So this happened to me once.
I had been working with this woman, Cathy, for about a month.
She was a normal person. And when I say normal, what I mean is, she was slightly more verbose than most and several degrees louder. She was like a howler monkey without the grace.
For the month we worked together, I sported a beard.
One weekend I decided to shave the beard. There was no particular reason for the removal of the beard, it was just the whimsical part of my nature that people find so endearing.
I went to work the following Monday morning, sans beard.
I walked past Cathy and I said hello as one would do.
She looked at me with pure horror and recoiled like I was Jeffrey Dahmer asking her over to my place for dinner.
I could tell by the expression on her face and the vacant look in her weird fish eyes, that she had no idea who I was.
“It’s Larry,” I told her.
After a moment I could see the light of recognition dawn across her face.
Then she looked at me said what I considered to be a remarkable thing: “Ew. Is that what your face looks like?” Then following a not unsubstantial pause, she said: “no offense.”
She then went on a lengthy diatribe detailing what a mistake it was for me to expose my face to light of day. But after every insulting (and frankly hurtful) thing she said, she would follow it with: “no offense.”
Well guess what, Cathy, I took offense then and I take offense now!
Why do people think they can say any horrible thing they want and it’s okay if they just punctuate it with, “no offense”?
If at the end of World War 2, Hitler had thrown his hands into the air and said, “listen everybody, no offense,” would it have all been okay?
No, Adolph! It’s not okay! And you’re not okay either, Cathy!
That day I told Cathy that despite her strong feelings toward my face, I thought she was a wonderful and precious and perfect person in every way.
Just like a liar would.