Sorry I'm late, Sir ...
Another year has passed with all sorts of challenges for employers. Employee absenteeism or lateness is always a problem and can put pressure on a business in a number of areas - meeting deadlines and stress on work colleagues who have to take up the extra workload. Some absenteeism or lateness is unavoidable due to sickness of the employee or family member or other emergencies out of their control.
Apart from the obvious traffic problems for lateness or sickness for a day off, there have been some amusing reasons provided by employees worldwide. Some of the more creative excuses were:
- I was so excited about the upcoming work day that I couldn’t get to sleep for hours and then slept in.
- My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
- My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring its corpse to work with me.
- I accidently put super glue in my eyes thinking it was contact lens solution.
- I’m not late, I was thinking about work on my way in.
- I woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
- I got locked in the car boot by my son.
- I woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from my home.
- I’ve used up all my sick days so I’m calling in dead.
- I was sure the commute time is included in my work hours.
- I fell asleep in the car when I got to work.
- The radio was broken in the car and I can’t drive without music.
- It’s OK, I was early yesterday so it evens out.
- I had a job interview at another firm.
- I had to wait for the judge to set my bail.
- You mean you have to show up every day?
- I thought Guy Fawkes was a work holiday.
- I forgot the company had changed location
- A zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic (turned out to be true)
Apparently, traffic (39%), sleep deprivation (19%), general problems with public transport(8%), adverse weather conditions (7%) and dropping off the children for school or day care are the common reasons or excuses for being late for work.
Tips for employees
If you are going to be late or absent:
1. Let your boss know as soon as possible – a phone call rather than a text is best.
2. Be honest.
3. Keep the reason short.
4. Use excuses sparingly.
5. Be thoughtful when you need to ask for time off work.