We’ve all had those days when we wake up and decide that going to work is just too far outside the realm of conceivability. The idea of working all day at the office is almost physically painful and we’d do just about anything to get out of going in. The best (and worst) excuses for getting out of work have all been used at one time or another, but if you want to return to work the next day, you’d better watch what you tell your boss.
According to CareerBuilder.com, about 41% of the hiring managers they surveyed have received suspicious excuses for getting out of work. Some claim that any time an employee calls in sick, there’s room for suspicion, even when the excuse sounds perfectly plausible. While you might not get fired for getting out of work for a day or two every few months, employees need to be careful about how many inventive excuses they give.
In most cases, the tried-and-true “I’ve got a cold” is much better than thinking up a detailed excuse. If you start prattling about how your mother’s been thrown in jail or how your girlfriend’s dogs got loose overnight, your employer is automatically going to wonder whether or not you’re telling the truth. In addition, most bosses would prefer a sick employee to stay home, so you’re unlikely to get much grief about it.
Of course, some people simply can’t pull off the “sick voice” sufficiently to convince someone they know, so you might be left with coming up with an excuse for getting out of work that doesn’t involve germs. If this is the case, there are a few rules you should remember for best (and worst) excuses.
The excuse must be different. Your grandmother can only die once and it’s unlikely that you’ll drop a hammer on your toe twice in the same month. Make sure that your excuse for getting out of work isn’t something that’s happened to you before or your boss will get suspicious.
It should get you out of work. The goal here is to come up with an excuse for getting out of work, which means that your reason must be sufficiently terrible that your boss won’t insist you come in anyway. Your boss isn’t going to buy it if your excuse is that the season finale of your favorite television show was just too sad.
Don’t forget the excuse. Coworkers are going to ask how you are when you return to work, so don’t forget the details you gave your boss over the phone. If you told him you had the stomach flu, then let your colleagues know you aren’t sneezing anymore, someone will notice the discrepancy.
Get someone to back it up. If possible, make sure someone else at the office can back up your claim. For example, if you claim you have a cold, call a colleague and ask about a project due next week. That way, when your colleague talks to your boss, he can say, “Yeah, John sounded really bad!”