Office Politics

Best Excuses for Calling in Sick

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"Best Excuses for Calling in Sick"
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Which are the best excuses for calling in sick? Perhaps we should first ask whether we need a reason to call in sick apart from sickness itself? The answer in truth should be no, but does not necessarily satisfy the temptation of many who might wish an excuse to stay at home for the day. For example, how often are we tempted to want a day free from the trials and tribulations of work? How often, when we see the sun shining in the morning do we sit and ponder whether we can come up with a reasonable sickness excuse to give to our employer so that we can spend the day following more leisurely pursuits? Perhaps this is not a subject that one should dwell on too deeply. After all, essentially the best excuse for calling in sick is to actually be sick. This is especially true if you value your work and future career.

However, for those who want to approach this issue in a more humorous vein, or perhaps have won the lottery so that job value and retention is no longer a problem, the following are a few ideas that might help to provide an extra day on the couch at home or sun-bathing in the garden.

1 Migraine

Migraine is an innocuous excuse to give to get a day off work, as it is e xtremely difficult for anyone but you to distinguish the conditions or challenge you over it. However, there are a couple of points to remember when using this excuse. Firstly, you need to acquaint yourself with the medical remedies, as you are likely to be asked what pills you are taking. Secondly, do not have loud music blaring in the background as you give this excuse to your boss as this is likely to raise doubts in their minds. Thirdly, and perhaps this applies to all sickness excuses, it is essential to dissuade your children bouncing round the room and yelling, "Mommy's (Daddy's) got the day off!" as this event is also likely to give the game away.

Furthermore, there are one or two other things you need to remember when using this this old and well-used excuse. If it is you that is having to make the phone call to your boss it would be inappropriate to ring up an say "Hi boss, I have a migraine. See you tomorrow. Okay?" in a bright and cheerful voice. You need to sound the part. Also, because it is so often used, the excuse of a migraine as a sickness reason should be used sparingly and only if you cannot be more creative.

2 Spider, insect, snake or other Bites

Although this might sound a feeble excuse, many people have serious allergic reactions to bites delivered by a range of creatures. You will therefore need to add allergy and reaction symptoms to your excuse to make it believable. A little research is necessary, but this is where the home Internet and broadband connection comes in handy. Numerous websites provide the information needed to make this excuse plausible. Perhaps you might try '' (not a real site) or whatever the appropriate site is called.

By the way, if you are asked to describe the spider, insect or other creature, please do not make the description fit a man-eating or death venom delivering variety as coming back from the dead within 24 hours a not a feat available to us mere mortals.

Also never use the bite excuse in connection with a household pet as your employer might request confirmation that you have had a rabies injection and they can be quite painful. Furthemore, especially with pets, you might be asked to show the evidence and one would not recommend enticing a pet to attack you simply for a few hours in the sunshine, besides you might then have to spend those hours with your local medical practitioners and hospital staff instead.

3 Throat infections

It is important to remember that throat infections are only an advisable excuse for those who work in a call centre or spend most of their time talking. For other working environment and roles, the boss will probably be glad that it keeps you quiet for a day or so and insist that you turn up for work.

If this excuse is your preference, then make sure that you either get someone else to call in for you, which is not advisable unless you really trust him or her, or cover the telephone mouthpiece with a cloth and speak in a funny voice.

Throat infections are one area of sickness that can be extended beyond a single day. If you have a supply of helium filled balloons and suck on a few of these the following morning just before you enter the work place, it is quite possible that, faced with your funny distorted voice, the boss may grant a sickness extension.


CTS in medical terms stand for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In relation to those who wish a day off work, it can equally signify a preference for couch, television and sleep. This condition can cause pain and numbness in the hands or fingers, which could make it difficult for an office worker to use a computer or, more possibly, annoy other workers by flicking small balls of paper at them. However, it does stand up as a good excuse for sickness. The only cautionary item to remember is that it must be afflicting the hand you use most, for example the left hand for those left-handed persons. Similarly, you need to make sure that you are not caught playing golf or tennis whilst suffering from this condition.

5 Physical damage

Using physical damage, such as cuts bruises, sprains and other similar injuries as an excuse for a sick day is a possibility. However, it might be considered strange if you phone up one day to say that you have fallen off a ladder only to be found running to work the next as if nothing has happened (which of course is in fact the truth). If you are going to use physical injuries as an excuse for a day off work, first of all they need to be believable and secondly, the damage needs to be limited in terms of the time for recovery and the limitations it places on your physical abilities for the next day or so.


Some cautionary words should be given in ending these advices on sickness excuses. It is essential, as already mentioned, not to allow yourself to be seen in a public place, which might come to the attention of the boss, when you have given the impression that you are lying in your bed being cared for by a Florence Nightingale lookalike. Next, be careful of sunburn. If you turn up the day after a bout of contrived 'sickness' showing the after effects of sunburn it is not only your face that will be red. The boss's countenance will also change to this colour, except in his/her case this will be driven by rage.

There is one final piece of advice to offer. It is important to be cautious with your use of sickness excuses. At all costs, you should avoid these making your boss suffer RSI. Remember those employers who reach Repetitive Sickness Immune levels are likely to reach for the dismissal letter and that will not look good on your CV and is it worth sitting in the dark and living on bread and soup because you can no longer afford the luxuries in life due to unemployment? Now that really will make you feel sick!

I would comment that these ideas have been suggested simply in a tone of jest. No guarantee is offered as to their effectiveness. Thus, if the use of one of these excuses finds you facing the end of your employment on the following morning, I respectfully request to be absolved from responsibility.

More about this author: Paul Lines

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