Incredible Excuses for Sick Days


The Harris Poll performs a national online poll of 2203 hiring Managers and Human

Resource Department’s Professionals and 3103 workers. This was carried out this year

from August 11 trough September 5, 2014. You won’t believe some of the strangest

set of “poor excuses” ever!


Here are the TOP TEN most unbelievable, but true, excuses for calling in sick:


1.  I just put a casserole in the oven. I need to stay home to take it out.”

2.  I had to have some plastic surgery; it needed ‘tweaking.’

3.  I fell asleep on the toilet, my feet and legs fell asleep and this caused

me to fall and break my ankle.

4.  I was at the casino all weekend- still ahead, so won’t be in on Monday.

5.  I woke up in a good mood. I didn’t want to ruin it by coming into work.

6.  I had a “lucky night” (if you know what that means) and didn’t know

where I was when I woke up.

7.  I got stuck in the Blood Pressure machine and can’t get out in time

for work.

8.  I had a gall stone, I just want to allow it to heal holistically.

9.  I caught my uniform on fire when I tried to dry it in the microwave.

10.  I “accidentally” got on an airplane and am leaving the country.


When I use Number Five, I call it a Mental Health Day (to myself) but

I use the ‘too sick to come to work’ line.


The HR Department personnel and the Managers mention that

1 in 5 employers can tell a ‘fake’ excuse and have fired employees

for their lying to them.

28% of Call In’s compared to 32% Call In’s last year, 2013.

I was not able to understand this statistic. Sorry!



Do you mind sharing one of your most imaginative excuses?

Hope this list gave you a chuckle or got you smiling today.

They sure were wild and crazy, laughable and lame.

In the ‘good old days’ the regular excuses were:

“I am a little under the weather”


“I am feeling queasy.”



42 responses »

  1. My favs are #4 and #5 – hilarious!

    I once ran a work training programme for young men aged between 16 – 20. It involved actual work alongside the ‘preparedness’ training modules. The #1 excuse to work-place supervisor was ‘Pauline’s making me finish my module so I can’t come in to work’. The #1 excuse to me was ‘The super is making me work so I can’t finish my module.’ This despite the fact that supervisor and I met every week. Later, when they realised that tactic wasn’t working so well for them, really bad coughs and ‘flu’ symptoms hit some regularly every Monday and Friday and a voice that sounded two inches from death would whisper the news over the phone. When told there were a) no more paid sick days left to them or b) a special outing planned for the afternoon the symptoms miraculously cleared up and the trainee presented for work. . 🙂 And they really thought we didn’t know!!

    • This situation you described is even funnier than my post, Pauline! Teens and young people should be able to figure out you two would be sharing information, especially when it came to absences! I am also cheered up by the near death flu excuse, which would miraculously clear up when there would be an outing planned. Your work training program would create quite a lot of interesting blog posts, Pauline. Thanks for brightening up my day and adding to this post’s comments!

  2. Number three qualifies as the greatest example of TMI I’ve seen in ages. Really, people, just say you’re under the weather. Number five is my personal favorite. We are small business owners and, thank heavens, we rarely get these kind of calls. But, oh, do we have some good interview stories….I should write a post on that someday!!

    • Barb, you are so funny about the TMI! I had to look back at number three to see what horrendous information was offered in this one! I actually feared I had written about the ‘getting lucky’ excuse in more detail than would be ‘proper’ in a post about excuses. I think your small business would provide quite a wide variety of “You think you’ve seen it all till. . .” scenarios! I look forward to one day reading one of these. After all, my friend Mike who writes comments about my work sounding like Lucille Ball in the candy factory gives me encouragement to write about my work more often.
      Number five, my way, is to have a wonderful day outside of work. When I wrote about going to a water park with my oldest daughter and her two sons, my post was about the Pirate ship and fun times that I participated on a ‘sick day.’ Too bad, work folks, I needed a mental health day! ha ha!
      Last comment for now, I heard Billy Joel’s song “I may be right, you may be wrong, I may be a lunatic…” It made me think of how I must seem in writing, like a lunatic. It is a frantic and enjoyable ‘romp’ of a song. Take care, I was thinking about you on my way to work at 6 am!!

      • NO, you do not seem like a lunatic! I like your stream of consciousness, free-form, “strap in, folks!” style of writing. It’s fun and original. Like you! Remember “Lunatic Fringe?” Who did that song…..I loved it!

  3. Hah, these are great. I don’t remember calling in sick for anything except being sick or one of my kids being sick. I guess I wasn’t very creative about it.

    • I am so proud of you, Luanne! I usually said I was sick but sometimes I really had to take my youngest daughter to all of her arthritis appointments, quarterly. Only after I got the warehouse job, did I start thinking of mental health days and escaping…!
      My son, James, who has been both a chef and just a cook at restaurants, once called in late, not sick, saying: “I slept in because I thought it was Monday (his only day off) and it really was Sunday. I will be late to work, on my way!” Imagine losing track of days… then I couldn’t but these days where I don’t write the date on the chalk board (middle school teacher) nor do ‘Days of the Week’ with preschoolers, I could easily have days run together!!

    • You weren’t a ‘hard head’ or ‘bull headed,’ either. You were being a dedicated worker, Mark! You felt the deadlines for journalism and the paper must be printed… I admire such dedication! As far as these days, I have over a week of sick time saved, which took me 12 months of 4 hours each month to accumulate enough time for me to spend with my Mom, should she need me for 6 work days. More than that, I would have to take unpaid leave of absence… I am considering using one mental health day soon! ha ha! Have a great weekend, Mark!

      • You pretty please take the time you worked so hard to earn, Robin! And email me with your email so we can get the picture thing going like I mentioned a day or two ago on another of your posts. (Or my posts?)

  4. These are some lame excuses, but they are funny. I worked on a job where you had to be absent for at least three days to get sick leave, and we had to have a doctor’s note to return to work. The job was base + sales commission, and there was no commission paid during sick time, which amounted to a third of our salary. Needless to say, not too many people went on sick leave. I think I missed three days in ten years. – Mike

    • Wiow, Mike! I would never miss days off either, in this case. I admire you anyway, since sometimes it would be hard to go to work while feeling under the weather, I bet you did this more than once! I think of escaping, but I have saved for 12 months 4 hours a month, enough to have six days off, should Mom get ill. When my brotehr had his quadruple bypass surgery at age 55 I used only 4 days two years ago. He was in the hospital, my other brother, sister in law and his friends visited, I was ‘there’ for him upon his arrival home and by the time I left 4 days later he was walking a mile or two! Well, glad you found some chuckles, Mike and so glad you encouraged me often to write about silly subjects. I feel I need to write a Melvin post about zany work sometimes soon! Big smiles and hugs, Robin

    • Amanda, I like your excuse and plan to use it sometime! (I am feeling the need for a mental health day soon! It is pitiful, we have to work the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Christmas to ‘earn’ the day after each of those holidays. Teaching ‘spoiled’ me, I had such nice long breaks! I am so happy that I was able to get you smiling, as when I have time to visit your blog, I am always cheerfully chuckling like a silly ‘girl!’ Hope you have a fun weekend!

    • I am laughing at the image of you putting clothes in the microwave, Beth! I can picture this with our little daffy ways, or even catching food or something we should know how many minutes would be ‘safe.’ I just suggested to a coworker today, as a matter of fact, that if your heating pad goes on the blink, try a damp towel heated in the microwave. I am now worried… hope Tammy knows it will be only a minute or two in there! ha ha! Glad you found these funny, since they were taken from a real poll!

  5. I’ve never been one for playing hooky, so I have no lame excuses of my own. I did once have to call off to stay home with my sick cat (at the vet’s advice, and since I couldn’t find anyone to catsit for me), and I could tell my manager may have thought he was being fed a line when he responded to my reason with, “ummmmm, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhkaaaaay.”

    • I agree. ES. this excuse would not fly with some of my bosses over the years. I actually had to have my Mom’s doctor write an excuse for me, also my brother who had heart surgery his discharge papers copied. I did not want nor feel I should use my ‘vacation’ days for a ‘sick’ brother. The boss was okay with both excuses… maybe next time get one from the vet? smiles for this comment, love how you wrote the response, exactly like it sounds!

  6. These are great! And to think they are actually real … I don’t think I’ve ever called in sick when I wasn’t, how dull is that? I’m taking these into work next week: with all the threats of redundancies at the moment, my department could do with a laugh!

    • I am glad you found a ‘use’ for these, Jenny. I like the idea of no repeated ones, your use of redundancies is brilliant. Hope the department will enjoy them… Way to start a week laughing!

  7. I once had an employee call in dead once. Not sick, but dead. When he didn’t show up for his shift I called his apartment. His room-mate answered and went to get him–but came back to the phone and said “he’s not here, and he’s not outside at the bus stop so he must be on the way.”

    An hour later the employee called, “I’m really sorry, but I can’t come to work today. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I committed suicide last night.”

    “Suicide?” I marveled. The kid was an actor; he often bragged that he was friends with Melina Kanakaredes.

    “Yes, I was so depressed, and drinking–it was an impulse. I was still at the hospital when you called, but I need to stay home and relax today.”

    “Ah,” I said. “I’m glad that you’re feeling better.”

    “Oh, I won’t be doing that again.”

    “Right.” I said. “Especially now that you’ve practiced. Next time it might stick.”


    “We’ll see you Monday morning, okay?” I said. He was a good kid, I liked him, and giving him a pass was easier than hiring and breaking in a new clerk.

    That night my in-laws came to town, with tickets to take my wife and I to a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, I couldn’t help but grin when the young fellow goose-stepped onto the stage in full Nazi regalia in the role of King Herod. He was excellent–the Nazi thing was inspired.

    I looked forward to complimenting him on Monday, and getting a little jibe in about the “suicide” thing, but I never saw him again. After about three weeks I mailed his final check.

    • Wow, what a grand finale which kind of leaves you wondering, hope he never tried an attempt on his life again. I like how you gave him a ‘break’ since you liked him, too.
      It sounded like a future possibility, but maybe not. What a creative sick notice, just needed to use the words “tried” or “attempted,” which would have brought more sympathy to this. I am so excited to know he was King Herod, what a genius interpretation, too. Thanks for writing this out, it is always exciting to see a story waiting in my comments’ section! smiles!

    • Now that might work with a true fisherman boss, Ian! They all seem to rejoice in their oneness with nature, thinking that sunny days are meant to be spent, “gone fishing!” I dated one for about two years, it was a fun time, every moment was unplanned, vacations spent by bodies of water. Thanks for finding one you liked and adding another one to the list!

  8. Sadly I’m not that funny. I don’t have to make up excuses. I only call off when I’m really sick. And then I really REALLY don’t want to give details. And I really REALLY don’t want to hear other’s details. 🙂 I’ve read other excuses before and holy moly they make me laugh. 🙂

    • I am always laughing at the ways people use situations in unbelievable ways. We seem to have a number of honest, never calling in sick commenters. Good to know, but I honestly have called in sick 1-2 times annually as ‘mental health days.’ Other than that, ‘gave away’ a lot of sick time to a coworker who had cancer and passed away. I was glad I had extras to help her, hoping and praying the ‘chemo’ would give her peaceful remission.

      • We used to be able to give sick time away. Don’t know if we can any more. But I would if we could for the same reasons. I know a lot of business have gone to PTO (personal time off) and it can be used for sick, vacation, whatever. No reason needed. I think it makes more sense in many regards.

      • I am not able to do this where I work now, I am going to continue saving, should I be needed by the side of a family member and am so blessed, mainly not sick too often! Hope you are feeling better, Colleen!

  9. I used to take mental health days, but my excuse was the bland, I’m not feeling well. I always sound congested in the mornings, so I would make sure to call when I first woke up. Then I decided to be a stay at home mom. No more sick days, or mental health days with this job. Those were the years I liked going to the grocery store while my husband took care of the kids.

    • I agree, my voice sounds a little sick in the morning. I am glad you had the opportunity to stay home and raise the kids. I also liked my babysitting job, since I had my kids in the afternoon and evening to myself, along with seeing them interact in the summer with the children who came to my house.
      I am off to pick up some grandies to spend the night. I had two boys last night, will be taking on two girls. It is my birthday, got my BMV visit and a few gifts but really enjoy the power of laughter from little ones to brighten my day. Thanks, April, for being one of the only ones like I was, who took occasional mental health days!

  10. Pingback: I Won’t Be In To Work Today; Committed Suicide Last Night | Old Road Apples

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