You see your boss giving you the evil eye from his office as you scramble into your cubicle an hour late. It’s only Wednesday, and you’ve been late to work twice already this week.
The good news is being late happens to the best of us. But before you scratch your head and mumble an incoherent excuse when the boss asks you about it, read on for some sure fire excuses that will keep you from getting canned.
This one works almost all the time, because clunky cars and late trains are common problems. Just make sure that your boss doesn’t live near you or takes the same commute route.
You can whip out this excuse about twice a month at most. Anything beyond that might make your boss offer for you to carpool with him.
Road excuses are a dime a dozen. The unpredictability of traffic makes you seem like the victim in this situation.
If you know that your boss takes the same route you do, you can opt for a variation of the traffic excuse by telling your boss you got pulled over by the cops. Just make sure your supposed “violation” doesn’t seem too delinquent or your boss may take away your car privileges.
3. Lost keys
The downside to this excuse is that it makes you look forgetful and inattentive to detail to your boss. However it is definitely a possible excuse, because there’s no way you’re going to leave your home unlocked.
Just practice your sheepish grin and throw in what an idiot you are, and your boss will just roll his or her eyes and not ask any questions.
4. The kids were extra fussy today
This excuse will only work if you actually have toddlers, because your boss can easily verify this. If you’re a single mom you can throw around this excuse as much as you like, and you’ll probably get away with a sympathetic smile instead of a scolding.
5. Wardrobe malfunction
Tell your boss that in your hurry to not be late for work you splashed coffee all over yourself, so you had to go back to your place and change. Use this excuse sparingly lest you get fired for being a giant klutz.
6. Important family member needs to be rushed to the hospital
The number of great aunts and uncles we have definitely multiply when we need to come up with an excuse for tardiness. It’s best to actually use the name of an actual aunt or uncle in the city, just so you won’t get confused.
Just be careful, this excuse might backfire when your boss asks you about great aunt Sally’s heart attack and you respond with a puzzled expression.
7. My dog got lost
This would be an especially good excuse if your boss is a pet owner himself. Tell him how playful old Spot wandered out of your house last night and you had to spend a good hour this morning having to look for him.
If you’re lucky your boss will forget about your lateness and swap pet stories with you instead.
8. Emergency leak
Household problems are unavoidable,, tell your boss about how you woke up with your apartment flooding from the faucet leak in the kitchen. Further detail how you had to search for the apartment super to fix your leak before rushing off to work.
This definitely works for young graduates with entry level jobs because your boss would definitely expect you to be living in a crappy apartment. Throw in a couple of lines about saving up for a better place in the city and your boss might even give you that housing allowance.
9. Had to drop by the drugstore because I’m feeling sick
This would work only if you’re late by less than hour. Make sure to throw in a cough or two when you enter your boss’s office to make this excuse extra believable.
10. My pet was sick so I had to drop him off at the vet
Ah, another pet excuse. As a rule of thumb in making up late excuses pets and kids are great scapegoats. Just tell your boss that Fluffy was choking on a hairball when you woke up so you dropped him off at the vet before coming to work.
There you have it, a list of excuses to keep in mind for those occasional late days. But an even better tip to save yourself the trouble of wracking your mind for an excuse is just to come to work on time!