I’ve been threatening to do this for months now, and finally today is the day: Introducing The Gratuitous Sorry Jar. What’s a gratuitous sorry jar? It’s much like a swear jar, except people put in money if they say sorry when a sorry is not called for. Some might argue that saying sorry too often is not a bad thing. Maybe they’re right. In fact every time I think of someone saying sorry when it is not warranted, I think of my cousin in Buffalo saying “you Canadians and your sorrys; it’s so quaint.” And that is the origin of the subtitle on the jar.

So what constitutes gratuitous when it comes to saying sorry? Here are a few examples of what I often hear at Custom Strength:

  • Sorry” ushered by someone because they aren’t quite able to push out the 5th rep of a bench press even though before today the best they’ve ever done was 2 reps at that weight. You just did your best ever, and then tried for more. And you’re sorry? 50 cents!
  • “I can’t remember what this exercise is. Sorry” says a client who is at our gym for the second time ever. You’ve only been here once, and we showed you 12 new exercises. You’re sorry because you don’t have a photographic memory? 50 cents!
  • Sorry” said by a client after I accidentally bump into him. You’re sorry because you didn’t anticipate my clumsiness? 50 cents!
  • Sorry” is the response from a client after I ask her if she minds doing her next set a few feet to the left to make room for the slideboard. You’re sorry because you are doing me a favour? 50 cents!

Now I’m not on a mission to turn the population of Canada into a bunch of Rudy McRudersons. If a sorry is warranted, then a sorry should be said. That will not constitute a gratuitous sorry.

But usher a gratuitous sorry at Custom Strength and you will be asked to “stuff your sorrys in a sack, mister

We’ll be donating all of the money we collect every quarter (or so). We’ll take recommendations for deserving charities from contributors. We will not apologize if anyone disagrees with the charity we choose.

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