Looking for bulletproof excuses to get out of work at short notice without revealing the real reason why you need time off?
If your boss always questions you or tries to make it difficult for you to take time off, you need an excuse they can’t make you work around.
I’m not here to ask why you need time off or judge you, that’s up to you.
What I am going to do is provide you with a list of 15 bulletproof excuses you can use, I’m sure at least one of these will work for your situation:
15 Bulletproof Excuses to Get Out of Work!
1. Pull A Sickie!
This is the classic excuse for taking time off, whether it’s short notice, an excuse you used before, or one you use often.
You don’t have to give all the details to your boss if you don’t want to, and they shouldn’t try and tell you to come in if you’ve said you’re unwell.
Just be careful not to overuse saying you’re ill and remember what you said was wrong with you if you told your boss what the illness is.
Related – Here is how to tell your boss you will not be coming in tomorrow with examples!
2. Say Your Car Has Been Stolen or Broken Down
If you need to get out of work but can’t use public transport or don’t have anyone who can give you a lift, this is a perfect excuse.
Your boss can’t really ask you to come in if your car has been stolen or broken down and you have no other way of getting to work on short notice.
Saying your car is stolen might tap into their sympathy, but if it’s not true it’s going to be difficult to explain turning up in your car when you’re back!
3. Say Your Pet Is Really Sick
If your boss is a pet lover this can be a bulletproof excuse to get out of work that will resonate with them.
Make sure you sound convincing and have a good story about how your pet is ill, needs surgery, or has just been diagnosed with an illness.
Again, this is an excuse you need to be careful with as it could come back to bite you if your boss finds out you were lying!
4. Say Something Major Has Happened at Home
This is a broad excuse that can cover a lot of different situations.
You could say there’s been a fire, a pipe has burst, your fence has blown into the neighbor’s yard – you can get creative with it.
The important thing is to make it sound like an emergency that can’t be helped and you have no other choice but to leave work or not come in at all.
5. Say You’ve Booked an Important Doctor’s Appointment
Again, using your health is a great excuse to get out of work if you say you’re not well enough to do your job.
If you’ve got a doctor’s appointment booked in, tell your boss and say you need the time off to go.
They can’t really argue with you if you’ve got an appointment booked, and it’s up to you whether or not you want to tell them what it’s for.
6. Blame It on A Family Emergency
This is another broad excuse that can cover a lot of different situations.
You could say a family member is in the hospital, your aunt is coming to stay and needs to be picked up from the airport, or your cousin is getting married and you’re in the wedding party.
Whatever emergency you choose, make sure it sounds like something that can’t be helped and that you have to attend.
7. Say You’ve Lost Your Car Keys
If you’re not comfortable saying your car has been stolen or has broken down, saying you lost your keys is a simpler way of saying you can’t get into work.
This excuse only really works if you can explain why you don’t have a spare set of keys and are willing to be made fun of!
8. Say Your Childcare Has Let You Down
If you have children, this is a great excuse for taking time off work at short notice.
You could say your babysitter has canceled, your child is sick, or you’ve been let down by your childcare provider.
Your boss shouldn’t have a problem with you taking time off if it’s for your child, and it might even make them sympathetic to your situation.
9. Say You Think You Have Covid
This is a common excuse being used right now and should provide a bulletproof reason to get out of work if you say you think you have covid.
Obviously, covid is very contagious so if you stay at work and mingle with your colleagues you could infect everyone.
Your boss has to do the right thing by everyone and let you go home or stay home.
10. Say You’re Dealing with Personal Issues
‘Personal issues’ is another vague excuse that bosses can’t press you on.
If you want to elaborate, you could say you’re going through a breakup, a family member is in legal trouble or struggling with your mental health.
Whatever personal issues you choose to use as your excuse, make sure they sound like something that you have to attend to right away.
11. Explain You’re Feeling Down Right Now
This is a great excuse to get out of work if you’re not feeling well mentally.
You could say you’re feeling down, anxious, or dealing with depression.
Your boss should be understanding and accommodating. Employers need to be sensitive to mental health issues.
12. Say You Have Food Poisoning
This is a great excuse to get out of work as it says you’re not feeling well physically and insinuates you need to be close to your toilet!
It’s not the nicest excuse and you may have to put up with people asking questions about what you ate, how bad you were, etc when you’re back in.
Related – Here is how to tell your boss you have food poisoning with examples.
13. Say You’ve Just Witnessed a Road Traffic Accident
You could use this as a traumatic experience or say you are needed to make a statement to get out of work.
If you say you’ve just witnessed a road traffic accident, your boss shouldn’t try and tell you that you can’t have the time off.
14. Say You’re Volunteering at A Local Charity
This is another excuse that puts your boss in a tough situation.
They’d feel and look like the bad guy if they told you that you couldn’t have time out to work with a charity.
15. Say You Can Smell Gas at Home and Have Called Local Services
This is another bulletproof excuse because if you can smell gas, there is a potential health risk to yourself and your neighbors.
If you say you’ve called local services and are waiting for them to turn up and check for a gas leak you should be allowed to attend to that.
Image credits – Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.