Fantastical excuses for turning up late

by Iain Hopkins22 Feb 2013

Citing problems with traffic is the most common excuse trotted out for arriving late at work, according to a Career Builder survey. This lame excuse is followed by a lack of sleep, childcare arrangements, weather, and public transport.

However, if someone came to you with one of these excuses, you’d be hard pressed to respond with anything but a hearty chuckle.

Most memorable excuses for arriving late at work:

  • An employee accidentally dropped her purse into a coin-operated newspaper dispenser and couldn’t retrieve it…since her change was in her purse.
  • An employee left home with his flatmate’s girlfriend’s shoes on and had to return in order to change them.
  • One employee’s vengeful wife froze his truck keys in a glass of water in the freezer.
  • An employee was delayed because she had to dress her cement duck in a rain coat since rain was expected later in the day.
  • One employee couldn’t start his car because his breathalyzer indicated that he was drunk.
  • An employee’s hair clippers died in the middle of his attempt to cut his own hair before work so he had to wait for a barber to open.
  • Another employee’s car was attacked by a bear.
  • One employee drove to her ex-employer by mistake.
  • Another employee claimed to have been delayed by delivering a stranger’s baby on the side of the motorway.

*Harris Interactive conducted the survey on behalf of Career Builder between November 1 and November 30, 2012. Participants comprised 2,611 hiring managers and HR professionals in addition to 3,991 full-time, private sector employees in the US.