…for something that wasn’t my fault, or even my responsibility. And honestly, I had no idea what this fellow was even talking about.
But I still apologized. And promised to see what I could do to help.
Because heck, despite being very anal about managing my email inbox, sometimes I miss things. Or sometimes a voicemail or text gets lost in the ether. And every once in a while, the post office loses a letter.
You just never know. And neither does the person who sent it to you in the first place.
Because to them, you purposefully, mindfully, with an evil and Grinch-like smile, and with great malice in your heart, intentionally ignored their communication and then laughed about it with everyone you know.
But whatever you do, don’t get all defensive and fussy about it. Don’t get angry. Don’t yell at the person. And certainly don’t Facebook and Tweet about it.
Just apologize for the inconvenience, and offer to do something to help. This is the gentlemanly way to handle a situation like this.
I promise that in your later years, you won’t lie on your deathbed and think to yourself, “Gosh, I wish I was a bigger asshole to that guy that day…”
Falling on the sword is a good strategy. It diffuses anger. It builds trust. It settles tempers. It creates level heads.
And only then can the problem be tackled and solved.
P.S. The gentleman in question has since recognized his mistake, and apologized. But honestly, our relationship is now in a better place because he appreciated my response. And there is more respect between the two of us. This is a good thing.
Drawing by Hugh.