Yeah, everyone’s done it: called in to work on some day when you weren’t really sick. For whatever reason, you just didn’t feel like going to work that day. Maybe your kid had a soccer tournament, or your wife was near-death’s-door-sick, or maybe you just couldn’t put off getting those extra five levels in World of Warcraft. We have all had days that we just couldn’t bear to face going into the office and we found some, more or less, creative way to explain our way out of it. Work excuses are a dime a dozen, and managers have no doubt heard them all so this is by no means a comprehensive list, this small collection might be enough to whet the appetite of any potential taker of random sick days, provide some future inspiration, or perhaps key you in on what not to say when you call your boss.
The Vague Family Emergency
We’ve all probably used this one at one time or another. Your Uncle Pete has just been rushed to the hospital and you’re the only one who can be there for him, or your mother fell, breaking her hip…again. Questionable family emergencies are an all time favorite excuse for missing work because they ring with just enough potential truth that coworkers and bosses are hesitant to question it, at least for very long.
If you’re fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on your world view) to have children then you’re practically assured a lifetime of potential family disasters any of which could get you at least one get-out-of-jail-free card. Everyone knows kids are always getting sick, falling and breaking something, or inadvertently puncturing their bodies with foreign objects so wary bosses can’t be too incredulous and even better if they have kids themselves.
The House Catastrophe
Another commonly used excuse. Some terrible event has caused some damage or a major malfunction for your home and your presence is required to right the wrong. Solid explanations here are flooding or fire damage, it’s hard to argue with water or flame. Anything involving electricity is also relatively dependable because everyone knows that electricians simply cannot be aloud access to your home and all your possessions without proper supervision, and that means someone has to be there to keep an eye on them, all day. Who can argue with logic this solid?
The Pet Death
Well, Fluffy unfortunately met his/her end unexpectedly and you have to take care of things, not to mention it left a little furry hole in you heart. Pets have an uncanny knack for worming their way into our hearts and our families, no joke. Most of us have experienced the loss of a four-legged friend and we all know it can be every bit as traumatic as losing a human loved one. Bosses and managers who also happen to be human will no doubt understand tragic losses like this, but many may be cold, heartless automatons with the emotional capacity of gravel dust. It’s a 50-50 shot here really. If you truly have just lost a furry loved one then it might be wise to provide some photographic evidence even though this seems harsh and insensitive. What we must realize is that not everyone values animal companionship on the same level.
Disgusting Ailments No One Wants to Hear About
Probably one of the most common work excuses in the history of human work experience. The sickness no one really wants details on: it usually involves the forced exit of formerly digested material from the body in one or two most unpleasant ways. Depression and mental torment have been described as the worst possible form of human suffering by Dr. David Burns, author of the popular book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, but from the very short term outlook of several hours of a few days of your life, nothing really tops intestinal trouble for some of the more horrific experiences of life as we know it. It’s often enough to claim stomach problems when using this excuse to get out of work, but sometimes you might feel the need to provide some detail in what exactly your issue is. Don’t go overboard is the rule of thumb here. And honestly, you probably won’t have to if you start explaining, in detail, what exactly you’re dealing with for the day. Let imagination do most of it’s work for you in this case and you’ll be better off.
Doubtful Car Trouble
Here in America, if you don’t live in a major city you probably have a car which you use to get, well, anywhere, including work. And cars, being the complex machines that they are, have a tendency to malfunction from time to time and this can affect our lives in unexpected ways. If not used too often, meaning maybe once or twice, car trouble can serve as a viable excuse for missing work. If you can’t get there, or you have to spend your afternoon sitting in the mechanic’s waiting room, how can you be expected to go to work? In terms of stress inducement, car trouble ranks only slightly lower than moving on the scale of hair pulling, blood pressure increasing human travails so it’s no wonder this modern day malady is so often resorted to in times of dire work-dodging need.
Go ahead and share some of your great excuses for missing work, or, if you’re a manager-type feel free to tell us about the best or most unusual work excuses you’ve encountered.