Just Say You're Sorry, What Does It Hurt?

Every now and then I see people discussing whether or not you should tell people that you're sorry if you can't help them for whatever reason. This conversation gets pretty testy, which I think is dumb.

"I never say that I'm sorry, I'm not sorry so why should I say it?" Someone always comes up with that gem. This one is usually in response to someone saying that they can't afford to pay the price of your cake, so you have to tell them that you can't help them. The person making the cake is insulted that the client doesn't want to pay their price, so they refuse to say "I'm sorry" when telling them that they can't make their cake.

Then there's the client who's just randomly calling asking for a 3-D tableau of the battle of Gettysburg, and they need it tomorrow. "Why should I say that I'm sorry that I can't do that" people gripe..."They're just stupid to think that anyone can do that, why should I apologize for it?"

Then there's your garden variety request for a cake that's on a day that you're already booked. Again come the "I'm not sorry..." comments.

Well, here's a news flash. Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't necessarily mean that you're actually dripping with sorrow, it's an etiquette thing to soften someone's disappointment. It's like when you say "It was nice talking to you" when you've just been trapped in conversation with someone really boring at a party and you're trying to escape. Maybe it wasn't nice talking to them, but I would hope you're not going to tell them that.

Sometimes, of course, you really are sorry that you can't help the person out. I tell people "I'm sorry" all the time for politeness, but sometimes I really do mean that I'm sorry I can't save them from a supermarket cake for whatever reason. But even if I don't feel terrible about something it's not a big deal to be polite.

So get that big old chip off your shoulder and opt for being polite. So what, who cares?

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at  www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com