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We’ve all been there — you wake up late, it’s a beautiful day outside and, well, calling off work last minute can sound very tempting. Most of us cite a sudden illness or last-minute home emergency. Some of us, though, are a bit more…creative.

We polled HR professionals to dish on the most outrageous excuses they’ve heard from an employee who missed work. Get ready to laugh, cry and feel not so guilty about your “sore throat” last week:

  1. “Employee forgot he was hired for the job.”
  2. “My house is haunted. Last night the ghost locked all of the doors then hid my car keys and cell phone.”
  3. “An employee arrived for work 3 hours later than the time they were scheduled to attend and their reason for missing 3 hours work was that they had had a heart attack just before they were about to come to work. When asked about the speedy recovery the employee says he “breathed through it” and was fine a few hours later.”
  4. “I got shot by my sister’s boyfriend.”
  5. “I had an employee call and say they could not come in because the night before they wore skinny jeans and had a rash. Apparently, his pants were too tight.”
  6. “She was arrested for hiring a hit man to shoot her husband (True story).”
  7. “I can’t come in to work today because I died last night.”
  8. “The handy man electrocuted himself this morning at my house and I can’t come in because my dog witnessed this and is having an anxiety attack. (Note: no mention of whether the guy was ok. Just how disturbing it was for her dog).”
  9. “My psychic medium told me I would die in a “Final Destination” style pile up on the highway today. So, I took all back roads making me three hours late.”
  10. “I purchased a new car and I need to fly to Sweden to pick it up. (Home is in Louisiana.)”
  11. “Steering wheel came off in their hand while driving to work”
  12. “They broke their leg and that the Wyoming mafia was coming after them.”
  13. “My wife got attacked by a bat.”
  14. “They were the emotional support person for their dog and it was going to thunder that day – they needed to be home so the dog didn’t get upset.”
  15. “Having cats ashes added to his tattoo ink and getting a tattoo- tattoo was to be of the cats footprints on his chest.”
  16. “A new employee called out in his third week because his girlfriend threw his shoe out of the window and he couldn’t find it. He never showed up for work again.”
  17. “My wife needs to bake a cake.”
  18. “I had no dry socks!”
  19. “I was told that the person was smelling a candle and they burned off their eyelashes!”
  20. “They thought it was optional.”

Boost new-hire engagement and retention (to avoid hearing these excuses) by streamlining your recruiting with JazzHR.  Sign up for a free trial today!

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