No not in that way...
While this blog does often talk about the elusive nature and meaning of words and it sometimes plays with them, I am not going to talk about the meaning of "inconceivable". Rather, what I find to be inconceivable is that so many people do not understand the meaning of the word "sorry".... hmmmmm, no that's not it. I do think they understand it, I just don't believe that they grasp what it means to actually mean it.
So many people use it as an attempt to claim compassion or empathy. While in reality what they actually mean is that they are uncomfortable with the current situation and either:
- don't know what to say
- want your absolution of any wrong-doing
- want to be acknowledged as permitted to end the current portion of the conversation
In business contexts - a retail or service employee will say "I'm sorry" or "I apologize" or something else with a similar supposed meaning. What I find offensive is that they believe I should accept it at it's face value when they are un-willing to back up said sorrow with any action or any actual attempt to make amends. The lack of any willingness to make amends robs the supposed empathy of any sincerity or meaning.
Professed empathy without sincerity makes "sorry" a platitude - a trite remark uttered as if it has actual meaning.
The crux of the matter is this - If a service employee says "I'm sorry" in the above fashion without any actual sincerity but as a means to end a topic of contention, then they are essentially assuming:
- that I should believe that they actually have empathy for me
- that saying "I'm sorry" is sufficient to make amends
- that I should belive that saying "I'm sorry" is sufficient to make amends
Why? Because in the world of falseness - people crave authenticity! Smart customers don't judge the character of your company when things go right, they judge it by your conduct when things go wrong.
Insincere platitudes - crap.
Authentic responses - like them.