The ozone flattened your tires. Your llama is sick. A creepy spider has invaded your house.
These are just some of the crazy excuses for staying home from work you can borrow from the people who responded to CareerBuilder’s new survey about calling in sick.
When asked why they took a sick day when they were feeling well, 28 percent of the survey’s respondents said they just didn’t feel like going in to work, and 27 percent took the day off to attend a doctor’s appointment. Another 24 percent said they needed to just relax and 18 percent needed to catch up on sleep. Meanwhile, 11 percent took the day off to run personal errands.
Those are all perfectly normal reasons to stay home. Some people feel the need to be more creative, however. Asked to share the most outrageous excuses they’d heard for calling in sick, employers shared the following explanations given by their employees:
- The ozone in the air flattened his tires.
- Pressure cooker had exploded and scared her sister, so she had to stay home.
- Had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.
- Was blocked in by police raiding her home.
- Had to testify against a drug dealer and the dealer’s friend mugged him.
- Her roots were showing and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.
- Ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.
- She wasn’t sick, but her llama was.
- Had used a hair remover under her arms and had chemical burns as a result. She couldn’t put her arms down by her sides due to that.
- Was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.
- Was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home. She had to stay home to deal with the spider.
- Had better things to do.
- Ate too much birthday cake.
- Was bit by a duck.
These excuses may be unique, but taking a sick day when you’re not ill isn’t: Slightly more than a third of workers (35 percent) said they have called in to work sick when they were feeling just fine, down from 38 percent last year, according to the survey.
Is It Worth It?
Most employers (67 percent) give their employees the benefit of the doubt and believe their workers are sick if they say they are, but 33 percent say they have checked to see if an employee was telling the truth in one way or another, on par with last year. Among employers who have checked up on an employee who called in sick, asking to see a doctor’s note was the most popular way to find out if the absence was legit (68 percent), followed by calling the employee (43 percent). As many as 18 percent of employers went the extra mile and drove past the employee’s house.
Some workers have inadvertently busted themselves online. More than a third of employers (34 percent) have caught an employee lying about being sick by checking social media.
Finally, faking it is risky business, so make sure that your excuse is a solid one, and you don’t get caught: More than 1 in 5 employers (22 percent) say they have fired an employee for using a fake excuse to take a sick day.