Equifax hack’s lax apology vexes

Equifax CEO apologizing

To elaborate on our manic tweeting two days back (follow us on Twitter if you want knee-jerk apology critiques, interactions, smokin’ hot takes and one-liners!), Equifax’s apology for its data breach was execrable. Let’s ponder the suckage!

Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Business Apologies, Corporate Apologies | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A fine apology from the March for Racial Justice

SorryWatch exists because good apologies are hard. When human beings are challenged on our behavior, we often react with defensiveness. We may obfuscate a bit. We may make excuses. And this is natural. No one wants to feel uncomfortable; it’s not fun to examine one’s decision-making and find it wanting. A true test of character is when someone works through those feelings of discomfort, chooses to listen, considers others’ reactions and responses, and then decides to apologize.

This is what the organizers of the March for Racial Justice did. We commend them.

Here’s what happened. Continue reading

Posted in Good apologies, Religious Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When jackbooted thugs come for your lemonade

Photo: mattbuck. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mattbuck Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Generic 2.0 license.

Tower Hamlets high-rises. Nefarious things can happen under cover of fog.

On the streets of Tower Hamlets, a London borough, a five-year-old set up a lemonade stand. She charged 50 pence for a small glass, and a pound for a large one. That’s about 65 cents or a dollar-thirty. Her father, a professor at Cass Business School, proudly watched.

Many people attending a nearby festival bought lemonade. All was well for half an hour, when a group of four malcontents showed up. They were local council enforcement officers. They showed their seriousness by switching on a body cam. SorryWatch chooses to believe they were wearing jackboots, shiny ones. One read aloud a long legal statement. The essence of it was that she had sold lemonade without a trading permit, and would be fined £150. (About $195.)

We don’t know if it was before or after she burst into tears, asking “Have I done a bad thing?”, that one of the officers said she’d only need to pay £90 ($117ish) if she was quick about it.

Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Government Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Think you have what it takes to be an Anteater? Ha ha! Wrong answer!

A university sent letters of admissions to more kids than it actually wanted to admit, calculating that a lot of them wouldn’t come. This happens all the time.

Photo: USGS. Public Domain.

U.C. Irvine, from a USGS satellite. Seems spacious.

If a school gets too many students, it may scramble to shoehorn in the extras. Dorm rooms that were formerly doubles become triples, don’t ask us how we know. More teaching assistants are hired.

Or it may decide, as U.C. Irvine recently did, faced with 500 more new students than it had planned on, to get mean and come up with excuses to disinvite many of those students it had just sent welcoming letters to.

UCI did this two months before the start of school, when kids it had accepted had already started making plans and had turned down other schools and offers of financial aid.

Continue reading

Posted in Academic apologies, Bad Apologies, Good apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Burning Man apologies roundup

Photo: Susan McCarthy.

Brilliant interactive fire piece. Everything my mother points at bursts into flame. This needed to happen.

It’s almost time. That time when a strangely-assorted group of people travel in their thousands to a flat dry dustpan to camp, build artworks, ignite spectacular flames, dance, give things to each other, and burn artworks down. And things too fierce to mention.

Yeah, Burning Man. Where, like every place humans gather, apologies are often called for and sometimes given.

We’re rerunning our most popular apologies-on-the-playa post – “Apologies from the desert with no pants on” – below. If that’s not enough for your dusty-sorry needs, you can also check out our post about a sound camp’s apology for their P.R. being too good, or our post about the Burning Man misdeed so dreadful that it even shocked the people at Playapology Camp, who’ve heard a lot of confessions….

Or a wonderfully photographed story from High Country News about Burning Man cleanup.

Continue reading

Posted in Good apologies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My name is Mandy Patinkin. You killed your own show. Prepare to die.

A spectacle indeed.

Josh Groban left the Broadway show Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 a few weeks ago. (I saw him in it. He was fine. Big voice.) The role of Pierre was taken over by Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, a well-regarded actor, but not a marquee name. (He was the original Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton. I saw him in it. He was great.) The show was losing money, as most shows do when a mega-star leaves. The producers offered the part of Pierre to Mandy Patinkin. (I have never seen him on stage. But I listened to the Evita cast album a lot as a child.) Patinkin said yes, though had only a three-week window because of his gig on Homeland. Oak, who had been in the role of Pierre for only two weeks and had gotten raves, was to be booted before his contract expired. Mmm.

Continue reading

Posted in Artistic apologies, Bad Apologies, Twitpologies | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Raising a kid with low expectations

Sometimes an apology fails rational criteria and yet manages to do the job.

SorryWatch was reading Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen‘s excellent autobiography, and came across such a case.

As described in the book, Springsteen’s father was a hard man to grow up with. He drank heavily, regularly. “He was our own one-man minefield, filling our home with the deadly quiet of a war zone as we walked on point, waiting… waiting… for the detonation we knew was coming. We just never knew when.”

Photo: Columbia Records. Public domain.

With the E Street Band, 1977.

He showed distaste for Bruce. “I was an intruder, a stranger, a competitor in our home and a fearful disappointment.” In an evening ritual, his father would down a six-pack, and call the kid over. “…it was always the same. A few moments of feigned parental concern for my well-being followed by the real deal: the hostility and raw anger toward his son, the only other man in the house. It was a shame. He loved me but he couldn’t stand me.” The father was appalled that his son appeared “soft.”

Things were not improved as Springsteen grew older, wore his hair long, and became obsessed with playing music. “I can’t wait ’til the army gets ahold of you,” his father would say.

Didn’t help when Springsteen sneaked out early early, took a bus to New York City, and skipped high school graduation. He probably didn’t explain to his parents that, at a meeting about the ceremony, the principal had said Springsteen’s hair made the class look bad, and that… someone… should… do something… about it. Wary of “meatheaded vigilant[ism],” Springsteen took his hair elsewhere.

His parents wanted him to go to college (professional musician? Yeah, sure), and insisted on enrolling him in community college. On the first day of classes, Springsteen again fled to NYC.

Springsteen persisted with the music thing. When he was 19, his parents moved from New Jersey to California, and there were fewer occasions for strife. Some years later, the elder Springsteen was given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

Also with passing time, Springsteen made a living at music. He became quite successful, then hugely successful. You might not need SorryWatch to tell you that.

Continue reading

Posted in Accepting apologies, Belated Apologies, Cryptic Apologies, Family Apologies, Personal Apologies, SorryWatch Reads | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sun salutations, sizeism, sexism and scumbaggery

By the end of this horrible, un-yogic apology you will be lying in savasana on your floor. (See what I did there.)


Earlier this week, in a 20,000-member closed Facebook group for yoga teachers, a fat yoga teacher (I use the word “fat” as a descriptor, with no value judgment) posted this:  Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Bropology, Social Media Apologies, Sorry If, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bad Apology Bingo II

You recall our post-Lance-Armstrong game of Bad Apology Bingo? Welp, in the wake of a recent raft of crap apologies from venture capitalists, comedians, beauty bloggers and Aussie media outlets, LET’S PLAY AGAIN!



Posted in Bad Apologies, Funny-on-Purpose Apologies | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“Alleged” doesn’t belong in an apology


screen grab


Parkour, closely related to free running, is cool. Fun to do and to watch. You’re dashing through the built world like an obstacle course, bouncing off stuff, leaping from building to building as if pursued by killers, hurtling walls, maybe tossing in unnecessary back flips – what’s not to love?

Maybe lack of a salary. One way around this is the Storror Parkour way, in which you sell parkour gear. You can put up parkour videos on YouTube and FaceBook, showing your sponsored team wearing Storror attire. (Storror is based in the UK.)

screen grab

Not an expert, but I call this move the “hoick.”

On tour in Southern California, the Storror team decided to shoot some promo video. At Joshua Tree National Park, full of lovely boulders to carom off and onto. Sounds brilliant.

Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Bropology, Corporate Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments