Back To Career News

What’s Your Excuse? (For Calling in Sick)


Almost everyone has done it: called in sick when they just didn’t want to go to work. The less daring might simply use a gravelly voice and claim a sore throat. Others, however, are more creative.


(Photo Credit: emmajanehw/Flickr)

One must wonder if creative excuse-givers truly believe that their manager will fall for their farfetched reason for not coming to work, or whether they are betting on the boss having a sense of humor.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Forbes and CBS Moneywatch both ran recent surveys that asked employers the question, “What is the best/funniest/most creative or ridiculous excuse you have heard?” Here are a few of the best:

  • “My car is surrounded by a swarm of bees.” This was the favorite of an editor here at PayScale.
  • “I’m too fat to fit into my work pants.” Yeah, yeah, we all are.
  • “I need to finish Christmas shopping.” Not sure how employee planned to pay for all those Christmas presents if he lost his job for absenteeism.
  • “I’m so angry I will hurt somebody,” and “I’m grouchy because I am quitting smoking.” Perhaps those employees should have been allowed to stay home. Or asked to look for other jobs entirely.
  • “I got lost and accidentally drove to another state.” This had better have been a new job that required relocation. (“You’ve been working here ten years…”)
  • Sometimes, body parts keep an employee home for the day. One employee’s false eye kept falling out; another’s false teeth flew out the window while he was driving to work.
  • “I received a threatening phone call from the electric company; I must stay home to report it to the FBI.” Instead of, you know, paying the electric bill.
  • Some people lock themselves out by accident. The more creative players of hooky, however, lock themselves in. One employee claimed the door lock jammed and she was stuck inside. Another supposedly claimed he was the victim of a prank: somebody glued all the windows and doors shut during the night.
  • “The turkey I ate last night made me sleepy.” Was this the day after Thanksgiving?
  • “My favorite team lost on Sunday. Too depressed to work on Monday.” I guess if you are enough of a sports aficionado that you would remove your shirt and paint your body in team colors, this one just might fly. Or not.

Tell Us What You Think

What is the best excuse you have heard for not coming to work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.