If the coming flu season is anything like it was in past years, plenty of employees will be calling in to say they’re staying home with sniffles, fevers, and sneezes. Lots of people, though, just want a day to goof off now and then.
CareerBuilder’s annual survey of 3,100 employees and 2,200 managers, conducted by Harris Poll, says 28% of workers admit to faking an illness over the past 12 months, down from 32% who said so in 2013. When asked for a reason, about one in three (30%) said they “just didn’t feel like going to work.”
Oddly, some employees seem compelled to give an excuse even when they don’t need one. CareerBuilder reports that almost half (49%) of those surveyed work for companies that allow paid personal days with no questions asked, yet 23% of them still feel obligated to explain why.
The 10 strangest reasons managers say people skipped a day:
…had a casserole in the oven.
…had undergone cosmetic plastic surgery that needed some “tweaking.”
…was sitting in the bathroom when her legs and feet fell asleep. When she stood up, she fell over and broke her ankle.
…had been at a casino all weekend, still had money left on Monday morning, and didn’t want to break his lucky streak.
…woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
…had “gotten lucky” the night before and didn’t know where he was.
…got stuck in a blood-pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
…had a gall stone she wanted to heal holistically.
…caught his uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
…accidentally got on a plane.
Maybe because some of these tales seem too outlandish to be made up (how do you accidentally get on a plane?), most managers (69%) didn’t bother checking to find out if the employee was fibbing—although, among those who did, about 15% confess they “went the extra mile (quite literally) and drove past the employee’s house,” the CareerBuilder report says.
Taking a day off for a dubious reason? Don’t post selfies. One in four bosses (24%) say they have caught a “sick” employee looking happy and healthy on social media.