When you’re sick, most bosses would agree that it’s better to stay home than pollute the rest of the workforce. But if you had too much to drink last night, take some aspirin and buck up. And if you want to make it a three-day-weekend, you should've asked for a vacation day. Sick days are not vacation days.
Here are nine ways you’ll get busted for calling in sick when you’re not:
Too many details. Stop with the details. A little info is fine, but when you start talking in detail about your Urinary Tract Infection, you’ve gone too far. A detailed description of the meal you ate which lead to your “food poisoning” and what it looked like coming back up is not necessary. These details start to seem suspicious (and quite frankly, gross).
Party pictures on Facebook. It might not be a wise idea to be “friends” with your boss on Facebook for many reasons. But if you post photos of yourself out drinking the night before your "sick call" and your boss sees them, you’re screwed. A casual comment from a friend about the great time you had last night will get you caught, too. Also late night check-ins on Facebook might have your boss wondering why you were well enough for late night sushi, but too sick for work a few hours later.
Going out with co-workers. Going out with co-workers the previous night will get you busted. They’ll be talking in the office about last night and it will get back to the boss. If the co-workers are inconvenienced by your sick call, they might even rat you out to the boss.
It’s Friday or Monday. You seemed fine all week and suddenly it’s Friday and you’re sick. There are some people who are always sick on a Friday or a Monday. Gosh, this seems suspicious. Bosses notice these things.
It’s around a vacation day. Calling in sick right before or after a planned vacation is tacky. Again, sick days are not vacation days.
No visible signs of illness. Showing up at work the next day completely fine without any signs of the hacking cough you had when you called out will seem strange to your boss. It might be better to pretend to have an illness without outward symptoms when you call out. Or come in looking sick and pretending to cough the next day.
Conversely visible signs you were not ill. Example - coming to work with a ridiculous sunburn after supposedly being bedridden with illness.
Assuring your boss you’ll be better the next day. It’s always strange when someone is telling you that they’re really sick and then assuring you they’ll be at work the next day. “I’m sorry, but I just am too sick to make it in today, but I’ll be good for tomorrow.” Really? How can you be sure of that as you call from your death bed? (Alternatively, there's always an idiot that calls in sick 14 hours before their next shift. You're that sure you won't feel better tomorrow?)
Getting your work done ahead of time. Not to discourage you from working ahead, but for those who usually don't ... it's always a little strange when you magically get two days worth of work done and then end up being out sick the next day. It's almost like you planned it.
I'll say it again. if you're sick stay home. If you just need a day off, request a vacation day. Don't lie to your boss.