Six Good Excuses to Miss Work, Even on Short Notice

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Most people agree that life can be incredibly unpredictable at times, with accidents and surprises happening on a daily basis. Sometimes these events can be exciting, while other times they can be downright detrimental. Because of this, there may come a time when you realize that you simply cannot make it to work the next day, or even the moment you wake up.

Unfortunately, most bosses don’t take “I didn’t want to come in today” as a valid excuse for missing work. No matter what your reason is for missing work, you should always have a few excuses that you can offer if you need to take some time off. When you have a few backup reasons, you can quickly tell your boss that you need a day off work, allowing you to go about with your life without needing to worry about anything.

While coming up with an excuse with a fair amount of notice is pretty easy, it can be a lot harder to come up with one on short notice. After all, you can’t really pull an excuse of helping a family member move when you are mentioning it the morning that you are taking a day off work.

Instead, there are a few other excuses that you can use that are much better and much more acceptable for not going to work on short notice. One thing that you will want to keep in mind is that different workplaces have different policies on not coming to work.

For example, if you use an excuse about a medical condition, some workplaces may require a letter from your doctor confirming that you need to miss a day of work. This is something you may want to look into when you are considering which excuse you should use. With that being said, here are some good excuses to miss work that can even be used on short notice.

1.  Car Accident Happened

One excuse that you can use is that there was a car accident on your way to work, meaning that your car could no longer drive you, or that you are too late to get into work. This excuse can be extremely variable, although you will have to be careful about using it.

On one hand, you can customize the story to fit your situation, since you know how your boss will likely react. You could spin it in the direction that your car needs to be repaired and you need to stay at the mechanic for the majority of the day to take care of it. You could also spin it in the direction that you wanted to accompany an injured person to the hospital.

Do keep in mind that you should make the accident sound somewhat lowkey, as your boss may look at local newspapers and see that there was no accident. Depending on your boss and his or her attitude, you may also be greeted with the question of why didn’t you take a taxi to work. In the right situation, this excuse can work well.

2.  Your Child Got Sick

While this one is only applicable to people who have a child to take care of, this can work wonders for getting out of work. You can say that your child got sick and that you want to take the day off to monitor your child, as any loving parent would want to do.

More often than not, a boss isn’t going to need a doctor’s note about your child being sick in the same way that some bosses might want a note about you being sick or injured. Nobody can predict a child getting sick, making it one of many good excuses to miss work on short notice. You may want to be wary about using this if your boss (or other coworkers) have children that go to the same school as your child that can deny this happening.

3. A Home Emergency Happened

Just as nobody can predict getting sick, nobody can really predict appliances at home going wrong. If you want to miss work one day, you can call into work saying that an appliance at home broke down and that it is creating an emergency.

It could be that your boiler broke and flooded your basement, or it could be that another appliance broke and has caused a catastrophic mess. This is often easy to get away with, especially considering that it is hard to prove what happened. Most good bosses will also be sympathetic, as nobody ever wants an emergency to take place.

4.  You Were Locked Out

This excuse should be used very rarely, but it can be highly effective for getting out of work for a whole day. The basis of this excuse is that you locked yourself out of your home (or apartment), and you forgot something important for work that you cannot get.

This “something” shouldn’t be something easily replaceable, like a pencil or your lunch. You can also spin the excuse as being locked out of your car, but some less sympathetic bosses may just demand you take a taxi if you use this excuse. Because being locked out of your home means that you have to wait for a spouse, roommate, or a locksmithing company to come and unlock the house, it can easily earn you a full day off work. Just remember that this excuse should only be used sparingly.

5.  You Have Cramps

Unfortunately, this excuse can only be used by women. However, it does a good job of getting you out of work, especially if you have a male boss who does not want to talk about such things. With this excuse, all you have to do is play up just how bad the cramping is, emphasizing that you cannot really move or do your work effectively.

Because this won’t require a doctor’s note, nor is it something that people can really predict, as the severity of cramps can fluctuate, it makes a good excuse for short notice when you want to get out of work for a day. The only time it may not work is if your boss is less than sympathetic to the idea of working through the pain, or if you have previously spoken about having minor cramps in the past. It also cannot really be used if you do not have a uterus.

6.  A Large Shipment Is Arriving

This is something that may not always work well on short notice, depending on just how short the notice is. It may not work when you are trying to get out of work the same day, but with one or maybe even two days in advance, it might have a better chance of working.

With this excuse, the main premise is that you have a large or expensive shipment that you need to stay at home to receive. Since package theft is a very real problem, many bosses will respect the fact that you need to be at home to make sure that your supposed shipment arrives and is not stolen.

Unfortunately, this cannot work if you have already spoken about your spouse or roommates being home a lot of the time, as your boss may question why they can’t just receive the package for you. This excuse is also one that should not be used often at all, as most people don’t make these kinds of orders on a regular basis.


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