Harris Interactive conducted a survey on behalf of
CareerBuilder among 2,500 hiring professionals and 4,000 U.S. workers.
They wanted to find the most unusual excuses employees gave for calling
in sick. Playing hooky isn’t just for Ferris Bueller. In the past year,
30% of workers have called in sick when not actually ill, keeping on par
with previous years. Sick days, legitimate or otherwise, become more
frequent around the winter holidays, with nearly one-third of employers
reporting more employees call in sick during the holiday season.
To Catch a Faker
29% of employers have checked up on an employee to verify that
the illness is legitimate, usually by requiring a doctor’s note or
calling the employee later in the day. Some employers have had other
employees call a suspected faker or even gone so far as to drive by the
employee’s home. 17% of employers have fired employees for giving a fake
Home for the Holidays
31% of employers notice an uptick in sick days around the
winter holiday. This helps make December the most popular month to call
in sick, with 20% saying their employees call in most during that month.
July is the next most popular month to skip out on work, followed by
January and February.
At Least You Have Your Health
Not all sick days are spent under piles of blankets with a
thermometer and maximum-strength medicine. Next to actually being sick,
the most common reasons employees call in sick are because they just
don’t feel like going to work or because they felt like they needed to
relax. Others take the day off so they can make it to a doctor’s
appointment, catch up on sleep, or run some errands.
Some workers come up with slightly more colorful explanations
for their absences. When asked to share the most memorable excuses,
employers reported the following real-life examples:
- Employee’s sobriety tool wouldn’t allow the car to start.
- Employee forgot he had been hired for the job.
- Employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown.
- Employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police
- Employee’s toe was stuck in a faucet.
- Employee said a bird bit her.
- Employee was upset after watching “The Hunger Games.”
- Employee got sick from reading too much.
- Employee was suffering from a broken heart.
- Employee’s hair turned orange from dying her hair at home.
By Catherine Price
Why do I wake up in the morning with gunk in my eyes?
That crusty stuff is actually just dried tears. Your tear glands are
constantly watering your eyes to flush out irritants. While you're
awake, the act of blinking wipes tears away before they can build up.
But when your eyes are closed at night, the dried tears accumulate
inside the corners.
Why do I get goose bumps during scary movies? Goose
bumps are produced by piloerection, a reflex that contracts the muscles
around the base of each hair follicle, causing the hair to stand up and
small bumps to emerge. Back when humans were hairier, piloerection had
two benefits: it helped keep us warm by trapping heated air close to the
skin, and in scary situations, it made us look bigger and more
threatening (like spooked cat puffing up its fur).
Watching a horror flick in an air-conditioned theater provides the
perfect setup for piloerection: You're not only frightened, you're also
Why do my fingers and toes wrinkle in the water? Here's
the leading hypothesis: The top layer of your skin absorbs more water
that the layers beneath, increasing its surface area. Since the newly
baggy skin is still attached to the non-bloated layers, it bunches up,
causing a prune like effect. Fingers and toes are especially prone
because of their thicker shell of dead keratin, an absorbent protein on
the skin's outer layer.
By Rakesh Malhotra
Stories of workplace bullying are commonplace throughout the U.S. Some
real-life examples: Mavis: “When I started there, I was told that
someone had been acting in the position and had expected to get the job.
This person continually undermined me and turned other staff against me.
I endured 12 months of hell, and felt as if I was sinking in quicksand.”
A male employee at a different company: “The misery took over my whole
life. I turned bitter and nasty and treated my wife and kids like
whipping posts. After many visits to a psychologist, I was able to think
of all the positive things in my life. Now I look back and think I
wouldn’t want to go through that experience again.
In general, there are no legal repercussions for non-physical
bullying except in specific cases, such as sexual harassment. In fact,
bullying is a character trait that tends to be condoned in American
society. Consider our national obsession - football. The object of this
celebrated game is to get the ball to the other player’s goal, no matter
what it takes: trampling, hitting, pushing, screaming. If football is a
metaphor for American society, then the winner is the person who pushes
others out of the was and wins no matter the cost. Bullies win by
controlling situations and people around them. They crave power and the
attention that comes from getting what they want.
The effects of working with a bully Adults have a
difficult time performing their jobs effectively when subjected to
bullying by a co-worker. It takes a toll physically because of our
physiological responses to emotional stress. Typically, victims endure
feelings of depression, guilt and shame, and they suffer sleep loss and
fatigue. In some cases, victims begin to believe the bully's behavior is
warranted, and they develop feelings of worthlessness. They cannot
complete tasks at the same level as others in their units. Victims of
bullying may suffer from panic disorders, post traumatic stress
syndrome, agoraphobia and stress-induced high blood pressure. If they
leave the job or are docked because of resulting lowered performance,
they face economic
issues. Some take their own lives. The abuse takes a toll on victims in
every way imaginable.
Are you a bully? Being accused of being the bully can
be difficult to accept. You may believe your actions were unintentional,
or a justified emotional response to provocation. Perhaps, you see
yourself as the only one in the office qualified to do anything right.
However, whatever you have said or done, whether purposefully or not,
you have created a culture of negativity for at least one person and you
need to honestly assess the situation and your role in it.
Symptoms that you may be the bully include:
- Insulting a coworker (remember, one person’s “joke” may be
- Undermining another employee’s work by creating a hostile
environment or perhaps by consistently calling their attention to
“flaws.” Bullies focus on a person, while constructive criticism
focuses on a task.
- As an employer, ignoring your employee’s suggestions.
- Humiliating your employee in front of others.
If any of these sound like something that you may be
doing, it is important to address this immediately with your victim. You
may want to speak with your doctor about getting help, such as
counseling, sensitivity training, anger management and other seminars.
It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of a bully in order
to help the victim and the victimizer deal with and exterminate the
If you are a victim, diligently record workplace bullying events.
If you choose to make a formal complaint, you will be responsible for
providing information should there be charges brought against the bully.
I Wish You Enough
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray
the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
By Dr. David Schwartz
Stress is a normal part of life. The flight or flight mechanism is
our normal inborn response to immediate danger. This response signals
our parasympathic chain which causes our pupils to dilate, respiration
to quicken, muscles to
contract, digestion to stop and so on to prepare the body for defending
it’s self or getting going.
Chronic stress is a the result of that mechanism not turning off.
This can lead to increased blood pressure, anxiety, nervousness,
depression, and psychological disorders such as bipolar disease. It can
also suppress the immune system leading to autoimmune diseases:
diabetes, various rheumatoid diseases such as lupus, fibromyalgia,
ulcers, and various skin conditions. It can speed up the aging process
and affect your sleep habits.
Stress can be relieved by various exercises and simple activities:
deep breathing, meditation, yoga, working out, watching TV, reading and
conversing with a friend.
Here are 7 habits that will help:
- Always use positive self talk. You are constantly talking to
yourself in your mind. It has been estimated that up to 1500 words a
minute flow through your mind. Your thoughts are either positive in
nature - ”I can do this…” or they are negative in nature - ”It’s too
hard for me…” Negative self talk will lead to self doubt, poor self
esteem and a negative mental attitude. Positive self talk will lead
to confidence, high self esteem and positive mental attitudes.
- Control the pictures in your mind. You use mental pictures to
represent places, events, dreams and visions. You may not be aware
of all the pictures that you make. One thing is certain, the outer
world you will see is a reflection of the inner pictures that you
create in your mind today. If you predominantly create negative
pictures, your future will be the same as or worse than your
present. If you focus on positive pictures, your future will be
better than your present.
- Feed your mind a healthy diet. You are bombarded on a daily
basis with negativity. People with negative attitudes, media that
focus on bad news are everywhere. You need to take positive steps to
give your mind a daily diet of positive information - motivational
tapes, books and videos, intelligent reporting in quality
- Associate with positive people. Your level of success has been
proven to be strongly correlated with the people you associate with.
If you mix with people with a negative attitude and low levels of
success in life, that’s where you’ll end up. If you mix with
successful people with positive, supportive mental attitudes, you’ll
- Positive training and development. You should strengthen your
mind with personal growth and development programs - aim for at
least four programs a year. If you don’t grow as a person, you'll
stay just where you are. The key to a better future is to start from
the inside and grow yourself as a person.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle. The old saying “a healthy body
makes a healthy mind” is correct. You need to ensure that you have
high levels of mental energy in order to deal with the world and
maintain a positive mental attitude. A good diet and regular
exercise will mean that your body is able to supply plenty of
nourishment to your brain. A poor diet and no exercise will leave
you feeling tired and unable to cope with the challenges of life.
- Be proactive. If you are proactive, you will always take the
initiative, you wi be in control of your liefe and your self esteem
will rise. If you let yourself be reactive, life will control you,
you’ll become the victim of circumstances and you will have low self
If you build all the habits into your life, you will become a
positive thinker who is headed for success. You’ll need to
incorporate these habits into your life for 21 days to give them
time to take effect. If you do, you’ll see a difference in your
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget