The Most Outrageous Excuses for Calling in Sick

By Cindy Perman, CNBC.com

Life moves pretty fast, Cameron. Let's just take your dad's car out for a little spin, OK? (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)Life moves pretty fast, Cameron. Let's just take your dad's car out for a little spin, … In grade school, they called it "playing hooky." As adults, it's referred to as "taking a mental health day." But any way you slice it, there are fibbers among us who call in sick when they're not - three out of 10 to be exact.

I knew it! You weren't really sick, were you?!

Thirty percent of workers admitted to calling in sick in the past year when they were not actually sick, according to a new survey from job site CareerBuilder.com.

CareerBuilder took the research very seriously: They had Harris Interactive conduct the survey, calling on nearly 2,500 hiring managers and HR professionals and nearly 4,000 workers across a range of industries and companies, all in the name of finding out who was sick and who was not. Most of us just make a snide comment at the water cooler or morning meeting and leave it at that.

Nope, not on CareerBuilder's watch. That's dedication!

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The most interesting part about people calling in sick when they're not is that they believe, deep down in their core, that they deserve it. That this is the right thing to do.

In the words of Ferris Bueller on his "Day Off": "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

And in the words of Ferris' economics teacher: "Bueller? … Bueller? … Bueller???"

In the real world, the No. 1 reason employees take a fake sick day is that they just don't feel like going to work (34 percent). That is quickly followed by a simple need to relax (29 percent); so they can make a doctor's appointment (22 percent); catch up on sleep (16 percent); or run some errands (15 percent).
Then, of course, there are the creative types who, for guilt or whatever reason, can't just leave it at "doctor's appointment."

Here are some of the most outrageous excuses for why employees take a "sick day" (have to put that in quotes for accuracy), according to the survey:

-Employee's sobriety tool wouldn't allow the car to start
-Employee forgot he had been hired for the job
-Employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown
-Employee's dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation
-Employee's toe was stuck in a faucet
-Employee said a bird bit her
-Employee was upset after watching "The Hunger Games"
-Employee got sick from reading too much
-Employee was suffering from a broken heart
-Employee's hair turned orange from dying her hair at home

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Now, lest you think "He totally bought it!," Employee with the Toe in the Faucet, here's a sobering fact that may help dislodge your digit: 29 percent of employers say they've actually called an employee's bluff on a sick day by either requesting a doctor's note or calling later in the day to see if they were really sick!

Oh, and you know that "friend" (also quotes for accuracy) who called to see if you needed anything? She may be faking, too! Eighteen percent of employers said they've had an employee call a suspected faker, and 14 percent have sent someone to the house. (Oh no, it's Principal Rooney!)

Oh, and hey boss - get ready. December, apparently, is the most popular month to call in sick, followed by July, January and February.

Well, I guess there's only one thing left to do:

Well, shake it up, baby now (shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout (twist and shout)
Come on, come on, come on, come on, baby, now (come on baby)
Come on and work it on out (work it on out) …


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