Article courtesy of Sun-Sentinel, via “The Rundown”
“My dog ate my work schedule.” Yes, that twist on the tried-but-not-so-true statement actually made a list of bizarre excuses workers gave for being late to work, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.
More than 1,000 hiring and human resource managers and more than 800 workers in the private sector across industries participated in the nationwide online survey.
Other whoppers included:
“I was here, but I fell asleep in the parking lot.”
“My fake eyelashes were stuck together.”
“I forgot I did not work at my former employer’s location and drove there by accident.” (The worker had been at the new job for five years.)
“I had morning sickness.” (This from a man.)
E. Carol Webster, a clinical psychologist in Fort Lauderdale who specializes in work issues, said people tend to make up incredible excuses so their tardiness doesn’t look like a character flaw.
“People just can’t come up with something that’s too dull. It has to be something everybody would agree with [so the boss will say], ‘Well, that explains it,’ ” she said.
When someone arrives late to work, it may be a form of “acting out,” Webster added, because the worker may not feel his time is respected. Employers “are texting and emailing them at all hours — that’s not improving. There’s an expectation of people working 24 hours a day,” she said.
When asked how often they’re late for work, one in four workers, or 25 percent, admitted they are late at least once a month. That percentage is actually down from 29 percent last year. But more than one in 10 say it’s a weekly occurrence for them, according to the survey.
Age — or youth — seems to be one factor in tardiness: 38 percent of those ages 18 to 34 are late at least once a month, compared with 36 percent of those age 35 to 44, and 14 percent of those 45 and older.
Of course, not all the excuses were bizarre. Among the more typical excuses as to why employees are late to work: traffic (51 percent), oversleeping (31 percent), bad weather (28 percent), too tired to get out of bed (23 percent) and forgetting something (13 percent).