Those are among the qualifications you'll need to snag a professional apologizer position at Southwest Airlines under Fred Taylor Jr. It's one of the travel industry's coolest gigs, brought to light by a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. But WalletPop went one step further: We interviewed Taylor to find out how you can get your sorry self to say you're sorry for a living.
The pay is better than a schoolteacher, Taylor confirmed, and the benefits are outstanding. (Unfortunately, and it pains us to tell you, there are no openings at the moment. We're so very sorry.)
In fact, you'll need to possess an overhead bin-full of qualities. Taylor certainly won't apologize for being picky. "It's not something you walk off the streeet and do," he told WalletPop. "You must be very positive, outgoing, curious, very intuitive, and because of the rigors of the job, have a tremendous work ethic."
Then there's the actual execution of the Big Sorry.
"You must quickly translate a situation and formulate a response," he said. "You have to be able to assess the circumstance, understand what the issue is, what led to the issue, and turn it around to a response that the customer can relate to. We want to write it in terms that are personal, heartfelt and free of jargon."
Oh yeah, be prepared to work holidays because that's often when incidents happen.
Keep practicing, readers. Maybe one day you'll have what it takes for the sorriest of jobs. As we finished the chat, I asked Taylor to apologize to me for absolutely nothing. A good sport, he quickly chirped: "I wholeheartedly apologize for the inconvenience you incurrred. We'd like to invite you back for much better travel memories on Southwest."
Taylor is one link in a Southwest chain that logs the fewest complaints by far in the industry. When it comes to apologizing, this guy has nothing to be sorry for.