Your New Year begins today

It’s early morning on the 29th of December, all cosy and warm in the bed and you just can’t think of submitting yourself to the pain of your work. After all, it’s a matter of just a day’s off as the next three days are anyway ‘holidays’. But just one person is standing in the way of your exercising the right to bunk office so close to the New Year. 

That person happens to be your boss, who according to officegoers across the world is a bully, intrusive, controlling, picky and petty creature.

So what do you tell him? After all, it has to sound credible enough. “Sir, I am not well today” will hardly wash, as this dialogue has been used generations by generations. While your boss will perhaps allow leave, he will immediately link it with the New Year revelries and can label you a shirker. A lot of people use ‘personal emergency’ as the reason. But this is too vague as it can mean anything from fatigue to an appointment with your hairdresser, and your boss knows it. So it’s avoidable.

Don’t sweat. There are many other reasons that people have thought of, and which have become an integral part of office life. There are two broad principles for this: Think about a reason that the boss finds hard to turn down – something that sounds important, that’s time-dependent and requires you to be somewhere else. And second, make the reason boring so that no one wants to ask follow-up questions.

For example, one employee wrote: “Due to eating at a new place, had food poisoning and vomiting a lot. It also may be an allergic reaction with some food. So, went to the hospital.” HR managers say this kind of message is a sure winner as the person has kept the reason broad enough – it can be food poisoning or allergic reaction. No boss will waste his time in trying to figure out the actual reason. In any case, it’s something that’s typically gone in 24 hours and doesn’t warrant you getting a doctor’s note. There can be many variations of this kind of reporting sick. For example, you are having a terrible toothache and have to visit the dentist who will be on leave over the New Year weekend; and hence the appointment can’t be rescheduled. So basically, you are telling the boss that the problem is urgent but the process of addressing it is time-consuming.

If you have a child, you are set for life. This resource is so great you can milk at least seven to eight excuses for taking leave. “My child is sick” can be used over and over again, without any problem. But if you don’t have a child, replace child with spouse, though that may not be that effective. 

Car problem is another popular one. And a study done by a healthcare company found vomiting was the most acceptable reason to take a day off, closely followed by diarrhoea.

Many people find it convenient to discover a non-existent old relative and make him dead due to natural causes. But it is probably a bad idea and you can use it so many times before you run out of such ‘relatives.’ Besides, you are going to feel terrible if your colleagues shower you with sympathy to cheer you up. 

Some of the reasons given out are so novel and brutally honest that the boss is stumped and doesn’t know how to respond. For example, one of the employees said she “woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.”

But if you just can’t seem to come up with wacko-enough lies to find your way out of work, here are some more solutions for you: Your glasses broke and obviously you can’t see a thing. No boss can deny you leave. Another almost foolproof excuse is a sudden appointment for house-hunting. If your landlord needs to show you round, you usually don't have a lot of say on it.

But do remember that this list of excuses for being absent may help you give pointers but a lot depends on the creativity part – how best you are presenting your case.  You must have the guile and skills to pull wool over your boss’s eyes without getting caught. If nothing still works, there is a solution for that too. Imagine your boss’s face as a punching bag and get started. That’s a perfect beginning to your New Year partying.





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