Employee excuses: “I can’t come in, I swallowed a hot sausage”

Now, I don’t get involved with most of that any more, but my HR manager, Dominic Ceraldi, does. From what he tells me, no-one at Pimlico Plumbers seems particularly worried about letting him know when they’re sick (although, overall, we have a pretty healthy workforce).

Dominic said that strict HR laws means that there’s very little you can say when an employee tells you they’re sick. Basically, you are bound to take their word for it, whether you believe them or not!

According to The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development figures, sick days cost the private sector about £12.6bn a year.

While we don’t have a big problem with (unjustified) absenteeism, I have heard a few whoppers in my time when it comes to excuses about not turning up. Here’s a few of my favourites:

  • I swallowed a hot sausage last night and it has burnt my throat so badly I can’t breathe properly;
  • I got run over by a car three years ago and it weakened my bones. So when my dog banged into me yesterday, my tooth fell out;
  • I’ve got a suspected broken back. The doctor said it’s because I’ve done excessive painting;
  • My Dad couldn’t get me into work because his moped broke down at the weekend;
  • I bought a dog – it’s a staffie-bull terrier cross and it’s only four-months old. It ran into the road and a police -car knocked it over and killed it. I need the day off because I’m suing the police; and
  • The toilet paper in the staff toilet is too rough. It has hurt my bottom so much I can’t walk properly.
None of these fantasists were afraid to make the call!

I haven’t heard any corkers like those for a long time. In fact, I’ve noticed this recession has made people more committed to their jobs.

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