No matter what your job — executive, professional, technical, or laborer — we all need a mental health day away from work every once in a while. However, you can’t always trot out the old excuse that your grandma died and you can’t come in to work today. After a while, your employer will begin to realize you can’t possibly have that many grandmothers to pass away. The following are some of the most creative and stupidest excuses that employees have given and employers have heard for missing a day of work. The most absurd part of all? Each of these excuses has been used in real life!
1. I had a dream last night that I would be hit by a bus this morning.
Your employer really and truly does not care about your hopes and dreams — haven’t you figured that out already? This has to be one of the lamest reasons to miss work of them all. Maybe you’re an agoraphobic who is afraid to step foot outside the house, or maybe you just have an irrational fear of being in an accident on your way to work. But if you use this excuse as a reason to avoid work, chances are you will have a dream the next night that you were fired from your job. The only difference is, this dream will surely come true the next morning!
2. I don’t want to lose the parking space in front of my house.
City dwellers know how hard it is to find a parking space in front of, or even in the same block as, your house. Hence, the orange construction cones or tacky lawn chairs many who live in the city place in empty parking spaces to save them while they’re away. However, this really is not a good reason to call in sick to work. If you tell your boss you don’t want to lose the parking space in front of your house, your boss will probably make it easier on you and just can you. Then you won’t even have to worry about your car, because without a job, you will no longer be able to afford it.
3. I can’t come in to work today because my psychic told me to stay home.
This excuse for missing work goes along with “the voices in my head told me to stay home,” always a favorite. If you live your life based on a psychic’s predictions, you have bigger problems than trying to figure out a creative way to miss work. If the voices in your head, however, are telling you to stay home, it might be a good idea to heed their advice. No one wants an angry, mentally ill co-worker to show up delusional and paranoid. That makes for an unhealthy work environment for everyone.
4. I’m busy stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work.
One of my personal favorites on this list, this excuse really took some creativity and imagination to come up with. Unless, of course, it was true, in which case you could be arrested, but that’s beside the point. What’s funny is that this excuse, like the rest of them on this list, has actually been used before, as reported either by an employer who was on the receiving end of the excuse or an employee who used it. If you want to intimidate your boss, this might be one to try out, but beware of the results!
5. I’m severely constipated and just took a laxative. Now I’m a walking time bomb.
Your employer does not need to know your digestive habits or your intestinal problems. If something like this really does occur (and you’re not just trying to come up with a creative, believable excuse for yet another day to miss work), it’s a better idea to just say “I’m sick” and leave it at that. If your boss asks for details, however, then I guess it may be acceptable to delve into your bowel habits (but not too deeply, please).
6. I can’t come in to work today because I can’t find my shoes.
An employer reported that she really was given this excuse by an employee who was calling off from work. Remember, as a general rule, it’s not a good idea to let your employer know you only own one pair of shoes! Unless you want to try to use this as a bargaining tool when it’s time to ask for a raise… in which case, this excuse might be a good one to try!
7. I’m still too drunk from last night to drive to work.
Although many employees have actually come in to work drunk or hung over and not used this excuse, some have called in to their boss with inebriation as a reason for missing work. Most likely, it is not in your best interest to let your boss know you drink that much, even if it’s only once in a while. If you can’t control your “urges” outside of the office, he or she might think you won’t be able to control them at work either, and fire you regardless of the reason you’re calling in sick.
8. I was gawking at men fixing a hole in the road then I fell in the hole & broke my leg.
This one is just too funny, too stupid, and too sad not to be true. However, do you really want your boss to know how clumsy, inattentive, and boorish you are? Just leave it at “I can’t come in to work because I have a broken leg” and don’t expound on the details. If pressed for an explanation, it might be easier to just say “I stepped into a pothole,” which still sounds clumsy but not quite as bad as watching men working and not paying attention to where you are going!
9. I woke up this morning after last night’s party with a stranger in my bed.
This one is related to the “I can’t come to work because I’m still drunk from last night” excuse above. Your boss doesn’t need to know about your carnal urges or promiscuousness. In fact, that’s something that is better left unsaid. Just tell your boss you’re running a bit late and get that stranger out of your bed and on his or her way home!
10. I was stepping down out of my trailer & I missed the step and I hurt my back.
Another one of those excuses that is just too darn funny not to be true, an employer reported in a survey that this was one of the excuses he was given for an employee missing work. Seems like you might need to go to work to make enough money to be able to afford to move out of the trailer, hmmm?