Late for work

Writing Prompt: You’re late for work because you overslept, but your boss hates over-sleepers. He does love entertaining stories, so create the most outlandish excuse as to why you were late.

“Late again Litchfield!” came the by now familiar shout across the office.

My manager is a real tough nut when it comes to turning up late for work but if you can come up with a good enough excuse or the most outlandish reason then he will go away smiling to himself and forget all about you being late. This was the third time this week I had rolled up in the office late and I was running out of stories, these cold mornings just leave me hitting the snooze button more often than I should.

“Yes Mr Smith, sorry” I meekly said back to him
“I hope you have a good reason for this tardiness, it’s the third time this week!”
“I have …….”
“In my office please Mr Litchfield”
Off I go, my mind doing overtime thinking about what I could tell him today.

Mr Smith sat in his chair behind the uncluttered desk in his uncluttered office, he hated mess of any kind and here I was unshaven (again) and looking much the worse for the night out with the lads I had the night before.

“Well?” he looked at me severely.
“It’s like this Mr Smith, my brother called me in the night to say he was locked out.” I started “I have his spare key, so I had to drive over to give him his spare key” What the devil am I talking about, brother?
“That took all night did it Litchfield?” said Mr Smith looking at me expectantly.
“Thing is my brother lives in Manchester” just about as far as I could think of and get back in time to be just late for work.
“So you drove from London to Manchester to give your brother his door key? Isn’t he married or anything?”
“Yes he is but his wife is out of town on business” I’m thinking on my feet again “and she was being entertained by new clients and my brother didn’t want to disturb her”
“OK! I’ll buy the drive to Manchester and back, eight hours round trip, maybe nine with a coffee break. What time did your brother call?”
“It was about five-ish”
“So you got home at four this morning, you could have slept four hours and still been here on time!”
“But when I got to his house, I’d forgotten the key” I looked pleadingly at Mr Smith, now feigning the tiredness I should be showing if I had been up all night “So I had to drive back, get the key and go back to Manchester again.”
“I’m sure you did Litchfield, I’m sure you did!”
I stood looking at him for confirmation of his forgiveness quickly doing the mental calculations for the hours I should have been driving. I’m back in London two hours before I could possibly be.
“Why didn’t your brother come back with you, stay over then go back today WITH the spare key?”
“Coz he’d be late for work if he did that Mr Smith.”

©2010Trevor Litchfield
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”Late For work” by Trevor Litchfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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  1. This is great.

    • Thanks Bex, I’m not really certain I fulfilled the task very well but it was a fun exercise

  2. Yes… I enjoyed reading that!

    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment aquatom1968, I’m pleased you enjoyed it.

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