It's not that I don't like my job, I do. I love it. I'm just not a "morning person". So having said that, I'm sure you can imagine how I feel when an employee shows up for work after I get there.
I let my staff use flex time as long as they get their work done and keep the customers happy. Each can choose a specific start time from 7AM to 9AM and they are expected to meet that every day. I'm in the 9AM crowd.
So when one of the 7AM crowd still isn't there when I roll in at 8:59 you know I'm going to find out why. Some of the excuses I've heard over the years are amazing; some sad, some funny, most not very original. Today's was a first. David (not his real name) informed me he was late because he bought a new car last night and the navigation system in the car gave him the wrong directions to work. I told him if he wanted to be able to keep his job so he could continue paying for the new car, he'd better figure out the nav system or go back to the old-fashioned way of reading street signs.
Reason For Being Late
In a recent survey by careerbuilder.com, 33 percent of workers blamed traffic for being late for work. Another 24 percent blamed lack of sleep. Ten percent claimed their kids made them late.
How Strictly To Enforce Late For Work Rules
Your best guide of how strict to be with workers who are late for work is your company culture. Some companies, especially those predominantly creative or technology are more flexible regarding being at work at a certain time. Others, like manufacturing and retail, depend on everyone being at work on time, no excuses. But remember as you enforce late to work rules, that everyone else in your group is watching. If you allow someone to be late every day, others will start being late too.
Late For Work Excuses
In addition to the new one from today, listed below are some of the others I've heard over the years. At the bottom of this article is a readers respond link. Please use it to add the most amusing late for work excuse you've heard - or used.
- My dog/cat/snake/alligator was sick and I had to make sure he'd be ok.
- My car's alternator/generator/brakes/funny-spinny-thing broke and I had to get it fixed.
- I ate my wife's breakfast by mistake so I had to fix a new one for her.
- I drove to my old office out of habit.
- I just found out I'm pregnant and I had to wait for my Mom to wake up so I could call her.
- And the current leading contender for best late for work excuse:
I didn't think you'd notice when I came in.