Craziest Excuses for Employees Calling in Sick

Craziest Excuses for Employees Calling in Sick
What’s the craziest excuse you’ve either used or heard from an employee when calling in sick?

People can say some pretty crazy things to get off work. Admit it, you may even have been tempted yourself. And with summer, hopefully, right around the corner, employees certainly will make up excuses to skip work to bask in some warm weather. 

“People are creative,” says Lisa Orndorff, manager of employee relations, engagement and global HR for the Society for Human Resource Management. “Sad thing is, these things may actually happen to people.” 

According to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, here are five of the craziest excuses employers have heard from employees calling in “sick.”

  • A swarm of bees surrounded the car.
  • The chemical in turkey dinner made the employee oversleep.
  • False teeth flew out the car window.
  • Needed to finish Christmas shopping.
  • Couldn’t decide what to wear. 

Honesty is a great policy, that’s true, and Orndorff agrees. But the last two excuses, which may have technically been true, don’t forgive the absence. The truth does not always provide a valid reason for absenteeism — even if that swarm of bees was extremely big. 

Orndorff adds that the day after a major sporting event — such as March Madness and the Super Bowl — is one of the most common days employees call in “sick.” 

Research seems to support that. An annual study by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that March Madness will cost American companies at least $134 million in lost wages over the first two days of the college basketball tournament. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t track absenteeism on specific days, but another survey seems to concur with those numbers. 

A survey released by MSN and Impulse Research found that 7 percent of respondents said they take time off to watch the March Madness tournament and 12 percent admitted to calling in sick in the past so they could watch. 

What’s the craziest excuse you’ve either used or heard from an employee? Post a comment below.


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