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How to Get Out of Work to Watch the Solar Eclipse

“I’ll be right back …” Photo: Holos/Getty Images

Like it or not, the only thing anyone will be able to talk about today will be the solar eclipse. Sadly, natural events don’t take into consideration that it’s Monday, and chances are, when the moon blots out the sun, you’re going to be stuck at work. There will be no shortage of co-workers making casual excuses to “step out briefly” between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (depending, of course, on where your city lies on the path of totality), and you know your boss will raise an eyebrow at anyone taking a few hours off on the most hyped day of the summer. Here, some free excuses for what to say when she asks you where you think you’re going.


Since the eclipse is conveniently occurring during the MTA’s Summer of Hell, no one will argue with you when you say, “I’ve been stuck underground on the A train for two hours!” Don’t live in New York and actually have a nice and easy time commuting to work, and reasonable rent and cost of living? Not today. Make it known that your car broke down. And your phone died. And you’re on your period.


This excuse will be especially effective on male bosses, who are as aghast to hear that some women bleed monthly as male middle-school history teachers. “I need tampons; I’ll be back” will get you at least four hours off. For all they know, tampons could only be sold in broken-down warehouses a two-hour drive from your office. That will buy you some time.


You’re no Malala Yousafzai, but you’ve been known to dabble in human rights. If you drop the fact that you have an important, confidential meeting at the U.N., who is going to stop you?


This one needs no explanation.


Everyone knows that the most commonly told lie at work is that you “got food poisoning last night.” No you freaking didn’t!! You’re lying and everyone knows it!! Whether you say you ate some bad sashimi or that a can of chickpeas you cooked with might have been rotten, no one is gonna believe you anyway, so throw this one out with impenetrable confidence. None of your colleagues will question you because they don’t want to screw up their chance to use this lie next time.


Has your boss ever seen a ghost? Doubt it. That could really mess a person up. Don’t come back to work for, like, two or three weeks to give your excuse more credibility.

How to Get Out of Work to Watch the Solar Eclipse