We’ve all been there, you are exhausted from working too hard or suffering from jet lag or you binge watched “Game of Thrones” until 3:00 a.m., or you forgot to set the alarm and you know what happens next. Instead of waking up at 7:00 a.m., you open your eyes and it is 8:30 a.m. on a day when it is important to be on time.  It’s a sick feeling, like you might throw up. You jump out of bed, start cursing at yourself, now what?

You ask yourself, do I have a good excuse? Traffic? Ran out of gas? Uber driver crashed? My crock-pot caught on fire? The White Walkers stole your car? The Rack Monster held you prisoner? Anything that will say, “It wasn’t my fault, really, really, pinky swear!!”

The excuse sort of doesn’t matter. You missed something and the first thing you need is a recovery plan and to outline some thoughts in your head. Some things to think about…

  • Are you just late or did you miss the whole thing?
  • Can I text someone to see what is going on and if they even miss me?
  • Is it my meeting? Can I just reschedule?
  • Is my boss there? Is anyone else late?
  • Is it a meeting about cutting jobs? Did they talk about me?
  • Are all the presentations on my laptop? Is anyone looking for them?
  • Do I have “bed head” and will it go away in time?

If you are late because you didn’t get up in time, you have to deal with it. Unless you have a really good excuse that involves blood or flames, the excuse probably doesn’t matter.  You are just plain late so move on and try to avoid it in the future.   If you are chronically late, the reason could be something other than a faulty alarm. It could be your job itself.

When you dread going to work, you will oversleep. When you love your job, you will jump out of bed (usually) in order to get there and contribute. There is always traffic and always reasons to be late if you can’t stand showing up. Chances are, if you don’t like your job and always oversleep, you will be ill-prepared too. If you like your job, you will be ready for what the day brings.

Showing up on time is important but if dread is a part of your work, it could be time for something new. Showing up on time and being ready and able to do great things in a role you love is better.

And if you still oversleep all the time, it could be time to get a dog.


Richard is the author of the new book The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters [A Worker’s Manual]. You can follow his writing on TwitterFacebook, or at his website at

Richard is a noted San Francisco based business leader, workplace pundit, bestselling author and venture capitalist.

About Richard Moran

Richard MoranRichard A. Moran is Chief Executive Officer of Frost & Sullivan, working in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities. He is a noted San Francisco based business leader, workplace pundit, best-selling author, and venture capitalist. He is best known for his series of humorous business books beginning with best-selling, Never Confuse a Memo with Reality that started the genre of “Business Bullet Books.”​

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