Would You Apologize?
June 2, 2008 7:48pm CST
I'm generally the first to apologize if something is truly my fault, but in this case... something is perceived to be my fault, but it was mostly not. I volunteer with marine mammals, which can be crazy and hectic at times. Everyone gets injured eventually and sometimes it isn't your own fault. I've broken toes by dropping things on them. But I've also gotten huge bruises from getting hit with brush handles, boards, etc. I know these are accidents and haven't yelled at anyone yet over them. People don't always say sorry because we're generally in a hurry too, but as long as I know it was all an accident, I don't really mind personally. So here's what happened... the other day I was helping to feed elephant seals. To keep them from biting you and to move them around, large wooden boards as used. One needed to be jumped so that medication could be administered. I was the only volunteer wearing gloves to do it at the moment, but I was also holding a board. I set the board against a fence and told 2 people standing by to please move that board because boards should not be set against a fence. I figured they did it because they were both very good volunteers. So I'm on the animal, and another volunteer comes to give medicine. Right then, one of the previous volunteers moves the fence that the board is on without noticing the board (I don't even know how you do that, but I'm sure that was an accident). The board falls and hits the volunteer giving the meds. Obviously those things hurt, but it was an accident. The girl who moved the fence was immediately sorry for moving the fence but said that was not her board. I didn't say anything and was immediately accused that it was my board, which I admitted. If I had seen the board while I was on the animal, I would have asked the volunteer giving the meds to move the board because I know those things fall. But I am blind in one eye and did not see that. I feel like she could have looked too, that's what I do... if I get hit by a board (and I have, many times), I always figure it was my fault too for not looking. Now this volunteer sent out a memo and I feel like emailing back and explaining. But another part of me thinks explaining will just piss her off more and I should just take the blame. What should I do? Just apologize? Apologize and explain? Or just pretend it never happened? Keep in mind I will have to work with her for probably at least another year or so. Any advice is appreciated. I am not good at these human relations things.
2 people like this
10 Jun 08
I think you should apologize and explain. You're a volunteer, you were accused, you have the right to explain yourself. Now if she's going to take that as a piss-off, then that's her problem. Apologize because it was a happening that you did not want to happen but was caught in the situation. Apologize not because you did anything wrong, but because she was hurt. If she doesn't consider your explanation then maybe she has a lot of growing up to do. Mistakes happen, and she should know that. You on the other hand, just got caught in the situation. The board does not have a life of its own so surely, it's common sense to check it first which is the mistake of the other volunteer. Still, don't wash your hands out of the situation. That never helps.
• United States
8 Jun 08
I coming to this post a little late, I am sorry. You have to do whatever will make you feel better.for me, that would mean apologizing and explaining.You are blind in one eye? Wow, I am proud of you for all the things you do.Take Care. Talk to you later.
• United States
8 Jun 08
Thanks, I ended up deciding it was going to eat away at me to not apologize, so I apologized. As much as I wanted to explain the entire thing too, I only partly explained what happened because I figured if the explanation was too long she would think I was just making excuses and not really apologizing. And I was sorry that she ended up getting hit with a board whether it was my fault entirely or not. I can see colors and gigantic huge shapes out of my bad eye, but no letters or details. I can't read anything on the eye chart with it. Someday, there might be a surgery to fix it though, so I'm mildly hopeful. The eye doctors say it is a very good eye if only it would work. The lens and cornea should give it 20/20 vision. But ever since I was a kid I had lazy eye and it wasn't fixed early enough because we could not afford anything other than patching treatments (which don't work). But oh well, it has never affected me too much generally... as you can see, I still do whatever I want to pretty much.