Apologizing for being late is one of the big moral dilemmas. It’s a bit like farting, or eating the last brownie – do you mention it, or do you just keep quiet and hope no-one has noticed? Do you come clean and apologize, or is it OK to blame it on the dog?
Marilyn Monroe was one of the few people who didn’t feel the need to lie: “I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways, but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.”
Telling the truth seems a bit uncaring and makes us feel a bit stupid, which is why we never actually admit. “Sorry I’m late, but I just didn’t leave home on time.” It seems much less embarrassing to give a good excuse, but just how far can you go? If we drove for a few moments behind a driver under instruction, or slowed briefly behind a school bus, or followed a funeral cortege for a short distance, we consider it lucky, because we can weave quite a convincing excuse around a grain of truth. In fact, we can be so convincing, that we can even persuade ourselves that it’s true.
Cell phones are a great invention for Timebenders, because sending a message five minutes before you are due to arrive, to say you’ve been held up, is a great way of getting any embarrassment out of the way. It gives us two advantages. Firstly, if you are going to bend the truth, you can do it without having to look into people’s eyes. And secondly, when you turn up 10 or even 20 minutes later, you actually feel like you are on time, which is brilliant. But do try to avoid giving a specific time of arrival, or you might underestimate, and end up late all over again.
If you are always late for something you do regularly – like getting to work, or the 8 am biology class, or driving the kids to school – it’s best to say nothing. There isn’t really any excuse you can give that will convince anybody, so it’s best just to keep quiet and not give any reason at all. They aren’t going to believe you, whatever excuse you come up with.
If you DO give an excuse, this list might come in handy:
Ten Top Excuses for Being Late for Work
1) Stuck in traffic
2) Overslept /Alarm didn’t go off
3) Lost car keys / wallet / phone
4) Car trouble
• Flat battery
• Flat tire
• Something leaking
• Ran out of fuel
5) Train was delayed
6) Bus didn’t turn up
7) Someone was ill / visit to the doctor
8) Pet problem
9) Power cut
10) Stopped by police