Cousins fake uncle's funeral to skip work for a festival: 'We have to get our stories straight'

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.

It's amazing how far some people will go to get out of work, even if it means faking a funeral. In this case, two cousins called out to skip work and attend a local festival. To make their story more convincing, they researched a plausible dead uncle from the local obituaries and memorized his name just in case anyone asked for details.

I was a senior in high school when I got my first job, and most of my coworkers were high school students, too. As teens, work wasn't always our top priority.

I was happy when I saw the scheduler had given me the weekend off because there was a big local festival I wanted to attend. However, two of my coworkers were scheduled for the entire weekend, and they would miss the whole festival, or at least the good parts, since they were on the closing shift.

My coworkers were cousins and close friends. They wanted to call out sick to attend the weekend festival, but they were afraid it would look too obvious. Then one of them came up with a foolproof plan.

"Our uncle died," one of the pair told the manager on the telephone. "We won't be able to work this weekend because of the wake and the funeral."

The manager was understanding. What choice did he have? And the cousins were off the hook for the weekend.

I saw them at the festival, laughing and having a great time. They told me the story of their "uncle's" funeral, and I wished them luck with not getting caught. Fortunately, none of our other coworkers were at the event.

On Monday afternoon, we were all back to business as usual. I walked into work at the same time as my coworkers. We exchanged knowing smiles, but we couldn't talk about the festival because they were supposed to be with their family at a funeral.

Just then, the office manager spotted them and made a beeline for the girls. "I'm sorry to hear about your uncle," she said. "What was his name?"

One girl immediately gave her a name.

The officer manager nodded her head. "I saw him in the obituaries," she replied.

I was impressed. My coworkers had faked their uncle's funeral to get out of work and then researched a plausible dead uncle from the local obituaries and memorized his name. It didn't matter how wrong it was; I had to admit it was clever.

As soon as I got the chance, I questioned them about their preparedness. "It's like I told my cousin," the younger said. "We have to get our stories straight if we want this to work."

The girls' quick thinking saved them from having to work that weekend, but I couldn't help but wonder if they had considered the consequences of their actions. What would have happened if they'd gotten caught? They could have lost their jobs.

Then again, I am not sure they would have cared. It would have left their weekends free for the next festival, and they would have had a great story to tell.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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