“I’m Just Not That Into It Today”… And Other Excuses for Calling in Sick

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hookyHave you ever woken up in the morning and thought, “I don’t feel like going to work today”? I know I have. Immediately, I start to think about what excuse I could give that might allow me to stay home and just relax. More often than not, my conscience gets the best of me and I clamber out of bed and into work, anyway.

I’ve always wondered, why is it that we feel the need to give an excuse anyway? Sometimes, we are sick and that’s a reason in itself; but other times, we just need a day away from the office. What’s wrong with that?

A new CareerBuilder survey says that the economy is playing a role in employees calling in “sick” to work. The annual survey on absenteeism shows 32 percent of workers have played hooky from the office this year, calling in sick when they were well at least once. Twenty-eight percent of employers think more employees are absent with fake excuses due to increased stress and burnout caused by the recession.

About 12 percent of employees said they played hooky from work to avoid a meeting, give themselves some more time to work on a project or avoid the wrath of a boss, colleague or client. Others missed work because:

  • 31 percent needed to go to a doctor’s appointment
  • 28 percent needed to relax
  • 16 percent needed to catch up on sleep
  • 13 percent had to run personal errands
  • 10 percent had to catch up on housework
  • s10 percent wanted to spend time with family and friends
  • 32 percent just didn’t feel like going to work that day

Of course, CareerBuilder also asked employers to share the most unusual excuses they’ve heard from employees calling in sick.  Here are the top 12:

  1. I got sunburned at a nude beach and can’t wear clothes.
  2. I woke up in Canada.
  3. I got caught selling an alligator.
  4. My buddies locked me in the trunk of an abandoned car after a weekend of drinking.
  5. My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today.
  6. A bee flew in my mouth.
  7. I’m just not into it today.
  8. I accidentally hit a nun with my motorcycle.
  9. A random person threw poison ivy in my face and now I have a rash.
  10. I’m convinced my spouse is having an affair and I’m staying home to catch them.
  11. I was injured chasing a seagull.
  12. I have a headache from eating hot peppers.

Click here to read the full survey.

What about you guys? What excuses have you given to play hooky? Employers, what have you heard from employees?

16 Comments
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  2. I liked these excuses immensely! But I think that if employers thought more and were more attentive, they would be able to give some additional day-off to their employees once a month. Thus, they would avoid all these lies and their employees would be more hard-working!

  3. Pingback: Freshers Yaar! » Blog Archive » Is there a reason you’re late … or is it just an excuse?

  4. Pingback: Is there a reason you’re late … or is it just an excuse? | Only Delhi Jobs - Delhi's Job Search HQ | Delhi Jobs

  5. As an employer, I say stop with the excuses! Schedule your doctor’s appointments and take the time off in advance. If you need a mental health day-don’t we all from time to time-don’t make up an outrageous story or lame excuse, just call and say, “I’m not making it in today.” I appreciate honesty over excuses.

  6. An administrative assistant had a couple of good ones:

    I have vertigo today and can’t drive.

    I think I’m going to have a migraine later today so I’m not coming in.

  7. Tracy, some employers just can’t handle the honesty! Its my policy and have dealt with the issues after a rest day. I won’t lie and say I am sick when I am not…who’s sick for 1 day!? Sick of work environment perhaps. I appreciate the honest Boss.

  8. I agree with Tracy. I’ve seen people get less into trouble with just saying “I have errands to run” or “I’m just not feeling it today” rather than coming up with some lame excuse like “I woke up this morning and there’s an alligator in my house and I’m waiting for animal control”. A lot of employers value honesty over everything else and understand that everyone every now and then feels like not going into work

  9. Tracy,you may be fine with the truth, however, others Just Can’t Handle The Truth! Seriously, my boss would hate to find out i’m relaxing on the couch watching Judge Judy while he’s doing my work while i’m out!

  10. I worked with one guy, and he truly used each one of these excuses…..

    I have no gas, my gas cap locks, and my wife has the key on her key chain at her job.

    I have no clean socks.

    My cat has sore throat.

  11. One employee said….”but I thought we had flextime?”

    Yes, we did, but that does NOT mean hauling in at 10:00 am and leaving at 4:00 every day, leaving the other responsible employees and me to finish your work.

    One day, she said she slipped on the steps and broke her arm. Well, that was the quickest broken arm recovery I ever saw, (1 week!) and I caught her taking off her sling and using that arm normally in the ladies room.

  12. how about my child is sick and I wont be in today and figuring out lator that this employee doesnt even have a child!!!! good one. Or that aliens abducted me over the weekend and I need to recuperate. Actually there is a website with about 4000 excuses on it for not being able to come to work. Cant remember the name of it but i printed off about 100 of these excused and finally just told my nurses aides to save us both time to just pick out an excuse by number.

  13. The absolute best (and I’ve heard some doozies from this same person!) was “I couldn’t come to work yesterday, because it was raining, and when I went into the attic to close the window, the door blew shut. When I tried to get out – the doorknob came off in my hand, and I had to wait for my wife to get home and let me out.”

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