We’ve all been in need of an excuse to tell our employer so we can get a day of much-needed rest. Many default to faking an illness to get out of work. But amateur actors, beware: The biggest mistake we can make when playing sick is getting too elaborate and wild with our lies. If you just need to be absent for a day, telling your boss you contracted a rare and dangerous disease is going to lead to more probing questions. You need your fib to be plausible.
The key is to keep your sudden daylong absence within the realm of possibility. Here’s how…
One survey found the most plausible excuse for missing work
One survey of 1,000 business owners, managing directors, and executives found that telling your boss that you have the flu was the best excuse you can give for missing work. When these business leaders were asked what would be “a serious enough reason for an employee to be absent from work,” the majority of respondents answered that the flu would be the most reasonable excuse to miss work. Having back pain and being bodily injured in an accident came in second and third place. (That’s right, your flu excuse is given more weight and consideration than you being injured in a car accident.)
Perhaps, the flu excuse wins because it only takes one flu-infected colleague to take down the rest of the herd. Your injured body only affects yourself. A contagious disease can become a workplace epidemic. The Healthy Workplace Project found that it only took one person’s sick hands four hours to contaminate more than half of all communal workspaces that included doorknobs, toilet handles, and desk chair armrests in an office.
The least popular reasons to miss work
Unfortunately, we do not live in a society that acknowledges the pressures that dealing with our mental health puts on us. Depression and anxiety were among the least favorably viewed answers you could give for missing work, according to respondents.
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