“I can’t come to work today because my dog is having a nervous breakdown.”

Jacquelyn Smith, in Forbes cites a CareerBuilder survey showing that 30% of professional adults called in sick when they weren’t actually ill at least once this year. The survey also asked hiring managers and HR personnel to report the most outlandish excuses they heard from employees this year, and a panel sifted through the 2,000 submissions to find the 10 most unusual ones:

  • My toe is stuck in a faucet.


  • “A bird bit me.”


  • “My dog is having a nervous breakdown.”


  • “I got sick from reading too much.”


  • “I forgot I was hired.”


  •  “My dead grandmother is being exhumed for a police investigation.”


  • “My sobriety tool wouldn’t allow the car to start.”


  • “I’m suffering from a broken heart.”


  • “I’m upset from watching “The Hunger Games.”


  • “I accidently dyed my hair orange.”


CareerBuilder’s annual survey on absenteeism reached out to 3,976 workers and 2,494 employers. Next to actually feeling under the weather, the most common reasons employees skip work are:

  • They just don’t feel like going (34%);
  • they felt like they needed to relax (29%);
  • they had a doctor’s appointment (22%);
  • they wanted to catch up on sleep (16%);
  • they had errands to do (15%).

It turns out employers have checked up on an employee by:

  • Requiring a doctor’s note or calling the employee later (29%).
  • Having other employees call a suspected fibber (18%)
  • Having an employee drive by the ‘sick’ employee’s home (14%).

17% of employers say they’ve fired a worker for giving a phony excuse. The article’s recommendation: Learn to be a better liar.