How My Latte Made Me Late

According to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, 15 percent of workers say they arrive late to work at least once a week, while nearly one-in-four of all workers (24 percent) admit to making up fake excuses to explain their tardiness. The survey, "Late to Work," was conducted from February 11 through March 13, 2008 among 2,757 employers and 6,987 workers.

While 43 percent of hiring managers say they don't mind if their employees are late as long as their work is completed on time with good quality, others are much stricter, and would consider terminating an employee if he or she arrives late several times a year. When asked to identify the primary cause for coming in late, more than 32 percent of workers claimed traffic was the culprit. Falling back asleep was the reason cited by 17 percent, while 7 percent pointed to a long commute as the main cause. Other popular reasons included getting kids ready for school and daycare, forgetting something at home, and feeling sick. While the majority of hiring managers believe their employees' reasons for being late to work, more than 27 percent say they are skeptical of the excuses.

Hiring managers provided the following top ten examples of the most unusual excuses employees offered for arriving late to work:

  • While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog.
  • Someone stole all my daffodils.
  • I had to go audition for American Idol.
  • My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn't drive to work.
  • My route to work was shut down by a Presidential motorcade.
  • I wasn't thinking and accidentally went to my old job.
  • I was indicted for securities fraud this morning.
  • The line was too long at Starbucks.
  • I was trying to get my gun back from the police.
  • I didn't have money for gas because all of the pawn shops were closed.

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