This is a devil’s advocate, humor based post. I do not recommend you skip work for any event. However, I will admit to using and/or knowing colleagues that successfully used these excuses, but do not hold me responsible if you were terminated because you can’t properly execute a little white lie.
March Madness might be the most productivity sapping sports event in the U.S. In my circle of friends and family, it’s probably the most important of all considering that I live in the geographic confines of the ACC — think Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson — so it’s almost obligatory that I get caught up in the emotional contagion.
So imagine my surprise when I saw that some men are actually signing up for the most taboo of all male elective surgeries — a vasectomy — to have a justifiable excuse for skipping work and watching the entire March Madness basketball tournament from the comfortability of their couch.
Doctors at 21st Century Urology in Orland Park have launched a marketing campaign encouraging men to schedule the procedure during the three days before this year’s March tournament. They’re even offering patients a free pizza to snack on while recovering and a bag of frozen peas to help with swelling.
“I’m booked up,” says Dr. J. Stephen Jones, chairman of regional urology at the Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute. “My schedule on that part of the month filled up very quickly. It filled up ahead of time.”
Yikes! I’m a basketball fan, but not nearly enough to get “snipped” and sit on a bag of a frozen peas for a week.
Less Invasive Excuses to Skip Work
If you’re looking for a few clever, although not entirely foolproof, excuses to ditch work and watch the tournament at the sports bar with your crew, these might be of interest to you.
- Sick, dying, dead relative. If it worked for Ferris Bueller getting his girlfriend out of school, it could work for you. Only problem is, you have to make the dead relative or sick kid excuse believable, so if you’re going to use it, be prepared to have your bluff called. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I have a close family member with MS and I’ve used her as an excuse to get a four day weekend to watch March Madness with a group of devoted UNC fans. I know, I’m going to Hell for doing this, but a former boss of mine was notorious for pulling a Lumbergh (making me work weekends) so I felt a little justified. Please note this is a last minute excuse, so if you’re a bad liar or you’re boss doesn’t trust you, then it’s not an excuse I’d recommend using since the timing will make you appear highly suspect.
- I’m a [insert school mascot] alum! Several years ago, my boss actually took a half day to watch the game at the local sports bar (and made me cover for him) just because his alma mater advanced to the second round of the bracket. If your school gets into the big dance, don’t be afraid to tell your boss you’re a huge fan and you wouldn’t mind taking a half day or a few days off to watch the games. If he/she is cool and you have the sick/personal days available, maybe they’ll look the other way. They’ll probably know you’re checking the scores every two minutes on the web or watching a streaming video feed at work anyway.
- Last minute illness. Of all the excuses to give, this is probably the most abused and least believable. So if you’re going to use it, make it believable. Several years ago, a colleague who was a fanatical University of Maryland fan, purposely licked a piece of raw chicken the night before the tournament began. So when he showed up to work on Day #1 of the tournament, he looked like death itself, but he also had a great excuse to watch the games from the comfort of his couch. I consider this completely irresponsible and stupid, but hey, if you’re a fanatic, there isn’t much you won’t do.
- Emergency repair needed. This excuse is about as questionable as a sudden cold or sore throat, so the standard “my car won’t start” or “baseball through my window” excuse probably won’t cut it. So the more outlandish the excuse, the better. Perhaps something like “my dishwasher sprung a leak” or “my water heater flooded the basement” excuse, which requires your immediate attention, but also requires at least one day of additional repairs. I wouldn’t try this excuse if you have a nosey boss that might ask for photos or other proof that this actually happened.
- Schedule a health related issue. Taking the “Vas Madness” example and running with it, why not do something similar? If you have a medical, dental, or optometry issue that you need resolved and you’ve been planning for it ahead of time, why not tap your health savings account and schedule the procedure to occur the day before the March Madness tournament begins? Something like wisdom tooth removal, plastic surgery, lasik/lasek surgery, etc? Not to mention, this excuse doesn’t have to involve you directly. You can say the procedure is for your wife or child, and you have to stay at home to take care of them during their convalescent period. Sneaky and devilish I know, but hey, it’s effective and scheduled months in advance.
Got any other solid excuses that you’ve used to get out of work for less than ethical reasons?
Photo by Cayusa