The way we go on excusing ourselves, you’d think we majored in Excuses 101 in school. It’s human nature, I guess. It’s just too darned tempting to come up with an excuse, rather than simply say, “I’m sorry, I goofed!”
After all, it’s just a little white lie, right? What’s the harm?
But consider the following examples.
Year-round excuses explaining why business is bad:
• January — People spent all their money over the holidays.
• February — All the customers have gone south for the winter.
• March — It’s unseasonably cold and stormy.
• April — Everybody’s preoccupied with income taxes.
• May — Too much rain. Farmers are distressed.
• June — Too little rain. Farmers are distressed.
• July — The heat has everyone down.
• August — Everyone’s away on vacation.
• September — Everyone’s back from vacation and broke.
• October — Customers are waiting for just the right sale and not buying yet.
• November — The sales weren’t good enough and people are now saving their money.
• December — Everyone needs their money for the holidays.
The little white lies just keep on coming:
• “Your table will be ready in a couple of minutes.”
• “Open wide, this won’t hurt a bit.”
• “The check is in the mail.”
• “I’ll start my diet next week.”
• “This offer is limited to the first 100 people who phone in.”
• “Leave your resume and we’ll keep it on file.”
• “Give me your number and he’ll call you right back.”
• “I need just five minutes of your time.”
• “Let’s do lunch some time.”
• “I have that ‘call-waiting’ feature. I’ll be right back to you.”
• “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
• “All circuits are busy, short waits may be encountered.”
• Money cheerfully refunded.
• One size fits all.
• “Mom says I don’t have to eat peas.”
• “I haven’t a thing to wear.”
• “Listen, that light was definitely green!”
• “I was just sitting there on the school bus, minding my own business.”
• “This dog would never bite you, he’s just friendly.”
• “When I was your age, I worked for everything I got.”
• “Call volumes are unusually high, but your call is important to us ...”
• It’s not the money, it’s the principle.”
• “Call before midnight tonight.”
• “Your luggage isn’t lost, it’s just misplaced.”
And, how’s this for stick-handling:
And the Lord said unto Noah: “Where is the ark which I have commanded you to build?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “Verily, I have had three carpenters off sick; the gopher-wood supplier hath let me down, even though I ordered the materials 12 months ago; mine sub-contractor hath gone bankrupt; the pitch thou commandeth me to put on the outside and inside of the ark hath not arrived; the plumber hath gone on strike; and Shem, my son who helpeth me on the ark side of the business, has quit to form a rock group. Lord, I am undone.”
And the Lord grew angry and said: “And what about the animals, the male and female of every sort that I ordered to come unto thee to keep their seed alive upon the face of the earth?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “They have been delivered unto the wrong address, but should arrive by Friday.”
And the Lord said: “And what of the unicorns and the fowls of the air by sevens?”
And Noah wept and replied: “Lord, unicorns are a discontinued line and fowls of the air are sold only in half-dozens. Lord, you knoweth how it is these days.”
And the Lord, in his wisdom said: “Noah, my son, I know. Why else do you suppose that I have caused a flood to descend upon the earth?”