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Would you believe these outrageous excuses for being late?



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Do you find yourself coming to work late every now and then? While being late might not reflect well on your work ethic, the good news is that you’re not alone.

According to CareerBuilder’s new survey, more than a quarter of workers (29%) admitted to coming in late at least once a month, compared to 25% last year. While another 16% say it’s a weekly occurrence for them — an increase of 3 percentage points since last year.

The survey conducted by Harris Poll on more than 2,600 hiring and HR managers and more than 3,400 workers across industries revealed that in general the usual suspects – traffic (49%), oversleeping (32%), bad weather (26%), too tired to get out of bed (25%) and procrastination (17%) – are responsible for why employees are late to work.

Most outrageous excuses for being late to work

However, the survey also uncovered some of the most outrageous excuses employees have given for being late. When asked about the most outrageous excuses, employers shared the following:

  • I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.
  • I put petroleum jelly in my eyes.
  • I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.
  • I thought Flag Day was a legal holiday.
  • My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.
  • The wind blew the deck off my house.
  • I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house.
  • I was cornered by a moose.
  • My mother locked me in the closet.
  • The pizza I ordered was late being delivered, and I had to be home to accept/pay for it.
  • The sunrise was so beautiful that I had to stop and take it in.
  • My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.
  • My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t say no.

Are employees expected to be on time everyday?

The survey further revealed that while 64% of employers and the same percentage of employees (64%) believe that the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice, more than half of employers (53%) expect employees to be on time every day, and 41% revealed that they have fired someone for being late.

Thankfully, 29% of bosses were ok with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern (down from 33% last year). Another 18% revealed that they don’t need staff to be punctual as long as they can get their work done (up from 16% last year).

To that end, 69% of workers who arrive late will stay later to make up for it – up from 62% last year.

Photo / iStock

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