It’s a sad beginning to each working day when we wake up in the morning and look at the time on our mobiles, only to look again Oh no, I’m late!
Just as dreadful it is to finally get out of bed, the next big problem is equally bad - coming up with an excuse to give to the boss who must be fuming in office.
And, habitual latecomers, often run out of excuses to give. Initially, it could be just a “sorry, I overslept” to “the traffic is too bad and I got delayed”.
But, there can be really funny excuses that employees can come up for showing up late at work.
Online portal, CareerBuilder, recently released its study of the many interesting, amusing excuses for being late for work.
From escaped zebras to must-see TV, employers, who took part in the survey, shared some of the most unique excuses they’ve heard from tardy employees.
The study also finds that nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of employees admit to being tardy at least once a month on average, with 15 per cent admitting to arriving late at least once a week.
The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and included a representative sample of 3,008 full-time, private sector workers and 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.
Running a little late could have big repercussions.
One in three (35 per cent) employers have fired an employee for tardiness, and 48 per cent of employers expect their employees to be on time every day.
Thirty-four per cent say they allow employees to be late every once in a while, as long as tardiness doesn’t become a pattern, and 18 per cent don’t care how their employees manage their time, just that they get their work done well.
“Most employers understand that occasionally things pop up and cause employees to be behind schedule.
“The trouble comes when tardiness becomes a habit,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice-President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.
“Employees who are often late should consider regularly checking the weather forecast for their commute, setting up alerts from any public transportation they use, or getting more done the night before so they’re not rushed in the morning.”
Employees tend to run into some roadblocks more often than others.
Traffic remains the most common reason employees say they’re late (39 per cent), followed by lack of sleep (19 per cent), problems with public transportation (8 per cent), bad weather (7 per cent) and dropping the kids off at daycare or school (6 per cent).
Some employees don’t stick with the common excuses for their tardiness.
Employers shared some of the most memorable excuses they’ve received from employees who were running late, including:
- Employee claimed a zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic (turned out to be true)
- Employee woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from his home
- Employee’s cat got stuck in the toilet
- Employee couldn’t eat breakfast – he ran out of milk for cereal and had to buy some before getting ready for work
- Employee was late to work because he fell asleep in the car when he got to work
- Employee accidentally put superglue in her eye instead of contact lens solution, and had to go to the emergency room
- Employee thought Halloween was a work holiday
- Employee said a hole in the roof caused rain to fall on the alarm clock and it didn’t go off
- Employee was watching something on TV and really wanted to see the end
- Employee forgot that the company had changed locations
- Employee got a hairbrush stuck in her hair
- Employee was scared by a nightmare
[Image via Shutterstock]