Of course you’ve heard that traffic on the highway was a nightmare … but how about a finance staffer who had a nightmare and that’s why he was late for work this morning?
That’s just one of the wildest real-life excuses employees have tried to get away with lately. CareerBuilder’s newest list gathered some of the more creative reasons for workplace tardiness. Take a look:
- It’s a zoo out there: One employee claimed a zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic. (The best part: This one turned out to be true!)
- The grass is always greener: An employee woke up on the front lawn of a house two blocks away from his home.
- One of nine lives almost lost: This staffer’s cat got stuck in the toilet.
- Well it is the most important meal of the day: This employee couldn’t eat breakfast because he ran out of milk for cereal, so he had to run out and buy some before getting ready for work.
- Just five more minutes, mom: One employee actually got to work … then fell asleep in the car when he got into the building!
- A messy medicine cabinet: This staffer really does need help with her vision – she accidentally put superglue in her eye instead of contact lens solution and wound up in the emergency room.
- Trick, no treat: One employee thought Halloween was a work holiday.
- Hole-y excuses, Batman: Employee said a hole in the roof caused rain to fall on the alarm clock and it didn’t go off.
- It’s just getting to the good part: One employee was engrossed in something on TV and really wanted to see the end of the show.
- Selective memory?: Another employee forgot that the company had changed locations.
- A knotty problem: This person hit a real snag – on her head – when she got a hairbrush stuck in her hair.
- Talk about a nightmare employee: This employee was frightened by a bad dream.
And while many of these are quite funny, there’s nothing funny about getting caught short in Finance because someone isn’t going to be in on time. Especially when a deadline is looming. Of course it’s going to happen now and then. So it’s a good idea to institute a few best practices that can keep disruptions to your department to a minimum:
- Encourage a heads up. “Better to ask forgiveness than permission” doesn’t work here. Let staffers know that you want them to send a heads-up as soon as they know they’re going to be late, whether it’s a call, an email, etc. That way you can adjust for it, rather than wondering and waiting for that staffer to show up.
- Buddy up. Yes, you want your people to let you, as their manager, know if they’ll be late. But you also want them to give a fellow department member a heads up. Each staffer should be partnered up with another staffer so that there’s someone to alert in case of lateness. Plus then someone else in-house knows just in case you’re stuck in that very same traffic or happen to be out that day.
- Keep a time sensitive tickler folder. Just in case the person who’s late happens to be in the middle of an extremely urgent project, you don’t want to get caught short. Encourage staffers to put any in-progress work in a specific folder and keep it somewhere a co-worker could easily find. That makes it easier for someone else to jump in to make sure Payroll goes out on time, for example.