Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

3 Unacceptable Reasons to Miss Work

Sometimes I wonder if the saying “life happens” gets abused by employees. Yes, it is true, there are days when “life happens.” Meaning that something or some series of events or circumstances (usually bad ones) happen that are out of a person’s control. But do some people easily abuse this? Is it really that we’re just lazy sometimes? Either way, “life happening” when it comes to being at work is usually irrelevant to your employer- short of a life-threatening situation. Why? Because chances are your employer can think of plenty of other people who would’ve gotten themselves to work under the same circumstances if given the chance. Here are just three of the many unacceptable reasons to miss work, according to employers.

1. No Childcare: Once a person has a child, they can never not be a parent, right? So if you needed childcare once you’ll need it in the future, and if you don’t have a back-up by now you need to get one. Employers know that you have friends. They know you’ve likely utilized more than one babysitter in your child’s life. Calling off work because you can’t find childcare is an overused reason. If worse comes to worst and you really can’t find anyone, then offer to bring your child to work with you and keep them occupied and/or quiet while you’re there- at least until someone can come pick them up.

2. No Transportation: In a previous post, 10 Ways to be a Better Worker, I mentioned that often on my way to work I see a young man walking in his McDonalds uniform to work. Even on rainy days, he walks wearing a trash bag over his head and shoulders. Walking is ALWAYS an option, even if it will take you longer to get there. Friends, family members, biking and public transportation are just too readily available to the majority of people making “no transportation” (which includes a broken vehicle) an unacceptable excuse for missing work. Be ready for work in enough time that if you needed to grab a ride or plan for other arrangements you can do so. If you are going to be running late as a result, be sure to let your boss know prior to when you should already be arriving to work.

3. “I’m just not feeling well”: If you think there is any way you can make it through even just a few hours of a shift, go in. It’s better to have your employer send you home for being ill than to call in yourself just because you don’t feel 100 percent one day. If you’re sick enough to miss work, you had better come back with a doctor’s note. Otherwise, you weren’t really that sick. When in doubt, try it out. Go to work. The worst that could happen is that you may have to leave. At least that way your employer knows you tried your best.

Some of these reasons may actually be legit reasons to miss work. We have all had car issues, and if your car breaks down on the way to work you shouldn’t be expected to hitchhike to work just because you have to be there. However, when you excessively use these excuses as a way to simply miss work, then they become unacceptable reasons to call off work.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by fauxto_digit

Jesika Moffitt

Jesika works as a Recruiter & Placement Manager for a staffing service. She has an M.A. in Corporate & Organizational Communication from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and hopes to teach someday soon.


  • Yes I have friends and family… that have jobs of their own. I agree that if an employee repeatedly calls out due to lack of childcare then it stops being the employers problem. However, lets not pretend that every parent has access to backup childcare or childcare for odd hours. I’ve seen far too many parents with kids older than 8 or 9 simply leave their kids to fend for themselves, which is legal neglect. Parents with kids that are younger bite the bullet and become unemployed like I was forced to do. Such a sick world when there’s so little support for parents that we have to choose between raising our children and our jobs. Children are literally the future; I am raising our future taxpayers, workers, soldiers. It’s unreasonable to treat an employee’s parental duties like they’re fun hobbies or whatever many employers view them as. Children are literally the building blocks of society.

  • That’s rubbish. I never did and never will leave my kids with any child minder,reason is simple- I would never trust them. And I have only one real friend who can I leave my kids with and if she can’t look after my kids for some reason, what can I do, I do not have any family in this country, I’m all by myself