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7 Best Excuses for Leaving Work Early

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Working the daily grind is a way of life, and it usually means spending 40 hours or more time every week in the workforce. Sometimes, that might just not work with your schedule. So, on days when you need to be absent from the workforce, what are legitimate reasons to do so, or at the very least, what can you tell your boss to get him or her to accept it?

1. Stomach issues

Nausea, an upset stomach, diarrhea, or any combination of those are good excuses for getting out of work early because people don’t usually ask too many questions, other than “was it something you ate?” But beware: if you plan on going out and you run into a co-worker or your boss you are going to be in big trouble! As well, use it sparingly. Using this as an excuse too frequently can raise suspicion and distrust between you and your boss, and create tension or gossip amongst your colleagues.

2. An appointment

Appointment excuses for leaving work early may not be effective with every boss, but keeping it vague with “an appointment” makes it sound like you are doing something important and/or private. Many bosses won’t force you to go into details, and it leaves less details for you to have to remember if there isn’t really an appointment. For instance, if you specify a dentist appointment to cut out of work early for something else, but then you actually have to go to the dentist shortly after, you may inadvertently raise concern about the health of your teeth. Don’t give people a reason to ask questions – keep it as vague as possible.

3. Family is in town

This is one of the best excuses for leaving work early if you plan it a little bit in advance. It is suspicious if you ask your boss at 3:30 p.m. on a Friday if you can take off early because your great aunt is in town. You probably should and would know if family is coming into town, so say something earlier in the week. If not, you could always say it is family you haven’t spoken to in a long time and they only just let you know, however that also makes it less of a worthy excuse to leave work early, since they aren’t very close family members.

4. A sick child or family member

Parenting doesn’t stop just because you have a job, and your boss will recognize that. As such, the easiest family member to use to get out of work early is a child, since they would require someone to go pick them up from school or daycare if they were to suddenly fall ill. Another option could be an elderly family member, like a parent or grandparent who cannot drive themselves to the doctor. Most other family members – like a spouse or sibling – would have to have a pretty severe illness to warrant your leaving work early, so it isn’t recommended that you use them if you’re just trying to play hooky.

5. You are receiving a delivery or service

An easy excuse to get out of work a couple hours early is to say that you have a delivery or service provider coming to your home. This could include a lot of things, like a new appliance or piece of furniture, or it could also include internet provider, plumber, electrician, or other service provider who may need to fix or install something. These types of services will often give you a four hour block within which they will be arriving, so it is logical that you would have to be home for that.

6. You’re just really struggling today

Mental health has become a topic of importance in recent years, and many bosses will actually be very understanding if you explain that you really just need to dip out of work a couple hours early because you’re having a rough day, and you need to take care of your mental health. Try not to use this too often, but of all the excuses, it is the most honest, and will leave you with less to explain later on. It may also improve your relationship with your boss, since you are being open and honest about your needs.

7. Last ditch options

If no other options are going to work, and you’re desperate for something, you could go with an excuse that’s a little more dramatic. You can claim that you received notice that there is a “big emergency”, that someone close to you was in a bad accident, or that your home is in danger. However, these types of excuses are going to need some detailed explanations, and people will probably have follow-up questions. If you’re going to go for big lies, be prepared to keep them going forever. And that’s not always easy to do.