Today was a disaster!
For my newish research job, it is my task to go through a complicated procedure of taking a participants measurements (such as height, BMI, blood pressure…), having them fill out questionnaires, randomising them into a group and a few other thingies.
Today was the first time I’ve had to interview a participant at their house rather than at the hospital the study is based from. I showed up exactly on time, accompanied by a large wheelie suitcase full of stuff I needed. (Yes, I joked with the family that I was staying for a week.) I had been pretty nervous all day, worried that I’d forget part of the procedure or have some issues with the equipment.
For all my anxiety, I had not anticipated that I would misremember the password for the laptop – from which almost all of the interview is run – and end up getting locked out after only a few inccorect tries (I just didn’t need the hyphen!!). I called the research coordinator for help, but it was too late, the damage had been done and I had to leave the laptop at the hospital afterwards for IT to look at.
I managed to do a lot of things without the computer, in the end, but I was flustered the whole time. I felt disorgansied and featherheaded. The participant and her mum were charmingly patient and understanding, but it was a bit of a debacle.
Normally, I would walk away from a day like this and beat myself up about it. I would feel humilated and I would be afraid that everyone would think I am incompetent – or I’d feel that I actually am incompetent. Before I went to work today, I told myself not to be afraid of making mistakes and to be patient with myself as I learn this new job. Even though this was the type of situation I had dreaded the most, I think telling myself beforehand to be fine with mistakes must have worked. I am disappointed, but surprisingly philosophical about my disasterous day.
I do not always manage to be this healthy-minded about myself, but I do feel extremely proud that I am getting better at remembering and believing it.