The 10 Worst Excuses For Missing Work

We all have to pay the bills, but sometimes the office is literally the last place in the universe you want to be. The reasons can run the gamut, but life has a way of occurring just when a deadline looms large. So employees can sometimes be led to creative extremes to find a way to take a day off.

In CareerBuilder's annual survey, 29 percent of workers admitted to playing hooky this year, citing errands and plans with family or friends among their top reasons for calling in sick. But some employees like to get more creative. Here are 15 of the strangest excuses employers said they heard:

  1. Employee's 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had no other way to work. Employee didn't want to report it to the police.
  2. Employee said bats got in her hair.
  3. Employee said a refrigerator fell on him.
  4. Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.
  5. Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.
  6. Employee ate too much at a party.
  7. Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.
  8. Employee got a cold from a puppy.
  9. Employee's child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.
  10. Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
  11. Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.
  12. Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.
  13. Employee's brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.
  14. Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
  15. Employee was at a bowling alley and a bucket filled with water (due to a leak) crashed through the ceiling and hit her on the head.

Inspired by CareerBuilder's weirdest excuses for calling in sick, below are our 10 worst excuses for missing work:

1. Food Coma

It may have been the meal of a lifetime, rendering you completely useless, but a succulent filet mignon is not a viable get-out-of-work-card. Even if you can't button up your pants after a 10-courser, and are in greater need of a nap than an infant, you should still power through.

2. Sad Pet

Pets are living, breathing animals just like us. Their medical care requires our full attention, and an entire field of medicine is devoted to their well-being -- veterinary care. And issues related to their physical condition might even require a visit to such a specialist. But the line stops at their emotional well-being. If your dog is in the dumps for missing a treat, that shouldn't require a furlough for his personal crisis.

3. Hangover

If you hit the town the night before, you should still be at your desk first thing in the morning. The office may have been a far-off thought when you threw back that 10th shot of tequila, but the two will surely be in direct conflict some eight hours later. They say coconut water is the best cure for a hangover.

4. Shopping Day

The deadlines are piling up, your boss won't stop riding you, and the only three words on your mind are, "off the rack." Our consumer society allows for few greater forms of catharsis than a shopping day. But it can wait till the weekend.

5. Headache

Your head is pounding, and the last place in the world you want to be is at your computer screen. You know some fresh air or the confines of your home is just the antidote you need for that headache, but just take an Advil to make it through the day.

6. Heartsick

We've all been there -- scribbling the name of that special someone on the yellow pad in the middle of a meeting. But going home to cry in bed is taking it too far with that deadline looming.

7. Hunting

The way our economy works is that people specialize. We may not have been put on this planet to have such specific roles at the expense of all else. But it is a way to maximize efficiency for the market. So if your jobs requires you to work as a computer technician around the block, just go to the butcher's shop, instead of taking a day to get into the wild in search of wild boar.

8. Concert Tickets On Sale

The ticket office opens at noon, and if you sleep outside overnight, you'll get in the first row for the reunion concert special. But you really should not call in sick when you can get someone else to stand in line. Instead, just listen to the band at your desk.

9. Friend In Town

After college ends, and we enter the working world, we are inevitably forced to separate ourselves from the old house/room/suitemate. And there's nothing quite like the reunion to allow yourself to return to those carefree days when the biggest concern was figuring out how to schedule your classes so you can sleep in. But such a meet-up is not an acceptable excuse to miss a morning meeting.

10. iPhone Release

Your life really isn't going to be all that different once you get your hands on that newest Apple product. The late Steve Jobs was a wizard in promoting the release of each new iPhone so as to boost sales. But he was also a master in overseeing a company that will surely not sell out on the first day of sales.

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Some guy I worked with didn’t show up for work one day – no contact from him... The next day he told our boss "In the morning I went to open my kitchen cabinet - it was stuck - I pulled it as hard as I could - it opened and hit me in the head and knocked me out - I woke up about 4:30pm and it was too late to come to work" .. True story...

August 31 2013 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alan edwards

I am retired but where I used to work it was always "He who has the best LIE wins"!! All excuses are valid if your boss believes it!

January 08 2012 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lame. I get very bad migraine headaches that are debilitating. Stupid people that don't know anything, that are employed by a dying, soon-to-be-defunct website ( write lame-ass articles saying this is a 'worst excuse'. It isn't an excuse, it is a reason, and a valid one at that. Do a little research first douche canoe...

January 08 2012 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BK's comment
Ilia Bauer

Take it easy BK, don't play the name calling game. I would agree with the article writer that a "headache" is no excuse. It's the lamest excuse to get out of something ever conceived.

A migraine however, is not a "headache." I agree with you that migraines are valid reasons, because they are indeed debilitating. You can't concentrate, you certainly can't drive, and walking out into the sunshine would probably knock you unconscious.

My mother gets them, and she spends the day in a dark room with mandatory rules that everything is extremely low volume. She sleeps most of the day, is sensitive to light, and can't stand noises. The day after a migraine, she's exhausted as though she fought off a bad cold. A migraine tends to be at least two days of misery and exhaustion.

However, the mentioning of headaches and an Advil leave me to believe that some people use "headache" as an excuse when very low level medication and a little determination will get you through it.

November 07 2013 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hahaha this is so hilarious!!! I love it!!

January 06 2012 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about: I'll take my sick days off for whatever reasons I please and it's none of your business why. Every single one of the reasons above is valid because it should never be up to a manager to determine if it's a valid reason or not.

January 06 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erroljr1 If you can understand where you are in life and understand that life is always great when our finances are alright. So make this year a great one and understand that One24 is that break threw for everyone.Don't let this get by you.

January 05 2012 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maurice Williams

out of all these I believe hangover would be the most heard and used. Going out the night before work is a very big mistake. One I dont make anymore for two reasons. I dont drink anymore and I work for myself now. Making my own money and being my own boss is the best. everyone should work for there self's if your interested visit my website.

January 05 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Don Moyer

Some people don't think well on their feet which is probably why they missed work [LOL]

January 04 2012 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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January 04 2012 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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