A Few Quick Things, vol. 3

hugefootYears ago I had a subscription to a great website, where you can listen to sound files of old Top 40 radio broadcasts, from the 1940s through the 1970s.  I love radio, and would completely geek out on those things.  This was back during my Warner Bros. days, when I could just slip on my headphones, and take advantage of a wide-open internet connection at work.  It seems impossible now.

Anyway, one of the most amazing things I heard on that site was a long recording of a radio station in Dallas, recorded on the morning of November 22, 1963.  It starts out with the DJs making lame jokes about the president’s visit, then going into a Martha and the Vandellas song, or whatever.

Slowly but surely, though, things started to take a dark turn.  It was mesmerizing.  And for some reason I was thinking about it this morning, and found the broadcast — broken up into three files — at the Internet Archive.  You should check ’em out.  It’s amazing stuff.  I downloaded them to my iPod, and plan to give them another listen tonight at work.

The Secrets, Steve, and I will be going to Philly on Saturday night, for the Eels concert.  I’m excited.  However, the older boy has a big two-day district championship swim meet on Friday and Saturday, and I’m afraid it’s going to force us to race down there, which I don’t care for.  I don’t do well with hectic racing around and whatnot.

But, we’ll just make the best of it.  I want him to enjoy the meet, and do well.  And I also want to get to the show with plenty o’ breathing room.  Maybe we can thread the needle, and achieve both my goals?  We’ll see.

I love the new Eels album, by the way.  The first few listens had me a bit baffled, but the songs eventually took hold.  It’s upbeat and fun, and the songs should sound great played live.

A couple of days ago my phone rang, I answered it, and somebody said, “Fuck the Academy!”  Wha’?  Who is this?  Dad??

No, it was Steve, and he was whipped into a frenzy, because Andy Griffith was not included in the Memoriam section of the Academy Awards.  I didn’t watch the show, because I was at work and also straight.  In fact, Steve didn’t watch it either, but he read about Andy being left out, and was pissed.

We’re both huge Andy Griffith Show fans, and don’t care for the disrespect of our spiritual leader.  But it appears they left out a lot of people.  So, clearly this wasn’t a purposeful snub, it was just another case of people doing a really horrible job.  They were given an assignment, and totally shit the bed with it.  Well-done, dicks.

Have you ever heard of someone calling-off from their job because they were in a car accident, and couldn’t get their shoes on?  I have, and it made me laugh.  I had visions of the guy sitting at home, grimacing in pain in front of the TV, with two enormous swollen feet.

For a Question, I’d like to know about the most inventive or unusual call-offs you’ve heard about, through the years.  Or do you say “call-out?”  Whatever, you get the point of it.  Maybe it was an excuse you concocted yourself?  Please tell us about it in the comments section below.

How do you do with attendance at work?  I almost never miss a day.  My dad never missed a day… and it’s not something I even think about.  If I’m scheduled, I’m there.  During my five years at my current job, I think I’ve called-off twice, and both times were because of legitimate pukiness.  Many people do not subscribe to this way of doing things, however.  What are your feelings on the matter?

And I need to go now.  I hope you guys have a great day.  I’ll try to update tomorrow, but there is a long list of things I need to do.  We’ll have to play it by ear.

See ya soon!

Now playing in the bunker
Try Dropbox! It’s free and fantastic.


  1. Ognir says

    I use to listen to Reel Radio when it was free. Now they charge and you have to use Real Media Player. I can’t go for that, no can do.

    A lot of people where I work call off if bad weather is forecast – sometimes days in advance.

    I’ve heard a lot of excuses over the years.

  2. sunshine_in_va says

    I miss as much time as they’ll allow. Besides – at this company, unused sick time is cut in half at the end of the year and then rolled over into the next year.

    “Sick” time can also be used as “personal time” (like having to go to the DMV, or staying home with your sick child or leaving early to get somewhere or arriving late because of a doctor’s appointment). I don’t abuse it (well – not MUCH) but neither am I going to lose it (at the end of the year).

    We “call in” to call out sick. Heh….

  3. says

    I never miss work either.

    We used to lay brick and one time a guy called in and said, “I spilled milk on my shirt and I’m sure it’ll spoil in this heat. So I’m going home. The smell will make everyone sick.” I told him that he could have taken his shirt off and to get fucked. Ridiculous.

    • Alex says

      WTF? You got access to water if you are laying brick, go rinse out your shirt and get back to work.

  4. johnthebasket says

    In the Great Pacific Northwest, I don’t think “call in” is sufficient. You have to call in something. Call in sick, call in well, call in dead.

    Rather than infect the whole company, I would call in sick. Maybe two or three days every couple of years.


  5. Henderson says

    I’ve called in stupid.

    Then again, I’ve also been lying in a hospital bed in Taipei with a morphine drip in my arm because I had a case of amoebic dysentery and *still* had my laptop on and working away..

    I guess being a salaried individual contributor is just a rock star kind of life…….

  6. says

    No, but I had some ass-nugget try to call me and say he couldn’t come in for his shift because his shower head broke and he couldn’t take a shower. I told him I’d buy him a bar of soap and he could use the bathroom sink. He came in, smelling just fine, of course…

  7. Dave's not here, man says

    One day we had a power outage in town, so naturally everyone used that as an excuse to be late. You know, because obviously the alarm didn’t go off. But one lady called and said she had to take the day off because her electric garage door opener obviously wasn’t working and she couldn’t get her car out of the garage. Actually I was jealous I hadn’t thought of that one. But I’m like you Jeff – my dad never missed a day of work EVER and I don’t either. I also vividly remember going to school once, puking all the way with my parents telling me, “Just try to make it through the day.”

  8. Dogberry says

    Not quite what you are looking for, but this one has always amused me: A guy comes to work, goes to his locker to find his only uniform shirt is a big, sweat salt stained mess from the day before. He shuts his locker, walks out and goes to the nearest payphone and calls in sick.

    Yes, payphone. It was a long time ago.

  9. madz1962 says

    The perpetual twat that used to sit next to me was the reigning queen of bullshit excuses. Here are a few of the gems I heard over the five excrutiatiingly painful years I sat with the slob:

    “My garage door is frozen shut” (since she lived over the NYS line in CT where she figured they had much harsher winters when the tri-state area was in the 40s).

    “My (fill in the blank: husband, mother, aunt) fell down the stairs” (conclusion: She had the clumsiest family on earth)

    “My mother tied a ruberband on the dog’s tail and the blood stopped fowing so I have to call th evet.” (45 minutes later) “The vet got a flat tire on her way over here.”

    “There was an accident so I got off at an earlier exit and got lost so I drove back home and will work from home the rest of the day.”

    (as she’s puffing on a cigarette) “I have COPD”

    Oh there were more. Many more. i’ve tried to erase them from memory.

    My aunt used this as an excuse and it really did happen – when she was disassembling her Christmas tree, she yanked out a branch that was stuck a little and it jammed her right in the eye. Odd but really painful.

  10. says

    I used to have a job where I worked for a tyrannical boss and it was impossible to take time off. One afternoon I had just had enough – I remember I walked out of there without a word around 11:30am, I went and met some friends for lunch, had some drinks, did some shopping.

    I showed back up to work promptly at 4:55 in a rage and told anyone who would listen that on my way out to lunch I got stuck in the elevator (it was a huge building with multiple shafts… hehe shafts.) Anyway, I finally ‘calmed down’ and told them I had been suck in the elevator for 5 hours! And was outraged that no one had come looking for me.

    No one ever verified my story and I totally got away with it. I think they may have even given me the next day off…

    • johnthebasket says

      I was once suck in an elevator, but not for five hours. That’s just not one of my super powers.


  11. dto says

    I was 17 when a road manager told me, “If you’re still warm behind the ears you’re going on”, and he was right. When I started working “real jobs” I would pride myself on being healthy and in good shape. Still do and so if if I was to call-in they’d know 1). I was lying…or 2). I was hung over…3). they’d be right.

  12. Fancy Pants Maguire says

    I also rarely use sick days. I will call in sick if I actually am sick (in the cube-farm office setting, this is a good thing so you don’t infect your neighbors), but don’t get sick all that much. I therefore have some sick time built up for when I might actually need it; like the post-surgery recovery time I will need away from my job in a couple of months. I feel a bit guilty for calling off from work when I am able to be there. I suppose the Protestant work ethic is deeply ingrained in me, even though I am a lazy drunken Catholic.

    • johnthebasket says

      I THOUGHT your name sounded a little Catholic. I think there was even a Pope way back called “Fancy Pants” but I could be wrong.


    • Fancy Pants Maguire says

      I am actually hoping that they will elect me to be the next pope next month. How hard of a job could that be, after all? I would be set for life if they pick me.

      Cardinal Fancy Pants

      • dto says

        Dear Cardinal Fancy Pants:

        I wish your well in the up-coming pope vote. In anticipation of your election I would like to ask for your help. I have two relatives who have been stuck in Purgatory for about 80 years. Please review this matter and I’m sure you will see these people, based on the facts of their lives, should without a doubt be released and sent straight to Hell.

        …Thank your for you attention in this matter….-d

  13. Alex says

    I think I have used all of two or three sick days in the 20 years I’ve been at this job. Hell, I even make it in on “snow days”.


  14. bikerchick says

    I usually don’t call off unless I’m spewing from one end or the other…or both.

    The best excuse was an office manager I had years ago call in saying the wind blew her car door off.

  15. says

    I’m thinking about those fat people you see on tv who haven’t been out of bed in 10 years. One day they had to have just said, “Fuck it.” And literally called in fat to work.

  16. Melissa says

    I always use my sick/vacation time. I hate my job and when I accrue the time I tend to use it. Not every week or month, mind you, but I do take sick when I need to go to doc appointments, or when I am hungover, etc.
    I use vacation usually around times where there is a Monday holiday. I’ll either take Friday off or Tuesday off for an extended break. Or, if a holiday falls in the middle of the week I’ll take off the day after so it can feel like a bonus weekend. I must have time off, for my sanity, but lately even that is dwindling. I can’t do this shit much more. Local gov’t (or any gov’t for that matter) is full of corrupt, incompentent jerkoffs and it’s hard for me to sit quiet and just take it all in.

  17. putski says

    A meeting call-off? I was arranging to see a tenant to fix her air conditioner:

    Me: So are you happy for me to go and get a key from the agent or would you prefer to be there while I am there.
    Crazy woman: No, I want to be there because my cat doesn’t trust strangers…..

  18. dto says

    I start a new job on Monday with the State DOT. Highway Dept. here at home. No more dragging my ass around the road but I still get to drive trucks and front loaders here where I live. Bucks and benefits and home every night. The last job I’ll ever need. I’m set. Orientation and safety in Santa Fe on Monday and start up here on Tuesday. I might call in on Tuesday though. There’s a Reds spring training game on at noon and I really don’t want to miss it. And I may as well find out right now if these people are willing to work with me on a few things or not.

    • dto says

      I spoke with my new supervisor today. Told him I was looking forward to Monday orientation and my plans for Tuesday. Apparently he is not a big of fan of baseball as I am. At least not the Reds anyway. But then again…I’m glad to see he will not let people like me run willy-nilly at will, disrupting the daily struggle of America’s quest to maintain what’s left of our crumbling infrastructure of which I have unknowingly become a devise to help retard its decline. He is a man who deserves respect as I’ve never witnessed such eloquence in the phrase…”Go Fuck Yourself”.

      • dto says

        Thanks m…I do feel lucky to get the job. Lets just say I wasn’t only one that applied. My supervisor is a super great guy and everyone I’ve met are very professional. I’ll work as much as they want me to. I ain’t got anything else to do and…I’m home!

  19. Hollerbabe says

    The most exotic late excuse I ever had to give was when someone was moving a house–an entire house–during business hours on main thoroughfares (in one of those newer areas where that was the only way to get where you were going), and I got stuck behind it. How dumb was that planning?..
    As for calling in pukey, one big medical center I worked at would not accept this as a legitimate call-in reason. If you had the pukes, or if you had diarrhea, just come on in (and take care of the sick people, now, remember)–we got something in the ER that’ll fix ya right up (yep, it was in WV). For some unknown reason, however, if you were going at both ends, they didn’t want you coming in. So, every time I had the pukes–or the runs–I called in with both of em. No way was I going to get paid to infect sick people with my malady. I have no idea if they still have that policy. Perhaps they thought going at both ends was a true sign of infectious process, while one or the other was most probably dietary indiscretion. Good grief. The logic of the workaday world remained mostly beyond my grasp throughout my working career. No great loss, I think.

  20. chill says

    We say “call out” at my company, although I was always more accustomed to “call in sick”. Whatever its name, I do it a few days a year for colds and such. Also for doctor’s appointments and the like. I’ve never called in sick with a creative excuse – I’ve always either been actually sick, or pretending to be.

    One of my co-workers called out just Monday, saying his water heater had shit the bed. The best part is that our “call out hotline” number uses Google voice recognition to translate the voice message into text for an email. Hilarity ensues – here is the message as it came through on email:

    “This is pass phrase it is Monday. My I’m not coming in today in my door here has explore all over my basement and I need to put another one and alright. See you later. Bye.”

  21. Ed says

    Andy Griffith has never gotten the respect due him, in my opinion. That show could have been (and started off as) some forgettable thing like “The Real McCoys” or something. But Andy took the time and effort to guide the production so that the humor was derived from believable characters, and not just jokes. The fact that it is still so watchable is because of his firm grip on quality control. But let us not speak of the color years.

    • Swami Bologna says

      The new Budweiser Black Crown is actually pretty good. Got some flavor to it.

      Oh, and today I listened to some albums by Blind Willie McTell. Pretty good stuff.

  22. says

    Those radio recordings are amazing. It’s interesting how they so quickly had a suspect description and kept saying “30 caliber rifle”. They got tons of shit obviously wrong too, even though they were careful to hold off for official or confirmed reports: they said that a secret service agent was killed, they said that Connelly was shot in the head, they said that Kennedy was still alive until 1:00, etc. Wow. Just goes to show the chaos surrounding events like that – they always fuck up the facts at first. Same thing happened at the recent massacre in Newton.

  23. Phil Jett says

    In my job if you call in sick, someone else has to be called in on an off day to cover. For that reason, I don’t call in sick unless it is the flu.

    Several of my useless piece of shit co-workers plan their sick day in advance and arrange with another to also take one another day so they can each collect some overtime.

    Getting worse since the company changed sick days to unlimited each year with supervisor’s approval. If it’s just one day at a time there is never an issue getting the ok.

  24. lucas says

    i had to call out of work in January because my house burned down. I got burns on my leg and had to get my foot stitched up.

    I was out of work for all of 2 days. fucking pikers.

    the only other times i call out is for school/research related issues (basically if i’m running an experiment that’s taking too long to complete). Since I work on campus and my supervisor isn’t an asshole, and he knows i’m not just fucking around, i never get an issue.

  25. says

    Ahhhhhh yes….sick days. If it is a perfect spring morning, I suddenly become “sick” of work and go fishing. It’s amazing how fast the flu can be cured just by spending a day on the water!

    Also, some companies will not pay out sick time if you are layed off but will pay out personal/vacation time.

  26. Roy says

    I try to call in sick as often as possible. I despise my co-workers because they’re all ineffectual morons who spend all day trying to get me to do their work so they can yap on the phone or Facebook to their equally moronic friends. Like this one chick who sucks the bosses’ dick all day and then tries to cover up her herpes lip sores with extra makeup. Who does she think can’t see that shit. It just looks like a herpes sore with crusty, tan Cover Girl on it. Then her husband comes by the office to pick her up for lunch and gives her a big kiss on the lips. Yuck. I’m always surprised that he doesn’t say, “Hey, your breath smells like dick and/or balls”. He probably already knows he married a skank, but maybe not. He seems kind of stupid. I mean.. just look at her! Jeez Louise..
    Remember that whole deathbed/more time at the office thing? You guys can pat yourselves on the back for never missing a day at work , but me? I’ll take all the sick days I can get.

  27. Bill in WV says

    I called in once and told them my wife was pregnant. They asked, how far along is she and I told them, about 15 minutes and I’m a tired son of a bitch.

  28. Uncle Goo says

    I had one employer who used to repetitively call me, when I’d called in sick. She called one day, when I was REALLY sick, so I picked up, and let her listen to me me vomit into the toilet. Didn’t even say “hello,” just “RALLLPH!” I never even said hello, and I just hung up when I was through. Put and end to that crap, I tell you.

  29. Aurora Carnegie says

    My most unusual call in reason was because a bear was sitting on my stoop and I couldn’t get out the door. My boss lived down the street and I knew his crazy wife would be by to look things over so it was true. I think the bear wandered off mid morning and I went in late.

  30. Buzz in Wheeling says

    Yeah, well, the Academy Awards and the organization that lays out this yearly non-event hasn’t mattered for a long time now. The failure to mention Andy Griffith is just further proof of their isolated group-think. My $0.02.

    And here is proof that you can have a gawdawful ugly web site and still have killer content:



  31. Doug says

    In my younger days I’d burn up sick leave as I earned it – along with my vacation time as well.
    When I moved to the private sector, I became a bit more responsible. In my line of work we have deadlines to be met, so if one of those are approaching I’m there even if I feel like crap. However, if there was little going on I didn’t mind calling in for a mental health day. Until the company I work for eliminated accrued sick time that is. Now I only call in when actually sick, unless there is a deadline approaching. We still get paid sick leave, but it is at our immediate supervisor’s discretion.
    I email them when I do take a sick day, which is rare.

    • chill says

      I’m in a deadline-oriented field too. But I need to start using that vacation time, since we lose a bunch every new year if it’s not used – I had 64 hours go down the shitter this past Jan. 1st.

      What is the “private sector”?

      • johnthebasket says


        That is the area in which several of my wives’ attorneys kicked me. The resultant swelling usually calls for a couple days of sick leave. Ice helps.