It’s 6 a.m. and you are about to throw the alarm clock out the window. It’s too cold out, you’re tired, you had one too many in the pub last night, you’ve really got to clean your flat, and, most importantly, you haven’t had much time to watch your favourite TV show recently.
“Just throw a sickie,” you tell yourself. “They can get by for one day without me.” So, in your best sick voice, you leave a near-death sounding message for your boss and throw in a cough just to make it believable.
The art of deception
CareerBuilder.co.uk recently took a look at employees who call in sick with bogus excuses. 26 per cent of UK workers pulled at least one sickie last year.
The most popular reason for missing work: “just didn’t feel like going into work”, according to 16 percent of workers. 13 per cent had a job interview lined up and 12 per cent wanted to catch up with housework or just to relax. Seven per cent said they wanted to avoid a client or colleague and six per cent to dodge the wrath of a boss. Six per cent called in because of bad weather or they had plans with friends or family.
“Smaller staffs, increased workloads and longer hours are byproducts of a dampened economy,” said Scott Helmes, Senior Career Advisor for CareerBuilder. “We see more employers today expanding the definition of sick time for workers who need a day off to recharge, so your best bet is to be honest with your boss.”
Your boss is no fool.
However, there was evidence that some employers are taking a tough line with those feigning illness. The survey revealed that some recruiting managers were less tolerant of workers pulling a sickie, with almost 30 percent stating they fired an employee for missing work without a legitimate reason. While the definition of a sick day has evolved, with more employers including mental health and special circumstances in the description, workers should be mindful of company policies and their responsibilities as an employee.
“I was abducted by aliens…”
The survey of 480 workers and 250 employers also found staff were not averse to using desperate or far-fetched reasons to bunk off.
When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:
- My glass eye fell out and I can’t find it.
- My body needs to adjust to the climate change.
- My bed broke and I’m trapped under it.
- I rode my bike into a lamppost.
- I had some bad beer.
- My toenails are too long for shoes and I couldn’t find a clipper.
- I forgot to buy an alarm clock.
- My house won’t let me out, I’m locked in.
- My sink is blocked.
- I got pepper in my eye.