It Seemed Like The Most Far-Fetched Excuse
“I once had a coworker who was constantly late to work with every excuse under the sun. One day our boss basically told him that the next time he was late with some wacky excuse, he’d be fired. Only a week went by before the guy arrived late again.
That time he said, ‘It really wasn’t my fault, there was a house in the road blocking traffic.’
‘Yeah right,’ our boss replied. But it turned out he wasn’t lying; the city was moving a historic house to a higher elevation to prevent damage from flooding.”
His Story Didn’t Add Up And He Was A Known Liar
“I had a soldier who told me his dog was dying and that’s why he hadn’t shown up to formation in the morning. He wasn’t married and thus lived in the barracks where dogs aren’t allowed, plus he told me he was in a different town 45 minutes away so he couldn’t be in for a while.
I didn’t believe him and drove to the town to catch him in his lie, but when I barged into that veterinarian’s office, I saw him crying on a bench while his girlfriend held him. His dog did in fact die and I quietly left and just went back to work.
For the record, this guy had a history of lying/missing formations/faking injuries and was moved to my squad. This incident happened his first week in my squad and I was trying to get him chaptered out of the army. Literally the next week, he lied about his car having broken down so I took the rest of my squad to do barracks inspections. We found his car in the parking lot while he was drinking some brews in his room during duty hours.”
The Dognapping Excuse Seemed Like Her Worst Lie Yet
“Around 2000, I was working in a supermarket with lots of employees, mostly part-time students like me, and the odd few who either couldn’t move on or didn’t have the options. We had one young woman in particular who was the worst liar I’ve ever seen. She’d make the weirdest excuses that were so obviously fake, but somehow she always got away with it. I think her grandmother probably died four times.
One Saturday morning, I was opening the shop, knowing that I’d have to deal with Ms. Liar and her twice-a-week period cramps all day. Unsurprisingly, there was a message on the machine recorded overnight. ‘Hey, it’s Ms. Liar, I can’t make it in today. My dog got kidnapped and they want a ransom.’ End of message, nothing else. What the heck?
I saved the message and played it for the boss a few hours later and he had an instant meltdown and started filling out paperwork to fire her. He tried to call her back but only got the machine. He left a message saying that she didn’t have to bother coming back, etc. A couple of days later, she came in with a police report stating that she had in fact reported a legitimate burglary, that her dog had been kidnapped for ransom, and that they’d spotted a couple of addicts with the dog. It even made the local newspaper with a statement from one of the officers who found the dog. Go figure. The truth of that story kept her job safe for a little while, but she was fired a couple of months later for refusing to come in after she’d mistakenly thought she was off that day.”
He Thought The Guy Just Wanted To Ditch Work Early
“A few months ago, a guy at my work came in one day saying he had to leave early every night for the next couple of weeks to go back to the hospital for an issue he was having that they needed to keep a watch on.
Strange that they would let him go for 16 hours a day (school then work) and convenient that it just so happened to be the time he always wanted to leave before, so I was dubious but let him go just in case. After a few days of this, he brought in paperwork just to prove he wasn’t lying, and I was genuinely shocked.”
His Side Hustle Turned Into A Criminal Hustle
“The Czech head waiter where I used to work didn’t turn up one day and left a garbled message on the answering machine that mentioned the mafia and had a lot of shouting in Czech in the background. He was a known joker, so we figured it was a prank and that he’d be in the next day with an explanation.
We finally found out what went down three months later when a customer he was friends with told us that he’d been earning some extra money doing small jobs for what was essentially the Czech Mafia. They’d blackmailed him into doing bigger jobs (the message we received) which required going back to the Czech Republic, and then the police arrested him when he came back into the UK with a suitcase full of illegal stuff.”
His Clownish Behavior Was Too Ridiculous To Be Believed
“I work at an IT service desk with many fun characters, the most entertaining being a guy who is a part-time clown on weekends (he’s a really great children’s entertainer but reminds me far too much of Krusty the Klown). One day, he called in sick, saying that he hurt himself falling off the couch (or that’s what the person he spoke to said). When another manager asked for some more explanation, he confessed to what actually happened:
He was on his way home from a clowning gig and had to stop at a set of traffic lights. While stopped at the lights, some props moving about in the back of his van caused a giant inflatable bouncy ball to move and subsequently pop the trunk of the van open, and it started rolling down the street he had just driven down. In an attempt to prevent any accidents with other vehicles, my colleague (in full clown get up) started chasing the giant bouncy ball down the street.
The ball kept barely missing his grasp, but eventually, he caught up with it. Since he was running so fast, as he grabbed it, he fell over and got rolled around a couple times before finally coming to a stop. He ended up with a few broken ribs as the most serious of his injuries, and was presented with a certificate during a very public office presentation for ‘the world’s best excuse for phoning in sick.’ When I play the ball chase scene out in my head, I always imagine it accompanied by the Benny Hill saxophone theme. Needless to say, I totally get why he said he fell off the couch.”
He Was Such A Trooper That He Still Called Into Work
“My former coworker at a restaurant got shot in his own backyard. It was a case of mistaken identity: he had bought a condemned house in Portland because he wanted to remodel it. However, someone who knew the degenerates that lived there before thought he was the guy that did him dirty, so he shot him.
My buddy ended up getting himself an ambulance and then called into work letting us know what’d happened just moments after it all went down. Our boss was flabbergasted and thought he was lying at first (even though he’s the most honest person you’ll find) but then realized he was telling the truth when his roommate called in for him thinking he couldn’t call in himself.
The boss ultimately gave him paid time off and set up a fundraiser to pay for hospital costs. We were a very popular local hangout and it only took two weeks to get all the money he needed. He even got out of it with a little extra cash. All’s well that ends well…I guess.”
He Made A Truly Terrible Life Choice
“A coworker of mine at a large software company in a very normal, white-collar job (systems engineer) didn’t show up to work for a week and wouldn’t respond to e-mails or phone calls.
He finally called in and immediately confessed to our manager that he had tried smack for the first time and spent the entire week on a bender. Then he asked if he could still have his job and whom he should call in HR to talk to about finding help getting clean.
All of this was done completely casually and honestly. He ended up coming back to work and being fine for a couple months before disappearing again for several weeks and later calling in to say we should fire him because he was back on smack and didn’t feel like working anymore. It was a really weird situation.”
At First They Just Assumed He Was Wasted
“During the holiday season at a retailer inside of a ridiculously busy mall I used to work at, one of our holiday hires didn’t show up. That’s not unusual for your average holiday hire, so we gave him a call, no answer. Twenty minutes later, another call, no answer. It was like 9 am at that point (an hour after he was scheduled) and he called, sounding tired and a bit inebriated.
Holiday Hire: ‘He…hello? Hello? Who is this?’
Me: ‘It’s your boss, man. Where are you?
HH: ‘I don’t know.’
Me: ‘What do you mean you don’t know? Are you safe? Are you okay? You need to get here.’
HH: ‘I…eh, whew. Uhm, yeah, I dunno. Sure.’
We all assumed he was wasted, threw him on the ‘To-Be-Fired’ list, and went on with our day. Hours later, police showed up and asked if we had seen him. I mentioned we called him and he called back, they asked for the details, and left. We didn’t hear anything else about it.
About a week later (we couldn’t get ahold of him or his emergency contacts anymore), his mother came in and let us know he wouldn’t be returning to work. Then she started crying. He’d had some sort of psychotic break/fugue state and was in the hospital under observation. Apparently, over the course of this break, he had jumped off the side of a balcony, rolled down some hills, crashed his car into the side of a steep hill, gotten into some crazy fight, and was stabbed twice. I ended up running into him four or five years later, and he was happy and healthy. He was on some medication for a mental illness I didn’t ask him too much about.”
His Misfortune Made All The Other Guys Grimace In Sympathy
“When I was a junior officer, a young sailor from my division on the ship called in one morning saying he was in the emergency room at a local hospital. He was a known skate and slacker, so that was a big red flag coming from him.
He was walking gingerly as he came back to the ship a few hours later and told me he caught his wiener in his zipper. I called bullcrap and sent him to see the chief corpsman in sickbay. Yep, he did indeed catch it in his zipper. The chief said it was bad with a lot of stitches, so he was put on light duty for a week.”
He Was Guilty Of Being A Little Freaky
“A coworker called in and said he’d be late to work because he was ‘handcuffed to the bed and the girls with the key aren’t here.’ Are. You. Freaking. SERIOUS?!
And actually, he was! He came in a few hours late, very apologetic, with scratches on his wrists and hickeys on his neck. His boss gave him a high five and said, ‘You know this is still a write-up, right?’ He said it was worth it.”
He’d Really Regret How He Acted Around The Hospital Staff
“I’m a former manager and I once had a guy just stop showing up for work. When no one had heard from him for the second day in a row, I tried to reach his wife to find out if everything was ok. She said he was in the hospital and would be there for a few more days.
When he came back to work, he told the long story of how he was held for mental observation after a trip to the ER. He was up late playing World of Warcraft when he stood up and hit his head on a shelf over his desk. The cut was bad enough to need stitches so he drove himself to the ER since everyone else was asleep.
During the process of getting patched up, they asked if he had been drinking and he told them yes, so they wouldn’t let him drive himself home. He was annoyed and said something along the lines of, ‘I’m not going to kill myself driving back home,’ which was either taken the wrong way or misunderstood because he was put on suicide watch.
He didn’t play nice during the psychiatric consultation so they admitted him for observation basically against his will, and his phone and personal items were taken so he couldn’t call in. After a few days, he decided to answer the questions the right way and his wife was eventually able to take him home. It sounded like a pretty terrifying ordeal.”
It Sounded Like A Hardy Boys Plot Line
“A troubled employee (always late, always had bad excuses) who worked for my uncle was on his last warning. One day he just didn’t show up to work at all. A couple days went by and my uncle thought to himself, ‘Well, he probably got smart and knew he was on his way out anyway. If he does ever come back, though, I’ll fire him.’
Shortly after that, the guy showed up and started begging and pleading for his job back. His excuse was that he was kidnapped and tied up in a cave. My uncle was like, ‘Dude, no, you’re fired and you’re crazy.’
The next morning, he was eating breakfast and opened up the newspaper, and sure enough, there was the guy getting pulled out of a cave with the headline: ‘Man robbed and kidnapped, left in cave to die.’
So my uncle, in utter disbelief, called the guy and gave him his job back. Not two months later, he ended up getting himself fired for other reasons, but the cave story was true.”
His Employee Turned Out To Be A Total Perv
“I was a manager at a call center a few years back. One day, we had something like seven employees all show up late to work for the morning shift. Being that they all walked in together and they were all younger guys, I initially assumed they had been goofing around before work and figured that by coming in together, the punishment would be less severe on them as a group. So I called them into a training room and brought in another manager and a girl from the office to serve as witnesses, as per company policy.
‘So which one of you wants to tell me why all of you are strolling in here almost an hour late?’ I asked in my stern manager voice.
‘It ain’t our fault! We was on the bus with Percy and he started jacking off to this little girl and the cops got called and the bus pulled over and we had to end up walking the rest of the way here because we didn’t even know if they was going to send another bus,’ answered one of the group.
I sat there, dumbfounded as I tried to make some logical sense of what I’d just been told. Then the other manager leaned over and discretely said to me, ‘They are probably telling the truth. These guys are all living in a halfway house as part of a prison release program. That’s why they all ride the bus together.’
Then the admin girl turned to me and said, ‘Yeah, and that Percy is nasty.’
I immediately dismissed them and told them to get back to work. Then I had a talk with the office recruiters and verified that yes, we do a lot of recruiting for our office at halfway houses. The next day, everyone in the office was talking about how Percy was on the news the night before because he was arrested for lewd contact involving a minor.”
He Got His Just Desserts For Being A Swindler
“Sunday night my driver called (this was in East Africa so having a work driver is normal) to say that he was in jail and asked if I’d come to the police station in the morning if I didn’t mind.
It turned out that the previous general manager (I was the current general manager) had asked the driver to handle renting out his property after he left the country and they would split the profits.
Apparently, the driver had hoodwinked some prospective tenant and stolen his money that was supposed to go to home repairs so he could do repairs on some other property. The prospective tenant then called his friend (the police chief) to have the driver informally arrested. Then they used him to get to the general manager who owed him the money. We spent hours working everything out, negotiating with the police, and paying $1,000 to the prospective tenant. We didn’t end up firing the guy but we should have.
That was actually the second time I had an employee ‘informally’ arrested while I was there. The first time was when the guy’s cousin came by and said he couldn’t make it in because he was swept up in some bogus mass arrest to make a general feel happy after his mistress had a phone stolen. 60 people were arrested over a phone because the general was having relations with on the side. A German man was beaten by the police for trying to stand up to them. I wasn’t there, but all accounts said it was insane. When I went into the police station, there were at least 30 national IDs in the trash. They literally threw out people’s IDs; I should have taken some as proof. IDs can take months to replace and in the meantime, you’re illegal (even locals). It was such bullcrap.”
It Seemed Like His Most Ridiculous Excuse Yet
“I used to work with a guy who would show up 5-10 minutes late to almost every shift. He always had some silly excuse about how it wasn’t his fault (ie late bus, traffic, broken bike, etc). He lived in an apartment complex across the street, so I don’t think the commute was the issue, he was just really bad at keeping an eye on the clock. This went on for months until he finally just didn’t show up one day. Sick of his crap, I ended up texting him a snide comment like, ‘What happened, you get hit by a bus or something?’
That’s exactly what happened. He was biking to work, crossed an intersection, and got hit by a bus. Months of bullcrap excuses lead to one really, really legitimate one. Sorry about those ribs, Luke.”