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Best Excuses to Skip Work and Watch March Madness Basketball

Filed in Career , Humor 8 comments

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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


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Posted by CJ   @   18 March 2010 8 comments
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8 Comments

Comments
Mar 19, 2010
8:59 am
#1 Abigail :

Well, in re: health issue you could claim a visit to the dentist. A filling isn’t too invasive but it’s enough to probably get you the majority of the day off. (You could always say they’re not sure it needs a root canal until they get in there, so you need the rest of the day off.)

You could also go with taking a personal day if you have them. They aren’t supposed to hassle you about those at all, I think.

If you’re not comfortable just taking a personal day for no reason, use a family member’s birthday or anniversary or something. Just be sure not to talk about it later when it actually happens. But just say you want to spend the whole day with your wife or celebrating your parents’ anniversary (especially good if they live within an hour or two drive of you, since it’s legitimate that you’d need the whole day).

Honestly, I like the idea of just being frank with your boss and telling him/her that you want some time off because you’re a huge fan. Especially if you have personal time, (s)he will probably accept it assuming you’re caught up on work.

Mar 19, 2010
4:59 pm

Or, if you’re my husband, you just schedule your vacation time for the initial Thursday and Friday games!

Mar 20, 2010
11:24 am
#3 Matt SF :

I think you’re right about the honesty part. I used the story of one of my former bosses taking a half day (along with one third of the entire company) because they were all alums or fans, so if you have a boss or your boss’s boss is cool with it, then just come clean.

Mar 20, 2010
11:25 am
#4 Matt SF :

No way!?! Now that’s some serious fan status.

Mar 20, 2010
7:53 pm
#5 Bytta @151 Days Off :

Make up a weird illness (X1Z8LOL Flu you caught from touching a mad wombat in the park the other day) and tell your boss to send a HAZMAT team to neutralise your desk. Okay, that’s too much bs, but I found that if you stick to your story and go further, people would start believing you :) (a newspaper clipping about the said illness also helps).

That vasectomy procedure is just too much. Oh well, maybe it’s not that bad if it’s reversible. Aren’t they supposed to deposit some specimen before undergoing the procedure? Damn! That’s just hard core fanatical.

Mar 22, 2010
4:14 pm
#6 Matt SF :

Yes, it’s a reversible procedure, but it’s not a requirement to make a donation to the old sperm bank before getting snipped. However, it’s definitely a sound insurance policy, even if you’re not interested in having more children.

People do crazy things when it comes to sports, but this might be one of more hardcore I’ve seen.

Mar 24, 2010
3:13 pm
#7 kt :

i cannot give up my the effectiveness of my guns just because of a little basketball. i would rather say that i was stuck in a time space continuum where i time stood still for the entire duration of the games. much better- i think

Apr 8, 2010
4:55 am
#8 Manny :

It helps if you and your boss went to the same college. You do not need to invent excuses. Just say upfront that you shall be watching the games. He would more probably understand.

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