By Michael Lordi
CareerBuilder recently announced results of its annual survey of HR managers for the most outrageous excuses workers give when calling in sick. These are not merely the pinnacle of pretexts for skipping a day at the office. These excuses represent a major expansion in the fundamental belief by the American labor force that their bosses are morons.
That’s why I am calling this prestigious list “The Wallies,” so named in honor of the cynical, incompetent and effort-resistant electrical engineer we see regularly in the comic, “Dilbert.”
Before we get to the excuses, the survey identified several interesting admissions from employees.
- Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers have called in sick when they were not actually ill, up slightly from last year (30 percent).
- On the flip side, 30 percent of employees say they’ve gone to work despite being sick in order to save their sick days for when they’re feeling well.
- Some 20 percent of workers say they called in sick but still ended up doing work from home throughout the day.
Silliest excuses for being out sick
See if your co-workers have the right stuff to give a reason for missing work along the lines of these Wally Award winners:
- Employee’s false teeth flew out the window while driving down the highway.
- Employee’s favorite football team lost on Sunday so he needed Monday to recover.
- Employee was quitting smoking and was grouchy.
- Employee said that someone glued her doors and windows shut, so she couldn’t leave the house to come to work.
- Employee bit her tongue and couldn’t talk.
- Employee claimed a swarm of bees surrounded his vehicle and he couldn’t make it in.
- Employee said the chemical in turkey made him fall asleep, and he missed his shift.
- Employee felt like he was so angry he was going to hurt someone if he came in.
- Employee received a threatening phone call from the electric company and needed to report it to the FBI.
- Employee needed to finish Christmas shopping.
- Employee’s fake eye was falling out of its socket.
- Employee got lost and ended up in another state.
- Employee couldn’t decide what to wear.
Congratulations to all the employees whose excuses made this year’s CareerBuilder list of the lame and ridiculous. May your Wally Award remain front and center in your annual employee evaluation.
And as we contemplate what new vistas to expect from the veracity-challenged for next year’s Wallies, we leave you with the words of Woody Allen: “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.”
Put that in your flying false teeth and chew on it.