8 ridiculous reasons employees have given for being late

When we know we are going to be late to work, we face a choice — how do we tell our employer? Employees can own up to their responsibility in being tardy, or they can deflect blame to others. Usually, when we want to use others as our excuse, we choose reliably unreliable variables like our commutes or our suddenly sick bodies.

But in the annual CareerBuilder survey of the excuses employees gave for being late, tardy employees got more creative. Their answers may not have been excusable, but they certainly were original.

Here are some ridiculous reasons employees gave for being late — they include a hungry animal, rogue eyelashes, and hot liquids:

Most outrageous reasons employees gave for being late

  • 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.

We may not be listening to the wrong astrologer, but tardiness is an all-too-common experience many of us face.

One in four workers admitted they are late at least once a month. Outside of the outlandish excuses, there are the usual suspects for why employees are late. Traffic (51%), oversleeping (31%), terrible weather (28%), being too tired (23%), and forgetting something (13%) were the top answers employers heard employees give.

But a word of warning to all tardy employees, many employers consider lateness to be a fireable offense: 43% of managers said they have fired someone for being late. So, next time you want to say that your dog ate your work calendar, have a good laugh over it, but be prepared to pay a price.