The worst excuses for coming in late

Jun 17 2008 by Print This Article

Everyone has run into the situation where you are running late for work. Perhaps you just overslept or maybe you have a legitimate reason, but your boss has heard it all. What do you say? What can you say that will sound real and not set off alarm bells.

Well, despite the title of the article on CNN being 10 best excuses for coming to work late, the interesting part of the article is the list of ten excuses you should avoid.

According to the article's author, Rosemary Haefner, all of the following excuses were actually given as reasons why someone was late:

1. While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog.
2. Someone stole all my daffodils.
3. I had to go audition for American Idol.
4. My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn't drive to work.
5. My route to work was shut down by a Presidential motorcade.
6. I have transient amnesia and couldn't remember my job.
7. I was indicted for securities fraud this morning.
8. The line was too long at Starbucks.
9. I was trying to get my gun back from the police.
10. I didn't have money for gas because all of the pawn shops were closed.

So, if you find yourself running late, even if one of the reasons above is the actual reason you are late, you may want to consider coming up with something else. Haefner suggests that you try to judge the company you are working for and their tolerance for being late. Whatever that culture is, prompt or laid-back, you should try to change your behavior to match it.

Still, even if you do this, you might end up running late. If that's the case, take a deep breath, and then turn on your creative juices. The excuse you use may be the one that saves your job.


Older Comments

I once had a chronically late employee. 10-15 minutes per day was the average. Everyone else was on time. The Friday of his 3rd week of employment was a beautiful summer day. Typically, we get slower in the summer. I did what I usually do in that situation. I told the employees to clean up the shop, do maintenance and I said we were leaving an hour early but to put a full 8 hours on there time sheets. Just a nice way to tell the employees I appreciate their hard work. When we were leaving. I told the new employee he had been late 10-15 minutes each day and thereby owed the company an additional hour of work. I also said, being he put 8 hours on each days time sheet he still owed the company an hour. I also told him since the shop was being closed early, he should stand in front of the shop for an hour and tell anyone coming by we were already closed. We all drove out of the parking lot with him standing in front of the locked door. I'm sure when all cars were out of sight he muttered something under his breathe and drove off. But at least I made him think about his lateness. He is still working here 10 years later and is always on time.