Hate Mondays? Here Are 16 Good Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice

good excuses to miss work on short notice

At some point in time, you’re bound to lose some motivation and not want to go to work. But you can’t just skip going to the office without a valid reason. Instead, you need to come up with some good excuses to miss work on short notice.

Fortunately, there are a ton of different things you can say that’ll sound completely believable and won’t get you in trouble with your boss. So without further ado, here are all the things you can say to get off work.

Illness or Injury

Being sick or injured are two fan favorites and by far easiest to get away with. But instead of coughing into your phone a couple of times, here’s what you can say to sell the story.

#1. Upset Stomach/Food Poisoning

Saying you have a stomach bug or food poisoning is as genius as it is simple. But it’s best to lay some groundwork the day before so it doesn’t sound fake.

For example, the day before you want to miss work, mention to your boss that you’ve eaten at a new restaurant. Then, tell them that the food isn’t sitting well with you and you’re feeling queasy.

You can also send them an email the night before, explaining that you’re not feeling well. In the morning, just call them, and say that things have taken a turn for the worse and you can’t come into the office.

#2. Menstrual Cramps

Period cramps, albeit clichéd, are another tried-and-true method for getting off work on short notice. There’s no boss in the world that won’t sympathize with you if you’re having cramps, which is exactly why this excuse works.

However, make sure not to go overboard with this one — don’t use it every single month. Keep it in reserve for when you really need a day off or when you’re having actual cramps.

#3. Bruised Tailbone

The bruised tailbone excuse is a pretty unique and versatile one. You can use it no matter if you’re on your feet at work all day or sitting in an office chair.

To pull this off, you just need a short, but compelling story of how you hurt yourself. Some of the old classics include falling down the stairs, slipping in the shower, or tumbling out of bed.

Once you have your story all ready to go, call your boss, and tell them what just happened. You can also say that you might need to go to the ER to get checked out. They’ll probably be so concerned that they’ll tell you to take a few days off to rest and get better.

#4. Sick Child

Your kids will provide you with a wide variety of options for good excuses to miss work on short notice. If you want to play hooky for a day, call your boss in the morning and tell them that your child has come down with something. Also, you can say that your little one has a fever and you need to take them to a pediatrician.

If you think that the flu excuse is too run-off-the-mill, tell your boss that your kids have lice. You can say that they got the lice at school and that you need a day to handle the situation.

#5. Toothache

Another oldie, but goodie is telling your boss that you have a toothache and can’t come to work. Say that you have to go to a dentist urgently and get your tooth fixed.

Also, you can say that you’re having an emergency root canal surgery. Your boss will probably be sympathetic because everyone knows how painful toothaches can be. What’s more, you might even be able to get a few more days off work to “recover.”

#6. Flu or Cold

While not particularly creative, saying that you have a cold or have come down with the flu is a pretty simple way to get off work. Of course, when you call your boss to tell them, you have to really sell it by coughing and sniffling.

If you want to lay some groundwork beforehand so that it sounds more believable, send your boss an email the day before. Tell them that you think you’re coming down with something and aren’t feeling well.

Then, the next morning, call them to sell the story and apologize for not being able to come into work. Also, you can say that you wouldn’t want to get somebody else sick, which will show how caring you are.

#7. Pink Eye

If you don’t want to fake a stomach ache or a cough, telling your supervisor that you have pink eye is a surefire method to get a few days off. If your boss insists that you can work with pink eye, just remind them how extremely contagious it is.

One of the benefits of saying that you have pink eye is that you don’t have to pretend to cough or give notice even a day before. What’s more, it’ll give you the opportunity to take more than just one day off, since you need to “recover” and stop being contagious.

Family or Home Emergency

Some other examples of good excuses to miss work on short notice include family or home emergencies, as long as you’re being specific. Here are some of the best scenarios and situations you can use to get off work.

#8. Flood

One surefire way to miss work and not get in trouble is pretending you’ve had a flood in your home. For example, you could say that a pipe burst in your kitchen or bathroom and now there’s water everywhere.

You could also say that your upstairs neighbor had a leak and now your whole ceiling is destroyed. Of course, if you have a house, you can also go with the classic flooded basement scenario.

#9. Broken Appliances

For the broken appliance excuse to miss work, you have to go big or you won’t be staying home. Saying that your toaster broke and you need to buy a new one does not count as one of the good excuses to miss work on short notice.

Instead, you should say that your oven is leaking gas or that your fridge has electricity shooting out of it. Tell your boss that you have to call a repair person immediately and deal with the situation. If you sound convincing and really sell the story, your boss will definitely let you stay home.

#10. No Childcare

Having a babysitter cancel on you at the last minute or your child’s preschool not working is one of the biggest parental nightmares. But since these situations do happen quite often, they can serve as good excuses to miss work on short notice.

If you have a child that’s in preschool or grade school, you could also say that they can’t go that day because there was a lice outbreak. As soon as you mention lice, your boss won’t ask any more follow-up questions.

No matter if your boss has kids or not, they’ll most likely sympathize with you and let you off the hook.

#11. Family Problems

Now, the beauty of saying you have family problems is that you can be as vague as possible. Once you tell your boss you have a family matter to take care of, they probably won’t ask you to go into more detail.

However, to truly sell the excuse, you should come up with a plausible scenario. For example, you’re experiencing some turmoil in your romantic life and are going through a breakup.

You could also say that your close family member is going through a divorce. Then, explain that you need to be there to help them move out of their home, for example.

In addition to personal problems, you could say that someone in your family was in a car accident. They could also supposedly need to have emergency surgery. More often than not, your boss will be sympathetic and give you a couple of days to cope with the situation.

Some Other Good Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice

If you’ve already used up some of the previous excuses and want to mix things up, any of the following reasons will work like a charm.

#12. Bedbug Outbreak

Now, a bedbug outbreak might sound a bit extreme, but that is exactly why it works.

The first thing you have to do in the morning is call your boss and tell them that you woke up with tiny, red bumps all over your skin. Then, say that you suspect that it’s bed bugs and that you need to stay home to deal with the problem.

Also, you could say that you’ve already called an exterminator and they’re on their way. That’ll most likely reassure your boss that you have a valid reason for skipping work that day.

#13. Car Trouble

Car trouble is probably one of the most overused excuses for being late or not coming into work. That’s why you need to come up with a story that’s compelling enough and that’ll make your employer sympathize with you.

Keep in mind that you can’t just say that your car won’t start in the morning, because there are lots of other transportation methods.

Instead, tell your boss that you were on your way to work when your Check Engine light came on. You could also say that your brakes were malfunctioning and you need to get them checked immediately.

One of the best ways to sell this excuse is to make it sound as urgent as possible. Let your boss know that driving your car wouldn’t be safe and you need to take it to a mechanic right away.

#14. Big Delivery

If you’re really pressed for excuses, you can tell your boss that you have an important delivery coming and need to be home. However, for this excuse to work, you should mention something to your supervisor beforehand.

One or two days before you want your day off, tell them that you’re having a fridge/couch/bathtub delivered. Also, say that the delivery company didn’t give you a fixed time so you might need to stay home the entire day.

If you have a spouse and your boss asks why they can’t accept the delivery, say that they have a big presentation at work and can’t afford to skip it.

#15. Taking the Pet to the Vet

Saying that you have to take your pet to the vet almost always works since most people have a soft spot for animals. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Mention something a few days before
  • Call in the morning of your day off and say that it’s an emergency

If you’re going with the latter, just say that your pet hasn’t been feeling well and isn’t acting as its usual self. You could also say that your pet has stopped eating and you need to take it to see a vet.

Luckily, even if you forgot to do this, but are still looking for good excuses to miss work on short notice, you can call the morning of. Ring your supervisor up and tell them that your beloved pooch or kitty has been throwing up all morning and you have to rush them to a vet.

#16. Donating Blood

Saying that you’re going to donate blood is one of those good excuses to miss work on short notice that’ll also earn sympathy points with your boss. For this excuse, it’s always better to tell your boss beforehand because donating blood usually isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.

So a couple of days before you want to skip work, tell your employer that you have to take a day to donate blood. Even if they ask you why you can’t come into work once you’re done, you can’t let that throw you off.

You should tell them that the last time you did it, you felt extremely lightheaded and tired afterward.

Final Thoughts

Those were all our good excuses to miss work on short notice that work like a charm every time. But before we leave you, a word to the wise here  — don’t overuse these excuses. Sprinkle them throughout the year and try not to repeat yourself. Otherwise, your boss might catch up to your scheme and it’ll be much trickier to get days off in the future.

Amie has a love for numbers and holds a master’s degree in finance. When she’s not playing with numbers or words or pottering in the garden, you can find her in the kitchen roasting her own coffee beans.