The Calling In Sick Numbers and the Craziest Excuses Used

Most of us are likely to agree that there are just some days when you wake up and don’t feel like going into the office. While some of us will just suck it up and go to work anyway, there are always a few folks who decide they just can’t do it, which is when they break out their best fake cough and call in sick, even though they’re perfectly healthy.

But believe it or not, it seems a lot less people are lying about their sick days. A new Careerbuilder survey finds that 35% of workers admit they’ve called in sick when they felt totally fine, which is down 3% from last year. Overall, 28% say they did it just because they felt like not going to work, while 27% had a doctor’s appointment, 24% needed to relax, 18% wanted to catch up on sleep and 11% used the day to run personal errands.

Of course, not all bosses are willing to take an employee’s word about their health. While 67% say they give workers the benefit of the doubt, 33% have done some checking to make sure the worker is telling the truth, with a doctor’s note the most popular way of authenticating the illness (68%). And if caught, there could be dire consequences, with 22% of employers firing an employee caught faking a sick day.

Now, calling in sick when your not means you have to come up with some good excuses, and apparently a lot of people aren’t that great at delivering believable ones. The site asked employers to reveal the craziest excuses they’ve ever received, and some of them are dozzies.

Crazy sick day excuses include:

  • Employee said the ozone in the air flattened his tires.
  • Employee's pressure cooker had exploded and scared her sister, so she had to stay home.
  • Employee had to attend the funeral of his wife's cousin's pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.
  • Employee was blocked in by police raiding her home.
  • Employee had to testify against a drug dealer and the dealer's friend mugged him.
  • Employee said her roots were showing and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.
  • Employee ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.
  • Employee said she wasn't sick but her llama was.
  • Employee 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.
  • Employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn't make it to work.
  • Employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home. She had to stay home to deal with the spider.
  • Employee said he had better things to do.
  • Employee ate too much birthday cake.
  • Employee was bit by a duck.
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