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50 Bulletproof Excuses To Get Out of Work (2023 Edition)

We’ve all called in sick at some point or another when we’re not ill. It’s not the most honorable thing to do, but sometimes you just need a day off. And while there are some good excuses to get out of work, there are also some bad ones that might get you into trouble.

If you find yourself in a situation where you must miss work, it’s crucial to have a good excuse up your sleeve. Your boss will understand more if you have a legitimate reason for being absent. 

If you have missed a lot of time throughout the year, you might be running out of excuses to use on your boss. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a few bulletproof excuses to get out of work saved up when being sick doesn’t cut it anymore. 

Let’s look at some of the best and worst excuses to miss work, how to perfect your excuse so you’ll never be questioned, and the best ways to contact your boss.

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      Good excuses to miss work

      These are the tried and true excuses to miss work. If you aren’t looking for an elaborate reason and just want a good excuse to miss work that will not backfire or spark a serious conversation, stick with the excuses on this list.

      1. Sickness

      This is the most common excuse for missing work. Being sick can put other employees at risk if you are contagious, so employers will advise you to stay home to avoid a workplace outbreak. On top of protecting existing staff, a good boss will want you to recover from your illness, which usually requires lots of rest.

      Being sick is also a good excuse to miss work for multiple days.  Rarely does a person get sick and have a miraculous recovery within 24 hours. Usually, a person suffers for numerous days at a time.

      With Covid-19, we are no longer required to quarantine for 14 days. However, it is still recommended to isolate for five days in countries like the USA if you are infected or showing symptoms. Most workplaces will have a Covid-19 sickness policy, so check with HR about what it entails.

      However, if you are using Covid-19 or any other personal illness to miss multiple work days, be prepared to show test results or a doctor’s note. Some companies will want this as a requirement to miss numerous days.

      You could be sick with any number of ailments, including:

      • Having a cold
      • Having the flu
      • Migraine headache
      • Stomach virus (throwing up / diarrhea )
      • Body aches & pains
      • Fever & chills
      • Infection

      2. Being in an accident

      Being in an accident is a cause for concern to anyone, and your boss is no exception. There are many types of accidents you can use as an excuse to miss work, but one of the most common is being in a car accident. In addition, being in an accident while biking, running, working out, slipping in the shower, slipping on ice, and falling down stairs are plausible excuses for missing work.

      woman holding her back after she fell down the stairs

      If you’ve been in an accident, you could be suffering from any of these issues preventing you from coming to work:

      • Back and neck pain
      • Cuts and bruises
      • Broken or fractured bones
      • Black eye
      • Concussion
      • Nerve damage

      3. Death of a family member or friend

      The death of a loved one is an excuse to miss work that will be met with no resistance. Most employers will be sympathetic toward your loss; if they aren’t, then maybe it’s time to find a new job. This is another excuse that can be used to miss multiple days due to personal grieving and attending a funeral. Many companies also have a bereavement leave policy which will entitle you to time off without question. The amount of time off might depend on your relationship with the deceased.

      4. Child is sick

      This could mean that your child is ill, and you need to take care of them while they are home from school. Children get sick, and one of your primary jobs as a parent is to look after your child. If your boss has a child, they will understand the struggles of being a parent and attending to a sick child.

      Also, if your child gets sick, that might mean you’re next. Often a child will get sick from school, come home, and infect their entire household. So be prepared to use your child as an excuse again for why you’re now sick and need to take time off work.

      5. Parents are sick

      It could also mean that you have an older family member who is ill and needs care, like your mother or father. Same as if your child were to be sick; most employers will understand if you need to take care of a sick parent. If you are using your parents as an excuse to get out of work, it probably means their sickness is more than a simple cold or flu. It could mean something more serious.

      6. Personal/family emergency

      If you have a personal or family emergency, you can tell your boss without them asking too many questions. Your boss won’t want to pry at the details unless you ask for multiple days off work. Then, they may be required to ask you what’s happening. However, if you only need to take one day off, then this is a great excuse to get out of work on short notice.

      7. Sick pet

      Some people don’t have human children and are mothers or fathers to beloved pets. Like humans, pets get sick and sometimes need to go to the veterinarian. Also, like children, if a pet is sick, they might require medicine throughout the day and cannot take it themselves. Emergency trips to the vet can occur at any time. Since animals cannot physically tell us what’s wrong, getting the advice of an expert in animal care is essential. If your boss has a pet, they will be more likely to understand your situation and will be able to relate to your excuse for missing work.

      8. Mental health day

      Gone are the days when people needed to be ashamed of their mental health status. Just like your physical health, taking off a day or two from work is okay if you’re not feeling well mentally. But unfortunately, people are often overcome with guilt if they take time off work due to anxiety or depression because it’s not a physical condition.

      The more we learn about mental health, the more we understand how the brain functions. Yes, mental problems can manifest into physical health issues if left untreated. This is why it’s vital to take care of yourself. If you are not feeling mentally fit, take a day or two off work to improve your mental state.

      9. Scheduled appointment

      Using a scheduled appointment as an excuse to get out of work is much easier if advanced notice is provided. If it’s Monday, and you know that you want to take Friday off from work, using a scheduled appointment for that Friday can work if you let your boss know early in the week. Yes, you can use the ol’ I have an appointment I forgot about excuse, but that might expose you to questions about why you didn’t let your boss know earlier.

      10. Home emergency

      A burst pipe, leaking roof, or even a grease fire can be classified as a home emergency requiring time off. The last thing you’d want is to leave work for the day with one of these problems left unattended and return to your house in complete ruins. This excuse is perfect if you’re a homeowner because everybody knows that when owning a home, problems.

      11. Religious reasons

      If you are religious, you can use certain religious events or holidays as an excuse to miss work. Here is a link to an Interfaith Calendar which has all the religious events and holidays lined up for the entire Calendar year up until 2030 for the following religions:

      • Judaism
      • Islam
      • Buddhist
      • Hindu
      • Christian
      • Baha’i
      • Zoroastrian
      • Sikh
      • Shinto
      • Jain
      • Confucian
      • Daoist
      • Native American
      • Materialism
      • Secular Humanism

      12. Babysitter canceled

      This excuse is good if you work an afternoon or night shift. Parents who work multiple jobs or in the evenings often use a babysitter to look after their kids. If the babysitter cancels, you won’t be able to leave your kids home alone. This excuse could also work if you have a nanny that takes care of your kids during the day while you’re at work. 

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      Good excuses to miss work on short notice

      Sometimes you will need last-minute excuses to get out of work that won’t blow up in your face. The key to making good excuses to miss work on short notice is appearing extremely apologetic when talking to your boss. But, of course, some of these excuses are not meant to be used all the time except for physical illness. 

      If you need some an excuse to miss work on short notice, you can go the creative route, or use a standard excuse; both are good options. Please see our list of good excuses to miss work on short notice below.

      13. Physical illness

      Being sick can hit you anytime, which is why this is one of the best excuses to miss work on short notice. In addition, being sick can be an excuse for you, your child, or a close relative.

      14. Car problems

      Owning a complex and expensive piece of machinery comes with many problems that could cause you to miss work. Here are the most common issues with your car that could cause you to miss work:

      • Engine failure
      • Dead battery
      • Flat tire
      • Ran out of gas when you were not close to a gas station
      • Your car was stolen

      15. Poor weather

      Using the weather as an excuse to get out of work can be used only at certain times. Of course, you won’t be able to use this excuse on a nice warm sunny day, but if there is heavy snow or hail, you might get away with this one.

      two people holding umbrellas fighting off a bad storm

      In addition to snow, other extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, tornados, and lightning storms can prevent you from missing work. However, if you’re in one of these, work should be the last thing on your mind!

      16. Your parents need help

      If your parents are older, they might call you often, asking for assistance. It’s essential to take care of our parents, regardless of the request, no matter how ridiculous it might be. Your boss should understand, especially if they are pretty old. Some everyday things you might need to help your parents with that can get you out of work include:

      • Shoveling snow
      • Changing their car tire
      • Moving heavy objects around the house
      • Taking them to a medical appointment
      • Refilling their medication from the pharmacy
      • They called you in distress but wouldn’t say what the issue was.

      17. Cracked tooth

      Cracking a tooth can happen at any time if you aren’t careful when chewing your food. If this happens, you’ll need to rush to the dentist before it becomes a more significant issue. The most common foods for cracked teeth are:

      • Hard Candy
      • Hard Bread
      • Popcorn Kernels
      • Frozen Treats
      • Wings & Ribs
      • Fruits with Pits

      No judgments from us if you’re eating candy in the morning… your dentist and boss, on the other hand, might not be so impressed!

      18. Pet ran away

      If you are a pet owner, then you’ll know that there is always that risk that they will run away and get lost. It happens mostly with dogs and cats but can also happen with animals like birds or rabbits. Some dogs will run off chasing a squirrel, and cats often try to sneak outside when their owner opens the door. If this has happened to you, it can be terrifying to lose your beloved pet. Your boss will understand if you use this as an excuse to miss work on short notice.

      19. Allergic reaction

      It could have happened the night before, while you were sleeping, or the morning before your work shift. Perhaps you ate something unusual, and it caused an allergic reaction so bad that you need to take a day off work. Allergies can range from mild to severe in nature.

      Sometimes if you have an allergic reaction, the effects of it will go away after a few hours, so this is definitely one of those good excuses to miss work on short notice that will be difficult to question.

      20. Broke your phone

      If you broke your phone, your boss might say, “So what?” and ask you to come in anyways. If you find yourself in this situation, then you’ll have to elaborate on your excuse and say that you are expecting an important call from a doctor, family member, or the government that you CANNOT miss. Therefore, you need to go replace your phone ASAP.

      If you’re going to use this excuse to miss work on short notice, then make sure you either call or text your boss from a different phone from the one that is supposedly broken!

      21. Sprained ankle

      Spraining your ankle is another good last-minute excuse to get out of work that can be used in a pinch. Spraining your ankle can happen anywhere at any time. You can say that you were groggy when you woke up and rolled your ankle when you stepped out of bed, slipped while taking a shower, or stepped outside your home about to leave for work. 

      22. Last minute appointment opened up for you

      Another good excuse to miss work on short notice is to tell your boss that a spot opened up for you with a doctor or specialist you had been waiting to see for months. This is believable because certain doctors or specialists can have long wait lists, especially if they are good. For this reason, you have to take advantage of the opportunity.

      To take this excuse one step further and make it more believable, you can plant the seed with your boss well ahead of time. You can tell them you’re on a waitlist, but it could be weeks or months before you see them. Put this excuse in your back pocket for later and bust it out when you really don’t want to go in.

      Bulletproof excuses to get out of work

      Depending on your situation, you might need bulletproof excuses to get out of work that no one will second-guess. Some of these (not all) excuses might tug at your morality strings and might not be sincere, but they will indeed work. But, again, we want to stress that using this set of excuses might be dishonest, unfortunate, or hard to hear. So if you’re willing to repent for your sins later, try these bulletproof excuses to get out of work.

      23. Miscarriage

      Using a miscarriage to get out of work is a very personal decision. If either you or your partner suffered the loss of a child, it could be so devastating that you’ll need to take multiple days off. In addition, there is both physical and mental trauma that can occur from a miscarriage.  Using this as an excuse will expose your personal life in a way you may not be comfortable with, but it is a bulletproof way to get out of work.

      24. Witnessed a crime

      If you happen to witness a crime, you will surely need to take some time off regardless of whether or not you report it to the police. If you report it to the police, be prepared to miss the entire day.  Giving a police statement can take a long time as they want to ensure all the details are correct.  If you do not report the crime to the police, you will surely need to take a day off to deal with what you saw from a mental standpoint. If you explain to your boss that you witnessed a crime and it’s taking a toll on you mentally, they will understand.

      25. Friend/family member is suicidal

      We’ve already stressed the importance of your mental health in this article, but what if it’s a friend or family member suffering and talking about suicide? The difference between them taking their life could be your company. Even if they don’t say directly that they are contemplating suicide, if you sense something is up, you should tell your boss that you’ll be taking the day off to help someone in need.

      26. You caused an accident

      Most excuses involving some sort of accident are caused by somebody else. What if it was actually your fault and you caused an accident this time? Maybe you won’t want to reveal that information to your boss. If that’s the case, you can simply say there was an accident and want to ensure the other parties involved are okay.

      27. You were attacked

      Being physically attacked is most people’s worst nightmare. If you have been attacked, you should be able to take time off work to deal with injuries, file a police report, and recover mentally. If the injuries sustained were serious, then multiple days off are warranted. Both physical and mental harm will come from a horrible situation like this, and your boss will understand. This is another bulletproof excuse to get some time off work.

      28. You ran out of your medication

      Perhaps you suffer from mental illness, you have an infection, or suffer from chronic pain. Claiming that you ran out of your medication or it somehow went missing is a bulletproof excuse to get out of work. Not only will you be in no physical state to work, but you’ll have to talk to your doctor to refill your prescription, then go to the pharmacy to refill it. This could take hours!

      29. There is a scary person outside your door

      There is a scary and suspicious-looking person right outside your door, and they won’t leave. If this is the excuse you give your boss to get out of work for the day, they won’t question you. In fact, they will probably want to make sure you’re safe and advise you to call the police.

      30. You had a traumatic experience

      If you had a traumatic experience, like witnessing an accident, crime, or death, it will surely shake you up. Being traumatized is a state that can last for undetermined periods of time. This is a bulletproof excuse to get out of work for multiple days because you might also need to seek counseling to deal with your trauma. 

      31. You peed yourself on the way to work and had to go home

      Accidents happen, right? When you left your house, you didn’t have to go and thought nothing of it. However, as soon as you were on the road you felt your bladder expanding like a balloon. The next thing you know, you’ve made a mess of yourself and you need to turn around and go home. Bonus points if it happened on the bus or train.

      Good excuses to miss work for a week (or longer)

      You may need an excuse for getting out of work for longer than just a day or two because you want to go on an unexplained trip or an old friend is visiting from out of town. Regardless of the reason, you’ll need to sell these excuses hard, especially if they are on short notice. Like many excuses for missing work in this article, these might get a bit dark, so if you aren’t willing to stretch the truth into uncomfortable territory, please move along.  For those who need some good excuses to miss work for a week or longer, look no further.

      32. Chronic illness

      Some illnesses will keep you out of work for longer than a week. Things beyond a common cold or flu that will have you missing an extended period include:

      • Pneumonia
      • Bronchitis
      • Infectious Mononucleosis (mono)
      • Cancer

      Using cancer as an excuse to miss work should be a last resort if you don’t actually have it. If people were to find out that you were faking cancer, they would be distraught with you, and most likely, you’d need to find a new job.

      33. Serious injury

      There are many different ways a person can get injured. After all, life is dangerous! If you’ve suffered a severe injury, you should be entitled to plenty of time off work. You might even be eligible for disability pay. Of course, you will need to provide proof from a medical practitioner.

      34. Jury duty

      Every citizen’s civic duty is to serve as a juror if selected when the time comes. Of course, you won’t necessarily be chosen if you are summoned, but if you are, be prepared to miss numerous work days or weeks!

      35. To recover from a procedure

      If you’ve had a serious procedure recently, you’ll need plenty of time to recover. Again, this is a scenario where you might be entitled to disability benefits with medical proof.

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      Excuses to get out of work while pregnant

      If you’re pregnant, you already have one of the best excuses for missing work. Some pregnancies can be pretty tough. Morning sickness, bloating, constantly needing to use the bathroom, and an overall lack of mobility are all side effects of pregnancy.  However, some women aren’t too phased by all the changes in their bodies that pregnancy can cause and just want a day off work. Below is a list of excuses to get out of work while pregnant.

      woman throwing up in toilet because she has morning sickness

      36. Morning sickness

      Women in their first trimester of pregnancy often experience morning sickness. Although sickness from pregnancy can continue into the second and third trimesters, and despite the name, can occur during any point of the day. If you wake up feeling nauseous and are throwing up, you might be able to take the entire day off.

      37. Ultrasound appointment

      Throughout pregnancy, there will be multiple appointments, including ultrasound appointments. There is sometimes an initial ultrasound during the first trimester around week 14 and another ultrasound between 18 and 20 weeks. These appointments are attended not just by women but by men as well.  These appointments can take all day long, depending on how busy the clinic is.

      38. Swollen legs and feet

      Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, and fingers is common during pregnancy. Swelling usually occurs in the second and third trimesters and can be debilitating, to say the least. A bit of swelling is standard, but if it comes on suddenly and is painful, then you should talk to your doctor and seek medical attention.

      39. Something is not feeling right

      You should listen to your body during pregnancy and see your doctor if something feels off. A women’s intuition is a powerful thing and should not be ignored. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially regarding your body’s health.

      40. Water broke

      When a woman’s water breaks, their body is prepping for labor. This typically happens in week 39 or 40 of the pregnancy but can also occur earlier. Needless to say, if your water breaks, you will not be returning to work anytime soon. 

      Need more? Here are 27 Reliable Excuses To Get Out Of Work While Pregnant

      Using Covid-19 as an excuse to miss work

      It’s been multiple years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and millions have missed work because of the virus. Even though some of the hysteria has died, the virus is still actively infecting people. Therefore, using Covid-19 as an excuse to miss work is still a proper way to take a couple of days off. There are three main excuses involving Covid-19, but they should all be taken seriously.

      41. You have Covid-19

      If you have Covid-19, stay home, isolate yourself from others, and take the time you need to recover. Some cases of Covid-19 are more severe than others, and the amount of time you will need to take off work will vary.

      42. You were in contact with someone who had Covid-19

      If you have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you’ll need to stay home and isolate, regardless of if you contracted it or not. If you test yourself and the results return negative, refer to point one above. If the test is negative, you might want to wait another day or two before turning to work and perform a few more tests just to be on the safe side.

      43. Getting vaccinated

      After getting vaccinated, some people in rare cases might experience side effects that prevent them from going to work.  Luckily, most side effects are mild and only last a few days.

      Excuses to miss work when you work from home

      Working from home is a luxury that not everyone has, but despite that, sometimes you will still need to take time off work. Unfortunately, many think working from home means staying in your PJs and watching Youtube/Netflix all day while meeting the minimum possible work requirements.  While that might be true for some people, others find it challenging to balance when your home and work life intersect. For this reason, there needs to be a list of excuses to miss work when you work from home.

      44. Internet is down

      Internet outages occur frequently and can last hours. Just ask the good citizens of Canada. On July 8th, telecom provider Rogers had a massive internet outage that lasted an entire day. Some areas were affected even longer.  An outage of this magnitude is not typical. Still, more minor outages happen all the time and are often isolated to specific areas. Blaming the internet for why you can’t work is a great excuse.

      45. Computer virus

      If a virus has infected your computer, it can put you out of commission for hours or days. Millions of computer viruses are in circulation, with more being created daily. The people making these viruses are getting more creative, so there is no shame if you fall victim to an elaborate phishing scheme. Even if you have anti-virus software, a virus can still impact your computer.

      46. Power outage

      Using a power outage as an excuse to miss work also makes sense. This is a good excuse if you work from home because of a power outage similar to an internet outage but localized to your area. For example, back in 2003, there was a massive power outage that affected the entire Northeast of Canada and the USA. Power was lost in some areas for over two days! Mind you, this doesn’t happen every day, and back in 2003, most people were not working from home.

      47. Illness

      Illness is a reoccurring theme for a list of excuses to miss work, but for a good reason. It can be used if you work in an office, a store, a construction site, or while working from home. Of course, people might not want to use a sick day if they are at home, but if you have a busy job with lots of meetings, it’s understandable if you’d want to shut everything down for the day.

      48. Child is sick

      Having children at home is challenging if you work remotely. Young children need constant attention and supervision. In addition, if your child is sick, that adds a new layer of difficulty to your day. You can take the day off if they are sick so you can attend to their needs.

      49. Relatives are over

      Having relatives over can become a huge distraction if you work from home. They may not respect your workspace and want to interact with you throughout the day. It’s hard to tell a family member to buzz off, so taking the day off work might be easier if they are too much to handle.

      50. Home renovations

      During the first couple of years of the Covid-19 pandemic, while people were working from home, a lot of households decided to get renovations. It’s difficult to work if contractors in your house make noise.  You’ll also want to keep an eye on things to ensure they run smoothly.  For these reasons, if you’re having home renovations done, you may want to take a day or two off work. Some of the more common renovations were:

      • Redoing floors and ceilings
      • New appliances
      • New windows and doors
      • Painting
      • Roofing
      • Landscaping and irrigation

      The worst excuses to get out of work (don’t use these) 

      For every good excuse to get out of work, there are an equal amount of horrible ones that you should stay clear from. These excuses can be called out in an instant if you aren’t careful and could have repercussions in the future if your boss isn’t very chill. Therefore, we strongly advise you not to use any of these bad excuses to miss work.

      1. Hungover

      Being hungover is never an excuse to miss work. If that is your situation, just say you are sick instead. However, saying you are ill won’t work if you were out drinking the night before with colleagues.  If they show up to work the next day and you don’t, it will make you look bad!

      2. Too tired

      Believe it or not, people use being ‘too tired’ as an excuse to miss work all the time. But, unfortunately, this is quite possibly the worst excuse to use. So if you didn’t get any sleep the night before, do yourself a favor and just say you’re sick instead.

      3. You were arrested

      If you have been arrested, you may have no choice but to tell your employer the truth about the situation.

      mugshot of a man who was just arrested

      Hopefully, it’s not a severe offense, and jail time is not on the table. If you are just looking for an excuse to get out of work and have already called in sick too many times, saying you have been arrested is not a good option. Pick another excuse from this page instead!

      4. Not Motivated

      Telling your boss that you need to miss work because you are not motivated is basically saying you don’t care about the job. There are plenty of other excuses you can use instead of this one.

      5. Job interview

      Unless you are friends with your boss, using a job interview is not a good excuse to tell your boss why you are missing work. This is like telling your boss that you are not happy working for them or that you are better off elsewhere. Even if this is true, you should use another excuse like being sick or having an appointment. If you tell them about the interview, you better hope you get the job, or things might become awkward! 


      Honest reasons for calling out of work when you have already used too many excuses

      You may be tired of using excuses to call out of work and just want to be honest about your situation and why you might need a day or two off. Using honesty as your approach could be the best option because you will never have to feel guilty about telling the truth.

      Suppose you’re suffering from a medical condition or mental health problems. In that case, you may not want to disclose your situation to your boss directly. If this is the case, you can contact your HR department and discuss why you miss work. In addition, if steps are taken to document your absenteeism, you will protect yourself from future disciplinary actions your boss might take if you miss too much time.

      Of course, if you have a good relationship with your boss, you probably don’t need to jump through HR hoops and can just be honest about the reasons for calling out of work. They should understand and be willing to accommodate your situation.

      How to perfect your excuses to call out of work (step by step)

      There is a formula for perfecting your excuse to call out of work. If people know they are about to call out of work, they will get an overwhelming sense of anxiety. If you want to avoid that unsettling feeling, follow these steps.

      1. Be prepared

      Knowing what you will say to your boss ahead of time is the first step to perfecting your excuse. If you are calling them or telling them in person, it’s a good idea to rehearse what you will say a couple of times before. It’s also good to prepare responses to your potential boss’s questions. Getting caught flatfooted if they ask you a question will open up holes in your excuse, which may indicate you are lying.

      2. Get the timing right

      If you are planning on letting your boss know that you won’t be able to make it to work, it’s best to give them plenty of advanced notice. If you wake up sick, contact them as soon as possible. Letting them know after your shift has started should be avoided at all costs.

      3. Keep it simple

      Often, the most simple excuse is the best excuse. However, you should get more creative if you have called in sick too many times. Refer to this article’s top of the list for good excuses that won’t leave room for questions.

      4. Show sincerity

      Selling an excuse can come down to fine details, such as the tone of your voice and/or your body language. If you show sincerity with your excuse and tell them that you had no choice but to miss work, you will forgive your absence. Most of the time, your boss wants to ensure you are doing okay. If you come across as insincere, while they may allow you to take time off, it could rub them the wrong way.

      5. Imply a sense of urgency

      Showing a sense of urgency for taking time off is the next step for perfecting your excuse. If you are sick, you may not need to display this urgency. However, if it’s another reason like if you were in an accident or your parents are in trouble, letting your boss know that you need to take care of a situation urgently will pressure them to allow it. They are less likely to deny your request or get you in trouble if they feel like you’re in an urgent situation.

      6. Show appreciation

      The final step is showing that you appreciate your boss for letting you take time off. Show gratitude, especially if you put them or other team members in a difficult situation where they have to pick up your slack. Saying thank you can go a long way. 

      How to time an excuse to get out of work

      When should you use your excuse to get out of work? Should it be days before? The night before? Or the morning of? 

      It depends.

      Sometimes people don’t know they will be calling in to get out of work until the morning before their shift starts. If that’s the case, do not contact your boss the minute before you’re supposed to be at work. Also, do not contact them after your shift has started. You’ll want to reach out at least an hour before.

      If you reach out the night before, try to send that text message, email, or phone call early enough at night. The last thing your boss will want is to be woken up by a message from you stating that you won’t be at work the following day. 

      An ideal scenario is to let your boss know days ahead of time if you think you’re going to be missing work. But, of course, this timing does not work if you suddenly get sick or have to deal with an emergency.

      How should you notify your boss if you’re planning on missing work?

      There are a few different options for how you should notify your boss if you’re planning to miss work.  These options might not be available to everyone. For example, you might not have a texting relationship with your boss, or maybe email is not used for communication. However, if any or all of these methods work, you should know the pros and cons of each.

      The main four methods to notify your boss if you’re planning to miss work:

      1. Telling them in person
      2. Calling
      3. Emailing
      4. Texting

      Telling them in person

      PROS CONS
      It might be deemed more honest. If you’re clearly lying, they might be able to detect your lie.
      More challenging for your boss to deny you in person. If you get denied, it will be much more awkward in person.
      If you’re telling them in person, you are giving advance notice.

      Calling to get out of work

      PROS CONS
      You get to avoid any awkward face-to-face interaction. It can be nerve-racking dialing the number with the anticipation of speaking to your boss.
      If you call and nobody answers, leaving a message is more effortless. If someone is upset, you can usually tell by the tone of their voice, which becomes more evident over the phone.

      Emailing to get out of work

      PROS CONS
      If you want to send the email in the morning, you can write it the night before, and just press send when you’re ready. It shows that you might be scared of your boss because you didn’t call and chose to email them instead.
      Your boss might not see the email immediately, so they won’t have a chance to call your bluff directly. If they don’t see your email, they might wonder where you are.

      Texting to get out of work

      PROS CONS
      Similar to email, you can draft your message ahead of time and send it at the right moment. They might respond with a one-word answer like “K” which could mean they are pissed off.
      It is the fastest and easiest way to contact your boss. They might leave your message on read, which could signify that they are pissed off.
      If you are texting your boss, it probably means you have a solid relationship with them, and they might go easy on you.

      There are many excuses you can use for missing work. Of course, some excuses are better than others. Using easy and simple excuses to get out of work will often be the best way. However, you can get more creative if you have used the same excuse too often.

      Of course, there are bulletproof excuses to get out of work which should do the trick, but it depends on how far you’re willing to go to take time off. Either way, no matter the excuse or work situation, there are ways to perfect telling your boss that you can’t come in.

      There are also good excuses you can use to miss work on short notice that you can use the morning or the day before your work shift. In this article, we’ve tried to cover them all. We hope you found the excuses and advice helpful in this article!

      Updated Feb 27, 2023

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