If you think you deserve one, you know exactly how an apology should be delivered. Eye to eye so you can see their pain. Face to face so you can sense their sincerity. And yesterday wouldn’t have been too soon.

Have you ever received a false apology that annulled itself when the same offensive act was repeated almost instantaneously? How about the old “I’m-sorry-you-feel-that-way” line that only makes you madder?

Admit it: sometimes your company makes enormous mistakes that madden Ms. Jones. What do you do? Do you fess up, agree with her and make it right? Or, like the Fonz, do you stammer and stutter an insincere excuse? What’s holding you back? Fear? Pride? Apathy?

Yes, it’s easy to judge the effectiveness of an apology when you’re on the receiving end. When you mess with Ms. Jones, are your apologies too little, too late? Or are they just right?