How to Make Amends After You Get Caught Playing Hooky

Most people will play hooky at some point in their professional lives. From days when you don’t feel like joining the rat race to days when you swear the musical festival down the block is calling your name, there are all kinds of reasons why hooky happens. But, unfortunately, getting caught happens, too.

So, what do you do when your boss finds out that you skipped work for reasons not entirely legitimate? Some bosses might outright fire you, but if yours offers you the chance to make amends, take it. And try one of the following:

Offer to work an extra shift

Whenever you don’t show up for work, someone else is forced to pick up your slack. Some coworkers might not mind this; they may even welcome the extra cash. But others won’t be so thrilled by what your absence entails. Since they’re forced to cover for you, offer to cover for them, too. What’s fair is fair.

Apologize without excuses

A lot of people apologize with transitionary phrases. They might say, “I’m sorry, however” or “I’m sorry, but.” These added words cheapen the apology and make it less than sincere. They also make you look like someone who doesn’t know how to take responsibility for your own actions.

Bring your boss a souvenir

If you have a good relationship with your boss, consider buying them a souvenir from your “sick day.” If you see their favorite band in concert, buy them a t-shirt. If you hit the beach for a day on the water, find them a nice shell. If you take to the slopes, bring them back a beanie. Not every boss will welcome this, but the cool ones will be honored that you thought of them. And that’ll make it easier for them to grant you forgiveness.

Be honest about your dishonesty

There’s a reason you played hooky to begin with. Maybe you didn’t think management would be willing to give you the day off for your son’s football game or maybe you thought they’d frown on the wine festival you attended. Whatever the reason for your deceit, be open about it. Honesty is beneficial to employers as it helps them learn what they must do to keep their workers happy.

Go the extra mile

Playing hooky shows a lack of effort on your part, so now it’s time to remedy that situation by going the extra mile. This doesn’t mean you need to be at the office at six a.m., bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to do your boss’s laundry. But it does mean you need to work harder than you would otherwise. Thus, roll up your proverbial sleeves and have at it. Do a stellar enough job and - who knows - maybe management will actually encourage you to play hooky more often in the future.

Getting caught playing hooky is an uncomfortable experience, but – as mentioned above – most people have played it at one time or another. The above tips may help you make amends with your boss, improving both your relationship and your job satisfaction in the process.

Avoid hooky with a take my shift attendance policy. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. We’ll provide fun ideas and practical tips that allow you to help your staff balance work and play.