Is that co-worker calling in sick faking it?

Have you noticed more workers around you calling in sick on Fridays or Monday during the dog days of summer?

You’re onto something, according to Monster.com, the employment service.

Monster just released the results of a survey of U.S. workers that found 49 percent admit to calling in sick during summer months to enjoy the weather.

While 51 percent say they never play hooky from work, 8 percent say they call in sick frequently; 11 percent do so occasionally; and 30 percent admit to doing it once or twice in their career.

Monster, which helps people find jobs, said 1,395 respondents took its online survey.

A recent Wakefield Research Study found some of the more creative reasons workers who called in sick fessed up to:

“Gas is too expensive”

“I’m dieting”

“I’m having toenail issues”

“My numerologist told me not to come in”

“It’s Elvis’s birthday”

“All my clothes are in the washer right now, I have nothing to wear”

“Stumbled on the love of my life”

The increased call-ins could be a reflection of an improving economy, according to another study. Bloomberg BNA reported in May that unscheduled absences edged up slightly in the first quarter of 2012, even if they did continue to run well below levels recorded before the recession. The Bloomberg study, however, said it’s too soon to declare any significant resurgence in job absenteeism.

67 comments Add your comment

catlady

July 11th, 2012
6:55 pm

You should hear the excuses parents send in (when they even do!)

phb

July 11th, 2012
10:13 pm

I have heard 40% of sick days are on Monday or Friday! This needs to stop.

Sokak

July 11th, 2012
10:22 pm

We used to call it ” brown bottle flu”.

Sunshine

July 11th, 2012
10:24 pm

I hate when I actually do get sick on a Monday ( or Friday) and call in. I feel like everyone is assuming I’m just hungover instead of really sick.

Sick

July 11th, 2012
10:28 pm

Hey phb. it will not stop.

Mookie

July 11th, 2012
10:34 pm

PHB lol how about you start!

So?

July 11th, 2012
10:36 pm

This is news? Next thing you’ll tell us that men enjoy looking at women.

Stew

July 11th, 2012
10:39 pm

I have not called in sick in 16 years and I am 56. It is not easy and I think I am the last of a breed, a hard working American.

Jason

July 11th, 2012
10:47 pm

In modern office culture where meetings rule the landscape, sometimes you have to call in sick just to be able to get some work done.

IllinoisRed

July 11th, 2012
10:50 pm

This is what the AJC passes off as news? There is a simple fix–change sick days (which you lose at the end of the year if you don’t use them) to personal time off/vacation days. The average worker misses about six days a year due to illness, doctor visits, etc.–just add six days to their vacation allotment. When you treat it as vacation that they won’t lose if they don’t it, then you have a more reliable (and more honest about their health!) workforce. Any company not doing this is beyond old-school.

Okay

July 11th, 2012
10:52 pm

@ Stew,

Yes, you are the last one! :rollseyes: I’m sure you’ve been very productive when working while sick and you were also able to recover faster.

to phb

July 11th, 2012
10:52 pm

Well, let’s see, math major. There are 5 working days during the week. 100% / 5 = 20%. So if you say 2 days (Monday and Friday) account for 40% of all days that are called in sick…that kinds makes sense, right?
It’s a shame nobody else has picked up on this. Way to go, people.
Can’t wait for the post that’s written in all caps.

Okay

July 11th, 2012
10:56 pm

I work 100% of the time…

10% on Monday, 10% on Friday… and 80% the rest of the week! ;-)

Peach Fuzz

July 11th, 2012
10:57 pm

Heck, I’m going to call in sick tomorrow simply because I read this article!

Stew

July 11th, 2012
10:58 pm

You are right. I have been lucky. My worst was a cold that does last a week!

fes

July 11th, 2012
11:01 pm

Stew, how many people did you make sick over those 16 years by going to work under the weather? I bet you’ve cost your employer more money than any occasional sick day or call-in that you could’ve had.

4daBraves

July 11th, 2012
11:05 pm

Calling in sick for no other reason than laziness or recreation, are signs that you are immature and that you can’t handle doing your job. I get it. I have worked at a few places that I could not stand, but I still made it to work everyday unless I was sick. If you don’t like your job, then you need to find one that you enjoy. Better yet, start your own business and see how you like it when employees you count on call in sick for an extended weekend. As for myself, I may not always enjoy the company that I work for, but I do enjoy my chosen career. It’s what makes going to work enjoyable and tolerable at the same time. Opportunity can be found in almost every situation.

Stew

July 11th, 2012
11:12 pm

None I know of. I was always the last to get sick. I guess good genes.

Sick

July 11th, 2012
11:13 pm

All for calling in sick tomorrow say I.

Stew

July 11th, 2012
11:16 pm

I also made it to work on all snow days. Snow and ice are no excuse if you drive slow and you have to leave early to get to work on time.

Atlanta Mom

July 11th, 2012
11:24 pm

@to bhp
Or maybe we did and all just chuckled.

Edubbya

July 11th, 2012
11:27 pm

Hmmmm…We can cut that percentage in half if every company established 4 day work weeks. :-)

Stew

July 11th, 2012
11:32 pm

I would love 4 day work weeks. At 56 weekends are great!

thejama

July 11th, 2012
11:42 pm

Thankfully I have not worked in an office for 8 years. The sad truth is that in every office you have coworkers who cheat the system wherever they can. The odd part is that these are the very people who likely get promotions because the real workers can not be replaced at their jobs. I could never go back to working in an office setting, too much pettiness.

Work Smarter Not Harder

July 12th, 2012
12:01 am

Most people in today’s workforce have been crippled (burned out) by the whole corporate idea of doing more with less. With this decision coming from seniro level execs you find many of those who choose to call out on Mon / Friday having slaved all the other 4 days of the work week and truly at best worked well above the 40-50 hr work week. So give them the extra day or allow employees to have 1-2 felx days per month…when they can perhpas work remotely. With all of the technology we have today it;s beyond possible – grab your laptop, transfer the phn, etc.! This article should have been moreso a wake up call for HR prof to take note and adopt ways that we can encourage & promote those in the workplace to work smarter not harder!

ATL Guy

July 12th, 2012
12:13 am

Thirsty Thursday Drink Specials making people feel sick on Friday mornings ;) No Surprise There!

Stew

July 12th, 2012
12:15 am

thejama , you are correct. I spent my early career at big Wall Street firms (quit one because of this)and the last 1 1/2 years at a big firm and the more you do you become very hard to premote because of value but these days a good job with benifits is important.

Stew

July 12th, 2012
12:18 am

In 7 years I am retiring and moving to the beech bas long as Obama doesnt screw it up!

not just Fridays and Mondays for me

July 12th, 2012
12:20 am

I was really sick when I stayed out and they talked about me; unfortunately, it turned out to be Multiple Sclerosis and it several years before it was discovered what I had and almost cost me my job. So, don’t be too quick to judge when you don’t have all the facts.

HardAtWork

July 12th, 2012
12:22 am

I think employers could do a lot to curb this. Why is everyone acting like it’s completely the employee’s fault. Just think about it, maybe if we could telecommute the employee’s would be happier and never take ’sick’ days in the first place. Maybe if they weren’t worked into the ground your team would actually want to show up. 50% of the time people aren’t even freaking working in my experience. Then they spend EXTRA hours at work to make up for it. People are just lazy.

But who am I to say, I only manage 50hrs most weeks… Probably considered a slacker by my peers.

GSmooth

July 12th, 2012
12:45 am

Work to live.. not live to work!! :-)

Dave

July 12th, 2012
1:01 am

The answer is PTO. Stop this foolishness with sick days.

Rick

July 12th, 2012
1:08 am

IllinoisRed is the kind of person who would call in sick all the time. If you used your personal time up every year and then you get sick you would not get paid. Our company allows you to build up to 1040 hours of sick time before you lose any. After you call in more than 5 times in a year, you should be required to bring in a Doctor’s note. If you are truely that sickly, you need to be at the Doctor’s office. People don’t understand that sick time is a benefit that companies are not required to provide.

[...] News here – The Biz Beat ← Fist-bumping criminal suspects done-in, captured, by social media Cancel [...]

stew

July 12th, 2012
5:38 am

At 56 I also don’t believe in business casual dress OR taking a vacation with my family! I LOVE being 56, I tell every person I meet about my age and manliness at 56. Must be the last of a dying breed. (pulls at suspenders, looks at a photo of his family that moved in with another man and sips on a crusty coffee cup…black coffee only…caffeinated)

Tammy

July 12th, 2012
5:49 am

When you force everyone to work too many hours to start with and don’t allow people to take vacation time, this is what happens. There is no reason to be proud of ignoring your family for work. Work should always come secondary to your life, contrary to what you are always told.

adam

July 12th, 2012
6:07 am

techers should not ever call in sick

stewey

July 12th, 2012
6:13 am

Is this the stroke Stew’s ego forum?

iTeach

July 12th, 2012
6:51 am

@Adam: next time I’m coughing, sneezing, enjoying a runny nose, and have a fever, I’ll remember your post and continue to teach instead of calling in sick. Great idea, right?

StayAtHomeGetWorkDone

July 12th, 2012
6:57 am

I never call in sick, but over the past year my calender is full of useless meetings. I have deadlines that need to be met. I have to stay home so I can get work done. Our HR department sent a time management video to its employees about having “work alone” time. Here is a direct quote from the video: ” If you cannot perform work at your desk, use an empty conference room to get wok done”. Seriously, hijack a conference room because my work area is too noisy with people interrupting me every five minutes. The company will not let me work from home. I call in sick to work at home, be productive and meet deadlines. If employers would let their employees work from home one day a week, productivity would go up and traffic would go down by 20%. Who needs the TSPLOTS bill? However that is a discussion for another time.

DEE

July 12th, 2012
7:29 am

I mind my business not my coworkers. My check and integrity has my name on it…….

Mitt Romney

July 12th, 2012
7:29 am

Im gonna use this article and it’s groundbreaking results to lobby for getting rid of employee sick days. They’re useless anyway, and only the incredibly lazy use them. Congress will be the exemption to this new law, of course.

Thanks, AJC! Woyld have never known this if it weren’t on the front page :-)

Corporate slave in Atlanta

July 12th, 2012
7:36 am

My company seems to encourage such activity. Those of us who show up every day
get rewarded by having to take on the work of the chronic few who call in sick.

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

July 12th, 2012
7:38 am

As long as my congressional district keeps putting me back in office, I’ll take off as much time as I need. This is the only job I’ve been able to hold for any length of time.

Sarcasm 101

July 12th, 2012
7:40 am

I’m pretty sure this behavior is rampant and has caused several small businesses and major corporations to fail. So glad the AJC has brought light to this monstrosity by making it front page news.

Sarcasm 101

July 12th, 2012
7:42 am

@Mitt Romney. This is why you have my vote, good sir. Always looking out for the greater good of the people. I’m sure you never took any sick days at your job; you just have that look about you. Such a hardworking, upstanding American.

Sarcasm 101

July 12th, 2012
7:46 am

Furthermore, I’m 100% certain that the respondents to this survey took it seriously and did not view it as a joke. Just look at the reasons they gave for taking off. Life threatening issues there. So glad people by and large take surveys seriously. These things can become historical fact someday.

Sarcasm 101

July 12th, 2012
7:48 am

I demand that the powers that be at the AJC promote the author of this article, Chris Seward to editor. This was Pulitzer level work.

American Girl with Muscle

July 12th, 2012
7:51 am

I’m in the same boat as Corporate slave in Atlanta. I’ve been in my company longer than most of the people who work in the building (only one that I can think of that had previously been with the company, left and came back, and she is management). People who have not been here as long as me and who are not management seem to get way more time off than I do (I get 4 weeks vacation as I have been here 10 years). People who’ve been here about half that time take a lot more time off every year than I do. And our supervisor has this habit of approving all time out regardless of how it will affect the work load on the ones of us who are here.

Sarcasm 101

July 12th, 2012
7:53 am

@DEE-

You are a sorry excuse for a coworker. Federal law mandates that fellow employees keep tabs on one another in order to produce a more effective work environment and higher morale.

You should be fired and replaced with a goody two-shoe.