Far out Friday: Unusual excuses for employees’ lateness

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Believe it or not an escaped zebra, a cat stuck in the toilet and a hairbrush stuck in hair are actual excuses staff have dished out to explain their tardiness.

A new survey by CareerBuilder into staff lateness shows that while traffic is the number one reason most employees are late (39%), there are some amusing reasons dished out to managers.

Some of the more memorable excuses employers reported receiving in regards to their staff’s lack of punctuality include:
  • Employee claimed a zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic (turned out to be true)
  • Employee woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from his home
  • Employee’s cat got stuck in the toilet
  • Employee couldn’t eat breakfast – he ran out of milk for cereal and had to buy some before getting ready for work
  • Employee was late to work because he fell asleep in the car when he got to work
  • Employee accidentally put superglue in her eye instead of contact lens solution, and had to go to the emergency room
  • Employee said a hole in the roof caused rain to fall on the alarm clock and it didn’t go off
  • Employee forgot that the company had changed locations
  • Employee got a hairbrush stuck in her hair
  • Employee was scared by a nightmare
Aside from traffic jams, more traditional excuses found to be among the most common by the survey were; lack of sleep (19%), problems with public transportation (eight per cent), bad weather (seven per cent) and dropping the kids off at day-care or school (six per cent).

The study also found that nearly one quarter (23%) of employees admit to being tardy at least once a month on average, with 15% admitting to arriving late at least once a week. 

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