With the ever-increasing need to apologize for something electronically, Eileen Norton of Hartford, CT recently changed her professional email signature to “Sorry.”
“I used to sign off my emails with ‘Best, Eileen,’” said Norton. “But then I realized the signature was almost always preceded by a paragraph-long apology. Now I’ve spared myself countless hours of regretful correspondence by putting the apology directly into my signature.”
Despite her professional success as Connecticut’s most prominent attorneys, she still believes she needs to apologize for mistakes that she assumes she has made.
“Eileen is a fantastic lawyer. We expect her to make partner soon,” responded one of Norton’s coworkers. “I think the only thing holding her back is her compulsive apologizing.”
“Most of the apologies don’t make much sense,” said Charles Phillips, Norton’s immediate boss. “She once sent a perfectly completed case, but apologized for any factual inaccuracies ‘because I always manage to make little oopsies.’”
Phillips added, “She almost never makes anything I’d describe as an ‘oopsie’.”
“Oh, I’m always making typos or screwing something up,” said Norton, who regularly checks her work at least twice before sending it in. “I have so much to apologize for! Typos, errors, making someone has to read such a long email, the fact that people have to work with a mistake-maker, or that I’m even trying to compete in a field filled with more competent people than me.”
Below the “Sorry,” Norton’s email signature also includes her job title, which reads: “Patterson & Phillips, Associate Attorney (sort of :/)”