The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Calling Out For a Sick Day
Work is something nearly everyone must do. It is a fact of life. In fact, it seems that work often gets in the way of life, with many people running to do their errands during lunch breaks, or directly after work, but it is still a place everyone must go in order to make money and bring home a paycheck.
Ever skip work and see the world outside? What happens when you aren’t in work? It seems there are always cars on the road, people are always driving to get somewhere, whether they are headed to or from work or someplace else. Everyone else’s life outside of work seems to be going on without you and operates well, just as it does everyday, without your knowledge of any of it.
How often do you call out? Do you get any sick days at work? How often are you sick? Have you ever called out just to call out just to play hooky? Do you make excuses? How many times has your relative died? Are you a worker who never gets sick and never calls out? Do you even go to work sick because you know your company relies on you and needs you? If you call out sick, do you need a doctor’s note?
If you are fortunate enough that your company gives you an allotted amount of sick days and PTO (Paid Time Off), than you are one of the lucky few. Other than that, no work means no pay to the majority of workers.
This infographic shows the trends of employees who call in sick.
Click to Open / Right-click for save options
Are Employees Sick — Or Do They Have The 9-To-5 Bug?
Sniff. Cough. Sneeze. All common sounds heard during cold and flu season — and it’s no coincidence that “I can’t come to work — I’m sick” is heard just as often. Though many workers are legitimately sick when calling off work, others have admitted to playing hooky from the office this year. And, real or not, some employee’ reasons for being absent just seem, well, unusual.
Nearly Three-In-Ten U.S. Workers called in sick with a fake excuse in the last year.
While employers reported heightened absenteeism around the holidays, the prime time of the year when companies say employees call in sick is in the first quarter:
January through March: 34%
April through June: 13%
July through September: 30%
October through December: 23%
“OMG I’M SICK ;( L8R”
When it comes to notifying employers that they are taking a sick day, some workers reported they are bypassing a phone call to the boss and relying on digital communications.
84% by phone
24% by email
11% by text message
Most Unusual Excuses For Missing Work
When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:
- Employee’s 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had mother way to get to work. He didn’t want to report it to the police.
- Employee said bats got in her hair.
- Employee said a refrigerator fell on him.
- Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible.
- Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season.
- Employee ate too much at a party.
- Employee fell out of bed and broke his nose.
- Employee got a cold from a puppy.
- Employee’s child stuck mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it.
- Employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.
- Employee got his toe caught in a vent cover.
- Employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.
- Employee’s brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.
- Employee drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
- Employee was at a bowling alley and a bucket filled with water (due to a leak) crashed through the ceiling and hit her on the head.
From Doctor’s Notes To Drive-By Visits
Calling in sick without a legitimate excuse can have serious consequences.
15% of employers said they have fired a worker for this reason.
28% have checked up on an employee, citing the following examples:
69% required a doctor’s note
52% called the employee
19% had another employee call the employee
16% drove by the employee’s home
Provided by CareerBuilder®
Source: Nationwide study that included more than 2,600 employers and 4,300 workers.
About the Author
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.