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US: Excuses people make to skip office!

Source: PTI
December 08, 2008 14:32 IST
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Having a job may be the latest status symbol for Americans in these times of massive layoffs, but many still skip work with no valid reason and one in three employees calls in sick when they are not.

Besides, workers conjure innovative excuses for not coming to the office -- such as not wanting to lose the parking space in front of his house or having nothing to wear because the wife burnt all the clothes.

These are the findings of an annual survey on absenteeism by the largest online job site CareerBuilder.com of the United States, which revealed that 33 per cent, or one-third, of workers called in sick to office when they were well at least once in the year.

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  • While a majority of the employers said they usually did not question the reason for absenteeism, 31 per cent of them checked up on an employee calling sick to the office.

    Besides, 18 per cent of employers said they have fired a worker for missing work without a valid excuse, found the survey that covered over 6,800 employees and 3,300 employers.

    In the survey, almost one in ten (9 per cent) workers who lied when calling in sick admitted doing so to miss a meeting, buy some time to work on a project that was already due, or to avoid the wrath of a boss or colleague.

    Other reasons cited for missing work included the need to 'relax or recharge' (30 per cent), doctor's appointment (27 per cent), catch up on sleep (22 per cent), personal errands (14 per cent), household work (11 per cent) or spending time with family and friends (11 per cent).

    Besides, nearly one in three (34 per cent) said they 'just did not feel like going to work that day.'

    Out of the 31 per cent employers who checked up on an employee calling in sick, 71 per cent asked for a doctor's note. Besides, more than half or 56 per cent of employers called up the worker at home, 18 per cent had another worker calling up the employee, while 17 per cent admitted having driven by the employee's house.

    The survey, conducted by global research major Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com within the US, also revealed a dozen 'unusual' excuses that the employees gave for missing work.

    These included: employee did not want to lose the parking space in front of his house; employee hit a turkey while riding a bike; employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but he was 'all better now'.

    Other such excuses were employee saying he donated too much blood; employee's dog was stressed out after a family reunion; employee was kicked by a deer; employee contracted 'mono' after kissing a mailroom intern at the company holiday party and suggested the company post some sort of notice to warn others who may have kissed him.

    Employee having 'swallowed too much mouthwash', wife burning all clothes leaving nothing to wear to office, employee's toe getting injured when a soda can fell out of the fridge, being up all night as police was probing the death of someone discovered behind her hose and the employee's psychic telling her to stay home were other pleas for staying at home.

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