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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.


  • Step 1: Pick a day Decide what day you want off. Try to pick a day where you’ll get out of something unpleasant.
  • TIP: Monday and Friday are particularly conspicuous; the three-day weekend is a dead giveaway.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Play an alibi tape you recorded when you really were sick—and silence any background noise—to leave a convincingly pitiful message.
  • 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.
  • TIP: 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.
  • 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!
  • FACT: According to a recent absenteeism survey, 43% of workers admitted to falsely calling in sick at least once in the previous year.

You Will Need

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

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