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The Most Ridiculous Excuses For Missing Work

There are two main points that I took away from reading the results of a recent Careerbuilder survey: Some bosses actually drive by employees' homes when they've called in sick, and some people will say anything to get out of going to work. Both parties are guilty, but the boss might be doing more damage than the employee in this case.

Thirty-one percent of the employers surveyed said they follow up with employees who call in sick, some require doctor's notes, others check in by calling, and a creepy percentage drives by the employee's home. The employers reported actual excuses they've heard, and the most unusual responses are below. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but really, most of these are ridiculous. Which do you think is the worst?

  • Employee didn’t want to lose the parking space in front of his house.
  • Employee hit a turkey while riding a bike.
  • Employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but that he was “all better now."
  • Employee donated too much blood.
  • Employee’s dog was stressed out after a family reunion.
  • Employee was kicked by a deer.

See six more excuses when you


  • Employee contracted mono after kissing a mailroom intern at the company holiday party and suggested the company post some sort of notice to warn others who may have kissed him.
  • Employee swallowed too much mouthwash.
  • Employee’s wife burned all his clothes and he had nothing to wear to work.
  • Employee’s toe was injured when a soda can fell out of the refrigerator.
  • Employee was up all night because the police were investigating the death of someone discovered behind her house.
  • Employee’s psychic told her to stay home.


Join The Conversation
1sassylady 1sassylady 8 years
I was called into work for overtime, I could have used the money, so I agreed. i started to get ready when I looked in the mirror wtf! I had started to take my braids down, and there was no way to camflouge it. I had to call back and say I couldnt work because I looked like a hot mess. my boss was pretty irriated about it, but hey. I was there for 5 years after that.
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
So call me uncreative and boring when it comes to ridiculous excuses :)
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
A lot of these are funny, some are believable, but a few are really lame. I just use an oldie if I needed to miss a meeting. I'll just simple say that I'm not feeling well, like with a sore throat, headache, weakness, dizzyness, etc.. That old one usually works with almost any boss..."I'm not feeling well enough to make it in today".
rainbowcupcake rainbowcupcake 8 years
I think this one is the best! A coworker once told my boss that she had to stay home for 3 days because her cousin had a cist and they would find out on Wednesday if it was something to be concerned about.
krazykane krazykane 8 years
HA HA - I called out of work at a professional job because I was in Atlantic City and did not want to go home yet. The reason you ask? I swear that I pulled this off... Priapism due to an adverse reaction to Viagra I even threatened to bring in a doctors note I had waiting in my wallet.... On Christmas Eve we all had a few drinks and were being "drunk honest" and I told my manager anyway...very funny...good stuff
dzinr dzinr 8 years
Its amazing the stories some can come up with, but its even more amazing/creepy when an employer drives by the employees home. I missed work one day because we had an ice storm the night before & a tree had fallen across my driveway & I couldn't get my car out. My employer sent her husband to drive by my house to make sure I was telling the truth. Of course to their surprise it was true. But the thing that really got me was I rarely missed work. This was a company I worked for 13 years. Even worse, nobody offered to help. I had to use an axe & a hack saw to remove the tree. It took me most of the day & on top of that I had no electricity for 3 days due to the ice storm.
maffittbunch maffittbunch 8 years
My nephew didn't work his 8am-noon shift because he claimed he didn't think he had enough gas to make it to work, 18 miles away. Then in the afternoon he realized it was Friday PAYDAY and drove to work to pick up his paycheck! He originally told his boss he had "car trouble", but by the afternoon the car would start. I questioned "weren't you afraid you would run out of gas on the fwy? It's just as far to drive to work to ACTUALLY WORK as it is to JUST PICK UP YOUR CHECK." Apparently it was worth the risk, since he avoided work but picked up his check in time for the weekend. (In his defense, he is somewhat like the Sean Penn character in "I Am Sam", so there's no sense trying to reason with him on such matters.) Another time he missed work because he claimed "I forgot it was Monday". I'm sure most of the people calling in with lame excuses don't have his mentality, so it's much harder to accept their excuses, though many stories are quite clever and amusing!
pat1110 pat1110 8 years
Ok, I work in a place where the most unbelievebale stories are told. Of course, management knows most of the time that it's BS, but for some reason, they let the employees get away with it. Anyway, I'll tell my top three favorites- 1- An pregnant employee called our manager and said that she would be out because she was having sex with her boyfriend, and he poked her unborn child's head with his penis. Not a joke...she came in the next day with the straightest face in the world and actually repeated this story. 2- A male employee that rides his bicycle to work always gets hit by a bus, robbed, or beaten almost once a month on his way to the job. The next day, of course, not a bruise on him and he never goes to the hospital after getting hit by a bus.... 3- We had an employee that would say a family member died every time he was out. Finally, management checked his records, and they realized that he reported his mother's death 3 times. He was fired...
sassytoes sassytoes 8 years
I work for an employer who we get 10 sick paid days per cal yr. The sad part is, they pick & choose who they disapline for you using it. I have been at my employment for 17yrs & have had alot of surgeries, which usually took up my sick time. Because I answer phones, I seem to get picked out of the group whenever I call in sick (cuz no one else wants to answer the phone) and gets chasterized for it. I always try & make an effort to come in later in the day, but then I'm told that I'm late. You can't win. I never intentionaly call in sick cuz I went out the night b4 or hung over. I am litterly sick. If I didn't answer phones, no one would even know I was not there. So when I hear coworkers say they are gonna call in sick cuz they want to do gardening or go shopping, it makes me mad. I should not be questioned, unless I use all my time & still call in sick...
Startini Startini 8 years
To quote the movie Office Space, "I don't like my job, and, uh... I don't think I'm gonna go anymore"... it doesn't get any more blatant than that! But from the excuses offered, I'd have to say getting hit by a deer was the funniest. Being from a big urban city, that excuse would not work for me. Where would I find a deer?? :)
catfoot catfoot 8 years
Ya, some of the excuses sound absurd, but who knows the strangest things can really happen. I loved the "revenge" that bigtittiemomma said she got on her boss that showed up at her door when she ended up throwing up on him. LOL. As to the comment about so many people doing their comments "during work hours" you forget that there are many people out there that work shifts other than 9 to 5 M-F! When you go somewhere on a weekend or after your work shift (like shopping) you would not get a lot of help if everyone who worked there only worked the same shift you work or the same days. Think about it folks.
OhPlease OhPlease 8 years
"These excuses reek of Generation Y values (16 - 29 year olds). Every one of these slackers should be directly fired on the spot. No Baby Boomer would ever be this dumb in a million years. There's an entire generation out there that thinks anything goes merely because it exists, and seems flabbergasted when the sympathy is not forecoming." About the only difference between today's generation and yesterday's are/were unions. Let's see... get paid wheather they do a bad or good job, get to use the excuse "that's not my job!", get pay raises through threats of union leaders on behalf of the cowardly union employee... automatic benefits and all kinds of perks. So how were previous generations somehow better than today's generation? Yeah... check and mate. It would seem to me that younger generations have to make up silly excuses because, unlike their parents generation, they don't have unions and such things anymore to make their work life wonderful for them.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
those are great though. you have to give someone credit that they actually tried those, knowing that there's a big chance that it wouldn't work. VERY cool to try it ...even if it is trying to slack off.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
This one was pretty crazy: Employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but that he was “all better now." This one could really happen. Left Eye from TLC set fire to her boyfriend's house, so this could happen: Employee’s wife burned all his clothes and he had nothing to wear to work.
Ivehademall Ivehademall 8 years
for talon737 - I certainly hope someone pins a big gold star on your chest, you're a Wonderment! Working is a PRIVELAGE??? You can't even spell the word properly, it's privilege. Honestly, what 3rd world country do you contol. Do you get paid for working? Yes? then it is not a privilege. Maybe you are superhuman and you don't get sick, bully for you. Others do and should not be chastized because someone else is a goof-off. And furthermore, I have had bosses that have come up with some pretty lame excuses for calling off, including "I'm staying with my friend today, she just got a divorce". Most companies polocies do not require a doctor's note until after 3-5 days. Unless you make up your own rules, you have to adhere to the company's polocies.
castman castman 8 years
I once knew a person that dropped a frozen turkey on her foot. After 3 hours of surgery, pins, plates and screws, she was good to go after 12 weeks.
Bull-TN Bull-TN 8 years
I ran a small production shop once (40 to 50 people), and one day a girl that worked there called in, her excuse?....She said she wasn't feeling her best, but that her boyfriend had been giving her "peter-cillan" most of the night, and a couple more doses should do it. I hung up, and laughed til I cried...and never mentioned it again! :-)
Jamaicaa Jamaicaa 8 years
I once worked with a girl who called out by saying she lived in a house with a lot of people, and she didn't want to be rude and turn on the lights so early in the morning. At least she could have came in late ;)
VA-Girl VA-Girl 8 years
My sister once had a co-worker who called out because his gums itched. When he came in the next day and EVERYbody gave him a hard time about it, his only reply was, "Well...they DID!" Lol
joejoe33 joejoe33 8 years
the fact most of these comments are during work hours shows much people are "really" working at work
Telemacchus Telemacchus 8 years
These excuses reek of Generation Y values (16 - 29 year olds). Every one of these slackers should be directly fired on the spot. No Baby Boomer would ever be this dumb in a million years. There's an entire generation out there that thinks anything goes merely because it exists, and seems flabbergasted when the sympathy is not forecoming.
tashaj5 tashaj5 8 years
Ok, the best excuse I ever heard was from my brother-in-law. He was working as a store manager and an employee called him to say she couldn't come in because she couldn't pay her electric bill!!! I think she missed the point of having a job! I love the person who said that her employee's excuse was that his favorite bartender was eaten by an alligator. Who knew that was a danger of bartending??!!
verily verily 8 years
As crazy as the blood thing, I once gave blood during my lunch break at work and wound up going home early. I filled up the pint bag too fast, got dizzy, and threw up. Suffice to say, I don't give blood at workplace blood drives anymore.
egon23 egon23 8 years
All these excuses are fine and good - some better than others and some downright hilarious, but the info about a creepy percentage of bosses tracking down employees at home on a sick day is the one I have the most trouble believing, and yet I know it's probably true. If a boss ever did that to me, or if I even heard about a boss doing it to someone else in the company, I would quit on the spot and let everybody know why. There may be excuses for not going to work but there are NONE whatsoever for bosses behaving like good little fascists.
nnutmeg6 nnutmeg6 8 years
I have been on both sides of this as a boss and as a employee. As a employee I was 8 months pregant and explained to my boss that I had a OB appointment at 8 am in the morning and I would be a half hour to an hour late for work. As I was leaving the appointment the nurse asked me if I knew a Mrs. ____ ( the owners wife) she had called the doctors to make sure I was there having an appointment! I was so upset, I turned in my notice after working there 5 years. She thought I was going to the doctors to often for being pregant. As being the boss, I had a college kid call in saying that her grandfather was in the hospital. About 2 hours later the grandfather came into the store! I told him I was sorry he wasnt feeling well and had been in the hospital and he told me he had no idea what I was talking about he was as healthy as a horse. The employee was let go the next day and had the nerve to so I could try to be more understanding! LOL
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