Excuses for Being Late to Work

Excuses for Being Late to Work

Being late to work is one of those things that we all have in common. I mean, no one is perfect. Everyone has at least one story to tell about the time they were late to work. In these stories, you will have the reasons why they were late to work, how late they were, and most importantly, the excuse they gave to get out of it, because, hey, nobody likes to be the tardy colleague, right? Thankfully, excuses are of a really wide range. They are numerous excuses for being late to work. You have to pick the one that works best for you and your situation.

As easy as some excuses are to give, because of their ability to work in any given situation at all, some need to be thought out carefully. They need to be careful not to get busted and caught up in your lie because when your excuse does not match your situation, the whole thing is bound to go south pretty quickly. Many excuses can be given to get out of getting that disapproving look or talk from your boss, the easy enough ones that you do not even have to think about too much. Still, there are also some, few, actually, that not only get you out of your predicament but also help you garner sympathy and concern from your boss. With these golden excuses, you do not just get to be pardoned for coming late, you also get to be treated with care, you get to be, I don’t want to use the word ‘pity,’ but it is the most accurate, pitied, but in a good way, you know?

Because with this pity comes privileges that you would normally never get from your boss, you will probably get your workload reduced because, poor you, you are going through a lot, and if things go really well, you could even get to have the day off! And you know, normally, that does not happen! We are only human. We cannot be perfect. We try our best, but we just come off on some days, and we could be tardy, but everybody does not always have to know that. So we need excuses to help us get through the day, feel loved, even if for one day, and still be efficient as always.

Excuses for Being Late to Work

When we need to use an excuse for being tardy, there is a lot that can pop into our heads, and while we try to sort them out and find the best one to use, our boss awaits. We have to give them something, or we would hear an earful, and we really do not need that on a cold Monday morning, or any morning at all, for that matter. We are well aware that these have been used so frequently by so many people that they have become a reflex. We do not even think about them anymore. We say them. But there are some, the really rare ones, that some of us have not even heard about, but that if we had, would have been perfect for that one time when we needed that sort of excuse the most. They are perfect, unused, and have a higher chance of ringing true, they could sound very genuine if used the right way, and they are almost always the perfect fit. 

Below is a list of some excellent excuses! They are:

  • Traffic Unbeatable

The most common excuse ever heard of in this world as we know it is bad traffic. The beauty of this excuse is the fluidity of it. It does not just work in virtually almost every country on earth. It also is the easiest excuse to give. You don’t even need to do much convincing when you use this excuse, and everybody understands what a terror a traffic jam can be. And not only is it flexible, but it also cannot be gotten out of. We could try to convince our boss that we did everything we could to get out of it, but we all know we did not. There was not even a traffic jam, to begin with. It is just a perfect excuse. But, there would be no getting out of it if there were, so no fault to you there!

Another benefit of this excuse is your role in it; none! No one is to blame for traffic jams. I mean, there is probably someone who made a turn they were not supposed to make, or a road violation, that now becomes the reason for the jam, but nobody really knows who that person is. All we know is there is a jam, and no one is getting out of it anytime soon. And so, when we use it as an excuse, our boss or supervisor really ends up having no choice but to pardon the tardiness because, well, we all know how traffic jams are, right?

  • Uniform Benefits

Still traffic-road related, you can always blame the police for your lateness. Hey, they are not there to defend themselves now, are they? So, what could it hurt? This excuse flows better when you grudge against an office before. You picture their face as you give this excuse. Diabolical, isn’t it? Well, that is the idea. And in this excuse also, you are not to blame, you are expected to uphold the law as the upstanding citizen you are, so when an officer stops you, you have to stop. When the officer requests to see all your information, you have to painstakingly take your time to supply it all, even if it means being late for work. And if after the ‘thorough search,’ you happened to get caught up in another bad traffic jam, or worse, one of your vehicle papers had expired. You had to follow the thorough officer to the station, and that took up even more of your time. Well, you can’t really be blamed for that now, can you? But of course, all of these did not happen. It is just really a good excuse, an efficiently thought out excuse that not only makes you look stressed out by the whole ‘ordeal’ and therefore earns you that ‘pity’ for your boss, it also makes you look like a hero for even thinking about coming in to work after all that!

  • Weather Trouble

This is another classic. Like bad traffic, it is universal, except you live on the moon, and even then, nothing is guaranteed. For its generality alone, it deserves the price for the ultimate excuse ever. It can be used in all situations, at any time, and in any place. The weather is so unpredictable that if you say it is bad where you are, and it is perfectly fine where your boss is, your boss could not possibly know how it is over there where you are. You need to sound as convincing as you can be. It has to be the best show you will ever put on because weather trouble could serve you really well if played right. It can not only guarantee you could not be held responsible if you were late, but it could also very well give you the day off!

The key to the weather trouble excuse is playing it well. You have to be very convincing when using the weather as an excuse because even as sure-fire as the weather excuse is, it can also backfire pretty fast. So the trick to it is having all your facts spread out before you, they should be clean and cut perfectly, there should be no rough edges; the weather condition, the severity of it, the chances of getting out of it (this should not be definitive, it should always vary between slim to none), the state of your car in this ‘weather condition,’ and the heaping regret you feel at being stuck at home. All this information should be well-rehearsed, there must be no mistakes, you must stick to them, practice them if need be. And, yes, write them down if that is what you will need to nail this excuse. The benefits of this excuse are numerous, and you have to milk it for all its worth! It cannot be used frequently and so when you decide to pull out that card, use it wisely. The weather excuse is perfect in almost every situation and is also very easy to give. 

  • Unfindable Necessities

Now this one is probably not as effective as the ones listed earlier. In fact, it is only used to stall, you can never get a free day from this one, and it is always, most definitely, your fault. The effectiveness of this one is that it too could also happen to anyone. We all lose things, and sometimes they could take a while to find, and in that ‘lost time’ is where our explanation lies, our explanation for lateness. And just like any other excuse, this one, too, has a key. The key to this one lies in the object that we ‘misplaced.’ It cannot be just an object. It has to be an object that we absolutely cannot do without, especially related to our work. You must not use an object that is ‘personal’ to you. Your boss does not care about your ‘lucky bracelet’ or ‘lucky pen.’ No, it has to be detrimental to your job, for instance, your car keys. You couldn’t possibly start your car without your car keys now, can you? So, you have no choice but to look for them. When giving this excuse, make sure you don’t make the time in which you looked for the keys too long, because then that would mean you did not think about your job and how important it was for you not to be late. So, when telling the time that you used to look for the keys, you say it was brief, and because you knew how important keeping to time was, you eventually had to give up on the search and take the bus. As I said, this excuse is to make up for the time-lapse, and it is most definitely your fault. Also, you will have to take the bus to be able to use this excuse.

  • Kid Problems

This excuse is selective, so if you are single with no kids, you can move along. This excuse would not work for you. But for those who have a kid or two, this excuse is as bulletproof as any excuse you can think of. Sure, your personal life should not interfere with your professional life, but the truth is, sometimes it will interfere, and there is nothing you or your boss can do about it. And so, even if your child is a complete angel and they are perfectly adorably present in school, you say the opposite to your boss. But, hey, your kid(s) is or are probably the reason you need to use that excuse anyway! They keep you up all night, and morning is just here way too early, so you use them as an excuse to gain yourself a little bit more time. And if after ‘the whole fiasco in the school,’ your kid or kids were still sent back home for the day, well, now you have no choice but to stay and watch after them, lest they cause any more problems. In the house! If your kids now happen to be in the range of 6 years old to 7, well, all the better! We all know how kids are at that age, adrenaline pulsing through their veins nonstop, crazy energy and speed in their legs, and mischief in their eyes. What better alibi?

  • Flunky Babysitter

The supporting excuse to the kid problems excuse is the flunky babysitter excuse. When there is a steady and competent babysitter around, there would be no reason to stick around with the kids anymore. But when there is an unreliable and flunky babysitter, and she just canceled on you at the very last minute, and there is absolutely no way of getting another babysitter on such short notice, your excuse is as good as gold. And in this excuse, it is also not your fault, darn those unreliable babysitters! This excuse is perfect because you can’t possibly leave the kids home alone, and finding a replacement at that time and on such short notice is very tricky, almost impossible. Your boss cannot argue with your logic on this one because even though your heart is in the office, you obviously have no choice, and you are stuck, possibly for the whole day. This excuse works even better when all your neighbors are out for the day, as there is no babysitter, you couldn’t possibly leave your kids with strangers, and you obviously can’t take them to work. That would be unethical, as you are sure the boss would agree.

  • Crampy Day

This one is for the ladies. Our monthly cramps are the worst pain we feel all month, except maybe if our femur gets dislocated and somehow ends up in our arm, and they have to perform surgery to take it back to our thigh, but if not, cramps are probably the crappiest feeling we get all month. So, we might as well get something good out of them. 

This excuse is very timely, though. We must make sure not to use it haphazardly, so we do not get caught. If your cramps are not probably as bad as some peoples’ and you can still go to work when you have them, then you can set aside another day in each month as your ‘cramp day’, every month on this date, you scream cramp, and be allowed lateness, or even better, free day. Nobody wants to challenge a woman on the day she is having cramps. Men tend to stay away from delicate matters like that. In fact, it scares some of them. You only have to say the word ‘cramp,’ and they do not ask any further questions. So, if your boss is a man, this excuse would work very nicely.

And if your boss is a woman, it could be a little tricky, in the sense that she might get that you are mixing up the dates, and that is why I said earlier that this excuse is very timely and should be calculated neatly. But, on the other hand, if you are successful, and she does not figure out the truth of the dates, you can be rest assured it would work on your female boss too, probably even more effectively, because she knows what you are going through, and she would want to be supportive. Girl power and all.

  • Personal

Now, this is an excuse not often used and one in which should be employed more often. Although your answer to your boss, you still have a right to personal life. Apart from your job, there would be some ‘personal things’ you have to deal with sometimes, and unless your boss is insensitive, they would understand this.

So, sometimes, when asked why you are late for work, you could say, “it is personal,” nobody can fault you for having a personal issue or problem you are dealing with it. Everyone has them. Sometimes, you do not have to concoct a story or an excuse for why you are late to work. The key to this excuse is just that you have to be convincing. A person who has something ‘personal’ to work through does not make jokes or look carefree. If you say you have something personal you are dealing with, you have to look at the part. Not necessarily looking sad or depressed, you could be ‘occupied’ with your thoughts, and you need not extend it to the next day. You have to get through that day.

And if you get asked to share the issue you are dealing with, you can easily say you would rather not talk about it, or something like ‘it’s something you have to figure out yourself. It’s guaranteed to grant you a pardon for being late to work, just that once. 

This excuse is also good for when you would rather be left alone.

Other excuses include; car troubles, in which your car suddenly broke down on the way to the office, and you had to stop and repair it, this gives you a little extra time, but not the whole day, unhealthy reasons, in which you just suddenly started feeling sick. It is not just a common cold either, nor is it the flu. Still, you think it could be something really dangerous and contagious. This could also be used, more effectively, on a family member, when it is not you, but somebody really dear to you that is unwell, this works even better. Finally, home maintenance is when a roof either starts to leak or a wire sparks, and you have to wait for the plumber or electrician, or even both, to fix it.


We can only hope to be the perfect employee, but it is impossible to be. We are human, and we all need that one time to be and that perfect excuse that is just right. We have to ensure we do not make a habit of it; the line must be clearly drawn.


  1. What if my boss does not believe any of this? Just remember to be straight and concise when giving these excuses, they are all relatable issues we all have at one point in our lives, so your boss would probably understand.
  2. What do I do when I can’t remember any of this? Breathe, and use the most common excuse there is. They are guaranteed in all situations.
  3. Why do I need excuses for being late to work? Because your boss is very unlikely to care if you said the reason you came in late was that you had a bad morning and you were finding it hard to get out of bed.
  4. Should I use these excuses every time? No, that could make them less believable, you don’t want those suspicious eyes on you. You only use them when absolutely necessary, like, can’t-get-out-the-situation necessary.
Excuses for Being Late to Work

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