Employers List Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late

CareerBuilder releases top 10 most outrageous excuses

It happens all the time, we know. You think you won the lottery (but you didn’t), a fox stole your keys and of course your cat got the hiccups. That is why you’re late, right?

For most of us, maybe we forgot to set the alarm clock, the kids got sick or we got a flat tire. But believe it or not, those first examples are real excuses people have tried to use to explain why they are late for work.

Job website CareerBuilder compiled a list of the top ten most outrageous excuses in their annual survey of more than 7,000 workers and 3,000 employers. And the list is amusing:

10. Employee had to take a personal call from the state governor (turned out to be true).
9. Employee was late because of a job interview with another firm.
8. Employee said he wasn’t late because he had no intention of getting to work before 9:00 a.m. (his start time was 8:00 a.m.).
7. Employee’s leg was trapped between the subway car and the platform (turned out to be true).
6. Employee claimed a fox stole her keys.
5. Employee believed his commute time should count toward his work hours.
4. Employee’s angry roommate cut the cord to his phone charger, so it didn’t charge and his alarm didn’t go off.
3. Employee got distracted watching the TODAY Show.
2. Employee thought she had won the lottery (but didn’t).
1. Employee’s cat had the hiccups.

Those, of course, are not your run of the mill excuses. Traffic is the most common reason for tardiness, accounting for 31 percent of all excuses. That’s followed by lack of sleep, at 18 percent, and bad weather, at 11 percent. Getting kids to school or daycare also ranks in the top five.

About 16 percent of workers say they arrive to work late at least once a week, while 27 percent say it is only about once a month that they arrive late.

Public transportation delays, pets, spouses, watching TV and internet usage were other common reasons given for tardiness.

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