Whether you simply need some time off or you are actually sick, it is never easy to make your boss believe that you need a day. This often makes people ask what to say when you call in sick. There certainly are some tactics to help make the process less painful for you.

What to Say When Calling in Sick


Be Simple

You can definitely try many different things to make things easier. One effective way is to keep it as simple as possible. For instance, you may say something like:

"Hi, (the person you are calling), this is (Your Name), and I am not feeling well today, so I am in no position to make the shift tonight/tomorrow."

You have to understand that there is no need to feel guilty for taking some time off when you are feeling miserable. If you are actually sick, you will be doing your coworkers, your boss, and even yourself a favor by skipping a germ-spreading day in the workplace. It also makes more sense when you have not used all your allotted sick days.


What to Say

You may also wonder what to say when calling in sick to ensure your boss do not think you are faking. The best thing is to speak with your boss on the phone and apologize for the inconvenience. Make sure to keep the call short and never try to oversell it. Yet, do not take your boss for a fool. They can tell when you are really faking it. If your excuse involves something like getting injured at a party, do not expect your boss to believe that.

When determining what to say, the best thing is to stay as honest as possible. You can talk to your boss a day before if you want to take a day off because the stress of work is making things difficult.


Complete the Story After Absence

Aside from the issue about what to say when calling in sick, another important step is to complete the story after absence. If you have actually lied about your health just to take a day off, you need to understand that it does not end up with getting a leave. You need to complete the lie after you have returned to work. You may end up destroying your great story that won you a day off by not covering it properly after you return. Do not overact, but tell your coworkers to keep their distance because you might still be contagious. This may even help you leave early and make your boss to resist their temptation to talk to you about your illness.

Important Principles to Remember When You Are Faking Sick

It is important to learn what to say when calling in sick, but you should also keep a few specific things in mind when faking it.

​Avoid Mondays and Fridays

Friday makes it look as if you are trying to get out of town to have some fun with your folks. Mondays make it seem that you partied too hard over the weekend to make it to the office on Monday. Avoid!


No Food Poisoning Excuse

Your boss may show some sympathy, but they are never going to buy it. You will be better off going for strep throat when faking it. It is contagious and comes on quickly. You can always say that it was just common cold once you return.


​Wait for the Second Best Day

Do not try to take a day off until you really think it's time. Never ask for it on that nice day when it is 65 degrees and you really want to be in your shorts and take a day off. Your boss will know it at once. Wait for the second nice day when it makes more sense to your boss and makes them believe that you really are sick or deserves a day off.


Big Meeting Can Help

Concerning about what to say when calling in sick? Big meeting can help. Make sure it is not a career-changing meeting, but is still important enough for everyone to think that you cannot dare miss it. If you say you are ill on that big day, everyone is going to believe you.


​Avoid Calling in Snow Days

Your boss is never going to believe your excuse because everyone knows how good it feels to behave like an eight-year old when the weather is nasty. The better alternative is to take a 90-minute delay, as it is easier to put all the blame on the weather.

  • Avoid hanging out to some obvious places where there are chances of getting caught. You may also want to avoid driving around in a company car or spending time in a golf course.
  • Never let others find out that you have enjoyed your sick day a lot. This is possible when you return to work with a suntan. It is important to keep a low profile after you have faked a sick day.
  • If you really fake it to turn it into a long weekend, you may actually get sick when you return. If this happens, you are not going to get another day off. So, be sensible about it.
  • Lastly, you should spend some time identifying the real reason why you do not want to be at your office. If you do not love your job, you may be better off looking for a different job.

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