This Year’s Craziest Excuses for Calling in Sick

Slightly fewer workers this year say they have called in sick although they were feeling fine over the last 12 months, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

More than one-third of workers (35%) said they have called in to work sick when they were feeling just fine, down from 38% last year.

When asked why they called in sick when they were feeling well, 28% reported they just didn’t feel like going in to work, and 27% took the day off to attend a doctor’s appointment. Another 24% said they needed to just relax, and 18% needed to catch up on sleep. Eleven percent took the day off to run personal errands.

When asked to share the most dubious excuses employees have given for calling in sick, employers reported hearing the following real-life examples:

  • 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; and
  • Employee was bit by a duck.
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