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"I Don't Know Where I Am"

Sudden, unexpected food preparation, accidents in the bathroom, and a malfunctioning blood pressure machine are some excuses heard by employers when employees need a day off.

| BY Kent McDill

Some employers have to believe they have heard them all. Inventive employees can come up with all sorts of excuses to miss a day’s work, and veteran employers probably enjoy sharing the best, or at least most interesting, excuses they have heard over the years.

But you have to wonder how many have heard this one:

“I caught a plane by accident.”

That is just one of the most outrageous excuses offered in a survey by of the best excuses employers have heard as employees attempt to get a day off from work.

More than 3,000 employees and more than 2,000 employers were surveyed about excuses heard or used over the past year in an attempt to get a day off from work.

Among the more inventive excuses offered besides the accidental plane flight were;

·         Employee just put a casserole in the oven.

·         Employee broke her ankle getting up off the toilet.

·         Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.

·         Employee did not know where they were after big night out.

·         Employee was stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store. 

The study asked employees whether they had in the past year asked for a day off when they had no appropriate reason to miss work, and 28 percent said they had indeed called in sick when they were feeling just fine. Meanwhile, 25 percent of employers said they have caught employees in a lie related to their offered reason for taking the day off. Social media is often the manner employers use to check up on employees who aren’t in the office.

On the flip side of that, 53 percent of employees said they have gone to work sick because either the work needed to get done or they would lose a day’s pay for failing to show up.

The CareerBuilder study comes with this warning. More than 30 percent of employers have checked on an employee’s excuse for missing a day from work, either by asking for a doctor’s note, calling the employee during the day, or even driving past their house to see if they are home.

Fifteen percent of employers said they have fired employees for faking an excuse to get out of a day’s work.

Almost 50 percent of employees surveyed said they have a Paid Time Off program at work that allows them to take a mental health day occasionally, and 23 percent of those workers still feel the need to make up an excuse for missing a day’s work.


About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.