One in Five Late to Work Every Week, Lame Excuses Given

Late to Work Traffic Take a good look at your co-workers. There's a very good chance that almost one in five of them will be late this week. Will it be you? According to a new CareerBuilder Canada survey, tardiness is increasing. A surprising 19 percent of workers said they arrive late to work at least once a week, up from 17 percent last year.

But wait -- there's more: 11 percent said they are late two or more times a week. Could you get away with this at your place of employment? Maybe it's a Canadian thing. Still, those with a penchant for being late should beware: 30 percent of employers said they have terminated an employee for being late.


Workers shared a variety of reasons for being tardy, such as lack of sleep (24 percent) and traffic (24 percent). Fifteen percent blamed public transportation for their tardiness, while 12 percent indicated that bad weather delayed them. Other common reasons included getting kids to school or day care, Internet use, or their spouse.

"While workers will sometimes be late due to circumstances out of their control, they need to be aware of their companies' tardiness policies," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Regardless of the reason, workers who are running late should always be honest with their managers."

Hiring managers provided the following examples of the most outrageous excuses employees offered for arriving late to work:

  • A bear stopped my car, broke the window, and tried to grab me.
  • A prostitute stole my car keys.
  • My dog ate my Blackberry.
  • I ran myself over with the company truck.
  • I was playing a video game and didn't want to break up the group I was playing with.
  • My grandmother went missing.
  • I forgot it was a workday.
  • My car was inhabited by a hive of bees and I couldn't use the car for two hours until bees left.
  • My cat attacked me.
  • My Botox appointment took longer than expected.
  • My hair was hurting my head.
  • I knew I was already going to be late, so I figured I would go ahead and stop to get donuts for everyone.
  • My karma was not in sync that day.
  • I got hurt taking a fork out of the dishwasher.
  • I wasn't late ... the company clock is wrong.


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Filed under: Employment News
Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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Amber

A woman who used to work with me, once called me to tell me she was running late... "because the line at the McDonalds drive thru is really long".

I was not impressed. Needless to say she only lasted on the job a week or two after that!

February 26 2011 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gina

People are so stupid today. What is this country coming to? I feel bad for the next generation.

February 25 2011 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michelle

I would put out cat food on my porch for the stray cats in my neighborhood ... raccoons liked the food too , I was late for work a few times because the raccoons were busy eating

February 25 2011 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debbie niemeyer

what's so bad about the last one?

February 25 2011 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Orlenda

Why are there so many spelling/grammar errors in this article?

February 25 2011 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Papierz Jr

Must have been a slow day in the AOL office. I find it hard to believe that any of these excuses were actually used in a real office. There is no excuse for not getting to a telephone and letting your supervisor know you will be late and the truth about why you will be late if you want to keep working.

February 25 2011 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat Wiles

Try telling your boss your dog whacked you in the face with a big hard rawhide bone! I know he thought I got into a fight with somebody, but it was true - I bent down to pick something up and my Doberman grabbed his rawhide and started whipping it back and forth at the same time- thought I broke my nose and ended up with 2 black eyes besides!

February 25 2011 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
manaen

A friend of mine working at a machine shop told me about an employee that called in sick too frequently -- so he started calling in "tired" -- then started calling in "busy." After enough of that, the company called him in to explain his situation. He informed them that "I have my priorities and this job isn't one of them." The company solved that conflict for him.

February 25 2011 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steener122

I'm not sure it was too smart of an idea to use the "a prostitute stole my car keys one" either way it makes you look creepy. I sure wouldn't want to admit something like that to my boss. That would have been like me telling my boss. "I WANTED to be on time, but my drug dealer was late, so now I'm late".

February 25 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mpendingmbolism

I told them that I was late because it was hard for me to accomplish my morning routine..showering..shaving..because I hurt my arm raking leaves the day before. He asked "How do you hurt your arm raking leaves"? I told him " I fell out of the tree".

February 25 2011 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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