How to Get a Day off Work by Pretending You've Experienced a Death

Two Parts:Talking To Your EmployerKnowing How Your Company Handles Death

Pretending to be sick is a classic excuse to get out of work, but if you’ve used it too many times, you’ll need to move to something more extreme. While it's unethical and you may get caught, sometimes pretending you've experienced a death can be the perfect way to get a few days off. Call and learn about your company’s bereavement policy to know what you can expect.

Part 1
Talking To Your Employer

  1. Image titled Prepare for a Job Interview Step 4
    Plan your story before speaking with anyone. You are likely to get many questions about your deceased loved one, so make sure that the story is believable. Get your facts straightened out, stay focused, and think about how you’re going to speak about the death.[1]
  2. Image titled Choose a Role Model Step 10
    Consider choosing a distant relative. Telling your boss that your close relative or spouse has died could lead to problems if the person texts your or shows up at your job! By choosing a distant relative you barely know, there's little chance for a slip up. Choose a great-grandmother instead of your mother, or your cousin instead of your sister.
  3. Image titled Communicate Effectively Step 4
    Decide how to tell the story. Whether you send an email, call in or talk to your boss face to face, there will be a different set of clues that tell them you’re lying. Your voice, facial expression or demeanor could all be tips that the story is fake.
  4. Image titled Excel in a Retail Job Step 1Bullet2
    Call in to work. Because they’ll only have your voice as a clue to whether you’re lying, rather than your eye contact or facial expressions, this may be the best option.
    • Say: “I’ve had a death in the family and you will need some time off.”
    • Answer any questions your boss may have and keep it short. Stay consistent with the story you made up.
    • Try to sound sad, and if you want, sniff and cough often to make it sound as though you’ve been crying.
  5. Image titled Make a Sale Step 8
    Tell your boss in person. It may help story come across as more sincere and it might fit with your story better if the fake death happens during work. It's morally questionable to lie to your boss, especially to their face, but if you stay relaxed you can avoid being caught.
    • Tell your boss about the situation, and ask for time off.
    • Maintain eye contact with your boss, and think about how they may perceive your body language.[2] Steady eye contact and relaxed, but slouched posture will help your boss think that you’re both telling the truth and genuinely sad.
    • Make yourself cry if you think it is appropriate. Think of a truly sad thought or stare at a bright light until your eyes begin to water before you meet with your supervisor.[3]
  6. Image titled Get a Job in Another State Step 3
    Write an email. If you send an email, there’ll be practically no way for your boss to know if you’re lying or not. Emailing isn’t an acceptable method for skipping work at many companies, but if it’s alright, write a short, succinct email about the death and that you need a few days off.[4]
  7. Image titled Reach the Masses Step 2
    Be prepared to show proof. Many employers will be more than happy to let you take time off for a death, but others may be more skeptical. If they ask for proof, be prepared to back it up with some falsified evidence, but be very careful as you'll only make the lie more offensive if you're caught.
    • Find an obituary in a local paper that matches the story you told. You'll be moving even further in a morally wrong direction, but if an obituary seems close enough, you can turn that in to your boss as is. It’s also possible to photoshop an obituary by taking the existing text and adding the right name in the same font.
    • For a really gutsy move, fake a death certificate. Death certificates are available online, and need only to have their information changed in Photoshop or Paint. Be aware that this could lead to serious repercussions if you're caught, and could be illegal depending on where you live! [5]
  8. Image titled File an Extension for Taxes Step 8
    Schedule your day off! Once your boss is satisfied with the information you’ve given, work with them to determine which days you’ll take off, including a day for the funeral.

Part 2
Knowing How Your Company Handles Death

  1. Image titled Learn Speed Reading Step 3
    Read your employee handbook. There will often be information in the handbook about how absences are handled in the case of death. Whether it’s a few days or a whole week, it’ll be important to know how much time you can expect to take off. Two or three days is the norm in the United States. [6]
  2. Image titled Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer Step 18
    Find out if the time off is paid. If you’ve used up paid sick days and are trying to fake a death to get paid days off, you’ll need to make sure that bereavement time is paid by your company. Many companies offer paid time off, but in America, there is no federal law mandating that you receive it. [7]
  3. Image titled Say Goodbye to Coworkers Step 1
    Check how long you’ve been with the company. Many companies do not offer any paid time off, even for a death in the family, if you haven’t been with the company for a long time.
  4. Image titled Succeed in Network Marketing Step 4
    Ask people around the office. Be very careful not to arouse suspicion of what you’re planning to do, but ask close coworkers if they’ve ever taken bereavement leave and see how easy it is to get.


  • Read local obituaries to get an idea of what realistic deaths are like. Old age, car accidents and serious diseases are good excuses.
  • If your boss and coworkers ask too many questions, use the excuse that it’s too hard to talk about your deceased love one.


  • Do not reuse this excuse! Having too many people die in a short period of time may initially create sympathy, but may cause suspicion.
  • Don’t use outlandish deaths as an excuse! Skydiving accidents, rabid wolverines or a lightning strike will all seem too ridiculous to be true.
  • Be aware that you could get caught. The punishment for lying to get a day off may be very severe, especially if a coworker has actually lost a family member recently.

Article Info

Categories: Time Management & Personal Organization | Workplace Conflicts Coping and Issues