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I’m sorry Shirley

My words hurt people. I've used them without thinking on so many occasions.

The other day my girl came home from school. It was a big day. She had auditions for next year’s placement in the top concert band. I asked her how it went and I could tell instantly by the look on her face that it didn’t go as she planned.

She said that she got real nervous and had troubles with all of her scales. I said “What? You’ve been practicing those every night for the last three weeks… How could you screw up? Oh well, welcome to the second band!”

Instantly I knew that was a terrible thing to say. My little girl has been worked up about this audition for the longest time and was trying her absolute best – all in a effort for me to be proud of her, and I go ahead and say something stupid like that. She started crying.

I tried to tell her I was sorry and how terrible that was for me to say. I tried to make her feel better by saying something like… “I’m sure things will work out, and you’ll get your spot back in the top band.” Boy, I really hope she does. If she doesn’t, she will be so hurt. She was one of only two freshmen in that band this year. The Alto Sax section is limited to 4 players. That’s a pretty hard chair to get in this largest high school in Wisconsin.

I’m sorry Jamie.

I’ve had this problem my entire life. I’ve said things to just about everyone I’ve cared about that should have never been said. If only I would think before opening my mouth, things would be so much better for me and the feelings that I have hurt.

I’m probably most sorry about the things I’ve said to my mom and dad. Those were two very special people that deserved so much better than I gave them. I really can’t remember specifics of what I said, but I do know that I hurt them each on more than one occasion. They were great parents and I should have thought a little more before opening my mouth.

I’m sorry mom and dad.

For a short while, several years ago, I was a Technical Group Leader in a department that developed specialized software for factory automation products. I was in the middle of working with one of my people on a very large software project that she was heading up. She was very worked up about some details that I felt should be swept over. In my mind I thought she was missing the “big” picture. I said angrily… “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” She instantly started crying and became upset. I should have known better. She was so concerned that every detail was taken care of and everything was to my liking… and I go ahead and say something stupid like that.

I’m sorry Shirley.


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Oh how I hate it when people don’t keep commitments or even bother to tell you that they won’t be doing something. I have problems with this in my personal life and my work life.

I’m sure you have probably been in this situation… you talk to someone about a project or a task and all indications are that that person intends to follow though and do what they have indicated they will do… Then a couple weeks later you realize the task hasn’t been done and when you bring this up with the person who has failed to follow through with their commitment you get a blank stare, or worse a statement like… I didn’t mean I was going to do it now… or… something else came up and I decided not to do the thing we were talking about.

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