It Was a Zebra! (and 8 More Crazy Excuses for Being Late for Work)

the-real-reason-youre-late-for-workMost of us can admit to having those days when it’s almost impossible to get out of the door on time.

In a recent CareerBuilder study, employers shared some of the most unique excuses they’ve heard from employees who were running late for work. From cats getting stuck in the toilet to supergluing an eye shut, these employers have heard every excuse in the book.

This study also found that 23 percent of employees admit to being tardy at least once a month and 15 percent arriving late at least once a week. The most common reasons for tardiness include traffic, lack of sleep, public transportation problems, bad weather, and dropping the kids off at school. However, there are some even crazier excuses for calling in late for work.

Here are nine outrageous excuses employees have used to inform their employer they’d be running late for work:

1. Why Did the Zebra Cross the Road?




To make you late for work, of course! One employee claimed a zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic. Strange enough, this excuse turned out to be true.

2. One Employee’s Cat Decided to Take a Bath…




…and ended up getting stuck in the toilet. Well, at least that’s what the employee claimed. Maybe next time you should close the lid before heading off to work, eh?

3. Another Employee Claimed He Ran Out of Milk for His Cereal




Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, but don’t let it keep you from being late to work. This employee said he had to run to the store to get milk for breakfast before heading to work. Let’s be real, if you know you’re going to be running behind, grab some breakfast on the go.

4. This Employee Was Late to Work Because He Fell Asleep in the Car When He Got to Work




If you’re falling asleep at work before you even enter the office, this may be a sign you need to start getting your eight hours each night.

5. Superglue Works As Eye Drops, Right?




One employee was late for work because she accidentally put superglue in her eye instead of contact lens solution. Unfortunately, she had to go to the emergency room. This definitely not a fun reason for being tardy for work.

6. One Employee Thought Halloween Was a Work Holiday




Although Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate, it’s definitely not recognized as a real holiday in the workplace. When in doubt, check with your company’s calendar to see what holidays you get off from work.

7. Sometimes, You Just Have to Give Into Your Netflix Binge




Trust me, we’ve all been there. However, you need to know when to turn it off. CareerBuilder shared that one employee was tardy for work because they were watching something on TV and really wanted to see the end.

8. Bad Hair Day? No Problem


Bad Hair


Let’s face it, we all have the occasional bad hair day. However, that’s not excuse for being late to work. One employee said she got her hair brush stuck in her hair and she’d be running late. Talk about a bad hair day!

9. One Employee Was Scared by a Nightmare




You’d think it’d be any person’s worst nightmare to be late for work, right? Apparently this person thought their bad dream would be a good enough excuse to be late for work anyways.

The next time you’re running late for work, it’s important to remember there could be big repercussions. According to CareerBuilder, one in three employers say they have fired an employee for tardiness. If you know you’re going to be late for work, always be sure to give your boss a heads up.

What’s the craziest reason you’ve heard for being late for work?





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!




Images courtesy of, tumblr, Thank you!



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