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Old 02-06-2014, 11:17 AM
 
50 posts, read 64,174 times
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Several months ago, I had a disagreement with someone who was a casual friend/mentor to me, as he was working in the career field I hope to work in one day. We did not live in the same area, as he had moved to take a job in the industry and I was (and still am, but hoping to move) in my hometown. It turned out that he did not like some things I had said behind his back, even though they weren't directly about him and weren't intended to be mean spirited, and he was offended. I believe he waited a few months to tell me about the issues, as by the time he raised them, he couldn't recall any specific examples to point out.

At first, I was angry at him and thought he was treating me badly. But it's now been about 8-9 months after the fact and I am starting to see some truth in some things he told me, especially about what it took to change the way I was acting and make it in our chosen field. I am now trying to get my act together and change my behavior, and I want to reach back out to him and show him this, and also explain that I now see how my actions could have negative consequences on my job hunt, which is currently in full swing. I don't want to be mad forever or have anger and resentment there for the long-term if I can help it because our field isn't very big.

Since we weren't super close and never worked in the same company, I am not sure how to best handle this. We only saw each other in person a couple times a year, and most of our communication was done through e-mail. However, I realize that e-mail can look cowardly and like I am trying to hide behind the screen rather than directly own up to my actions. Would a handwritten letter carry more weight?

I realize this person may not accept my apology or ever want to speak to me again, and that's OK. But for me, I will feel better showing that I have at least tried to learn from my bad behavior and truly care about my career. What would be best in this instance?
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:26 AM
 
13,814 posts, read 18,366,452 times
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Why do you not call him? Have a script ready so you will not blunder again.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:41 PM
Status: "I can see 2020 from my porch" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,706 posts, read 11,468,885 times
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...and if calling him is too awkward, write a short note.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:00 PM
 
10,907 posts, read 8,304,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeywriter110 View Post
We only saw each other in person a couple times a year, and most of our communication was done through e-mail. However, I realize that e-mail can look cowardly and like I am trying to hide behind the screen rather than directly own up to my actions. Would a handwritten letter carry more weight?

I realize this person may not accept my apology or ever want to speak to me again, and that's OK. But for me, I will feel better showing that I have at least tried to learn from my bad behavior and truly care about my career. What would be best in this instance?
Since he's used to and apparently comfortable with email, there's no reason to think a handwritten letter would carry more weight. It's your words that matter. There's nothing inherently cowardly about email as compared to a postal letter.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Canada
9,243 posts, read 8,595,736 times
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Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Since he's used to and apparently comfortable with email, there's no reason to think a handwritten letter would carry more weight. It's your words that matter. There's nothing inherently cowardly about email as compared to a postal letter.
I agree. Either way it is still the written word, so email should be fine.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,300 posts, read 12,828,319 times
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Email and texting is very impersonal. A short handwritten note would be a lot classier.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:15 AM
 
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I would call because to me this shows you are really facing things and even though you may feel uncomfortable it will show him you are really trying.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:31 AM
 
10,907 posts, read 8,304,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Email and texting is very impersonal. A short handwritten note would be a lot classier.
How so? Whether email, text, typed, handwritten, a person is expressing his/her self via the written word.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,300 posts, read 12,828,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
How so? Whether email, text, typed, handwritten, a person is expressing his/her self via the written word.
How so? Because it's impersonal. There's something about a handwritten note that means more. Any boob can pound out a paragraph on the computer, and click send. But taking time to actually sit down compose a note by hand and mail it, shows thoughtfulness and class.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
2,187 posts, read 3,703,158 times
Reputation: 6361
I would opt for a hand written note of apology, personally. I also think it is more old-school and shows a definite purpose of thought in the matter - that you actually thought about your actions and took the time to put pen to paper and tried to make it right. Put yourself in his shoes - which would impress you more if you were to receive them from someone who had offended you? Also - check your motivations very carefully. You indicated that you realized the error of your ways and were attempting to change them but you also stated that your "job hunt is in full swing." If your apology is being made only for the purpose of furthering your agenda to find a job in your field, or use his references - he is going to see through that. Be very careful that you don't insult him again by being insensitive and give him the opinion that you now want something from him.
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