It happens to the best of us: traffic delays, missed alarms, and bad weather make us late to work despite our good intentions. In fact, 1 in 4 workers admit they are late at least once a month, and 13 percent say it happens on a weekly basis.
But some people aren’t satisfied with ordinary excuses, and feel the need to come up with more outrageous explanations for their tardiness. Flaming hair, wayward cows, and napping bears are just a few of the bizarre excuses workers have used to explain why they couldn’t get to work on time, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.
When asked about the most outrageous excuses they’ve heard for being late, employers shared that employees said:
- I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
- My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
- I was detained by Homeland Security.
- I had to chase my cows back into the field.
- A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
- My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
- There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
- There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
- I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
- All of my clothes were stolen.
- I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
- A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.
Impressive as they are in their creativity, these elaborate excuses might not even be necessary: One third of employers say they have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern, and 16 percent say they don’t need employees to be punctual if they can still get their work done. To that end, 62 percent of workers who arrive late will stay later to make up for it.
Despite the creative thinking that went into the excuses above, the survey found that the usual suspects are still to blame for why employees are late to work: Traffic (53 percent), oversleeping (33 percent), bad weather (28 percent), lack of sleep (23 percent) and needing to get kids to daycare or school (15 percent).