The Weirdest Excuses People Have Used To Skip Work

If we're being honest, we've all had days where we really did not want to go to work.

But sometimes, there's something actively preventing us from being able to go.

Curious about other's mishaps, Redditor SamanthaWallaceJU asked:

"What's the weirdest excuse you've heard for skipping work?"

Save the Cat (For Real)

"I'm an opening shift manager at Starbucks. These are my favorite call-out reasons (from all different people):"

"A coworker called that she was gonna be late because there was a man sitting on her front step. (I told her to be safe and not to worry about getting here until she felt safe. And if that meant calling out, so be it.)"

"Another called out because she was hungover. Not a lie or a made-up excuse. (I laughed and told her to make sure she drank water and to have a good day of rest.)"

"The last one heard a kitten in a bush on her way in and didn't want it getting hit by a car, so she had to try to save it."

"(I left the store on my lunch to help her because she hadn't gotten it out by then. I am not afraid of getting INSIDE a bush to save a kitten. That's how another employee at my store got her first cat! I literally had to take a sink bath before coming back onto the floor because I was covered in dirt and leaves.)"

"My coworker who has major OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) took it to help her with her own kind of emersion therapy. She has since gotten a second cat and loves being a cat mom. It has helped her with some of her OCD tendencies because cats gonna do what a cat's gonna do, ya know? Lol (laughing out loud)."

"Anyway, I'm sure there's more, but those are my top three."

- AmandaExpress

Let's Be Honest

"'I'm just not feeling it today.'"

"I totally understood where he was coming from."

- ChocolateDrizzle69

Grief Matters

"When I started my job, the only person I'd report to is the CEO of this organization of hundreds of employees. Luckily, she's also the most compassionate and competent person in the entire organization."

"I told her I needed some mental health days because a few of my gaming buddies died over the course of a weekend (knowing that I'd probably have to dip into my PTO because they're not immediate family and bereavement time is usually only doled out if a family member dies), and I felt like f**king crying at her compassionate response."

"She told me, 'Grieving is hard, and family isn't always dictated by blood or marriage. Take all the time you need, you'll still keep receiving your normal paycheck, and you won't lose any PTO. I'll let the team know you're not responding to emails or calls. Rest, spend time with your wife, grieve your friends properly, and just shoot me an email when you feel ready to come back to work.'"

"I wish the world had more people like my boss."

- DeepStateOfAffairs

Caught in the Middle

"I had to call in once because the SWAT team wouldn't let me leave my apartment. I found out later some guy snapped and was holding his girlfriend hostage and threatening to kill her and himself."

"I don't know what set it off but when I stepped outside at 7 AM to go to work, a SWAT dude was outside my door with a rifle aimed at another apartment building and told me to go back inside."

"I snapped a picture out my window of all the cops and sent it to my boss."

- diiejso

Something Out of a Suspense Thriller

"I was working from home so I only missed a small part of the day. Someone had shot and murdered someone. Drove away and then ditched the car and ran up my driveway, around the house, and at some point into the shed according to the dogs that came in later."

"I heard the helicopter outside and then saw police walking around my house with rifles and handguns which is super strange in New Zealand as generally cops aren't armed unless responding to an armed threat. Shortly after the AOS (armed offender squad, SWAT equivalent) were ordering me out of the house to ask if I'd seen or heard anything."

"I was so jumped up on adrenaline and it was surreal while this was all happening to see pictures and videos of my street on the news."

"The police were there all day looking for the weapon (the offender had escaped). They bought dogs and metal detectors. As well as detectives to interview us."

- metalbassist33

That Escalated Quickly

"A new hire sent an email on the morning of his first day: 'Hi, I’m very sorry, but I had to suddenly leave the country and will not be able to come to work.'"

- lovelyb1ch66


"Him: My neighbor was burgled."

"Me: Oh, did you see who did it?"

"Him: Yeah, sort of."

"Me: Do you need to give a statement?"

"Him: I'll be here for a while, I think."

"Me: So what happened?"

"Him: I was caught in my neighbor's house."

"Me: ..... [puts phone down]"

- Jimmyboro


"I broke my ankle, foot, and toes, and sent my boss photos from the ER X-ray room and still got bit*hed at."

- Navaro27

Like a Broken Record

"I used to work with a guy who missed work at least once every other week, and he only had three excuses."

"1. He got robbed and has to be at the police to make a report."

"2. His car was stolen and has no way to get to work."

"3. His car was recovered and has to go to the police to get it back."

"It was over and over, like he couldn't remember that he already used these same excuses several times previously."

"He also worked an on-call schedule and had his pager 'stolen' at least half a dozen times that I know of. They eventually told him he would have to pay for any further missing pagers."

"Then one day he just didn't come to work and didn't show up for a week. Then he showed up and said, 'I have to quit,' and they took him into an office and talked with him a while and then sent him home."

"We were all told, 'Calvin is taking a 30-day leave of absence,' and we all took bets on whether it was jail or rehab. He never came back, though, so nobody won."

- McFeely_Smackup

Think It Through

"One of my coworkers was in the hospital due to CO poisoning, because he used a gas-powered concrete saw in his basement."

"I ended up doing similar work and when I told him, he said to make sure I set up good ventilation, at which point I told him I rented an electric saw."

"Oh, and he's a mechanical (HVAC) engineer, so he should have known better about air quality."

- eaglescout1984

Different Timelines

"I had a coworker come in an hour late because:"

"'There was a flood and this woman was stranded in her car in the middle of the road. No one else was helping her, so I waded through waist-high water to help her get out of her car. I waited with her for the fire department to come, then came into the office.'"

"This coworker was about 5'2" and skinny. She also lived 20 minutes farther out than I did, but apart from that, we took the same way to work every day. She was an hour late and her clothes were dry. I encountered no flood on my commute."

"Seemed suspicious, but what do I know?"

- lapsangsouchogn

Country Life

"My coworker called in because her neighbors bull had escaped and she had to help him get it back in the yard."

- Coconut-bird

Communication Is Key

"My work was very understaffed on runners last season so a bunch of us referred people we knew who needed jobs. One of the girls I referred came in maybe three times, probably not even, and called in for a week because she had school assignments."

"My manager is fantastic with us university students and understands school comes first (especially since it's a flexible part-time job so missing a couple of shifts isn't a big deal), so she didn't mind even though it left is short-staffed."

"About a month and a half went by and I realized I hadn't seen this girl around (I serve so I don't really see them unless they're delivering to my section) so I shot her a message just basically asking her how she's liking the job, mentioning I haven't seen her much."

"She straight up told me she just stopped coming in because she felt bad that she called out and was worried my manager would fire her."

"I told her if she wasn't going to be reliable or if she knew she was too busy for the job, then she should probably just quit because she's just gonna fire her anyways at that point. She agreed."

"I apologized profusely to my manager about it and let her know what she said because I felt terrible for referring someone who wasn't able to make the commitment."

"My manager just laughed and admitted that she honestly didn't even notice because half of the new hires did the same thing anyways and she lost track of who all stopped showing up and was trying to make a list of who did do that so she could let them go and said I didn't need to stress about it."

"I don't refer people anymore. Safe to say we have a much more reliable runner group now too!"

- Burnt_Your_Toast

Too Stunned to Work

"I had a guy call in because he watched 'Ex Machina' the night before and was too disturbed to come into work. I wish I could say I was making this up."

- SoWhatComesNext

Genuine Emergencies

"I worked a night shift that day and made a coffee run as usual. I saw a car on top of a snow mound and a couple of people looking in the car. Well, I’m in a truck, maybe I can pull the guy down."

"Nope. Guy had a heart attack and died while driving. The car hit the mound and got stuck."

"First aid kicked in so I broke the window and performed CPR until emergency crews came. Medics took over, and I had to go with them to the hospital and provide a statement. The nurse called my work explained the situation and got dropped off back to my truck by hospital security."

"I got three paid days off work. It is what it is and life moves on."

- IxuntouchblexI

Life throws all kinds of curveballs at us, sometimes just in time for work.

The best thing to do is to take pictures and document the situation whenever possible, and hope the boss has a sense of humor or empathy.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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