INVENTED by accident”, said Sam. “See, even if you are fired, this mistake”, Sam said, clapping his hands together, “This mistake is the best thing that could happen to you. This mistake is going to make you invent the… the… You know the thing? You are going to be rich man, rich, rolling in money”, blabbered Sam. I wanted to ask to him shut up, but I refrained from doing so, to the man who had offered me a friendly drink in his apartment after the annual report fiasco.
Leaving my stoned friend to enlighten the empty couch about the benefits of making stupid mistakes, I checked my e-mail on his computer. There it was… The e-mail for firing me. “Oh! no!” I whispered to myself. With trembling hands, I opened the mail from my boss. The subject was “An Oversight“. It read as follows:
Dear Mr. Maxwell Carter,
This is regarding the annual report that was submitted to the head office, this evening. I’m sorry that there was an oversight on my part.
“On your part?” I wondered. I hurriedly continued reading.
Dear Mr. Maxwell Carter,
This is regarding the annual report that was submitted to the head office, this evening. I’m sorry that there was an oversight on my part. I was mistaken that the error in the report was from your piece. But, in fact, it was from a colleague of yours, a Mr. Samuel Johnson.
“Oh-Oh”, I said. I looked at my poor, “high” friend, who was now singing obscure songs praising the concept of “stupid mistakes”.
Dear Mr. Maxwell Carter,
This is regarding the annual report that was submitted to the head office, this evening. I’m sorry that there was an oversight on my part. I was mistaken that the error in the report was from your piece. But, in fact, it was from a colleague of yours, a Mr. Samuel Johnson. Rest assured, disciplinary action will be taken against him. But I must apologize for my oversight, in this matter.
I couldn’t help but feel relieved after reading the mail, but I felt genuinely sorry for my friend. I had to break the news to him. I said, “Hey! You know what? I think I agree. I think mistakes are great, I mean, they could show us a new way.” “It could show humanity, a new way”, said my friend brimming with emotion. “Why don’t you read this?”, I asked. “Oh! is it an article which describes all the discoveries, I mean inventions, that happened because of accidents?”, asked Sam enthusiastically. “Well, it could be a prelude to a great discovery… It all depends on how you take it”, I said weakly.
“What do you mean?” asked Sam, staggering towards the computer. “Read it for yourself”, I said. I was ready to support him, if he was in need. Sam read the mail without batting his eye lids. He stared at it for five minutes. He then looked at me. His mouth opened and closed like a fish. “Like you said…”, I started, “It’s all for the best. I’m sure…”. “SHUT UP!!! Don’t throw those words at me”, shouted Sam. I was now a little afraid. “But, you just advised me….” I said. “Advice??? Advice is for others you fool!! Not for your own self. I’m fired… God!!! I’m fired”, he bellowed. “Well, just so you know…. “, I started. He looked at me as if he was going to kill me. “Um… Things will turn around. You’ll be fine….”, I whimpered. He stood up, pointed his finger at the door and roared, “GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE”. I knew that tone. I didn’t need him to repeat. The man started throwing things around. I took my coat and ran towards the door and closed it right on time. I heard something smash against the door. It must be his drink, I thought. Determined to not let my head be the landing zone of any of his projectiles, I ran outside and got into a cab. My heart did not stop pounding for a long time. After a while, it dawned on me that I was safe and wasn’t going to be fired the next day. I grinned. I was glad that I wasn’t Mr. Samuel Johnson.
People who give a LOT of free advice freak me out. What about you? Do you give a lot of advice??? (Oops!!!)