19 Low-Key Smart Ways to Get Out of Going to Work Today

You can only use some of these once.


Let’s face it: Every Monday morning, we all wake up with at least a few sad feels as we mourn the end of another glorious work-free, sleep-filled weekend. Even if you LOVE your damn job (kudos), getting out of bed to become a real human again probably makes you consider bailing on your 9 to 5 in favor of quality time with your pillow (ahhh, true love).

But it isn’t so easy to just…not go. You need that coin (and also maybe that mandated social interaction to break you out of hermit mode). Oh, and you also need a legit excuse so you don’t get fired for pretending it’s Saturday.

Obviously, there are very good reasons for not going in: you could be (actually) sick, which is usually the MVP of excuses. A family emergency, a doctor’s appointment, or even a mental health day are solid grounds for staying home, too.

But sometimes, you just want to sleep in, watch a cooking show that you swear you’re going to replicate, and do nothing. If that’s the case, you’ve just gotta work that brain, pick up the phone, and tell your boss, “Yeah, today isn’t looking good for me.” It just takes a faux tailbone injury, a bad day with pets, a broken engagement, or being stuck in a ditch to do the trick. Of course, being comfortable with little white lies (maybe not to a sociopathic degree) definitely helps.

If you’re stuck, here are 19 excuses our readers have used that didn’t cost them their paychecks. (Bosses, if you’re reading this, don’t come at me)

“I just got a root canal.”

“I texted my boss that I had to have an emergency root canal the day before and wasn’t allowed to talk for two days! It worked!” —Pramita, 22

“I fell…”

“I trip over nothing three times a day at work, so my boss knows I’m very accident-prone. So my go-to is always telling my manager that I fell and need to recover at home. One time I said that I fainted outside a train station, another time I fell down the stairs while trying to rush. At this point, my boss is pretty used to it.” —Anwesha, 23

“I have to help my sister move dorms.”

“One weekend I was scheduled to work but my boyfriend wanted to come visit me for the weekend. I called my boss and told him that I had to help my little sister, who’s in college, move into a different dorm last-minute. He thought it was nice that I was helping her, so he gave me the weekend off.” —Yasasvi, 22


“I skipped my allergy pill and rubbed my face all over my dog.”

“Years ago, I had a job interview and wanted to take a sick day instead of a vacation day. The day before my interview, I skipped my allergy pill and rubbed my face all over my dog, knowing it would give me a terrible allergy attack. I spent all day at work pretending my allergy attack was an oncoming cold so no one would question my sick day!” —Mandy, 29

“I have hardcore bathroom issues.”

“I’m a huge fan of the ‘explosive diarrhea excuse.’ Just say, ‘I have a stomach bug’ or, ‘I have food poisoning,’ and let their imaginations run wild.” —Roman, 29


“I’m stuck in a ditch.”

“In Buffalo, we use the line, ‘I’m stuck in a ditch,’ and nobody ever questions it. There are lots of ditches for water runoff, lots of snow, and lots of ice on the roads. If you haven’t gotten stuck in a ditch, you’re probably a shut-in!” —Shayna, 21

“I have pink eye.”

“When I worked in retail and wanted an excuse not to go to work, I said I had pink eye. Nobody questions it, and it’s so gross and contagious that they’re like, ‘Ew, don’t even come in.’ Also, you don’t have to fake a sick voice or anything. You can sound fine and still have pink eye.” —Hannah, 25

“I have to take care of my ‘sick child.'”

“My old boss used to always say that he had to take care of his ‘sick child.’ But we found out he didn’t have any kids and he was always just talking about his dog, who he called his child!” —Ari, 29

“I’ve been up all night with a stomach bug!”

“Here’s what you gotta do: Write and schedule an e-mail to go to your manager in the middle of the night, like somewhere in the 2:30 to 5 a.m. window that says, ‘Hey, I’ve been up all night with a bad stomach bug. I’m hoping this resolves quickly but I might need to call in sick tomorrow.’ Then, send another e-mail before work that says, ‘I’m still not better, I’ll be out today.'” —Caitlin, 25


“My bathtub fell through my ceiling.”

“I decided to take a girls’ trip to Vegas for my BFF’s bachelorette party and told my boss that my bathtub fell through my ceiling and I would be out for three days because of the repairs. He totally bought it!” —Molly, 35

“My fiancé called off our engagement.”

“I wanted to help my little sister move into her college dorm her freshman year; however, it required me taking off a Friday and I had already used all of my vacation days. I called my boss the night before and told her that my fiancé and I called off our engagement and that I needed a day off. She felt so bad about it and told me to take as much time as I needed to mourn the loss of my relationship. I had to pretend three weeks later that we got back together and we were happily engaged again. My fiancé wasn’t too pleased about it!” —Karen, 30

“My cat got stuck on the side of the bathtub.”

“One time I told my boss that I would be late to work because my cat got stuck in the side of the bathtub and I needed to wait for the fire department to get him out—this story really did happen, but a few days earlier.” —Leah, 20

“My little brother shat himself.”

“I canceled a lunch meeting with a client because my crush asked me to get coffee at the same time. I panicked and told my client and boss that my little brother shat himself at school and needed new clothes.” —Rachel, 21

“It’s my half-sister’s grandma’s birthday.”

“I wasn’t in the mood to go to work because it was such a beautiful day. So instead, I went to the Hamptons to start a long weekend and told my boss that it was my half-sister’s grandma’s birthday and that I would be out for the day.” —Ally, 27

via GIPHY  

“My cat is having kittens!”

“I skipped work because my boyfriend surprised me with tickets to see Beyoncé and Jay Z one summer. I ended up telling my boss that my cat was having her kittens and I needed to be there for emotional support.” —Kayla, 21

“My sister is in emergency labor.”

“Once, I told my supervisor that my sister was going into emergency labor and I had to get to the hospital since I lived the closest to her. My boss let me take off two days to be with my family. I don’t even have a sister.” —Dylan, 26

This post first appeared on Cosmopolitan.com