I don’t apologize because you don’t do YOUR job!
I work for a very large company, in a branch office with about 1,000 employees. About a year ago one of my vendors called me asking why we had not paid an invoice. I told him to email our accounting girl and he said he had already done that. I sent a new email to the accounting girl asking if there was an issue or if I needed to do anything, and CC’d the vendor. A week later the vendor called stating that the invoice had still not been payed and he had gotten no response from our accounting girl. I sent another email, again, asking if there was any outstanding issues.
Two days later the vendor called to tell me still no payment, still no response. This time I sent an email directly to the accounting girl stating the urgency of the matter and asking her to pay the invoice ASAP. After another two days, and no response, I sent a new email to the accounting girl, the accounting girl’s supervisor, and the vendor, stating something to the effect of “this invoice needs to be paid, if you are unable to respond or do your job, let’s get someone on it that can resolve the issue”.
Less than an hour later I was called into the office of the branch President. The President was at his desk, and to his right was my favorite young accounting girl.
The President told me that we had “an issue”, and asked accounting girl to explain the problem. Accounting Girl went on to explain that she was very angry, embarrassed, and highly offended by my email, and demanded an immediate apology.
I looked at her then looked at the President of the branch, and after a thoughtful moment, I said: “I am sorry if you have embarrassed yourself by not doing your job, but I do not apologize for the email that I sent” and then went on to ask “was there anything incorrect in that email or did the vendor or myself miss any of your responses to the several requests that we sent to you over the last few weeks?” Her response was a quite “no“. The president asked if she needed anything else and after another very quiet “no“, he said “we’re done here“.
I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE BECASE YOU ARE STUPID, INCOMPETENT OR LAZY. I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU CHOOSE TO BE OFFENDED AND FEEL THAT YOU ARE OWED AN APOLOGY.