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5 excuses for being late that only a New York boss would understand

By Richard McMurray
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We’ve all been late to work at least once or twice in our lives. Most people even have legitimate excuses like a delayed train, uncooperative children, or the ever-popular, "I'm just hungover."

But for those of us who commute to New York everyday, the city presents it’s own additional set of unique hurdles and challenges en route to work. With that in mind, here are five excuses for being late that only a New York boss would understand.

"A subway dancer nailed me."

We all try to ignore those obnoxious dancers when they disrupt the peace, harmony and tension of our morning subway ride, but they refuse to be ignored. And even though they say that their dancing routines don't require any special accommodations, you're running the risk of getting kicked square in the nose during the performance. A bloody nose isn't the best excuse for being late, but if you tell your boss that it was the product of reckless subway performers, they ought to be cool with it and say something like, ”Always sit towards the ends of the subway car. It’s out of the dance zone."

"There was a free giveaway at Madison Square Park"

If you ever walk by the Flatiron Plaza across from Madison Square Park, you'll probably encounter some company giving away free sampes. As expensive as this city is, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to get a free piece of something even if I have to give them my email address. In any other city, a boss might be pissed that you're 15 minutes late because of a free doughnut, but a New York boss is likely to respond by asking, “Where’s mine?”

"I got lost in the sewer fog"

A lot of New York streets are covered in a white misty fog emanating from one of the sewer grates next to the curb. If the wind is blowing in the right direction, it'll push the fog directly in to the path of pedestrians crossing the street, engulfing them. This phenomenon may cause you to become lightheaded and buckle at the knees. Tell this to your boss, and they'll probably give you one of those white surgical masks in lieu of a scolding.

"A taxi puddle-splashed me."

Word to the wise: Don’t walk too close to the curb when it has been raining outside. I'm convinced that New York taxi drivers look for puddles to speed through, so they can watch the splash of dirty cold puddle water cascade all over your freshly-pressed suit. Even if you don't get splashed on your way into work, this excuse is a solid go-to if you're running late. 

"I got caught in a sidewalk right-of-way pissing match."

New Yorkers know to keep to the right side of the sidewalk, and it's incredibly frustrating when pedestrians book it on the left side. It's important to stand your ground in when you're on a collision course with a person who's ignoring common sidewalk etiquette. But some bold power walkers won't budge either, which can quickly turn into a full-blown right-of-way pissing match. Defending New York's unwritten social rules is important, and if you're boss is a real New Yorker, they'll understand. 

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