You Need the Day Off to Do WHAT?

January 9, 2004 ( - Anyone who has ever had the privilege of managing knows that, sooner or later, you're going to hear some wild stories.

No matter how much (or how little) vacation, sick days, or paid-time off (PTO) your firm provides, there is always someone for whom that allotment is insufficient, and the normal assortment of reasons for a “personal day” seem inadequate – and the stated rationale for yet another day off appears to require a special “purpose.”

Specialized staffing firm Accountemps asked 150 executives, including those from human resources, finance, and marketing departments at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies, about the most “imaginative” explanations they’ve heard from employees requesting time off. The list included:

  • “I just got a new tattoo and need a few days to recover.”
  • “I need time to find myself.”
  • “I need a day off because it’s supposed to snow.”
  • “My cat has hairballs.”
  • “The pool is broken.”
  • “I have plastic surgery scheduled.”
  • “I’m going to jail.”
  • “My garage door is broken.”
  • “I need three weeks off to travel to . Starting tomorrow.”

The survey also included some explanations that are perhaps honest, but not nearly creative enough, including:

  • “I’m taking a few days off to start my own business.”
  • “I’ll be out this afternoon on job interviews.”
  • “I need a leave of absence to try another job. But if it doesn’t work out I’d like to come back.”

What’s the weirdest excuse you’ve been given (or used)?

E-mail me at