Question: What are reasonable explanations for missing work?
Marie Stein writes:
As a manager and as a former corporate drone, I will tell you the best, proven advice on this that anyone ever gave me.
Skip the excuses, unless you have a personal relationship with the person to whom you’re providing the excuse to, and you feel you want and need to share it (your house burned down; family emergency; death), or unless it’s indicative of a potential continuing issue that you need help resolving or that could pose issues for others where you work or who you work with (such as a viral illness, or child/parent care issues).
If you feel the need to lie about it, just don’t. Just say you need a day or took a day for personal reasons. (Even if it’s for an interview or a mental health day). It’s always better to tell the truth or say nothing at all, because, frankly, it’s noone’s business. Except for THIS:
Let someone know, as soon as you know you will be a no-show. “Something came up, it’s personal, I’m sorry, I can’t really talk about it. I should be back tomorrow”. And express your apologies. Once. To the person or persons who are most inconvenienced by your failure to show. Any more than that is too much. You have a right to your privacy.
Listen: Why you’re hearing so much about ‘Imposter Syndrome’ in career circles. (Post continues.)
But, people are counting on you to show up. Whatever your personal agenda is, someone trusted you, hired you, is paying you to do your job. There are many, many unemployed people who would be very happy to do your work for you and get paid for it – even if you’re a sword-swallower in the circus or part of a street-cleaning crew – so respect that someone gave you a job and is counting on you to perform. They don’t care what your excuse is, they care about this:
1. If you’re OK;
2. How you’ve inconvenienced them;
3. If you’re going to make it up;
4. How you’re going to make it up;
5. If you’re worth keeping around, after it’s done.
At least, that’s the way I always thought about it.
I’ve sent flowers and cards to funerals, if I couldn’t actually attend; and driven by a assistant’s apartment, knocked on their door and left a note, to find out where the hell they were (on Day 2 of the no-show; Day 3 without communication at most places I’ve worked is formal grounds for termination).