Sorry seems to be the easiest word nowadays.
Today, within a span of 5 minutes, I received 2 calls of apologies. One was from a supplier who didn’t deliver and had me pestering the receptionist endlessly before he would take my call. The first few times I was pleasant enough. But as soon as the recep was able to recognise my voice, I knew I had to do something about it.
I used the look-try-to-see-it-from-my-point-of-view tactic. I listed my long working hours, the many calls I received from the client, how it’s gonna be CNY and tempers fly when things don’t do well – all false, of course. And to put my point across, I threatened to take their reputation and brand name and crush it like a cockroach. That worked.
The 2nd phonecall was from a colleague. He had been extremely rude to me on the phone in the morning. All I did was convey a message, an unpleasant one because it meant he had more work to do. But well, you know, shoot the messenger and all, I took the blunt of his temper and got the phone slammed down on me. I don’t know if it comes with my age, but Patience sure has been staying around me recently. I was shocked by the attitude but I kept reasonably cool and decided to forgive (but not forget). Who’s to know that just before I got off work, he called to report on his work and grumble about what a tough life he has and all that. Then he managed to slip in a tiny apology for his attitude in the day. The magic word wasn’t uttered but his uneasiness was all the clue I need. I forgave him. =)
I’ve come to realise that once you get used to the service line, the words “Sorry” and “Thank you” become meaningless. It gets said so often that just having a fake smile plastered on the face and just a vague mention of the words would more or less pacify most mortals. Once in a while you get a seasoned bitch like me who will go, “Just a sorry and I’m supposed to tolerate this?!”, but you know, we’re just being bitchy.
Imagine buying from a shop. You hand the item over to the cashier and she says Thank you. You hand her the money and she says Thank you. She returns you your change and says Thank you. As she walks you out of the shop she says Thank you. And all the while, she has that look on her face that says “Oh get out of my shop, I can’t be bothered to find the size you want just let me get back to my magazine”. Irks me to the core everytime. Just one sincere one will do, thank you very much.