1. Careers

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Readers Respond: Good Excuses for Missing Work

Responses: 84


I Lost My Phone

You make me use my own truck and told me Ii could only work half days. It is costing me double the gas money. I took two days off so I think Ii can make it up by working 1 full day. I think it is only fair. Please think about it. I can't afford the gas money i have to put out so please understand the situation. I apoligize for not calling. I lost my phone and found it in my truck under the seat. All my numbers are in it so I could not call you. I am so sorry, please understand. But I still would like to work full days so where do I stand?
—Guest bill


As an ex boss (and I hate the term!); you've got to foster honesty and trust in your work environment from the time you first take the position! When your people know and trust you (meaning they know you aren't going to discipline or fire them for being forthright), they will and can tell you the truth! The people who worked for (with) me, were not only my employees but also my friends! And yes, you can be a friend and a boss at the same time! But, it can only work if you're honest and a straight shooter - ya can't "waffle!!!" If one of your people is looking for another job; it may not (probably isn't) be because of you - wish them luck and be sincere. After all, this person is one of your friends - and we only want and wish the best for them!!!
—Guest Cowboy


I don't lie, but I don't tell the whole truth, either. I say that I have an "appointment" or a "meeting" at a certain time. I try to schedule my interviews in the morning so I can still report to work with little disruption. As for the person who claims it's "stealing" to use sick bank, I don't understand your reasoning. Unless your company works differently, every FT employee is given X amount of personal/sick days per year. It's their choice how those days should be used. If they use up all their sick bank doing interviews, then they are out of luck if they really do get sick and need some time off.
—Guest CF

Death in the Family

I normally say there has been a death in the family. I remember my boss called me on it once he said so more than 7 members of your family died over the past 6 months. It was ok cause he was nice, so he didn't make a big deal but he did laugh at me.
—Guest Rosh

Spaceship Sharpnel

My boss told me that someone once called in becuase her friend's father was in the hospital becuase he was hit by shrapnel when the spaceship Columbia exploded (this was in Texas). The employee had some explaining to do when the boss learned from the news that nobody was injured from the shrapnel.
—Guest Nick


My car insurance is getting expired or have to pay premium of personal insurance .
—Guest Amit Jain

The Kids

Kids are usually a great source of excuses for missing work... i.e. "my son HAS to get a physical for (whatever sport) now or he won't be able to participate" OR my child has a dentist appt. and forgot all about it until today!
—Guest downbytheriver

All This Talk About Loyalty

All this talk about loyalty to your current employer cracks me up. We all have a responsibility to ourselves and to our families. If you're in a bad situation at work and you're seeking a way out, don't feel bad about using time off or sick time. Misplaced loyalty never served anyone well.
—Guest sheesh

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

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.