Responsible Replacement: When you accidentally break something

by epi on January 23, 2012

Q: We were recently at a dinner party for six. My husband broke two pieces off the back of one of the expensive dining room chairs accidentally. He was telling a story and moved his elbows back quickly. We were all surprised. The force was not that great. We feel we owe them more than an apology. Any suggestions?

A: It would be appropriate to offer to pay to have the chair repaired or replaced. Even though the force of your husband’s elbows was not that great, he is still responsible for the damage. Of course, your hosts could decline your offer but, in all likelihood, will appreciate the gesture.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Clauss February 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

The owner of the company I work for took those of us who have worked here 7+ years to lunch yesterday, the restaurant was as “upscale” as our town gets. We were a group of 15. I may have a shellfish allergy, I haven’t been diagnosed with it but I sometimes do feel funny after eating it, and was careful to order a risotto that did not list shellfish in it’s decription. When it arrived, it had a large shrimp on top and many cut-up pieces mixed in. Since we were on a tight schedule, a large group, I’m not totally sure of the allergy (and had taken an anti-histamine for seasonal allergies that day), and frankly felt a little embarassed, I did not send it back but rather did not eat the large shrimp on top and did my best not to eat the cut up pieces. I ate as much I was comfortable eating and requested a box to take the rest home for someone in my family to finish. Would I have been rude to send it back?

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Winifred Rosenburg February 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I don’t think it would have been rude to send it back. You just would have had to be aware of the time and when everyone else is starting to get ready to leave, stop eating. For future reference in dealing with your allergy/sensitivity, it might be best to ask the server to make sure there is no shellfish in the dish because you are allergic just in case.

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