Friday, October 09, 2009

Actually Sick, or Just Sick of Working?

While we are entering flu season and people are lining up to be vaccinated, some employees may stay home because they just don’t feel like going to work. According to CareerBuilder’s annual absenteeism survey, 32 percent of employees have played hooky from work at least once this year under the pretense of being sick.

However, not all bosses are pointing fingers, or think that their staffs are lazy. Twenty-eight percent of employers reported that they think their workers are using fake excuses because they are burned out or stressed due to the recession.

Regardless, some employers are vigilant as to their missing people. Twenty-nine percent reported they have checked in on an employee who called in sick with 70 percent requiring a doctor’s note and 17 percent even driving by the employee’s house. Fifteen percent of employers have fired an employee for missing work without an acceptable excuse.

Twelve percent of employees who reported calling in sick said it was because of a work-related item such as missing a meeting, giving themselves more time to work on a project, or avoiding a supervisor or colleague. Other reasons for missing work included a doctor’s appointment (31 percent), needing relaxation time (28 percent), catching up on sleep (16 percent), running personal errands (13 percent), catching up on housework (10 percent), or spending time with family and friends. Nearly one-third of employees (32 percent) reported they didn’t feel like going to work that day.

The survey sample included 4,700 employees and 3,100 employers.

Employers shared some of the more unusual responses they’ve received from employees for missing work. Some of the more creative ones included:

“I hit a nun with my motorcycle.”

“A random person threw poison ivy in my face and now I have a rash.”

“I got sunburned at a nude beach and can’t wear clothes.”

“I got caught selling an alligator.”

“A bee flew in my mouth.”

“I’m just not into it today.”

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