Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 09 2015

10 Ridiculous Excuses For Being Late To Work

By Carolyn Clark



The alarm clock mysteriously didn’t go off. The traffic on the expressway was slowed by a stalled car. The train wasn’t running on time.

Have you ever blamed one of these reasons for walking into the office 30 minutes late? If so, you’re not alone. A new survey from CareerBuilder shows that plenty of employees struggle to be on time. More than 20 percent of workers admit coming in late at least once each month, and 14 percent do it on a weekly basis. While the excuses above are fairly common, the CareerBuilder research reveals that some employees are getting especially creative when their bosses ask for explanations. Here’s a look at 10 of the most bizarre reasons included in the responses.

1) I knocked myself out in the shower.

This boss just figured out the perfect employee holiday gift: a shower mat.

2) I was drunk and forgot which Waffle House I parked my car next to.

This excuse raises a more important question: how do you order your hash browns at Waffle House?

3) I discovered my spouse was having an affair, so I followed him this morning to find out who he was having an affair with.

No amount of work can interfere with a private investigation.

4) Someone robbed the gas station I was at, and I didn’t have enough gas to get to another station.

It’s a good thing the robber didn’t try to use this set of wheels as a getaway car.

5) I had to wait for the judge to set my bail.

Was this employee the robber from the previous excuse? I smell a bigger operation here.

6) There was a stranger sleeping in my car.

Translation: listen, boss, I’m going to need a raise to fix the faulty door locks on my car.

7) A deer herd moving through town made me late.

Was the herd occupying every road in town?

8) I’m not late. I was thinking about work on the way in.

This is my favorite, most philosophical excuse on the list. Even when I’m not here, I’m still here, I imagine this employee saying. Where is here? Where is there? Who are we?

9) I dreamed that I got fired.

Well, if this employee keeps showing up late, those dreams may become reality.

10) I went out to my car to drive to work, and the trunk had been stolen.

While I struggled to believe all of these excuses, this one is actually true. Ladies and gentlemen of the being-late-to-work jury, I submit the below piece of photographic evidence.



These excuses can put a smile on anyone’s face, but being late is no laughing matter. Forty-one percent of employers have fired an employee for showing up late to the office.

If “late” isn’t in your vocabulary, plenty of organizations will love you. Go to the PCMA Career Center to browse new openings where your punctuality can pay off.

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