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  1. Laura

     /  May 24, 2015

    Guilty as charged. Though I confess I probably tell boys they look handsome too often as well. I think I do this as a way to engage, to open a conversation. But you are right about the damaging cumulative effect. With every passing month, I am discovering the power of the question as a replacement for the easy statement. I love your suggestion to turn to questions when you want to say something positive and engaging. “What have you been doing today?” “Can you recommend a book I should read?” “What’s your favorite thing about your family?” All of these questions will open the conversation and lead to a much richer discussion. Thanks, Jennifer!

    Reply
  2. Ken D

     /  September 1, 2017

    I very much appreciated this post. l was expecting an apology from a neighbor whose large dog jumped my fence and pinned my 15 year old small dog on the deck. Instead he blamed my son and called me “goofy” I still don’t understand his mindset but it sounds less like he is not the only one.

    Reply
  3. Charlotte Hamilton

     /  April 8, 2018

    Jennifer: enjoyed this article! Thought provoking and as you as note, current as 50 years ago. I had a similar exchange in my high school years with some family friends having said, ‘I hope you women are doing well!’ To which one of them said, ‘Well, I hope we all are ladies!’ I walked away confused yet ‘Got it,’ what she was trying to say.
    Being from the Midwest – though having lived lots of places – I use ‘guys’ a lot for my ‘people’ expression. Will read with interest your other offerings! Respectfully, Charlotte

    Reply
  4. Balaus

     /  August 19, 2018

    Tales of a male academic in the humanities. When I dated a colleague (at another institution) who was an assertive feminist, she dumped me because my tenure prospects were thin. When I went online, my sense of humor got me nowhere. On the contrary, the false profile I put (and took out after 30 min.) of a retired CEO in his seventies, widowed, living on the Upper West Side and owning his house in the Hamptons got immediate and unsolicited responses. Recently, I got two marriage proposals, both from women in poor health who needed someone to take care of them. Those who cannot dig gold, end up digging pennies. I recommend chastity, if you can take it.

    Reply
    • That is a disheartening tale, but sadly it rings true. I hope you don’t give up on all women, but I feel your pain. I’m especially sad that your sense of humor got you nowhere. Gee!

      Reply
  5. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up
    very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me.

    Thank you, very great post.

    Reply
  6. Ren D.

     /  December 9, 2018

    I would argue that the Houston Rockets employee negated his apology by throwing in the words “for some” in the sentence, “I did my best to make the account the best in the NBA by pushing the envelope, but pushed too far for some and for that I apologize.” By adding those words he reduced the emphasis of his error as the reason for apologizing and instead placed it on the ‘for some’ who were offended. Furthermore, the fact that he continues to use the ‘fake gun, fake horse’ on his Twitter account suggests he still finds humor in it and an overall lackadaisical attitude of regret. Personally I would try to bury and move on from any offense I committed once amends have been made. I understand he may be using it as a visible reminder of a bad decision, but there are better and private ways to do that.
    So an apology of his kind may suffice for the business world but I still see it as a “sorry that you were offended” type. Let’s face it: apologies from corporate entities will never be of a truly repentant nature. They are offered out of authoritarian obligation in order to save face.

    Reply
    • Hi Ren, you make several good points. The “for some” did weaken the apology. Retaining the “fake gun, fake horse” also sends a mixed message about his sincerity. In retrospect, especially with our increased sensitivity about gun violence, it doesn’t seem very funny or thoughtful.

      Reply
  7. Gianina Richards

     /  December 9, 2018

    I’m being bullied for nearly 3 years of my employment in a senior affordable housing as the social service coordinator by the Admin of our building. It started with her including residents in her witch hunt against the maintenance manager and now against me. She creates a mod by having residents who are weak and have to side with her because they are threatened of their housing being lost. She misuses her Authority to control people and to make them feel bad. I have now taken a month off on leave cuz it made me so sick and I’m been approved another month without pay.

    I love my job and I want to go back and was hoping that things would get better when I return. Living in a small town I ran into a resident who has shared with me that the admin called her into the office asked her if I was gossiping about her and she said no. The resident is in fear of speaking with me anymore when I returned because administrator has made things bad for her already after seeking services for me.

    I’ve had other residents approached me before I left but the same concerns about Tremont towards them from the admin very similar to mine. Worried about the effects on the residence I kept it to myself so the admin would not retaliate against them. Now she’s retaliating against me and I’m not even there. How do I stop this! I’ve invested 3 years and I’m 57 and this is wrong to be treated and talked down to and told that no one’s going to love me, accusing me of things I didn’t say, having her family members who live in the community file reports against me that are not true and making the residents feel that they need to side with her in order to keep their housing. She must be something I can do! Help I’m sick over this. He seems not deserve to be treated this way nor do I.

    Reply
    • Hi Gianina, I am very sorry to hear about your situation. This is indeed a classic bully story where someone is abusing their power. You could consider going to someone else at the organization although I’m sure you have thought of that. I don’t know what state you are in, but sometimes there are state or federal employment agencies that can intervene. Good luck to you, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that things get better. Maybe that terrible person will decide to leave and torture someone else, or better yet, retire!

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

     /  May 18, 2020

    I recently was forced out of a job that I loved. I worked there for four years when one day we was hauled into HR and told that several of my coworkers had described me as rude and aggressive. To this day I have no idea who said these things, how many said it, or even what exactly they were talking about. I was given no benefit of the doubt. The hr manager had made up her mind and soon I was seemingly being reported every other week. I finally quit after they threatened to fire me.

    Reply
    • Hi A, really sorry to hear about this. It sounds as though it was more of a witchhunt than a real investigation into conflict at work (if there even was a conflict and not just someone out to get you). Now they have lost a motivated employee and have left you with a lot of questions. It’s the kind of story that gives HR a bad name. I hope you are able to recognize that they handled this poorly and that your departure is their loss. Maybe this provides an opportunity for you to find an employer who appreciates you. Good luck.

      Reply
  9. Sue

     /  June 19, 2020

    The lack of a sincere apology, especially soon after the offense, can destroy even the longest and strongest friendships. The most erroneous phrase ever coined is: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” (Love Story, movie)

    Reply
    • Anonymous

       /  December 6, 2020

      This is true.

      I’ve had people in my community call me out on the carpet for whatever (as a city volunteer) in front of everyone else, then everyone else got mad at me and when I showed definitive PROOF I wasn’t wrong but THEY certainly were, I never, ever got a single apology. From anyone, for any of the wrong slap-downs and wrong accusations. They just brushed it off and kept going forward. I worked as a volunteer roughly 60-80 hours a month for these people and often as the only person who ever showed up for anything for 10 years with no pay. Well, I finally quit two of the three positions I held for many years because I was getting burnt out. They became mad at me because other city administration volunteers (who just came to meetings once or twice a month, that’s it) would have to take up my duties and I’m the only person who knows how to do about 80% of what needs to be done, but damn, what was I to do? Their reaction was to take the last position from me, the one I did as my passion (I’m a recently retired Firefighter/Paramedic after Neely 40 years in the field) and I did a lot of work (I built their fire department up from scratch as there is nothing else for 40 minutes in any direction). I brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, resources, training (I’m an instructor), people, etc., injured myself a bunch helping them and the community and I really got off on helping create the city’s successes that I had a little part to play in. I had hoped to retire from public service with a tiny celebration with my team but council was all pissy. As a result many of the team quit (most of whom routinely travelled in for hours to help us out on shifts and other great stuff) as they said they were here because of me (which really touched my heart, as these are my friends and professionals from other departments helping out rural volunteers). Every single time I’ve been improperly called out on the carpet I’ve never gotten any apology for and my reputation struggled because of it. I apologize for my mistakes and I really try to learn from them. However, I’m sick and tired of being everyone’s whipping boy when they’re frustrated out of some self-perceived slight on my part. I get it that when you’re the boss of anything you wear a target on your back but I was just blown away by the sheer arrogance and ignorance of people. Screw them. I will never volunteer to help with anything ever again. I’ve learned if I do something really well, I shouldn’t be doing it for free. Too much give and inch, they take a mile and when they trip you along the way, they act like it never happened. These are toxic types of people and I’m so glad I no longer have to deal with them.

      Reply
      • Wow, I am really sorry to hear this story. I have sometimes wondered if volunteers are treated particularly badly — there’s a saying in the small rural town where I live part of the year that “no good deed goes unpunished” — and sometimes it seems sadly true. I have found however that there often are people who appreciate what leaders do, even if they are not as vocal as the toxic types. It is very moving that your team appreciated you, and surely that matters most…

        Reply
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