Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

I don't feel good, and have been up most of the night. I've whiled away some of the time exchanging e-mails with the European manager of the book project I'm working on right now. (The middle of my night is the start of his workday.) He sent a couple of rather stern e-mails, one of which chided me for missing a deadline and demanded an update and an ETA on the materials.

He correctly identified the deadline as the 16th of November, which is this Friday. Somehow, though, he thought that was LAST Friday. When I gently pointed out that today is the 14th, he responded with: "Of course. I had my calendar wrong."

Half an hour later, his colleague, who had been copied on the e-mails, sent me an apology. She had not contributed to the snafu, yet she apologized.

Truth to tell, it wasn't a big deal once I knew for sure I had not missed the deadline. I'm no champion at calendar tracking mine own self, and I know how easy it is to get off track. Still, a simple "I'm sorry," would have been appropriate. And clearly, I'm not the only one who thought so. His colleague had no reason to apologize, and yet she did, on his behalf. Hmmmm.

Last week my sister got very short with me over a situation in which she did not have her facts straight. Eventually she acknowledged that she did not have a full grasp on the situation but did not apologize for her rudeness. Hmmmm.

Methinks perhaps the Universe is trying to tell me how important it is to watch my mouth, especially when I'm angry or stressed, how necessary it is to acknowledge my mistakes and offer a simple, heartfelt apology when I've let myself run amok.

I'm gonna work on that. Right after I get some sleep.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

You're so right, one little, "I'm sorry," can make up for a big load of ick.

kario said...

I know that saying those two little words to my kids when I really am wrong is incredibly powerful. I also know that Bubba has never said them to the girls and I don't know why it is so hard for him. But I know that someday when he finally does it will mean so much.

Deb said...

Humility is soooo powerful! Thanks for the reminder.

Stacy said...

I am amazed at how quickly you found the gem in others bad behavior. Failure to say I'm sorry, just makes me homicidal.