Have you ever woken up in the morning and just don’t feel like going to work. It can be any reason from having had a sleepless night or even that we’ve woken up with a terrible hangover from a great night before!
Whatever the real reason for missing work, you are going to need to come up with a good excuse. The realistic goal is to deflect your boss’ wrath and maybe even make him feel sorry for you.
So, let’s take a look at some good excuses to miss work on short notice that are sure to be successful.
Choosing The Right Excuse
When picking the excuse you are going to use, make sure it is plausible and believable. It should be linked to your personal situation that your boss and colleagues are aware of. Here are some of the best excuses you can use to miss work and even adapt if need be.
You Are Sick
Everyone gets sick from time to time, and it is not unusual to suddenly wake up feeling ill. So, if you want to skip a single day of work, a stomach bug is a good excuse. Mainly because you just need to rest and will feel fine the next day. However, some companies require you to submit a doctor’s note even for a single day of work.
Your Child is Ill
Any working parent is sure to agree that their kids come first. If your child is sick, it is perfectly reasonable that you would drop everything to take care of them. This excuse may allow you to take several days of work, and there will be no need to produce a doctor’s note.
Your Child’s Daycare is Closed
If your child’s daycare center or school suddenly closes for the day, you need to stay at home. While not ideal from a company’s point of view, this is a perfectly reasonable excuse. Just make sure that none of your colleagues have a child in the same daycare center or school.
Your Pet is Sick
This excuse works well for pet owners who do not have children to blame. Just like kids, pets can fall ill unexpectedly. Make sure you explain the nature of the illness and when you plan to return to work.
You are Having Car Trouble
If you wake up late and need to make up an excuse in a hurry, this is sure to work like a charm. A flat tire or engine trouble can stop your car in its tracks while you are on your way to work. Fortunately, this issue needs to be fixed straight away and is likely to take several hours or the whole day.
You Need to Wait for the Plumber
If a water pipe suddenly bursts, you will need to wait for the plumber to arrive to fix it. However, plumbers are notorious for arriving late and taking their sweet time to make repairs. Because you cannot leave your home unattended, this is a good excuse for taking the day off work.
Unfortunately, menstrual cramps can be very painful and make it difficult to move. When they strike, it can make it harder to focus on anything or even get out of bed. This makes it a good excuse to use at the last minute. Of course, this excuse only works for women, and you may need to take care of exactly when you use this excuse.
Your Pet Has an Appointment
This is a good excuse to use if you know several days in advance that you need to miss work. Make sure you explain that the appointment is for something routine such as getting shots. Although you tried your best to schedule a weekend appointment, it simply was not possible.
You Have Food Poisoning
Food poisoning can strike suddenly and usually only lasts for a day or two. This makes it a great excuse to use at the last minute. Unlike other types of illnesses, you are unlikely to be asked to provide a doctor’s note.
You Have a Bad Back
You may have overdone it at the gym or while digging in the garden over the weekend. If your back suddenly freezes up, you need to spend the day resting so that it can heal and return to work the next day.
You are Locked Out of the House
Locking yourself out of your house when you are rushing out of the door can be very stressful. This is naturally a situation that takes time to resolve. You will probably have to wait for a locksmith to arrive, which could take the whole day.
You Are Expecting an Important Delivery
This excuse is best given a day or two in advance. If you are waiting for a large delivery such as a sofa or an entertainment unit, you need to sign for it. Delivers usually provide very vague delivery hours, meaning that you may have to miss a whole day of work.
You Are Donating Blood
This is a noble endeavor that requires you to schedule time off in advance. Unlike visiting the doctor, you will not be provided with a note to give to your employer. You are likely to need time to recover after giving blood, so missing a day of work is fairly reasonable.
You Need to Observe a Religious Holiday
Employers are trained to be sensitive to the religious practices and beliefs of their employees. This time off needs to be scheduled in advance and timed to coincide with an actual religious holiday. Make sure you choose an event that is realistic and that you need to observe.
You Have a Toothache
Suffering from a toothache can be excruciating and make it impossible to focus on work. If you are uncomfortable making a phone call, it is reasonable to provide this excuse by email or text message. Taking the time to outline your recovery plan may easily score you two days of work.
You were in a Car Accident
This excuse could get you out of work for a few days if you need some extra time off. Make sure that your boss knows that the accident was not your fault and you were not seriously hurt. However, you will need a few days off work to get your car fixed and perhaps ease your aches and pains.
Although most people do not look forward to it, jury duty is a legal requirement. Therefore, your boss is required by law to give you time off work. You must inform your boss in advance that you will be taking time off and be prepared to talk about the experience.
One of Your Parents Has an Emergency
Perhaps your mother slipped in the shower and needs to be taken to the hospital. If there is nobody else to take care of her, you will have to be there for her. Even though it is at the last minute, your boss will have no choice but to accept your excuse.
Attending a Memorial Service or Funeral
This excuse can be used if you know in advance that you want to take the day off. Make sure that the funeral or memorial service is not for a close family member. You are likely to get sympathy from your boss and not too many follow-up questions.
Your Allergies Are Acting Up
This is a reasonable excuse if you suffer from hay fever or other types of allergies. Even if you have medication for your allergies, it is likely to make you feel very drowsy. In addition to making it difficult to work, it would probably be unsafe for you to drive.
A Doctor’s Appointment
If you need to go to the doctor for any reason, you may need to wait a while for an appointment. Even if the appointment conflicts with work, it may not be possible to reschedule. However, you need to check in advance if you will be asked to produce a doctor’s note.
This excuse allows you to be vague while also gaining sympathy from your boss. If a family member is having problems, you will need to be there for them. Although your boss may not push you for details, good excuses include a cousin getting divorced or being evicted.
Explain that you received a call from the IRS stating that they are going to audit you on a certain day. This excuse is sure to produce sympathy from your boss and make it easy to skip work for the day. However, this excuse will only work once, and you may be asked questions after.
Attending a Wedding
If a close friend or family member is getting married, the wedding may be scheduled for a weekday. If the wedding is in a location far away, you may need to take two or three days of work. Make sure you request the time off work several weeks in advance and be prepared to talk about the wedding.
You Witnessed a Crime
This is a good excuse to use if you are already late for work. While you were heading to work, you witnessed a crime such as someone’s bag being snatched. Of course, you called the police and are waiting for them to arrive. You will then need to make a statement, which is likely to cause you to miss the whole day of work.
Your Neighbor’s House is On Fire
While this excuse may sound a little bizarre and extreme, it could happen. If your neighbor is having a crisis, you may need to help them out. However, the nature of this excuse means you need to be prepared to tell an engaging story later.
Good Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice Tips
Before you give your excuse, it is important to work out a plan of action. This will help to make sure that your excuse is received in the best possible way. Once you have chosen your excuse, keep the following points in mind.
Keep it short and simple
The simpler your explanation is, the less chance there is of getting caught. Providing a long explanation packed with details means you will have a lot to remember, and there is more chance of making a mistake when you are questioned at work.
Figure out when you need to make the excuse
Some excuses sound better when they are spontaneous, while others are better delivered in advance. If you know a few days in advance that you need to take the day off, choose an excuse like a dental appointment. However, other excuses will go down better if they are given at the last minute.
Know how to give your excuse
It is best to call your boss directly and explain the situation if possible. However, you may find it difficult to lie over the phone, so a text message or email might be better.
Only use an excuse once
If you use the same excuse often, your boss is likely to question your commitment to your job. The same thing goes for missing work on a regular basis. Make sure that you only use an excuse when you really need to and make your day off count.
Choose the right day
Make sure there is nothing important you need to do at work on the day you want to skip. This could include an important meeting with a client or a presentation you need to host. If you are planning to talk to your boss in advance, choose a moment when they seem to be relaxed.
Plan to make up the work
The situation will go much smoother if you mention your plan to make up any work you will miss. You could take work home to do in the evening or come to work an hour earlier for the next week. Even if your boss declines your offer, they are sure to notice and appreciate the gesture.
Excuses to Avoid When Calling into Work
It is important to understand the types of excuses that you can use to avoid getting into trouble. But remember, certain excuses will make you sound unprofessional and could even cost you your job. So, here are some excuses to avoid at all costs.
While sickness may be a reasonable excuse for missing work, simply feeling tired is not. This excuse is likely to make your boss question your commitment to your job. Dedicated professionals are expected to rise above feeling tired and grab an extra cup of coffee.
However, this excuse can be used if you have a good reason to back it up. Taking care of a sick child all night could leave you feeling exhausted in the morning. In this case, offer to work from home or catch up with your work when you return to the office.
Although everyone makes mistakes, oversleeping or missing the bus is likely to result in a strike against you. If this happens more than once, your boss is likely to think that you are unreliable, unorganized, and unmotivated. Use one of your convincing excuses and plan how to be better prepared in the future.
While this may be the honest reason for wanting to miss work, it is the last thing you should admit to. Employees are expected to plan their free time responsibly so that they are fresh for work the next day. Being too hungover for work means that you are unable to achieve the right work/life balance.
If you are extremely hungover, this is a time when you need to rely on a good excuse. Take advantage of your raspy voice to say that you have tonsillitis, or your allergies are acting up. Explain that you are too sick to talk right now and get ready to supply a convincing explanation later.
While it may be true, saying that you forgot you were working that day simply will not cut it. If your work schedule changes regularly, this may be a reasonable excuse. However, your boss may be tempted to cut you out of the schedule altogether.
You have something better to do
If your friends ask you to go on a camping trip or to Las Vegas, you are likely to jump at the chance. However, admitting this to your boss is a surefire way to lose your job. In this case, plan your excuse and make sure it is as convincing as possible.
Maybe It’s Time For A New Job?
Don’t like where you work anymore and are not sure what to do next? We can help through the process!
Firstly, let’s take a look at my advice on What Do You Like Least About Your Job or even What To Do When You Get Laid Off, as well as What Are You Looking For In Your Next Position in 2023.
For your job hunting, we’ve put together the following the Best Times Of Year To Apply For Jobs, Top Easy Jobs That Pay Well, best 20 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 20 Per Hour, Best Jobs For College Students, or our best 15 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 40 Per Hour. We’ve also got our Best Jobs For Introverts, Best Remote Jobs That Pay Well, and even the Best 6 Figure Jobs to help point you in the right direction.
Oh, and if you ever need a good excuse out of the office, you can even check out my 14 Excuses To Use When You’re Not In The Mood To Hangout for those awkward social situations!
Just a heads up, if you have a criminal record, you might want to first check up on Do Felons Get Jury Duty before calling your boss with that excuse.
The trick to delivering the perfect excuse is to make sure it sounds believable. Also, always be prepared for follow-up questions and get ready to lie your butt off. Practicing your excuse in advance will help you to sound more convincing.
No matter which excuses you choose to use, make sure you keep track of it. When you return to work, it is important to give everyone the same story and make sure that you stick to it!
Well, good luck trying them out!