Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / NOV. 12, 2013
version 3, draft 3

I Can't Come to Work! My Goldfish is Sick! (And Other Fishy Tales)

It’s the beginning of the week and maybe you are feeling less than motivated for the work week ahead. A few too many drinks over the weekend or an enthusiastic adventure brought on by your weekend warrior may have left you feeling bedraggled at best.... so what should you do? Pull on your big boy/girl pants and join the industrious rat race, or stay in your cozy bed and call in to work with an excuse?

Surprisingly statistics show that most people opt to go to work. A survey completed by - a website monitoring company culture - found that 85% of working people who call in sick are actually sick, which is probably a good thing considering nobody wants to be sharing a workspace with a contaminant.

Bosses are always skeptical when you call in sick, and a large percentage of people were found to go to work when they were ill, for fear of not being believed and losing their job. Of course illness is not the only reason that people call in to work to be excused for the day; there are many legitimate reasons that could prevent you from getting to work, the most common being a sick child at home, dreadful weather that has shut down roads and public transport or the loss of someone close to you. These are situations that are unforeseen and are reasonable excuses for missing work.

However, when you are in a management position for a fair amount of time, you will undoubtedly hear some reasons (or ‘excuses’) for missing work that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. Some common excuses are car troubles (ok, this is not a new one), hair colour disasters (this is used more often than you would think), and sick pets (yes, even a goldfish in one case). But these are nothing compared to some real life excuses that have been given as reasons to miss work. I have put them into categories for your reading pleasure below:

The pet theme...

"My dog ate my car keys so we are hitchhiking to the vet."

"My dog ate my shoes. "

"My dog didn't wake me up."

"My dog followed me to work so I had to take him back."

"I have to take my cat to the vet because it got drunk on the beer I left out to kill the slugs."

Too Much Information....

"Last night we had a party and woke up with a strange man in my bed."

"Constipation has made me a walking time bomb."

"My wife just had breast enlargement surgery and I have to stay home and massage her breasts."

"I can't come to work this week because we are trying for a baby and the doctor said this is the best time to try."

"My girlfriend bit me in a delicate place."

The Bizarre....

"I am hallucinating."

"My toe is trapped in the bath tap."

"My boyfriend was abducted by aliens and I have to rescue him."

"The wheel of an airplane fell on my roof and I have to wait for someone from the airport to come and collect it."

There are some excuses that you cannot help but acknowledge as being a bit of a conundrum such as stepping on your glasses and not being able to see, or splitting you pants on the way to work. But these situations are preventable with a little foresight so not really valid excuses to miss a day’s work. However, if you do decide to make the call, please keep your excuse short and concise.

On a final note, unless you are intending on joining the long line of unemployed, do not call your boss with a joke such as this one.. "I woke up blind this morning so cannot see myself coming into work today."... Oh my!

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'


1 comment

View Comments (1)


WORKPLACE / OCT 26, 2014

Cold and flu season is breathing down our necks, and fears of Ebola and entero-68 are likely to cause even more dirty looks aimed at you if you go to work visibly sick...

How to Stop Getting Sick at Work in the Winter Season
WORKPLACE / DEC 19, 2014

The winter season is also the season where most people fall ill. It can really throw a spanner into your holiday work plans. You don’t want to fall behind, or worse end...

How to Determine if You're too Sick to go to Work
WORKPLACE / NOV 04, 2014

Cold and flu season is sneaking up fast. Not only is being sick just plain miserable, it can be hard to know what to do about work. That’s especially true if you don’t...

How to Get Work Done While Sick
WORKPLACE / JUL 15, 2014

There are those days you feel so sickly you can’t gather the energy to go to work. All you want to do is tuck yourself in bed all day, sleeping or watching Dr. Phil and...

confused man looking at documents
Ask an ExpertWORKPLACE / JAN 02, 2017

Dilemma: I am very excited about the fact that I recently got a job as an accountant at a big firm. It is the kind of job I have always dreamt of having since I have...

WORKPLACE / AUG 12, 2015

Who wants to feel tired every day at work? That would be no one. And yet, many of us spend our afternoons yawning at our computer screens and drinking copious cups of...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow