Conversation Practice: Calling in Sick for Work

Answer the writing questions.  Then, read the conversation below with a friend.   

1.  What are some acceptable excuses for missing work?  When is it a good idea to call and tell your manager that you can not come to work?  For example, is it okay to miss work because you had a terrible car accident?

2.  What are some unacceptable excuses for missing work?  When is it a bad idea to call and tell your manager that you can not come to work?  For example, is it okay to miss work because you are feeling tired?

3.  When is it acceptable to miss school?  For example, is it okay to miss school when your child is in the hospital? 

4.  When is it unacceptable to miss school?  Is it okay to miss school when it is rainy outside?

Hello, this is ____________.  I need to speak to a manager.

None of the managers are available right now.  My name is ____________.  May I take a message?

Yes, thank you.  I am calling in sick for work today.

Oh no!  I am so sorry to hear that.  What’s wrong?

Well, I have a terrible cough, a fever, a headache, and some stomach problems.

I’m very sorry to hear that.  I will leave a message with the manager.  Can you repeat your name for me?

Yes.  My name is ____________.

Can you spell that for me?

Yes, my name is spelled _______________.

Okay.  Your name is spelled ______________.  Is that correct?

Yes, thank you.

What is your phone number?

My phone number is ______________.

Okay.  Your phone number is ______________.  Is that correct?

Yes.  Do you need any other information?

Yes, what time does your shift begin?

My shift begins in three hours.

Okay.  That’s everything I need.  I will ask the manager to call you back as soon as possible.  In the meantime, get some rest and drink lots of tea.  I hope we will see you tomorrow.

I hope so too.  I hate to call in sick.  I really need the money.

I understand, but it is better to stay home for one day, than to get sicker and have to miss a whole week of work later.  It is also important to protect other people from getting sick.

That’s very true.  Okay, I am going to drink some more tea and go to bed.  Thank you very much for taking that message for me.

You’re welcome.  Get well soon!

Thanks!  Bye!

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