The 21 most outrageous sick day excuses you’ve ever heard

As you might expect, the UK isn’t the only country with its fair share of sick days. France and Germany also see millions being pulled every year. And while we’d like to believe that all sick days are taken for legitimate reasons, we’ve a sneaking suspicion – like many bosses – that workers, sometimes, pull a fast one. So what excuses have people come up with to get a day off work? Are there any sick day excuses so outrageous that a boss’s instinct was to automatically question that worker’s cognitive function?

Let’s take a look at some truly outrageous sick day excuses:

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more than 130 million working days were lost to sickness in 2013. That’s a 25 percent decrease since 1993, when there were 178 million working days lost, and it means that sickness leave is at an all-time low. Progress? Certainly, however let’s be clear – 130 million sick days is nothing to be proud of as a country. That’s still a lot of sickies being pulled.

Source: ONS

1. I accidentally got on a plane…

This was the most outrageous excuse given to employers in a survey by Career Builder.

2. I’m feeling gay…

Homosexuality was an illness by law in Sweden until 1979. Protesters phoned in sick because they “felt gay” and the law was declassified.

3. I swallowed white spirit…

Really? So you’re not dead then? This excuse was found in a study by Benenden Health.

4. My son/daughter/spouse/significant other has died…

Legend has it, this excuse was shortly followed by a call saying that they’re feeling better.

5. My uniform caught on fire because I microwaved it…

Another Career Builder survey classic. Who microwaves clothes, really?

6. I hurt my neck playing on my Nintendo Wii…

A discussion on Reddit popped this excuse up – how bad can such an injury really be?

7. I can’t come into work. I’m going to hang out with my grandma…

Another Reddit classic. Apparently, this is a common excuse in the US. Not exactly genius.

8. A can of baked beans landed on my big toe…

This was the #1 excuse given in a survey by Benenden Health. Those poor beans!

9. I’ve injured myself during sex…

An excuse given in the hope that their boss won’t ask any more questions, no doubt.

10. I’ve had a lucky night and I don’t know where I am…

How fun for you. You’re a real-life Hangover case. You’re fired.

11. My toe is trapped in the bath tap…

This has got to be one of the lamest excuses of all time. A bath tap? Seriously?

12. My plastic surgery needs some ‘tweaking’…

This excuse was submitted to Career Builder. It’s not great. In fact, it’s dreadful.

13. My cervix is hurting (from a male)…

This excuse is listed on Funny2. Knowledge of male anatomy isn’t this worker’s expertise.

14. I’m too upset after watching The Hunger Games…

This excuse was brought to light by news.com.au. It beggars belief.

15. I’m having a bad hair day…

Unless you’re a hairdresser or beauty therapist, this is not an excuse for missing work.

16. My fish is sick…

Another excuse provided to Career Builder which is utterly ridiculous.

17. Somebody I knew of, but didn’t personally know, has died…

A fourfourtwo member notes that a worker asked for compassionate leave in this case.

18. My dog is having a nervous breakdown…

Listed on the Grindstone and also by Career Builder, this is no excuse for taking a sick day.

19. A pigeon bit me…

Yes, seriously – a pigeon bit somebody and they wanted a day off. How awful.

20. My butt hurts… without any further explanation.

Reddit user Poznacky lists this as one of the most outrageous sick day excuses he’s heard.

21. I can’t make it out of the house. There’s a bear on my porch…

Has this really ever been given as an excuse? Until proven, this excuse is a mere legend.

And there we have it. 21 outrageous sick day excuses. Some are questionable, some are laughable, and some are down-right unfathomable. If you’re thinking about pulling a sickie, think twice about your excuse and don’t, whatever you do, take inspiration from this list!

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