You’ve done it, I’ve done it… we’ve all done it: called in to work because we just couldn’t deal with today.
Because today sometimes sucks.
When this inevitably happens, we politely lie to our employers about feeling ill, having a family emergency or any number of completely reasonable, rational excuses that don’t upend each other’s lives.
You have been warned.
11. An Hour Of Silence
When I used to manage a bar/restaurant I had a server call out because “her boyfriend gave it to her so hard the night before that she couldn’t walk properly”.
She prefaced this by saying the she knew she was about to provide me with too much information, but she was raised that honesty is always the best policy.
After what felt like an hour of silence, all I could say was “ok”.
10. That’s Going To Be A BAD Day
I once had an employee call in because he “woke up in poop”.
There’s no recovering a conversation once those words are uttered.
9. “No Bert, he is definitely not alright.”
I had to call my boss and tell him my best friend and I wouldn’t being coming in for a couple days. It went pretty much like this.
Manager – “You can’t call in for him”
Manager – “he has to call in for himself or he’s a no call no show”
Me -“Bert you don’t understand.”
Manager – “Now I’m gonna be short two servers, Jesus what’s the excuse anyway?”
Me – “Joey is laying in a hospital bed next to me because someone tried to kill him. He’s stable but we’re waiting to hear from the surgeon about pulling out the broken glass that’s lodged in his jaw bone. Here, let me send you a picture of his slashed up face.”
Manager – “Uhhhh nonono, that’s not necessarily…just…just try to find someone to cover one of your shifts…is he alright?”
Me – “No Bert, he is definitely not alright.”
8. You’re Bad at Adulting
Years ago I had someone call in and tell me that they couldn’t come to work this week because they were grounded (they were 25 years old at the time). I told them that this wasn’t an acceptable excuse and that they would be expected to work their scheduled shifts.
So he put his mom on the phone and we had a nice long chat. He did live at home and she was grounding him and said if we couldn’t respect her parenting decisions then he quit.
I kind of felt bad for the kid.
7. Junk In The Trunk.
I once had an employee, an older lady.
She called to say she had stepped off the bus on the way to work, and then “shit my drawers.”
We didn’t make her come in.
One guy called to say he couldn’t come to work because he was waiting for the heating oil company to make an emergency delivery and re-start his oil-fired furnace.
A fellow employee who had just been there to his place said, “That’s odd, because he lives in an apartment with electric baseboard heat.”
5. Monkey Business
Best: “I just bought a monkey and he’s suffering from separation anxiety every time I leave the house” – this person actually followed up the next day with pictures of her monkey.
Worst: “It’s Tuesday.”
I’m not sure if this is best or worst, but he sent a text “my engine has kittens”.
Then a picture of a kitten in under his car’s hood.
Apparently a cat had had kittens in his car and he had to carefully extract them.
3. Honesty Is the Best Policy
My deputy chief recorded a fellow coworker calling out during the Boston Bruins Playoff run. He called up at 1am completely hammered telling the deputy chief that he couldn’t come in for his shift at 7am because he had “BRUINS FEVER.”
He proceeded yell “Its TUUKA TIME!” and hung up.
My deputy chief was beside himself asked no questions and put him out sick.
2. Wax On. Wax Off.
In my office there was an employee who was fired 20 years ago, but his excuses for being late or staying home still live on.
He had dozens of dead relatives, and multiple ongoing problems with his car. He even was late one day because he backed up over a cat and was too upset to drive.
But I think my favorite one was when he was waxing his kitchen floor, and waxed himself into a corner. Apparently he had to stand there for an hour until the wax dried.
I’ve never met him but I feel that I know him well from his excuses.
1. Proof of Life
I’m in the mining industry. I was the manager and had to call in to corporate.
I had an internal lump on one of my “boys” that scared the crap out of me. They asked for proof. Pissed me right off as I’ve never missed a shift in 10 years.
So I dropped trow and took a pic and sent it to them. They weren’t too pleased, but never inquired about anything again.
Still work for the same company.