If your boss calls a meeting that requires your presence, it’s because she has something pertinent to say. Your unexcused absence from the meeting may reflect poorly on her, particularly if she was counting on your input. Writing your boss a letter of apology lets you take responsibility for your absence and shows your humility.
Acknowledge Your Actions
After your salutation, say that you are sorry for missing the meeting. Include the meeting date and time and your required role. For example: “Please accept my apology for missing the staff meeting on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. At the meeting, I was supposed to distribute the names of our department’s dormant customers to everyone present. I’m sorry for my absence, which I know inconvenienced you.”
Reason for Absence
Say why you were absent, in the next paragraph. Keep your explanation brief and truthful and refrain from blaming others. You might write: “As I stated when I called you, my son fell ill on the morning of the meeting and I had to take him to the doctor.” Or, “While on my way to work, my car broke down. I had to call a tow truck, which took my vehicle to a mechanic.” Or, “I didn’t realize the meeting was scheduled for 8 a.m. I mistakenly thought it would occur at 9 a.m.”
In your third paragraph, say that you hope she understands what happened and how you will correct, or rectify, the situation. You might say: “I have handed everyone at the meeting a spreadsheet with the names of our dormant companies. I also explained my absence to each of them and told them to let me know if they have questions concerning the worksheet.” Or, “In the future, I will double-check my calendar to ensure its scheduled dates and times are correct.” Then invite your supervisor to inform you if she needs anything else from you or has questions or concerns.
Once you realize you cannot make a meeting, call your supervisor and explain, then follow-up promptly in writing. Hand her the letter instead of emailing it. Depending on why you missed the meeting, make a conscious effort not to repeat it. Failure to learn from your mistakes may cause your boss to think you simply do not care. She may view your apologies as insincere and is likely to be less forgiving.