Excuses that Your Boss Isn’t Buying!

Some days you just need to get out of work.  The trick is to do it in such a way that you don’t annoy your manager.  There are a lot of different reasons that you can provide for missing work, but some are better than others.  Try to avoid using the excuses below because your employer just won’t buy it:

1.  “I overslept!”  This isn’t high school anymore and that excuse won’t fly.  Get an alarm clock!

2.  “I’m having car trouble.”  You may be able to use this excuse once or twice at most.  Whether it be by public transit, taxi, or bicycle, you should be able to find reliable transportation to work.

3.  “I have to run an errand.”  This is okay as long as your employer offers personal days.  However, you cannot use sick time to run errands.

4.  “My dog died.”  This one is risky.  If your manager is a kind person or an animal lover, they may be more than willing to accept this.  However, a lot of managers will not see it as an appropriate reason to miss work.

5. “I have a headache.”  The problem with saying that you have a headache is that it is not something that they can see, and so many people use it to get out of everything.  If you are prone to headaches, it may be worth providing your employer with a doctor’s note so that they aren’t surprised or skeptical when you call in sick with one.

6.  “I have PMS.”  This may be true, but it won’t get you out of work.  Don’t even try it.

7.  “The office is too hot (or too cold).”  Since everyone is equally affected by the temperature in the office, you appear a little self-centred if you use it as a reason to miss work.  You can consult the Ontario Ministry of Labour website to find out about the acceptable temperature range for your workplace, but unless you genuinely believe that it could be a hazard, it won’t get you off the hook for missing work.

8. “The weather is poor so I don’t want to drive in.”  This is another tricky one.  Some days the roads are terrible and you would be risking your life by coming in.  However, your reason will appear a little weak if everyone else shows up, including people who are traveling from further away.  The best approach may be to save some vacation and personal days so that you don’t have to fight the traffic when the next “Snowmageddon” hits.

9.  “I was up late last night.”  This excuse wasn’t even acceptable in high school!  You’ll just have to grab a coffee and tough it out!

10. “There was a death in my family.”  If it is true, of course it is a legitimate reason to miss work.  However, you should never lie about a death in the family.  It is cruel and disrespectful to any of your coworkers who may actually be grieving a loved one, and if your manager or coworkers find out that you were lying, they will never forgive you.

Honesty isn’t always the best policy when you need to miss work (particularly if you’re going to a job interview).  However, you need to make sure that the reason you provide doesn’t raise eyebrows or cause your manager to question your professionalism.  If your attendance is generally good and you haven’t given your manager any reason to doubt you, it shouldn’t be a problem.

(Written by:  Karen Bivand)

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