12 Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice

We’re definitely not ones to judge here, but every now and then you may simply need to miss a day of work.

Whether it’s due to an actual sickness, or you drank just a bit too much the night before.

We’ve compiled a list of 12 excuses to miss work on short notice.

These excuses should be used sparingly!

If used too often, your manager may become suspicious and catch on to your patterns.

As always, make a decision on which excuse to use based on your own work relationship and work flexibility.

If you’re on a probationary period or have recently gotten into trouble at work, it may be best to shelve these excuses for another day.

These excuses to miss work are not guaranteed and can backfire.

If your manager finds out that you lied, you could face serious consequences or lose their trust altogether.

However, if used sparingly, and with a bit of confidence, you should be able to get away with it, this one time.

These excuses generally work well as they are believable.

For instance, if you don’t have kids, it wouldn’t be wise to say you have to take the kids to a doctor’s appointment.

When using an excuse to not attend work, it will only work correctly if it is believable and something that can happen.

That excuse isn’t believable and will, in fact, raise more questions.

Doctors Appointment

Perhaps the most overused excuse in the book, and for good reason.

While there tends to be a small level of doubt when it comes to a doctor’s appointment, most managers and colleagues tend to not broach the topic for fear of missteping.

As-such, it is generally the go to excuse for nearly everyone.

You definitely don’t want to rely on this excuse too much.

If overused, your manager may begin to ask for a note from the doctor or your healthcare provider.

However, if used sparingly, it works nearly every time.

Dentists Appointment

As with a doctor’s appointment, dentist appointments are a great excuse to miss work, especially on a short notice.

Letting your manager know that you have a bad toothache and are going to the dentist to resolve it will definitely get you some brownie points and sympathy.

Let’s face it, no one really likes going to the dentist.

And no one likes having tooth pain.

Using this excuse will garner you sympathy and not too many questions asked.

Car Troubles

There are a few things in life which are difficult to avoid.

Car troubles happens to be one of them.

Although this excuse is difficult to use if you’re in a major metropolitan city with a good public transportation system.

However, for the rest of us, car troubles are unfortunately a fact of driving a car.

You don’t have to be too specific when giving this excuse, as most people understand these things happen.

12 Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice

House Emergency

As with owning a car, owning a house comes with its own levels of responsibilities.

From taking care of the yard, to fixing any minor issues, home ownership is not an easy task.

However, sometimes major issues do occur which require professional help.

This can include plumbing, electrical, or appliance issues.

Whatever the case may be, most people will understand as it is a common and frustrating occurrence.

Pet Emergency

If you have a pet, you know that sometimes they get sick as well.

Any good per owner would take their fur baby to the veterinarian, and you’re no different.

This excuse also works great if you have shown pictures of your pet to your manager and colleagues before.

They’ll feel a closer relationship with your pet and will sympathize with what you’re going through.


Childcare is difficult to find, especially at the last minute.

If you have young kids, then this is a great excuse to use.

Letting your manager know that your childcare had to unexpectedly cancel is great for a last-minute excuse and one that is typically difficult to verify.

Sick Child

Again, if you have kids, this can be a great excuse.

Sick children require extra care and attention.

Most managers and employers will empathize with you and hope that they are doing better.

In addition, most people understand that children are often extremely contagious, and they don’t want to catch it.

Major Delivery

Nearly 1.7 million packages are stolen on a daily basis.

This number is quite astonishing and means that it can easily happen to you.

As-such, if you have a major delivery, whether it be furniture, appliances, electronics, or jewelry, then you don’t want to take the chance of it getting stolen.

In addition, most furniture or appliance deliveries require someone to be present and, in the house, when they arrive.

They will need to install the furniture or appliance and get your sign-off once the work is completed.

Family Problems

While we don’t recommend using this excuse too often, if used sparingly, it can work well.

However, it is highly dependent on the relationship you have with your manager and your comfortability in letting them know you are having a family problem.

Either way, this excuse works wonders as most employers will not want to pry into your personal life.

An Accident

Accidents happen and they are, unfortunately, a part of life.

When saying an accident occurred, you don’t need to go into too much detail or specifics of what happened.

Simply letting your manager know that a small accident occurred and that you will be taking the day for yourself should suffice.

12 Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice

Hospital Visit

Rushing to the hospital is one of the worst feelings.

However, most times, doing so is often spontaneous and a last-minute decision.

An easy excuse is to simply let your manager and employer know that you are in the hospital, either for yourself or a family member, and that you will not be able to make it into work that day.

Locked Out of Your House or Car

While this excuse should not be used often, it is one that is somewhat plausible.

Being locked out of the house or your car means you need to either wait for a spouse or roommate, or even a locksmith, to come and help you get back in.

this excuse works because it has happened to all of us and most people can relate to the feeling.

How to Make it Work

When it comes to using one of these 12 excuses to miss work on short notice, it all comes down to believability and confidence.

You should pick a story that you are going to go with and stick to it.

Prepare your script beforehand and try to sound as if the excuse actually happened.

When you call your manager to let them know, stay calm and simply relay the excuse to them.

Don’t make excuses for your excuse or give more information than is needed.

Rather, simply state the excuse, apologize for the last-minute notice, and indicate that you will give them more information once you have it.

If this is your first time using an excuse to get out of work, you generally have less to worry about.

However, if you’ve been missing some time from work lately or are on a probationary period, it may be best to simply go into work.

You don’t want the absence to affect your job security.

Additional Reading

Excuses to Not Attend a Work Event

Professionally Decline a Work Event

How to Decline a Job Interview

All Posts

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