Much like a free Prada bag or George Clooney actually joining the cast of Downton Abbey (opens in new tab), the ability to leave work for a job interview without having to lie about where you're going is pretty much a pipe dream. And it's one of those weird things: We all do it, it is OK, but getting caught is a nightmare the likes of which gives any working woman chills.
So we've assembled five lame excuses that, no matter how masterfully delivered, will raise eyebrows, then questions, then hell. Don't get tangled up in these messes, we implore you.
1. "My cat Sir Cuddlesworth Fluffypuffs IV just died :("
This one's for the karma-defying souls who are just asking for it, cosmic payback-wise, but are also not considering the fact that one small Instagram slip-up down the road and your cover's blown. For good.
2. "TBH, I had a little too much fun at the happy hour, used a halal-cart Styrofoam tray as a pillow, and snored right through my alarm clock."
Isn't it kind of your responsibility as an employed, semi-grown person to get yourself places on time? The person who pays you to do that would certainly think so.
3. "I have to get minor dental surgery. There will definitely be blood and maybe some gushing, but what do I care about staining my one good suit?"
And this is why everyone sticks with the standard, all-purposes "appointment." This is also why nine out of 10 experts at playing hooky—only for legitimate, professional reasons, we remind you—recommend that you stop dressing like a mid-aughties Olsen every now and then just to throw your coworkers off your scent.
4. "The, uh, heat's off in my apartment, and I have to wait here until the super comes. No, wait! I have lice! Yeah, that's it."
Two lessons here: 1) Practice beforehand. 2) Stick to your guns. The most accomplished liar-liars lay groundwork, rehearse, and stay committed to their BS. So whatever you do, keep your facts straight and don't exhale gustily the minute you feel like you're safe—relief is a dead giveaway that interrogation experts have used to put away ax murderers. Truth.
5. "You see, I've got this growth on my back that I've been meaning to check out because I looked it up, and WebMD said it might be a malignant tumor. But I thought it was just one of those 10-year-old cysts—have you seen that one video where the pus erupts and flows down in little rivulets (opens in new tab)? So gross! Anyway..."
Rule no. 1 of deception: Be vague. The more details, the more suspicious your boss becomes. P.S. As far as health excuses go, we hear UTIs have a weirdly high success rate.
You should also check out:
10 Excuses For When You're Ducking Out Of The Office For An Interview (opens in new tab)
10 Easy Ways You Can Be More Productive at Work (opens in new tab)
5 Ways to Work Better With Your Boss (opens in new tab)
Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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