I haven’t always been a model employee. I was young once, too. So there was a time when I figured that life owed me a little more than I was getting, so I would take things — like days off from work.
We’ve published dozens of excuses that superintendents have sent us from their crews, and it got me thinking about some of the reasons I played hooky.
I never lied, mind you. I never really thought it was worth it. But I was a giant flake at times. Like the time I went through the drive-through for lunch and saw a hitch-hiker standing by the freeway when I was on the way back to work. “Surely this was a noble cause that my boss would understand,” I thought to myself. So I pulled over.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“Pennsylvania,” he replied.
He was fresh out of jail on drug charges. I was taking him across state lines. But it didn’t seem as risky as calling my Type-A personality boss to tell him I wasn’t coming back for the afternoon. Needless to say, he didn’t deem the act as honorable as I did.
It wouldn’t be the only time brutal honesty got me in trouble. While working for the same manager, I called early in the morning on a gorgeous July day to leave the following message:
“Good morning Jeff, hope you are doing well. I decided it is just too damn nice outside to come to work today, so I’m going golfing. See you tomorrow.”
The next day, he had a message of his own for me. It went something like this: “Dave, we have three personal days at this company, and when you take them, I don’t want to know why.”
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— David Frabotta