CHICAGO, February 7, 2013 – Frozen car keys, a functionally fashionable cement duck, and coin-operated newspaper machines top this year’s list of most outrageous excuses for arriving to work late, according to a new CareerBuilder study. More than a quarter (26 percent) of workers admit to being tardy at least once a month, and 16 percent are late once a week or more.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012 and included more than 2,600 hiring managers and more than 3,900 workers nationwide.
“Employers understand that every now and again circumstances will arise that are out of a worker’s control and unfortunately cause a late arrival to work,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “It escalates to a problem when the behavior becomes repetitive, causing employers to take disciplinary action. More than one-third of hiring managers reported they had to fire someone for being late.”
What’s Your Excuse?
Traffic is the most common culprit causing tardiness according to 31 percent of workers. Other factors include lack of sleep, the need to drop off the kids at daycare or school, bad weather and public transportation delays.
Not all employees blame jammed roads. Hiring managers shared some of the most memorable excuses they’ve heard from employees who were late getting to the office, including:
· Employee dropped her purse into a coin-operated newspaper box and couldn’t retrieve it without change (which was in the purse)
· Employee accidentally left the apartment with his roommate’s girlfriend’s shoes on and had to go back to change
· Employee’s angry wife had frozen his truck keys in a glass of water in the freezer
· Employee got a late start because she was putting a rain coat on her cement duck in her front yard (because rain was expected later that day)
· Employee’s car wouldn’t start because the breathalyzer showed he was intoxicated
· Employee attempted to cut his own hair before work and the clippers stopped working, so he had to wait until the barber shop opened to fix his hair
· Employee’s car was attacked by a bear (had photographic evidence)
· Employee drove to her previous employer by mistake
· Employee claimed to have delivered a stranger’s baby on the side of the highway
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,611 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,991 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 1 and November 30, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,611 and 3,991, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.92 and +/-1.55 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and talent and compensation intelligence to recruitment solutions. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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