48hour shingles

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)


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