10 Weird Excuses Workers Have Used When Late

weird excuses for being lateBy Justin Thompson, The Work Buzz

If you're like me, there are days when you hit the snooze button on your alarm or phone at least 27 times. Eventually you get up, throw on some clothes without the pretense that it's actually an outfit and slink into work, as if you've been there the last hour.

Sure, we've all had rough mornings, and sometimes the weirdest things do happen that prevent us from getting to work on time. I've walked all the way to the train station, only to realize I didn't have my fare card. That was an extra 20 minutes lost. But never have I blamed my tardiness on my cat's hiccups, but apparently some people have. Poor kitty.

A new CareerBuilder survey revealed that sixteen percent of workers reported arriving late to work at least once a week or more, up slightly from last year. In addition, more workers said they arrived late to work at least once a month, with 27 percent admitting to being tardy.

So what were some of the other crazy excuses that hiring managers shared with us? Read on, faithful The Work Buzz follower:

  • Employee thought she had won the lottery (she didn't).
  • Employee got distracted watching the "Today" show.
  • Employee's angry roommate cut the cord to his phone charger, so it didn't charge and his alarm didn't go off.
  • Employee believed his commute time should count toward his work hours.
  • Employee claimed a fox stole her car keys.
  • Employee's leg was trapped between the subway car and the platform (turned out to be true).
  • Employee said he wasn't late, because he had no intention of getting to work before 9:00 a.m. (his start time was 8:00 a.m.)
  • Employee was late because of a job interview with another company.
  • Employee had to take a personal call from the state governor (turned out to be true).

Traffic, sleep schedules and weather conditions are the top three causes for late arrivals to the office, according to workers:

  • Traffic – 31 percent of workers
  • Lack of sleep – 18 percent
  • Bad weather – 11 percent
  • Getting kids to school or daycare – 8 percent

Other frequent reasons that were reported had to do with public transportation delays, pets, spouses, watching TV and Internet usage.

In today's workplace, most employers are flexible with worker schedules and start times, but it's still important to remember that excessive tardiness can lead to termination. More than one-third of employers said they fired an employee for continuously showing up to work late.

"Punctuality – or lack thereof - can impact how your commitment, reliability and performance are perceived by your employer," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "One of the best ways to make sure you get to work on time is to get organized and plan ahead. Lay out whatever you'll need for the workday the night before, plan to be at the office early, account for expected commute delays and eliminate distractions in your morning routine."

So, tell me: what's the worst excuse (or weirdest TRUE story) you've used when you were late to work?

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Ok, gross but true. When my daughter was a toddler she locked the cat in the cupboard and I could hear it banging around. The poor kitty was so scared it pooped all over the pots and pans and I had to clean all that up before I could go to work! True story....

May 15 2012 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of my employees once couldn't come to work because his tarantula escaped the cage and he had to find it before his family comes back home. Sure enough it took him the whole shift to find the poor pet ...:-)

May 15 2012 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Rives

Ferret somehow got trapped behind the fireplace. Cost $150 to get him out.

March 15 2012 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was going to be late one day because it had snowed and I had a hill to go up, I called the office and told the secretary I was going to be late. We had a zero tolerance for tardiness so I just fired myself. (I was boss)

January 23 2012 at 4:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Heard excusses where a persons Grandmother passed away about 10 times

January 23 2012 at 3:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe's comment

you just can't keep a good vampire down

February 19 2012 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My personal favorite excuse was that one of my employee's ate Tacobell for lunch and needed to take a poop! Really?! If you know that something might cause such an issue, why in the world would you even consider eating it before work?

January 23 2012 at 3:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

My favorite was, "I have eye trouble. Just can't see coming in to work today."

January 23 2012 at 3:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rockymtnal's comment

or the optical/.rectal inversion....I can't see my butt coming into work

February 19 2012 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pianist Ruth!

I have a good one for you....I was running a telemarketing operation and the telemarketer called in and said her tongue was too swollen and sore....as she said she HAD HER TONGUE PIERCED THE DAY BEFORE AND NEEDED TIME FOR IT TO HEAL...MY FEELING WAS: if you must get it pierced.....wait until a day off or a weekend....it wasnt a necessary surgery......so schedule it on a weekend! BTW....WHY DO PEOPLE GET THEIR TONGUE PIERCED? THAT IS SO DANGEROUS AS FAR AS INFECTION, ....SIMPLY BARBARIC!!!

The other lame excuse was: "I can;t come in...my puppy is sick",,,,,,sorry......to me that is not a good excuse....let the puppy rest...or designate someone else to babysit the puppy!
WELCOME TO TODAY'S IDIOTIC WORK STAFF......former generations would never dream of such excuses as being valid! IT'S CALLED HAVING A WORK ETHIC!!!!!!!!!

January 23 2012 at 3:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had an employee that was late by a couple of hours a few times. The first time, she overslept. The second time, traffic. The third time, her excuse was that she didn't think it mattered what time she came in, as long as she made it in. Needless to say, she was fired that day.

January 23 2012 at 2:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One time 2 employees who were always early and had never been late even once in 15 years decided that they wanted to go to the casino early one morning. It was 2 hours before they had to be at work, so they though a few minutes would be fine. They went in and played the slot machines for a while and looked around as it was new and they had not been there before. About 45 minutes before they had to be at work (maybe a 10 minute drive from the casino), they decided it was time to leave. They looked and looked but could not find a way out, even the spot they were sure they had come in at. Finally they realized: The casino was a riverboat casino (that was required to 'sail' at least 5 days a week for an hour or 2 as long as the river had enough water to be navigable) and they were now in the middle of the river! They were late.

January 23 2012 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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