We went to question and answer site Quora to find some of the best excuses for taking a day off work. Don’t get any ideas — your boss might be reading this, too.
Caroline Zelonka cleverly manoeuvred her way out of an all-day departmental ‘symposium’ that started at 8am on a Saturday.
“Naturally, I did not want to go, but attendance was mandatory. Come Saturday morning, I REALLY didn't want to go because I had stayed out very late on Friday drinking and carousing,” she wrote. “Then I thought of it: the magical excuse. There are two similarly-named hotels in downtown San Francisco: the Sir Francis Drake and the St Francis. And my boss, who wasn't exactly detail-oriented, had mixed them up a few times when talking about the event. “
Zelonka hatched her plan. “I went back to sleep and then on Monday, I claimed (very earnestly) I had shown up at the St Francis, asked around, and no one there had heard of any room or area reserved for my company. They totally bought it!”
Clever Jennifer Miller has a few more tricks up her sleeve. She wrote “I always say food poisoning. It’s something that’s typically gone in 24 hours and doesn't warrant you getting a doctor’s note. For male bosses just mention ‘ovary’ or ‘uterus’ and you are pretty much given a pass.”
Robby Ballard suggested the best excuse for a planned absence, say, one you know you want to take a week or two ahead but can’t get approval for a day off, “is by claiming a colonoscopy” appointment.
Mother Nature’s manifest
Julie Hume opted for a more exotic tale of woe and wrote that her favourite all-time excuse was “..the typhoon broke all the windows and I need to get them repaired.”
Don’t dishonour the non-dead
An anonymous contributor added: “feigning a death in the family is probably a bad idea.” You “can only use it so many times before you run out of 'family members’. It is a lot easier to pretend to be sick than to pretend to be saddened by a death in the family,” the contributor wrote. What’s more, “obituaries are almost always posted online now. If your boss does his research he can easily catch on.”
Some Quora readers advocate honesty as the best policy. Marie Stein suggested people “skip the excuses”. She wrote: “If you feel the need to lie about it, just don't. Just say you need a day or took a day for personal reasons. (Even if it's for an interview or a mental health day).”
“Let someone know, as soon as you know you will be a no-show. ‘Something came up, it's personal, I'm sorry, I can't really talk about it. I should be back tomorrow.’,” she suggested. “And express your apologies… to the person or persons who are most inconvenienced by your failure to show.”
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