Monday, Jan 26th

Last update02:10:01 PM GMT


More workers calling in sick with fake excuses due to stress

CareerBuilder releases annual list of the most unusual excuses for calling in Sick

The work break is taking on a new meaning with workers forgoing just a few minutes away from their desks in favour of, whole days away from the office to recharge their batteries. 

CareerBuilder's annual survey on absenteeism in the US shows that 29 percent of workers have played hooky from the office at least once this year, calling in sick when they were well. Twenty-seven percent of employers think they are seeing an increase in bogus sick excuses from employees due to continued stress and burnout caused by the weak economy.

The nationwide survey was conducted between 17th August and 2nd September 2010 and included more than 3,100 workers and more than 2,400 employers.

While the majority of employers said they believe their workers when they say they're feeling under the weather, 29 percent reported they have checked up on an employee who called in sick and 16 percent said they have fired a worker for missing work without a proven excuse. Of the employers who checked up on an employee, 70 percent said they required the employee to show them a doctor's note. While half called the employee at home, 18 percent had another worker call the employee and 15 percent drove by the employee's house or apartment.

"Six-in-ten employers we surveyed said they let their team members use sick days for mental health days," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "If you need to take some time away from the office, the best way not to cause yourself more stress is to be open and honest with your manager."

"Just not feeling like going to work" is the number one reason why workers said they call off sick with made-up excuses followed by "just needing to relax" and "catching up on sleep." Other reasons included doctor's appointments, needing to run personal errands, and plans with family and friends.

When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:

- Employee said a chicken attacked his mom

- Employee's finger was stuck in a bowling ball

- Employee had a hair transplant gone bad

- Employee fell asleep at his desk while working and hit his head, causing a neck injury

- Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man

- Employee's girlfriend threw a Sit 'n Spin through his living room window.

- Employee's foot was caught in the garbage disposal

- Employee called in sick from a bar at 5 p.m. the night before

- Employee said he wasn't feeling too clever that day

- Employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the home owner's association

- Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie

- Employee was in a boat on Lake Erie, ran out of gas and the coast guard towed him to the Canadian side.

Stress tops workers' safety concerns - TUC report

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Mother knows best when it comes to the name game

Average couple considers 12 names before selecting their favourite one

When choosing the baby’s Christian name, four in 10 dads are often forced to back down in the name game and let mum have her own way, new research shows.

The study of 3,000 parents, conducted by Bounty Parenting Club, also revealed that a third of couples fall out in a big way over one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make.

It also emerged that the average couple seriously considers 12 names before selecting their favourite but one in four of couples don’t make their final decision until after the baby is born.

Faye Mingo, spokeswoman for said: “The name game is a debate which often lasts the whole nine months of the pregnancy and causes the most upsets as couples fail to agree on the best name for their new born.

“It’s understandably one of the hardest decisions mum and dad will ever have to make – largely because we do judge a person by their name before we’ve even got to know them. As well as finding a name both partners like there are still loads of other factors parents have to take into consideration when choosing a name - like nicknames, what they will be called in the playground, how the Christian name will sound against their surname, and so on. All things considered it’s unsurprising that something as important as choosing a name leads to a lot of heated discussion!”

The poll reveals 15 per cent of couples argue every single day of the nine month pregnancy about what to call their tot. And for these indecisive new mums and dads, the new arrival remains nameless for an average of 11 days.

Seven in 10 new parents struggled to choose their baby’s name because they wanted to select something which didn’t clash with their surname. The same percentage wanted to avoid bad nicknames, and 42 per cent didn’t want any name associated with a celebrity.

A third of parents wanted their new baby to have a really original moniker, while 21 per cent didn’t want the name to be shortened or changed at all. Incredibly, one in 10 parents ended up drawing names out of a hat, and a further 14 per cent tossed a coin as a final decider.

Interestingly, a quarter of men and women are just as likely to consult their work colleagues about baby names as their partners. And when it comes to the final decision, a fifth of new parents named the baby after their favourite colleague or friend, while 37 per cent included a family name.

Four in 10 Brits took into account names approved by the grandparents, and 52 per cent avoided names of all friends and their children.

Mingo continues: “There are often so many more people involved in the name game than just mum and dad. In fact, if mum and dad are the only ones involved they are lucky – as most couples have input from friends, family members, work colleagues and even strangers in the hospital waiting room!

“Quite a large percentage of our respondents – a quarter – actually settle on the name they have wanted to call their baby since they were children. But 16 per cent of others are so indecisive they even change the name of the baby a few days after naming it – showing even if you have managed to agree on a name you may not feel it suits your child in the end.”

But the good news is that nine out of 10 parents now love the name of their child – the bad news is that the name game can cause major arguments between both partners and friends.

Some 21 per cent of people who had their hearts set on a particular name since they were little fell out with a partner who didn’t like the same name. Fifteen per cent of mums have fallen out with a friend after they copied or stole a name they liked, and another 15 per cent admit the fall out was because they chose their friend’s favourite name.

Incredibly 17 per cent of couples fell out after choosing the baby’s name, only for one of them to go and register a different name. And another 17 per cent of mums and dads agreed on a name, but one of them misspelt it on the birth register.

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40% of women jealous of their partner's being sound asleep

1 in 5 women argue with their partner because of their sleep differences

One in four women are so jealous of their hubby’s regular sleep patterns that they confess to intentionally waking them up on a regular basis, a new survey has revealed. And they’re not subtle about it either.

The survey, by Silentnight Beds - revealed the lengths ladies will go to, to wake a sleeping partner when the green eyed monster gets the better of them.

Almost half say they ramp up the tossing and turning to stir a sleeping partner, while one in five say they ‘accidentally’ prod or nudge them. Other tactics include talking to them until they respond, making a loud noise and turning either the light or TV on.

One in ten have even resorted to pinching their partner, if all else failed.

However, a whopping one in three say they go berserk if their partners dare do the same!

And it seems the men are well trained and know better, as 60% say they would never wake a sleeping partner on purpose.

However, that may have something to do with the fact that British men sleep easy. A quarter of them admit to nodding off within 10 minutes of their head hitting the pillow. Meanwhile, the same number of women take between 30 minutes and an hour to drop off.

This difference in sleeping habits, means a massive 40% of women become frustrated with their partners and a third say it leads to an argument.

Regionally, Scots take the longest to get to sleep averaging on over an hour once in the sack. While Geordies sleep easiest, dropping off within five minutes of their head hitting the pillow.

Pensioners are most likely to prod their partners to wake them, while teens are most likely to turn the TV or a light on.

Amanda Jones, Marketing Director at Silentnight, said: “Not being able to get to sleep can be frustrating enough, but our survey shows that it’s made worse when you’re laid next to someone who is sound asleep.

“However, this ‘Sleep Envy’ phenomenon is actually doing more harm than good and will only prevent you from getting to sleep longer. Sleepless Brits should try tiring themselves out by reading or having a warm drink in another room, so as not to disturb their partners.”

1 in 4 women admit to intentionally waking their sleeping partner up.
1 in 5 women argue with their partner because of their sleep differences.
Scots take the longest to nod off – averaging over an hour.
Geordies sleep easiest, dropping off as soon as their heads hit the pillow.
1 in 3 women take between 30-60 min to fall asleep once in bed compared to 1 in 3 men who fall asleep within 10 mins

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Can women keep a secret? Yes, only for 34 hours

Research shows a fifth feel no guilt for broadcasting other people’s secrets

The average UK woman can only keep a secret for 34 hours, a new survey has revealed.

The survey of 4000 women was commissioned by the community coffee chain Esquires Coffee Houses UK.

Of the 4,000 women polled, 90% claim to be trustworthy yet as many as 30% admit to spilling the beans just hours after they’ve been trusted with a secret.

One in 10 of those women even claim to blab within 45 minutes.

According to the study, women in the UK are told around three secrets a week by their nearest and dearest and they are likely to pass at least one of those juicy nuggets on to a friend.

On average, women tend to spend 41 minutes each day gossiping. The most talked about subjects are work (57% of subjects agreed), friend’s troubles (55%), friend’s love lives (54%) and work colleagues (50%).

When sharing someone else’s secret, women are most likely to confide in a friend over a husband, boyfriend or family member. However, a staggering 50% of women think that it’s acceptable to betray a friend’s trust if they confide in their partner.

Managing Director of Esquires Coffee Houses UK Peter Kirton, said: “For us, it was interesting to see that one in four women have a favourite place to socialise and that, despite the rise in social media, over three quarters of the nation still prefer to share their secrets in person.

“When it comes to gossiping hot spots, it seems that the water cooler is no longer the place to be with work desks, staff kitchens, pubs and coffee houses amongst the most popular choices for a chat. Rather than catching someone in a corridor or in the street, people prefer to find somewhere comfortable and private to relax and share their news.

“We were also pleased to see that 63% of those surveyed said they tend to eat or drink whilst gossiping and these figures got even higher amongst the younger generations. Getting together with friends and talking through your troubles is a great way to offload and unwind, especially over a cup of tea or coffee! We’ve always known that catching up on the latest gossip is a well-loved ritual for our customers and now, thanks to this survey, we know what they’re talking about.”

According to the survey, subjects kept under wraps varied from the true cost of a purchase to far more intimate issues such as affairs and dealing with ex-partners.

A fifth of those surveyed felt no guilt for broadcasting other people’s secrets. For 38% of women, sharing someone else’s secret is simply a way to get something off their chest and a quarter of the respondents feel a weight has been lifted once they have shared.

Of those who admit to breaking a confidence, 61% will tell someone uninvolved so not to get caught. And, although a third of the population has never been caught sharing a secret, 12% of women have fallen out with a friend for gossiping about something they were told in private.

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Catholic Dating Service receives Top 5-Star Rating

"Catholic Match caters to people looking for serious relationships and friendships" has awarded their highest five-star rating to Catholic Match, an industry leader in Catholic online dating services.

Online dating has come of age. Today millions of people across the world - have found the advantages that online dating brings. For those seeking specific Catholic qualities, or similar religious beliefs, Catholic dating services allow people to fine tune their search effort.

From the comfort of their own home or apartment, a person can browse through thousands of pictures and profiles, strike up conversations, and develop a relationship with someone that will ultimately be a good match for them in all aspects of their life.

“With a significant membership base, professional website, and affordable price, Catholic Match earns our highest rating,” explained Brian Dolezal, of, LLC. “Catholic Match caters to people looking for serious relationships and friendships. They take pride in making Catholic values and marriage a priority, and have many success stories. Catholic Match has everything we could ask for in a dating service geared toward Catholics, and they’ve earned our highest rating.”

To find out more about Catholic Match and other Catholic dating services, including reviews and comparison rankings, please visit the Catholic Dating Services category of at

Catholic Match has provided a uniquely Catholic experience for the community it serves. While staying true to the teachings of the Catholic Church, Catholic Match has distinguished itself by reaching a broad spectrum of Catholics. Catholic Match now reaches 96 countries and has served over a half million people.

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