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Do Not Call In Sick Using These 7 Ridiculous Excuses


It’s hard to get time off. Over the past 20 years, access to paid vacation days has declined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while more employers are offering sick time and other personal leave. This means that the temptation to take the occasional “mental health” day is stronger than ever before. Just remember, before you do, that lying has a way of coming back to haunt you in the end.

fake sneeze 

(Photo Credit: mcfarlandmo/Flickr)

For example, if you use one of these transparent excuses, it’s always possible that someone will write in to a blog to tell the world how silly you are:

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1. My name ain’t Grace.

“I worked with a woman who went home from work one day because she said … wait for it … she had hit herself in the head with her phone receiver while answering a call while sitting at her desk,” writes Amanda. (Last name withheld.) “When she returned the next day, we had thoughtfully covered said phone receiver in bubble wrap for her.”

When we suggested that said employee was lucky they didn’t cover her in bubble wrap, Amanda replied, “She was sort of half a bubble off plumb.”

2. I had a wardrobe malfunction.

“I broke my shoe, I gotta go home,” writes Amber J. Tresca, of a former co-worker’s best worst excuse for begging off work.

3. I have a note from a doctor … just not, y’know, my doctor.

That was far from the only bad excuse Tresca has ever heard at the workplace.

“I had another employee who came in with doctor notes. She was apparently having an endoscopic procedure almost every Thursday,” she writes. “Turns out, she knew someone who worked at the hospital and they were writing her notes.”

4. I’m drunk.

Several people said their co-workers had called in to tell their managers point-blank that they were still drunk from the night before.

“Personally, I would have appreciated the honesty,” writes Jenn. “Unless of course, the day before was also a work day and they were admitting to being drunk on the job….”

She adds that sometimes, good excuses sound like bad ones.

“I once called in late because I had fallen on my cat and had to take her to the vet,” she says. “My boss did not believe me, he told me to come up with a better excuse next time. I also got accused of lying when three of us who lived together (and worked on the same team) all got food poisoning from the party we’d been at the night before. No, not hangovers, we all ate bad KFC.”

5. My invisible plane was delayed.

“An employee called in sick saying her return flight home the night before was cancelled,” writes Alissa. “She called in a lot so we investigated and found that there hadn’t been any cancelled flights from where she had traveled. The internet is a beautiful thing.”

6. How about I just tell you this corny joke, instead of making an excuse.

“I worked with a guy who told our boss he couldn’t come to work because, ‘I have a bone in my leg,” writes Robert Longley, who adds that the “magic of the moment” was that they never knew exactly what he meant.

“This was the same fellow who would make amends for burping by saying, ‘Excuse me! Meant to vomit.'”

7. I had the world’s mildest heart attack.

“I knew someone who once called in with a heart attack but assured the boss he’d be in tomorrow. And was,” writes one anonymous commenter.

Did he really have a heart attack?

“Nah,” she says.

And finally, we have an honorable mention: What would Jack Bauer do?

“Not calling in sick … but I once had a co-worker tell me she couldn’t stay late to help on a project because 24 was on,” writes Jessica.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the most ridiculous sick day excuse you ever heard? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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