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its something small, not a big deal but someone forgot to do something they said they would. (someone on the supervising committee, so yes there are power dynamics since i work for her). anyways, she apologized like a billion times, and i can tell she feels really bad about it…… i just want to put her at ease! and say i accept her apology, but i dont want to say "I accept your apology," i kind of want to be more casual/informal about it, because i feel that saying "I accept..." makes things weird power-wise. so how do i gracefully phrase my acceptance of her apology, without making myself a doormat" it's okay! you can break promises to me anytime and i wont ever be mad!" okay im starting to get sarcastic here, but u guys get the general idea.... help?
 

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I say accept the apology, but make it VERY clear that next time it won't be accepted and something might possibly have to be done concerning the problem with her not fulfilling her promises such as reporting her to a high power or such? May sound a bit much, but in a work place it can quite difficult to work with people that can't get things done. It's also even more difficult trying to figure out how to handle it, but I agree that simply saying "I accept" isn't really enough when it can be possibly effecting your work. Maybe not say something over small things though, unless they start to accumulate because confronting small problems instead of just marking them down and saving them as evidence for later can cause more problems than it's really worth. Just weight your options and if it really is worth taking the risk to be confrontational because that's what will happen when you don't simply say "I accept".
 

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I would probably say something along the lines of "I understand that you're sorry, I really do, but what would be more constructive to figure out a way so this sort of thing doesn't happen again and move forward/on". If they're still doing puppy dog eyes I might drop one of those 'only human', or '$h1t happens, just make sure it happens in the right place' lines.
 

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You really overanalyse things. Just accept the apology. The idea that accepting someone's apology would make you a doormat and cause the other person to go "hey, I can just do it anytime and say sorry later" is a bit pessimistic, especially if you believe she's genuinely sorry.
 
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