The Worst Excuses for Calling in Sick


Next time you want to take a sick day, don’t ask for it by calling your boss the night before while you’re still out at a bar. Nothing good can come of it.

Careerbuilder surveyed 2,400 employers and more than 3,000 workers to find out the worst excuses that employees have used to ask for a day off. One worker reportedly explained the need for a day off by saying his foot was currently stuck in a garbage disposal, while another offered the excuse that a chicken had just attacked his mother.

Though these reasons may sound extreme, or extremely stupid, the study found that more employees are making up excuses to play hooky from work. In total, 27% of employers surveyed believe that they have seen an increase in bogus excuses this year, which they attribute to stress and burnout from the tough economy.

This finding coincides with other recent studies that show more workers are feeling overworked and underpaid at their jobs as a result of excess layoffs from the recession.

However, the truly frightening statistic from the survey is that nearly one in five employers admit to investigating their employees when they suspect a bogus sick claim, either by having another co-worker call up the “sick” person in question, or by having someone drive by the employee’s house to see if he or she is faking it.

So you may want to think twice before you lie about why you need a sick day. Instead, the best approach for burnt out workers may be to ask for a mental health day, which the majority of employers provide, according to the study.

Here’s the full list of terrible excuses for taking a sick day, courtesy of CareerBuilder:

1. Employee said a chicken attacked his mom.

2. Employee’s finger was stuck in a bowling ball.

3. Employee had a hair transplant gone bad.

4. Employee fell asleep as his desk while working and hit his head, causing a neck injury.

5. Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.

6. Employee’s girlfriend threw a Sit n Spin through his living room window.

7. Employee’s foot was caught in the garbage disposal.

8. Employee called in sick from a bar at 5:00 p.m. the night before.

9. Employee said he wasn’t feeling too clever that day.

10. Employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the home owner’s association

11. Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie.

12. Employee was in a boat on Lake Erie and ran out of gas and the coast guard towed him to the Canadian side.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the Credit Center.

Show Comments

Back to Top