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The “Oh, s#&%!” moment

Posted on: February 8, 2006

The "Oh, s#&%!" moment
In every career, stuff happens. But if you keep your cool, you can turn a workplace disaster into an image-building triumph.
By Donna Rosato, MONEY Magazine staff writer

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) – You can be doing everything right at
work — showing up on time, being conscientious, minding your business
— when bam! Out of the blue, your chair collapses in the middle of an
interview. Or somebody sends you a confidential e-mail by mistake. Or
you accidentally squirt a huge blob of ketchup onto your boss’ shirt.

We spend nearly a third of our lives at work and more than half of our
waking hours each weekday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Something is bound to go wrong from time to time.

But whether you find yourself in a mildly embarrassing situation or
you’ve inadvertently made a career-threatening mistake, there’s usually
a way to recover with grace and tact — and with your job. Sometimes
you can even emerge looking better than ever.

Remember, your earning power is the single most valuable financial
asset you control over your lifetime, more than your house or your
investment portfolio. You can’t afford to let it be compromised by a
wayward blob of ketchup or a misfired e-mail.

So if you’ve ever wished you could bounce your personal nightmare
scenario off an etiquette expert or a high-level manager or an ethics
guru, now’s your chance. On the next few pages you’ll find creative,
foolproof solutions to everyday disasters. Let’s hope you never need
them.

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