It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. You missed your alarm, your car won’t start, you got stuck in heavy traffic–or your dad offered you a grilled cheese sandwich, and you couldn’t say no. We’ve all been there, being late to work is as American as cherry pie. As funny as some of the excuses listed below are, it’s important that you keep your tardiness in check and try to limit them as best you can for the sake of your job security… but for those who continue to be constantly late, the Internet thanks you.
Excuses for Being Late to Work
A survey from Career Builder revealed that out of around 6,000 people who took it, 29 percent of workers admitted to being late to work at least once a month–while 16 percent said it’s a weekly occurrence. We can probably assume that the majority of these employees who were late probably had legitimate excuses. For those whose reasons weren’t so justifiable, this article couldn’t exist without them. So let’s grab some coffee, have some fun and enjoy these bizarre excuses!
- “I thought about quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.”
- “I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.”
- “My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.”
- “My cat had the hiccups.”
- “I was cornered by a moose.”
- “I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.”
- “I was detained by Homeland Security.”
Related: How to ask for a raise
Helpful tips for communication with your manager if you’re going to be late to work
Whether your reasons for being late are out of this world or more normal, it’s important to communicate to your manager ASAP if anything arises that will make you tardy for work. Follow these tips from The Balance to avoid any fallout:
- Let your boss know ASAP: The moment you know you will be running late to work, send your boss an email, text message or phone call. If possible, offer to come in early or stay late to make up for any hours lost.
- Be (mostly) honest: Lying is bad for job security, especially if you cant remember what you said to who or when. Be aware that some employers will follow up with employees to fact check their reasoning for being late. Try to be honest as much as possible to avoid a future awkward situation.
- Don’t overshare: Keep your excuses simple and avoid a lot of detail. An overly-detailed excuse can be seen as fake, even if it isn’t. If you’re late because you had an interview at another place, you wouldn’t be lying if you said you had an “appointment.”
- Use excuses sparingly: If you’re always late or even missing work for a lot of the same excuses, it can be seen as “overdone” and your employers and employees may see you as unreliable. So basically, only use excuses if they are legitimate.
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