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Ten Excuses for Missing Work (Which Will Fly?)

Ten Excuses for Missing Work (Which Will Fly?)

Michele Marrinan |

Not-So-Smart Excuses

5. There’s a Death in the Family:
Don’t ever use this excuse if it’s not true. Your employer will lose all trust in you. “I had an employee whose mother died – twice,” says David Wear, a Virginia PR executive. “He also had the misfortune of losing all his grandparents – 12 of them – during a two-year period.”

2. I’m Too Sleepy:
When she was a manager at IBM, Marilynn Mobley heard it all. This one still makes her laugh: The employee apparently took Tylenol 3 with codeine instead of a vitamin, because the bottles looked alike.

3. I Can’t Get My Car Out of the Garage:
This is another one that Mobley didn’t buy. An employee said that a power failure was preventing him from opening his power-operated garage door. “I reminded him that there’s a pull chain on it for just such cases,” she says.

4. I Can’t Find My Polling Place:
Mary Dale Walters, a communications specialist at CCH Inc., couldn’t believe this one. A former employee needed an entire day to figure out where she had to go to vote in the 1996 presidential election.

5. I Have a Personal Emergency:
This one is so vague that it rarely works. It could mean anything from fatigue to an appointment with your hairdresser, and your boss knows it.

Don’t lie, no matter which excuse you use. “I’m not a believer in playing hooky, because it always comes back to you,” Nierenberg says. “Don’t lie to your boss, your supervisor or your clients. You’re guaranteed they will be the ones you’ll run into while you’re walking down the street in your jeans.”