Once, when our daughter was babysitting two neighborhood children, the rambunctious two-year-old boy head-butted Daughter with enough force to break her nose. It was an accident, pure and simple. Nevertheless, it irked me when the mother came over the next day with a balloon for Daughter and told her, rather stiffly, “We’re sorry you broke your nose.”
As she and her husband were both attorneys, the real message was probably, “Don’t think we’re paying for this.”
Are sincere apologies are a dying art? No more “I’m sorry I stole your money,” but rather, “I’m sorry if anyone was hurt by my stealing pension funds and spending them on call girls.”
And OMG, the worst of all: “Mistakes were made”… as if mistakes form in corners like dust bunnies.
Even Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS exhorts his team to “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” Oh, Jethro, that is such horse hockey!
As I’ve ranted on other occasions, waaaay up on my List of Loathesomes are automated answering systems and outsourced technical support staffs. Mistakes were, indeed, made. Don’t the terms “Customer Service” and “Technical Support” imply some kind of… oh, I don’t know… A S S I S T A N C E????
Apologies for ranting, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why a company would think five automated options cover everything with which its customers may need assistance and let’s face it, that’s why we’re calling, Buster. The system asks for information which I’ll have to repeat if I’m successful in my keyboard Whack-a-mole attempts. I’m usually already aggravated by the time I reach said human and then, as is often the case, when that person can’t understand my Southern drawl, the situation goes downhill from there.
That is, in a nutshell, how we came to switch from our cable internet provider, which generally gave us good service, to our current DSL provider, which does not. We had called our cable company to upgrade our equipment, but their Technical Support person insisted it couldn’t be done. Boo, hiss! We knew it could–they weren’t understanding the question. While I admit that my use of technical terms like “thingie” or “doohickey” may have caused confusion, eventually we gave up and switched to their competitor who understood our request. However, even though we supposedly have the upgraded modem, our new service went from okay to yucky.
This is one of the several different messages I receive dozens of times a day. Everything takes longer when the link “is currently not available.” Why? There is an implication that “it’s not our fault.”We don’t have to say we’re sorry…
Now to be fair, I should say that we have the same DSL carrier at the beach and the connection there is fine, so why do they think it is my computer’s fault that I don’t get similar service here?
I did get one error message while we were at the beach. It came from WordPress, which publishes my blog. They were experiencing a service problem. While it may not be an apology, their error message made me smile. No apologies needed for this one.