1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Readers Respond: Good Excuses for Missing Work

Responses: 76


An Appointment

For my final interview at my new job there was no picking my interview time. If I wanted the interview I'd be there at said time, if not 30 other people gladly would take my place. I told my employer that I had an appointment at said time, that I was being worked in so I couldn't reschedule and I would be back as soon as I could. Not a lie, I just didn't tell them exactly what kind of appointment. They assumed it was a doctors appointment. I just didn't correct them, lol.
—Guest C

Whatever works best with current boss

If the boss never gets sick, it wouldn't be a sick day. If the boss is an involved parent, then I would be attending a "school play" or "school sporting event," etc. It all depends on what is seen as valid, yet inconsequential. I work more than enough unpaid overtime that these few extra hours off to interview are NOT "stealing"!
—Guest anonymous

Don't Lie??

Several people have commented about stealing from employers and not to lie, but one of the guys told the truth and got fired. Employers put is in the position to lie by using this idea of 'sick' days. I've worked at companies that did not have 'sick' days. You got vacation + personal days. That way employees don't have to lie. Besides, my employer didn't mind stealing from me be cutting my salary so they could repay the TARP money they received. And if you think your boss is going to be truthful to you about upcoming lay-offs, you are delusional. Omitting the truth is the same as lying. What if your spouse just didn't tell you they cheated on you "with a person at work" b/c you never asked if they had cheated on you "with a person at work". You asked if they had cheated with the next door neighbor. They didn't lie, they just omitted the truth.
—Guest Guest

Taking a sickie is theft

You're employed to do a job. The deal's simple - you do the job, you get paid. Within that you have an allowance of time to take off. If you need to go to interviews, use that allowance and try and group your interviews together. Whoever wrote 'you are entitled to a certain number of sick days a year' is on another planet. You're not entitled - you're able to take them because employers are human and realise people aren't always able to work. Sick days are for when you're genuinely sick and can't work or would be a risk to other employees. They're not 'extra holiday' so don't abuse them. When people start working with their companies rather than against them great things can happen.
—Guest Do Your Job


just take a personal day off-no excuses..PS I was fired once by an employer whn I explained I was taking a day off to go to an interview.Anyway i got unemplymnet from them those bastards.
—Guest Poopey


Someone commented earlier that taking a sick day for an interview is stealing?? Untrue. If you are entitled to a certain number of sick days a year...your entitled...take 'em they are yours! That's not stealing!
—Guest been there done that

Duck Out

I do have a problem with using a sick day or some other excuse - don't cheat your employer. Your employer pays you to do a job and work at the job. You can just duck out and take care of business, if your boss won't notice. If your boss asks, don't lie - just tell him or her that you are taking care of personal business but will make up the time. So as not to cheat the company, do make up the time. Otherwise, take a personal day or a vacation day. No one is entitled to know what you do on a personal or vacation day. But, there's no need to lie or cheat your employer. While you remain employed there, you have a professional obligation to fulfill.
—Guest Experienced at this

Schedule Early, or on your Day Off

Scheduling an interview as early as possible I find is best. Whether it's a day where you'd go to work or on a day off. You've just gotten yourself ready for the day so your hair, makeup, and clothes are (hopefully) still near perfect and also you have a lesser chance of being distracted with your current works stuff while anwering interview questions. Put simply I think that your at your best in the morning. Also, it doesn't help to show your hopefully future employer that you have no problem making it to the office either on time or early in the morning. Just don't be late to your early interview time; that would look really bad.
—Guest A Current Job Seeker

I've been in this dilemma

I'm having this problem at the moment. I've used: dentists appointment, doctors appointments + follow up appointments, optometrist appointment, running late because of a flat car tire, sick day, goingng home sick with a migraine. When there's an option for out of hours appointments I take them.
—Guest Thirty percent

Root Canal

A root canal is a great excuse because that requires several visits!
—Guest Stephanie Lloyd

Phantom Flat

Flat tire--can't predictably timed or proven false. Obviously don't use this more than once. Also, I try to schedule interviews for before and after hours (7 AM; 6 PM). Many recruiters are happy to make allowances for a candidate who can't miss work for an interview.
—Guest MsCarlaPauline

Combination of appointments = honesty

Try to schedule a doctor's (or other) appointment on the same day as your interview. Then describe that 2nd appointment as your reason for being out.
—Guest Dan Ogden

Tell the truth

Don't be dishonset. Using sick time for job interviews is stealing from your current employer. most are not dumb - they will figure it out eventually. The current employer knows that employees are always looking for new opportunities. Be an adult and discuss ahead of time how this can be arranged. You might be surprised and they may offer you anincentive to stay. Also, ask the prospective employer who you are interviewing with if a time after or before work can be arranged.
—Guest andyt123

Flex Arrangements

Frequently the job seeker anticipates having to take time (it is far different to take a day - or part of a day - once in a while than it is to try it three times in two weeks...). That being considered, I have no problem with taking an occasional "mental health" day since I believe that mental health is as important as physical health, perhaps more important. For the more frequent job seeker, it may be best to pre-arrange some sort of flex arrangements that allow the seeker to take an hour here and there and make it up. I realize that not all jobs offer this possibility, but it is better than frequent call-ins.
—Guest HR John

Many Dentist Visits

Around here everyone's dental health is terrible. We all have been to the dentist a few times a month. I myself visited the same dentist twice last month. I usually dress well to impress the cure hygienist. Wink, wink!
—Guest Dr Teeth

Personal Days

First option is to take personal days. Second option is to say you have an important appointment to keep. For me, personally, it has always been difficult to take time off to interview for a job and say I have a doctor's appointment. However, I do understand when people are forced to do that so they won't jeopardize their current position while looking for a better opportunity.
—Guest Kay Stout

Share Your Excuse

Good Excuses for Missing Work

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.