12 Real Excuses Never to Use When Calling in Sick

If you’ve called­ in sick just because you didn’t want to go to work, you’re not alone. According to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, one-third of employees have played hooky at least once this year. Of the 6,800 employee responses, the most common reasons for lying about being sick were:
  • 9% wanted to miss a meeting, work on a project past a deadline or avoid the wrath of a coworker
  • 30% just needed to relax and recharge
  • 27% had to go to a doctor’s appointment
  • 22% wanted to catch up on sleep
  • 14% “needed” to run personal errands
  • 11% wanted to catch up on housework
  • 11% wanted to spend time with family and/or friends
  • 34% just didn’t feel like going to work.

So why not just tell your boss you need to go to a doctor’s appointment? Most employers didn’t ask for a reason the employee was calling off. Those that did, however, shared some of the more interesting excuses:
  • Employee didn’t want to lose the parking space in front of his house.
  • Employee hit a turkey while riding a bike.
  • Employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but that he was “all better now."
  • Employee donated too much blood.
  • Employee’s dog was stressed out after a family reunion.
  • Employee was kicked by a deer.
  • Employee contracted mono after kissing a mailroom intern at the company holiday party and suggested the company post some sort of notice to warn others who may have kissed him.
  • Employee swallowed too much mouthwash.
  • Employee’s wife burned all his clothes and he had nothing to wear to work.
  • Employee’s toe was injured when a soda can fell out of the refrigerator.
  • Employee was up all night because the police were investigating the death of someone discovered behind her house.
  • Employee’s psychic told her to stay home.

The heart attack, dead body and mono-infected intern excuses are my personal favorites, and I may try to use one of these in the near future. Of course, if this survey is any indication, I do have to watch out for a snooping boss. Nearly a third of employers have checked in on an employee who called in sick, and 18% said they have fired a worker for not having a legitimate excuse to miss work. A whopping 71% said they required a doctor’s note, and, indicating that there are some truly paranoid bosses out there, 17% said they drove by the employee’s house or apartment.

I’ll make sure to close the blinds.