HR Strange But True

Sorry Boss, Can’t Make It in Today; My Llama is Sick!

Cold and flu season is approaching fast, and with it comes the numerous excuses for missing work. Yes, most of your workers can be trusted to take a day off for actually being sick, but there are some rare instances where your employees may be fudging a bit.


A new survey, released by CareerBuilder, highlights how employees are spending their time when they call out of work sick. More than 3,100 full-time workers and more than 2,500 full-time hiring and human resource managers participated in the nationwide survey.

According to the survey, when asked why they called in sick when they were feeling well, 28% of respondents said they just didn’t feel like going in to work. Twenty-seven percent took the day off to go to a doctor’s appointment. Another 24% said they needed to just relax, and 18% needed to catch up on sleep. Meanwhile, 11% took the day off to run personal errands.

CareerBuilder’s survey also highlights the craziest excuses workers have given when calling out sick. The top excuses include:

  • Employee said the ozone in the air flattened his tires.
  • Employee’s pressure cooker had exploded and scared her sister, so she had to stay home.
  • Employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.
  • Employee was blocked in by police raiding her home.
  • Employee had to testify against a drug dealer, and the dealer’s friend mugged him.
  • Employee said her roots were showing, and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.
  • Employee ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.
  • Employee said she wasn’t sick but her llama was.
  • Employee had used a hair remover under her arms and had chemical burns as a result. She couldn’t put her arms down by her sides due to that.
  • Employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.
  • Employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home. She had to stay home to deal with the spider.
  • Employee said he had better things to do.
  • Employee ate too much birthday cake.
  • Employee was bitten by a duck.

What’s the craziest excuse you’ve heard your employees give for calling out sick? Share it in our comments section below, or e-mail us, and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

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