I arrived back at my office this morning to see a scrape and chunk out of the top of my desk. "Holy shit, what happened to the desk?" I said. "Oh, that was the tape dispenser. I was boxing that [cartridge] up and it flew off and hit the desk."
For two years, I worked at a table or part of a cabinet with a keyboard tray clamped to it. I begged and pleaded for a proper desk, seeing as how I work in IT and sit in front of a PC all day. Finally, because someone else was moving into this office with me, I was able to get a very nice workstation for 2 people. It has remained in excellent shape through the 3 people who have shared it with me over the past 3 years, until last week.
Is the scrape and dent really that bad? No, I guess not. Was it intentional? No. But that doesn't make me feel any better.
I worked hard for this desk. I've kept it in good condition. To have someone come along and damage it, not even seeming to care enough to offer an apology, really pisses me off.
I didn't personally pay for this desk, obviously, but I treat it as if I had. It took me a lot of work to get it, and just because the company bought it doesn't mean it deserves to have the crap beaten out of it. How you treat your tools and equipment shows a lot about what kind of person you are. Apologizing for damage you personally caused also shows character. I had my answer before, but I now have more confirmation.