Sick-Day Excuses Reach All-Time High Levels of Bullshit


Anybody who’s been an employee knows that when their lives are suddenly struck with a deux ex machina that prevents them from showing up to work that day, the excuse sounds less than credible to their boss. And it’s true! Sometimes! What happens to the kid whose dog actually did eat their homework?

Unfortunately, a new compilation of the weirdest sick-day catalysts may not do much for your credibility. After determining a trend in increasingly wackadoo reasons for people calling in sick to work, CareerBuilder began an online study in 2004 with 2,494 hiring managers as a control group as well as 3,976 independent employees. They found that 30% of the workers studied faked illness or miscellaneous calamities to get out of their 9 to 5.

Among these sensitive souls, one begged off work due to a broken heart, and another was too “upset after watching The Hunger Games” to show up the next day. Someone who was undoubtedly spending the day in bed with a Law & Order marathon said that their “dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.” Other excuses: I got bitten by a bird! My dog’s having a nervous breakdown! My toe got stuck in the sink faucet! (The latter should get a free pass simply for the outstanding flexibility that accident implies.) One person even claimed they forgot that they’d been hired for the job. That has to be George Costanza.

The vice president of corporate communications at CareerBuilder has some unsympathetic advice for you: “Many employers will allow employees to use their sick days for mental health days to recharge, so it’s better to be up front with your manager.”

On the other hand, you could just go ahead and tell your boss your outlandish story. Just don’t be shocked when you return from your coming-of-age gallivant in downtown Chicago to find “Save Ferris” slogans everywhere and one R-rated singing telegram person at your door.

‘Absenteeism strikes the workplace: ‘Hunger Games’ blues, toe jammed in faucet and other bizarre sick-day excuses found in study’ [NYDN]

Image via AXL/Shutterstock

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