HR Strange But True!
January 27, 2010

The gossip website Gawker has come up with a list of 7 rules for calling in sick when you aren't actually feeling any worse than you do any other day, but some of its readers must have experience with calling in sick with a fake excuse, because they had some advice of their own. All of these tips could help you detect the next faker.

Gawker claims that there is nothing wrong with calling in with a fake excuse for missing work. Gawker acknowledges that not everyone agrees with its argument. So, Gawker created the rules is to help workers avoid suspicion and get away with the fakery.

Here is a summary of the 7 rules outlined by Gawker:

  • Never call in sick on Mondays or Fridays (raises red flags that you are taking a 3-day weekend)
  • Never say you had food poisoning (overused and now raises red flags). Gawker recommends using “strep throat."
  • Instead of calling in sick on the first nice day of the season, wait until the second nice day.
  • Wait for a day that you have an important (but not too important) business meeting that you want to avoid. Your boss and co-workers will think that you must be really sick to avoid such a big meeting, Gawker says.
  • Avoid calling in sick when the weather is bad. Show your boss what a trooper you are by braving the bad weather conditions.
  • When the boss is away on vacation, use it as a “work from home day.”
  • Never use sick days when you are actually sick.

One of Gawker's readers claimed to have never called in sick with a fake excuse, but most of the readers who commented on the list offered their own tip.

Here's a few of their tips.

  • If you are going to be out on Monday, start planting the seeds during the weekend by emailing your boss or changing your Facebook status to indicate that you aren't feeling well and may need to use a sick day.
  • Use an excuse about which the boss will ask no questions. “Best excuse: Diarrhea. Your boss will NOT ask any further questions,” wrote one reader
  • Take two sick days instead of one. “Some manager at some point in my working career said, ‘If you're sick enough to take a sick day, you'd better be sick enough to take two.' And by God his theory actually works,” another reader wrote.

What types of excuses/behaviors are sure to raise red flags for you as an HR professional? Do the tips outlined above "work" at your organization? What's the oddest excuse you've heard? How often do you think employees are faking that they are sick? Tell us about your strange experiences with employee absences at .

Source: Gawker

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