So, I don't have many meetings but this was one of the first more important ones yet I happened to misread the email. So that's fine and all but on top of that I had soaked my phone in water so when I was contacted if I could make it I couldn't respond because I was drying it still. So now I feel like I have lost my credibility especially since I haven't had many other chances to prove my reliability.

In regard to what I have done. Nothing yet because I just found out few minutes ago. I feel like I should talk to the parties involved in the meeting by replying to the email that started the meeting but the meeting was about email migration, of which now the email server is down temporarily. So that isn't even an option. I really don't want to make it look like I'm trying to save my ass, which I am but also to let them know that I'm not unreliable.

I'm really at a loss and am feeling really stressed now about this. So what should I do?

NOTE: I had emailed the parties that I was able to make the meeting at said time, I just read it wrong.

  • @JoeStrazzere I guess I wasn't clear, I wasn't responsible for the server there was someone else who is more knowledgeable and qualified for this (that also went to the meeting) and server issues aren't my responsibility. and no its not a joke. Also this is like I said the first important meeting I had and I will definately apoligize in person mostly looking for how to approach this especially since I am not whatsoever experienced in workplace situations. Mar 23, 2014 at 12:56
  • I don't get it. Is the mail server down because you didn't do the mail migration? is anyone else working there? or are you the Mail Admin guy.
    – Tasos
    Mar 23, 2014 at 16:14

3 Answers 3


Every single person on here has done things like miss meetings or occasionally misinterpret communications. I don't see the need for the harsh judgement and assumptions in some of the comments.

I agree with the other answers about apologizing. However, there's no need to make a big production about it. Just say to the key folks that you're sorry you missed the meeting and don't go into unnecessary detail about why. If someone then asks for further explanation, give it to the person that asked-- preferably in person.

One of the important things about apologies is that they need to scale to the situation in question. If your apology is TOO profuse for the transgression, it merely draws attention to the gaffe. If your apology is missing or not enough, of course, that reflects badly on you.

As far as avoiding this type of problem in the future, do your best, but realize that you like everyone else will sometimes drop the ball. If it happens too much that's another more serious problem. I disagree with trying to make any disingenuous assurances that "this will never happen again".

  • Good answer, i was leaning more on reason why, and assuring it t wont happen again. I did that at the work place a couple of times. But depends on the severity anyhow.
    – Tasos
    Mar 24, 2014 at 1:48
  1. Send a short apology to the meeting invitees. Acknowledge your error and don't make any excuses. Point out that this won't happen again.
  2. Make sure it actually does NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. "Misreading" an e-mail seems like an odd thing and having a "wet phone" is even stranger. If you have trouble staying organized, use some tools that help. Calendar software, reminders, daily to do list, etc. are all good techniques. Acknowledge to yourself that this is potentially a real problem and start working on it
  • Thanks for the help, I feel like the second part is that I should have a calendar which I do but just as to how I managed to misread it because I feel like I do that more frequently than should be normal. Although this wasn't my question would you have any ideas as how to prevent something like that from happening again? (misreading emails) Mar 23, 2014 at 9:42
  • 1
    And why are you not reading your work emails on your work computer and not your cell phone? That is only appropriate if you are someone who is frequently supposed to be out of the office like a sales guy. Was it becasue you were actually not at work when you were supposed to be?
    – HLGEM
    Mar 23, 2014 at 16:52
  • Meetings get missed for all kinds of reasons-- sometimes people get up from their desks to work on something in another part of the office and then don't see the MS outlook notifications popping up until it is too late. Not a huge deal IMO.
    – teego1967
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:45
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    @capa_matrix Regarding making sure it never happens again, I find replying with the date and time helps. (e.g. "I'll be there on Friday at 3 p.m.") This a) means you're less likely to make the error in the first place (because you check it more carefully when you "repeat it back" to the person) and b) means that if you do still make an error, someone else might pick up on it. Dec 17, 2014 at 12:02

Apologize in person or email.

I am very sorry that I missed our scheduled meeting last (date). Unfortunately my phone got soaked in water accidentally so i couldn't respont when you tried to contact me, first time that happened to me. The meeting was very important to me.

I will make sure this doesn't happen again and i apologize for any inconvenience that i may have caused. I may now buy the Nokia Lumia 920 phone.

And if they say, "Yeah but you responded the meeting email, that you were attending" as an example you can say "Because of what happened whith the Phone i couldnt read the mail to Confirm the Date and time and lost track"

Keep it simple anyway, whats done is done and cant go back to fix it, so just be honest and keep the apology simple and say it wont happen again.

  • 1
    I really don't think it's a good idea to bring up the water thing. Even if true, I'm not sure anyone would believe the OP.
    – NotMe
    Mar 23, 2014 at 15:49
  • its ok, ive worked somewhere that a colleague washed his trousers with his smartphone in the pocket and messed up big time at work because of it, thats was he said, and apologized. The Boss didn't like it, but he was laughing and making jokes about it all day. If its the first time this happened, it can be ok, but if it happened before then its different.
    – Tasos
    Mar 23, 2014 at 16:05

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