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The 9 Craziest Work Late Excuses

excuses for being late, being late work, showing up for work late, time . / Credit: Alarm clock image via Shutterstock

While heavy traffic might be the most common reason for showing up late for work, it's certainly not the most outlandish, new research finds.

A study by online career site CareerBuilder reveals that frozen car keys and bear attacks top this year's listof the most outrageous excuses for arriving to work late. Among the other more memorable excuses hiring managers heard from tardy employees in the past year included:

  • 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 raincoat 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 barbershop opened to fix his hair.
  • A bear attacked an employee's car (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.

Overall, more than a quarter of workers admitted to being late at least once a month, with 16 percent showing up past their scheduled starting time at least once a week.

"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." 

The study found that more than one-third of hiring managers have had to fire someone for their lateness.

The research was based on surveys of more than 2,600 hiring managers and more than 3,900 workers nationwide.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.