With the arrival of spring, you may find it advantageous to take multiple days off work. In doing so, please adhere to these excuses.
Sickness: In most cases, one-day absences will be granted to "ill" associates without question, assuming they at least try to sound sick when calling. Employees who resort to obscure tropical diseases or seemingly life-threatening injuries may, however, be asked to provide independent confirmation from medical experts.
Personal Emergency: A highly effective strategy since it discourages checkup calls later in the day. Details should be kept to a minimum, although nonspecific references to a child, automobile, pet, or any combination thereof may enhance coworkers' sympathy. Note: Supervisors will not consider "tanning crisis" a valid emergency.
Intraday Absence: It is now possible to skip nearly a full day of work even while nominally in the office. Employees should leave their work area no earlier than 10 a.m. and return by 4 p.m. Please leave a personal item, such as a briefcase, in plain view and your computer running with the Company-approved spreadsheet template. Exercise care not to return with shopping bags, baseball programs, or other telltale souvenirs.
Death in the Family: Do not mess with this one. In addition to its presumptive gall and appalling ghoulishness, lying about the death of a relative, however distant, carries the potential for karmic retribution—not to mention harsh disciplinary action.
Personal Day: The Company allows employees to take off, for any reason, up to three personal days each year. In practice, however, the use of this benefit is frowned upon. Asking to take a personal day serves only to label an employee as a troubled head case.
A version of this article appeared in the Table of Contents - May 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.