Example Letter #1
All I can do is offer my sincere apologies for missing our appointment this afternoon. Of all this year's meetings, this was the one I wanted and needed to attend. I had no idea we would be held up in the holiday traffic for so long. I have resisted buying a cellular phone, but today's frustration has convinced me that I must get one. I hope I can still have a chance to present my proposal to you and Mr. Doe. My sincere thanks for your patience and consideration.
Example Letter #2
Please forgive me for missing our Tuesday appointment. I realize that you had to rearrange your schedule only to be frustrated. Ever since we agreed to hold the meeting, I have looked forward to exchanging ideas and deciding on a plan of action. Somehow, I thought the meeting was at 11 a.m. so I spent the time in my office preparing a presentation. From now on, I will check my calendar first thing in the morning. Can we reschedule? I am still very interested in meeting with you. And again, please forgive my temporary absent-mindedness.
Example Letter #3
I apologize for coming late to the division meeting this morning. One of my staff came to my office with a serious personal problem and I had to make a choice. I stayed to talk with him. I realize that I missed an opportunity to give my report. I hope I can still give it in our next meeting. I know it must be frustrating for you to not have my information at the outset. I fully support the division's initiatives and want to do my best to contribute to them.
Example Letter #4
I am sorry I missed our appointment yesterday. I had been looking forward to our meeting today, but when I rechecked my calendar I discovered that the meeting was, in fact, scheduled for yesterday.
I realize how busy you are and that your time is valuable, but I hope this oversight will not prevent us from rescheduling our appointment. Meeting with you means a great deal to me, and I assure you, this will not happen again.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Begin with a straightforward apology.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- I am sorry I missed our appointment Friday. I know it was an important one.
- John, I would like to apologize for missing the staff meeting today.
- I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused by being late to this morning's staff meeting.
- I am sorry that conflicting schedules kept me from keeping our appointment yesterday.
- I apologize that I made people wait for me to deliver my presentation.
- Jane, I am sorry I was late for the training session this morning.
- John, I am sorry that I was late for our lunch last Friday.
- Jane, I apologize that I had to be absent from this morning's meeting.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused by being late
- apologize for missing
- express regret for not being able to attend
- extend my apologies
- forgive me for missing our lunch
- missed my appointment
- hope you will accept my apology
- last minute change of plans
- made the mistake of
- made people wait for me
- no excuse could possibly convey my regret
- oversight caused
- please accept my apology for not meeting you
- sincerest apologies
- regretfully, I was out of the office when you called
- sorry I missed our appointment on
- sorry that other commitments
- understand your concern with my being late
- was absent from this morning's meeting
- was late for the training session
2 Indicate that you understand the seriousness of your absence and that you value your relationship with the reader. You may want to explain your lateness, but don't blame anyone.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- I was very disappointed that I had to miss our appointment because of other commitments.
- Being late for this meeting was the last thing I wanted to happen. Of all the mornings to find the interstate highway closed! Please accept my sincerest apologies.
- I understand that I missed an important meeting this morning. I apologize that I let you and the company down.
- Our meeting is still a priority with me. Please contact my secretary and make another appointment. I look forward to getting together.
- I am especially embarrassed about this because I value our friendship so much. Please forgive me.
- I value punctuality and assure you this will not happen again.
- I was wrong. I have no excuse. I assure you this will not happen again.
- I didn't know that this morning's meeting was a formal meeting meant to convene at exactly 10:00 a.m. I was under the impression that it was an informal discussion group. I was late because I was working on the project discussed, and I wanted to be ready to share the latest developments. I assure you that I am still firmly committed to the Doe contract and apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- all flights were canceled out of
- am especially embarrassed about this
- am very disappointed that
- an accident on the freeway kept me from
- anxious to talk with you about
- apologize that I
- ask for your understanding
- assure you that
- didn't realize that the meeting was
- feel bad about forgetting to
- had to miss our appointment because
- had to forsake several obligations
- had been informed that
- have briefed me on concerns
- look forward to our getting together
- missed an important meeting
- problem required my presence
- really have no excuse
- still a priority
- still firmly committed to
- the last thing I wanted to happen
- value our friendship
- wanted to be ready to share my ideas on
- was working on the
- was under the impression that
3 Acknowledge your reader's frustration, if appropriate, and end with a positive statement.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- I assure you this will not happen again. I will be prepared and on time for tomorrow's meeting.
- I intend to stay in town the night before our next meeting so neither of us need be concerned with delays in traffic.
- I am very excited to do my part in our weekly planning sessions and am eager for the next one on Wednesday.
- I know missing a meeting could appear to be a lack of commitment, but I missed the meeting because I was preparing graphs for the Doe proposal.
- I know what it is like to be stood up for an important appointment, so I sincerely appreciate your patience and ask your forgiveness.
- I appreciate the professional manner in which you handled the incident this morning. I apologize if my tardiness put you in an awkward position with the manager.
- I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating.
- If you are willing, I would like to reschedule for Wednesday. This time please let me pay for lunch.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- am as disappointed as you are that
- appreciate your support
- could we reschedule our meeting for
- enjoy a leisurely lunch
- get to together at your convenience
- have learned from this mistake
- hope to make it up to you
- know I caused you frustration
- know missing a meeting can make it look like
- let us reschedule for
- sincerely appreciate your patience with
- sorry my tardiness put you on the spot
- sorry my tardiness embarrassed
- such inconveniences can be very frustrating
- thank you for the professional manner
- thanks for your understanding
- will be prepared and on time at