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:
- 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.
- Employee said bats got in her hair.
- Employee said a refrigerator fell on him.
- Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.
- Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.
- Employee ate too much at a party.
- Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.
- Employee got a cold from a puppy.
- Employee's child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.
- Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
- Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.
- Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.
- Employee's brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.
- Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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