Monday 20 May 2013


We’ve all done it; some of us for very good reason, some of us, not so much. We’ve been creative about it, evasive, and some, downright absurdly surreal. (I could be talking about pretty much anything, couldn’t I?). In this case, I’m talking about calling in sick and the lengths to which some will go to take a day off work.

A recent study in the UK of 1000 employees and their bosses showed that the elaborate excuse is live and kicking and for the most part, bosses aren’t buying a word of it. (Glad to see this is where research money is being spent; I could’ve told you most employers doubt their employees are being truthful about taking a sick day). Now, for most of us, for the majority of our working lives we have only called in sick when it was good and necessary. A flu, a cold, and a hangover so bad that it of course qualified as a high-ranking disease. Come to think of it, I think I’ve only told a fib to one of my umpteenth bosses as to why I couldn’t make it in to work purely because I was always so paranoid I’d be found out. (I also have a lot of residual Catholic guilt that makes it very hard for me to lie to an authority figure). Usually I reserved the sick day for when I was so desperate due to illness that the veracity was never questioned...funny enough, one of my bosses used to send me home during a bad bout of insomnia as he claimed I was too 'exhausting' to be around (ha, tell me about it!).

But then there is the sect of the population that not only have no problem lying, they do it with such flamboyance that it is hard to believe they don’t laugh over the words as they are coming out of their mouths. During this study they amassed some of the best (and most hysterical excuses) people gave for having to miss work. A few of the gems given: “a can of beans fell on my toe;” “my dog was scared and I didn’t want to leave him.” “I am hallucinating (ha!);” “I’ve injured myself during sex;” “the fish is sick," and " the door is broken so I can't open it." We are clearly dealing with a group of geniuses in this study.

Seriously, if one has the balls to say any of the above to one’s boss, I’m thinking the individual is in the wrong line of work. Perhaps they should try politics, because their embrace of the lie is truly comical. Unsurprisingly, six out of ten employers do not believe their employees when they call in sick. One is based on the excuse given, two, they ‘don’t sound sick enough,’ and three, the sick day usually falls on a spate of very good weather (this is the problem in England and why I truly believe that when the sun actually comes out, office buildings should simply just shut down and surrender).

Nowadays, a third of bosses explained that they keep an eye on social media to see if their employees are well enough to post updates (this was not a problem when I joined the work force, thank god), which I’m imagining is how many idiots get caught as they simply can’t help themselves from posting their ever passing whim and activity. One individual involved in the study even went as far as to post that they had called in sick and were enjoying a nice day out. 

Come to think of it, if I were their employer, I would fire them purely for being not that bright.  

Happy Monday all. 

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