I had one of my Recruiters ask for some advice this week – it wasn’t work advice – a little more personal. She had told a person she would attend a wedding of a family member with them, but was having second thoughts – basically – a Holy Crap moment – I don’t really like this person that much, and I don’t want to go to a family wedding with him and send the wrong message. So, what was my advice? It started out pretty straight – tell them the truth! “Look dude – I’m just not that into you, and the last place on earth I want to be on Saturday evening is sitting at a table with your parents and Aunt Betty with them thinking “ours” is next!”
As you can imagine – that wasn’t going to do. Not that she didn’t want to tell him the truth – but she didn’t really want to hurt him – and wanted something softer. You know! A how-do-I-get-him-to-not-want-me-to-go excuse – like he can’t stand my breath or I have hammer toes, or something!? Now – she was truly diving into my end of the pool! You want a Fake Reason why you can’t go! YES! I’m in HR – I’m in Recruiting – I’m the king of fake excuses of why people don’t get the job! I’m on it!
So, here’s the first 3 I gave her:
1. You have VD! (Ok, I know this is strong right out of the gate – but let’s face the facts – most dudes will run from this! Funny Fact: She is a millennial and had no idea what “VD” was! I’m old! Using WWII references like it was cool 2012 slang!)
2. Your Dog has Cancer! (Sketchy I know – but girls and their pets – this one might work. Funny Fact: Her dog actually did have Eye Cancer, but was cured – so not technically lying…)
3. You have to Babysit for a Co-worker! (Now this one is fraught with problem – guys have gotten this one before and they might pull a – “Oh, I’ll come and help!” then you’re stuck and have to find some brat to babysit for the night. Funny Fact: She was like “Oh, hell No! I have a Real Job, why would I babysit!”)
All of this brainstorming got me thinking of how I’ve personally gotten out of going to Co-workers Weddings that I didn’t want to go to. Here are my Top 5 Excuses to Miss a Co-worker’s Wedding:
1. I’ll be on Vacation! This is good because you usually find out about the wedding of a co-worker way ahead of time – so you can actually plan for this and take your vacation during the weekend of the wedding – far, far away from the actual wedding.
2. My kid has a sports tournament out of town that weekend. A little sketchy, but it is really hard for them to verify you really didn’t have a sports tournament – and let’s face it – I’m going to my kids sports game (the 127th of this year) vs. your once in a lifetime moment.
3. I came down with the “Flu”! This one nobody believes, but it’s the go-to excuse because everyone uses it and it has been internationally certified as an acceptable lie to get out of anything.
4. My Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Great Aunt Betty/etc. fell and are at the hospital – I needed to go see them – they needed my help – it was serious. Let’s face old people fall – it might be the only thing they have left to do – you hear about old people falling everyday. Very usable excuse in a pinch because it’s somewhat believable and old people don’t remember later on when someone asks “How are you doing after your fall?” – they’ll go “better” and then complain about their aches and pains – because they probably have fallen.
5. I’ve got another Wedding that same day! Again – believable – but what you’re really saying to the person is “I’ve ranked you lower than someone else in my life – I hope you understand – but I didn’t buy you a place setting off your registry!”
What is your top excuse for not going to a co-worker’s wedding?
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.