When you've been up all night trying to process "The Hunger Games" or coaching your dog through a nervous breakdown, you probably don't feel up to going in to work. Just don't expect your boss to understand.
Those are just two of the worst sick day excuses employees used in 2012, according to an annual CareerBuilder study released Thursday.
"Truth can be stranger than fiction," Jennifer Grasz, the CareerBuilder spokesperson who ran the study, told The Huffington Post. "Sometimes the outrageous happens. Whether your employer believes you will depend heavily on your track record and performance with the company."
The online survey conducted by Harris Interactive found just how loosely the term "sick day" is being used in the workplace. According to the approximately 6,500 hiring managers, HR professionals and workers surveyed, 34 percent of employees who call in sick just don't feel like going into work, 29 percent feel like they needed to relax, 22 percent have a doctor's appointment, 16 percent want to catch up on sleep and 15 percent need to run errands.
"Many employers will allow employees to use their sick days for mental health days," Grasz said. "They want employees to recharge and be productive."
But when employee push the boundaries of feasibility, they don't always get away with it. Some managers seem to have some, well, trust issues: The survey found that 29 percent of employers have required a doctor's note, called the employee later in the day or otherwise checked up on an employee to verify that they were legitimately ill. Fourteen percent have even driven by the employee's home to check.
Some employers take sick day calls even more seriously, with 17 percent stating they have fired employees for calling in with a fake excuse.
"If an employer catches you lying, it can put your professionalism and reliability into question," Grasz said. "Your best bet is to be honest."
Of course, if any of the people who supplied the following worst sick day excuses were being honest, they may have been better off faking the froggy throat.