Six Outrageous Excuses for Calling in Sick

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 11-15-2013 Email Print this article Print

As a positive and supportive CIO, you want to think the best of your IT staffers. You can see that they give 100 percent while in the office. You know most of them want to succeed and advance. And this is why it's difficult to accept the reality that, on occasion, some of them are faking it when they call in sick. In fact, a surprisingly high percentage of professionals admit to doing just that, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Many employees openly admit that they prefer to use sick days for times when they're well, to the point where they show up at the office while actually ill to "store" the time off. In addition to these and other telling, statistical findings, CareerBuilder presents the following six outrageous excuses that workers have used in taking a sick day—if just to allow for some chuckles and head shaking among those who think they've heard it all. Nearly 3,485 workers and 2,100 hiring managers and HR professionals participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

  • Phoning It In

    32% of workers have called in sick during the past year when they weren't actually ill.
    Phoning It In
  • Stored Time

    30% have gone to work despite being sick in order to "save" that sick leave for when they're feeling well.
    Stored Time
  • What Employees Do When "Faking It"

    Relax: 28%, Catch up on sleep: 19%, Run errands: 14%
    What Employees Do When
  • Cracking Down

    30% of employers say they've checked in on employees who call in sick, to make sure they're telling the truth—and 16% say they've fired staffers for faking it.
    Cracking Down
  • Top Ways to Check Up on Employees Who Call in Sick

    Require a doctor's note: 64%, Call the employee at home: 48%, Check the employee's social media posts: 19%, Have another staffer call the employee: 17%, Drive past the employee's house: 15%
    Top Ways to Check Up on Employees Who Call in Sick
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Fanatical Fan

    An employee's favorite football team lost on Sunday, so he said he needed Monday to recover.
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Home Detention

    A worker said she couldn't leave the house because someone glued her doors and windows shut.
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Dysfunction Junction

    An employee got lost driving to work and ended up in another state.
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Busy Bees

    A staffer said a swarm of bees was surrounding his vehicle, so he couldn't make it in.
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Tongue-Tied

    An employee couldn't work because she bit her tongue and was unable to talk.
  • Outrageous "Sick" Excuses: Fashion Statement

    An employee failed to show up at work because she couldn't decide what to wear.
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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