Friday, 28 November 2008

The art of apologising

Scroll fast if necessary. This is something of an 'all about poor little me' post.

I'm supposed to be a writer / editor (of boring, non-fiction, serious things). It tends to mean I rant about punctuation and spelling... and then mis-spell 'grammar' in my profile. It also means I type fast, which is a little like opening mouth before putting brain into gear. When will SL offer us a 'cancel that last post' button?

The above also means I need to apologise occasionally.

OK, often.

Apologising is an art, whether in SL or RL. It's also hard, particularly if you think that the fault lies at least partly with the other side. Making something sound sincere isn't easy, whether you're typing or in voice.

The head honcho of an organisation I work for once apologised to a roomful of people for screwing up on something. I was stunned, and impressed. Not the sort of thing you hear often at that level. He just said, quietly 'I can only say I was wrong, and I'm sorry. I'll do everything I can to put it right'. And he didn't have to do it - it would have been so easy to let other people carry the can.

I've had a particularly awful SL week, as in lost my main source of SL income (long story, you don't need the details), left my SL 'home' land (sentimentally hard, financially sensible), yelled at people (some didn't deserve it, some did). Got rapped on the knuckles by somebody I respect (deservedly) for taking out my crankiness on the first person to cross my path. Oh, and I put up a new store that later vanished from the sim and didn't reappear in lost and found. And yes thanks, I do know about group tags and autoreturn.

All that, however, is not an excuse for yelling and ranting at people who didn't deserve it. Arguably, that was better than demolishing a sim, and believe me, I came close. But friendships are more important than virtual buildings, so maybe a little virtual rubble...

Or no, it would have been better to take a deep breath, and let it pass. But it's not always that easy.

Fortunately, those in question accepted apologies, so despite being a little battered and tempted to do the the whole 'I'm leaving' thing, I won't. Flouncing doesn't exactly help much, right? Besides, somebody gave me gift vouchers to feed my inner Barbie and my texture obsession, which gave me the warm fuzzies, big time.

Again, apologising is hard. And doing it showily can be pretty tacky too, so my apologies (hah!) for that and for the dirty laundry stuff - but my point is that saying 'sorry' and meaning it is a good, good thing.

Accepting that 'sorry' is pretty nice, too. So thanks.

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