A Mad Lib email for when you screw up

Dear (Name of Person You Have Disappointed),

I am so (adjective describing how bad you feel) for how (adverb) this (responsibility) is. I realize your time is very (adjective kissing up to person, pretending that his/her time is more valuable than another’s). It was never my intention to (verb) these tasks. This (responsibility) is very important to me and to my (noun) both professionally and personally. Going forward, this (behavior) will not happen again.

Unfortunately, I have been very (adjective describing your physical and mental anguish) because of (other responsibility), (another responsibility) and (third responsibility because of the rule of thirds). In (most impressive responsibility), I had to pick up (imperative task) from other people to meet (important deadline) and this was entirely unforeseeable. While I understand it is unprofessional to meet one deadline over another; it was (adjective). I realize now that I should have let you (verb) ahead of time.

I’m (apologetic adjective) if the (task you needed to do) is not up to your standards. My (illness) really picked up as well and my (body part) was (gross past tense verb) after I ate some bad (food) and wore my body down with food poisoning. And on top of all of that, my (family member) (tragic past tense verb) and my (significant other) fell down a (tall noun) and broke their (critical body part). I have really been trying to help them through this hard time and all of this work because I know it is important to value my personal relationships.

I know none of these are valid excuses for the (adjective) work. I would never try to give you excuses. I know you and your time are more valuable than that and even more importantly, I should not (verb) to myself. (Lie reiterating your level of remorse that artfully implies that they should pity you).

While I know have missed this deadline, I think you would really enjoy this (nugget of information that will distract them from the fact that you screwed up). It reminded me of you and your interest in (noun).

Again, I am sorry. This (responsibility) is very important to me, as is your time. I am going to work (adverb) to make sure this (responsibility) is successful and that all deadlines are met going forward.

(Signature that describes how loyal and invested you are),

(Your name, idiot)

Patty Terhune is a senior policy studies and television, radio and film dual major. This is an email she has sent a lot now as a second-semester senior. Follow her on Twitter @pattyterhune or reach her at


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