Lying to your boss so you can leave work early the Friday before a long weekend is as American as apple pie. (A friend once told us.) With Labor Day weekend just hours away, you better get your excuses and office exit-strategies ready. Here are nine proven methods that we, for legal reasons, can’t fully endorse. But they’ll probably work.
Fake sick: This is a classic. If you’re hoping to miss the entire day, go with food poisoning. It may be overused, but it’s also difficult, if not impossible, to disprove. Just don’t overplay it–keep the phone call short and sweet, and don’t go into details about what exactly happened. Remember, the less you say, the less there is to forget or get caught in a lie with later. And if you’re just looking to leave a few hours earlier, say you have a migraine. Like food poisoning, a migraine is easy to fake and hard to refute.
Doctor’s appointment: Another classic excuse for regular workdays. For privacy reasons, your boss can’t really pry into it too your medical history that much, so you can probably get away with one of these a month. That said, what kind of doctor schedules an appointment at 2 p.m. the Friday before a long weekend? A fake doctor invented by a lying employee, that’s who. Save this one for an extreme situation.
Sick dog or cat: If your boss is a pet lover, it should work once or twice.
Family emergency: Use sparingly, unless you have a large and sickly family. You should also be careful about cursing yourself by saying someone died who is still alive: In high school, a girl I knew lied and said she couldn’t go to a dance with some nerd because her grandfather had just died. Not two days later, her grandfather really did die. Spooky.
Say you’re locked inside your own apartment: This might be problem exclusive to New Yorkers and other big city dwellers, but I’ve locked myself inside my apartment several times, as have a few of my friends. If you’re trapped inside your apartment you definitely can’t go to work. Of course, you also can’t go on vacation, so be careful with those boastful Instagram posts.
Make up a fake holiday: Last year, The Awl’s Alex Balk created Happy National Duck Out For A Drink Day, which takes place the last week of August every year. No reason you can’t do something similar—National Drive to the Airport in the Middle of the Afternoon Day, for example—to give yourself a head start on your holiday.
Just disappear: Find the nearest Emergency Exit in your office and make a run for it. Bring any personal items with you in case you get fired.
Blackmail: Technically illegal but if you have any dirt on your boss, now is a great time to use it.
Set a small fire in your office: Also technically illegal but only if you get caught. Use the smoke as a screen and sneak out the back.
Be honest: Just kidding. Don’t do this.