In my years of headhunting top talent I’ve helped candidates come up with Quirky Sneaky, Desperate, Slightly Kooky, Yet Effective Ways to leave the office, (in the middle of the day) - especially for demanding executives that need to meet them asap. Here are 10 of my favorites...
1. Family Emergency – Say that one of your family members is sick and has to be taken to the hospital. Tell your boss that you must accompany them and that you’ll be back as soon as you can. This way, there’s time for you to attend the interview you planned for ahead of time. Be confident and tell your boss you’ll be back as soon as possible.
- Sick Leave – If you aren’t feeling well or if you think you need to take a break, let your boss know. Tell them that you have a bad case of diarrhea, which always works, or you can just say that you caught something contagious and it’s starting to spread. Sneezing and coughing obnoxiously always works.
- Allergy Alert – Say you accidently ate something you’re allergic to and you’re going to start swelling up and breaking out in hives if you don’t get out of there. There’s always a chance you ate something bad and is experiencing stomach cramps, so you can make the excuse that you caught an allergy from the peanuts you ate or the iced tea you drank during lunch. Or if you’re feeling nauseous and is having a bad headache, you could use that as an excuse to leave work.
- Memorial Service – This should only be used in desperate situations, but if you have to use it, it should always work. You should know about the interview a day or two in advance, so mention you’ll be heading to a funeral. In the worst possible situation you can say that you have a memorial service to attend and that you just learned about it during the day. You have to act like you’re desperate in order to convince the boss that you genuinely need to go. Note: This is not a good excuse to make so don’t use it unless you are sure you can pull it off.
- House Fire – Everyone can understand that. Say you left your iron/curling iron/stove/water on and you have to run back for an hour before your house combusts. It should get you enough time for an interview. Again, this is not a good idea but if you are truly desperate about that interview, you can tell your boss that you left the water running or the stove on and it is burning as you speak. This will sure convince the boss that you need to go and anyone can sympathize with this critical issue.
- Pet Emergency – People love pets. If you say your dog is locked in a closet or your cat slipped out of the door when the kids left for school and now everyone is crying, it should buy you an hour or two. Even if you don’t own a pet, you can say that your dog locked itself in the basement or your cat has gone missing and one of your neighbours called that they found it lost in the backyard of your house. This may not work, but you can always try it and see how it goes down.
- Traffic Ticket – Say you have a court date to fight a traffic ticket. If you are running out of excuses, there’s always the speeding ticket excuse. Say that you ran over a red light on accident in the morning and you have to go to traffic school to get it settled. There’s nothing more important than making sure your traffic record is clean. You can go even further and say that you got a police report and that you must attend a court hearing later in the day or your points will be taken off.
- Tax Bill Error – If worse come to worse and you’re running out of ideas, say that your tax return bill has an error and you must fix it because the due date is near. Perhaps you have an accountant to do the tax bill for you but he or she made some clerical errors and it needs to be audited. The point is not to make the accountant look guilty but to convince the boss you have to rectify the situation.
- Work from Home – If you are really not feeling well or you are stuck with a sick child at home, you can tell your boss about it and hope that he or she can sympathize with your situation. You can call your boss from home and have a live conference with him, or you can e-mail him directly about your absence and hope for the best. Make sure you tell him you took all your work home and that you’re completing the tasks as you speak.
- Doctor’s Appointment – And finally, if you can’t come up with any other excuse, pull the easy card and say that you scheduled an appointment with your family doctor and that you have to attend it during work. It’s the most common excuse workers use but that doesn’t mean you can’t spin it in another direction and say that you haven’t been to the doctor in months and you’re in really bad physical shape.
Going to an interview during work is not easy, especially if their boss is really demanding, but if you have no other choice, you have to come up with a convincing idea to have them at that interview or you may miss your chance to get them hired in a higher level of profession.
Lastly, I tell candidates “don’t let your fear of being fired hold you down”, as long as you build really tight relationships with your bosses and tell them beforehand of the meeting you scheduled; they may let you go for the day. It’s not easy making up excuses to go to an interview during work, but when opportunity strikes, you can’t let the chance pass you by.
Have you heard wackier excuses? - please share.
By Amos Tayts