Calling in sick: the worst excuses

Emma Woollacott
woman lying in a hammock in a...
woman lying in a hammock in a...

Anyone thinking of pulling a sickie on Monday should take heed: job site CareerBuilder has carried out a survey of employees' excuses for calling in sick and discovered some real howlers.

From claiming they need the day to fix some botched plastic surgery to saying they'd just put a casserole in the oven, US workers have been bewildering their bosses.

Over the past year, says CareerBuilder, 28% of employees have called in sick when they weren't, down from 32% last year. When asked for a reason, 30% said they just didn't feel like going in, and 29% said they wanted a day to relax.

Twenty-one percent took the day off for a doctor's appointment and 19% to catch up on sleep. Meanwhile, bad weather was enough to encourage 11% of employees to take the day off.

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Expert Reveals Some Of The Craziest Excuses For Calling Off Work
Expert Reveals Some Of The Craziest Excuses For Calling Off Work

We're approaching peak season for calling in sick - December, January and February - but only 8% of workers say they've pulled a sickie at Christmas, either to spend some time with family and friends or to do their Christmas shopping.

Although most employers take their employees' word for it when they call in sick, 31% say they've checked up - by asking to see a doctor's note, calling the employee or even driving past the employee's house. One in four have caught a lying worker out on social media - and nearly one in five say they have fired someone for calling in sick with a fake excuse.

But what were these excuses? Employers reported hearing the following real-life examples...

• Employee had just put a casserole in the oven.
• Employee's cosmetic plastic surgery needed some 'tweaking' to get it just right.
• Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
• Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
• Employee woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it.
• Employee had a 'lucky night' and didn't know where he was.
• Employee got stuck in a blood pressure machine and couldn't get out.
• Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
• Employee set their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
• Employee accidentally got on a plane.

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