Employees Give Wild Excuses for Tardiness

February 25, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A recent CareerBuilder.com survey found that 20% of workers said they arrive late to work at least once a week.

While the main excuses for tardiness were traffic (33%), lack of sleep (24%), and getting children ready for school or daycare (10%), hiring managers provided some outrageous excuses they’ve heard from workers arriving late to work.

According to a CareerBuilder.com press release, the most outrageous excuses were:

  • My heat was shut off so I had to stay home to keep my snake warm.
  • My husband thinks it’s funny to hide my car keys before he goes to work.
  • I walked into a spider web on the way out the door and couldn’t find the spider, so I had to go inside and shower again.
  • I got locked in my trunk by my son.
  • My left turn signal was out so I had to make all right turns to get to work.
  • A gurney fell out of an ambulance and delayed traffic.
  • I was attacked by a raccoon and had to stop by the hospital to make sure it wasn’t rabid.
  • I feel like I’m in everyone’s way if I show up on time.
  • My father didn’t wake me up.
  • A groundhog bit my bike tire and made it flat.
  • My driveway washed away in the rain last night.
  • I had to go to bingo.

Other common reasons included public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets.

The number of workers admitting to arriving late to work was up from 16% in CareerBuilder.com’s survey last year (see Traffic Woes a Big Excuse for Office Tardiness ).

The recent survey also found 12% of workers said they are late at least twice a week, and Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com, said in the press release that 30% of hiring managers reported they have terminated an employee for being late.

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 3,259 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government); and 8,038 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over between November 12 and December 1, 2008.