Creative excuses for tardiness: Online survey compiles the most common excuses for being late to work

Bosses were hearing excuses for being late to work less often last year than they did the previous year, according to an online survey conducted by According to the poll of 5,231 U.S. employees, conducted in November 2009, 16% of respondents said they arrive late to work at least once a week. That's a drop from 20% a year earlier. Common reasons for workplace tardiness included traffic (cited by 32% of respondents), lack of sleep (24%), bad weather (7%) and preparing kids for school or day care (7%).

In addition, CareerBuilder asked hiring managers and human resources professionals to give examples of outrageous excuses for being late. Among the more unusual ones were these:

  • I got mugged and was tied to the steering wheel of my car.
  • My deodorant was frozen to the window sill.
  • My car door fell off.
  • It was too windy.
  • I dreamt I was already at work.
  • A roach crawled in my ear.
  • I had to go to the hospital because I drank antifreeze.
  • I had an early-morning gig as a clown.
  • I saw an elderly lady at a bus stop and decided to pick her up.
  • My dog swallowed my cell phone.

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