Late to Work Again? What’s Your Excuse?

We all know that the Healthcare IT Job Market is as healthy as it could be, however, the overall job market is not as booming with opportunities as our friends and family would like.   Problems in the economy can mean better customer service, increased productivity, and the generation of great new ideas (not that I am promoting a weak job market by any means; I’m just pointing out some possible side effects).  Employees want to show their bosses that they are important to have around.  Another way this dedication is demonstrated is by getting to work on time.  A recent study by found that fifteen percent of employees admitted to being late to work at least once a week, which is down five percent from 2008.

The survey takers, in addition to asking how often employees were late to the office, also wanted to know some of the more unusual excuses given for their tardiness.  As it turns out, unusual alibis do not end once we are no longer accountable to teachers and parents.  A couple of the examples included in the article were:

“I hurt myself getting a fork out of the dishwasher.”

“My hair was hurting my head.”

I wonder if these same employees were more creative than to use the standard “the dog ate my homework”  excuse when they were in high school.  I’m guessing so.

If you check out the Comments section of the article, you find many more amusing reasons that people have used to explain why they were not sitting at their desks at 9:00am.  Do any of them sound familiar to you?

What is the greatest “reason why I’m late” excuse that you have ever used or heard from an employee?

And, while we may laugh at some of these things, please remember that not showing up to work on time creates a bad impression and certainly will not help your career advancement.  In fact, the article shares that one-third of hiring mangers have fired someone for being late.  So, instead of crafting an excuse, just get to work on time… no excuses.

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.


  • Great post Joe!

    Excuses for being tardy happen quite frequently in school, too. I have a friend who is a college professor and her stories are hilarious! She and the other professors in her department keep tabs on “dead” grandmothers and grandfathers of certain students – miracles aside, a person can only die legitimately once before it gets a bit suspicious. 🙂

    As a manager, I think it’s important to keep an eye on repeat tardy offenders – it usually signals that something is amiss, and it’s always best to address it early.

    Always love your posts! Thanks for sharing your insight.


  • Thanks so much for adding your perspective Gwen! You inspired me to think deeper on tardiness. For those that are “newly” tardy, there is often a deeper issue involved that would be best discussed. Perhaps they need a more flexible schedule for some time to attend to a sick relative.

    For those that are chronically late, they simply do not value their job as much as they should and major surgery is usually required. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration!

Click here to post a comment