Economy not helping with employee absences

December 3, 2009

 

By Amy Winter
Creators Syndicate

How many times have you not wanted to go to work? Will you resort to making up excuses, even if they sound ridiculous and far-fetched?

Some workers have no shame and will come up with the most unique lies. Almost one-third of employees have missed work this year at least once when they weren’t truly sick, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey that questioned at least 4,700 workers and 3,100 employers.

Office absences can be blamed on the flu or colds, but the economy may also play a part.

Fatigue and stress from the sluggish economy can cause workers to play hooky from the workplace. At least that is what 28 percent of employers think.         Certain employers go as far as to check up on the employee who is supposedly sick. Those managers took a number of steps by either requiring a doctor’s note from the worker, calling the worker at home, giving a co-worker permission to call the employee or driving by the worker’s home.

Fifteen percent of employers fired an employee for playing hooky without a genuine excuse.

Even if it is tempting to take a day off work, employees should be careful. Some workers called in sick to miss a work-related activity, such as a meeting, or they needed extra time to finish a project or assignment. Other employees decided to take the day off to go to a doctor’s appointment, to take time to relax, to get more sleep, to run errands, to finish housework or to spend more time with family and friends.

Thirty-two percent of employees just didn’t want to go to the office that day.

“Longer hours and heavier workloads are common in the current economic climate and employers are becoming more flexible with their time-off policies,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources. “Sixty-three percent of companies we surveyed said they let their team members use sick days for mental health days. If you need time to recharge, your best bet is to be honest with your manager.”

Employers provide the most bizarre examples of employee excuses:

• I got sunburned at a nude beach and can’t wear clothes.

• I woke up in Canada.

• I’m convinced my spouse is having an affair, and I’m staying home to catch them.

• A random person threw poison ivy in my face and now I have a rash.

• I was injured catching a seagull.

• I accidentally hit a nun with my motorcycle.

• I got caught selling an alligator.

• I am just not into it today.

• I have a headache from eating hot peppers.

• A bee flew in my mouth.

• My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today.

Talk with your manager if you are in need of a break or a mental health day. It is better to be truthful than get caught in a lie. Your excuse may end up in CareerBuilder.com’s next fake excuse survey.

For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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