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2012's Best ‘Late to Work’ Excuses

Posted by Monaghan, Christian at Friday, 02/15/2013 12:40 pm
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Read this post on the SharedHR blog.

Marilyn Monroe said, "I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time."

Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.”

Being late has been a social phenomenon since the beginning of time…no pun intended. Being fashionably late for a posh party may be acceptable but being tardy for work is not only frowned upon but also disruptive. In our consulting practice, we are constantly advising employers large and small on managing tardiness in the workplace.

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the percentage of workers arriving late to work increased in 2012. The US-based survey found that 16% of workers arrive late to work once a week or more, up from 15% the previous year. It is not surprising that tardiness is on the upswing. Commute times and traffic congestion have steadily increased especially in urban areas. Two-income families are more common and so juggling kids’ school drop-offs and daycare is a regular occurrence. Many of us are trying to cram more into our daily schedule which inevitably leads to scheduling issues. So it may be obvious that the common reasons for tardiness are traffic (31%), lack of sleep (18%), bad weather (11%) and chores involving kids (8%).

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012 and included more than 2,600 hiring managers and more than 3,900 workers nationwide. The survey revealed that not all employees blame jammed roads for their inability to get to work on time. Hiring managers shared some of the most memorable excuses they’ve heard from employees who were late getting to the office, including:

- Employee dropped her purse into a coin-operated newspaper box and couldn’t retrieve it without change (which was in the purse)
- Employee accidentally left the apartment with his roommate’s girlfriend’s shoes on and had to go back to change
- Employee’s angry wife had frozen his truck keys in a glass of water in the freezer
- Employee got a late start because she was putting a rain coat on her cement duck in her front yard (because rain was expected later that day)
- Employee’s car wouldn’t start because the breathalyzer showed he was intoxicated
- Employee attempted to cut his own hair before work and the clippers stopped working, so he had to wait until the barber shop opened to fix his hair
- Employee’s car was attacked by a bear (had photographic evidence)
- Employee drove to her previous employer by mistake
- Employee claimed to have delivered a stranger’s baby on the side of the highway

Read this post on the SharedHR blog.

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