If you are aware that the people you work with have strange excuses for being late, or for not showing up at all, do you let it bother you, or do you just shake your head and go on? Yeah, me too.
In my years as an employee/cubicle dweller/supervisor/manager/lost at work, I have heard some strange excuses for being late, and perhaps even better ones for not coming in to work at all. I may have even thought of some gems myself, but alas, I am to chicken to use them. I should take lessons from my co-workers. They are much more creative than I am.
A rather young co-worker of mine, who I happen to manage, called one morning to let me know she would be late. She does this from time to time with what in her mind are solid, unquestionable, reasons. I’ve heard the “my dog is sick and I have to take her to the vet” excuse. I’ve heard the “my alarm clock didn’t go off or I didn’t hear it” excuse. I’ve even heard the “my tummy hurts” excuse. I’ve even heard the toilet paper is wrinkled excuse. All are creative, but have been used before. Well, all except that last one. But I give her points for her latest reason for being late. The conversation went something like this:
Her: I was on my way to work and I was going to be on time when I realized I forgot my clothes, my shoes and my purse.
Me: Long stretch of silence………..Huh?
Her: I had to go back to get my shirt, some shoes and my purse, so now I’m going to be late.
Me: Are you telling me you were coming to work without clothes on?
Her: Well, decent clothes.
Me: Did you simply get out of bed, walk to the car and start driving.
Her: I felt clothes on.
Me: You felt clothes on? Explain.
Her: Well, there were clothes on my legs so I felt like I was dressed.
Me: Dressed, but not dressed for work.
Me: That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. You’re coming to work nekkid.
Her: I had clothes on, just not a decent shirt and no shoes.
Me: You drive without shoes.
Me: And you forgot you were coming to work?
Her: Well, sort of.
Me: When did you realize your mistake?
Her: I have them on now and I’m on my way.
I have to tell you, I laughed about this all day long, and of course, I told everyone I saw about the girl who comes to work without proper attire. I’m now waiting for her next excuse. If it doesn’t top this one I’m not accepting it.
She doesn’t win the prize, though. That is still held by a young man who didn’t come to work one day but had a solid, but somewhat confusing reason.
I happened to ask his supervisor where he was and if he was coming in. She told me that she had talked to him but was a little fuzzy about his current status. I believe their conversation went something like this:
Her: Are you planning on coming to work today?
Him: I’m not sure.
Her: What do you mean, you aren’t sure?
Him: I have a toothache.
Her: Did you call the dentist?
Him: No. I’ve been in the tub soaking.
Her: Long silent stretch…………….Huh?
Him: Yes, to help make the pain go away.
Her: Okay. You have a toothache and you are soaking in a bathtub, right?
Him: Right. I have head underwater.
Her: Are you trying to drown the pain or drown yourself?
Him: Not trying to drown anything.
Him: I have a tooth ache.
Her: So you soaked in the bathtub with your head under water.
Her: And you’re still alive?
Her: I’m sure that makes sense to someone, but that someone is not me.
Him: I have a toothache and was told moist heat would help the pain so I am soaking my head in the tub of hot water.
Her: Umm, okay.
To this day, the above excuse for not coming to work holds the record for causing the most ‘huh’ responses upon hearing the employee’s reason for not coming to work. He is no longer an employee with a good reason. You’re welcome to try to come up with a better excuse, and I’d love to hear them, but even coming to work with no shirt, no shoes, and no purse didn’t quite make it past the head soaking.
From the life and mind and Wanda M. Argersinger
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