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The How-To Lounge: Calling in Sick, When You're Not

The How-To Lounge: Calling in Sick, When You're Not

We’re all human, which means there are mornings when we wake up wanting to skirt our responsibilities for the day. I don’t recommend playing hooky on a weekly or even monthly basis, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a mental health day now and then. There are responsible ways to get out of work for 24 hours and then there are completely silly ones. See my tips for the former when you


  • As I said before, skipping out on work should be the exception not the rule, so make it count! Pick a day that you can actually enjoy off. The day before a huge project is due probably wouldn’t be the best choice.
  • Before you make the call, come up with your excuse. Keep in mind that faking a terrible cold isn’t going to work when you come into work the next day looking perfectly fine. The same goes for injured limbs! For more reasonable excuses, consider minor things like dental work.
  • When you finally make the call, avoid over-doing it with excuses or antics, like sniffling, fake coughing, etc.
  • Keep your explanation simple; don’t be afraid to just say you’re not feeling well and leave it at that.
  • Don’t post pictures of yourself out partying on the Internet. Some employers actually do check up on that. On the same note, don’t come into the office the next day sporting a new tan or acting like you just had the day off.

Understandably, many people feel guilty calling in sick when they’re not, but if you need a day off, you need a day off. Just make sure you don’t put your job at risk!


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