“Finding humor in mistakes is a valuable way to strengthen meaningful relationships.”
— Misti Burmeister

Mistakes, misunderstandings, and snafus are part of life – at work and at home. The goal is to move forward … and maybe get a laugh or two at your own expense.

Shortly after moving into my new house, I noticed that the previous owners left some kind of “kid thing” behind. My partner, Yvette, said it was a diaper genie.

Frazzled from moving, and completely ignorant about the purpose of a diaper genie, I placed it on the front porch of my new neighbor, Jen. Since she has a baby, I thought she might have a use for it. How nice that I get to share with my neighbors already, I thought as I walked home, patting myself on the back for being so thoughtful.

The next day, Yvette asked where the diaper genie went. I said, “I put it on our neighbors’ porch.”

“You did what?” she asked, looking confused and slightly horrified.

“She has kids,” I said. “She might need one.”

With a bit of a chuckle, Yvette asked, “Do you know what a diaper genie is?”

“It dispenses fresh diapers, right?”

“No, Misti, no…”

For those who don’t know, a diaper genie is a receptacle for dirty diapers – not the most ideal second-hand gift!

As much as I wanted to avoid Jen at all costs, I stopped by and apologized for leaving such an unwelcome gift.

“I wondered who left that on my porch,” she said. “People leave stuff all the time.”

“Probably not a diaper genie,” I said.

“No, but I just threw it away. No problem!”

Fortunately, my neighbor has a great sense of humor. She not only forgave my ignorance, but laughs with me every time we bring it up.

Whether it’s a new employee, boss, or neighbor, finding humor in mistakes is a valuable way to strengthen meaningful relationships.

Join the Conversation: What’s the funniest goof-up you’ve made?

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

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