The following phone conversation was one of the last I ever had with a boss.



“Oh, hey. Is everything all right?”

“Sure is. What’s up?”

“Well, I was just wondering, because you weren’t at your desk and no one’s seen you this morning, so –.”

“Oh, that’s because I’m at home.”

I’m not one for excuses. I can’t fake an aging aunt’s death, a gross medical situation that requires immediate attention or even a plain ol’ cough. With me, a boss will get the cold, hard and often-times lazy truth. “Because I didn’t feel like it,” was never an acceptable excuse growing up, so once Iwas a grown up, I wore that alibi out like a 90s sitcom catchphrase.

Needless to say, I no longer have to lie about the metro running late or my face hurting too much to look at things because I’m my own boss and I can’t, in fact, fire myself. I’ve tried. Still I consider it something of a life “L” that I never got to use what my BFF thinks is the ultimate get out of jail free card: “explosive diarrhea.”

Some excuses are too gross to not be true. Once my friend Bob, who was the head of his department, called an employee who was late getting back to the newsroom after a photography assignment. And do you know what this kid said? Apparently, he was on his way back the office, just driving down the Beltway, when he got a sudden urge to burp. BUT when he went to burp instead of actually, you know, burping he threw up all over himself. And that’s why he was late.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual “sick day” study, 30 percent of employees have gotten real imaginative with their mental days from a dog’s “nervous breakdown” to having a broken heart to suffering from post-“Hunger Games” traumatic stress syndrome.

“Many employers will allow employees to use their sick days for mental health days to recharge,” said Jennifer Sullivan Grasz, vice-president of corporate communications at CareerBuilder, in the Daily News article. “So it’s better to be up front with your manager.”

So then why do so many people feel the need to lie? Besides the fact that some employees, in fact, don’t get sick days or “me time,” I think honesty just takes all the fun out of playing hooky. Like, would the popcorn at that matinee showing of “Pitch Perfect” taste as sweet if your boss didn’t think you were at home puking up purple stuff? I think not.

So spill, all you xoJane slackers. I wanna know what you’ve been telling your boss. Maybe we can create some kinda master list of “Me Day” responses like how Anna Kendrick did for firing people in “Up in the Air.” But be careful because that’s how you could end up if your boss is trolling.


This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission. Click here for more Helena Andrews on XOJane! 

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  • elle

    Don’t feel like going to work! Really? It must be nice! She could ay least call in and said she couldn’t make it to work. Not only is this a very poor work ethic and lazy but very selfish on her part because other people at her job have to pick up her slack! She’s lucky she even have a job with her attitude!

  • I sure hope Jane has a trust for some of her bloggers because with some of the things those ladies post, they’re going to have a hell of a time finding an 9-5 in the real world.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    and what if your employer just decided to stop paying you …just because. No excuses. As an adult there are certain things you need to handle properly. Calling in is one. Save all the details, a simple call to give them a heads up is all that’s needed.

  • Kristi

    Wow….I really feel bad for those you who have a hard time finding the humor in this article. Yes, some people do “have it like that” where they can take a “because I feel like it” day off sometimes. I do it too. Now, I can’t say I’d have the cohones to actually say that like the author, but I’ve laid down my share of excuses (which run from exaggerations to downright lies). Some of us are really hard workers, but also have a whole lot of stress at work. Not everyone is a workaholic who’s willing to sacrifice thier mental and emotional or physical health and wellbeing for a record of “good work ethic”. Our country is made up of the most overworked, stressed out people in the world. Companies in the US hardly ever give employees the breaks and mental health care they need for optimal performance. No wonder people need to take a random day off and lie about explosive diarrhea…LOL