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


Was kind of forced into a supervisor role a couple of years ago (no more pay) after we hired about 10 temps, and the first day one of the guys asked if we could pay him for that days work. Obviously its a no, so he said he’d have to take the next day off so he could borrow £8 from his parents (who lived 200 miles away) to put into his bank so he didn’t go over his overdraft limit, and have to pay fines.

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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.

Misread this as call centre and I reckon I could come out with 50 of my own for that, and 50 when I worked in a shop

In truth, I should have just said “Its a call centre / shop, the pays crap and I don’t care”


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.


my labourer kofi once has a day off because he had a nightmare. conversation went a bit like this.

me: why weren’t you in yesterday pal?
him: oh yeah sorry, I had a nightmare
me: oh, what happened, trouble at home?
him: no. I had a bad dream and couldn’t get back to sleep so I didn’t 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