Roughly one-third of American workers have played hooky from work at some point in their careers according to a CNN report but I think this figure is much higher. With so much stress in the daily lives of full-time workers, I would venture to say that figure is way off; it’s more like 60-70% of U.S. workers!
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out we all need an occasional break just to save ourselves from going nuts. sometimes we just have to do what a person’s gotta’ do, right?
Playing hooky from work carries the danger of getting found out and getting fired. On the flip side, if you can get away with it on rare occasions, it can help save your sanity and make you more productive at work. Calling in a sick or personal day is easy for those who have this type of leave available at work but many workers don’t have the luxury. For example, an employee in the public sector can basically take a sick, personal, or vacation day whenever they want as long as they don’t abuse the system whereas an employee in the private sector needs to be more careful. A sandwich maker/cashier at a local sub shop which employs 4 people is more crucial to the success of that company than someone who works for the county. Chances are, that person who works in the small company will stand a much higher chance to get fired if he or she starts calling in sick regularly.
If you are going to play hooky from work, you are going to have to pick your spots and not be overly abusive. Aside from that, you need to figure out what you are going to tell your employer and it better be a concise explanation. If you start rattling on with a long, descriptive story about how you have felt a cold coming for a week because you think your aunt Martha had a cold and carelessly passed it on to you and how you have visited Walgreen’s to get the appropriate medicine, you risk sounding like you are not telling the truth. How embarrassing!
If you are going to play hooky, it’s a good idea to do it on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for those of you who work Monday through Friday. If you make it a habit to call in on a Monday or Friday, especially on a long holiday weekend you are probably risking too much. Business owners can’t stand employees who are so unthoughtful and selfish to leave everybody else hanging at work for their own benefit.
Feminine problems, having diarrhea, a 24-hour stomach virus, food poisoning, and having to deal with a fever are all good, clever excuses that are very difficult to challenge. Just make sure you don’t show up to work the next day with a nice tan looking like you spent the whole day at the beach!
Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend lying to your boss and missing work under any circumstances, but that’s just my preference. It’s simply too risky and with the unemployment rate the way it is right now, getting fired for something as silly as playing hooky from work is not worth it. A better approach is to communicate with your boss and be honest. Most bosses will be understanding if you are a productive worker who needs a break for whatever reason.