Apologies, do they count? Ethics say yes but I say no.
Do apologies count?
Most people especially woman rave about this but I have different ideas. Personally I never apologise. However I need to quantify that a bit.
I will only ever apologise for things where I have let people down or in other words where I had made a commitment to them which I did not fulfill. The list for this is almost endless, A few examples;
Saying I would do something which I never did or conveniently forgot,
Breaking a promise.
I will unreservedly apologise for this and rightly so.
However I will not apologise for something which I have said either in a fit of temper or because I was trying to be mean. Mainly on the principle that I should never have said it in the first place.
The reason I do not do this is because I firmly believe that in apologising one is only trying to assuage their own feelings and not necessarily out of empathy to the deserving person. Consequently it is irrelevant and it is therefore left to the offended party as to whether they can show mercy or not. It teaches me not to assume I can always get away with an insincere apology of,” I’m sorry I didn’t mean it.”
A perfect example of an insincere apology?
Now within the last week or so a thing most strange happened to me. Unbeknown to me, someone recommended me for an award. After all this time. Blow me down I made it, or at least the last three. Consequently I was asked to attend the awards ceremony
HQ in Dublin
. Oh wow, oh wow.
Now I happened to know who recommended me as when he was told I had made it he sent me a mail explaining this and asking me not to be annoyed with him. As if I would. I was delighted and we arranged to go from Cork to Dublin and he brought his twelve year old daughter with him as well. How lovely. Now the thing is, I’m an old cynical sceptic, life has taught me this, or forty years of being deaf has? I still vividly remember my ‘lip reading’ teacher refusing to teach me until I had told her I was DUMB, which is the furthest thing from the truth, but eventually I agreed. Later when I knew her well I asked about this and she replied that out of all the afflictions, deafness had the least sympathy with Joe Public
. Forty years later nothing much has changed.
So amidst great excitement the three of us arrived at Google HQ Dublin. Now the security there is very strict, but, the organisers of the event had people helping. I was asked my name and replied with it and that I was also one of the nominees. Blow me down, they couldn’t find my name on any of the lists. It was at that precise moment, I KNEW
. Luckily they found the name of the person who nominated me and allowed me in on that.
The debacle continues.
Well we are now in the awards room and there is a great humming and hawing. The Master of Ceremonies
is none other than George Hook
presenter and rugby critic. It soon becomes obvious, even to me, for each category, three names are
called out, of which two are presented with a Google certificate and the winner gets a computer. Camera’s are clicking and there is a great tumult, and on and on it goes. Three quarters of the way through the ceremony, I lean across and make a cutting motion of my throat to my friend. He laughs and says it is not over yet. Hope springs eternal even in my breast and I actually have a speech prepared (just in cases). Eventually the ceremony ends with the Golden IT awards for those over the age of 85 some of them barely able to walk but a very nice fitting end.
My friend says to me, ‘your name wasn’t even mentioned once’, and I can see him and his daughter are more disappointed than I am. I’m used to this type of treatment. Now my friend is a very sick man, and there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. So he gets hold of one of the organisers on my behalf and complains. They are mortified and say they will go and get a certificate immediately. I just kept quiet because I didn’t want to offend my friend and his daughter. However, if it was left to me I would have said, “I’m not an afterthought, so take your certificate and ram it up your ass.”
We leave the daughter there and go downstairs and out the building for a cigarette. Once done we go back inside, but, security wont let us go back upstairs. So my pal phones his daughter but can’t get through. Eventually security lets us go upstairs. My certificate for IT learner and ‘shortlisted’, is sitting on a chair, so I pick it up and we leave to go back to Cork. I’m still not angry but my friend is. Did I say there is more to him than meets the eye? So the next day he goes to his representative of the charity and complains. Shortly after this, I receive this in my e-mail. Now I’m finally angry at long last. Before I post it I want everybody to know that I have spoken to at least ten people since then from all walks of life and all ages, and everyone has said the same thing. “I would have been pissed off too, disgraceful behaviour.”
I really must apologise for the oversight last Tuesday at the Google Silver Surfer Awards. It was completely my fault and a breakdown in communications meant that your name was omitted from the list of nominees. I hope you accept my heartfelt apologies as you are obviously a shinning example of the type of person that we want to be held up as ambassadors to show your peers the advantages of getting on line.
Once again, I hope that you accept my apologies for this.
Well I am angry now and here is what I wish to reply to you.
“If it were MERELY a matter of forgetting me, my site and my work, it would certainly be forgiveable. However, the entire charitable program you represent has had its credibility severely damaged.
Your nomination program and public outreach is merely a gimmick.
It appears that your program, and the ‘awards’ given were based only on acknowledging those who would make YOUR program look good. Clearly you never even looked at my work or my site, and had no interest in any of those nominated by the good people of Ireland.
As further evidence that this is merely a ploy to gain undeserved credibility with Google and others, I want to point out that the treatment that we received was disgraceful. The FIRST order of any charity is to at least care a little about the elderly, sick and disabled. We were left ignored, uncomfortable, and left out to dry, even after investing the time and money to transport ourselves a very long way and at personal expense to support your program and awards process that we had THOUGHT was genuine AND charitable.
It was neither genuine nor charitable. It wasn’t even considerate. It was self-serving in the extreme.
In our experience you care nothing for us wearing the ‘silver’ and the challenges we face up to in this age of technology.
I suggest that it is appropriate for you to re-think your approach and your projects to be something of genuine value.”
Well people, do apologies count?