Tardy Excuses "Spring Forward"

April 4, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The weather's turning nicer (somewhere, I'm sure it is), and that enhances the likelihood that you'll be hearing some unusual excuses for tardiness.

So, in the interests of preparing you for what you may hear, temporary staffing firm Accountemps has compiled a list of the most imaginative explanations that 150 executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies say they have heard from tardy employees. Here’s a sampling of what can only be described as the adult equivalent of “my dog ate my homework”:

  • “The dog was asleep behind the car and I couldn’t back out of the driveway.”
  • “My dog swallowed my car keys.”
  • “My dog didn’t come back after I let him out.”
  • “I hit a mountain lion on the way to work.” (employers also recalled tales of unfortunate run-ins with moose and bears on the morning commute, according to the report).

Of course, these days it’s a lot more complicated getting to work than it once was, or at least it was for these folks:

  • “A helicopter landed in the street and I couldn’t get around it.”
  • “My garage door was frozen shut.”
  • “My car keys fell into the toilet.”
  • “The elevators in this building are too slow.”
  • “I tried a new way into work and it took me two hours.”
  • “The traffic lights were mis-timed on my way in.”
  • “The line at Starbucks was out the door.”

Then there were the ones from folks who appear to be clueless about when and where:

  • “I forgot what day it was. I thought it was the weekend.”
  • “I couldn’t remember which time zone I was in.”
  • “My wife and son took both cars and when I went outside there was nothing in the driveway.”

And then there are the ones that you just wish you could have been there to hear:

  • “I was kidnapped by aliens.”
  • “I’m not late. I decided to change my hours to make them more convenient.”
  • “My roommate locked me in the bathroom.”
  • “We had a death in the family.” (this might have worked better if this employee hadn’t told his boss this same family member had died several months earlier).
  • “I couldn’t find a tie to match my shirt.”
  • “The wind was blowing against me.”
  • “My husband’s pet spider died and I had to console him.”
  • “The bartender wouldn’t let me leave.”

And finally, there was one that might come up Monday as most of us “spring forward” – “I felt it was better to sleep in at home versus sleep at the office.”