Sick Days: Dos and Don’ts

WTOP Web Editor Heather Brady had to call in to work when the ceiling in her home collapsed. According to Salary.com (and WTOP) this is an OK reason. (WTOP/Heather Brady)

What’s the funniest — or most bizarre — excuse you’ve heard for missing work? Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP’s Facebook Page or use #WTOP on Twitter.

WASHINGTON – Calling in sick to the boss can be a nerve-racking ordeal.

Do I have a good reason?

Will anyone believe me?

Salary.com is here to help with good reasons to call in to work, and reasons that just aren’t going to fly.

Good reason – Contagious illness: You don’t want to take out the entire office. Plus, you’ll get better faster if you stay at home and take it easy,

Bad reason – Hangovers: This just isn’t going to work. Grab some coffee (no hair of the dog!), eat something and suck it up.

Good reason – Mental health: day. Yes, that’s right. Sometimes you just need a day to recharge. It’s best to schedule these days in advance, but if you have to, it’s OK. Just say you’re sick with a migraine or stomach bug so you can quickly get better.

Bad reason – MLB opening day: You should know in advance that this day is coming and if it’s important to you, schedule it ahead of time. Otherwise, it’s not fair to leave your coworkers hanging.

Good reason – Sick children or other family issues: A spouse’s sudden medical illness or a baby who needs to go to the doctor are fine excuses. Most work places should be supportive of this.

Bad reason: You’d rather be on a beach: Come on. Everyone would rather take a spontaneous beach vacation, but you can schedule those.

Good reason – Severe weather: Don’t risk your life trying to get to work.

Bad reason – Annoying weather: Flurries? A little mist? Grab your umbrella and get to work, you’ll be OK.

Good reason – Loss of a loved one: Everyone understands this reason. But never, ever lie about it.

Bad reason – You can’t stand your boss: Nearly half of workers don’t like their bosses. Shake it off, you’ll have to face him or her someday.

Good reason – A housing emergency: Your toilet explodes. Your roof caves in. These things happen and your work place should understand they need to be addresses immediately.

Bad reason – Too much work to do: Obviously, this will backfire. Not only will co-workers have to pick up the slack, but it will only add to your load when you get back. It’s better to knock it out now.

Good reason – A job interview: Missing work for a good opportunity is acceptable. Just say that you aren’t feeling well.

Bad reason – You’re bored: If your job is boring, try to make it more interesting. Sitting at home doesn’t help anything. In your spare time, you can try to take a class or take up a hobby.


What’s the funniest or most bizarre sick day excuse you’ve heard? Here are some of your responses:

WTOP’s David Burd contributed to this report. Follow @DavidBurdWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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