1. “I’m so sorry for the delay. I thought I replied already.” This is an okay person. You may genuinely be sorry.
2. “Sorry for the delay. Just catching up on my inbox.” You feel nothing for this person. You do feel mildly remorseful about not replying sooner, but you also intentionally ignored this email when you saw it.
3. “Hey, sorry. Just getting to this.” You don’t care for this person. If given the choice between a phone call and in-person meeting, you push for email.
4. “Sorry, just seeing this.” This person annoys you and you have intentionally put off replying for as long as possible. You may have considered leaving a negative review about this person on their company’s Glassdoor profile.
5. “Sorry for the wait. The first email somehow wound up in my spam folder.” Fuck this person. You have literally masturbated to the idea of this person being removed from your life. Nobody’s email ever “winds up” in your spam folder. This is you subtly telling them you think they are trash.