The 10 Most Bizarre Late-To-Work Excuses

Usually, when employees are late to work, excuses include oversleeping or getting caught in traffic. However, according to a CareerBuilder survey published in January 2015, some employees are getting much more creative. The survey of over 3,000 workers and over 2,100 hiring and human resource managers revealed some interesting tidbits:

  • 23% of employees are late at least once a month
  • 14% of employees are late on a weekly basis
  • 30% of employees have lied about the reason for being late
  • 59% of employees stay late to make up for their tardiness

Normal reasons for tardiness:

  • 50% were stuck in traffic
  • 30% cite a lack of sleep
  • 26% blame the weather
  • 12% were trying to get kids to school
  • 7% were waiting on public transportation
  • 6% had wardrobe malfunctions

Keep reading to discover the most outrageous reasons that workers gave for being late:

10 I knocked myself out in the shower


Don’t you hate when that happens? I guess we should be glad that when the worker regained consciousness, he made getting to work his top priority. Also, let’s hope that this Homer-Simpsonesque worker doesn’t actually have a job like Homer, operating the safety console at Springfield’s Nuclear Power Plant. In an event of a meltdown, the self-destruct button must be pressed, so if this employee knocked herself out at work and fell on the button . . .

9 I was drunk and forgot which Waffle House I parked my car next to


Aren’t those the lyrics to a country music song? It’s hard to decide if the most egregious offense is that the employee gets sloppy drunk or that he eats at the Waffle House. Some secrets should have carried to your grave, and this is one of them. This employee may have been on the fast track to management, but now, he may be on the fast track to unemployment.

8 I discovered my spouse was having an affair


Too much information. Waaaaaayyyy to much information. Wouldn’t it be better to say a personal matter came up that you had to handle instead of airing your dirty laundry with your employer? Even worse, if this woman is lying because she doesn’t want to admit she overslept, or wanted to catch the Macy’s 30% off sale - or whatever – she’s ruined her poor husband’s reputation, because the chances that the person she told won’t share this information with others is less than zero.

7 Someone robbed the gas station I was at


People, this is why you should always fill up when you’re down to a quarter tank of gas in the car. If you wait until you’re riding on fumes, you just never know if the gas station is going to be robbed before you can fill up again. I guess that is also why you should always carry a change of clothes in your car. You never know when your dry cleaner may be robbed, and you won’t have any more clothes to wear to work. In fact, you should brew a cup of coffee before you leave home in the morning, since you never know if your favorite coffee shop is going to get robbed before you place your order, and no one can be expected to work before they have that first cup of Joe.

6 I had to wait for the judge to set my bail


Well of course he did. The legal system is funny that way. If you’re suspected of a crime, judges can’t really be expected to move you to the front of the line just because you have to go to work. And if someone is charged with an imprisonable offense, the judge isn’t rushing because he probably knows (although the employee apparently doesn’t) that when an employee posts bail, their company usually posts also – but they’re not posting bail, they’re posting a want ad to find another employee.

5 There was a stranger sleeping in my car


According to Mayo Clinic data, the average American needs 7 hours to 8 hours of sleep, and many of us don’t meet this daily recommendation. And frankly, who can sleep with someone opening and closing car doors, starting the engine, and turning on the radio (and possibly shouting, “Who are you and what are you doing in my car?”). I commend this employee for choosing not to contribute to the nation’s sleep deprivation problem, even though this was a stranger who presumably broke into the car.

4 A herd of deer made me late


Hey, it could happen. In fact, even in one of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities, the New York City Parks Department reported that in just six years, Staten Island’s white-tail deer population increased from 24 to 793. That’s a 3,304 percent increase! In just six years! And State Farm predicts that every year, 1 out of every 169 drivers will hit a deer, resulting in $3,900 worth of vehicle damage. So this is a public service announcement that you should also stop if you see a herd of deer. Granted, they’re more likely to run across the road than to just roam through the town’s streets like an angry mob, but you never know . . .

3 I'm not late -I was thinking about work on the way in


But apparently the employee wasn’t thinking that they might be late if they didn’t pick up their pace. Determining how to compensate workers who are “thinking about work,” although they’re not physically there, or producing any tangible evidence of work could be a nightmare for the HR department. And suppose workers start dreaming about work – should that count? What about talking about work? Watching a TV show about other people who are working?

2 I had a dream I was fired


But presumably, the employee woke up, right? And then remembered that it was a dream, right? If you dream someone is chasing you, do you wake up and start running? If you dream you’re back in high school, do you wake up and go to your high school – 20 years later? Of course not. You may dream that you won a Grammy, but then you wake up and remember that you can’t sing or play a musical instrument. Or, you may dream that you’re married to Beyonce or David Beckham, but then you wake up, roll over, look at Edith, Archie (or fill in your spouse’s name), and immediately you realize that you were dreaming. Dreaming that you got fired is no different. Well, maybe it is because this is one dream that may actually come true.

1 The trunk of my car was stolen


Well at least they didn’t steal the whole car. It’s awfully hard to believe that someone would steal an entire trunk. How much time does it take to remove a trunk, and wouldn’t someone – or everyone - hear the thief? And why on earth would anyone steal a car trunk? This may sound like the most outrageous excuse on the list, BUT the employee had the photo to prove it! Click on the link to see the photo of the car – minus trunk – on CareerBuilder’s site.

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