What Is The Cost Of Your Apology? – RHETORICS
I could go on to give fictional scenarios on what an apology can cost, but thankfully, I have a real-life event to share with you.
There might be a lesson or a laugh in this, or there might be nothing at all in it.
A good friend of mine, let’s call him Tee, has a boisterous and rumbustious colleague. Let’s call her Cee.
Tee has a service delivery firm that consistently comes to make drop-offs for him.
The delivery guy is a young man in his early twenties. On one of such occasions, Cee stopped him in the shared office and in the presence of colleagues, clients and guests, began commenting on how he smells.
Cee wasn’t just commenting, she was doing it at the top of her voice and it was laden with insults.
The delivery guy, let’s call him Jay, feeling affronted and disgraced walked away to Tee’s office to make his delivery.
There, he told Tee what just happened. Tee apologized to him and promised to settle the matter.
After Jay left, Tee confronted Cee, warning her to resist from insulting or even coming in contact with his guests. Cee felt Tee was wrong for correcting her and instead began keeping malice with him.
Within the same week, Jay came to make another delivery. Cee saw him and cornered him again in the open office. As soon as she started to insult him again, he stopped her, then gave her a powerful retort.
This blew her gasket. She immediately went to inform the H.R to stop Jay from coming to the office.
Jay meanwhile informed Tee of what just happened, and as he left, Tee went to confront Cee.
Since she was with the H.R, Tee seized the opportunity to inform the H.R and requested that Cee be asked to desist from such behavior.
Before the end of the day, Jay and his boss showed up in the office to apologize to Cee. While Jay’s boss was trying to extract an apology out of Jay, Tee walked in.
He furiously asked Jay’s boss to leave with Jay. He told her that Jay had done nothing wrong and Cee only picked on him because she believes he is beneath her.
After that incident, Cee would never speak to Jay again. Any colleague that tried to point out her mistake or asked her to give Tee an apology also got the cold shoulder treatment.
This continued until the end of the month.
Cee has a subscription to an internet service that needs to be manually renewed each month. Tee had introduced her to the service and has always been responsible for its renewal.
Since a cold war was ongoing, Cee decided to renew it herself. What could be so difficult about that?
Two weeks into the new month, Cee’s internet package that was supposed to last until the end of the month finished.
Frantically, she called Tee. She informed him that somehow, she couldn’t connect to the net, and she was getting a notification that she had exhausted her data. Which is supposed to be unlimited.
Tee asked her to narrate how she renewed the service, and she did.
Turns out she went the wrong route and picked a totally different option for the same price.
She had to subscribe to the right option all over again.
Just because she didn’t want to be wrong, or give an apology, in one month, she has spent twice as much on data.
What did this apology cost Cee? Wasn’t her ego eventually deflated? When you have to turn to the person you made your sworn enemy for help, what do you do with your pride at that moment?
She still won’t apologize, but does that still matter?
Do you allow yourself to get caught in situations where help is denied you because of your pride?
Are you renowned for never saying sorry or never conceding when you are wrong? What do you lose for saying sorry?
Is an apology still useful if people or circumstances force it out of the culprit?
Is the cost of an apology truly pride and ego?
Or in this case, is the cost of her apology the extra twenty thousand Naira she spent on data?