You can’t help but wake up every Monday morning thinking that the universe is conspiring against you and that you must have truly been a horrible person in a previous life to deserve all this. Seriously, you must’ve been Hitler or Stalin – it’s the only logical explanation – what with having to get up at dawn every day five days a week to suffer eight excruciating hours of work with bumbling idiots all the while doing something you don’t even enjoy or fully understand.
You just really don’t want to go to work today, so you’ve decided to pull a sickie. But since you’re not really sick, you need to come up with a good excuse that is believable, an excuse that will guarantee you the day off – no questions asked and no suspicion aroused. But you’ve already used just about every other creative sick day excuse there is, from the tragic loss of your pet hamster to accidentally locking yourself inside your own house. Somehow, though, for some reason that’s just beyond you, your boss didn’t buy it the last time you called in sick, telling him you’ve been snowed in – in the middle of August.
While most (sane) people rely on the usual, boring excuses along the lines of “I’ve got food poisoning”, “I’ve been robbed” or “I’ve been in a car accident.” There are a select few who have taken it to the next level with some truly amazing Get out of Work Free cards.
1. I’ve Been Shot
Daniel Kuch really went out of his way to get out of work.
Kuch was admitted to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco, Washington back in March 2008 with a gunshot wound that he told Franklin County Sheriff’s detectives was sustained in a drive-by shooting.
Now, that wasn’t exactly a lie. He had been shot. Just not in a drive-by shooting. Kuch, an Iraq vet, later confessed that he had asked a friend, Kurtis Johnson (another Iraq vet), to shoot him in the shoulder. And the reason that he asked his friend to shoot him? Well, he wanted to get some time off work and avoid a drug test at Walmart.
Johnson was then arrested for reckless endangerment while Kuch himself was charged with false reporting and admitted to wanting to know what it felt like to be shot.
It’s unclear if Kuch is still employed by Walmart, but it’s highly probable that he was swiftly shown the door. I mean, admitting to getting yourself shot just so you can avoid a drug test does nothing but scream “I’m on drugs!”
2. I Ran Over a Kid
What do you do when you’re a music teacher and don’t want to go to work? You fatally run over a girl, of course – or, at least, you pretend to.
Derek McGlone, a “respected” music teacher at Calderhead High School in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, called work one morning and informed the school’s head, Joyce Kilmartin, that he had accidentally run over a young girl, killing her in the process. He went into vivid details about the event and went as far as to say that he “felt his car wheels running over her body”.
He later admitted to fabricating various stories between June 2008 and May 2011 at a General Teaching Council Scotland hearing to avoid going to work. This included being caught up in the volcanic ash cloud following the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland while he was still home in Glasgow.
McGlone apologized for his behavior at the hearing and was suspended for a year after the panel concluded that his fitness to teach was “impaired”.
Now, what makes you say that?
3. My (Non-Existent) Daughter Has Died
Some people will just do whatever it takes when they really want an extra week’s vacation. Take Joan Barnett, for instance, who faked her fake daughter’s death to extend her school-sanctioned spring break to travel to Costa Rica.
Barnett, a parent coordinator at the Manhattan High School of Hospitality Management in New York City, booked her tickets three weeks prior to her fake daughter’s demise in 2010, and got a bit creative.
She had her real daughter call the school and say that her sister had suffered a heart attack. This was followed by another phone call from her other real daughter to say that the sister had died, and the family would be traveling to Costa Rica for her funeral. But wait – it gets better. Barnett then faxed a forged death certificate of Xinia Daley Herman to the school as proof of the death, a general requirement when a city school employee requests for bereavement leave.
However, a school official realized that something fishy was going on and discovered that the fonts used on the forged certificate were slightly different and incorrectly aligned in comparison to the real thing. The Costa Rican government later confirmed that the certificate was indeed a fake, what with the identification numbers corresponding to a man who had died in 2005. Oh, and they had no idea how Barnett could have acquired a death certificate for her daughter who had just died when they only issued death certificates five years after a person’s passing.
While she was certainly creative about getting extra time off work, Barnett sadly didn’t think things through. The scam cost Barnett her job, and she later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor forgery – after insisting she was telling the truth and submitting yet another forged death certificate.
She must have really wanted to go to Costa Rica!
4. I’m with the CIA
John Beale served as a climate policy expert at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation from 1987 up until his retirement in 2011. He was even awarded with an EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service in 1989 for his work on amendments to the Clean Air Act.
In 2000, he was given a bonus worth 25% of his annual salary to be paid out over three years. It was during this time that Beale began skipping work on occasional Wednesdays. He excused his absence by telling Jeffrey Holmstead, the Office of Air and Radiation’s then assistant administrator, that he was, in fact, a CIA agent and was out on secret missions protecting America and saving fellow agents from the Taliban in Pakistan.
In reality, he was at home exercising, reading, doing housework, and holidaying at a vacation house in Cape Cod – all the while defrauding the US government out of almost $900,000. Something that went unnoticed until 2013, by the way, two years after his retirement (and throwing an extravagant retirement party on a boat on the Potomac River).
He retired in 2011 as the highest paid employee at the EPA (he was earning more than even the agency’s administrator, Gina McCarthy). However, he continued to draw his salary for two years, along with the temporary bonus that was supposed to have stopped in 2003, until a HR employee discovered what was going on in November 2012.
Beale eventually fessed up to his fraudulent activities, but his former colleagues believed he was only “taking one for the team” so as not to reveal the nature of his work with the CIA.
The fake spy was sentenced to 32 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and was fined almost $1.4 million for restitution and forfeiture. His lawyer also acknowledged that Beale did “absolutely no work” at the agency and was often absent for weeks and months at a time – including an entire six-month period in 2008.
What’s the most extreme excuse you’ve ever used to get out of work? Let us know in the comments section below – I need ideas!