Kool Derby

It’s funny how many people think that their bosses are naïve. They make up excuses, exaggerate stories, and even lie to make themselves look better in front of their bosses. The fact is that most bosses are like human lie detectors, quickly determining when someone is less-than-truthful.

#1 Blame Technology for Failing to Meet Requirements

Invariably, employees will blame their computer for not submitting project work on time. We’ve all heard the “hard drive crash” story, especially the one that happens the night before the project is due. Since the assignment has been sitting on your desk for months, that excuse lacks merit.

#2 Blame a Team Member for Your Incompetence

“Bob, I have all my work ready, but Julie didn’t send me her part of the report, and that held everything up! I’m pissed!”

Not good enough!

Your boss could care less about Julie’s part of the work. It is your responsibility to get the information needed to complete the work. Blaming team members fails to make you accountable or accepting ownership for the work. If you want to be mediocre, keep using this one.

#3 Blaming Lack of Knowledge for Low Productivity

My guess is that you will have lack of knowledge for the rest of your life. You will never know everything necessary to do perfect work. I remember one college recruiter lamenting about her poor performance for a particular month. She was meeting with students, but many of them were opting to either delay college attendance, or go to a different college. Her excuse: “If I could only speak Spanish, my numbers would go way up!”

Nope! Not good enough!

Mind you this college is here in the United States. To my knowledge, classes are taught in English. Her manager nodded when hearing this excuse. Within a few months, she was no longer in that position.

#4 Show up Late or Miss an Important Meeting

Your boss probably does not care if you arrive late to work from time to time. However, you likely have at least one or two meetings per month in which your presence is required. You might be giving a presentation to top management, or perhaps you are the SME who needs to field tough questions.

You might have good excuses, including the common cold or a family event. Here’s my advice: find a way to re-organize your schedule. The work meeting should last no more than an hour or two. Once the meeting is over, you can leave and take care of the personal matters. Your boss will respect that you delivered on the job requirements despite the personal issues. That makes you different. It makes you a professional.


Instead of making excuses about poor performance, find a way to impress your boss. Remember that you are not an astronaut navigating a spaceship into outer space, or a neurosurgeon performing a delicate operation. You have wiggle room to make mistakes, but not excuses