One of our VPs at sent an email to our entire sr executive/president regarding a MAJOR win for my company. He recognized three people for their contribution to this success. I played a key role in this project devoting countless hours, but my name was absent...

I have worked fairly closely with this VP throughout the past year on this project and have a decent relationship with him. Despite my better judgment I sent him a note reading "Am I chopped liver?"

He called me right away. Apparently he thought I reported to one of the people he thanked. He felt awful and apologized. I told him that I was merely hoping for some recognition for my efforts, and I appreciated his intentions even though he missed my name. I also found out my boss sent him a note questioning why my name was missing.

BOTTOM LINE: I feel like a jerk for sending that email - not very professional. Should I apologize for this, or treat it as water under the bridge?

mauzenne's picture
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YES! Simple rule ... when you're wrong, apologize. And lucky you, we have the "How to Apologize" podcast so you know exactly how to do it. ;-)

Your relationship will be better for having done it ... don't wait.


Danimal's picture

Thank you very much for the advice.

I listened to the apology cast this weekend and I called him first thing this morning (he works in a different building).

The abridged conversation:
Me: “I’m sorry for the email I sent to you on Friday. It wasn’t professional and it wasn’t an appropiate way for me to express myself.”
Him: “Don’t worry lad. I’m the one who feels bad for not recognizing you. In fact, I’m glad you sent the email or else I would never have known.”
Me: “Maybe so, but it wasn’t the right way for me to communicate my feelings to you.”
Him: “Don’t worry, you and I have a report. I know you didn’t mean anything by it.”

It turns out that he didn’t see a need for me to appologize (at least that’s what he said). I still think appologizing was the right thing to do because it got everything out in the open. Even if the appolgy wasn’t necessary (it was) our relationship is stregthened through the act of communication.

Thank you for coaching me through this one!

HMac's picture

Great story, Dan!
Glad it turned out well for you. It sounds like whether or not he needed to hear it, [i]you [/i]needed to make it. The only thing I can add is to consider using a "24 Hour Cooling Off" period when in the future you're thinking about sending something against your better judgment. I'm convinced THAT'S what the "Draft" folder is for in Microsoft Outlook! :wink:

RichRuh's picture
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Dan, it sounds like you recovered nicely. Even if the apology "wasn't necessary", the VP will remember that you did so.

I agree with Hugh on the uses of the Draft folder. If I'm about to send a e-mail in anger, I've trained myself to write it out, and put it in the drafts folder. I sleep on it, and then review it the next day.

That's how it started, and I still tell myself that every time.

Funny thing, though. It turns out that in the past 6 years, I've never once sent one of those e-mails the next day...

roger_reiss's picture

Isn't it funny how you go back through your DRAFTS folder months later, re-discover the scathing reply after the heat has worn off, and delete it with a smile?

I've found that a happy relationship with the boss and a happy relationship with your spouse in areas like this are very similar, and the best course of action is summed up nicely by Robert Heinlein: "If it turns out you are right, apologize at once!"