Okay people, I have been a single mother who works fulltime. I do understand that unpredictable shit happens (like kids hemorrhaging after tonsil surgeries) and there are times you just cannot come to work or have to leave early.
However, as a manager, I have to point out a couple of things:
- Don’t abuse it – managers keep track
- If you do plan on abusing it – come up with something plausible.
All managers hear the standard excuses:
- My car: has a flat/dead battery/won’t start/has been repossessed/is on fire/is being towed
- My child/spouse/dog/cat/great-aunt __/priest died and/or is sick
- I am sick/dying/have jury duty/whatever.
It’s the way-out-there excuses that are so entertaining.
For example – here is one from this week:
Employee: I can’t come to work tomorrow morning, I have shingles.
Manager: wow, you looked fine this morning. Did you see to a doctor?
Employee: yeah and he gave me pills and a cream
Manager: when did the doctor say you should be able to come back?
Employee: the day after tomorrow
Manager: that’s good, you must have that kind of shingles going around right now? The kind that don’t hurt and go away quickly?
Employee: yeah, that’s what the doctor said too – I’m lucky, I’ve got the 48-hour shingles.
Manager: Did your doctor mention anything about actually researching the diseases you are going to use as an excuse?
Employee: Ummmmm, huh?
Manager: You know what I’m about to say, right?
Employee: yeah, I’m fired. Guess I won’t have to worry about taking tomorrow off for an interview will I?
Other priceless ones I’ve experienced first-hand:
I crashed my plane and am waiting for the FAA to tow it
I moved and I forgot where I live
My grandmother _____ died (checked the files, third time this woman has died!)
Employee: My MIL died and the hospital needs me to identify the body.
Manager: Hasn’t she been in the hospital for a couple of weeks before she died?
Employee: Yes, but they need me to identify her.
Manager: Because all of her medical records, doctors, and nurses couldn’t so they called in a son-in-law; on a Friday night?
Employee: It’s a holiday in my country.
Manager: But your information says you were born in the U.S.A.
Employee: Yes, buy my grandmother is from ______ and would want me to have the day off to celebrate.
I talked to God and he told me not to come in today.
Employee: I’m being deployed for a week.
Manager: but we have three other people from your unit who aren’t being deployed.
Employee: It’s just for me
Manager: You mean you’re going to training or something? A deployment is not just for a week.
Employee: It is just for a week and I’m the only one going. I can’t tell you more it’s a secret mission.
Manager: I’ll need you to bring in a copy of your orders
– Copy of airline reservations for employee and girlfriend get faxed in. Employee gets time off (and time off to apply for more jobs too)
Here are a couple of hints to make you last minute “sick” call work even better:
- There is a difference between sounding sick and sounding drunk
- Do not call from a concert/party/crowded bar/sports event claiming to be sick. We can hear background noise people!
- Oh, and don’t call in sick back-to-back with your best buddy calling in sick – obviously from the same place (again people, background noise)
P.S. And now you know why your manager/HR wants a note from your doctor, copy of your summons, letter from God, etc. (and probably drinks heavily)