Last week a co-worker accused me of calling her a particularly unflattering word. Not to her face, but she heard it through the grapevine. When my boss brought it to my attention, I could honestly deny it because I did not recall saying it.
During my nightly ritual of trying to fall asleep I remembered. I actually did say it. It was tongue-in-cheek, but I said it none the less.
I was told I should drop the whole issue and let it die, but that still leaves her feeling injured and me feeling troubled. Though she has called me some very hurtful terms too -- again, tongue-in-cheek -- two wrongs don't make a right.
This morning I went over, with a caffeine-free diet coke (she has heart problems) as a peace offering and I humbly apologized to her and asked her to forgive me. It's the first time we talked in many months. She apologized for the hurtful things she said to me too and we made a pact to never use any derogatory terms to or about each other again. Does it restore a friendship? I honestly don't know, but it does heal some wounds. I don't like hating or being hated.
I also went to my boss and her supervisor and told them.
Sure, I could have stayed quiet and not have admitted to anything since the issue was already dead, but its better for the truth to be out and be forgiven than it is to keep a lie alive and my lose my sense of integrity. I am hoping that she and others learned the same lesson. I don't just hope it, I pray it.