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How to Say You're Sorry

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“You know I try, but I don’t do too well with apologies,” Justin Bieber once sang. You’re not the only one with this problem, Justin! Why is saying sorry so difficult, especially for businesses? In this episode: A veteran tracker of apologies looks at what’s changed (and what hasn’t) in public apology culture; Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson recounts a time when the company had to say sorry; and two founders make a product to help tech companies apologize to their customers.

The Full Transcript:

Wailin: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. Before we get into this week’s episode, I just wanted to let you know we’re doing another mailbag episode pretty soon. That means we need your questions for Basecamp founders Jason and David. This time, we’re especially looking for questions that are about communicating in the workplace, whether you’re a boss wanting to talk to an employee. An employee wanting to talk to your boss, or you just need help telling your coworker to stop eating your lunch. Leave us a voicemail at (708) 628-7850. And now, here’s today’s show.

Susan: [00:00:35] Human beings… and that includes human beings who work for corporations instinctively defend themselves. And just do usual ordinary defensive, stupid stuff that people do, like, that was completely taken out of context and people who know me know that I love gay people, and the media misquoted me.

[00:00:55] On the other hand, I do think that “sorry, if” for example, has been called out enough that a growing number of people are aware that if you say, “sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings” that that’s not gonna fly.

[00:01:11] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.

Wailin: [00:01:12] Susan McCarthy is the co-creator of a website called SorryWatch that analyzes apologies in news, culture, and history. Susan has spent a long time writing about apologies. The good, the bad, and the ugly. A lot of ugly. And, that’s what we’re talking about on this episode of Rework, a podcast by Basecamp about the better way to work and run your business. I’m Wailin Wong.

Shaun: [00:01:34] And I’m Shaun Hildner. Today we’re gonna talk about the way people and companies say sorry. Airlines, tech companies, even small businesses. A lot of people seem to be needing to apologize these days, with various levels of success.

Wailin: [00:01:49] It keeps experts like Susan McCarthy busy. We’ll hear her break down common apology tropes and give some notable examples.

Shaun: [00:01:57] Then I talk to Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson about a time when we had to very publicly apologize.

Wailin: [00:02:05] And then we finish up with the story of two cousins who started a business to help companies apologize. But first, back to Susan McCarthy. She launched SorryWatch in 2012. More than a decade before that, she wrote a humorous piece for the website Salon titled, “How to Say You’re Sorry, a Refresher Course.”

[00:02:31] Between your Salon piece and your launching of the website, it was about a decade, right? So, during that time was there stuff in the culture of apologies that changed significantly, or evolved a lot? What did you observe during that decade before you launched the website?

Susan: [00:02:52] Well, there’s an explosion of attention to apologies, which we observed and that is due, I’m certain, to the growth of social media, because somebody can say a stupid, obnoxious thing, and it can be repeated and bounced around the world within a couple hours and everybody is talking about how awful it is. And then, the person will often apologize, you know, firing from the hip. People panic. And they try to get something out there right away. They look at Twitter, and oh my gosh, 300 people hate me now. There may be an impulse to explain right away. And with corporations, there’s a not very well thought out tendency to cover up, and just say, well, we’ll have to wait for the investigation.

Wailin: [00:03:43] What are some other common tropes you’ve seen in apologies? The conditional apology is obviously a huge one. What are some other ones that come up again and again?

Susan: [00:03:53] One of the tropes that comes up over and over is, “I was taken out of context.” Which is sometimes true, but usually it’s not really, it’s just that people have focused in on the most visible part of the bad things you were saying or doing. One thing we often see in defective apologies, I would say, is the hope that rather than saying, “I’m sorry,” or, “We’re sorry, we apologize.” They’ll say, “We regret the unfortunate stuff that happened.” “We are so sad about what happened.” Well, you know. Someone who is not involved at all and is 3,000 miles away may also regret it. But regret is not the same as apology.

[00:04:43] People will try to get away with using language that doesn’t implicate them and often times they are not—they’re just doing it instinctively. It doesn’t feel as painful for them to say, “I regret what happened,” as to say, “I’m sorry for what I did.”

[00:05:01] Another common trope is, “That’s not me, that’s not who I am.” “That’s not who our company is. We stand for good things so, we couldn’t have done that bad thing. Most of us have a self-image of ourselves as a good person. And we’re aware of efforts that we have made to be a good person and be a decent person and it’s just really painful when suddenly hundreds of people, thousands of people ,are going, “You’re bad.”

[00:05:27] I do notice some changes. I notice a great increase in the phrase, “for that.” People will say, “For that, we apologize.” And it’s kind of setting things apart and saying, “Well, we’re good, but we did this one thing, and for that we apologize.”

Wailin: [00:05:44] Do you find that using that phrase, “for that,” is sometimes a way to weasel out of not describing what you actually did

Susan: [00:05:53] Yes. That’s a very common failing is not saying what you’re apologizing for. And that—you find that in personal apologies, in political apologies, in corporate apologies.

Wailin: [00:06:05] This is something we had—I had mentioned very briefly over email because you asked me if I wanted you to be thinking in advance of any particular examples and I had asked if you had one particularly egregious example of a corporate apology and then one really good one. Were you able to think of some of your favorites in those categories?

Susan: [00:06:25] Yeah. Marjorie wrote about a really good apology from Amtrak after a train crash in which eight people were killed they took responsibility and they said, “We don’t know exactly what happened but we’re going to find out.” The president of Amtrak was there and he went to the scene and he went to funeral services, and he made himself available to the public.

Wailin: [00:06:51] And then do you have a favorite example of a corporate apology gone horribly wrong?

Susan: [00:06:58] There’s a lot of those. I think maybe another train example is good. The Napa Valley Wine Train, which is a nice thing where you can go to wineries and not have to worry about who’s the designated driver. A couple years ago a book club booked a trip on the wine train and sadly, it’s relevant that most of the members of the book club were black women. And someone complained that they were too noisy, and staff came and escorted them off the train. Walked them through five cars and when they got off, they were greeted by armed police.

[00:07:33] The Napa Valley Wine Train was completely defensive, put out this horrible apology saying, you know, we have to consider all our patrons, and we have to protect all our patrons from verbal and physical abuse. None of which happened. There was no verbal and physical abuse. And after their apology completely bombed, they brought in a PR professional who wrote them a very good apology which the president read in which they took responsibility and they said, it was our fault, and you told us you were looking for a place to have an exuberant meeting of your book club and our staff messed up and we’re going to train them to be more sensitive and more—didn’t say rational, but that was the import.

[00:08:23] Now, they also invited them back and they said, please come back and we will set aside an entire car and you can bring up to 50 of your friends. Which, I believe, was their one mistake. The members of the book club did not accept the apology, and as one of our commenters pointed out. Why would they a Jim Crow train car? How is that a good thing. You’re so noisy, you have to be in your own train?

Wailin: [00:08:52] You’ve been covering apologies for so long that I don’t know if sometimes it seems like just Groundhog Day to you? Especially when you look at corporate apologies, why do you think it’s been so difficult to improve them? You have companies that maybe have never been in the public eye that when they get into the public eye just make the same mistakes. Is it that they think despite seeing so many other companies go through the same thing, they, themselves believe this time will be different somehow? That their apology is different? What do you think is going on where you’re just seeing companies repeat the same mistakes despite so much public evidence that people do not accept bad apologies, that it’s usually not enough, etc?

Susan: [00:09:39] That’s a really interesting question. I don’t know to what extent they teach about apology in classes on public relations. And, it’s always different when it’s you who’s being accused, or you and the company you work for being accused. It always feels different when the fingers are pointed at you.

Wailin: [00:09:58] My last question is, and this is kind of flipped around a little bit: do you also look at the ways in which people who have been wronged accept or don’t accept apologies and do you have tips on how to accept an apology?

Susan: [00:10:13] Yes, that’s a really important matter and oftentimes people will say, “Please forgive me.” We say that you can accept an apology without forgiving a person, and that really, when you apologize, you shouldn’t ask for forgiveness. You can say, “I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” But you shouldn’t demand forgiveness. You should not demand them saying, “Okay, I forgive you.”

[00:10:49] When you accept an apology, that’s a powerful thing to be able to do and so you can say, “I accept your apology.” Without saying, “I forgive you”, “it’s okay”, “we’re all good.”

[00:11:03] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.

Shaun: [00:11:04] Since I’ve been at Basecamp there’s really only been one incident that I remember we’ve had to really publicly apologize for.

Wailin: [00:11:12] I think this precedes my time at the company. It’s before I joined, right?

Shaun: [00:11:15] Mm-hmm.

Wailin: [00:11:17] But I do remember that not to long ago, we were talking about something in chat and someone said, “cat.jpg.” Just posted that line in chat, and I was like, what is that? I don’t understand the reference.

Shaun: [00:11:29] Yeah, it’s gotten to the point where you can just write that single word and file extension and everyone will know what you’re talking about. And it means you probably fucked up and you need to say sorry for it.

Wailin: [00:11:40] Yeah, and I didn’t know what it meant, so I asked, “What is this about?” And someone sent me a link to our company blog, Signal v. Noise, that explained the story you’re about to hear.

Shaun: [00:11:57] So, in 2012, I believe it was, Taylor posted on SvN a bunch of Basecamp statistics, numbers, that kind of thing, and one of the milestones he talked about was that the 100 billionth file had been uploaded to Basecamp 2 at the time. And it was a picture of a cat. Do you remember this?

David: [00:12:12] I do remember this. This is sort of seared into my memory as just one of those turning points. And we made the celebration post be, like, yay! We’ve made this vanity milestone which really doesn’t really mean anything. What does 100 million files mean? It was just something to put out there and what happened was, we looked in the log files. And when you’re looking in the log files, there’s all sorts of metadata about the file, which is like, the file name. And the size of the file, and that was the stuff that Taylor had looked at and saw that the filename was something with a cat.

Shaun: [00:12:49] One of the comments on SvN, was, hey, so, this says it was a picture of a cat, are you looking at users’ files?

David: [00:12:55] Exactly, right? And I think that that is a completely fair question. A, wait a minute, are you looking at our shit? But it was just one of those things where Taylor hadn’t thought through the implications of that and neither had the rest of us, really? Like, we all read that announcement and went like, oh yeah, that’s fine. And then it wasn’t really until a user brought up the question, “What does this actually imply?” that we went, “Oh shit.” Like, this was not a smart move. And then we were left with what to do. We could have just deleted that comment, shut down the thread, pretended that had never happened. Or, we could have just dismissed it and said like, what do you care? It’s a cat picture. It wasn’t even your cat picture? Not smart move either. Or we could simply just go, like, oh we fucked up. Explain how it happened—the fact that we didn’t actually look at the file. We looked at the metadata, but even looking at the metadata is still not something we should be doing willy-nilly. The data’s entrusted to us with this sense of trust that, hey, you’re keeping it safe and you’re keeping it private.

Shaun: [00:14:00] So, immediately after Taylor posted, you initially defended it. Basically saying, as passing through the logs we noticed that there was a filename called cat.jpg and it was funny. We thought we’d post it. And then about four days later, the public apology came out that you wrote, also on SvN. Do you remember any of the internal conversation that we had at Basecamp within those four days?

David: [00:14:24] Memory’s such a funny thing. Like, now, my recollection is that we just realized it right away that this was a bad thing and then we posted about it. And, as reality often is, it’s sort of a windy path to get there, right?

[00:14:36] So, I didn’t even remember that at first, but it does sort of ring a bell that the first instinct, I think, a lot of people have is when they’re caught in something is to go like, wait, what? This isn’t a big deal! Right? I’m a big believer in this, I forget who it was that brought this up, but there’s basically two tokens in any interaction with a customer. You can either take the token that’s like, this is not a big deal. Or you can take the token that this is the biggest deal ever. If you pick, this is not a big deal, the customer’s going to pick, this is the biggest deal ever. If you pick this is the biggest deal ever, they in many cases will pick, oh, this is not a big deal.

[00:15:15] I’ve tried to internalize that over and over again that when something like this happens, the worst thing you can do is downplay it. Like, no one who raises a question like this is going to respond favorably if you go like, “Eh, I mean, whatever.” So, I basically took the tack of picking the token that was, this is a huge deal, because actually, I think it was. There was probably other factors to it. There was the thread on SvN, I’m pretty sure there was probably also a Twitter thing going on at the time and maybe other commentators on it as well.

[00:15:47] It’s an interesting point because I think, oftentimes we look at comment sections and Twitter and whatever, as just like a bunch of people bitching. But other times, like this, for example, it took that kind of, “Hey, what the fuck are doing?” For us to step back and think, like, actually yeah, what the fuck are we doing? It raised some really important questions about how we treat and handle data. Which actually led to a bunch of other changes too. So, it wasn’t just the apology that came out of this. We rewrote our privacy policy shortly thereafter to really clearly explain, what are we actually doing with your data.

[00:16:21] We don’t need to look at your data. We’re not trying to sell it to advertisers. Our value doesn’t come from looking at your stuff. In fact, our value comes from not looking at your stuff. So, making that clear was just the right thing to do. So, we did.

[00:16:36] It wasn’t just a privacy policy, which was what we promised the customers. We had a full discussion about the internal controls at Basecamp. Like, who actually should be able to access data, in which ways, how can we limit that? We have a locking system now that if you try to go through our internal systems to access an account, you have to state the purpose of why you’re accessing that account. And, then, we log who actually did it. We didn’t have any of these controls in the beginning. So, this one incident helped kick off wonderful improvements to our process and to our policies and to how we feel about the business.

[00:17:11] Because, I think that was the jarring part. We have this self-image. We’re good guardians of your data. We don’t look at your shit, and that self-image was then challenged when people said, that’s all good and well you say that, but you just told us you saw the 100 millionth file. There’s some tension here. Let’s resolve that in a way where we take a step forward, not just to resolve the issue. Because sometimes I think even if someone is trained on a customer issue to pick the right token. To pick that this is a huge deal. If you don’t follow that up with actual organizational change, it’s a bit of a shallow thing. It might make the customer feel good in the moment. But it doesn’t help in the next time or the next time or the next time. I think that that’s one of those things as we try to improve the business and think of the business itself as a product, we’ve got to fix the bugs.

Shaun: [00:18:00] It’s been, I think, six years now since cat.jpg. Have you noticed apologies getting better in the business, especially tech world?

David: [00:18:10] What I was trying to write was a human apology. As in, like, I fucked up. Not a, oh, I apologize for any inconvenience that may have occurred. Bullshit. We have all these weasel words and terms for basically not accepting when you fucked up. And I understand how that comes to pass. Most people who write these fake corporate apologies, it’s not because they’re insincere people. If they had to write an actual human apology to a family member or a friend or whatever, they could probably do a pretty good job because. I think humans are generally well-equipped to accept responsibilities. It’s when they’re pushed into these pressure cookers that this crap comes out. And it takes dedicated, specific effort to do something else.

Shaun: [00:19:00] I think you wrote this—I wrote it down here somewhere—like, the three things a business normally would do in this situation. Fire Taylor, sweep it all under the rug. Or, require more oversight over SvN posts.

David: [00:19:14] There are all these knee-jerk overreactions in some sense. So, Taylor clearly made a mistake, but why did he make a mistake? Taylor’s mistake was our mistake, my mistake, because we hadn’t had this conversation and we should have had that conversation. We were far enough into the evolution and lifespan of Basecamp that we should have matured around that point earlier. So, the fact that we hadn’t was more my fault than it was his fault. It was Jason’s fault. It was something that we needed to take responsibility for. So, to sacrifice Taylor, and the fact that he basically just expressed the current sentiment of the organization, would have been a grave injustice. But, this is totally common because it feels like a way to stop it. Right? You don’t actually have to change your organization very much if you can just say, oh, we had this one rogue employee who did something bad.

[00:20:09] And yes, there are occasionally rogue employees, but far more often there are rogue cultures or there are dysfunctional cultures and rogue actions are expressions of those dysfunctional cultures.

[00:20:19] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.

Wailin: [00:20:22] David reinforced what Susan talked about at the top of the show, which is that good apologies can be difficult because as humans, we want to believe that we’re fundamentally good people. Individuals believe this and so do corporations, which are made up of individual people.

Shaun: [00:20:36] Yeah, it’s really hard to hear—have other people tell you that you messed up. It’s natural to get defensive. In the tech world, in our world, there’s a situation that comes up fairly often where companies need to apologize. And that’s when your service goes down unexpectedly. In our next interview, I talk to two cousins, who created a product to help companies talk to their customers when they have an outage.

Robin: [00:21:11] So, I’m Robin. I’m co-founder of Sorry.

Robert: [00:21:14] And my name is Robert, and I’m the other co-founder of Sorry. As you say, Robin and I were working together for quite a few years in an IT consultancy, stroke software development type business. We found we were being let down by our own service providers, so, whether it was telecoms companies, hosting providers, that kind of thing. They were leaving us in a sticky position with clients where services were going down, and they just weren’t telling us about it and then curiously things would resolve themselves without any explanation. So, we’re talking circa 2011.

Robin: [00:21:49] Yeah, before that…

Robert: [00:21:49] Maybe even before that, that we were first talking about this. And back then it wasn’t the norm for tech companies to openly talk. One instance that springs to mind was Amazon Web Services having a downtime that lasted for days. It was like two or three days, wasn’t it. They had a huge outage. You know, AWS, to this day they do a better job of talking about things but at that point in time they were definitely very slow on giving you the information that you wanted. You just felt you sat a million miles away from your infrastructure. It’s all virtual, anyways, so it doesn’t really exist. You just feel like there’s all of your data, your entire business online in a cloud environment, and you have absolutely no idea what’s going on with it.

[00:22:31] So, we kind of had this seed in our mind, or at least Robin did at that point in time that we could build something that was gonna help this scenario and allow people to communicate better with us, let alone with anybody else. And then there’s this sort of strange twist of serendipity, I suppose, about the fact that we’re having conversation, with you, Wailin, is that we were at the time reading a lot of the books from the guys at Basecamp. And we were then reading Rework. And the whole chapter around saying sorry rang so many bells for us. And I think, in fact, was why we called the product Sorry. We had a conversation where we’d been reading the chapter, and we were like, we need a code name for the project. It’s a piece of software about how helping companies say sorry to people when they drop the ball. Let’s call it Sorry, and the name just kind of stuck.

Wailin: [00:23:22] Can you walk me through what your app does?

Robin: [00:23:27] So, we have a core status page that you configure, and then you have a bunch of notification integrations that sit on top of the status page. And you can configure email, SMS and Slack at the moment. When you make a post on your status page, people can subscribe to that, they’ll get their notifications telling them what’s going on.

Robert: [00:23:57] And it also sits outside of your product. One of the mistakes that I think quite a few people made in the early days was they had their mechanisms for communicating their status baked into their own product. And when the product went offline, all their communication tools went down, as well, and so they had no way of talking to customers about the problem. And so, by abstracting it out to somebody like us, we can provide a service that we know is going to be online even—

Robin: [00:24:24] Planning ahead…

Robert: [00:24:26] Yes, even if you’re offline.

Wailin: [00:24:27] If you could diagnose some of the most common problems you see with how companies and service providers handle downtime. It sounds like one of the big mistakes they make is just not communicating at all, right? And then what are some other problems that you see with how companies attempt to do this?

Robert: [00:24:45] I think the second biggest offender, which is definitely something you see, is where large companies give their status communication to their DevOps or Engineering team to take care of. And, we’ve always seen it as a customer service task, really. It’s one the very fringes of customer service, when your customers are most frustrated, when they’re most angry, when they’ve got every reason to leave you as a provider. You then give that communication task to engineering team, and they’re certainly a few, even large customer service company that I can think of, and their status communication is so tech-heavy and it gets into all the minutiae of data centers and server racks have gone down and all these various different bits and pieces and it leaves me, even as an engineer, with that background, I sit there confused as to what’s going on. And, if anything, it increases my level of frustration. So, I think definitely, that’s the second biggest offender that people seem to make that mistake on a regular basis by giving it to the tech team.

Wailin: [00:25:48] Can you tell me in the early days of building the product and then going out to find customers, how did you find those conversations? Were potential customers, were they defensive about needing something about this, or did they say, oh gosh we really need it, thank you for doing this, we didn’t have an organized way of communicating this before?

Robert: [00:26:08] We definitely had a full mixed bag of different approaches. Some people would come to you and say, “We don’t have downtime.” Is a line that we’d hear fairly regularly and I think if somebody thinks they don’t have downtime, they’re probably not monitoring their platform closely enough because I can guarantee, everybody has it. It’s just one of those things that happens as part of daily life. These systems are so fallible. But, on the other side we get people come to us—a lot of our signups are, even today, are people that are in the midst of downtime at that point in time.

Robin: [00:26:45] Or just after.

Robert: [00:26:46] Or just after is quite a popular one, isn’t it? They come to us and say, we had a really bad time last week. We had a nightmare day and we want to make sure that next time it happens, we’re in a better position.

Wailin: [00:26:58] It’s interesting to me to have a company named Sorry, because the minute you’re introducing your company, it sounds like you’re also apologizing.

Robert: [00:27:07] Well, in the UK, we’d call it a marmite name, and that probably doesn’t translate to your side of the pond, but the whole idea is you either love it or you hate it. Marmite’s this spread that you put on your toast, and—

Robin: [00:27:17] Actually, I’m down the middle of that.

Robert: [00:27:19] What, you don’t really like marmite.

Robin: [00:27:21] Yeah, I don’t—sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.

Robert: [00:27:24] You’re an exception to the rule, yeah. So, yeah, I think we definitely have—a lot of people really love the name. Particularly British people and Canadians. We had a huge number of Canadians when we first launched signing up for the product, and I think it’s a cultural thing. We say sorry all the time. Even today, we were out having some lunch today, and we’re sat at the table and a woman knocked into me while I was sat there. And I apologized. I said, “I’m sorry.” And I was sat there eating my lunch and she bumped into me, but it’s just part of our lexicon. So, I think it wasn’t a hard decision for us. We wanted to present a slightly fallible, human element to the business. That’s always about us and we try to get that across with the brand, with the way we talk about the product. The way we talk to customers.

Robin: [00:28:13] On the first use, on the first run, when we see customers signing up. When they test out the first notice, they often say, “Sorry, I’ve broken something.” Or, I think it’s most like, by having the product called what it is, it kind of makes it a bit easier to say it.

Robert: [00:28:34] Yeah, it allows you to say—it gives you permission to let that barrier down because you’ve already bought into that as a concept.

Wailin: [00:28:41] And so, has SorryApp ever gone down? I saw on your website you have 99.99% uptime, I think.

Robert: [00:28:48] We have definitely had downtime in the past. I think we’ve probably only substantial downtime springs to mind and that was quite early doors for us when we were a new product. It’s always a challenge when you don’t have the finances to invest into infrastructure. There’s always points of failure in the system and we definitely got caught by one one week and in fact, I guess the irony behind that was they were a service provider we’d been using in the past. Perhaps issues they’d had in the past was the motivation building the product. And we’re then using them as a customer and they then had some downtime. It was one of those typical moments where they turn things off and it broke down on a Saturday. We were trying to call them. There was no communication. We couldn’t get ‘hold of their team. And so yeah, we definitely had downtime in that scenario. And we do our best to talk to customers about it, but I’m sure, as with everybody else, in the heat of the moment, you never run the show completely perfectly, but it’s about being as prepared as you can and doing the best job, I think. And if people see you trying and you just talk some silly to people, be honest about it, admit that you’ve cocked it up. They’re usually pretty forgiving, actually, if not supportive. In fact, customers come and say, well done, thanks for letting us know.

Wailin: [00:30:09] And then, my last question is actually a silly one, which is, has anyone mixed you up with this app that Greta Van Susteren, this American broadcaster, made?

Robert: [00:30:19] I don’t think anybody’s confused us, but we watch Twitter, we have, what is it, TweetDeck or something, you use?

Robin: [00:30:26] Yeah.

Robert: [00:30:26] And there’s an ongoing search for the SorryApp as a word or a phrase on Twitter, and it did suddenly get very busy for the course of about a week, didn’t it? We also, when we were over at The Next Web conference a while back, and we got asked whether we were like the digital version of a board game, which wasn’t something we’d come across before, but apparently, there’s a board game called Sorry.

Wailin: [00:30:49] Maybe it’s an American thing. I play it with my daughter all the time.

Robin: [00:30:52] We should get it. Where did you get yours.

Wailin: [00:30:54] I think you can probably just get it on Amazon. I have to warn you, not a super fun game. I mean, my daughter is five, it’s about what she can handle. She’s not literate yet, so.

Robert: [00:31:03] If anyone out there is looking for a wet weather activity with their kids on a Saturday afternoon, come and sign up for our product. That’s going to be just as exciting by the sounds of it.

[00:31:15] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.

Shaun: [00:31:15] Rework is produced by Wailin Wong and me, Shaun Hildner. Our theme music is Broken By Design by Clip Art.

[00:31:26] You can find SorryWatch at, and on Twitter @SorryWatch. If you want to read Susan McCarthy’s Salon piece from 2001, we will post a link to it in the show notes for this episode at

Wailin: [00:31:37] Rob and Rob’s company is at and on Twitter @SorryApp. Special thanks to Jesse Alejandro Cottrell and Alex Atack. Remember, if you have questions for our upcoming mailbag episode, please us a voicemail at (708) 628-7850.

David: [00:32:11] It took that kind of, like, hey what the fuck are you doing for us to step back and think like, actually, yeah, what the fuck are we doing?