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The most outrageous excuses for being late to work

February 23, 2014 11:17 IST

The most outrageous excuses for being late to work


As part of a survey, employers shared the most unique excuses from tardy employees. Read on and be amused!

Running late to work -- even if it means you're just a few minutes behind the clock-- could have tall repercussions.

In fact, according to CareerBuilder, a leading employment portal based in the USA, one in three (35 percent) employers have fired an employee for tardiness, while 48 percent of employers expect their employees to be on time. Every day.

Thirty-four percent employers further revealed that they'd occasionally allow their employees to be late every once in a while, as long as tardiness did not become a pattern while 18 percent said they did not care how their employees managed their time, as long as they'd gotten their work done well.

To understand what prompted employees to come late to work, CareerBuilder had organised a nation-wide survey between November 6 and December 2, 2013.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll, a market research firm based in the US.

The participants included a representative sample of 3,008 full-time, private sector workers and 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals from across industries and company sizes.

The study revealed that that nearly one quarter (23 percent) of employees had admitted to being tardy at least once a month on average, with 15 percent admitting to have arrived late at least once a week.

"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."

In the survey, it was realised that traffic remained the most common reason employees reported late to work (39 per cent), followed by lack of sleep (19 per cent), problems with public transportation (eight per cent), bad weather (seven per cent) and dropping the kids off at daycare or school (six per cent).

Interestingly enough, there were employees who preferred to stay away from the common excuses for their tardiness.

Here are some of the most amazing excuses they received from employees who reported late to work:

1. Employee claimed a zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic (turned out to be true).

2. Employee woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from his home.

3. Employee's cat got stuck in the toilet.

4. Employee couldn't eat breakfast -- he ran out of milk for cereal and had to buy some before getting ready for work.

5. Employee was late to work because he fell asleep in the car when he got to work.

6. Employee accidentally put superglue in her eye instead of contact lens solution, and had to go to the emergency room.

7. Employee thought Halloween was a work holiday.

8. Employee said a hole in the roof caused rain to fall on the alarm clock and it didn't go off.

9. Employee was watching something on TV and really wanted to see the end.

10. Employee forgot that the company had changed locations.

11. Employee got a hairbrush stuck in her hair.

12. Employee was scared by a nightmare.

Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh/