How to Call in "Sick"

What's the point of having sick days if you never use them? Everyone needs a little me-time every once in a while. And if you're caught, just say you really were sick of work.


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Between crazy bosses and creepy coworkers, it's a wonder you get any work done at all. Here's a little help.


You Will Need

  • A good but simple excuse
  • A phone
  • And a plan for the day


  1. Step 1

    Pick a day

    Decide what day you want off. Try to pick a day where you’ll get out of something unpleasant.

  2. Monday and Friday are particularly conspicuous; the three-day weekend is a dead giveaway.

  3. Step 2

    Decide what to do

    Think about how to spend your day off. Forget going to a tanning or beauty salon. If you show up the next day with a tan or a perm, you’ll be busted.

  4. Step 3

    Decide on malady

    Decide on a reasonable malady, and keep it simple. 'I’ve got a bug' is easier to remember than a long, involved tale of exotic food poisoning. And remember: you’ll have to be 'better' in 24 hours.

  5. Step 4

    Rehearse your story

    Rehearse what you will say when you call in. Repeat your story until you’re satisfied you have struck the right mix of fact and fiction.

  6. Step 5

    Call before office hours

    Make the call before office hours so you get your supervisor’s voicemail, which can’t talk back or ask probing questions.

  7. Play an alibi tape you recorded when you really were sick—and silence any background noise—to leave a convincingly pitiful message.

  8. Step 6

    Prepare to return

    After spending a glorious day doing whatever you like, prepare to return to work. Rehearse your response to inquiries about your health and other questions that might catch you off guard.

  9. If you’re a woman, return to work without a stitch of makeup. This will convince any doubters that you truly were sick. If you’re a man, stay unusually quiet all day.

  10. Step 7

    Find out what you missed

    Once you’re back, make a show of finding out everything that happened the day before, so you can catch up on whatever work you missed. You’re so dedicated!

  11. According to a recent absenteeism survey, 43% of workers admitted to falsely calling in sick at least once in the previous year.