Bulletproof Excuses To Get Out Of Work On Short Notice

One thing is to call in and give an excuse to miss work; the other is to make it believable.

We’ve all been there: a last-minute emergency arises and we need to miss work. Whether it’s a sick child, a car breakdown, or a personal emergency, sometimes it’s impossible to give our employers advanced notice. In these situations, it’s important to have a good excuse to give your boss. 

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing 10 good and believable excuses for missing work on short notice. There’s no need for fake excuses to get out of work when you can be genuine about it. The excuses in this post are valid and understandable, and they can help you avoid any negative consequences with your employer. 

Remember, it’s always best, to be honest, and upfront with your employer. In most cases, they will be understanding and willing to work with you. However, if you are consistently using these excuses, it may be viewed as unusual a lack of commitment to your job, which could affect your employment.

In as much as you have considerations for what negative impact your absence can cause, it is also important that you pay attention to emergencies that can happen at the last minute and prompt you to call in on the short notice.

Examples of bulletproof excuses to miss work on short notice

Below are examples of excuses to give at work on short notice.

1. Call in sick message sample

“I’m feeling sick and need to see a doctor.”

It is always a valid excuse to miss work if you are feeling sick and need medical attention. Your employer will understand the importance of taking care of your health.

2. Family emergency excuses for a sick child

“My child/family member is sick and I need to take care of them.”

If you have a sick child or family member who needs your care, this is a valid excuse for missing work. Employers usually understand that family comes first.

3. Appointment with a dentist that you almost forgot

“I have a dentist/doctor appointment that I completely forgot about.”

These types of appointments are important and can often be scheduled on short notice, making it a valid excuse for missing work.

Related: How Do You Deal With Career Choices?

4. Car breakdown

“My car broke down and I need to take it to the mechanic.”

A car breakdown can be unexpected and can happen on short notice, making it a valid excuse for missing work.

5. Personal emergency excuses

“I have to attend a last-minute personal matter/emergency.”

Sometimes personal matters or emergencies arise unexpectedly and require immediate attention. Employers will understand the importance of attending to these matters. For clarity purposes, you may have to explain what happened afterward.

6. Death of a loved one

“I’m experiencing a family bereavement and need to take time off.”

Losing a loved one can be a difficult time, and employers will understand if you need to take time off to grieve and make arrangements.

7. Legal duties

“I need to take care of a personal legal matter.”

Legal matters can be time-sensitive and may require immediate attention, this is a believable excuse for missing work.

8. Household emergency

“I have to take care of a household emergency (e.g., plumbing issue).”

Household emergencies, such as a plumbing issue, can be unexpected and require immediate attention. This is a good example of bulletproof excuse to get out of work last minute.

9. Unfavorable weather conditions

“I’m experiencing severe weather conditions, and it’s unsafe for me to travel to work.”

Severe weather conditions can make it dangerous to travel, and your employer will understand if you need to stay home for safety reasons.

10. Mental health day

“I’m experiencing extreme stress and need a mental health day.”

Taking care of one’s mental health is important, and employers will understand if you need to take a day off to prioritize your well-being.


To have some good excuses to miss work on short notice, you really have to be creative and honest about it. Knowing how to communicate it to your boss at work, can help you make it believable.

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