IT Employment

Survey says: Most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work

Ever had to call in sick because some bats got in your hair? That's just one of the unusual excuses employers reported hearing for missed days.

Lucky for us, the folks at CareerBuilder are a survey-loving bunch of people. It gives us some nice fodder for a end-of-week-needing-a-laugh blog.

From one of their latest surveys here's a list of the most unusual excuses employees gave their employers for missing work:

  • Employee's 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had no other way to work. Employee didn't want to report it to the police.
  • Employee said bats got in her hair.
  • Employee said a refrigerator fell on him.
  • Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.
  • Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.
  • Employee ate too much at a party.
  • Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.
  • Employee got a cold from a puppy.
  • Employee's child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.
  • Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
  • Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.
  • Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.
  • Employee's brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.
  • Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
  • Employee was at a bowling alley and a bucket filled with water crashed through the ceiling and hit her on the head.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

37 comments
Host.co.in
Host.co.in

Actually they are mixed ones as some of them can be also true in few circumstances but that second one 'Employee said bats got in her hair' was a clean false.

omg.itlead
omg.itlead

I had a coworker that spilled orange juice and couldn't come in because it made her sick. I wonder what was in the orange juice?

Darren B - KC
Darren B - KC

Our receptionist had a habit of calling in "sick" on Monday and sometimes Tuesday as well because she "felt awful", or just "had a bad headache". It was later discovered that the her headaches and otherwise icky feeling was because she had a bad habit of getting extremely drunk on the weekends, and she was calling in sick due to the massive hangover. She was fired yesterday.

mkogrady
mkogrady

???Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver - was he on his honeymoon?

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Years ago, I knew a guy who called in and told the boss he was too hungover to come to work. At least he was honest. And no, the boss didn't fire him.

kashyap.bikram
kashyap.bikram

i once heard someone saying she fell on a cactus and so needed a day off.

SycamoreISU
SycamoreISU

I once worked with a girl who missed 10 days out of the month she worked there. The most creative excuse was because her dog got a fishhook stuck in its mouth.

RayCox
RayCox

Employee PHONED in and said he had been kidnapped by ALIENS!!! Turned out the "Aliens" he was referring to were indeed illegal aliens in the country and they all went for a big party at a friends house in another City. Needless to say he was fired on his return to "Earth".

ancientprogrammer
ancientprogrammer

My son did this when he was 3 and, yes, I had to miss work to take him to the pediatrician since no amount of nose blowing would dislodge it. A friend of mine had to leave work because she got a call from the police about a car accident in her apartment. A neighbor's drunk ex-boyfriend had driven his pickup truck through the exterior wall, through the neighbor's apartment and finally came to a stop in the middle of my friend's apartment. She had to move out that day and quickly since there obviously was some question about the building's structural integrity.

sboverie
sboverie

I had a subordinate who was late because his car was making noises; he would not describe the noises so I had to wonder what was going on. This guy had a lot of parking tickets and would not pay them, so it appeared that he did not want to risk getting his car towed for excessive unpaid tickets. The excuse about having noise problems was another goofy excuse for being late and not being ready to work.

ipodaddict
ipodaddict

- her seat belt didn't work - a tree fell over the driveway - her father got sick and went to the hospital - her father got well and she had to pick him up - her car wouldn't start She only worked for me for a couple of months, and it was only a few hours a day. I had another kid that worked for me that couldn't come in because his mother had not ironed his clothes....

jd
jd

I had to get my paycheck reissued because my dog chewed it up. I still have a photocopy of the new one, where it says "New pay check to replace one ate by dog" on the bottom left. (I did not have to miss work the next day.) We had a home that had a very large wide open yard and one day when it just barely snowed I had to miss work because it all drifted on my driveway, and no one believed me that I was snowed in.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

but they seem reasonable to me. Though I would just tell my boss I had a bad headache not how I got it.

robo_dev
robo_dev

his roommate got drunk, crashed his car into a parked car, fled the scene with the police in pursuit, then barricaded himself in the house and then attempted suicide when the SWAT team did a tactical entry. So the next day, I ask my co-worker how his weekend went, and he tells me that at 3AM he was having a nice chat with some SWAT team members whilst cleaning blood from his carpet.

wdvs88
wdvs88

If it was my brother-in-law I'd have to take a day off to celebrate!!

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

I think you had another wisecrack and backed out.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

what she spilled it on. I once had to call in sick when a beaver spilled OJ on the mint up my nose.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

She can make adjustments as she sits...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but the cactus had to apply for long-term disability.

christine.lawrie
christine.lawrie

I stuck a calla lily seed up my nose when I was 4. It sprouted...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've bruised my ego chasing beavers any number of times.

robo_dev
robo_dev

One co-worker was on time for his first day at work but was 'almost late' because his cat carried a live copperhead snake into his living room, which somewhat disturbed his wife who was home caring for the baby. He thus had to capture and kill a poisonous snake before he even got out the door. Then on the way to work his truck started leaking coolant (cracked head) and completely overheated by the time he limped the vehicle into the office parking lot. I worked with the guy for about five years...he was never late.

SycamoreISU
SycamoreISU

Boy, does she sound like the girl I mentioned in my comment! She always had some fantastic excuse as to why she couldn't come in. I think one day she said she had fallen out of a tree.

skraman
skraman

@wdvs88, I thought you would have said 'mother-in-law' !!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I just missed the 'Reply' button when i was responding to omg.itlead. My wife assures me I've never had an unexpressed thought.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

That would do it for me. But there's no way in all the incarnations of the underworld I would tell my boss the truth about it.