Think back to those good ol’ school-skipping days when “stomach ache” was code word for “too sleepy for school and Mom says it’s okay”. Or the days you bunked classes in college, showing up the next day telling professors rather funny excuses about the very important “seminar” you just had to attend (although the jury is still out on the existence of such seminars that leave people hungover). That used to be our internal communications strategy.
Then adult life comes rolling in and you are supposedly transformed into an independent, responsible individual who need not indulge in such silly charades. Right? Our internal communications have now tuned monotonous and drab, making it easy to spot holes in our stories.
In this corporate utopia, we’d be able to enjoy ourselves at work so much that the need to ‘skip’ or ‘bunk’ never arises. After all, we ourselves choose our work and workplace. In such a world, we’d be able to speak to our adult employers and explain in an adult way why showing up to work that day just would not be possible. But unfortunate as it is, a typical adult work-life seems to demand a whole new set of funny excuses just to be able to take a simple breather. Something as basic as asking your employer for a day off becomes an unwelcome and tedious task. And the easiest way to get out of it? Excuses, excuses, excuses. While some employees endure this strain, one also finds an employee engagement company recommending their employees to take a day off – a key feature in their employer branding strategy.
So, what excuse would you find yourself making? Here are a few:
“I’m sick” – This one’s a classic. You can keep it all vague and mysterious if you want, but don’t expect to be taken too seriously in that case. More often than not, it needs to be fleshed out with specifications like “infection”, “viral” or “condition”. Once in a while, you can use a free pass with the safe words “vomiting” and “diarrhoea”; rest assured your boss will not ask for details.
“I have a doctor’s appointment” – Hail the days when no one asks for a medical certificate for a doctor’s appointment like they did in school (unless they do, in which case you have our sympathies). Go ahead, claim you have an appointment with a ‘gynaecologist’, ‘ophthalmologist’, ‘anthropologist’ or even an ‘astrologist’. Or maybe you’ve been feeling a little unlucky and you just have to, have to go visit your psychic.
“Doctor’s advice” – There’s no arguing with doctor’s orders, is there? Since your boss (hopefully) has no communication with your doctor, you have the full right to act as the doctor’s mouthpiece when it comes to your own, all-important health. So maybe you can claim that the doctor told you that you need to breathe a ‘different’ (read: non-office) kind of air, or that you have developed an allergy to ‘stupid’ people. Hey, that’s what the doctor said, okay?
“Family emergency” – All of us in India are convinced we have crazy families, so there’s absolutely no need to convince our bosses of the same. These two words cover all family-related events including relatives dealing with health conditions, passing away and returning as zombies.
Oopsie moments – Well, maybe your excuses need not appear so…premeditated. Maybe you were, in all honesty, headed to work when whoops, tragedy struck. Maybe your trousers split on the way to work or maybe you got stuck under the bed (both of those have been used by actual people). Or maybe you got abducted by aliens and had to wage an intergalactic war to make it back alive. Happens.
While these fool-proof (at your own risk) funny excuses will guarantee you that day off you truly desire (and deserve?), here’s a thought. Why not take the day off to consider the possibility of having an office as your “happy place” and doing work that gives you a spring in your step instead of an excuse on your mind? Try building on your internal communications skills and strategy. Maybe you won’t have to then resort to such excuses.
What are the funniest excuses you’ve given to take an off? Did it work? Let us know at [email protected]