Top 10 terrible (and quite frankly ridiculous) excuses for being late for work

Occasionally being late is unavoidable or unfortunate. Sometimes your train breaks down, sometimes you sleep through your alarm and sometimes you leave your bag on the bus. And then there are those times when you have burned through all your justifiable excuses and are left clutching at straws at what to tell your boss and, in a panic, announce that a squirrel had stolen your car keys. Here are ten similar excuses:

1. I got locked in my car boot by my son

Depending on the age of the son, this swings from hilarious to slightly sinister in the imagination. I’d like to think this was the former, and an unwitting parent, reaching to the back of their Volvo trunk to retrieve their child’s bag, has the boot slammed behind them, and due to the dog grate they can’t crawl over the back seat, and have to rely on their infant to learn how to open a car door. Either that, or the employee had lied so many times that this was the only feasible excuse left.

2. I put superglue in my eyes instead of eye drops and now I’m in the hospital

We’ve all been so tired in the morning that we have done something dopey. Clothes in the dishwasher, shoes on the wrong feet, shirt on inside out; these are all silly, but understandable. Pouring superglue in to your eye instead of eye drops not so much. Why are those two bottles together in the first place? And this person said ‘eyes’ plural. If you were stupid enough to do it to one eye, surely you wouldn’t do it to the other? Also, if this was a lie, surely an incident like this would leave some visible damage behind? So many questions. This lie would likely get out of hand.

3. I was cornered by a moose

Moose are generally pretty docile creatures unless threatened. They are also only native to the far north of Eurasia and North America. They also don’t tend to brave it in urban and built up areas. So, basically, this excuse is only valid if you live in the forests of Sweden and decided to go for a morning moose spook, in which case your boss’s sympathy will likely be limited. Don’t try this one if you live in Croydon.

4. I got caught up in a parade

Ah yes, those famous parades that take place slap bang in the middle of rush hour that nobody can attend and ruins everyone’s day. Rumour has it that the Queen wanted to move the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla to a Monday morning motor procession around the M25, but was vetoed by organisers.

5. Someone robbed the gas station I was in, and I didn’t have enough gas to get to another station

This could be valid if you live in the countryside and there isn’t another petrol station for miles around, but come on. How long is your commute? Are you coming in from the Scottish Highlands to Edinburgh? Also, was this person privy to the robbery? Isn’t it a better excuse to say you had to give a statement to police? Couldn’t you just say it was closed for refurbishment? There are so many more valid excuses surrounding petrol stations.

6. I needed to help deliver a baby at the side of road

I perfectly acceptable excuse. . . if you’re a midwife or other care giver. It does warrant further questions even if that is your profession. Did the father hold up a sign at the side of the road saying “Midwifes please stop!”? Don’t try this one if you’re an accountant.

7. There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing

Definitely the most middle-class of excuses. Only try if you live near a mountain, and even then you’ll need to be a cocky so-and-so and be untouchable within your company. Perhaps if your parent is the owner, or you’re the only person who knows how the email works.

8. My cat got stuck in the toilet

How does a cat get stuck in the toilet? Even if it did, wouldn’t it take seconds to sort out? How fat is your cat? Next time, just say your precious kitty was stuck in a tree. It’s not that hard.

9. I wasn’t thinking and accidentally went to my old job

For exactly how long weren’t you thinking? Surely at some point on your commute you would think? If this were true, I would really like to have seen the reaction at this person’s old work place. I’m sure there would be some surprised faces.

10. I was bitten by a duck

Mallards aren’t particularly pleasant creatures. I won’t go in to detail here, but if you want to be horrified by these seemingly placid little water birds, just Google them. That being said, they aren’t known for their deadly bite, mostly due to their lack of teeth and, you know, disinterest in attacking humans. That makes this excuse one of the very worst of all these excuses. Off the top of my head, dog, cat, adder, bee, wasp, hamster, badger, fox, gerbil, parrot and horseflies are all far more likely to bite or sting you. Don’t go for the duck. You might as well say “I was mauled by water voles.”

As always, honesty is the best policy.

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