I've been struggling lately with a work experience that I have been taking personally and I would like your advice and/or encouragement.
I'm 24 years old and I recently graduated college. I landed a job as an electrical engineer for a reputable company. I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity.
Part of my job is to work with mechanics to troubleshoot issues we see on our field tests vehicles. On one particular day, I went to make a quick change to something and it turns out that I had an incorrect value populated in a program I was using and it caused there to be a little holdup (a few hours) in the work that day. Without going into a lot of detail, the mechanics gave me a hard time for this and I can't get over it.
Once I knew what the issue was, I went out an fixed it immediately.
I knew it was going to be hard to walk into their presence again knowing that they would give me a hard time. I quickly fixed the issue and then briefly tried to tell them what I had messed up. Well they took that in the wrong way thinking that I was trying to explain my way out of what I did wrong and that after all, I know what I am doing. I was just owning up to my mistake and letting them know that, but they took it another way. They even went as far as mocking me by telling me that's why I make big money because I know all these things.
I then tried to ease the tension by letting them know how much I value their experience and that I want to learn everything I can from them. I was genuine because I know this from experience.
Then comes the next day and I had to go out there to ask them a question not related to the last issue. I could have bet on their reaction when I walked in to see them because that is exactly what happened. At first they ignored me and when they finally acknowledged me, I tried to ask how things were going but they interrupted by saying, "now what did you do wrong..."
I brushed it off and immediately went to the issue I came there for. It turns out that I received some very helpful information from them but I still feel like they hate me. I know that any future work I do will be second guessed and I will always be made fun of.
Why do blue collar workers always feel like we went to college to stick it to them and make more money. I have the utmost respect for guys like them but I am terrible at communicating that. It doesn't help that I stammer also so when they guys pigeonhole me, the worst/embarrassing side of me shows. I've seen first hand how blue collar and white collar relationships can go sour so I make every effort to avoid that happening but too often I fall short.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I am taking this personally. I know that I will be working with these mechanics in the future but I know this sour relationship will eventually eat at me. I am certainly not the one to snap back but rather be hard on myself. I've even had thought of quitting even though I know I wouldn't do that. I'm not afraid to own up to what I did wrong but at the same time, I have a hard time getting over things.
I also want to add that a few months prior to this I made a similar mistake that was a quick an easy fix and this recent issue seemed like the cherry on top of all this.
I am the kind of one who will definitely learn from this. However, I don't want to be so nervous that I miss something again. I am afraid of this happening even though I know I shouldn't be.
So without this post getting too long, I want to know if you have had similar experiences and how you dealt with them. How do you handle mistakes when you are young? How do I avoid taking this personally? What perspective should I have on this?
I would really appreciate any help.