What's the funniest excuse you've ever heard?



  • We hired a temp employee to man a receptionist desk for a two-week period. She was new to the area (moved with in the month). The first day of work she was late by about 30 minutes. When confronted she said she got lost (OK, I bite she was new to the area). She then apparently got lost at lunch (was gone for two hours) and got lost the next day on her way in (1 ½ hours). She got lost at lunch again (we suggested brown bagging it) and then lost the next day. She left for lunch on the third day and never returned. When I called the temp agency they couldn’t find her either. Apparently she is still lost since no one has heard from her since…
  • I had an employee call in for his shift stating, "I can't come to work because I don't want to waste the gas I have in my truck. I need it to go out tonight".
  • Since this just keeps getting better I thought I would add a funny one that isn't exactly an excuse for a work behavior but it comes close.

    We had an employee who went in to the lunch room, opened her lunch bag and unwrapped her sandwich to find one perfect bite out of the corner of the sandwhich.

    When she finally determined who the lunch-tasting-culprit was, he explained that he had taken a bite of the sandwich and realized it wasn't his so he just wrapped it back up, put it away, and got his own lunch. No apology, no offer to buy her lunch that day since he had "mouthed" her food, no remorse what so ever.

  • Not sure how good this one is in comparison, but:

    We had an employee one day go to lunch. We had one of these gully-washer rain storms come up. She comes back to work during this storm. She calls from the parking lot on her cell phone and says that it is raining too hard for her to get from the parking lot to the building (about 100 yards) and that she is going back home. Even though the rain stopped about 45 minutes later, she didn't come back the rest of the day.

  • I have got to reply to this one.

    1. I had bounty hunters come looking for one of my managers who took off when he saw them. He was the only MGR on duty for that location so of course he was written up. However, before he came back he ended up turning himself in. Speeding tickets is what he claimed was the reason the bounty hunters were looking for him.
    2. I had another lady on her first day of work had questionable sandals on and our dress code is strict as far as what type of sandals they can and cannot wear. When approached very quietly and told he shoes were fine she ran out of here crying and we never heard from her again.

  • This is unfortunately not one I simply heard, but one I pesonally experienced during a previous life in my HR career. Bear with it, 'cause it's a long one - but worth the trip.

    Working at the time for a large national retailer, we were in the process of opening a new market, and had transferred a number of managers and supervisors from an existing market to staff the new stores. One husband & wife team who moved together were both assigned to the same store, as was their friend and housemate, who was a department supervisor at the time. Unfortunately, company protocol and policy was somehow ignored during the transition, and the husband wound up as general manager directly supervising his spouse in her department manager position - a conflict of interest no-no. Upon discovery, we required one of them to accept transfer to another location, at which time the husband protested our policy and decided to resign. Then things got interesting.

    Soon after, the friend and housemate (still a dept. supervisor) began to experience work deficiencies, but no record seemed to exist regarding the issues or any follow-up by management. It was soon discovered that the wife had arranged things so that she was the friend's most direct boss (another reporting violation), and was obviously reluctant to hold the friend accountable at work. We intervened, insisting that she do a better job at supervising her friend, but to no avail - things got worse, not better. After pressing the wife harder for answers, the following tale unfolded:

    Seems the wife had, a number of months back, asked the husband what he most desired for his birthday.. to which he had unabashedly replied "the opportunity to sleep with another woman".. and they decided to approach their friend and housemate with this idea, to which she responded "Why not?" And so they did.. and as luck would have it, the friend became pregnant from the experience. Such was their friendship that she offred to "give" the baby to the couple as her gift to them, in thanks for all they had done for her over the years. Which leads us back to the main story, and the reason why the wife was so reluctant to discipline the friend - for fear that if friend lost her job, she might be tempted to relocate herself back home, taking their in-utero gift with her.

    Needless to say, we took other measures to discipline the friend, and as the couple predicted, she packed up and left for home. Last we heard, their friendship had deteriorated considerably since the birthday bash, and the couple was suing for sole custody of the unborn child.. sad.

    This story has gone down in the HR annals of this company, fondly referred to by the classic literature fans among us as "The Gift Of The Managi"

  • In a previous HR job in the Washington, DC area, I worked closely with the warehouse manager in conducting random drug screenings on the shipping and receiving employees. One morning a positive result came back for one of our newer workers, indicating the use of PCP. This was unfortunately a very popular and dangerous stimulant of choice in the DC area at the time, and the paper was filled daily with stories of hopped-up abusers engaged in exlosive physical outbursts and fending off numerous police officers during arrest attempts. When I called the manager with the bad news, he expressed his disappointment, then got quiet for a moment, then asked, only half kidding, "Is there any way we can wait until the end of the day to fire the guy?... 'cause he works REALLY fast!"
  • This just in...
    I heard it only this morning, "Sorry I'm going to be out all morning, but I glued my finger to my neck."

  • I was head of HR in a manufacturing plant. One employee came to report a threat he'd received from another employee. When I asked him to repeat exactly what the employee had said, he told me his co-worker said, "I'm going to hit you so hard it will make your ancestors bleed!" I really had to fight hard not to laugh.

    Margaret Morford
  • called in saying they could not make it to work because they were with a friend in their car. the friend got picked up for running a stop sign and they were both put in jail for the night. I asked to talk to the police. She put a friend on posing as an officer. I called the department and asked about this story. the person was let go.
  • I've got a couple of good ones:
    We had an employee, that worked our night shift, going thru a divorce the same time I was. He was missing work about once a week to meet with his atty. I asked him what time his appts were thinking that he could come in to work afterwards. He stated that he met with the atty at Taco Bell at 9:30 at night and was to distraught to return to work afterwards. When I asked for the attys name citing that this would help me, I could meet with the atty at night and not miss any work, the ee couldn't remember the attys name and couldn't find a business card.

    It is our policy that if an employee is injured at work that they must take a drug test when receiving medical treatment. We had a lady get hit in the head and got a good size gash in it. She refused to go to the hospital. (This happened again on our night shift) A few days later she stated that her head was hurting and that she was feeling light headed. We then forced her to go to the Dr. On the way she stated that she wasn't going to take a drug test. Upon arriving at the Drs shewent in signed the paperwork then refused to give a sample. She stated that it was against her relgion. Then it was that she would take it but only if she could go outside and have a cigarette first. We then brought her back to the office where we terminitaed her employement. She stated that she only smoked pot after work and that it didn't affect the work that she was doing here.

  • Not really an excuse, but pretty funny. We have a two step drug testing program. First positive is suspension, EAP, mandatory monthly testing for a year. Second positive is termination. I had an employee who tested positive for marijuana, and didn't try to deny. About six months later he came up positive for pot again. I called him into my office, and when I explained that this was discharge, he sat across from me and in a very Cheech & Chong type manner simply stated, "Bummer." Indeed.
  • I have two pre-employment drug testing stories:

    1. I had a sixty something employees test positive for marijuana. She said that it must have been the "asthma cigarette" that her grandchildren told her to smoke.

    2. An employee tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. She said that she drank herbal tea that must have caused the marijuana and that she took
    Tylenol #5 that she got from her brother. She said it came in a box from the UPS man and she knew it was Tylenol #5 because the pills had a 5 on top of them. Until this point, we had always told employees about their positive tests in person. This was the last one. It took all my professional being to not laugh out loud at this person's excuses.
  • One of my co-workers called late morning saying that her dog made a lot of mess in the house. That it took her a long time to clean it up, and then no matter how many time she washed herself, smell still was very strong. She felt very bad but that was the reason she could not come to work.
  • an employee had gotten engaged and was celebrating rather heavily. The employee was supposed to report to work at 6 a.m. the next morning. Called in at 5:30 p.m. saying she had unknowingly slept through her shift and was getting ready for work when she finally realized it was 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 a.m.

  • Back in my consulting days I did an HR audit of a company and during the audit asked if they employment physicals and, if so, for what job classifications. The HR person, or more accurately, the person who was trying to do HR, told me that they didn't decide by job classification, that they only sent the "sickly ones" for a physical.
  • I just wanted to "stick up for" the lady with the chickadee in her house. I got a panic call from my daughter one day about an hour before the end of my shift. A squirrel had gotten down the chimney and was in our fireplace. Of course, he couldn't get out, we have glass doors and they were closed, but he was trapped. Daughter was crying, dog was barking, etc.

    I called the police, the Department of Natural Resources and Animal Control. They all laughed, but couldn't help. I went home, armed myself with a broom, released the squirrel from the fireplace, chased it around my light gray carpet with a broom until it ran out the open door, then tried to clean up the little squirrel footprints on the carpet. I DID NOT MAKE IT BACK TO WORK THAT DAY.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one this happens to, and at least it wasn't a moose.
  • When I saw your request, I immediately thought of several but one always sticks in my mind when I think about people missing work.

    My former employer was a manufacturing company that has a "no fault" attendance policy. Employees were given a telephone number that they could call into 24 hours per day to report they were going to be late or miss work. Each morning I was required to check the machine to see who was missing or late that day. This machine was located in an empty cubicle but there were cubicles around it with employees working.

    One morning I reported for work as usual and began listening to the messages. Imagine my surprise when one of the messages was from one of our employees calling from what was obviously the local tavern to state that he would not be into work that morning (the call came in at approximately 12:00 a.m.). Based on his slurred speech it was easy to figure that he had been drinking quite a bit. The funny part of it was that he must have simply set the phone down without disconnecting it and proceeded to tell whoever he was drinking with, in no uncertain terms, what he thought about the company. He used some quite colorful language as well. Keep in mind that there were other employees in the area that heard this message as well.

    This incident was something that is still laughed about at the company today.
  • We too have a no fault attendance policy. We had an EE who had been with us 8 weeks or so. she had been tardy 14 times in 8 weeks. She was tardy from 1/2 hour to 2 hours. She had another job as a bartender in the evenings. She had agreed this was her primary position and the bar job wouldn't interfere. The last episode she was 2 hours late. Her supervisor asked her why. She said she went out to her car and noticed she had a flat tire. She replaced the tire then she drove the 30 minutes to work. That made her about a half hour late when she stopped at the gas station closest to the hospital. While she was there getting gas she looked in the back seat of her car and noticed that her dog was in the back seat (German Shepard). She said it was too hot to leave him in the car while she worked her full shift so she took him home (another 30 minutes home).
  • Bringing back an old thread...an employee we had was written up for two no call/no shows. In the employee comments section he wrote simply and succintly "S**T HAPPENS."
  • Four employees were late to work and when confronted with their tardiness all claimed the car they all were in had a flat on the way to work. Ordinarily this would have been an adequate excuse and they would just be allowed to go to work, but this time the supervisor took each one aside to ask which tire was flat - 3 different answers, busted.
  • That's a great one! I wouldn't have thought to do that. Now I know I'll do that.
  • We have a very relaxed dress code, but a few years ago, jeans were only allowed on Fridays. Our receptionist (who reports to me and knew her dress code was slightly more strict) was told never to wear jeans when we had customers coming, even on Fridays.

    One Thursday, she came in with jeans on. She had done something else that caused me to asked her into my office, with a closed door. During the conversation, I said, "You know, sometimes I think you do things just to irretate me. Why are you wearing jeans today? It's Thursday?" She said, "Well, I had decided not to wear them tomorrow, so I decided to wear them today."

    Not long after that, I gave her 30 days to find another job. And, it gave me 30 days to find a replacement!!
  • About 14 years ago, we had an employee call in unable to come to work because the electricity was off and her car was locked in the garage. Apparently she forgot how to open the door manually!
  • Here's mine.

    At my former job, the Employee Relations Director received a middle of the night phone call asking if University X routinely hires felons and named a woman who was recently hired. I called the campus police department and asked them to run a quick background (as authorized by her signature on the application.) When I answered the return phone call from the police, the cop was counting "... 5, 6, 7, 8 - I've got eight pages, Karla - where would you like me to start?"

    When we confronted the woman with the convictions, the employee told us that she knew about the convictions on her record but that they were not really HER convictions. She told us: "My twin sister is mentally ill and sometimes impersonates me when she does things that she knows is wrong. I can have my lawyer give you a letter stating that those convictions should not really be held against me. Will that be enough?"

    We told her that no, a letter from her attorney would NOT be enough; she would have to have the courts remove the convictions from her record. We notified her that she had signed the application form indicating her understanding that providing false information was grounds for termination and that we were, in fact, terminating her employment with the university.


  • But.......why didn't ya'll check her background before you hired her?
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 03-10-03 AT 03:55PM (CST)[/font][p]Reason for leaving previous job:
    answer on the application "pants too tight"

    I had to read it again and again too make sure it said what I thought it said.
    This has got to be one of my favorites so far.
  • I have heard that we are a society always willing to blame someone else for each of our little faults and troubles. This takes the cake though. Blaming the employer for my pants being too tight? What are they doing, forcing me to eat banana pudding all day long?
  • I think it was too much Stump Slung Hog Bowels.

    I gotta do the interview just to find out why they put that down.
  • We got a sayin' down here: 'She's tryin' to put ten pounds of taters in a five pound sack.'
Sign In or Register to comment.