Mistakes were made…

Mistakes happen. Sure, some are more serious than others, and it’s important that we try not to make them, but it’s also important that we find ways of putting them right, and that we learn from making them in the hope of not making them again.

It’s called “Learning from errors” and here’s an example:

No-one seems very sure how a Scottish lady with eye irritation was prescribed erectile dysfunction cream with full instructions on how to apply it to her eyes, but they’re kinda hopeful that it won’t happen again.

Seriously, how hard can it be (careful now) for someone to notice that she shouldn’t have been given it, especially not to stick in her eye? (Pro tip: Never stick it in your eye (careful now)).

Sure, the names of the products are vaguely similar, but there’s clearly a big difference between giving it a quick rub in one place (careful now) and the other.

We’re informed that the patient received “a mild ocular chemical injury”, which was treated “with good response”, but she probably has a boner to pick [stop this please – Ed.] with whoever was responsible for this prescribing error.

And the staff at that that pharmacy clearly need a stiff talking to.


Careful now.

On Making Mistakes…

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s an innate skill, as The Human League told us, back in ’86:

I’m only human
Of flesh and blood I’m made
Born to make mistakes


Multinational cellphone behemoth Vodacom made a mistake with their billing run last month, resulting in some (or more) customers being billed twice for the same month. Oops. They told me about it via SMS last Friday:


Not a great start to the year. But now here’s the thing. It’s not the mistake making that is the issue – because everyone makes mistakes, we’ve covered that – it’s how you go about sorting out that mistake.

I have to say that Vodacom sorted out their mistake very quickly, by saying sorry, keeping me informed, crediting me with the missing amount that was debited twice and then telling me when they’d done it. Which was yesterday, right on time:


They’ll lose marks heavily if they do it again, because one important part of reacting to a mistake and sorting it out is learning from it so you don’t make the same mistake again.

But, given that these things can – and do – and did –¬†happen, I was hugely impressed with their response.
Well done.