Learning from Experience

Some time back, I used to work in a local beverage company. I was stationed in the production department. There were many other employees working with two supervisors and me. The hierarchy in the company was strictly adhered to the extent that I as an employee could not report anything to the production manager without going through the supervisor. This was very disadvantageous to us in that incase of harassment, it as to report to the same person who harassed you. The supervisors were very corrupt and one could pay them to be away from work for a day.

As time went by, the productivity of the company went down and everything was blamed on the employees. I for one did not like the idea of us being blamed when the management was to blame. Communication was the main problem. Ones the production system broke down, it would take even a whole day for it to be repaired because it took that long for the production manager to get the information. In addition, communication was strictly through the emails as was the replies.

One day, we were fed up with the blaming as employees we got furious with the supervisors. Without any plan or procedure, we held an office demonstration. We spent a quality amount of time in the supervisor’s office complaining about the corruption going on in the company. Things got angry when one of the employees got furious and slapped the supervisor.  In no time, the fire siren was on and we ran towards the door. Without the proper fire exit procedures in place at the time given the demonstration, property was destroyed and unfortunately, two employees lost their lives in the process. To make the case worse, there was no fire in the factory and it was determined that one of the employee ignited the fire alarm. In the end, we lost our jobs and went through a court case.

With the knowledge I have learnt now, I would have made better decisions. Solving workplace conflicts does not require violence. It requires dialogue and procedures (Fenwick, 2003). We as employees could just have approached the senior management through different available ways to present our case. Though communication was strictly hierarchal, in such a case, we would have managed to report our issues. We could also have gone through other official channels to get the information to the right place.

In general, I learn better from my success and not mistakes. Mistakes come and go and so is success. However, some mistakes can never be corrected (Boud, 2013). A good example is what happened in the beverage company. Some employees lost their lives and that can never be corrected. However, success feels good. I am a careful person who always tries to be careful. This helps me to stay out of trouble and concentrate with succeeding. Learning from mistakes is long lasting because it is hard to forget a mistake (Guile & Griffiths, 2001). However, it is also dangerous in that it can lead to destruction.



Boud, D. (2013). Enhancing learning through self-assessment. Routledge.

Fenwick, T. J. (2003). Learning through experience: Troubling orthodoxies and intersecting questions. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Guile, D., & Griffiths, T. (2001). Learning through work experience. Journal of education and work, 14(1), 113-131.


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