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Top 10 Most Believable Excuses for Missing Work


All of us have at some point gotten late for work or missed it altogether at some point in our lives. It could be because we overslept, were too broken-hearted to face our workmates, or had a wild night and woke up with a severe hangover. It could also be because we encountered heavy traffic on our way to work or were looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

Whatever your excuses are for missing work, you are likely to get a lengthy lecture from your boss and the rest of your day becomes equally disoriented. If this is you, don’t worry. There are other reasons you can give for missing work that won’t make you seem undedicated and unprofessional.

Here are the top 10 most believable excuses for missing work:

Excuse #1: Sickness or Going for a Doctor’s Appointment

Sickness is one of the most believable excuses for missing work. According to a recent career builder survey, 40% of workers have taken sick days during the last 12 months. This workforce management tactic shows that sickness is quite a common excuse for missing work. It is a pretty good excuse but if you are working in an organization whose policy dictates you provide a doctor’s note showing that you actually went for the appointment and were treated, avoid using it if you are not really sick.

Go for more common and less severe ailments such as fever, stomach upsets, vomiting and allergies.

Excuse #2: Family Emergency

Having a family emergency is among the more believable excuses for missing work. This is a perfect excuse for those with families or children. Simply say that something has come up and you need to deal with it immediately. It may be your children falling sick or an unwell spouse. All the same, don’t involve too many people in this scheme for it might blow up in your face.

Excuse #3: House Emergency

Things go wrong all the time, and leaving your house in such a condition poses great risks. It may be blocked drainage, leaking gas or leaky pipes. You can use this excuse and expect your boss to understand. However, avoid dramatic excuses such as the wind ripped off your roof, unless it actually happened.

Excuse #4: Delivery of a Major Purchase

Some house deliveries such as furniture and fridges require someone to be physically present in the home to receive them and sign off. You can actually use this as an excuse and claim that it was not possible to arrange for the delivery outside your work hours.

Excuse #5: Appointments

If you are looking for believable excuses to miss work, personal appointments can be a good reason. You can choose to say that you had an appointment with important people such as lawyers and financial advisors. It’s believable, and everyone (including your boss) has such meetings.

Excuse #6: Babysitter Problems

If you have a family that could actually form a professional basketball team and even have substitutes, you definitely need a babysitter to allow you to go to work comfortably. This is a perfect excuse, especially if your boss knows you have young children who cannot be left unsupervised in the house.

Excuse #7: Weekend at the Grandparents

Who doesn’t love grandparents? Your boss will most certainly understand if you have to miss work to go see your grandparents or help them out with a particular issue. Grandparents are highly respected owing to their advanced knowledge gathered over the years, and where assistance is needed, more often than not, it is given.

Excuse #8: Accident

How about saying you were involved in an accident while on your way to work? This portrays you as a committed employee while at the same time giving you a chance to escape. For instance, you could explain how badly your car was damaged and the need for repair as well as the fact that an innocent bystander was injured in the process and you had to rush them to the hospital as fast as you could.

Excuse #9: To Attend a Religious Event or Festival

Your religious beliefs are sacred. As long as God is involved, chances are no one will question you. Try to convince your employer how important the religious event is to you, and to your career as well. Your boss will be more than willing to let you off the hook if he or she believes going for the event will make you a better, more productive worker.

Excuse #10: Tell the Truth

This is perhaps the best tip on this list. There are no believable excuses for missing work better than sheer honesty. While it may be tempting to lie about why you couldn’t make it to work, the reality is that employers appreciate honesty in employees. For instance, if you had one too many and woke up with a hangover, why not tell your boss the truth. You will gain a lot of mileage since your employer will know you could have lied, but you chose to be honest. In any case, even if you are punished for missing work, you are better off than having to work through lies and half-truths.

As much as you give excuses, remember that the most believable excuses for missing work have to be based on some truth. Your excuses must be something that is actually believable, so your boss accepts it and continues to have you in his or her good books. A good rule of thumb is always to tell the truth. You can always get away with it.

However, if you feel the need to be economical with the truth, don’t conjure weird, unbelievable excuses. For instance, never claim someone has died because your wish may actually come true; but if you feel the compulsion to deliver this TKO of an excuse, be careful not to kill the same relative twice. This error could end up costing you your job.