Just say you’re sorry.

Has a salon left your hair looking like this without an aplogY?Have you noticed that very few people apologize for mistakes or bad behavior anymore? Instead, they say that they "are sorry you are upset." It is patronizing and rude.
 
A sincere apology is balm to a bad situation, ruffled friendship, or even a serious inconvenience. Don’t hold your breath waiting for one.
Restaurants, airlines, salons, spas, and all kinds of businesses keep you waiting, cancel services, and expect you to respond to their insincere apologies and paltry attempts at restitution with a smile.
 
These days one is kept waiting online or on hold for hours to fix other people’s mistakes – only to hear "I’m sorry you are upset." Darlings, we are not upset, we are abused.
 
Abusive behaviour goes both ways. There are plenty of rude and unreasonable customers too. And lately, things have gotten out of control. Shoddy service and lame excuses have become the norm.
 
Airline passengers have finally begun to fight back after being held hostage for hours on runways without food, water, or bathrooms in worse conditions than we keep some criminals. There are finally new laws to prevent the worst offenses, but we need more.
 
I know employers are overworking and underpaying employees, but abusing customers is not the answer.
 
Companies cavalierly fail to deliver services every day. Complaints are too often met with repeated meaningless, insincere apologies, but no solutions.
I purchased Carbonite. It is advertised as an easy way to back up computer files, but it took me hours to transfer my files to my new laptop. Part of the problem is that Carbonite has still not fully trained their new tech staff. As a result, I was forced to spend more than 20 hours of my work time talking to their employees as they tried to figure how their system worked. No one sent me a paycheck for my time. On top of that, we are still trying reinstall our iTunes files correctly.
Beauty salons are notorious for shoddy service as are dry cleaners. They ruin your hair and your clothes and then apologize for "upsetting you" – not destroying your hair or trashing your clothes. Good salons and dry cleaners do exist. Show your appreciation for them by being polite, on time, and tipping well!
Darlings, I could go on. These days we all have a list of miscreants who annoy us. A decade ago, I would have advised you to write a polite letter to the president or CEO of the company. These days, my advice is to take your case to Twitter, Facebook and Yelp when you don't get a response to a polite and reasonable request. Companies may not care about one customer, but they do respond to social media. Take your business elsewhere too.
No one is perfect. I know I am not. We all have a bad day or make mistakes, but if you make a mistake or offend someone, apologize for what you did – not for upsetting them. Deal with your own bad behavior or faux pas. Saying ‘I am sorry, that should not have happened’ or ‘I regret that ever happened,’ goes a long way toward repairing relationships. This is not groveling; it is behaving with class.
So darlings, if you are sorry, say so.
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