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Play Hooky with These Iron-Clad Excuses

It’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. This may be one of the last absolutely perfect days before the cold weather rolls in. You wake up, roll over, and decide you just don’t want to go to work. Now, we don’t condone playing hooky but if you’re going to do it—do it right.

Here are our best excuses for calling in sick.

Embarrasing Topics
Gut-wrenching diarrhea, female problems, sudden onset IBS. All things that no one wants to ask about. Many people think that most people don’t want to talk about these embarrassing topics. They assume that if you’re willing to risk embarrassment talking about personal bodily malfunctions then there must be something really wrong. The more descriptive you can be the more likely they are to get off the phone and not call back to check up on you.

Kill off Your Family
This is risky but effective. Lying about the death of a family member may be in poor taste but most people won’t question it—just in case it is true. And no one can stop you from going to a funeral, no matter how fake it is. The main problem with this excuse is when your supposedly dead family member calls your work or drops in unexpectedly. Be aware that you might have to act sad for a while. On the other hand, at least one person will probably bake you banana bread or bring flowers.

Pet Emergency
Everyone loves his or her Fido or Fluffy. In fact, some people are downright obsessed with their pet. If your boss has photos of his or her dog on every free spot of desk space, then this is probably the excuse for you. And, if you do it right, you can probably get a day off and a few days to sleep in (faux vet visits). You might want to snap some photos of your “sick” pet (if you don’t have one borrow a neighbor’s) to keep around your desk. This is called “selling the lie” and can help take your excuse to the next level.

Take Two
Taking one day off work (especially a beautiful day) may get a raised eyebrow and some well-placed suspicion. But if you take two, people will stop suspecting and start worrying. Take three and you’re entering concerned-phone-call-land and get well cards. Most people aren’t bold enough to go this route. So if you decide to take more than one fake sick day, know you’ve got balls.

New Client Meeting
If you can work this one, it’s a win-win. Here’s how it works: tell your boss you’re visiting with a prospective new client. You get the day to do whatever you want and your boss thinks you’re taking initiative and working hard. You also don’t have to waste a sick day. When your boss asks you how it went you can string him along for a few days before sadly telling him that it just didn’t work out.

All of these depend on your relationship with your boss. If you have a cool boss and a good relationship, you can always tell the truth: that you’re too hung over, that you need a mental health day, or that you just feel weird.

Disclaimer: Young Money takes absolutely no responsibility for missed work or lost jobs. Use at your own risk.

Emily Torres is a freelance writer. She has written for