CareerBuilder survey reveals 'Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work'

FOX File photo (Courtesy: Flickr, Matt Cornock)

Homeland Security, Vaseline and lizard surgeries. What do they all have in common?

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, they’re among a long list of outrageous reasons why workers claim they’ve been late to work.

But, as mentioned, those three didn’t stand alone. Surveyed employers said other bizarre tardiness excuses included:

  • 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.

More than 2,500 hiring and human resource managers took part in the Harris Poll survey across industries nationwide, along with more than 3,200 workers.

The survey didn’t just reveal why employees were late; it also revealed how often.

Apparently one in four workers, 25 percent, admitted to being late at least once a month, and 13 percent said it’s a weekly occurrence.

But being on time may matter less and less these days, as 67 percent of employers said they believe the “9 to 5” schedule is no longer necessary for success, and 16 percent said, as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter what time their staff arrives. 

As for the 51 percent of employers who said they still expect a prompt arrival, their workers now have a new list of creative excuses to pull from next time they're running behind schedule.