Lessons for life
August 2, 2011
Do you make excuses? Has it become a bad habit? If Jordan Margolis had his way, he would use his "Power of Reverse Apology," a pseudoscience he created for his alter ego, Excuseman to rid the world of useless excuses.
"My goal is to get those who mess up to 'fess up," says Margolis, who spends the majority of his time as a Chicago trial attorney—when he's not wearing a cape, riding around on a Segway battling excuses with his sense of humor. "Rather than play the blame game, if someone screws up I will nail them with a better excuse, so it's a whimsical way to be a better person."
Margolis sees his fair share of excuses as a lawyer, and says his superhero perspective helps his clients feel more comfortable when facing real-life traumas. He describes his "Power of Reverse Apology" this way:
"Say someone gives you a lame explanation about why they were late. If you come back with something ridiculous and outrageous, it causes the person listening to realize what they've done wrong. It's the first step toward healing and redemption."
Men are better at giving excuses because "they always screw up. Since caveman times — it's what we do," says Margolis. Women, however, don't need to make them because "guys are never listening."
As for whether being married or single has an effect on your ability to give excuses, Margolis says: "Married men have a hard time because there's no wife who will believe them, no matter what. Single guys have a better chance because the single women are always wanting something, so they might listen a little more just to seem interested."
He says in order for the Power of Reverse Apology to work, the Excuseman-approved excuse should be suggested to the offending excuser immediately following their lame excuse. Here are some of Margolis' secret weapons.
"Hell no, I don't exercise. When I want to lose my ass, I go to Vegas."
Poor work performance:
"I've just won the lottery, but I want to work anyway."
"My Chevy is a schizophrenic. It thinks it's a Toyota."
Need a guy's night out:
"I'm a Sponsor for a 12-Step Bachelor's Anonymous program, lives are at risk."
Drank too much:
"If I could only remember who you are, I'd tell you exactly why I can't remember where I was last night."
Late to an important meeting:
"Of course I know how important this meeting is to the company. That's why I brought the hooker to personally explain to our new client how sorry I am."
"I figured if Jared could lose 275 pounds eating Subway twice a day for a year, I can order the party size sub and cut the time in half."
To support his efforts, Margolis has developed a website (Excuseman.com), an Excuseman calendar, two books, and is in the process of creating an app that will provide an "excuse of the day."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC