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"Employers understand that every now and again circumstances will arise that are out of a worker's control and unfortunately cause a late arrival to work," said
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "It escalates to a problem when the behavior becomes repetitive, causing employers to take disciplinary action. More than one-third of hiring managers reported they had to fire someone for being late."
What's Your Excuse?
Traffic is the most common culprit causing tardiness according to 31 percent of workers. Other factors include lack of sleep, the need to drop off the kids at daycare or school, bad weather and public transportation delays.
Not all employees blame jammed roads. Hiring managers shared some of the most memorable excuses they've heard from employees who were late getting to the office, including:
Employee dropped her purse into a coin-operated newspaper box and couldn't retrieve it without change (which was in the purse)
Employee accidentally left the apartment with his roommate's girlfriend's shoes on and had to go back to change
Employee's angry wife had frozen his truck keys in a glass of water in the freezer
Employee got a late start because she was putting a rain coat on her cement duck in her front yard (because rain was expected later that day)
Employee's car wouldn't start because the breathalyzer showed he was intoxicated
Employee attempted to cut his own hair before work and the clippers stopped working, so he had to wait until the barber shop opened to fix his hair
Employee's car was attacked by a bear (had photographic evidence)
Employee drove to her previous employer by mistake
Employee claimed to have delivered a stranger's baby on the side of the highway