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by Monica Karlstein, staff writer

Everyone gets delayed some times. People arrive late to meetings, classes, or work, and many have likely, at least once, told a teacher or boss a white lie and blamed a traffic jam or a cancelled bus. Such things happen; that’s the way it is. However, an excuse such as “I had to take my cat to the dentist,” is maybe too much.

“ Late to Work,” a new survey by CareerBuilder.com, found that one in 10 employees arrive late to work at least once a week, and 24 percent arrive late at least once a month. According to the survey, conducted with more than 2,500 workers and 1,000 hiring managers, 20 percent of workers admit to making up fake excuses for their tardiness. Three common excuses were traffic, getting children ready for school or day care, or falling back to sleep.

These explanations seem credible; however, it’s not difficult to understand that 35 percent of the hiring managers don’t believe the excuses when they are told that “I stopped for a bagel sandwich, the store was robbed, and the police required everyone to stay for questioning,” or “My son tried to flush our ferret down the toilet, and I needed to tend to the ferret.”

These were two of the top-10 examples of the most unusual excuses for arriving late. Some others are: “I went all the way to the office and realized I was still in my pajamas and had to go home to change,” and “I couldn’t find the right tie, so I had to wait for the stores to open so I could buy one.”
At some universities in Europe, each class begins with an “academic quarter,” which means that you can arrive up to 15 minutes late without consequences or missing necessary information. HPU doesn’t have that tradition, but many students still arrive late to class.

Some teachers don’t show any disapproval at all, while others joke that the late student owes the teacher 10 pushups, and others set up rules so that if a student arrives late to a specific number of classes, the late arrivals count as one missed class. Some teachers give a quiz at the start of class that can’t be made up. Even if your teachers at HPU take such measures, your boss, on your first job after graduation, might be even more strict.

“ Thirty percent of hiring managers say they don’t care if their employees come in late, as long as their work is completed on time with good quality,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com. “However one in 10 hiring managers say they would consider terminating an employee if he or she arrives late once or twice in a given year. One in five says a pink slip may be in order if an employee is late three times in a year.”

Finally, even if you are not one of those who make up really bad excuses or arrive late to class every single week, it might still be time to make a strong commitment to develop your punctuality today, so you will be well prepared the first day of work tomorrow.


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