Cross Dressing and Vengeful Wife Among Tardy Excuses

February 8, 2013 ( More than one-quarter (26%) of workers admit to being tardy at least once a month, and 16% are late once a week or more, according to a CareerBuilder study.

While traffic was the most common reason cited for tardiness (31%), and other workers cited lack of sleep, the need to drop off the kids at daycare or school, bad weather and public transportation delays, not all excuses are so reasonable. One hiring manager told CareerBuilder an employee gave the excuse he accidentally left the apartment with his roommate’s girlfriend’s shoes on and had to go back to change. Another reported an employee said he was late because his angry wife had frozen his truck keys in a glass of water in the freezer.  

Other memorable tardy excuses cited by hiring managers include: 

  • Employee dropped her purse into a coin-operated newspaper box and could not retrieve it without change (which was in the purse); 
  • 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 would not 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; and 
  • Employee claimed to have delivered a stranger’s baby on the side of the highway (no photographic evidence indicated). 
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.