The excuses are funny; the trend isn't

Employee burnout’s not a funny issue for today’s employers. But you can’t help laughing at some of the wild excuses employees come up with to justify being a no-show at work.
CareerBuilder’s annual survey on absenteeism shows 29% of workers have played hooky from the office at least once this year, calling in sick when they were well.
Nothing new there. Here’s the unsettling part: 27% of employers think they are seeing an increase in bogus sick excuses from employees due to continued stress and burnout caused by the weak economy.
Managers taking action
Bosses aren’t taking these questionable sick days laying down:

  • 29% reported they have checked up on an employee who called in sick
  • 16% said they’ve fired a worker for missing work without a proven excuse
  • Of the employers who checked up on an employee, 70% said they required the employee to show them a doctor’s note
  • 50% called the employee at home
  • 18% had another worker call the employee, and
  • 15% drove by the employee’s house or apartment.

Despite managers’ efforts, it seems clear there’s a boatload of employees who think it’s OK to call in sick when they’re not. The real reasons they’re off the job: “Just not feeling like going to work,”  “just needing to relax” and “catching up on sleep” were the most common answers from employees.
OK. That’s the serious stuff. Here’s the ridiculous segment — CareerBuilder’s compendium of the wildest excuses employees have offered for missing a workday:

  • Employee said a chicken attacked his mom
  • Employee’s finger was stuck in a bowling ball
  • Employee had a hair transplant gone bad
  • Employee fell asleep at his desk while working and hit his head, causing a neck injury
  • Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man
  • Employee’s foot was caught in the garbage disposal
  • Employee called in sick from a bar at 5 p.m. the night before
  • Employee said he wasn’t feeling too clever that day
  • Employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the homeowner’s association, and
  • Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie.