Stop making excuses

“Sorry I’m late”

“With all due respect to…”

Sometimes it feels like my life is littered with apologies which, whilst they are nice to hear, aren’t being offered as an apology but as a platitude.

Being sorry you are late once or twice is one thing, continually apologising for being late suggests you are both a. insincere and b. lying.

I’d much rather you just admit that whilst you may feel some guilt for being late, you aren’t sorry at all. For some reasons these people think that saying you are sorry in some way excuses the fact you can’t organise your time and don’t really care that it impacts on MY time (which admittedly I’m pretty damn anal about because I happen to think it’s quite important).

If you have no good reason for being late, tell me why, but don’t expect that an apology makes it ok. It doesn’t.

Same goes for those people who insult someone but make sure they don’t seem TOO nasty by leading with “I mean, with all due respect to…”.

Bollocks to that. You obviously don’t respect someone as you’ve just insulted them. You can’t have it both ways.

Perhaps 2010 should be the year of telling the truth. Perhaps.

5 comments

  1. The ‘with respect’ one exists at three separate levels.

    “With respect” means ‘yer wrong, pal, and I’ll tell you why yer wrong’.

    “With due respect” means ‘yer very wrong. Here’s why’

    and finally

    “With all due respect” means ‘yer so completely off-beam yer don’t deserve any respect’.

    It’s a code, not unlike when politicians talk about economy of truth. Unfortunately there are people who use “with all due respect” literally, and don’t realise it’s actually a bit of a proper insult.

    Best punctuality apology of all time: the gym teacher in Gregory’s Girl, who turns up to a meeting with the headmaster saying…

    “I’m sorry I’m early.”

  2. I am so with you on the lateness thing. I used to have a friend who was always a minimum of 15 minutes late, but usually at least 30 minutes late. She’d say I should expect it, and it was “just the way she was”, despite the fact she managed to hold down a full-time job where she had to be on time every day. Eventually I got fed up of sitting in bars or restaurants like a lemon, and one big falling out later (and lots of little rows about it in the lead up) we are no longer friends.

  3. I remember a time when I arrived late to go shopping with a friend who always kept me waiting. I reckoned the time didn’t matter much as she wouldn’t be ready. “You’re dreadfully late”, she scolded. “Now, I’ll just have my lunch and we can get going.” I realised that she simply likes keeping other people waiting but doesn’t expect to do it herself.

    I then realised that my mother had spent my whole life doing that to me. It has made me very patient. But I am punctual at appointments. And it’s duly observed, Gordon, if ever I meet you, I will be on time.

  4. I work in a restaurant and people are constantly getting in each other’s way and bumping into each other. I’ve found that the words “I’m sorry” are something I tune out now. No one I work with is sorry they jumped in front of me, or spilled somthing on me or that they’ve done something to competely ruin my shift. I don’t even listen anymore. And I try not to say sorry unless an apology is merited. And it turns out, its far more rare than I ever thought it would be.

    As for the tardiness, its a thing in my family too. I have an aunt we always give family party times to a half hour ahead of when we want her there. She always shows just on time, with the rest of us. How annoying.

    AG

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