In the current job, I got blamed on a lot of stuff that were not my fault in a meeting, so I got mad and left the meeting. Before this, I got assigned a project where it's very noticeable that they cut a lots of corners, and of course new stuff breaks old stuff. My job was to fix it, but my boss expects this kind of work to be done in a few days, to fix a project that has at least 5-6 years and with poor standards.

So today, after leaving the meeting, I decided to take the day for my mental health.

My question: Tomorrow, I'm gonna get a lots of questions for what I had done, to be honest the company boss is a lot more unprofessional. What I can do to recover?

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    Just apologize to the boss and the team mates. May 19, 2022 at 19:28
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    "What i can do to recover?" Is that what you really want? It sounds to me like your boss is putting you into an impossible situation (assuming what you're saying is correct). If it were me, I would be sending out my resume and look for a new employer elsewhere. If this happened once, it will probably happen again. May 19, 2022 at 19:50
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    the company boss a lot more unprofessional - This is not an excuse. Don't mention this in any discussions about the situation. Accept responsibility for your part in it, and acknowledge further action items that are needed. Focus only on the things that you can control for yourself. May 19, 2022 at 19:54

3 Answers 3


Most people expect others who have made mistakes or missteps to learn from the experience and not repeat the same behavior. As such, mistakes of this kind are tolerated and/or forgiven, with the understanding that it will not happen again.

To "recover from this unprofessional move" your best bet is to demonstrate that you realize what you did is wrong, and you have worked out how to do better in the future so everyone can move past it. From your description, I'm not convinced you have worked past it, and it might take longer than overnight (you mentioned going back tomorrow, which I think is a good idea if you can handle it).

The first thing to do is take care of your mental health, that is most important in situations like this as everything else depends on wellness. If you're feeling extremely frustrated or burned out, seek professional help or at least talk to a trusted friend (preferably one with no ties to your work).

Next, work out this issue in your head. Figure out what went wrong, what you could have done in this situation to handle it better, and what you'll have to depend on others (like your boss) to do. With this in mind, you can better address questions about what happened today.

It will likely take some time to work out this situation. When you go back to work tomorrow and get questions, you'll need to have a diplomatic answer about what happened and what you're doing about it. The explanation will work much better if it's genuine and sincere, so the wording should come from you. I'd suggest something along the lines of:

I was frustrated about project and I needed some time to reflect and get perspective on it. I won't walk out of meetings/disappear/etc again. I could use your help with something reasonable and neutral that the asker can do to help you resolve the problem.

  • was "I could use your help with something reasonable and neutral that the asker can do to help you resolve the problem." intended to be part of the block quote? May 23, 2022 at 23:50
  • Yes, in recognition that OP can only handle their behavior which will partly resolve the situation, and probably needs boss/peers to "meet in the middle". May 24, 2022 at 13:41

Honestly, this sounds like a reasonable response and I don't think you did anything wrong. It's unprofessional for your superiors or teammates to blame stuff on you that's not your fault. I've had a similar experience and it's not enjoyable, especially because once you get blamed for something it can be hard to regain the lost confidence of others for being the person who "broke the feature" (even if you didn't break it). You need to take responsibility for mistakes you make, but also push back when people blame you for things that you had no part in. If a meeting devolves into "let's blame Progs for all the mistakes", it's perfectly reasonable to walk out of such a hostile environment (after saying your peace about how it wan't your fault and trying to recover your reputation). Such an experience is not a meeting, it's an attack, and it's reasonable and acceptable to remove yourself from such a situation.

Now, the question is, when you return to the office, what sort of environment are you returning to? This is an environment which has burned you, by blaming you for things you had no part in, and expecting you to fix a list of bugs that have been years in the making. If it was me, here's what I would do:

  1. Schedule a meeting with your manager ASAP. Calmly, and with as much evidence as possible, explain to them what the issues are that caused whatever it was to break, and explain what the root causes are and how they are not your fault. Get your manager on board with the fact that these are not your fault, and while you will do your best to fix them, getting the blame for them in a public meeting is not fair and it made you (rightfully) upset. Ensure that your manager will back you on this (that these mistakes are not your direct fault, even if they are your responsibility to fix) and help clear your reputation with the other attendees of the meeting.

  2. Explain to your manager the complexity and difficulties in fixing the other bugs he assigned to you and why they will take time to fix. Show him your system-level expertise by explaining to him all the things you do not know and will have to learn to fix these bugs. Paradoxically, explaining things you do not know is often a great indicator for how much you do know; if you say "there's a lot of stuff I don't know", that means you don't even know what it is you don't know. If you say "I don't know X, Y, Z, W, Q systems and I have to learn them all before I can even start on this" that means you know what those systems are and that they have some impact in the issue at hand, which shows a great deal of knowledge about the system even though it sounds like there's a lot you don't know; there's a lot you don't know, but also a lot you do know, and that's important. Get your manager on board with the fact that these bugs aren't a simple fix that can be rolled out in a couple weeks and will take some manpower to deal with. Then it becomes his responsibility on whether to deal with it properly or not.

Try having this meeting with your manager and see how they respond. Don't get angry, don't even get even. Just present facts, without emotion or bias, and let your manager respond.

If your manager responds well, e.g. if they apologize for blaming you, accept and understand your timeline for fixing the bugs, etc, then the book is closed and continue doing your work as normal. Keep this situation in the back of your mind in case it happens again (this could be an indicator of a toxic work environment), but for now leave it behind you. Conversely, if your manager tried arguing back to you and defending blaming you in the meeting, or goes off on you about how you don't work "fast enough" or whatever, that means you don't have respect in this company and it's time to find a new one. If your manager does not respond in kind to you, calmly and amicably and without laying blame, trying to resolve the situation, then it's time to find another job because this one is too toxic.

  • It's understandable to be unhappy about it. It's professional to meet those criticisms head-on when presented, and, if they are untrue, to dismantle them, complaint by complaint. Stomping out of the meeting and then becoming a ghost is the furthest thing from professional, and OP recognizes it. It's pouting, and pouting is not "reasonable" in a professional workplace. Furthermore, fleeing in the face of criticism suggests that they might be true, since they were allowed to stand, unrebutted, and that OP lacks the competence to deal with problems or criticism. -1 May 20, 2022 at 11:44
  • I presume OP at least tried to argue against the criticism before he left the meeting, and when he wasn't being listened to, then he walked out. If I'm wrong, then you are correct, but when you continue to be critisized and berated despite arguing back, that's not acceptable.
    – Ertai87
    May 20, 2022 at 14:34
  • It may not be acceptable, but leaving, then leaving work is completely unprofessional, and will be looked at more akin to a child having a tantrum than a professional dealing with unfair criticism. May 22, 2022 at 17:18

Other answers address the work situation; I'll focus on moving on from the meeting itself.

You might find it helpful to try to separate out these two things:

  • The difficult situation you're in.
  • Your reaction to it.

Those are different. The one doesn't inevitably lead to the other (even though it's obviously a factor, especially in the heat of the moment).

Try to imagine what you could have done differently despite the situation; how could you have handled it more professionally, without losing your temper? (For example, can you find a way to avoid taking it all too personally? I find it's very easy to fall into that, and it rarely ends well…)

If people can see you've accepted responsibility for your reaction, and learned from it, they're much less likely to hold it against you. And then you can move on and try to deal with the situation itself.

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