Overheard in the men’s room of a training center (which violates some man code, but that’s someone else’s blog), just after lunchtime:Student (to instructor): “Oh good.  I thought I was going to be late.  Now I know I won’t be the last one there.“Instructor: “Yeah, well, uh, I didn’t realize quite what time it was.  But I have a really good excuse.  I was talking with _Really Big Man_.”And the RBM was likely some head honcho.  A really important dude.  But the instructor was late.  And he seemed to not care one bit.  For he, by association, is important.  More important than the little underlings that had paid (or had their company pay) big money to hear him speak.  Now run along, little peon, lest someone else of great importance come along and make me later and ignore you even more.It’s unlikely the instructor thought those exact words.  But his words were clearly violating Rule #1. And he was late.  And a dozen or so folks who shelled out money were not likely impressed with his excuse.  Apologies with explanations are excuses.  Excuses are seldom desired by the people who are listening to them.  Can it.  You’re late.  You shouldn’t have been.  Move on.  It doesn’t matter if it was for the CEO or constipation, you were late.

Don’t explain apologies.  Just apologize.  (And don’t get into situations requiring an apology when it is clearly under your control.)

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