A friend of mine owns property that she rents out. Last week she arranged to meet a new tenant at a location near his work to drop off keys for the property. She had a meeting in the area so it wasn’t a problem to meet nearer his neck of the woods. She texted him when she arrived at the designated meeting spot, and waited. And waited. And waited.
After about half an hour, the tenant called to apologize. He had completely forgotten about the meeting and had rushed to his girlfriend’s house straight after work.
My friend was annoyed that she’d wasted her time and worried that she had just signed a lease with a flaky, irresponsible person. But her demeanor softened when the tenant offered to pick up the keys the next day at a time and place convenient for her. He showed up promptly, and came bearing a box of nice gourmet chocolate as a way of making amends. It showed her that he had simply made an honest mistake and was serious about making a good impression on her.
We’re all humans, and far from perfect. You may say the wrong thing to someone, or oversleep for a meeting. You may make countless etiquette gaffes until someone pulls you aside and points it out. But it shows real character to rectify your mistakes, apologize, and do better. Making excuses or shrugging it off can really make the problem worse. Why double down when you can make amends and a much better impression?