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Excuses for being late to a business meeting

No one wants to arrive late to a business meeting with all eyes on you. Maybe this has happened more than once, and you’re skating on thin ice, or this is the first time you have ever shown up late to work. Either way, it’s not a good look. So what can you do about excusing work lateness? 

Whether you try to sneak through the door unnoticed or slink in and look apologetic and downcast as you enter, it is best to have an excuse at the ready should you need it. What happens if your boss calls you out in front of everyone? What reason can you use for being late to a business meeting? 

Should your meeting take place in the morning, afternoon, or evening, there are a few things that you can say that will hopefully get you out of the doghouse with your manager or boss. 

Here is a list of excuses to use if you are late for a business meeting or miss it altogether:

  1. Traffic was terrible due to a car crash. 
  2. You didn’t think this meeting was mandatory. 
  3. You got trapped in the elevator when leaving your apartment.
  4. You had food poisoning from a meal the night before.
  5. Your car broke down on the highway.
  6. You spilled coffee on your work clothes at the coffee shop and had to go home to change. 
  7. You had to finish a project and get it to the client before you could attend. 
  8. You parked on the wrong side of the road last night, and now you have a ticket, and your wheel is clamped so that you couldn’t drive to work. 
  9. You were on hold with customer service for hours and did not want to lose your place in the queue.
  10. You had to take your pet to the vet unexpectedly.
  11. You just found out a relative died. 
  12. You were the correct caller for a radio competition and had to claim your prize, or it was forfeit.
  13. You forgot your kids were in the car when you got to work and had to turn around and drive them to school.
  14. You picked up a hitchhiker on the way to work, and they tried to attack you in the car. 
  15. You stopped to get everyone donuts for the meeting but then the shop got held up at gunpoint while you were there. 

If you know you’re going to be late to a business meeting, you should already start thinking about  your excuse. That way, you can save face and keep your professional reputation intact. Hopefully, these excuses will help you do just that.

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