Don’t Worry, It’s Not You
Posted on December 7, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 29 Comments
One semi-amusing thing that happens whenever I kvetch generally about things people are doing out there that annoy me in one way or another (example: here) is that afterward I will get a batch of e-mail from various people, apologizing. They suspect I was talking about them. To which I usually respond, well, no, I wasn’t talking about you at all, at which point I get a second e-mail apologizing about apologizing in the first e-mail. After which I sometimes send an e-mail telling people to stop apologizing for things which need no apology, the answer to which is very often “you’re right, sorry.”
So, to make things easier on everyone: Unless you’ve heard from me directly about something you’ve done that has offended/annoyed/irritated me, you may assume you are not the proximate cause of my latest gripe in Whatever. As you may imagine, I don’t actually have a problem telling people when I think they’re doing some annoying thing, so if it’s you doing it, be assured I would have let you know personally before I wrote about it in a general way. If I didn’t do so, it’s probably not you who tripped my trigger. Hopefully this will save you some moments of needless self-concern and/or worries I think you’re some kind of jerk. I don’t. I think you’re swell, honest.
I knew that would be the first comment.
Yeah, but you didn’t know who would be first to post it!
I’ll vouch for ya, John. You’ve sent me fairly blunt emails in the past. :)
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
BUt email is so easy for multiple apologies :) There are times in my house ehne I just feel like emailing everyone else in it (i.e. my family) that I’m just…so…. sorry. Trouble is, they’d only think I was being sarcastic anyway.
You mean you weren’t annoyed with me when I sent you 42 separate emails about the bacon-wrapped turducken and copied everyone else in my address book (without using the BCC option)?
Damn! I’ve gotta try harder.
Oh! I forgot!
I managed to get hold of a whole bunch of the Bratz dolls before they disappeared from the store. Athena is now enrolled in the “Bratz-a-week” giveaway and can expect a new friend every Wednesday for the next year.
This must be said: I am not sorry that I’ve never apologized to you for apologizing to you, since I have never apologized to you.
Sorry about that. Damn.
Sorry for the apology.
The world is twisted, and evil.
Fortunately I get to the mail before Athena does.
Awwww, we think you’re swell too, John.
So, let me ask, if you rip into someone in the comments, do they saty on your “it” list? or do you move on after putting someone in their place?
Thank God! Another bullet dodged!
What’s an “it” list?
I don’t typically hold what someone says in one comment thread against them in others. I do keep track of people I notice being assholes across several threads, however.
You’re going to have to send Athena’s Bratz dolls to her school so they won’t be intercepted.
If you don’t like this idea, sorry for the suggestion.
“You’re so vain, you probably think this blog post is about you.”
Huh. Somehow, it just doesn’t have the same snap to it.
I’ve never quite twigged why “swell” is a superlative. I usually get concerned by swellings.
I’ve done this! But I’m not sorry.
I’ve had some of the most fun replying to all in a cc’d e-mail. Of course, its usually a humorous forward in the first place. Some of the conversation that ensues has been interesting and fun and these are people I’m not personally acquainted with –they are friends of friends. But I can tell that we’d all get a long if we were to meet.
Other times I reply to all for forwarded hoaxes so that people know that the e-mail is a hoax and don’t perpetuate the hoax.
I’ve only had one other person express upset with this and she has since gone to bcc’ing. Ironically this is the same person who will not hesitate to put my e-mail address into a website as a friend/relative and now that e-mail address receives spam. (I know, it was all a matter of time for that anyway.)
However, your post did illuminate a perspective on privacy that I hadn’t considered so I found it useful even if I’m certain it wasn’t directed at me.
Ah sweet, you like me ; )
Scalzi: I was trying to say “shit list”. It was an expression my mom used: “Don’t do that again or you’ll be on my It list!”
What the hell do you mean, it’s not all about me?
Man! We have a lot of guilt-ridden paranoids out there.
Wait — that wasn’t nice to say. Sorry.
I did not mean all paranoids were guilt-ridden–Sorry!
I didn’t mean all those guilt-ridden people were paranoids. Sorry!!
I didn’t mean all those guilt-ridden paranoids weren’t people too. Sorry!!!
John, I have to ask. How many people have now emailed you to apologize for sending you an apologizing email after reading this post?
For some reason, your cc/bcc post was tracking in my head as something La Gringa had said on The Swivet. Reading this and realizing it was a Whatever post and not a Swivet post shouldn’t be this wiggy.
(at least I didn’t write her an email apologizing her for ccing her on something–that would be embarrassing).
Crap. I think the last time I sent you an email apologising for my behaviour was about two years ago. Since I haven’t apologised via email in two years or so, I must be the cause of the Scalzi ulcer. *skibbles off into the dark night to make amends*
I love you too, man.
When I was a teenager, I wrote a song called “Trust Betrayed.” At least three people who have heard it have apologized for inspiring that song, even though they didn’t.
Never apologize, never explain.
Personally, I have much more fun with that last bit.
On behalf of the entire nation of Canada, I’d like to apologize.
Not for anything specific, just sort of a general apology for everything. Even stuff that’s not our fault, although if you could find something that is our fault, we’d be grateful and happiliy apologize for it in person.
It’s just the way we are. We’re not proud of it, and we’re sorry about that.