Saturday, January 24, 2009

Late for Work Excuses - Real & Imaginary

On Friday, I had to call my boss from the train station to let him know I'd be late for work because my train had not yet arrived.

I remember another morning when our area was hit by a supposedly hundred year flood, with water pouring down from the basement windows and up from the sewers. I say supposedly because the following year a similar flood occurred. Anyway, that made me late for work.

Maybe you'd like to share your experiences. What real or imaginary excuses have you used to explain being late for work? Or, what happend to one of your book characters on the way to work?


  1. Car accidents around here are quite the norm, but about five years ago, we had a horrendous storm here in Vegas and you literally couldn't drive from one end of town to the other. Our city founders didn't think about flash flooding here in the desert valley. ;)

  2. The craziest thing that ever happened to me that caused me to call off from work completely happened one day in late November of 1993. I was driving along -about 2 miles from home -my younger daughter was with me as I was dropping her off at a friend's house where she was supposed to babysit that day. All of a sudden, the "skin" of the hood of my car pulled away from the hood, flew up in the air, sailed over the top of my car and landed in a wooded area along the highway. I had to have the car towed to the dealership where I had purchased it five years earlier. My daughter's reaction -all wide-eyed and astonished was to say "Holy S**t, Mom!" It was by sheer good fortune that no one was behind me at the time and that the piece didn't land on the highway but off in the woods.
    I think the wildest excuse I ever received from an employee calling off for the day was when a grill cook called to say she couldn't come to work as she had to stay home and record the funeral for Dale Earnhardt. Ahem. That's what VCRs are made for -to record things when you CAN'T be there to watch the program, isn't it?

  3. In London, the Tube is the main excuse people use for lateness -- everything from my favourite, 'leaves on the tracks' to the morbid 'person under the train' (these are announcements London Underground actually utter!).

    There's even a Tube excuse generator!

  4. I have been seriously lucky with some of my bosses, I once phoned a previous manager up and said "umm I had a bit of a night, so i'm gonna give the hangover a couple more hours to subside", i did stay late to make up the hours.

  5. I once had to call in late to work because a feral cat had crawled through the doggy door of our garage and was in process of having kittens under my car.

    And once, I called in because my garage door opener was malfunctioning. When I drove away from the house, the door opened. When I reversed back to the driveway, the door closed. It took me awhile to figure out how to solve this.

  6. Anonymous11:08 AM

    When I lived in New York the axle snapped on the bus I was taking to work leaving the bus stranded across the railroad tracks. Admidst the screaming and panic as passengers kicked out the windows to escape I turned to my co-worked, Gus, and said..."You know if we get hit by a train we might end up at the right stop." I can't recall if we waited for another bus or walked the remaining blocks but it was a decent excuse for being late.

  7. Anonymous4:17 PM

    Owen Fiddler, on his way to work, found a purse on the ground full of money. What HE did set the course for the whole karmic story.

    Marvin D Wilson, author,
    Hippie blog at
    Free Spirit at

  8. My worst excuse was the power was out at my house and so the garage door opener didn't work... and I couldn't figure out how to disconnect it to open the door myself!

  9. While I was going to college, I worked on campus in the Department of Developmental Instruction. It was a given to the other staff that if it was snowing, I would not be at work or I would be horribly late. Mostly, I was not there at all. Now it wasn't because I'm an excuse maker, I swear. I just refused to drive 45 miles one way just to work for 2 hours.

    These days, I am fortunate enough to work freelance from home. I work a set number of hours, but I can basically set my own schedule within reason. I'm never late then. It's beautiful.

  10. I live in a place with no snow, and usually around 300 days of sunshine. If I'm going to be late I would have to be very creative. Although I have to admit that the garage door power thing happened to me and did you know that garage doors had springs?! Well they do and if they break the door is tooooooooo heavy to lift. We have taken to parking one car outside now.

  11. Oh Annay, that happened to my husband with his car stuck in the garage. He actually broke the door right off the track trying to lift it in his frustration.

    As for my excuse for being late to work, I used to live in a huge apartment complex and my parking spot was at the end of the lot. In the winter all the snow was pushed down my end of the parking lot and when we got a huge storm I couldn't get my car out.

    I ended up shoveling my way out, killing my back, and making it to work late. I walked hunched over most of the day and they still wanted me to work.


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