How many times have you had employees call in sick or say they need urgent leave, but you haven’t believed their excuses?
As it turns out, that guy who said his grandparent died (for the fifth time that year) might not have been lying.
A thread on Reddit asked managers, “what was the most ridiculous, most exaggerated excuse an employee gave that turned out to be true?” and revealed a large number of seemingly weird or bizarre reasons a staff member couldn’t come to work were actually 100% legitimate.
[READ MORE: Are your employees faking it?]
As well as giving you a bit of a laugh, these employees excuses might make you think twice about doubting a staff member next time they call in with an MC.
1. The “dog ate my homework” excuse
2. The dedicated employee
3. The ‘headache’
“I was the employee, but I’m sure he felt bad for doubting me.
“My boss was always skeptical when someone would call in on Fridays or Mondays. Well, one Thursday night I had the most excruciating headache, which left me unable to sleep. Friday morning, after a horrible night, I called in and told my boss I wouldn’t be able to make it because of my horrible headache. He sighed disappointingly, and said, “See you Monday.” After that call, I looked in the mirror, and noticed one of my eyes was crooked, and my vision was blurry. I drove myself to the hospital where they learned I had a pituitary tumor. He came to see me in the hospital after my surgery.”
[READ MORE: 20% of Singaporeans lie to get time off work]
4. Cat got your tongue?
5. The (multiple) funerals
“Guy at work called in 5 times in 3 months to say a grandparent just died. Our manager looked back further an found out that he’d used that excuse 3 times before. The bosses had a big laugh at how stupid this schmuck was for not coming up with a new excuse and called him in with his shop steward.
“He came to his disciplinary meeting armed with birth certificates, marriage certificates and obituaries. Turned out both his parents had remarried when he was little, so there’s 8 grandparents right there. His grandparents had also divorced and remarried a few times so he still had a few grandparents kicking around.”
6. The sick pet
“‘My lizard is sick.‘ I never verified, but I believed the guy. I guess it was an expensive, exotic lizard or something. I’m told the lizard ended up dying a couple days later anyway, despite his visit to the vet.
7. The car accident
“Girl who’d been with us maybe two days was supposed to show up at 8am. I get a call about 8:15. ‘Hi. Uh…is this the uh..manager? Well um…I’m John and um..uh..I’m an EMT and your employee has been in an accident and she uh…said to call you.’ (The conversation was actually worse than this.)
“I’m thinking there’s no way this guy is an EMT. It’s her boyfriend and she’s making this up to get out of work. Nope. She totaled her car for real. She ended up being one of my best employees.”
8. The good guy manager
“I had a really good, hard working employee. Always on time, picked up other shifts, great personality. The thing was, he was a ‘nice guy’- you know the guy who was always friendzoned and a little awkward around girls, so he very rarely got any dates.
“One day he was scheduled to work with me in an hour. The phone rings, I answer and it’s him. He’s nervous but excited. Tells me he’s at a coffee shop and he had started talking to this really pretty girl and she was actually interested in hanging out with him! Asked if there was any way someone could cover his shift. I laughed a little, then realized he was serious. F*** it, I told him to go out and have a great time and I would figure it out. I honestly thought the next time I saw him he would be all depressed because it didn’t work out.
“Two days later I see him at work and he tells me they’re dating! He couldn’t stop talking about her the entire shift. For the next few months he worked for me, they were still together and had a great relationship. After he left the company I have no idea what happened, but I really hope it lasted.”
Human Resources magazine and the HR Bulletin daily email newsletter:
Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
Register for your FREE subscription now »