Last week, Sydney Whitson, from Oklahoma in the US, shared the saga on Twitter and it immediately went viral.
She explained that her co-worker had contacted her boss to explain she would be held up due to a punctured car tyre caused by a nail.
The unidentified employee even shared a picture of the puncture as “proof” of the mishap – but there was one big problem.
Eagle-eyed Twitter users were quick to point out that not only did the photo of the tyre appear to have been downloaded from Google Images, but the nail itself seemed to be a photoshopped emoji instead of the real thing.
“My co-worker called in (yet again) and said she had a nail on her tyre that caused her to have a flat,” Ms Whitson posted alongside the photograph.
my coworker called in (yet again) and said she had a nail on her tire that caused her to have a flat. i need everyone to stop what they’re doing and ZOOM IN TO THE NAIL IN THE PICTURE SHE SENT MY BOSS pic.twitter.com/4NcJGuvF4F
“I need everyone to stop what they’re doing and ZOOM IN TO THE NAIL IN THE PICTURE SHE SENT MY BOSS.”
The tweet has already attracted more than 245,000 likes, 45,000 retweets and tens of thousands of comments, with social media users keen to share a joke at the woman’s expense.
“Yep. That’s what happens when you drive through construction zones in Toon Town,” one Twitter user posted, while another added: “Hahaha! I think she nailed it.”
“Why did she take time to badly edit a emoji nail in her tire instead of getting a realistic looking picture off of Google if he asked for a picture? A prime example of work smarter, not harder,” another person wrote.
But scores of other social media users also posted helpful photos of their own punctured tyres and car misadventures for workers who might be looking for more realistic evidence in future.
And others questioned why she would need to provide photographic evidence for being late in the first place, although Ms Whitson seemed to imply her colleague was a repeat offender when she said the woman had called in late “yet again”.