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Don't Be Late For Work

Strange excuses employees give for missing work

Who hasn’t been late to work?

We all have, right? But some make tardiness more of a habit than others. According to a new survey, when asked how often they come in late to work, 1 in 4 workers (25 percent) admitted they do it at least once a month and more than 1 in 10 (12 percent) say it’s a weekly occurrence for them.

Wow, right?

Broken down by age, 38 percent of those ages 18-34 are late at least once a month, compared to 36 percent of those 35-44 and 14 percent of those 45 and older.

By region, 30 percent of workers from the West are late at least once a month, compared to only 26 percent in the Northeast, 25 percent in the South and 23 percent in the Midwest.

In general, the usual suspects are to blame for why employees are late to work: traffic (51 percent), oversleeping (31 percent), bad weather (28 percent), too tired to get out of bed (23 percent) and forgetting something (13 percent).

So, what are the strangest excuses employees give for being late? Here are a few:

  • It’s too cold to work.
  • I had morning sickness (it was a man).
  • My coffee was too hot and I couldn’t leave until it cooled off.
  • An astrologer warned me of a car accident on a major highway, so I took all backroads, making me an hour late.
  • My dog ate my work schedule.
  • I was here, but I fell asleep in the parking lot.
  • My fake eyelashes were stuck together.
  • Although it has been five years, I forgot I did not work at my former employer’s location and drove there on accident.

You might think it’s OK to be running a few minutes behind, but the majority of employers (60 percent) say they expect employees to be on time every day, and more than 2 in 5 (43 percent) have fired someone for being late.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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