As Americans across the country gear up to welcome 2015, some are worrying about how they can dodge that 9 a.m. or even 3 p.m. New Year’s Day work shift. For many, ushering in the New Year involves a late night, tons of food and, for those who are of age, one or several libations.
But all that merrymaking comes with a price, often in the form of a vicious hangover. In that case, it’s time to formulate a post-New Year’s Eve plan for calling out of work at the last minute.
Everyone deserves a get-out-of-work card now and then. Fifty-two percent of American workers have called out sick without a real reason for doing so, according to a 2011 survey from the Workforce Institute. The other 48 percent were probably too afraid to admit it.
Still, playing hooky the day after a major holiday like New Year’s Eve or New Year's Day is sure to raise some eyebrows. Here are some tips for crafting a more convincing excuse for calling out on Jan. 1 (not that we endorse lying – we just understand that no one’s perfect.)
Use believable excuses. There’s nothing like a poorly planned sob story to derail a perfectly good plan for getting out of a shift. Get your facts – err, tale – straight, first. Perhaps you had a pet emergency and had to rush little Max to the vet? Or maybe the pipes in your apartment burst?
Then there’s the foolproof flu plan. It is flu season, after all.
Whatever story you spin, spin it well.
Drop breadcrumbs the day before. If you’re going the deathly ill route, before calling out of work, leave some subtle hints of your “ailment” lying around. A box of Kleenex, a bottle of Dayquil or a thermometer placed near your work station gives others the impression that you’re fighting something terrible.
Throw in a few coughs, a sneeze and perhaps one or two comments to co-workers about how you hope you don’t get sick, what with the weekend coming up and all.
Use social media to maintain the illusion. “Ugh, wish this flu would just go away,” or, “Really in need of some chicken soup!” are just a few possibilities for New Year’s Day Facebook or Twitter posts that make it seem like you’re really going through it. Get creative, and make sure your posts are consistent with the excuse you told your supervisor.
Don’t wait to make the dreaded phone call. Reach out to your supervisor early in the morning. Sooner is usually better than later.
Although there may be some obvious huffing and puffing on the other end of the line, calling in and having a conversation with your boss is the most considerate way to say you can’t make it. Tell him or her how awful you feel about calling out last minute, but that you wanted to let them know early so that they could plan ahead. See, you’re just being thoughtful.
Be prepared to face a barrage of questions. Have your notes in front of you for when your boss throws a ton of inquiries your way. Anticipate his or her attack and have an answer prepared. This ties in with having a believable and well-thought-out backstory.