Excuses for Work: Our Insider Secrets

sick excuse for work

There is not a single person on the planet that hasn’t had a bad day. We all have them, and unfortunately, most of us also have to work. There will be days when you don’t want to go to work, for whatever reason.

In some cases, you might have a completely legitimate excuse, but there will also be times when you should work but just don’t feel like it. The good news is that there are several excuses for work that can be used without making you look bad.

You Got Food Poisoning

If you really need to get out of work, say you have a light case of food poisoning. The reason why this works is because food poisoning doesn’t leave any physical evidence, which isn’t the case with bronchitis and similar medical conditions.

When you finally return to work, a few grabs of your stomach will help to solidify the legitimacy of the excuse. If you’re a woman, you can apply some light colored foundation and make your face look somewhat sick. A lot of employees try to say they have bronchitis.

Unless you want to constantly cough and sniffle when you return to work, this isn’t a good idea. Claiming food poisoning can get you out of work for anywhere from two to three days.

Anxiety about Major Life Event

We all have to undergo major life events. It’s not a matter of if but when. A couple of the most popular events are an impending baby or getting married.

A lot of people actually get mental anxiety when their last kids finally head off to college. All of these major life events can serve as great excuses to take some time off of work.

Most bosses don’t want anything to do with employee mental issues, so they’ll gladly grant some time off for these issues.

The amazing benefit of using this type of excuse is that it doesn’t produce physical evidence. In other words, there is nothing to fake when you come back to work. However, it might help if you force yourself to look somewhat sad.

Relationship Breakup

Here is another issue that bosses don’t like getting involved with. Few things in life are as painful as a breakup. Although this excuse can be somewhat tricky to fake, it can work well.

Depending on how long you’ve been with a partner, a breakup can be extremely dramatic. A lot of people take a week or more off of work after they’ve had a breakup.

Since most people have been involved in at least one breakup, they understand how difficult it can be, and there is a good chance that your boss will understand the fake anguish you’re going through.

Pet Troubles

Here is another excuse that can work wonders. Most people have at least one pet, so they can sympathize with the anguish caused by a sick or injured pet. You could say your dog ate something dangerous and needs surgery.

It’s not like you can just drop your pet off at a daycare and expect them to take care of it. You can tell your boss that you need to stay home for a couple of days to make sure your animal is healing properly.

Female Issues

If you’re a woman, you have a few extra tricks up your sleeve. Women can use several excuses that are related to gifts they receive from Mother Nature.

For example, you might say you’ve got cramps. If your boss is a woman, she should have no problem sympathizing with the pain caused by cramps. These types of female issues are not understood by men but can work very well as excuses.

Jury Duty

Jury duty is something that all Americans must participate in. You can delay it for many months, but eventually, they’ll force you to serve.

In most cases, this excuse is good for at least a few days off of work. The good news is that it’s very unlikely that your boss will ask for physical evidence, but if he or she does ask for it, then you’re not going to be in a good situation.

Appointment with the Doctor

Here is another excuse that can work very well. However, it works best if you actually have an appointment.

A lot of people like to call and arrange an appointment, but when it comes time to go to the appointment, they call and reschedule it, but they still get time off of work. A doctor appointment is one of the most commonly used excuses to get out of work.


This can be used as a legitimate excuse, but it works best for people who actually work a lot. If you’ve been working insane hours and putting in massive amounts of overtime, then you deserve to take some time off.

All you have to do is tell your boss that the extreme hours you’ve been working have caused physical and mental exhaustion, and you need one or two days off of work.

These are some of the top excuses for work, but it really depends on how you use them. When you don’t present them confidently, even the best excuses for work could cause your boss to become suspicious. When used effectively, most of these excuses can get you anywhere from one to three days away from work.