TL;DR: I lied to a co-worker in an email by removing content from emails that I forwarded. Looking to find a path to regaining their trust. How do I continue to work in close proximity, whilst there is this uncomfortable tension?
A senior colleague asked me if I had ignored the software release procedures, in a recent project I had worked on. The procedures related to the deployment of our software products for internal clients. I initially told him that I had followed procedure, but after reviewing my old emails, I realized that I had sent out uncontrolled/untested prerelease versions of the software multiple times. This is not an uncommon occurrence at the company, but given my role, I should have known better. My initial reaction was one of embarrassment; how could I fail to remember something so recent.
I wanted to be forthcoming about my mistake, but I was still feeling shame for having been so confident in my incorrect answer. I sent him an email, showing him the last instance in which I had failed to follow the release procedure, but I choose to redact all of the previous instances from the email chain. I realize that this is equivalent to lying.
It was not long before they had realized what I had done. I justified my not following release procedures by stating it was necessary to get quick feedback on feature development, and that the users were aware it was prerelease. I have no justification for redacting further evidence from the email chain. Needless to say, I didn't feel too great for the remainder of the day.
The correct course of action is for me to formally apologize to my colleagues. I plan to do so. I also realize that I am entirely in the wrong here. However, even in the best scenario, I cannot see a path to regaining their trust. I do not deal with conflict/tense situations well, so continuing to work in close proximity will be challenging, especially since that project is ongoing.
For those that want to know how this played out:
Returning to work the following week, I decided to clear the air immediately and apologies. To my surprise, my senior colleagues also apologised for not having clarified the work procedures both within and external to the team. It was decided that we should present our working processes to those outside the team and to clarify our release procedures. Makes me glad to work alongside people who are focus on improvement and progress as opposed to playing the blame game.