It Can Be Damaging To Wait So Long

, , , | Friendly Learning | June 16, 2017

(A vaguely familiar man comes up to my counter. I have no idea what his name is, but I assume he’s probably a former classmate. Not sure when exactly we were in school together, but then…)

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good today! What can I get you tonight?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m fine! I just wanted to apologize for the way I treated you in school. I’m really very sorry about all that.”

Me: “Um… okay?”

Customer: “I was such a jerk. I can’t believe I made you cry that much in Miss [My Sixth Grade Teacher]’s class. I’m so sorry.”

Me: “Um, sure. That’s nice of you. I’m afraid I can’t remember your name?”

(Nor can I remember the specific incident he’s referring to. It happened a lot in sixth grade.)

Customer: “I just wanted to make things right. Are you okay now?”

Me: “Yeah, I mean, I’ve got two degrees and I’m working here to kill time before I ship out with the Peace Corps in a couple months.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s great! I was afraid I really damaged you!”

(I never did figure out who he was, but I got a kick out of the apology — fourteen years late!)

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  • KashyaCharsi

    It’s nice if a bully wants to make amends, however much he overestimates his power.

    • Rick Ulrich

      Only some people move on like the OP. But it is good to see people mature.

      • Regret

        Yep, most people get some serious damage out of school.

      • heymoe2001

        I remember as a kid hating a boy named Robby B. He was a bully. I thought about how I’d ruin his life when I grew up to be a millionaire.
        As an adult, I have no memory of what it is that Bobby actually did. I only remember being mad at him.
        On the other hand. There was a girl named Lisa H to whom I was awful. She was bullied by a lot of people and I was one of them.
        I shamefully remember a lot of the details of my poor behavior towards her. I remember making her cry and exactly what I did to make her cry.
        Maybe we remember our own shame more than that of others. This man remembered being awful even if the victim didn’t. He carried the burden of his past digressions heavily.
        That’s not a bad thing. Probably keeps us from repeating them.

    • TheBigBadWolf

      I was wondering if his actions had resulted in someone either attempting or succeeding suicide and went through a “holy sh*t, what have I done?” sort of thing.

  • Mouser

    Actually, sounds like one of the 12 Steps.

    • Deadpool

      AA is for quitters.

      • Chrystn Sims

        There is also a 12 step program for anger management. It may not be AA.

        • Deadpool

          My 12 step anger management plan is 11 in the magazine plus 1 in the chamber.

          • cursormortis

            Is step 13 leaving all of the above at home?

          • Michael Bugg

            Dude, you wasted three bullets on one guy when you were already short! Clearly, you still have some anger issues to work out.

    • Dana Corby

      That’s whgatbi thought, too.
      By the way, is that ‘Mouser’ as in ‘Fafhrd and the Grey…?’

      • Dana Corby

        Danged tablet keeps scrambling words like that! I typed ‘what I’ and it said that until I hit send!

        • Wendigone

          It’s disqus, probably. Ever since the filters, my phone struggles to keep up with what I type in comments and tacks random words on like the delay is killing autocorrect suggestions. Used to work fine, now I spend more time waiting for my words to appear and proofreading than commenting.

      • Mouser

        Decades ago, yes. Always surprises me when it’s available. 🙂

  • Frédéric Purenne

    Whelp… *turns around and scrath a random person from the kill list*

  • therapod

    Anybody else think the he might have mistaken the OP for someone else?

    • Joana Hill

      Nah it seems genuine. He knew the name of the teacher, it was just that OP was apparently bullied a lot in school so that one person didn’t stick out enough to remember.

      • Kirishima Touka

        Or, perhaps, the former bully mistook OP for someone else in their 6th grade class

  • Raven Odette

    Heheheh I’ve pretty much had this exact conversation with former bullies

    One of them said to me “one memory that was real!y stands out was I was harrassing you then you left school early that day, I just fee! bad that I ended up making you so uncomfortable that you couldn’t stay at school that day”

    Me : “I think I remember the day you’re referring to. Actually I left school early that day because I had a doctor’s appointment. But I appreciate the concern”

  • darsa

    Huh… if I was confronted by the douchebag who tortured me throughout my 6th and 7th grade, I’m pretty sure I would punch him in the nose. And tell him he’s lucky I went for the nose.

  • RubyTuesday

    Hey, better late than never. And at least he realized what he did and tried to make up for it. One of my old bullies found me on Facebook and sent me a message basically saying “hey, long time no see, how ya been?” as if he hadn’t done nothing but torment me in school. If he felt the need to contact me, I’d have much preferred an apology even if it was years later.

  • Well, bully for him, I guess?