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12 Amusing Excuses for Being Late to Work

There is no worse feeling than waking up in the morning, rested from good night's sleep, and glancing at the clock, only to do a double-take: You're late!

For most people, knowing they're running late for work strikes the fear of God within them and as a result, they move like there's a fire under their feet to get ready. They hustle, scramble, frantically throw things into a bag and are out the door to ensure a timely -- though unkempt and graceless -- arrival at the office.

But for a smaller group of people, knowing they are running late for work does absolutely nothing except stimulate their creative juices in order to make up the latest excuse as to why they are late for work -- again. […]

Although there certainly are some folks that apparently don’t care if they are late… (and I’ve seemingly had the misfortune of knowing most of them personally)… I think many of the more “amusing” excuses are made by folks that actually are in a mad rush. If they really took the time to make up an excuse and “this” is the best they can offer… hoo boy.

Twenty percent of workers said they arrive late to work at least once a week, according to a February 2009 CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 8,000 workers. Twelve percent said they are late at least twice a week. […]

That’s astonishing… 1 out of 5 regularly late once per week, and 1 out 8 regularly late twice per week. Folks like that wouldn’t last long in many firms. I’m certainly not perfect but I still can’t understand the routinely late frame of mind.

In fact, I was “late” today. Not only did I wake up later than I should, I also (almost) forgot that I was supposed to drop Miss China off at the vet at 8AM. (Instead I was just pulling out of my driveway at that time.) Note that I did not have an 8AM appointment with the vet (that was just the earliest I could drop her off) but I had forgotten to let the office know that I would be arriving later than usual. So I called in to let them know… and I told them exactly what was going on.

(With China caterwauling in the background/back seat, why would I need to make something up? “Here, would you like to speak to the cat?” MROOOWWWwwww!) :D

They buzzed me back in a few minutes regarding a procedural matter, but it wasn’t a big deal… they know I’ll be there and I’ll put my time in… because that’s what I do, and that’s the reputation I have. If I tried to pull this once or twice per week, it definitely wouldn’t fly. Besides, that’s just not professional.

Usimg your imagination:

If you've decided honesty is not the best policy for you, don't try using any of the following excuses as the reason why you're late -- they've been heard before.

Here are 12 of the most outrageous excuses employees have heard for being late to work: […] (see original)

(Speaking of unprofessional… how about that misspelling? Did you catch it?)

Although I’ve always been pretty punctual, there was a time many years ago that I having a little trouble getting my butt in gear. And on those rare occasions when I was running 20-30+ minutes late, I used a not-quite-lying excuse:

Standing in the kitchen, I would take my car keys off the hook; turn the ignition key in midair and say: “Start!” I would then put the keys down, call the office, and tell them that I was having trouble starting the car. Get it? OF COURSE I was “having trouble starting the car”… I was standing in the kitchen!... but they didn’t know that! ;) :D

Fortunately I don’t do that anymore… because I don’t have to, and because I don’t want to. Sometimes even rarely-tardy folks run late… but by “sometimes” I clearly don’t mean several times per month. If you are routinely late for work (or anything) then you’ve got to change either your lifestyle or your job… otherwise unemployment will force those changes upon you.

The general rule is that you should be at your desk, working by your designated starting time. Technically, even if you're at your desk "on time" but you're still booting up your computer, saying your hellos and making a cup of coffee -- you're late.

Though you should always try your best to be punctual every morning, sometimes it's safe to observe the company culture. If you arrive to work every morning to find all of your colleagues diligently working asyou're shuffling in, your tardiness will probably stand out. On the other hand, if most people filter in at their own paces -- within reason -- an occasional late arrival will probably go unnoticed. […]

Back when I was a manager, one young lady was 15-minutes late every day. When I brought it to her attention, she always said that “the train was running late”. So for 2-weeks I daily called the MBTA information line and sure enough, every single day the recorded message said the train was running 15-minutes behind schedule. Although I thought the remedy was sparklingly obvious… I told her to catch the next-earlier train… or risk her job.

Here’s a professional tip: If you want to make an impression on the job, get there before the boss every day. Sure, they appreciate when you stay late… but once they leave the office, they tend to stop thinking about it. Seeing that you’re already there when they arrive… (I.E.: when their mind is freshest)… will likely have more of lasting impact than being part of the scenery that they’re escaping.

In other words… greeting the boss when he or she arrives is generally better than saying “good night” when they leave.

Yeah, I know… being early is much harder than being late… but punctuality can be very rewarding in the long run.


ADDENDUM: They shaved Miss China’s clumpy butt today… she looks like a fashion-disaster poodle. Oh, the indignity!


3 Comments On This Entry

Actually, I'm chronically early. If I'm not at least 15 minutes early, I think I'm late and have to catch up the rest of the day. I usually arrived at school before the principal, and the few times I actually did run late (maybe thrice in six years) I always called, and usually made it by the "on time" clock anyway- which I considered late


KIWIMON, on Apr 8 2009, 02:16 AM, said:


And what... that excuse didn't fly?

***ba-dump bump!***

cobalt-blue, on Apr 8 2009, 05:52 AM, said:

Actually, I'm chronically early. If I'm not at least 15 minutes early, I think I'm late and have to catch up the rest of the day. I usually arrived at school before the principal, and the few times I actually did run late (maybe thrice in six years) I always called, and usually made it by the "on time" clock anyway- which I considered late


If I were in a policy-level position, I would hire you...


... for just about anything.

No, really...

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