What do the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Vaseline and a black bear have in common?
They featured in some of 2015’s most outrageous excuses for being late to work, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.
Harris Poll conducted the nationwide survey of more than 2,500 hiring and human resource managers — largely from the private sector — and more than 3,200 workers across industries.
Employers said the most outrageous excuses they heard from late employees include the following:
- I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
- My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
- I was detained by Homeland Security.
- I had to chase my cows back into the field.
- A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
- 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 the lizard corpse with me to work.
- There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
- There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
- I had to finish watching “My Name Is Earl.”
- All of my clothes were stolen.
- I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
- A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.
The most common excuses for being late were:
- Traffic (53 percent)
- Oversleeping (33 percent)
- Bad weather (28 percent)
- Lack of sleep (23 percent)
- Needing to get kids to day care or school (15 percent)
So how common is arriving late to work? Among workers, 25 percent admitted to being late at least once a month, and 13 percent admitted to being late weekly.
Being late can be a gamble, however, and 62 percent of workers who show up late stay later to make up for it.
Among employers, CareerBuilder found that:
- 51 percent expect employees to be on time every day.
- 41 percent have fired someone for being late.
- 33 percent say they have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern.
- 16 percent say they don’t need employees to be punctual if they can still get their work done.
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