Who invented the standard nine-to-five workday? He or she must have been a morning person because if I were setting the workday hours, I’d push it to start at 10 a.m. at the earliest. Why?
While I’d love to be the type of person who just jumps out of bed alert and perky every day, it just doesn’t work for me that way. Take this morning:
When I heard my favorite DJ through my alarm at sunrise, I hit my snooze several times in an attempt to squeeze as much time out of my slumber as possible. This is my typical M.O. — not very good for someone who actually read an article yesterday about how to become a morning person.
But despite my tendencies to linger in bed as long as possible, I have to say I am fairly punctual arriving to the office — most of the time.
Seems I’m not alone. A new CareerBuilder survey reveals that 16 percent of workers said they arrive late to work at least once a week, but that’s down from 20 percent in last year’s survey. An additional 8 percent said they are late at least twice a week, down from 12 percent last year. What’s the cause of the decline in job tardiness? Could it be the economy?
“Some workers may be more concerned with the nuances of their on-the-job performance these days, resulting in fewer late arrivals,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “Regardless of the economy, though, getting to work on time can be more of a priority in some workplaces than in others. It’s important for workers to be aware of their company’s tardiness policies and make sure to be honest with their manager if they are going to be late.”
In the survey, workers shared a variety of reasons for being tardy, led by traffic (32 percent) and lack of sleep (24 percent). Seven percent said getting their kids ready for school or day care was the cause of their lateness, while the same amount said bad weather was the culprit. Other common reasons included public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets. All of these reasons seem legitimate, and I’ll bet all workers have fallen victim to at least one.
In my defense, I’d have to say that not waking up on time — once in awhile – is a fairly typical (and acceptable) reason for being late to work. So is adjusting to daylight saving time. (Note: This is legit only in springtime when we lose an hour from the time change.) But then there are the excuses. It seems people will use any excuse for being late for work. Here are some of the real-life excuses hiring managers have heard from their employees explaining their tardiness:
- I got mugged and was tied to the steering wheel of my car.
- My deodorant was frozen to the windowsill.
- My car door fell off.
- It was too windy.
- I dreamt I was already at work.
- I had to go to the hospital because I drank antifreeze.
- I had an early morning gig as a clown.
- A roach crawled in my ear.
- I saw an elderly lady at a bus stop and decided to pick her up.
- My dog swallowed my cell phone.
A final word of caution to those of you who are punctuality challenged: While some employers are more lenient with worker tardiness, others have stricter policies. Thirty-four percent of employers said they have terminated an employee for being late.
What’s the best excuse you’ve heard or used? Tell us below.