How To Call In Sick When You Need a Day Off

Every one needs a day off now and then. If you are out of vacation or personal time or you don’t have these benefits, calling in sick may be your only option. If you want to learn how to call in sick when you need a day off, follow these steps and you will be able to get the time and keep your job.

  1. Know your employer’s procedures. Each employer is different. Some require a call more than thirty minutes before your scheduled start time. Some require you call your direct supervisor, while others have a computerized time off number to call. You must find out what your employer requires.
  2. Show consideration for coworkers and your employer. Remember that you are paid to do a job. If you don’t show, someone else will have to do your work. If the office is already short-handed and you can go to work, go and take your day off another day.
  3. Make the call. If you are truly sick, call in. Don’t spread illness to your coworkers or customers. Simply pick up the phone and call your supervisor (or the company-designated contact).
  4. Don’t over-explain. There is rarely a need to convince your supervisor that you aren’t feeling well. If your employer has a strict policy, the quickest way to get caught in a lie is to over-explain. Avoid hacking and gagging into the phone to sound convincing... Don’t explain all your symptoms; they've heard it before.
  5. Stick to the simple statement. Say “I’m not feeling well” or “I’m sick”. Be up-front and let your supervisor know you will not be in and why. Let them ask for more details if they need them.
  6. Don’t abuse the system. Sick time is a benefit, not a right. When people abuse it (and people will), employers get suspicious and have to set rules. Few employers can avoid the occasional outbreak of Monday hangovers or Friday sickness. Go to work when you're supposed to, and call in sick only when it is necessary.
  7. Don’t call in if you previously asked for the same day off. Employers are not stupid. Treating them that way may cost you your job. If you request a day off and are turned down, calling in sick would be a mistake.
  8. When you return to work, remember you were sick. Don’t brag about your trip to the beach or night out with your significant other on your day off. Keep your mouth shut and your details to yourself. If people ask how you are feeling, be positive but not energetic. Remember, you were too sick to work just the day before.

At some time in your career, you'll have to call in sick when you need a day off. Don’t stress when you have to make the call. Just follow these steps and the call will help you get the day off you need.


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