Saturday, January 28, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

We’ve all done it, some of us better than others. Finding an excuse to call in sick when really you feel fine is intrinsic in our culture.
Sure, there are some that will punch in their time card even when they’ve got a pounding headache and muscle spasms, occasionally to keep a perfect attendance record alive, sometimes for pride and often so they don’t miss a chance to kiss the boss’s ass for eight hours.

But that’s not most of us, and so for those seeking excuses advice, here are some handy tips:

1-Any excuse trotted out Monday or Friday is subject to challenge – you’ve got to work extra hard to produce a humdinger if you’re going to earn a three-day weekend. Generally speaking, excuses offered up Tuesday through Thursday are less scrutinized, so if you can set up a mid-week rendezvous – be it a shopping junket with the gals or a hotel liaison with that sweaty Latin from the gym – this might be your best play.

2-Some excuses, such as “I’ve got food poisoning,” have a short shelf life and can be used only sparingly. “I think I ate gluten” works, even if you’re not celiac. This one can be applied a bit more frequently, and with slight variations, such as “I ate cookie dough again.” You probably won’t get away with “my hamburger had mad cow disease” more than once, so use only in extreme situations.

3-Pet excuses are a fan favourite but beware if your dog gives you a cold or kicks you in the eye -- you may have to answer a slew of questions regarding beastiality at the office the next day. Claiming doggy-stress after a family reunion or conjuring up a phoney doctor’s appointment for your depressed goldfish are good ways to incorporate your pet into the excuse arsenal. They work particularly well on animal-loving employers.

4-“I got my fingers stuck together with crazy glue,” albeit hilarious, has a low success rate and just makes you look incompetent.

5-“My biological clock is ticking” or “my wife says she is going to conceive today and I want to be there when it happens,” are fantastic excuses, and good for company morale, as they generate great fodder for the water cooler. And, since no one expects you to nail it on your first try, this excuse can be used multiple times.

6-Some excuses will require you to provide evidence. “I had a root canal” or “I needed to give blood but I gave too much” require excessive dramatization so make sure you’re prepared to play this one for all it’s worth.

7- “When I woke up this morning I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Paxil; I can’t get off the john but I feel good about it” is a good excuse with barely any consequence.

8-If you’re in go-for-broke, I need to have this day off no matter what mode, you can try “my brother-in-law has been kidnapped by a drug cartel in Mexico”, or “my mother-in-law’s house blew up from the shockwaves of the meth lab explosion down the street.” But be careful ... the boss may be inclined to scour the international and local newspapers to confirm these. And make darned sure that if you’re going to make up excuses involving in-laws, you’d better have some first.

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