Nuttiest excuses for being late to work

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Worker hitting snooze on the alarm clockThe alarm went off this morning — eight times. You heard it but were too involved in your dream, in which you were fighting with Chewbacca over the last Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream pint at the grocery store until Charlie Sheen somehow showed up and told you both to just calm down and drink some chocolate milk, for it to make any impact.

Wait, was I the only one who dreamt that?

Regardless, you’ve likely been late to work at least once — due to oversleeping, your alarm not going off, being kept awake all night by your upstairs neighbor’s snoring (again, just me?), traffic jams, or a number of other “standard” reasons. And you might have an understandable boss, who knows that you’re a great and responsible worker, but that these things sometimes happen.

The late debate

Chances are, you took the high road and fessed up with the real reason you were running late. And after all, you wouldn’t be alone in your mishap: A new CareerBuilder survey on worker lateness shows that 15 percent of workers are late to work at least once a week (though that’s down from 16 percent in 2009 and 20 percent in 2008). It appears the recession has been a likely cause of the downward trend in lateness — though it hasn’t made it disappear altogether. And for the most part, workers shared a variety of reasons for being tardy similar to the ones I mentioned above: Thirty percent said they were delayed by traffic, and 19 percent said they were late because of a lack of sleep. Nine percent blamed bad weather for their tardiness, while 8 percent said there was a delay in getting their kids to daycare or school. Other common reasons included public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets.

Then again, you might not take that high road I mentioned earlier — and out of fear of getting in trouble or your boss losing respect for you, you might have thought that coming up with an outlandish excuse was a much a better idea (Spoiler alert: It’s definitely not).

Some of the workers in our latest survey, on that fateful morning in which they were late for work, dove deeply into the depths of their souls, scanning their memories for snippets of the scariest thrillers they’d ever seen (ahem, Nicolas Cage in “Wicker Man”) or the sappiest dramas to help them weave a tall, tall tale — either that or they have much more exciting lives than I (also completely possible).

Without further ado, here are the most bizarre excuses for being late:

  • Read between the (facial) lines  | “My Botox appointment took longer than I expected.”
  • Feline fury  | “My cat attacked me.”
  • The Keanu Reeves Defense  | “I was delayed due to public transportation (employee produced a note signed by “The Bus Driver”).
  • No breakfast in bed that morning |  “I didn’t get any sleep because my boyfriend’s wife threw me out of the house.
  • Channeling Nicolas Cage  | “My car was inhabited by a hive of bees and I couldn’t use the car for two hours until bees left.”
  • D’oh Nuts | “I knew I was already going to be late, so I figured I’d go ahead and stop to get donuts for everyone.”
  • Ready to pull a Britney  | “My hair was hurting my head.”
  • Karma Policing  | “My Karma is not in sync today.”
  • It’s not me, it’s you  | “I’m not late — the company clock is wrong.”

While these excuses stand out, they’re far from the norm. Bosses also usually understand that we’re all human and mistakes happen; as long as the tardiness doesn’t become a pattern, all is forgiven. A word of caution, though — 32 percent of employers surveyed said they have terminated an employee for being late. Fair or not, it happens — and as an employee or someone currently seeking a job, keep in mind the consequences of your actions. As Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, says:

“Whether it is a result of fear associated with the economy or just a shift in attitude, workers over the last few years are doing a better job of managing their schedules and getting into the office at the designated time. While workers will sometimes be late due to circumstances out of their control, they need to be aware of their companies’ tardiness policies. Regardless of the reason, workers who are running late should always be honest with their managers.”

Tips to a more timely road ahead

  • Read up on your employee handbook (if you have one) to better understand what rules are already laid out for you by company policy. If you don’t have one or are unsure about your company’s attendance policy, reach out to HR.
  • Pull your boss aside and ask what his or her personal preferences are for your arrival and departure at work. Does your boss tend to come in late and stay late, or does he or she have a fresh pot of coffee brewing before anyone arrives and expect everyone to get into work on the dot? Find out — by having clear expectations ahead of time and knowing each other’s tendencies, you’ll understand each other better and create clear expectations of the work relationship.
  • If you’re comfortable talking frankly to your boss, let him or her know your habits. Do you need to walk your dog in the morning and once at lunch, but are willing to stay later if necessary to make up for it? Or do you have a screaming baby keeping you up at night? You may be surprised to find that by opening up the lines of communication and being honest with your boss about your tardiness issues, he or she will work with you to come up with a great solution for both of you.

And then, you can work harder on winning that communication battle with your alarm clock.

What are the most outrageous late-to-work excuses you’ve heard or used yourself? How did things turn out?

      • I was late once in my 5 years at my last was cause the power went out and I didn’t get up in time.. but my boss chewed me out anyway.. so for our Secret Santa I got him and got him this hilarious cookbook called “Get in the Kitchen, BIT@HES!”… seriously.. google it.. it was perfect… but, he fired me a month later.. but so well worth it.. i got a better job and am now making more than him!

        • Carl, great story. Can you share or are you willing to share after you got fired, how were you able to get another job and inform them you were terminated? I’m having that difficulty right now

      • Hey Rachael, This is a JOB SEARCH website. So maybe he was suggesting this isn’t a helpful article for someone who is JOB SEARCHING. Now who’s the idiot?

      • Ya, Rachel. that’s the answer…just go get one. There everywhere if people wuold quit being so picky and so lazy right?….WRONG. Depending on your demographic, age, experience and economic regions, it’s not that easy, If it were, we wouldn’t have a national economic crises.

        Now who’s really the moron for making that statement…hmmmm

        • ok if no one is picky, then you would be willing to work in fast food if you need a job that badly right? That’s what I thought, people complain that there are NO jobs, but fact is fast food, and all food service companies ALWAYS need help, nice try though!

          • Betsey…not every town or city is ALWAYS hiring at fast food restaurants. There have been so many plant closings around here that those places usually do not have openings. The community college only accepts 13 percent…yes 13 PERCENT of applicants because of so many applying. They need to find another career. People who have worked at those factories for 20, 30 and even 40 years…knowing nothing else. It’s not always easy to just go get a job. How do I know this? Because I am one of those that IS so desperate to get a job, to keep food on the table, to work anywhere at this point! It is such a struggle to feed my children everyday. So, before you make comments like that, know what you are talking about!

          • @betseyross – uh, yes, actually, I HAVE been desperate enough for a job to apply at fast food restaurants. Guess what, brain trust? They usually won’t hire college graduates (excepting for management sometimes, but they don’t have an endless need for upper-level positions). This is because it takes time to train new employees and people who are clearly just going to leave if they can possibly find a job that pays more than minimum wage (which wouldn’t pay even my extremely meager bills anyhow, though it’d certainly help) are not a good investment. I hate people like you who assume that people are simply unemployed because they’re not willing to take a McJob to see themselves through the tough times. THAT IS NOT THE CASE.

            Furthermore, I had a friend who (being 25 and without even a high school diploma, was exactly the sort of exploitable young person fast food places do want to hire) did get himself a job at a fast food place. They couldn’t or wouldn’t give him full time (or conveniently, any benefits whatsoever); he could barely pay his $400/mo rent and electric/phone bills, let alone buy groceries or, god forbid, FANCY LUXURIES like clothing, furniture, laundry detergent, etc.

            Perhaps next you’ll suggest I take up prostitution? It’s a job, after all! What am I, too proud? It’s clearly MY fault. I’m sure someone like you would think it’s a great suggestion–FOR ME. You’d never do it… but clearly, you don’t have to.

            • Excuse me, but before you tell me that I have things handed to me, you are sadly mistaken. I am paying to put myself through college, and just because 1 or 2 people are willing to work fast food, doesnt mean that the majority who complain about not having jobs will. My mother works in unemployment claims for our state, and more often than not people wont stoop down to the level of fast food. I do work in fast food, and they would rather hire someone for the time being, even if they are as OVER-QUALIFIED as you lot claim to be, just so that they have people to work, even if it’s not a long term commitment.

              • Folks can we all step back and take a breath?
                the site carries some humor some advise. I am working now. I have always worked. If we look at the causes of why we are in the Great Recession we see bankers and brokers willing to sell defective products to gullible people who didnt do their homework/ or who trusted these crooks. Not one of those people are in jail or indicted.Why is that? Because the regulators are going to get a job with the very people they oversee in two years. So lets stop blaming each other for the few pitiful scraps the ruling class throws our way and advocate. Support unions, advocate for full time jobs, stop tax breaks for sending jobs overseas, support medical care for all(do you really want to lose yor house if you get sick?)Get some job any job to start foster care work relief go back to something you love start a small business do something and lets work together not attack each other over web sites please cant we all get along?

              • In Hot Springs, Arkansas a 41-year-old woman with a lifetime of experience in such fields as legal, medical, and industrial cannot find a job. I’m not a college graduate, so underqualified to be the president of a large corporation. I have been working since I was 15 years old, never in fast food, so the fast food restaurants in the area (Burger King, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Wendy’s, etc.) will not hire me because I’m overqualified. They have signs akin to billboards up looking for warm bodies to stick in their kitchen, but when someone like me comes in they simply tell me that I’m overqualified for any position they have, including management, and send me on my way.

                People who point fingers or generalize others based on a limited knowledge of the situation are what I consider to be the most ingnorant human beings on the planet. Whether you have it well or you don’t have it at all, you have no right to assume that people who are unemployed desire to stay so due to laziness or not “stooping” to fast food work.

                How about making a positive suggestion sometime? Suggest a job-seeker’s website or suggest the URL to classified ads….something helpful instead of being so nasty to each other.

                In Hot Springs, Arkansas (don’t know if anybody that reads this forum is in the area) our local newspaper classified ads can be found at

                Good luck finding employment and God bless.


        • That might sound untrue to most but I had a bat flying around my house one night also. Thought I got it out cause I could not find it when I went to look for it again and then the next night it was back. It blended in with the dark colored curtians on my wall. I finally got it out.

    • I had an employee tell me he forgot his pants and did not realize it till he got to work and was getting out of his car. Too embarrassed to come tell me he drove back home to get them.

      • I walked all the way to the train station once and then noticed I forgot to put my skirt on. Luckily I had a coat on but I had to walk home, put on my skirt and walk back to the train station. I had to take a later train and got to work late. My boss thought it was funny so all was okay.

        • Initially I thought, how could you forget an article of clothing, didn’t you feel a draft, but then, I thought about the time I was late to work because I forgot my shoes (I had on flip flops for comfort on the bus). Because of the dress code, I had to go to payless and buy a quick pair of dress sandals. I would rather be late, than get written up for not following the dress code. (because we don’t clock in and I could make it up on the end of the day). At my job it is more likely to be written up for dress code than tardiness.

          • I’ve totally done that! Had to buy a new pair of dress shoes because I didn’t notice until I was almost at work (which is 40 minutes from my house!!!)

        • Laura,
          Not to sound sexist but if I were your boss I might have preferred you on time and skirtless. I guess we are very informal around here.

        • That was hilarious!!! You must have really been in a sleep daze of some sort. When I read this, I laughed so hard. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but just the way it sounded was too much. Let me tell you about my big boo boo. I was in the Air Force and for every type of uniform we had, there was a hat for each one. Well, I went to meet the rest of the squadron for a morning get together and I mismatched and wore my dress blue flight cap with my green fatigues. No one ever let me forget that.

    • It should not matter if you are late for whatever reason, as long as you make uo your time if you’re on salary. Just let your supervisor know you are going to be late. If it’s hard to get there by 8:00 see if you can change your schedule to begin at 8:30. It kinda ticks me off that someone should be able to tell you what time to be somewhere even if it is your job; If you get your work done, what does it matter if you’re late sometimes? As long as you don’t charge them for the 15 minutes you were late.

      • BenBen – In some jobs employers do have a right to insist you arrive @ a certain time, due to nature of the job. Teachers can’t be late since students are delivered/arrive @ a certain time & also picked up/leave @ a set time. Hard to make up the teaching time to an empty classroom of chairs/desks. That’s only one example of many that I can give you. Sounds like you have a job that’s the exception, rather than the norm (or maybe there’s a lot of redundancy & your fellow workers are covering for you when you’re late).

      • That depends on the job. The majority of positions in companies are in some way interdependent on others. If you are in sales in a smaller company and show up 30 minutes late for work in the morning, it may mean the store has to open later because no one else is there to do the work. If it’s a larger company, it may mean that others have to cover your area as well as theirs, which will put them behind on their own work. If you’re in customer service, it may mean people calling for support will not have any help until you finally arrive. In other positions, you may have a morning meeting that you need to attend and being late either prevents you from being at the meeting or causes the meeting to have to wait on you. There are MANY reasons why being late affects others and why an employer should expect their employees to be on time.

        If you happen to have one of the fairly limited number of positions where you could come in any time of the day and work your 8 hours and it wouldn’t affect anyone else even if you came in at 4pm and worked until midnight, then that’s one thing. But most positions are not like that.

        In addition, the majority of reasons people are late are very easily avoided. Bad weather – leave earlier. Traffic is always bad – leave earlier. Power outages are common – use an alarm clock with a backup battery or a wind-up alarm clock. You have to walk your dog – do it earlier. You didn’t get much sleep – find out why and fix it (go to sleep earlier, etc). If the lack of sleep is due to a baby… oh well. Most parents have had little sleep for this reason and can still get to work on time. If you can’t, then get a job that starts later in the day.

        There are valid reasons for being late, but most of the time, you can avoid being late by changing something very small. And there is no reason why an employer can’t expect you to make that kind of change.

        • Riamus-
          Thanks for your comments. It really shed light onto my situation and how very entangled I am with being late.
          I am regularly tardy to work and all of the reasons you listed have been my situation at one time or another. I do not intend or intentionally try to be late but I am just a “late” person. I have been given a couple warnings from my employer and even with that, I am still running 10-15 minutes late almost everyday. Before, it was 20-30 so although I’ve made improvements, I know it’s not good enough. I don’t really understand why although I know I could potentially be fired for my tardiness, my mind will not send that message to my body to get me out the door in a reasonable time. I really need some intervention! Although I hate to use this comparison (for more reasons than one), I sometimes feel like a crack addict. I just can’t stop being late. I’m hooked! I really do feel bad when I inconvenience so many people but I just don’t know how to stop. Can someone please, please help me!

          • @Marie

            If you’re perpetually late, try adjusting your schedule to be 15 minutes early instead of on time. I realize this can’t be done sometimes due to bus schedules, daycare, school, etc… but if you can do it, try it. Reset your wake-up alarm for 15 minutes earlier and set a “Must Leave” alarm (in time to leave and be at work 15 minutes early). Create a set routine that fits in with the amount of time you have between getting up and leaving (ie – if you spend 10 minutes every morning on facebook, make sure you count that time in – or stop logging on in the morning). Stick with your routine – and if you need to make changes reevaluate your timeframe… don’t assume it will continue working.

            I had a job that I had to be up at 3 am for… I was perpetually late until I moved everything forward by a few minutes and it made all the difference.

            • Thanks for your comments K.J. I am going to try this for tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.

              I really don’t want to loose my job and I want to regain my employers respect again and show them that I do take my job seriously.


              Anyone else feel free to comment on my remarks. Any advice I can get I’ll take.

          • I don’t believe that you aren’t intentionally late. You do things because you get something out of it. You continue to be late because somewhere in your mind, you enjoy the attention it gets you.

            The problem with your attitude is that it will restrict you from ever succeeding in a career. Why would someone look twice at you for promotion potential when you can’t even get to work on time?

        • Very well written like a good managers usually plan in such a way to avoid being late to work. Honestly to say, I am very impressed with your concept that can run any organization perfectly.It’s perfect.

      • Well here’s the deal “BenBen” . Your boss pays you to come to work. He/She gets to set the rules. If you don’t like the rules, you get to decide to go work somewhere else, or they will decide that for you. This is how capitalism….and the world…works. Sorry Sparky, but they have the law on their side. Time to live in the adult world now.

        • That IS how capitolism works.. for now. If you look at some of the “right to work” initatives that some in the obama administration are trying to get passed, people will be able to just NOT show up if they feel like it and retain your job. Though some would praise this as a victory for workers ‘rights’.. just another way capitolism and the country is goin to crap in tiny ways each day. such as the maddison WI protestors.. (read what they EXACTLY are protesting about)

          • David,

            “Right to work” initiatives have NOTHING to do with this. Right to work means that an employee cannot be forced to join in contribute to a union.
            Obama is opposed to most ‘Right To Work” laws.

            Next time do some research and save your anti Obama rhetoric for an appropriate venue.

      • In my career field we are under constant deadlines. Having said that I am known to terminate staff due to tardiness. Having said that I will take corrective steps first, but ultimately i find that some people just cannot arrive to work on time. Others arriving late to works adds undue stress to the rest of my staff whom already work extremely hard. I do wish to add that i do forgive the occasional lateness but i make a further commute, down heavily traveled roads, and if i can arrive on time everyday i believe they should be able to as well. To say that it doesnt matter what time you arrive is very selfish and generally inappropriate to do to your co-workers

        • Well put! Sounds like my job isn’t nearly as strict (with deadlines) as yours. But, it does require some initiative to get up and get to work on time. I don’t fire someone i know and respect for being late a few times. Now, if I were late everyday, i wouldn’t have the ability to coach someone on tardiness. I manage with the “don’t ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself” mentality.

      • I had one job, which I was happy to leave that used to freak if you weren’t at your desk at seven am on the dot. Even one minute late would get you a reprimand. They never took into acount that with my workload I worked an minimum of an extra hour a day, and most days an extra two or three hours. I was salary, not hourly, so they got plenty of work out of me. One year they dumped a ridiculous deadline on me, and I told them it would be impossible to get what they wanted done in that time frame. Didn’t matte, I ended up working new years eve day from 7am to midnight. Than came back in on New years day and worked 7am o 4pm. Came in th next day at 7am to turn in the repotr on time. But the next day got in five minutes past 7 and was chewed out in front of the office! Did not matter that I worked the holiday, while everyone else was home.
        I look for an employer who understands I’ll put in the time to support the company, an they appreciate it!

      • BenBen – you sound like a lazy idiot that believes the world revolves around you. The company you work for doesnt just make up arbitary times for you to show up to work so that they can punish and fire you. They set that time for a specific reason, because it benefits the company. If you are going to be late 15 mins every day, then A) youre an asshole. B) you are probably not helping youre company or meeting their goals. Just be a man and get there on time!

      • I used to be 5-10 minutes late every day to work, but always stayed late to make up for it. I figured since I did this, what’s the big deal, why should they be upset if I”m a little late? Then I opened up my own business and discovered… IS a big deal! If I’m here on time to open my business, and I”m paying you out of MY money generated from MY business, you’d better be here working and making me some more money to justify that paycheck of yours! The bills don’t pay themselves, and a worker helps generate INCOME for the business….if you’re not here working, you’re not helping my business to make money, in fact, I’m LOSING money to pay you for nothing! Everyone who says no big deal being late…..try looking at it from the other side, and imagine you paying out your hard-earned money to someone for nothing……you wouldn’t be happy either.

      • A fellow employee is habitually 15 minutes late. To fix this, we told her that the new starting time was 7:30 instead of 8:00. Now she’s 15 minutes early every day! hahahahha

        • I did something similar to myself. I decided to get to the office an hour early to beat traffic and have personal time before starting work. Now if I am late, I am still early and not stressed out!

    • It’s fine if you don’t have a job at the moment. But don’t turn into my brother who is also unemployed and spends all his time on World of war craft. Do not turn into him. Everybody dont rack on him just because he doesn’t have a job. Take your time.

    • Why should the boss need to babysit the employees? There is no reason an employee should need someone else to make sure they arrive and leave on time. It’s called being responsible… something that is severely lacking these days.

      • RIAMUS-I could not have said it better myself. There is a generation coming up that does not feel they have to do anything. Come and go whenever they want. Late daily,using all of their vacation and sick time within 6 months and then wonder why they get in trouble for missing work,they have used all of their time off for the year.There is a terrible work ethic with many people under 40,they feel that just showing up is enough. The people with this kind of attitude are helping run this country into the ground. We are a society of politically correct wimps who do not feel it necessary to put any effort into their job. All I can say is that there are 10 people looking for jobs that would be happy to take your job.Quit your and stay home and then you do not need any excuses for being late.

        • I hate when people talk about this young adult generation and how lazy they are and all of this. Some blame has to be put on the people that raised them. The same OLD folks complaining the same one’s with the lazy kids.

          • I have to say, I am 19 and have been working at the same job for 5 years now. I managed to hold down a part time job and school at the same time. I never missed a day of work or school. The only time I was late to work, (20 minutes) was because I was in a car accident. However, my workplace was the first place I called, to notify them I would be a few minutes late. I may be a part of that so called “lazy generation”, but I can at least hold down a job.

        • I am 20 years old and, though I once felt that people my age have an inferior work ethic, this is not the case. I may be lazy and I may hate work, but when I start a task I work smarter and finish in less than half the time it takes most people of the older generation. That is how my generation functions. We are secondary consumers and multi-taskers. I do not believe in a standard work schedule. All that matters is that you get your work done on time and it is well done. Of course there are jobs that must be on a schedule, but outside of waste management and education, I don’t believe that a schedule is completely necessary for many jobs, especially those in the creative and pure business fields. We should be paid according to the quality and quantity of our work, not our time spent on it.

          • I’m always late. I work two jobs, work at least 6 days a week, and usually don’t get home until after midnight. Which means I don’t get to sleep until around 2am. Those of you that say I’m lazy because I’m late – buzz off! I probably get more done in 4 hours at my job than you do in 12 at yours. You spend too much time reading articles on MSN and talking to your coworkers about the Oscars last night (by the way, I was working last night). People shouldn’t get paid for the time their butt is in an office chair, they should be paid for the work they accomplish. Even though I’m always late, I got a 15% raise at my job a year ago because I’m an exceptional worker.

            That being said, it’s a bad habit I wish to break. I’m constantly stressed by the clock and tired. But “get up earlier” doesn’t help as a solution. Neither does “give yourself more time” because no matter what traffic and the weather is like, I have 30 minutes to get from job 1 to job 2.

            • The only way to keep from ever being late is to leave at a time to get there a half an hour early and who wants to get there that early if they don’t pay you for it or even appreciate that you work extra….I am usually exactly on time or 2 mins late. But I don’t take smoke breaks like half of the other employees at my office. So I feel that the times I am a minute or 2 late it’s not big deal.

      • Is this just a big shit talking post page?? What is wrong with all of you? Everyone is entitled to their opinion! Stop acting like 5 year olds and just be happy for the guy that gets to come to work a few minutes late. Maybe if you weren’t all so terrible at relating to others, the world just might be in your favor for a day.

  1. my cat actually did attack me and I was not only late- i missed 3 days work. i had a brass candleholder on my headboard and my cat knocked it off hitting me in the forehead which left a nasty cut and gave me a concussion. my boss was not amused and even with the emergency room report did not believe me

    • I was attacked by a strange cat that had gotten into my kitchen when I moved to a new home. He bit me badly on the arm; it got infected and I was off work for several days. So, strange does happen

      Bye the way-always got to the doctor if a cat bites you

    • That was HILARIOUS! Who sleeps with a brass candleholder on the headboard?? If you had recorded and youtubed that, it would’ve ben viral. Cats are awesome.

      • Well, the cat didn’t actually attack you – he knocked something over that hit you in the head. One of my cats CONSTANTLY knocks things over when he wants my attention – usually for TREATS. I had to cat proof my house when I got him. My other cats never did or do that. He also likes to chew things. Cardboard is his favorite flavor. :-P

    • I have some brass candle holders but I can’t imagine any of them giving me a concussion if they fell on my head. You must have one heavy brass candle holder!
      My cats always knock things over too. I guess now you know to never have anything heavy above your headboard.
      I’m sorry your boss is such a major jerk. I can’t believe he didn’t believe an emergency report. Did he think you designed and printed it yourself??

  2. I had a boss from hell for five years. He never believed anything I said and actually called a doctors office to confirm I was there once! Unfortunately he called the wrong office and I was almost fired until I called the doctor where I actually went and had THEM tell him, yes, I had been there that morning!!!! But God’s wheel grinds slowly and he was eventually fired for harrassment. You just can’t get away with being a horses butt for forever.

    • Well even though I was told “we’re flexible” for dr. appts and such I would have to bring a note following an appt. I felt harr”assed” and I too was able to see the south end of that north bound donkey leave.

      I don’t like being late myself, drives me crazy so I keep myself on a strict morning schedule.

  3. When I was a supervisor, I had a guy call and tell me that evil spirits had attacked him in the night, and he had to take the day off to go see a local witch doctor, so the evil spirits would leave him alone. … apparently this is Pacific Island culture…

  4. I came late to work intentionally on certain days and especially on Mondays because being a widow for five years – My boss manner towards me have changed to be very mean, conniving, and I can go on. I just avoid him when I am late and hide until he goes to his daily routine. Am the best worker but the personally attacks have drawn me to be late now and again. I don’t care what he thinks because he can release me like I have ask him to because I am only human I don’t need the s….

    • wow u guys are pretty mean i mean it does need to be worked on a little and re-written because of how well it dont make a whole lot of sense but still, for some people writing wasnt they’re best skill and to this day it can still be a struggle.So for those of you people who come one here to be little jack @$$’$ and make fun of peoples why of writing then you aren’t very good people and shouldn’t be on here in the first place. These comments are to share or agree with one another, not to make enemies and become those stupid troll cyber bullies.

      • and before you guys get all nasty and mean on me I meant to put a comma after the “well it” to transtion of how i just didn’t know how to explain its format

    • I have called in and said that before. What’s the use in lying. I was taking a sanity day…….Have also just said I’m sick which was true. I was sick of work.

  5. Hands down the best excuse that is guaranteed to get you out of work every time and you don’t even need a doctor’s note, but it is a bit embarassing to say to you boss, “i won’t be able to make it in today because i’m having explosive diarrhea.” Your boss will most likey say “see you tomorrow,” hang up the phone and you will never hear about it again.

  6. Then there are the South Arican ones.

    I’ll be there “just now” which means… see you when I see you! has to be my favorite!

    Oh and don’t forget my car was stolen, don’t laugh it has happened to a few people I know.


    • I hate that ahorita “just now” sh!t. My fiance does that all the time, and I’m usually like, “when now? an hour? 2 hours? 2 DAYS?!!”


  7. I think I have encountered the best worst excuse ever. An employee once called off because her mother had gotten Agent Orange! I had to check the calendar to be sure I wasn’t transported back in time to the 60′s!

  8. I worked with someone who always had great excuses for not being able to come in to work, either on time or at all.

    Once it was because a log truck was parked in front of her driveway so she couldn’t get to work for hours (she supposedly had a picture to prove her case, but no one ever saw it).

    Another time, she didn’t show up to work on a Wednesday because she fell asleep on Tuesday night and didn’t wake up until Thursday.

    • I know that many won’t believe this, but I believe it is possible that unseen forces can be at work trying to muddle up your day, for some. You may have all the best intentions, but then murphy’s law seems to exist only to prove its point in your life. I am chronically late, I don’t even try to make excuses, because some are so unbelievable, that even I don’t believe them. Here are a few examples, true as well. I superglued my fingers together while trying to repair something (bottle exploded),I was handling a suicidal person who called for help, locked my keys and self out of house and car numerous times, and had to assist an elderly person in a crisis, the only time I was early was when I forgot to set my clock back an hour for daylight savings… Natural forces are at work.

          • Natural forces, mumbo-jumbo. If you’re late, you’re late. No excuses needed. And what boss is going to believe me if I were to walk in and say, “Hey, I was late today because natural unseen forces decided I wasn’t going into work on time to avoid being crushed to death by a huge semi that almost tipped over on Route 9. How do I know? The spirits told me.”

              • I was late once; because while driving with a friend, the front left tire began to make a weird noise. Then, from the left view, we could see a tire bouncing beside the car. We were on the highway, but luckily on a very low MPH on-ramp. We were fine. I think another person must’ve been getting late to work, because when the tire bounced over the median and he hit it, he just stopped, look over the bumper, and drove right off without looking around for a cause of the mysterious tire flying out of the sky.

  9. I’m embarrassed to admit I once had to call in late to work because I’d gotten soap in my eyes while showering that morning.
    I had started using a new face wash and after accidently getting it in my eyes I felt like they were melting out of their sockets. Needless to say since I could open my eyes for an hour and a half, I couldn’t exactly drive in to work either.
    My boss was actually kind of amused by the story.

  10. I was late so many days in highschool. Late to a class I’d claim I fell down the stairs, late to first period I claimed I found my cat in the road so I had to bury it. Another time I told the principal my car got a flat on the way to school. Also, when a supervisor or otherwise higher up is looking at you and you know your about to get yelled at. Start coughing. The sympathy stops them from giving you a detention or firing you (it saved me from both :)

  11. The best excuse I ever got from an employee was that he sprained his ankle while riding his bike, then promptly got stung by a wasp on the other ankle. The best part was that this was 100% truth…I still giggle about that phone 2 years later.

  12. The best excuse I ever got from an employee was that he sprained his ankle while riding his bike, then promptly got stung by a wasp on the other ankle. The best part was that this was 100% truth…I still giggle about that phone call 2 years later.

    • i had a waitress request to leave in the middle of lunch because her bra was to small and it was hurting her so she needed to go purchase a larger one!!!

    • That one I can understand. You don’t want to have your nipples protruding through your blouse, shirt or sweater in a professional setting. I wouldn’t come to work without my bra either, unless I could find a shirt with pockets on the front or something. Or maybe wear a vest over my shirt if I could find a vest.

  13. I’ve heard every excuse. EVERY excuse. One time I called an employee to come in and cover a shift of another employee. I told the person who answered the phone that I needed Carl to come in and work the shift. Then was told Carl couldn’t come in because he committed suicide the night before. . . Sure enough I read it in the papers a couple of days later. . . So I HAVE heard them all. . . RIP Carl.

  14. I had someone call in to say that he was very ill, had been sick all day, and just could not get his 110 degree fever to go down. I asked him if he was calling from the morgue but apparently he really had no idea what happens after 105:)

  15. worked with a guy once who was late all the time. One excuse he used was that his clothes dryer was not working. One of my fellow workers asked him why that was a good excuse, did he have hot air running all over the floor?

  16. My husband didn’t want to go to work because of a hangover. He called his boss and told him his grandmother had passed away ( she had passed 15 years before). He told him that she lived in Lynchburg, TN and was holding a wake at her home. He got the whole week off with pay. We were not married at the time and I would never have let him do it. That is just wrong.

  17. I worked for a travel agency several years ago and I was reprimanded for being late 8 seconds (not 8 minutes but 8 seconds). My boss told me I was late but I argued that it was exactly 8:00 A.M. sharp but he told me it was 8:00 A.M with 8 seconds, and I tought he was kidding but he was not, so he wrote my name down on his tardy list. I felt that this was ridiculous and I was quite upset because he gave me a warning notice. The reason for being a few seconds late was because the elevators were not working so I had to take the stairs up to the 5th floor. After a few weeks I found a better job at a bank and earned way more than what I earned at the travel agency.

    • I was late 3 minutes once and my boss suspended me without pay for 3 days. I was so upset. 2 weeks later i found a better job with better benefits and pay. It’s not worth working for someone like that.

      • EXACTLY! Some bosses try to ride people’s asses for the most ridiculous shit. Sometimes it is not the employee’s fault they have a supervisor that is not cut out for the job.

  18. I had a guy who worked for me come in late for work one day because “the door on his car fell off and he had to take it to the body shop before coming into work

    • I had an employee that had issues coming to work not just being late. I starting writing down the excuses because they were the most outrageous I had ever head in my 25 years of being a manager. Some are as follows: His Horses got loose, (His neighbors had horses, he did not). His dog some how pulled the water faucet off the outside of his house and he could not turn the water off. Car caught fire and was totaled,(was driving it a week later with no damage), 2 weeks later- same car hit a deer( no apparent damage). Mother-inlaw passed away, (seen his brother-inlaw at restaurant same day with his mother-employee’s mother- inlaw). I called and spoke to his wife and before I could ask her about her mother passing away she told me he had a heart attack and was in the hospital but could not tell me which hospital he was in. After a few phone calls to the local hospitals I could not locate him. He came back to work a week later as if nothing ever happened. Called him into my office and gave him an opportunity to tell me the truth, but he stuck to his story. Told him I needed a release from his doctor before he could return back to work. Never heard back from him again. Here’s the kicker- Spoke to an employer 6 months later that hired him and was told he was in the hospital suffering from a heart attack due to the passing of his mother- inlaw. It may never end.

  19. i watched a girl drink all night then in the morning called her work while throwing up in a trash can still drunk and saying she was sick and was raaalphhhh not going to spit spit make it. I really had a hard time not laughing

  20. One of my co-workers, who normally was very punctual, called in saying that she was going to be late, because someone tried to steal her motorcycle and she was waiting for the police to take the report.
    My boss admitted that this was the first time that he had heard that excuse.

  21. I am not one to be late but I find “the high road” being the best excuse. Even if you think it shameful to say, “I went to a party the night before and couldn’t make it cause I was still drunk from the endless shots of vodka”. As a plus always work those shifts you are asked to cover for someone else who didn’t make it in at all. Chances are your boss will remember the times you saved his butt more than those 15 or 25 minutes you were late. I caution you with this, don’t be late if you are the opener (first one scheduled in the office) those rarely get looked over.

    • I would rather someone save the excuses. All I need is a “sorry” and signs of improvement. If they discontinue to be late, or are rarely late..then all is well.

  22. I am never late but one morning when I got ready to leave for work the spring on the garage door had broken and my car was trapped inside! I provided the repair bill the next day as proof of my absence from work.

  23. I called in late one day because I’d accidentally super glued my hand to a picture frame I was fixing. It took a while to unglue myself but I had injured hand to prove it. All my boss did was laugh his behind off.

    • by actually reading the help wanted ads instead of articles like this. First you have to get a job before you can make excuses for being late to one.

      • @ Duh,

        We’ve been in something called an economic recession for the past 5 or so years. Some people have the jobs they want…most don’t. Companies that used to have 80 vacancies to fill countywide now have 1. If you think it’s “easy” for someone to land a job in a week during this era of politics and “I don’t care how qualified you are, we’re not hiring,” you’re out of your flippin mind.

        • that’s because you don’t want to work at places like McDonald’s or any fast food place, don’t tell me there are no jobs, there are, just not jobs that anyone wants to have because they feel it’s beneath them, it’s enough to get them through this “economic times”, isn’t it better to have a job then no job? Some people are so ignorant.

          • I used to work at the drive-thru at a Burger King halfway across town but was let go when we switched GMs because the new GM said I was overqualified. Some people are not in a position to take smaller jobs, but some people don’t have a problem with it. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t take the first job they were offered :) Smaller jobs have been around far longer than the recession, and we’ve always had plenty of Americans filling those positions. Many companies simply will not hire anyone right now, no matter how good you’d be at it…many other companies have gone out of business entirely, which is heartbreaking because many of my favorite stores that I grew up with were among them.

            I’m not an expert on economics and do not pretend to know why this is happening to us. But in my experiences across a few states lately, businesses are laying off more people than they are hiring. Maybe it’s easy to get a job in your city, Duh, but not in any that I know of so far.

            • MSN user, if you got let go because you got a new GM, it’s not because you were overqualified, if you had been working there and were doing fine, he could not just let you go because you are over qualified! That right there is a guarantee lawsuit, and if that was the sole reason you should be eating cavier some where and not unemployed. Seems to me you were perhaps underqualified to even work at burger king. My point is, a job is a job and they rather hire someone who is over qualified than someone who has no job experience. Stop making excuses. I have a feeling no job is good enough for you, seems to me you want to find that perfect job for you right now and will not except a less undermining job to your expectations. Go back to school and get a job that is looking for help. They are in dire need of nurses etc. At least do something while you waiting for that perfect job than being unemployed.

              • I am an adult and have finished my degrees years ago. You don’t see past the nose on your own face. You’re a conceited pig, a liar, arrogant and insecure, and I see why nobody wants to talk to you. The only way you apparently know how to join a discussion is to engage in petty “I’m better than you” arguments with people you don’t even know. There was no reason you needed to get so defensive and insult me just because I have had different experiences in life than you have had. Get a clue and have a good evening.

            • He probably had a friend or a friend’s son or daughter that needed a job. What a load of junk, firing you because you are over-qualified. I’d rather be over-qualified any day that under because you have already shown potential.

  24. I once had to go in to try to get a day off because I could hardly talk or eat due to a cold. I was also expecting a visit from my nephew living two states away before he went overseas with the Army. The boss said tough s—; you have to come in anyway. Not there anymore, but for different reasons.

  25. Hi,
    What about the farce called flexible schedule where you are the door opener, if there is something like flexible schedule every employee should be allowed to come in at reasonable time and get the work done and leave late if they are in late. I can understand if the work does not get done and you are fired but I don’t understand why a employee is fired for being late daily but stays late of logs in from home to get work done. The only time a employee is at fault is when there is a meeting and he or she is late , rest should be ok as long as the work is getting done on time and they are not missing deadlines.

    In stark contrast what about those employees who are in on time but never meet the deadlines.

    • Didn’t you read the example from above? This kind of schedule doesn’t work for every job. I work in a bank and we have to open promptly at 8:30. It takes two people to do the security checks so if one of you is late, the other can’t open the bank by themselves. You’ll have customers standing outside getting pretty impatient.

  26. The best excuse I ever heard was from someone who works with my husband. She called in and said that she couldn’t come to work because her guinea pig had a nightmare and kept her up all night. everyone laughed over that one for a while.

  27. A woman called in early to say she would not be at work that day. I took the call, as I was usually at work an hour before and after the shift. The reason she gave is that she thought she had fallen in love the night before and she planned to spend the day with that person to be sure she was in love. I thought about that for a few seconds and told her to enjoy the day. The next day when she came to work I asked her about being in love, she stated “no it was not love she was just in heat”

  28. In the office I run, I have told my people that if they are running late just to call and let me know that they will be late. I don’t care for the excuses because most of the time it just a lie anyway. And I have no problems with them working late to make up for the time.

  29. Why isn’t anyone talking about just being to work on time, all the time. If I ask if being late 10% of the time makes you unreliable what would you say? By the way, late 10% is late once every two (2) weeks.
    Best wishes to you all and may your toilets never run over!

    • Exactly. It isn’t that hard to adjust your morning schedule to get into work on time every time. I’ve been late on occasion, but in almost 20 years of work, I haven’t been late more than a dozen times… if that. Plan to be at work 10-15 minutes early every day and then if something comes up, you have that much leeway before you’re late. Some employers will even pay you (overtime) if you start work right when you arrive and work all of the way to the end of your shift. It’s a nice extra bit of money.

      • Not in today’s work environment!! You may as well be saying a swear word that that ugly word “overtime”. If you have been given more work that amounts to 5 or 10 more hours a week, you’d better find a way to make it fit into 40; otherwise, you will catch hell.

    • Everybody lies sometimes for being late – At my job i don’t have to give a reason for being late because you’re already late. But you do have to call in and let them know that you’re going to be late. 1 occurances for scheduled lateness “meaning call in one hour before start time”, 2 occurrances for unplanned lateness “call at the last minute”. I have up to 12 occurances then i’ll get one point for being late. 3 more lateness then Termination or No call No show for 2 consecutive days result in termination.
      On the anniversary date of hire, all get reset to zero. I think this fair enough!

  30. I think Patricia works for a union. If she can come in and be late every day without being fired on spot, I suspect a union. Or a leniant boss. Maybe she lives in Russia and her business is commuist. USA!

  31. I have been late to work before for the standard reasons, but was late twice because I was caught in traffic jams caused by presidential motorcades.

  32. Haha, this is a funny article. I come late alot. Sometimes I stay to long in my bed, sometimes the car broke down again, or the traffic is really bad, or there is no bus coming (I live in the Ducht Caribbean), so I guess I always have bad karma on coming in time. When I get up really early I’m so busy with doing other things, that I still come late. In my personal life I come almost always late, so I’m really trying hard for my work, but of course, in there eyes, I’m still late too many times. We discussed the issue a couple of times, now when I come late, I don’t tell them why no more (they don’t wanna hear it is my guess) and I’ll just work extra afther worktime or in my launch break.

  33. i never had to work before married a women a from oversea it was great i told her that all the women work in the u s and take care of their men then my sister americnized her and now i ‘m on chain gang again

  34. One morning I was getting ready for work, I accidently dropped something under my bed, when I went to get up, I knocked my head of my night stand and knocked myself unconcious, when I got up I saw that I was running late, but my head was killing me, so I decided to call in sick and take myself to the hospital, where it was confirmed I had a concussion!

  35. I think The Keanu Reeves defense is a very valid excuse. How many times has one waited for the bus/trolley/subway and it either shows up 30 minutes late or not show up at all. There are always snafus when mass transit is concerned.

  36. When I was in the 7th grade I had to get glasses did not like the glasses but I could see.
    On the way to school, one day I had put my glasses in my jacket pocket when crossing the street my glasses fell out of my pocket into the middle of the street.
    I had run back into the street to get my glasses and saw a semi coming towards me. Not wanting to get hit a stood on the curb praying that the semi would not hit my glasses.
    Nine of eighteen wheels ran over my glasses and left power in the middle of the street. Upon arriving at school I went to principles office and told him what had happened and why I was late. Because I had an attitude out of this world and did not want to have to keep telling all of my teachers what had happened to my glasses I asked to go home. I don’t remember most of that day but when I came to school with an attitude again no one said a thing to me.

    • I have some pretty wacked out late excuses. One time, my car engine blew up on the way to work. First week on the job too. So embarrassing. It caught on fire and smoke was bellowing out from under my hood, plus I was breathing that terrible smoke. I pulled off at the nearest exit, off the freeway, and into the nearest gas station. I had to call a tow, but called my boss first. After that, my boss gave me rides until my car was fixed. She wasn’t happy about it but she did it relunctantly. Nice of her, but I didn’t like the tension between us and the guard she had up against me.

      Some other times, at another job, I was late because I was up all night dumping buckets! After a major Earth quake in our area, my apartment roof started leaking when it rained. I had to get up every 2 hours to dump the buckets. I couldn’t function without enough sleep. I felt like falling over. Couldn’t think straight. I had been working 10 to 12 hours a day and would go home and collapse without eating I was so tired. Then because I was so exhausted I got really sick with the flu—-fever, extreme achiness….could hardly stand up. After getting better enough to come to work but still real sick, my boss pulled me aside and I told him what had been going on, he said “I know your type.” He had replaced me while I was gone even though I had called in every 2 days to tell my supervisor that I was still really sick. He said he never got the messages and thought I had quit. He said it didn’t matter if you’re sick. You come to work until you pass out on the floor at work. Then said “I hope you don’t think I’m an ogre.”
      By the way, when I told my apartment manager about the leaks, all she said was “do you have a bucket? We can give you a bucket.”

      Some other times, I was doing O.K. on my time getting ready for work, then, on my way out the door, I started getting cramps and diarrhea. It would take 45 minutes to two hours till the cramps would stop. My boss understood.

      There have been a few times that I’ve had to rush a pet to the vet when I noticed how bad they were in the morning when I was getting ready for work.

      Other times, we’ve had a power outage to do nearby construction or power company maintenance or a bad storm. This was not something I could plan for. I had no electricity to blow dry my hair after my shower. If it was in the winter time, with shorter days, then it was too dark with no lights to put my make up on or put in my contacts also. It would not be good to show up at work with wet hair and no make up.

      Another pitiful excuse is that at one time I lived with an abusive boyfriend who would sometimes decide to have a blow-up when I was getting ready to go to work. Being pushed or hit and threatened and yelled at and him throwing things left me scared and shaken while I was trying to focus to get ready. It was very upsetting and made things take longer. It was hard to focus and stop shaking once I got to work. One time he pushed me while I was putting my make up on and the bottle spewed make up all over the medicine cabinet mirror and counter and anything on the counter. So I had to clean up some of it. I guess my boss was understanding, although with a bit of disapproval and frustration.

      Other excuses were: I couldn’t find my keys. My car windshield was covered with dust and bird poop so I had to spend 20 minutes spraying it off with the hose. Got stuck waiting in traffic for a train (10 to 15 minutes). An unexpected, long detour because of road construction. A terrible accident which backed up traffic for blocks. Lost my contact down the drain. Couldn’t FIND my contact case with my contacts in them. Would spend 20 to 30 minutes looking for them. The make up would not stick to my acne and my acne was extra bad which took, extra, unexpected time. I could not go out the door without my acne covered. And a few other excuses.

      Believe it or not, I’ve never been fired for being late. I was threatened a couple of times but never fired.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to post under #57 MileLoneWeer. I thought I was making a new post. I don’t see a way to remove my post and start over.

      • I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

  37. I called in late once because a Black Widow spider had spun a web across my door. I am terrified of spiders and had to wait for the maintenance man to come kill it before I would leave. My boss seemed to understand just fine though.

  38. I love my job, I can be an hour late and no one is mad. I usually get here on time but at least 2 times a week I’m 1/2 an hour late. I love it. Even if I’m an hour late no one even askes why, so generally I don’t ever even give an excuse, I just say sorry and no one cares. But living in Los Angeles I do have to leave an hour more than it takes me to get to work because of traffic so usually that is a good excuse if I ever “need” one.. No one second guesses that because traffic is always shitty here.

  39. I am a preschool teacher and it is so stressfull if 1 of us are late because all of the kids do come in at a certain time and we all need to be there foor them. But what stresses us all out is our boss always comes in 2 or 3 hours late everday becauses of excueeses like cramps or headaches. What are we supposed to do abbout that? We cnat come in late so why can she? I wish I was that special.

    • She owns the place right? See that’s why she is able to come in late – if you want to come in late they you spend the money and take the risk to start your own pre-school and you can come in late and have your employees complain about you…

  40. I was scheduled to get to work late one afternoon. My vehicle was at the mechanic’s and I was walking from my home to pick it up. On the way a squirrel fell out of a big maple tree, hit my head, and clawed my cheek on the way to the ground. While bleeding and concerned about rabies, I called in to report that I had been attacked by a squirrel that fell on my head and that I might not make it in later that day. My supervisor said that I could expect to use that excuse but once in my further career. He did credit me with originality!

  41. I do not beleive people are late on purpose as there always seems to be an underlying circumsatnce in their lives. The US worker spends more time at work and is more productive than any worker in the world. With all the new technology we are 1/3 more productive that we were 15 or 20 years ago. Workers are more apt to burnout in todays economy then decades ago. One of the first signs of burnout is being late for work. You need to know your employees very well to keep them motivated and recognize signs when something is wrong. I had someone who had a nearly perfect attendance record and completed her assignments error free and ontime. Then one Monday she came in 1/2 hour late. Then her work started to slip later that week.Then on Friday she came in visibly upset. I had her come immediately into my office so we could talk. I was not even prepared for what she had to say. Her Father had been in a horrible car accident on Sunday and had just passed away hours before our conversation. I had asked her why she had not come to me on Monday her reply was ” I thought I could handle it”. Needless to say we gave her as much payed time off as she felt she needed.
    I had a young man that would come in 3 minutes late everyday. It was not a problem as he was always the last person to leave everyday. Then one week he came in 1/2 hour late 2 days in a row. My conversation with him I found out that he had been taking his wife for radiation treatment for a brain tumor. My point is you need to know your employees. I have over 40 team members working for me I know know them all pretty well. I have only had to let one person go for being consistantly late and that was after we modified their work hours to accomodate them and still came in late.

    • JD, good points. But I run a business, and have hired on many. At least enough to know that tardiness is just a bad habit that plagues a vast majority of workers. Even the best ones have it. Only they can break that.

    • JD I love you! Everyone deserves a boss like you, with your compassion, empathy and attitude! Your words feel like love to me. You must be a very loving person.

  42. Yea, being late dose happen alot. I should know, but I guess the best thing you can do is leave early. And don’t stay five mins down the road. It’s funny when I lived next door to my school I could never make it on time. But when I moved back to my hometown which is 46 miles away I was never late.

  43. I once had to miss a class at my community college years ago. I spent a few hours in the ER and then, still sick, asked someone drive me to school the next day just so I could find my teacher and turn in my assignment that was due the day before. The teacher handed me back my paper, my note from the ER excusing my absence, and said that being in the emergency room was not an excuse for turning in homework late. I got an F and did not take any more classes where she was the assigned teacher.

  44. I had an employee tell me he couldn’t come in because he was hungover. When I told my superior, he directed me to teach the employee how to give better excuses when calling in. Can you believe it? I’m glad I no longer work there, especially for that boss.

  45. In this job market it is dumb beyond dumb to be late for work because you slept late or have continual car problems or whatever. It’s just too damned hard to find another job, especially after you lost the current one because you were late. I think people who are habitually late are astoundingly dumb.


    I try to be on time ALL THE TIME, but that is impossible sometimes. There are minor details that we have no control over. Besides, we all have to take care of the job we have, even if we’re not content because whether we like it or not; it’s what is putting the food on the table.

    Some are upset because they have a job, and others are happy as hell because they are unemployed. I don’t understand my species and I probably never will.

    The only thing I know is that we were all born naked, wet and hungry… then things got worst.

    If you have a job take damn good care of it because if you don’t, there is a huge line of people willing and able to take over! If you don’t have one, go get one!

  47. i was once really late for my university class
    so before entering i winded my clock back
    and told my professor “your watch is probably not working right….i’m right on time according to mine” lol (and she did buy it! )

  48. I was late once for work because I was microwaving a cup of hot water for tea and as I pulled it out the bottom of the cup hit the lip of the rotating glass dish and the entire cup spilled onto my beagles’ belly. She unfortunately happened to be laying in front of the microwave cart. I immediately picked her up and put her in the sink under cold water. I felt so bad for her! I finally got to work and my boss knew that this wasn’t an ordinary excuse and knew how my “luck” was. He laughed and threatened (jokingly) to call the animal abuse hot line on me! Needless to say the dog suffered no burns at all…and she forgave me too! Dogs are the best!

  49. When I was in the military I saw people who had never been held to a timetable in their lives. They thought that they couldn’t be punctual, but they soon learned otherwise. I worked for a Fortune 500 corporation for over thirty years and I saw more people fired for being tardy and missing work that for any other cause. As the company would tell them, they only had jobs for full-time employees.

  50. Use the universal, anytime, anywhere excuse : “I forgot”.

    BTW this site s**ks, very quirky with keyboard commands. You can say when desiging the HTML “I forgot”. but I’ll be forgetting this site from now on.

  51. we have an employee that rides the bus daily and uses it as an excuse to be late every single day. she shows up between 30 minutes to 1 hour late EVERY DAY! and guess what? she’ll never be fired or reprimanded because we are in a very strong union. this has gone on for 7 years now and she’s still employed. it’s a real shame and makes me hate the union for allowing people like this to keep their jobs. the only good part is that she has no ‘time’ left so all her late arrivals mean a smaller paycheck

  52. I worked for a small business once and I was late one day and the owners response was only be late for your next job as long as you work here BE ON TIME . This was twenty plus years ago I now own a small business of my own today and I feel the same way because Im on time with a little thing called PAYROLL so buy a watch.

  53. Heard some doozies over the years, had a few (all true) myself. One time, as I was walking out the door, a crane lifting a section of balcony crashed through my living room window (lived in an aparment complex). Another time, a storm had come through our neighborhood and trees fell blocking any way of leaving (had 4 different ways I could have gone – trees blocked all 4 ways). One time I had eaten something that disagreed with my stomach, lost it while driving into work (and let me tell you, it ain’t easy driving and tossing your cookies). But my favorite (not really) was when as I was walking out to my car, walking under a tree full of birds, I got nailed with bird caca.
    Every time, my supervisors understood as I was rarely late. I almost always was at least 10-15 minutes early. In my 40 years of working, I’ve learned the truth works best although intimate detail isn’t always necessary.

  54. I have always be an early to work person. my start time is 8 am but i usually get in between 6:30 and 7. i had a boss that tried to write me up because i came in at 7:30 one morning. Luckly he did not last in the position

  55. Mickey Mikey or whatever please SHUT UP
    I agree on the spelling but don’t be a jerk and all “well you did it too!” It just makes you seem Juvenille which is not appealing to anyone K Hun?

  56. The article didn’t list very many zany excuses, but most people’s comments are hilarious!
    One time I was late because my car got stolen.. seriously. There was a honda theft spree and something like 50 cars were stolen over the weekend.

  57. ahahahaha, I remember when I told my math teacher the excuse of the reason why I was late to class was because my water broke and I had to mop to floor…..I know,I know it don’t make sense but hey what do you tell them yeah it was because I hate you’re class and can’t stand to sit there for and hour listening to explain why that equals what it equals.I also used a few of the ones up top and the end result in me trying to save my butt and not get another tardy was of course you guessed it….detention…….but hey at least the prettiest girl in the whole school laughed and now she is my girlfriend of 3 years:).See some good comes out of trying to be a smart alleck.

  58. There are many things that go into tardiness at work and how acceptable it is.
    Company culture, business needs, flexibility of work hours, individual bosses, location, etc.

    Tardiness is unacceptable. I have two children and a 1.5 hour long commute one-way to work. I manage to balance everything (a good idea is to allot more time for things in your schedule than you think they will actually take) and rarely arrive late to work.

    When you are habitually late (whether to work or to lunch with friends) you are sending a BIG message that you have no respect for the other people/your company. Be prepared to sacrifice your paycheck/friendship if your behavior continues.

  59. Well, everyone in this world must have gone through like this situation once. So everyone must have had pretend begging excuse for late work or absence once/ twice/thrice in a lifetime is not big deal I think so.

  60. I am a salaried employee and my work doesn’t impact my co-workers. That said, I’m 10-15 mins late almost everyday. I tell my boss that I overselpt. Its better in the winter and worse during daylight savings time. I try to ‘psych’ myself out and set my alarm 15 mins ahead but eventually that stops working. It doesn’t matter if I change my hours, eventually I start coming in late and staying later. I guess I’m just not a ‘morning’ person. Due to the nature of my job, its not a big deal but I find it interesting that I may get teased for being late, but no one says anything to me when I stay late, work from home after I leave work, and work weekends. So it all comes out in the wash I guess and I’m only hurting myself, since I don’t get paid overtime – go figure.

  61. Wow did they interview my old bosses? I used some of those before, and those weren’t even my good ones lol. Before starting my own business I was of the mindset “It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m there when I need to be” one of my last bosses was of the same mind set but our boss was not. If I was late, he would ride her and she would in turn ride me. All of that being said I would bypass her and go directly into his office saying things like “I knew I was going to be late so I stopped and got donuts for everyone.” as I offered him one.

  62. Translation:
    “I’m never late. I like being on time, so sometimes I get there early. I may try to be late one day, just for a change of pace.”

  63. Excuses I’ve used
    * I’m calling in lazy
    * I need to leave early to buy wheels for my car.

    When i came to work late, I usually left early to make up for being late.

    On the other hand, (99% of the time) I was early to work and late to leave. I often was in the office 10-12 hours a day and worked on airplanes as well as the beach in Oahu(yes, these were during business trips). My daily duties didn’t impact how others did their jobs on a daily basis. My overall duties did have an impact on customer service, in which my team and I always did extremely well.

    Being a manager, I got to know each of my employee’s and knew that in order to keep motivation high and productivity at it’s peak. Understanding their individual quirks was good not only for their success, but mine as well.

    One employee always called and asked if the team wanted donuts/sandwiches (whatever) if she was running late.

    I had 2 employees who were best of friends. If one asked for a day off to go snowboarding, that meant the other would be calling in sick. I never denied the day off request, and often just asked the one who was going to call in sick to discuss with the remaining team members to assure the entire team was on board with 2 people being out. There were never any problems. And the other team members would do the same thing as well.

    This was one of the best teams I’ve ever had the pleasure to manage.

    As a manager, I learned that when you have great employees, they don’t work for you, you work for them.(Read: MOTIVATE, MOTIVATE, MOTIVATE) Give employees the support and the tools to do the job and more often than not, they will exceed your expectations

  64. In my industry, if you get into the habit of showing up even a few minutes late you will find yourself looking for work elsewhere. We as employees need to realize that we are being paid for only thing only – the income we bring to our employers. Also, if an employee is fired for tardiness, chances are that he or she is not an asset to the company in the first place.

  65. Working in concert production you run into all types and most everyone ends up with a nick name. 15 years ago I worked with a young guy whose nick name was “Knockout”. It was neither because he was a boxer nor for his looks. The story went that he was late for work and told the boss he had awoken with a start to his alarm and, attempting to lean over to the night table to turn off the alarm, he smacked his head into the night table and KNOCKED HIMSELF OUT. I was never told if he arrived at work with a cut or bruise on his head.

    That is, far and away the best late excuse I’ve ever heard.

  66. for those with all the great suggestions, your probaby a manager, so stfu. Everyone else, you know what to do, you know how to do it. Quit being lazy.

  67. I told Walt I was stranded on the escalater. sp? He was embarrased that he had bought it. He also thought it was a pretty good excuse but I really need to make a better effort at being on time. Hey, I was tanning!

    • That tanning thing can take a while. I was tanning once and forgot to cover my *&^% and it got a little red. Hurt like hell.

  68. My company had prizes for people who complied with their schedules consistently. My father laughed. He was in the Air Force for 40 years and he said you should have to be awarded for doing what is expected.

  69. I have a flexible schedule at my job, but I’m always late at the company ^^

    I said many times that the train has been slowed.

    I don’t care about it cuz they don’t pay enough for me , therefore, I am waiting for my future boss call me and to say when I need to start =)

  70. walking in late one monday morning I could see my boss(who lives in the same town as me) waiting untill I was close enough to start his show to embarress me.As I approached I just said”nice guy I called your house saturday and asked you to pick me up as my car was being repaired and you can’t be bothered! He never said a word! the best defense is a good offence.(no I never called)

  71. I once opened my car door while parked in the parking structure at work and swallowed a bug that flew in exactly at that moment. By the time I recovered from vomiting the bug and cleaning up in the ladies room, I was 20 minutes late.

    My boss thought it was a fake excuse because it was so hard to believe.

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  77. hey just because worked for me for 3 years doesn’t mean it will for you. matter of fact she still works and she makes sure I’m on time to my job to, has my coffe ready cloths layed out it’s still great but still she is still mad at me but i will make it up to her

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