I remember when I worked in a restaurant.
And, one day, I screwed up on a pretty big order.
I proceed to explain to the customers (I think it was a small group) why they’d have to wait a bit longer for their food. Feeling awful inside, I ended my brief explanation with, “I’m sorry”.
I can’t remember the customers exact reaction, but I’m sure they weren’t happy. They walked away from the counter to find a seat.
My co-worker, overhearing the situation, pulls me to the side & kindly advises me to never say, “I’m sorry” (to customers) when you’ve made a mistake. Instead, say “I apologize”.
His reasoning was that, saying you’re sorry means that you are indeed a “sorry person”. What’s more, that’s what the customer will walk away thinking about you.
At the time, this made complete sense to me. I liked the idea.
So, I began to say, “I apologize”, instead of “I’m sorry”.
And, rather quickly, I noticed how those words felt flowing from my mouth.
They felt, less sincere.
After awhile, I returned to saying “I’m sorry”.
It just felt right.
And even if the customer thought so, I knew I wasn’t a “lousy, pitiful person”.
It’s funny…from then on out (whenever we’d work the same shift), I remember my co-worker wincing & shaking his head, whenever he heard me “apologizing”.
Thinking about this today made me smile. It also lead me to the dictionary.
- Sorry: feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence
- Apologize: to make an apology
Apology: a formal justification : defense
…I’m sorry…I apologize…
Are the sayings synonymous?!
What do you think? Which do you say?
Is there an instance to say one, & not the other?