15 Excuses To Miss Work On Short Notice: Text Or Call

Only The Good Excuses To Miss Work On Short Notice

To highlight some good excuses to miss work on short notice, we dug through some earlier posts about leaving work early, missing work, and reasons to work from home. We found 15 good excuses to call off work last minute, and organized them into two categories:

Some will work right out of the box, while others, as stated, probably aren’t entirely safe to use on a boss who may be lacking in the humor department.


The Best Excuses To Miss Work On Short Notice

Here are the nine best excuses to miss work on short notice that should do the trick last minute:

1. Family emergency

Excuse to miss work: family emergency

If you want to provide a very vague excuse, you can explain that you must respond to a family emergency and leave it at that. There is no further explanation in this excuse as long as you sound genuine. Most bosses would accept this excuse once a year without raising an eyebrow as long as you don’t have a history of being absent or asking for too much time off.

— Jennifer Curtis of She Cooks She Eats

Download: Email Template To Request WFH For A Family Emergency


2. Death of a loved one

Excuse to miss work: death of a loved one

Taking time off from work and other responsibilities to grieve is understandable. It’s important to give your employer as much advance notice as possible so they can prepare for your absence. Some companies have bereavement policies that allow workers to temporarily step away from their jobs without jeopardizing their employment.

— Josh Thill of THRIVE ENGINE


3. Illness

Excuse to miss work: illness

Here are the best options that likely won’t be questioned:

  • Covid
  • Diarrhea
  • Migraine
  • Fever
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • The 24-hour flu
  • Unexplained illness

Download: Email Template To Request WFH When Sick 


4. Medical appointment

Excuse to miss work: medical appointment

Be careful with this one – some stingy employers may ask for a doctor’s note. But, for the most part, this is a trusted excuse to miss work.

Download: Email Request To WFH For A Doctor’s Appointment


5. Car maintenance/issues

Excuse to miss work: car issues

If you need to drop off your vehicle for maintenance, you must do so during business hours. Tell your boss you’ll finish some work before dropping off the car at three o’clock. It shows commitment — just don’t use it too often.

— Jeremy Dawes of Jezweb

Download: Remote Work Email Request For Car Troubles


6. Home maintenance

Excuse to miss work: home maintenance

A home emergency like the fire alarm going off or a water leak in the basement is a valid reason to leave work early. Anything that requires immediate attention would be seen as important enough to leave the office before the end of the day.

— Anthony Martin of Choice Mutual

Download: Remote Work Email Request For Home Maintenance


7. Getting internet installed/upgraded

Excuse to miss work: internet installation

This one shows up on our list of the best reasons to work from home, too.

Understandably, you’d need to leave work early to deal with internet and cable installation. Network installation often takes place during business hours, so you’ll need to be at home. Don’t try to pull a fast one on your supervisor by asking to leave early from work; let him or her know a few days in advance.

— Tyler Seeger of Retirement Being


8. Jury duty

Excuse to miss work: jury duty

Jury duty to the rescue. You can simply excuse yourself and ask for some leniency on the day. It’s your responsibility as a citizen to become a juror and give your verdict on a case. It’s an excuse everyone can relate to, and you’ll get work from home.

– Fraser Matthews of Netcoins


9. Religious celebration

Excuse to miss work: religious ceremony

Even if your company doesn’t observe the holiday, you should be free to practice your religion. Any religious holiday is indeed a great justification for taking time off of work, and you shouldn’t face harassment because of it. Ask for a day in advance, give it the attention it needs, and have faith that your employer will take care of business without you.

– Adrian Paul of NC CuttingTools



Good Excuses To Call Off Work Last Minute: Text Message Edition

Looking for some good excuses to call off work last minute in a text message or email? Here are 11 options:

10. My kid is sick

As a single parent, relying on school and care outside of school hours to mind your child is essential, particularly when you are employed full-time. At times when grandparents are unable to provide care, taking a day off work to care for a sick child is really the only option.

— Mark Jimenez of Sensible Dollar


11. My pet is sick

Emergency appointments for pets due to a major illness are an acceptable excuse to miss work. Pets can’t take care of themselves; in an emergency, it is necessary for the owner to take some time off to properly take care of the pet. Depending on the circumstances, everything from a clean-up to treatment and transporting the pet to the veterinarian may be necessary.

— Shirley Borg of Energy Casino


12. My sciatica is flaring up

Sciatica was one of my strongest justifications for leaving the office early in the past. Sciatica is a disorder that hurts the legs and lower back. Most of the time, I used this excuse to get out of work early.

— Nicole Pav of Nccuttingtools


13. Gotta pick up the kids

While you don’t necessarily want to take advantage of it, your kids needing to be picked up from anywhere, for any reason, is always the best excuse to leave work early. Employers have a hard time arguing with that reason to leave. Unless it’s the fifth time in as many days that you’ve had “an appointment” for your kid. Then you might catch some pushback.

— Amy Weiher of Weiher Creative


14. Personal emergency

You can always say you have to take care of a personal emergency. If this is truly the case, make sure to explain the situation to your boss before you leave. They’ll likely understand and let you go. It’s not uncommon for personal emergencies to crop up from time to time, and you may need to leave work early to take care of them. In this case, it’s best to be honest with your boss about the situation and provide any necessary documentation to support your need to leave work early.

— Jimmy Huh of JH SEO


15. You need a mental health day

Taking a day off to focus on one’s own well-being is essential at times. Maybe you’ve been working too much or spending too much time at home, and you need a break to get some rest, do some chores, or just unwind. It’s entirely acceptable to need a day for oneself. A day off won’t cure your mental health issues, but giving yourself some extra time off will help you recharge so that you can be there for yourself and your job in a better way.

— Tia Campbell of Practice Reasoning Tests


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