Over the summer I was working for a New York City real estate agency. Checks and other important paperwork from clients would get delivered daily and it was always my responsibility to make sure the checks were put away in a specific file cabinet and any important client information on papers were shredded. We had to shred basically everything so that no ones tax returns or social security numbers were exposed and we had to hide the checks for obvious reasons until the finance girl came and picked them up. One day, the finance girl came to pick up an $8,000 check for a very important client from me. After I spent much time searching for the check I realized I had accidentally thrown the check away by accident because it got caught up in other paperwork I was handling. After being reprimanded by my boss for about a half hour, she made it clear it was my responsibility to contact the clients and let them know I misplaced their check.
I had to be very careful for how I talked to these clients because I did not want them to think we were an unreliable company or not trustworthy. Next Step Realty is a company full of super young employees and these specific clients had already expressed their hesitancies to work with such young realtors. I had to word my explanation in a way that made it seem like even thought their check was misplaced, they were not victims of fraudulent behavior or anything sketchy. Instead of telling them it is in the trash, I told them it had been shredded so that they would feel safer knowing it would never be found by anyone. This statement displayed rightness-of-fit given the current circumstance.