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Most Unusual Excuses for Missing Work (Read 694 times)
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Most Unusual Excuses for Missing Work
May 2nd, 2006 at 8:07am
Why Are People Calling in Sick? What's your excuse?
By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

Whether it's personal errands, catching up on sleep or simply relaxing, Americans are using sick time for more than just the common cold.
More than one-third of U.S. workers say they played hooky from work over the last twelve months in the recent CareerBuilder.com survey "Out of the Office." Thirty-five percent of workers admit to calling in sick when they felt well at least once during the last year. One-in-ten said they did so three or more times.
"With the cold and flu season kicking in, it's a popular time of year for employees to call in sick," said Rosemary Haefner, Senior Career Advisor for CareerBuilder.com. "However, the number of those who are actually feeling under the weather may not necessarily match up with unscheduled absences. Twenty percent of workers say they called into work because they just didn't feel like going into the office that day. One-in-four workers report they feel sick days are equivalent to extra vacation days and treat them as such."

Another survey by CCH Incorporated found that the rate of unscheduled absenteeism is at a five-year high. It also found that most employees who fail to show up for work, however, aren't physically ill. CCH's Unscheduled Absence Survey results showed that unscheduled absences are broken down into:
Personal Illness - 38 percent
Family Issues - 23 percent
Personal Needs - 18 percent
Stress - 11 percent
Entitlement Mentality - 10 percent

Why this growing trend? The number of employers allowing employees to carry over sick time from one year to the next is trending downward, from 51 percent in 2000 to 37 percent in 2004. As a result, employees would rather use it than lose it, Lori Rosen, J.D., CCH workplace analyst says.

Employees are not only being more creative with their use of sick time, they're also becoming more crafty with their excuses. Employers told CareerBuilder some of the most unusual excuses they have heard. They include:

- "I was sprayed by a skunk."

- "I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious."

- "My bus broke down and was held up by robbers."

- "I was arrested as a result of mistaken identity."

- "I forgot to come back to work after lunch."

- "I couldn't find my shoes."

- "I hurt myself bowling."

- "I was spit on by a venomous snake."

- "I totaled my wife's jeep in a collision with a cow."

- "A hitman was looking for me."

- "My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser."

- "I eloped."

- "My cat unplugged my alarm clock."

- "I had to be there for my husband's grand jury trial."

- "I had to ship my grandmother's bones to India." (note: she had passed away 20 years ago)

So what's your excuse?

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