Sorry I didn't get back to you but I was just sooo busy.
A phrase that in my experience is accompanied by a sheepish grin, and if you can pull it off, a coquettish raise of the eyebrows. It is somehow expected that this single phrase, reinforced by acceptably apologetic expressions, makes everything that preceded it acceptable. Whatever promises and/or commitments that might have been made, whatever support and/or advice that might have been offered, all is rendered obsolete by one simple statement. Without any further explanation, a plausible excuse is presented and expected to be accepted with no further question.
But I struggle with this. I really do. And I now find myself asking those awkward further questions more and more often. Because there is an implied importance thing going on here. That your time is somehow more important than mine. That your allocated twenty four hours in a single day are more precious to you than they are to me. For the most part, we all choose how to fill these hours, how to prioritise what is truly important and what isn't.
Well Mr Grumpy arse, I hear you say, things change, and sometimes there are genuine excuses as to why promises and offers are not always granted. I get that, I really do. I promise that I am not so intransigent as to readily accept change in circumstances, or even changes of heart. But in the days of modern communication there is absolutely no excuse for that not to be communicated. Are we saying that we are soo busy not to say anything, to remain mute and only resort to the awkward busy line when we are busted. Are you genuinely telling me that a tiny fraction of the precious time spent on your phone / IPad / laptop could not have been put to better use by just being polite and preferably honest? By sending the quickest of emails or texts, or heaven forbid, an actual conversation over the phone.
And in the end, it is this rudeness that riles me the most. It is offence caused by laziness, offence by exception. It show a disturbing lack of empathy and understanding. Because I'm was just soo busy is the easiest route away from thoughtless actions. Because a lack of intention does not necessarily mean a lack of consequence.