So you’ve been happily employed for a couple of years. You’ve negotiated the office politics, can navigate every corner and half-step of your commute with your eyes closed and pretty much breeze through the days without a hitch. However, your perfect record will eventually be tarnished by one day of running late – what’s your best excuse?

Most people rely on the public transport scapegoat but that’s always risky. If you work in a big office your lie might be debunked by someone who gets the same line as you.

At least 16% of the working population admits to turning up to work late. They’re just the ones who admitted it!

Here are four bulletproof excuses for running late (when you have no excuse).

1. “There was a family thing”

Using the phrase “family emergency” tempts fate too much to be used in a lie, sorry, fake excuse. A “family thing” sounds messy and like something that would break the co-worker/personal boundary – especially early in the morning.

That said, it can mean anything so you got plenty of options if someone has the gaul to ask “what kind of thing?”.

2. “I dropped my phone in the toilet”

A couple of years ago this wouldn’t have worked. However, phone damages coax empathy like no other tragedy. We’ve all been there. With this particular excuse everybody knows how long it takes to fix.

You’ve got to fish the device out of the, preferably unused, bowl. The put it in rice for 15-30 minutes before attempted for resurrect it from its watery grave.

3. “My dentist appointment overran”

This excuse shows that you’re an employee with good intentions. Not only do you have the utmost respect for your teeth but you’re decent enough to book a super-early appointment as not to miss work.

Sure, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but so is the road to work.

4. “The queue for Krispy Kreme’s was huge”

This one actually requires some cash to be spent. Save the doughnut plan for when you’re really late but don’t walk in all apologetic. Come in smiling and everyone will assume this was part of a bigger plan.