Worst excuses

Inspired by epimer’s crap excuses for working from home - what the worst excuses you’ve used or received to get out of something?

Anything other than the classic ‘stomach upset’ gets extra points for originality

This one’s not even as bad as the time I worked from home because a skip lorry got stuck in the road I was parked on and the street was too narrow for me to do a U turn.


I have used the ‘a school bus broke down and blocked the only exit to my estate’ excuse before

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Somebody was 30mins late because they ran out of medication and couldn’t find any. This medication was paracetamol and they started work at midday. Their previous shift was 4 days before. I’m reckoning that’s enough time to buy some more paracetamol. They lost it when I told them that wasn’t an acceptable excuse for being late.


with my previous manager (who as of today is my manager again) I just used to say I didn’t want to come in and so would like to wfh and he was just “yeah, ok”.
Couldn’t even be bothered with an excuse

Had a really awkward interaction with my old boss once because she said she was off the day before with a “stomach bug”, and we were due to drive to a client meeting together. I said sorry about this but if you had a stomach bug yesterday then you’re quite likely to still be contagious and I can’t risk passing that on to my immunocompromised partner with a chronic bowel disease so I’m going to make my own way to this meeting.

Turns out she didn’t have a stomach bug after all. She told me not to tell the big boss. Think it might have been fertility treatment, in retrospect.

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And…doesnt your shop sell paracetamol?



how couldn’t you reverse out

Couldn’t be arsed


Used to work in a Job Centre and the excuses people would use for not coming in to sign on were incredible.

‘I can’t because of the weather’ (it was mildly foggy)
‘My sister’s boyfriend fell in a canal’
‘I’ve got a headache’
‘I’ve got a trial at Manchester United’
‘I’m adopted’ (not ‘I’ve just found out I’m adopted’. Just ‘I’m adopted’. Dude was 58.)

Many many more, forgotten all the really inventive ones.


Sorry I’m late I couldn’t find my Percy Pigs

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Probably could but it would have to have been the length of a long street. Not sure the highway code would approve.

I used to be in charge of managing attendance at a call centre so I’d be getting 5-10 calls bunking off work every single day. It really is impressive how often people seem to get food poisoning. Best excuses I had were the ones who said ‘I’m just really hungover’ and got upset when I told them they still had to come in.


we had someone not turn up for an interview the other day because they were “too engrossed” in their current work and forgot to attend. they didn’t get the job.


Once used the excuse of ‘sore bollocks’ to pull a sickie calculating that my supervisor wouldn’t believe anyone would be demented enough make this up.

How wrong she was.


also i can never use the excuse “have to wfh, having a sofa delivered” ever again because i had to legitimately use it three times in two weeks (got two, one didn’t get delivered on the first day because they “got lost”) and for about two years any time i wasn’t in the office i got “new sofa eh?” off my manager


I’m pretty much out of the sickie game now, having a toddler requires so many additional days off for sickness / nursery closures etc I’m having to fudge the legitimate reasons for being at home, let alone make up additional ones.

We had a temp who was late once because there was a bee in his room.

Once overheard a colleague take a call from someone calling in sick in advance for thursday. It was tuesday.

Most elaborate excuse has to be another temp who turned up at lunchtime one day saying that his dad locked him in the house by accident and he couldn’t call in because he’d dropped his phone down the toilet and it wasn’t working, so he had to wait for his dad to come home for lunch. He was later seen using the “broken” phone.

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