I’ve had a few experiences lately that make me think that our world no longer likes using the word “sorry”. It seems that taking personal responsibility is a really tough thing for so many people. I think that so many grievances, big and small, could be dealt with by one party or the other actually just said “I’m sorry” or “That was my fault, my bad” but it seems that this little sentence is one of the most dfficult things to say.
The other day I was out having lunch with folks and I ordered an egg salad sandwich. The server was really slow and inattentive and by the time he brought my sandwich, I was just grateful to get some food. Until I took a bit of the sandwich and realised that “hey, this is not egg.” I wasn’t sure what it was exactly but it definitely wasn’t egg. So I called the server over and asked if the sandwich was correct. He disagreed with me and then snatched the plate away. Ten minutes later he brought back my plate, this time with a different sandwich – this one definitely an egg sandwich. At no stage did he apologise or explain. One minute I had one sandwich, the next minute a different one. I had to catch him to explain – it turned out that the first sandwich was a chicken sandwich. A little different from an egg salad one, don’t you think?
I was angry but strangely enough, I was more angry at the fact that he refused to acknowledge that he had made a mistake. I asked for a manager and he didn’t call one. I asked again and even when the manager came by, there was no apology. He did take the meal off the bill but that wasn’t the point – I ate the sandwich, I was prepared to pay for it. All I really wanted to hear was “I’m sorry for the mistake”. Strange?
Then today we were all on the bus and getting off when the door closed on my Mom’s arm – catching it and giving her a huge shock. Now, the doors do not close automatically – the driver has to engage them so obviously the driver wasn’t paying attention. She opened the door again really quickly – but to tell us that it wasn’t her fault. Not that it was my mother’s fault, just that it wasn’t HER fault. No sorry, nothing.
These are just two examples and it confuses me. When did “sorry” fall out of fashion? Is it because people are afraid of litigation? Or are they just incapable of admitting fault, of taking personal responsibility? Or am I just being ridiculous and should I take a chill pill?