Something has happened. You messed up. But hey, John messed up last week, and he managed to wangle his way out of it. So if you could just blame this one on time constraints, or perhaps Jane as she didn’t finish the draft correctly. Or maybe when James didn’t come back to you within the half hour you specified, that would have delayed you also, right? Wrong! If you mess up, are late submitting a project, or get something wrong – It’s your fault! – own up to it!
It’s amazing how creatures of habit can then hit desparation. The internet is overwhelemed with blogposts (including this one) about the snow, the ice, the roads, etc etc.