‘My cat is sick’ and 62 other fake excuses employees give to ditch work for March Madness

Published

After 63 basketball games in the March Madness tournament, Virginia beat out Texas Tech in a dramatic overtime game to be crowned the 2019 NCAA champions.

But to get to the final winner, college players competed in 28 games that started before 5 p.m. PT — for a total of 17 hours and 5 minutes of gametime during the workday. That begs the question: How do diehard fans watch those games?

Stunningly, 44% of March Madness fans said they’ve lied in order to watch the NCAA games during work hours, and we asked those folks to reveal the best real-life fake excuse they’ve used to dupe the boss*.

TSheets then hosted its own bracket-style competition, where Instagrammers narrowed down the top 16 fake excuses to the king of all excuses. “My dog was hit by a car” fell on Tuesday to the No. 1 best excuse for getting out of work to watch March Madness: “My cat is sick.”

We can’t guarantee these all actually worked for the people who used them, but here are the 63 best fake excuses we received from employees to watch March Madness during work hours. If you’ve tried one that worked for you, let us know in the comments below!

  1. My cat is sick
  2. My dog got hit by a car
  3. My bracket is perfect
  4. My wife is in labor
  5. I got robbed
  6. Tummy troubles
  7. I have pink eye
  8. Steph Curry is my brother
  9. I have a migraine
  10. I’m snowed in
  11. My grandma died
  12. My car won’t start
  13. I have a toothache
  14. Family emergency
  15. I have 3-point fever
  16. My car got stolen
  17. I had food poisoning and didn’t want to infect the office with my germs
  18. I faked a pancreatic attack and was able to get a doctor’s note for that
  19. Doctor’s appointment
  20. I have been admitted to the hospital
  21. I had surgery
  22. I got food poisoning from food provided by the office
  23. I had to take my wife to the emergency room. I wasn’t even married at the time.
  24. Explosive diarrhea
  25. Need to watch my kid’s performance
  26. My son broke his arm
  27. I have to babysit my grandkids
  28. I say one of my kids is sick to be able to use sick time to watch my favorite teams
  29. My cat is on fire
  30. Dog has a vet appointment
  31. Fell down my steps and bruised my ribs. 😂😂
  32. Car accident
  33. My elderly neighbor locked herself out of the house, and I’m the only person that has a key that is still alive. If I don’t make it home to let her in, she could wander around and get lost because of the dementia. I could never live with myself.
  34. I told my boss one of our co-workers was at the game and we should watch to see if we could see him
  35. Boosts employee morale
  36. I needed to watch to see if any of our clients were advertising
  37. Meeting a client
  38. I’ll tell my boss that a customer was asking to put the game on
  39. I have to rearrange the supply closet
  40. I’m doing research for an article
  41. We HAVE to keep up with it in order to discuss it with our customers
  42. I made up a conference call with a guy from our Atlanta office who was using me for the same excuse!
  43. It’s to study the bracket system for a project at the end of the year
  44. My car needed work and I had to run to the garage
  45. I’m having a tooth pulled
  46. One of the patients wants the game on
  47. If I don’t get to see the game, I’m quitting
  48. I’ll be in the lab for most of the day so I can get caught up
  49. It was a way to teach my students about math
  50. I’m in the work pool
  51. I had a friend’s son playing
  52. My undergraduate school team played that day
  53. My brother’s playing in the championship game! (I don’t have a brother)
  54. Studying statistics
  55. It’s my birthday!
  56. Loan problems — at the time I was working on purchasing first home
  57. I am getting a fever!
  58. I had the cramps
  59. I have a tendon condition at my ankle, requiring me to stay immobile and at my desk all day
  60. My mom is sick, and I have to keep checking to make sure she’s ok
  61. I have a family trip
  62. I have an emergency call I’m waiting for
  63. Dude. I have a lot of money riding on these games. I gotta watch it! 😎

Questions? Email Alysha Love (alysha_love@intuit.com) for the full data set, breakdowns by demographic, or infographics for your website.


*Methodology: On March 6 and 8, 2019, TSheets commissioned a mobile phone survey through Pollfish of 1,067 employed U.S. adults who report watching March Madness at work during the traditional workweek, with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. The margin of error is larger for subgroups.
TSheets welcomes the re-use of this data under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original source is cited with attribution to “TSheets.”