Once upon a time a secretary made an appointment for her boss. This appointment was scheduled before the sun rose.
The boss-man was to meet with another boss-man, a hard working man.
The hard working man's wife was so adamant that her husband keep the appointment she suggested he go to bed early the night before. Although, this suggestion went to the wayside, as there was always one more thing to do, the husband appreciated the concern but did not make it to bed early.
The next morning, before the sun was up, the wife was in the office. Having sent her husband to his scheduled appoint she received a phone call. It was her husband. He had waited over half an hour, was concerned that the man he was to meet had not arrived. This was a hardship to the wife, as it was half hour to get to the meeting place, and knowing her husband was always early as a sign of respect for another's time, her husband now had spent an entire hour for no good reason. The wife also knew her hard working husband had an entire day of more hard work. Her sadness had to be set aside for her own work.
The wife considered what to do about the business man who missed his schedule appointment. Maybe he had an accident? It wasn't like him to miss an appointment, especially one that was so difficult to make with both men being terribly busy. And, not even a phone call. The wife called the office of the business man.
The secretary answered.
The wife said her greetings and asked if the business man was okay. The secretary answered, a little confused, that he was fine and asked, "Why?"
"Because he didn't meet my husband this morning."
Silence. Papers shuffled.
The secretary gasped. "Was that today?"
"Yes. Is everything okay?" Said the wife.
The secretary's voice cracked. "Oh,... I... Uhm... "
The wife was patient yet filled with anxiety.
In a very quiet voice, the secretary said, "I'm so sorry." Taking a breath, she continued, "I see it written down, but I forgot to tell him."
At this point the wife had a choice. The wife who knew her husband lost sleep, worked hard, and was early to his appointment could be angry and chastise the secretary. That building of tempest was right there, just below the surface, to be unleashed.
The wife was in her rights to be stern, even cruel. Instead the wife realized in between her breaths that she had done the very same thing. She had forgotten appointments before and was chastised unmercifully. She has been yelled at and brought to tears. This response did not make anything better.
This secretary admitted her mistake. Laid it bare without excuse. She could have blamed another or circumstance, but she didn't. The secretary did the brave thing in the face of a possible reprimand.
This was honor and honor should always be met with grace.
The wife said to the contrite secretary, "It's fine. Some day I'll make the same mistake and you can let me off the hook. Let's see how we can make this appointment again."