Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

It is ironic that my last blog was about apologies and forgiveness because I had an apology today. It was a professional apology and I must admit that I was impressed.

The guy was working for the anti-fraud department of Tesco Finance and he apologised without blaming anyone else and without a ‘but …’ It was a very simple and very easy and both of us knew that he wasn’t at fault but that what he did was the right thing.

I used to work for the NHS which is a complex organisation and given that I was a qualified member of the front-line staff, it was my job to apologise when things went wrong.

Nobody wants to hear ‘I’m sorry but it wasn’t my fault,’ however it is dressed up. When I am the client/patient, all I want to know is that somebody is taking responsibility for the error and will do their best to ensure that it won’t happen again … to me or anybody else.

I think if he had qualified his apology I would have felt frustrated that I was dealing with yet another blame-shifting faceless individual but as it was, because he had the decency and humility to apologise, I felt good.

There is such a thing as corporate responsibility and therefore there should be such a thing as corporate apology. Maybe we need a revival of the word sorry. It is such a little word but used correctly, it can be a healing, calming word.