Overhearing a manager berate a worker by saying “I want a reason, not an excuse!” brought back memories of my own dealings with a nasty boss. She asked me why a certain task had not been accomplished in the time allowed, and when I said we had been busy and I was waiting on customers (my primary function), she said she didn’t want to hear any excuses. When I countered that I had given a reason, not an excuse, she accused me of being insubordinate.
So what to you constitutes the difference between a reason and an excuse? And how can you argue with someone who accuses you of giving excuses instead of reasons?