“On my way in I had a coughing episode and made myself sick, so I turned around and came back home. My voice is gone and I feel like a mess.
I am working on the follow up from [specific project], so I have plenty to work on. I will be accessible by email throughout the day as well.”
This is the introduction to our new column, “Excuses Excuses”. The above proves that you don’t have to work in a “creative environment” to find creative people. Let’s break this one down just a bit:
1) Coughing episode….unless this episode is a byproduct of a terminal lung disease or accompanied by some internal hazardous bio fluid it just doesn’t sound rational. The kind of coughing that requires a day off is usually preceded by illness. How do I know, you ask? WebMD people! I do my research! (http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/tc/coughs-topic-overview). So the question is: “how does coughing actually make one sick enough to stay home?”….let alone…
2) Turn around and go back home: Yep! This episode of coughing (which can happen from drinking your morning Starbucks too quickly or “swallowing down the wrong pipe”–no scientific proof that the latter can occur), has resulted in someone, who apparently felt well enough to come to work when they first woke up, reversing their course. Let’s see the order of this….wake, yawn, stretch, shower, dress, do hair and makeup, step into the warm sunshine, begin morning commute, cough (episodically), and return home…seems like the right thing to do.
3) My voice is gone: The absence of a voice is huge when you’re a salesperson although many of us have muddled through. I don’t post things that I haven’t vetted so I have it on good confidence that this is a technical person–hence a voice being important but not a job changer. But let’s relate point #3 to point #1. “My voice is gone.” This says: I had a voice BUT my coughing episode erased it within the space of a car ride.
So, the party didn’t wake up with a particularly sore throat (the excuse itself makes me think this person would have divulged that to further bolster their rationale for going home, i.e….’I woke up with a sore throat and then had a coughing episode on the way in”) but coughing created one. This isn’t out of the realm of possibility particularly if you are TRYING to and follow the 5 ways to lose your voice: http://www.mademan.com/mm/5-ways-lose-your-voice.html. So, we can justify the loss of voice as a created condition.
4) I FEEL like a mess: AHA! Here’s the gist of the situation…YOU NEEDED A MENTAL HEALTH DAY! Well, hell, why didn’t you just say this? Even scions of leadership understand the need to step away from corporate madness for a moment. As a matter of fact the better you feel the better you perform and the good “bosses” know this! On another note, sometimes you feel like what you are….this isn’t a mean statement just an observation. Could it be that your issue is psychosomatic and not physical? Sooner or later the powers that be get the sense that these “feelings” aren’t real and will question everything!
5) blah blah “accessible by email throughout the day”. Everyone and I do mean everyone knows that this portion of the excuse is gratuitous. This person isn’t really expecting anyone to reach out and for the most part people won’t! I’m not saying all of the time but there’s a pretty significant chance that this part of the statement is a way to assuage some guilt.
That’s my feeling about excuses. Do I ever make them? Of course! Human beings make excuses. Excuses are a perceived necessity! Let’s just hope that when excuses are made they’re better than this one. To pay homage to this lamest of excuses, the MSW team is looking for the worst or most creative excuses you’ve heard or used!