The Worst (or Best?) Excuses for Missing Work

October 28, 2014 Staples Advantage


The 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off took playing hooky to its furthest and funniest extremes as a teenager went to elaborate lengths to skip school and spend the day having unbelievable adventures. But as adults, many feel too guilty to even take a real sick day: according to Staples’ fifth annual flu survey, 40% of employees think work is too busy to stay away, and 31% think their boss appreciates them showing up even when sick.

Last week in their release of “The Most Unbelievable Excuses for Calling in Sick,” CareerBuilder explored the other side of the coin, the modern-day Ferris Buellers whose excuses range from hilarious to horrible.

A few of our favorites:

  • Employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
  • Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
  • Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  • Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  • Employee accidentally got on a plane.

There are a lot of ways to increase your employees’ engagement levels, from creating more pleasant office spaces to making breaktime better.   But not every employee excuse is something you can fix—after all, if your workers are unknowingly wandering onto planes, that’s a bigger issue than any one company can handle. What’s the worst excuse you’ve ever heard for missing work?


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