Finding a Home For Blame

I found myself in a situation last week in which I was apologizing to a lady for something that someone else had done and wasn’t there to take the responsibility. As a representative of the institution, but someone not directly involved in the wrong done against this woman, I found myself both apologizing and sympathizing.

By the time she left there was little I could do to settle things. She spoke how he felt, let it known she was not pleased, and turned to go away. Things would have been bad enough at that point, but then she wanted to get one last dig in, starting into a hopelessly cheesy, almost hallmark movie like rendition that took shots at more people than the one person involved.

It seemed that at the crucial moment she wanted to drop the blame somewhere. It wasn’t good enough to know the blame hung over another person not present. She wanted to drop it on whoever can be remotely implicated.

Before I dig into this person too much, I can say that I’ve certainly fallen into the same trap. How many times have I been in a poorly run restaurant with overworked staff and blamed my poor service on the nearest person, namely: my waitress?

Having friends with waitressing experience opened my eyes to their plight. I repent. But isn’t it something that when we are wronged we want to drop the blame on someone immediately. It’s not enough to walk away feeling wronged, and we often don’t go through the trouble of finding out who’s really at fault.

Blame is one of those things we give out very easily.