“I was going to be on-time today, but I was attacked by lions”

That has to be one of the more novel excuses for being late to work ever recounted. It has been attributed to the late humorist Robert Benchley, who also said, “I do most of my work sitting down; that’s where I shine.” What’s your best excuse?

Staffing firm CareerBuilder recently surveyed employees to compile a listing of Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work.

Here are their top picks:

  • I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.
  • I put petroleum jelly in my eyes.
  • I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.
  • I thought Flag Day was a legal holiday.
  • My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.
  • The wind blew the deck off my house.
  • I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house.
  • I was cornered by a moose.
  • My mother locked me in the closet.
  • The pizza I ordered was late being delivered, and I had to be home to accept/pay for it.
  • The sunrise was so beautiful that I had to stop and take it in.
  • My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.
  • My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t say no.
  • Is it OK to be Late?

That’s quite a range of excuses, isn’t it? Of course, the degree to which creativity works in calming an angry boss is in direct relation to how often one comes in late.

A great excuse may work once or twice, but even the best excuses fall flat when an employee is chronically late. For most of us, the best advice is to buy a loud alarm clock.

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