I am a 25-year-old male and I work for a corporate IT firm.
Part of my job involves auditing (quality checking) other people's work and providing feedback. Recently, I listened to a recorded call, where a co-worker told one of our customers that a particular business partner of ours (a third-party company) is not customer friendly.
This was wrong, and I spoke to that particular person about this. She told me that she only did that because many people in our office have a similar opinion. And, she did not think it was a big deal. She is open to feedback and when I mentioned the consequences, she readily accepted and assured me that it won't happen again.
However, for a failure such as this, I am supposed to send out an email to her manager and a few senior management people. So, I sent an email about the failure and told the management that I gave my feedback to that person. I have been in similar situations before and the usual response from the management would just be an acknowledgement email suggesting that these type of mistakes should not happen again. The person in question is not looped in such emails.
But this time, her manager decided that she should be given a written warning. This is one of the three strikes before a corrective action is taken against a person.
I am not sorry that I sent that email. I still think that I have performed my job honestly. However, I feel sorry about about how the whole situation has turned out.
I want to tell this person how I feel. I am sure this person would be angry with me (she is a couple of years younger than me). She is not my friend or acquaintance. I just talk to her about work once a week (like 15 minutes).
This makes it difficult for me as I am not sure how she would take it if I say that I am sorry about what has happened.
I want this exchange to happen professionally, but not officially.
I am doing this only because I feel bad for this person, no other reason.
I am worried about:
- If this will question other co-workers' trust in me to provide proper guidance and feedback.
- I will have to be able to work with her and provide my feedback without this single episode affecting all future interactions.
- I am confident and clear when I talk about work or sharing ideas. What I lack is the ability to convey how I feel.
- I do not want her to misinterpret what I am going to say.
- I do not wish to discuss the situation extensively. Just one simple conversation should do.
I am looking forward to your help. Thank you.
UPDATE: First off, I am really glad that I asked my question here. I am surprised and happy to see a lot of people genuinely sharing their opinion. All of your answers and comments gave me different perspectives and helped me handle the situation. Thank you.
A small clarification before I tell you how the whole situation turned out. Asking sorry(being apologetic) was never my intention. Sorry, if I was not clear about this in my original question. As I mentioned earlier, my only reason for showing empathy towards this person was that I felt really bad for this person. This is because,
- She said and I believed that she did not do this on purpose and she feels sorry for what she has done.
- This is her first job after college and she has been in the company for 6 months. I felt that this could have impacted her choice of words when speaking to our customer. This should have been an opportunity for her manager to educate her, not punish. Sorry for not mentioning this earlier.
Coming back to the situation, it actually turned out quite easy and neither of us were embarrassed nor misunderstood. As I was analyzing all the opinions given here and writing down(as one of you suggested) what I was going to say, this person came to my desk and asked me how she should handle this warning letter - if she can dispute this warning thing given to her. She tells me that her manager has been personally targeting her and trying to make her quit her job. I did not get into all the reasons behind this but it has to do something with their personal life and not work related.
I told her all the available options and suggested that she reach out to HR. I even encouraged her to be clear and confident about what she was going to tell HR and not letting the hierarchy affect her stand. At the end this conversation, I made sure she felt that I was not happy about the written warning.
Thanks again everyone and sorry for the long post.