Use CareerBuilder's Most Ridiculous Excuses For Skipping Work The Next Time You Feel Like Staying Home
The myth of the 40-hour work week has been debunked and replaced with the reality of the 47-hour work week. Americans are spending more time in the office and less time on vacation, and with 26 million Americans working jobs that don't provide paid time off, I just can't blame them for creating some pretty ridiculous excuses for skipping work. Every year for the last decade, the job listing site CareerBuilder has taken it upon itself to aggregate the 10 most ridiculous reasons employees have provided to explain why they wouldn't be showing up to work that day. And while some people might call them "excuses," I like to call them "priorities."
In order to create its highly anticipated list, CareerBuilder conducts a Harris poll that involved 3,000 workers and 2,000 hiring managers, who responded to questions about the strangest reasons they'd cited or heard for missing work. Some of these answers came with risks — nearly 20 percent of managers said they decided to fire an employee over a bogus excuse. How did they determine whether or not these excuses were valid? Nearly a quarter of employers said that Facebook and other social media were key in determining the authenticity of an employee's excuse. So if you're planning on calling in sick, make sure not to post those Instagrammed photos of your awesome brunch date with your best friend on Facebook.
But if you're looking for something a little more unusual than, "I'm running a fever," check out these phenomenal excuses that real people have given at real jobs to avoid a day's work.
1. I just put a casserole in the oven
Ok, before you laugh this one off, I'd like to point out that this may just be the first line in a very, very convincing story. Maybe this person's parents are coming into town! Maybe there's a million dollar casserole baking competition later in the day! Maybe there's no way to tell if the casserole is baking without standing watch over the oven for the full three hours it'll take to bake to perfect, cheesy perfection. Besides, everyone knows you can't leave the house with an oven on. This just sounds like common sense to me.
2. My plastic surgery needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.
Let's be honest — whose plastic surgery doesn't need some "tweaking" to get it just right? Maybe this person works in a very looks-dependent industry where having the perfect nose job is the difference between a great day at work and getting fired. Or maybe, this was Heidi Pratt's excuse, although I'm not entirely sure what job she has to miss.
3. I was sitting in the bathroom and my feet and legs fell asleep. When I stood up, I fell and broke my ankle.
This one is very sad, and while a bit absurd, totally plausible. Rebecca Traub, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University, told Business Insider that the loss of feeling you experience when your limbs fall asleep is caused by a "temporary compression of nerves," which makes it impossible for them to communicate the proper signals to the spine and brain. While most of us are able to "wake up" our arms or legs by moving around, Traub points out that sometimes, people can suffer "permanent nerve injury from this type of compression." Of course, the most confusing part of this excuse is how exactly this person was sitting in the bathroom that caused his or her legs to fall asleep. But I do hope there was a speedy recovery.
4. I had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
I mean, why leave, you know? It's just math, guys — when there's a 0.1 percent chance of you doubling your fortune in one day in a casino and only a 100 percent chance of earning a day's salary at the office, you play the odds.
5. I woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
You have to give this person credit for honesty. Isn't that an important trait to have in the workplace?
6. I had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where I was.
You may laugh, but imagine what your sense of direction would be like without Google Maps. Not so funny anymore, is it?
7. I got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
I really tried to validate this claim because I figured that some news outlet somewhere would've definitely picked up on a story as bizarre as this one. But I'm very sorry to report that this seems like a ruse. Of course, it probably would've been worse if it were true — I can't imagine the horror that must accompany the feeling of being stuck in a blood pressure machine for hours on end.
8. I had a gall stone I wanted to heal holistically.
And nothing, I mean nothing is worse for holistic medicine than work. You cannot, after all, treat the body, mind, spirit, and emotions while sitting in an office all day. You just can't.
9. I caught my uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
Note to self: place neither iPhone in the microwave to charge nor uniform in the microwave to dry. Otherwise, all personal belongings will be destroyed. The microwave might seem like your best friend, but there are things that even its powers cannot solve.
10. I accidentally got on a plane.
I also accidentally drove to the airport and accidentally bought a ticket and accidentally went through security. Some accidents are just bigger than others.
Interestingly enough, 15 percent of employers actually reported to driving past their employee's house to make sure they were telling the truth, although for most of these cases, it doesn't seem as though that would be of much help. 28 percent of survey respondents admitted to creating fictional excuses for missing work, but for the most part, Americans are surprisingly honest about their jobs. 53 percent of participant said they went into work sick because they knew they wouldn't be able to do work otherwise, and 38 percent said that they just couldn't afford to miss a day of work.
As the only wealthy nation without federal mandates for paid leave, it seems like the real problem here isn't the excuses, but rather the policy.