11 Best Calling Out of Work Text Messages and Excuses (With Examples)

how to call out of work

How To Call Out Of Work

“I need a good excuse to get out of work!”

Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, family emergencies and the occasional lazy day often lead to missing work (or playing hooky).

If you’re in need of a valid reason to stay away from the office one day, here are our 11 best excuses to call out of work. We will also provide you with example email and text messages to inform your boss that you will be off for the day.

Questions Answered

  • What are the best excuses to call into work? with examples
  • Calling in sick text message example
  • Calling in sick email example
  • Can you get fired for calling in sick?
  • Do you have to give a reason for calling off work?
  • How do you fake sick at work?
  • Are there excuses to avoid when calling into work?
  • What qualifies as a family emergency?

Last-minute schedule changes, personal commitments, and lazy days all have one thing in common: they often lead to time away from work and a need to text in sick or with another valid excuse.

Having a sick kid or a pipe bursting in your house are legit reasons many of us occasionally use to skip work. But more times than not, calling into work is due to a hangover, oversleeping, or just wanting to play hooky.

So, what are you supposed to say when you call into work when “I overslept” or “I’m hungover” aren’t going to impress your boss?

Many people question their choice for calling out of work, which is why we came up with a list of the best excuses for missing work (or leaving early). These excuses can be used whenever you have to make one of those difficult calls to inform your boss that you will be out for the day. Keep in mind that these excuses should be used sparingly and only when you are really truly feeling under the weather and need time off.

11 Best Excuses to Call out of Work (How to Call Out of Work)

Keep a few of these reminders front of mind when calling into work to make it a success. Be brief, let them know how you can be reached, apologize for any inconveniences, and fill your boss in on what you were doing that day. This will help soften the blow of your call-in sick text or email conversation!

work Excuse #1 | No Babysitter (or Daycare)

If you have children, take advantage of being a good parent who’s always looking out for them and call off a day of work.

The babysitter/daycare might have “canceled” last minute, which provides an open invitation to work from home or call in for the day. You boss will likely be understanding when you take time off for your children.


  • “My daycare notified us they are going to close today.”
  • “My babysitter backed out last minute.” 

work Excuse #2 | You Have an Emergency at Home

Issues happen, and things that CAN go wrong WILL go wrong no matter what day it is. If you own a house (or rent), you know that household issues are a fairly common occurrence and also a great excuse to leave work a few minutes early.

They don’t typically warrant any deeper questioning from a boss, either.

Text Examples:

  • “My basement flooded.”
  • “The boiler broke, and we are having someone over to fix it.”

work Excuse #3 | Calling in Sick (Family Emergency)

We are dragging your kids into it again, I know! But seriously, children are always getting sick, so using this as an excuse works well for a work sick day.

This should go without saying, but DO NOT use any kid-related reasons if you don’t have any children. But if you have children, they can provide plenty of opportunities to tell your boss that you are taking a sick day.

Text Examples:

  • “My child was sent home sick from school.”
  • “My child has been under the weather the last few days, and I was hoping to stay home with them.”

work Excuse #4 | You Have a Delivery

With the delivery of specific packages (alcohol, expensive products, etc.), you often need to sign or accept in person.

This is one of the best excuses to leave work early if needed or take the entire day off. Mention the delivery was scheduled for (insert time here), and you need to sign to accept.

Note: Your boss might suggest shipping goods directly to the office next time to prevent you from missing work. 

Text Examples:

  • “We have a shipment of____ coming in the mail today that I need to sign for.” 
  • “I’ve been waiting for ___ to show up and FedEx says it should be arriving today. I’ll be out of the office right away but back in after the package arrives.”

“Millennials aged 18 to 34 are three times as unlikely as their older counterparts to take sick time due to financial concerns.”

— LinkedIn

work Excuse #5 | You’re Having Car Trouble

In my opinion, this is one of the best excuses for being late to work. It’s by far the easiest and most utilized excuse most people use (unless you take other means of transportation to work, of course).

Let them know your car didn’t start in the morning, and you are currently bringing it into the shop. Since you don’t have a method to get into work, you can request to stay at home and take the day off.

Test Examples:

  • “My car broke down, and it’s getting fixed. I’m going to work from the shop (or home) until they say it’s ready.”
  • “I’m having a bit of car trouble this morning and won’t be able to make it in today.”

work Excuse #6 | Sick Day (Personal)

From the flu to uncomfortable cramps during a menstrual period, feeling ill is a pretty common excuse for calling in sick to work, especially on short notice. Just text in sick to your supervisor and you can take the day off of work.

Managers won’t typically ask any follow-up questions, but if they do, feel free to make them uncomfortable with the dirty details of how you are feeling.

Text Examples:

  • “I’ve been feeling pretty sick since last night and don’t think I can make it in today.”
  • “My ___ has been bothering me all night and it’s only getting worse. I won’t be making it in today but I’ll be sure to keep you informed on how I’m feeling.”

work Excuse #7 | You’re Going to Donate Blood 

People typically have very little energy after donating blood. Therefore, it’s one of the best excuses to leave work early or take the day off.

Since donating blood is such an amazing thing to do (seriously do it if you can), your boss won’t likely ask any follow-up questions when you take the day off for a noble cause.


  • “I’m scheduled to donate blood at ____ time today. Would you mind if I work from home after?”
  • “There’s a blood drive this morning that I signed up for. I’ll probably finish my day at home after donating if that works for you?”

work Excuse #8 | You Have a Migraine

Migraines can be extremely severe – sometimes making it almost impossible to function let alone stare at a computer screen all day. If you are feeling under the weather from a migraine, you can take sick leave and spend the day getting better.

This is a great excuse to miss work on short notice. Your supervisor will likely understand seeing it would be extremely difficult to perform your job feeling that way.

Text Examples:

  • “I woke up with a migraine this morning. I tried to get ready for work but the movement and light just made things worse. I’m going to stay back today and rest – I’ll let you know how I’m feeling tomorrow morning.”
  • “I was struggling with a migraine late last night and wasn’t able to sleep. I’ve been trying to get rid of it but I’m still not feeling great right now. I’m going to take the rest of the day off and rest – I’ll update you later this evening or tomorrow morning on how things are going.”

work Excuse #9 | You Have a Medical Appointment

Medical appointments are a necessary part of everyones lives. Unfortunately, it can often be tough to find an appointment slot outside of your typical 9-5 work hours.

Managers tend to know and understand the difficulties when it comes to medical appointments so they are fairly lenient on taking time off when it comes to them.

Text Example:

  • “My dermatologist called this morning and said she could get me in today because of a cancellation. It has been tough trying to schedule a time since she’s so backed up so I’m going to take advantage of this.”
  • “I’ve been trying to get into my cardiologist over the last 6 months and they finally called me with a cancelled appointment slot that opened up today. Since it has been difficult to get something schedule, I’m going to take this opening this afternoon.”

work Excuse #10 | Exposure to Covid (or Other Virus)

Contagious illnesses, such as covid, are almost always a good excuse to stay home from work. Most employers don’t want this spreading throughout the workplace so they will often tell you to stay home if you are feeling sick – even if you have only been exposed.

Over the last few years, many employers have developed policies around the handling of covid in the workplace – check to see if your organization has something in place before you take sick leave for the day.

Text Example:

  • “My husband is staying home from work today because he has covid. I have obviously been in close contact with him the last few days so I’m going to quarantine at home until I get my test results back.”
  • “My daughter was sent home early from daycare yesterday afternoon because they had an outbreak of covid in her class. She’s currently showing some symptoms so I’m going to quarantine at home for today and see how she feels tomorrow.”

work Excuse #11 | Caring for a Sick Pet

Many pet owners see their dogs and cats as an important part of their family, so they can provide a great reason to take the day off.

When your pet is sick and you don’t want to leave them alone for 8 hours, asking to work from home or simply taking care of them is a viable option.

With such a high number of pet owners today, it’s likely that your boss also has a pet of some sort and will understand where you are coming from when you ask for time off.

Text Examples:

  • “Pickles wasn’t able to keep anything down last night and isn’t looking great right now. I’m going to take him into the vet to get checked out and likely stay at home to keep an eye on him the rest of the day.”
  • “My cat Winston hasn’t been doing great the last few days and last night he took a turn for the worse. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with him but I’m going to bring him into the vet then stay home to keep an eye on him the rest of the day.”

Text and Email Examples

When you need to send an email or text to your boss that you are taking the day off, it can be hard to know what to say in the message. Here are some example texts that you can send to your boss.

Text Examples to Miss Work

  • “Hi (Manager Name). I woke up not feeling well and will be staying home from work today. I’ll keep you in the loop, as I’m hoping to feel better by tomorrow.”
  • “Hi (Manager Name). I’m not feeling well this morning, and I need to use a sick day. I’ll be back tomorrow if I’m feeling any better. Feel free to reach out if anything urgent comes up.”

Email Example to Miss Work

Hi (Manager Name),

Sorry for the late notice, but I woke up not feeling well this morning and will be taking a sick day to get better. I’m hoping to be back in by tomorrow but will keep you updated if I’m not feeling any better. 

Feel free to reach out if anything urgent comes up. 

Thank you, 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you get fired for calling in sick?

The short answer is YES, you can be fired for calling in sick.

In many states, employment is considered “at will,” unless a signed contract sets out other conditions.

Employment at will means that you are legally free to quit without explanation at any time, and your employer can also fire you at any time without reason.

One practical result of at-will employment is that your boss is free to fire you for merely being sick unless you have an individual or union contract in place that says otherwise (at least in most cases).

Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions. – thebalancecareers.com

Do you have to give a reason for calling off work?

So, is it legal for an employer to ask why you are sick?

While there are no laws prohibiting employers from asking employees why they are calling into work, they are free to ask other questions such as when you expect to return.

The employer also has the right to ask you to require a doctors note following a work related illness or injury.

How do you fake sick days at work?

While we don’t recommend it, sometimes you need to fake sick in the workplace. Here are some ways to fake sick at work from WikiHow.

  • Fake a Fever
    • Make your face hot and sweaty
    • Cover yourself with many layers of clothes and blankets
  • Fake Upset Stomach
    • Display a decline in appetite
    • Keep a bowl or bucket by you
    • Spend more time in the bathroom
    • Pretend to throw up
  • Fake a Cold or Flu
    • Breathe only through your mouth
    • Fake sneezing or coughing

Are there excuses to avoid when sending calling into work text messages?

These are some techniques for calling into work that are considered unprofessional and could even get you fired from your job. Here are a few excuses you don’t want to use when asking for a day off:

  • You are hungover.
  • You are tired.
  • You have a haircut appointment.
  • You forgot you had to work that day.
  • You are going camping.
  • You are having a bad hair day.
  • You simply forgot.
  • You don’t feel like it.

What qualifies as a family emergency?

Family emergencies are typically listed as an unexpected event or situation that affects the health and/or safety of direct family members (children, spouse, etc.).

Two examples include serious illnesses or car accidents.

Can you miss work because you are tired?

While mental health has become a more discussed thing within the workplace, calling in that morning and letting your manager know you won’t be coming in because you’re tired might not fly well.

Instead, if you are feeling rundown and tired from work, chat with your manager about your current workload to see if there’s an opportunity to dial things back. If you still need to take time off, It might be best to let them know a few days ahead so they are properly staffed.

Using a simple sick day is also a valid option here.

Related Articles:

Wrapping Up | Reasons to Call Out of Work

While lying to your employer is frowned upon, there will be days when you need a break from the daily grind of work, and there are several valid reasons to take the day off. To recap our favorites excuses for texting and calling out of work:

  • No babysitter
  • Emergency at home
  • Calling in sick (family)
  • Calling in sick (personal)
  • Waiting on an important package
  • Car trouble
  • Donating blood

Whether you’re using your child to cover up a hangover or making up a mechanical problem to delay going to work, remember to use common sense along the way. Don’t make sick days and other excuses for not going into work become a habit.

If you can, be straightforward with your boss and state the truth. It is equally important to step away from work and take care of yourself. If you are overwhelmed or work is taking a toll on your everyday life, tell them the truth and address it before it gets out of control.

While you’re off, try and stay connected with your team so you have the information needed to get back to work when the time comes (if possible). It’s important to work hard and catch up on any projects that may have been delayed during your absence. This will show your boss that you are still committed to your job, even when you take the day off.

We hope this helps you know how to text your boss that you will be off for the day. We wish you the best of luck in your career!


Note: If this becomes a daily occurrence, it might be time to prep your resume and search for something new! You can also get help from one of these top 11 staffing agencies or look into having your resume reviewed for free here.

Title: 11 Best Excuses to Miss Work

Category: theGuidance

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Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He’s an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author. | Author Profile

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