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Best Excuses For Missing Work.


Faking a physical injury to be excused from work.

Everyone deserves a day off from work.  Without time away from the office, it’s guaranteed the employee’s productivity would drop and in turn it will affect the work environment.  Soon a cascade would begin and all the workers won’t be doing as well as they should have been doing.  However, there are some “workers” that take advantage of the situation.  Rather than get into the cause-and-effect of an employee’s poor attendance, I just want to share some of the more memorable excuses.  Some were funny; some were simply jaw-dropping.  Others, the more legendary ones, became a permanent part of the company’s folklore and culture.

“Joe” called in sick one week.  He had been out a few times before and it wasn’t a surprise when he didn’t show up for work one day.  However, on the 3rd day, Joe came in looking a bit sluggish.  After only 1/2 hour and very little prompting, Joe told us he had been diagnosed with an inverted heart.  We rushed to our desks and the floor grew uncomfortably quiet as everyone hit WebMD, Mayo Clinic and any other medical website that would shed more info on the deformity.  We were in awe as we all came up with the same thing.  Joe was telling the truth, (he had had so many absentee excuses before that we originally doubted him), at least seemingly enough so we weren’t going to question him about it and risk an HR issue.  However, it didn’t take long for him to blunder and get caught.

Joe was a big guy and, in a fit of anger at waiting for the microwave during lunch time, claimed that it was bad for his feet to be waiting on-line for so long due to his heart.  “Because it was upside down”, he claimed, “My feet receive a high pressured amount of blood and would swell up if I remain standing for long.”

Someone not familiar with his story asked him about his heart and he stated the top was pointing south and what should have been at the bottom was pointing north.  There was a stunned silence and then the cafeteria erupted.  We had, since having been told of his condition earlier, obviously become more educated on inverted hearts than he had taken the time to learn himself.  He was called out as a liar and it wasn’t long afterwards that he tripped up enough to be let go management.

There is only room for one at the top of the mountain, though, and the crown belongs to “Dan”.  Over a period of one year, This Guru of Absentia never worked a full 5-day work week.  6 paid holidays, 2 personal days and 2 weeks vacation meant Dan had to come up with 42 unique excuses why he didn’t go to work.  It is a daunting task to come up with that many reasons and keep track of them and occasionally he lost track of them.  He called me once and asked me to tell our manager he had to take his parents to the airport.  Taking a deep breath, I reminded him he had used that excuse three weeks earlier.  I heard a sharp intake and he quickly blurted, “you’re right!  Tell him I have a stomach virus!” and he hung up.

His best, though, was the day he walked in with his right arm in a sling.  He explained he hadn’t been able to come into work the day before because he had dislocated his arm playing darts two nights earlier.  We were stunned. Even for Dan, this was a fantastic excuse.  Obviously, we watched him closely for the rest of the day but Dan sold it.  The grimaces.  The one-handed typing.  Asking for help when his left hand wasn’t enough.

Eventually, however, he messed up.  Two days later he was returning from lunch when I noticed his sling looked differently than it had earlier.  I knew something was up so I simply pointed to it, and he immediately realized what was wrong.  In the fastest of moments, he swung his left arm out of the sling, turned it around and harpooned his right arm through the loop.  Just in time, too, as a crowd of people turned the corner, returning from their lunch break.  He winked at me, mouthed a smirky ‘thank you’ and went back to his desk.

Dan will always be the best I have ever seen.

What’s your favorite story?

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