Take a cue from the New York Mets pitcher and say sorry like you mean it
Even the Dark Knight couldn’t get out of this one.
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, who shares a nickname with Batman, was recently handed a three game suspension after ditching a game against the Miami Marlins last Saturday. He initially claimed he had a migraines, though it was later reported by Page Six that the 28-year-old baseball star had spent Friday night partying at 1Oak, a posh Manhattan nightspot. According to the New York Post’s gossip page, Harvey became an emotional wreck after seeing paparazzi photos of his ex-girlfriend, supermodel Adriana Lima, heading to a party with another former beau of her’s.
At a press conference, Harvey apologized for his actions. “I’m extremely embarrassed,” he said. “It is my responsibility, and I take full blame for that.” His teammates seemed to be willing to take him at his word. “I think everybody deserves a second chance,” outfielder Curtis Granderson told ESPN, adding that Harvey had told the team that he would be rededicating himself to practice and putting his heart and mind back to sports.
For those seeking to make mea culpas in their own workplace, etiquette experts say that Harvey basically delivered the model apology. “There are times when we make mistakes and it’s best to just own up to it and apologize to the people it affects,” says Elaine Swann, author of “Let Crazy Be Crazy.”
Those working in a tightknit group can also learn from the commitment he made to his fellow Mets about working even harder. “You say what you are going to do and do what you say,” Swann says. “People will feel betrayed and the only way to gain back trust is to get [to work] early and stay late.”
While Harvey’s mistake will be tabloid fodder for days, he’s hardly the first to have taken an unjustified sickie. According to a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, 38% of American employees called in sick that year despite having a clean bill of health. That said, ordinary people should refrain from going on an apology tour and offering too much detail. Swann’s advice is to make any necessary corrections and then quickly move on.
Her other recommendation is to make the apology soon after you get caught out. “Don’t wait a long time to apologize,” Swann says, saying that you don’t want to remind people about the indiscretion long after it’s after. It also helps to offer to do more and even go for therapy if you have a serious problem. Harvey’s teammate told ESPN that the pitcher, who is rumored to have an alcoholic problem, has been talking to unspecified “professionals” about refocusing his energies on the game.
Of course, just because Harvey got criticized doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a bad idea to play hooky. Swann thinks it’s justified in certain cases, like when you want to attend the birth of a friend’s child or a wedding and can’t get time off work. “Sometimes you just require a well-needed break to keep your sanity,” she says.
That said, going clubbing because you’re pining over your ex-girlfriend probably doesn’t fit the bill.
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