In this day and age of the incredibly jaded we have arrived at the “non-apology”. Lush Dimbulb is the latest. His completely insincere apology for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” does not even come close to what an apology ought to be or is. Your mother would be ashamed of you, Lush. I know the rest of us are.
When I taught my kids about apologies it included the tag line that they understand why they are apologizing and they the MEAN IT! Part one without part two is bull shit. Plain, simple, stinking, fresh bear shit.
The difference between bull shit and bear shit is significant. Having smelled both, I feel I am quite capable of distinguishing the difference. Bear shit is a wholly different level of stench. Certainly, it is scented by what ever items are ingested. There is a qualified difference between berry bear shit and salmon bear shit. Both are awful. However, the salmon variety is particularly pungent in a really stomach retching way. Bear shit, as the dog who rolled in it brought to my olfactories is unlike bull shit is very greasy. Bulls eat dry grasses and grains. Greasy has never been a quality one could ascribe to bull shit. Ergo, the non-apology is really more akin to bear shit.
I recently received one of these non-apologies. I was very clear to the offender that their behavior most definitely, in my perception, felt abusive and was unacceptable behavior. That “my perception” part is the crucial part. In a work situation the critical point of “harassment” comes when the receiver “perceives” they are being “harassed.”
The non-apology in my case included an “if”. Wow, if? I was in no uncertain terms clear that my perception was that of being abused. For the apologizer to say “if” denigrated my status as the complainant to merely that of a by-stander. I was the direct target. I will not have my feelings/perceptions denigrated by you. You, the offender, do not get to make light of or dismiss my sense of having been abused by you.
To say “if” in an apology takes the statement out of the apology arena and puts it straight into the “I do not really care how you felt about what I did”. Stop. Full fucking STOP! WHO do you think you are? You are the offender. I am the offended. If you did not feel apologetic then, why did you even bother to make what you knew from the outset was a non-apology?
Wait, you want to take the heat off yourself. You KNOW that you offended me. But, you have not the respectfulness to make a true apology. What you did by adding “if” you only made yourself feel better. The reality is that your non-apology shows just how little you cared how your behavior affected someone else. Specifically, me.