I can’t come in today, I lost my ability to conjugate verbs

Taking a sick day, calling off, calling out, calling in, a personal day, or the dreaded no call/no show.  Whatever you want to call it, there is nothing like taking a day off of work for the fun of it.  It’s not unlike being back in high school when you would take over-exaggerated caution to sneak off campus, not realizing that your attempt at stealth turned more heads and raised more eyebrows than if you had just walked off with a purpose to your stride. 

Depending on where you work, the calling out factor can range from WAY too easy to nearly impossible.  But when you wake up in the morning and your first coherent thought is spent formulating the plot for the story you plan to feed to your boss then it’s time for a break.

I do not condone nor condemn the following excuses.  I will however issue a disclaimer:

    I am not responsible for any loss of employment, loss of wages, or retribution from the cosmos that may arise from utilizing these examples. 

I will say this though…you stand a far better chance of getting away with them if they are not used on a Monday or Friday.

There are as many bogus excuses as there are people making them.  Some are more creative than others:  “I won’t be in today.  I just got back from, uh, Zaire.  I caught a viral hemorrhagic fever.  Oh yea, don’t worry, I’ll be in tomorrow.”   Or simply: “My kid flushed my keys.” 

Here is a short list of the most commonly heard excuses:

“I don’t feel well.” 
Tried and true, this one works because it is rarely worth it to your supervisor to question this excuse.  If you are faking it it’s nearly impossible to prove (unless you show your face on the Jumbo Tron monitor at a sporting event or end up on the evening news for having eaten the most sauerkraut in the history of Big Ben’s Family Eatery).  If he wants to drag you in anyway to try to prove you wrong he runs the risk of getting the rest of the staff, including himself, sick if his suspicion is wrong.

“My car broke down.”
This one is one of the most versatile excuses in that it can buy you an hour or a full day, depending on the extent of the “damage”.  Good for making it to doctor’s appointments that you were unable to schedule on a day off or for standing in line to buy concert tickets that are sure to sell out before the end of the day.

“My alarm didn’t go off.”
This one won't buy you a full day.  No one is going to believe that you slept until 5pm without thinking that you were out drinking until closing time the night before, which of course would have been a work night.  This one is reserved for stopping in for a specialty coffee or pedicure on your way to the office.  Stay away from the manicure...too obvious.

“My ______ died.”
The most powerful and dangerous of all.  You take your life into your hands when you use this one.   Or, more appropriately, your _____’s life if you at all believe in karma.  To call you a liar and be wrong could mean a hefty lawsuit to an employer so they rarely try.  This one can get you out for several days and can be used to house things such as an impromptu trip to Las Vegas with your friends or as a way of covering up the time you spend in jail on a serial jaywalking charge.

In conclusion, I would like to repeat my little disclaimer…

    I am not responsible for any loss of employment, loss of wages, or retribution from the cosmos that may arise from utilizing these examples. 
Didja read that?  I’m not responsible.  No way, buddy.

So share with the group.  What was your most creative excuse for playing hooky from work?


  1. Well it wasn't a call in but rather an excuse to get out early... and one i can pretty much promise that noone will attempt to call your bluff. Tampon string came out w/out tampon o_O

  2. Just so you know, I stumbled on your blog. Thanks for writing!