From goats to coconuts to time travel, Outlander Season 3 gifted us some creative excuses to use in our real lives. Here are our favorite work excuses.
Alarm. Parent. Traffic. Work. Traffic. Parent. Sleep. Rinse and repeat. The busy balancer life can, most days, cause this well-intentioned brain to feel a bit like a dumpster fire detonated behind a Times Square fast food joint. Enter Outlander, which I herald frequently for its ability to provide escape from real life. But Season 3 offers something far more valuable for me—new excuses to toss out when life’s juggling act proves too much and taking a hall pass on part of it sounds more appealing. Like, that whole job part.
By now you’ve grown bored and weary with the old standby lines you use to get out of something undesirable but, adaptable by nature, these Outlander gems can infuse fresh energy into any setting where needed. But since I apparently came from the manufacturer without a verbal filter installed and [while my family can deal with a hangry, hormonal version of me] I’m certain my workplace frowns upon frequent use of either the middle finger or the F word, here are some suggested uses for the professional setting. Please note, I will not be held accountable for any user error/misuse, or backfire.
Top 13 (and a bonus!) Work Excuses Outlander Taught Me
#1 — My goats need grass. Anyone can use their child as a bonafide reason to leave the office early or take a sick day, but it takes real chutzpah to play the livestock well-being card. I recommend scrambling around in a frenzied manner grabbing your keys and whatnot so as to emphasize the “real” emergency in play.
#2 — The blazing shits. The best calling out sick excuse EVER. Because—as I’ve long proclaimed as one of my unfailing life mottos—no one asks follow-up questions after hearing the word “diarrhea.” NO ONE. Instead, you’ll likely be met with a few stutters and stammers and an uncomfortable “okay, we’ll see you next week.”
#3 — Richmond. Ah, Richmond. When your employee requests vacation time at the worst possible time of year and you’re not certain that “you’ve got to be out of your GD mind” will pass the HR test, recommend some C-list options for where they could take that PTO. While Claire suggested Richmond, feel free to swap out with any city you find least appealing.
#4 — God’s tooth, it’s not even noon. Pretty much a default reply for anything expected of you between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11:59 a.m., this one leaves the recipient pondering the time period in which that barb originated, and possibly blanking all together on the reason they even approached you. Either way, you’re in the clear.
#5 — The last 20 years. This one works well in establishing a time alibi when a project implodes, there’s a mess to clean up and the muckety mucks come to you to inquire about what happened and who’s to blame. Extra points for anyone born after 1995 with the gall to use this one.
#6 — I will consult with Coco. When you’re googling Outlander or writing a blog post about it while in a meeting and then hear your name but have no idea why or what to say. Not only does it sound boss, but it’ll buy you at least a full business day to get it together. Best used on conference calls.
#7 — Do it now and don’t be gentle. When someone above your pay grade calls you into his/her office and doesn’t spit out why you’ve been summoned within the first five seconds of entry. Hey, we’re all busy—get there quicker. For extra effect, deliver while standing up in front of their desk.
#8 — Shoveling shit. This is for that moment when you think your head will explode if that annoying coworker asks you one more time what you’re doing. Also, this might be my new favorite answer to the cliched question often asked, “what does your typical work day entail?”
#9 — Cigarettes and flop sweat. When members of a certain sex opt not to follow basic directional signage and need to know where the bathroom is. Or, the board meeting. Or the closest place to grab a sandwich. Really, this fits a multitude of scenarios.
#10 — Let me be. When someone dares to appear at your desk needing something before your first cup of coffee has fully gone down the hatch. Actually, make that two. Make sure you go full breathless Jamie on them for maximum effect.
#11 — Late, aye? You might use this one any time you bust your ever-loving arse to get to work on time and your boss strolls in late, all casual AF and you know that you should probably dust off that verbal filter of yours and employ it here. Fortify your effort by tossing in a trusty Marsali eye-roll.
#12 — I am not a gentlewoman. This is for the men in the office who feel the need to apologize either before or after swearing, lest the ladies in the room clutch their pearls before bursting into flames. It’s 2018, and if Outlander has taught us anything, it’s the therapeutic powers of a good JHRC or other Claire-ism without shame or regret.
#13 — That amount of time doesn’t exist. Try this in reply to any status update requests. As in, how much time I might need to prepare for the staff meeting that I don’t want to have or to draft that 10,000-word piece of content on something that isn’t Outlander-related. Best delivered with a measured, non-frantic voice, though opt for a breathy delivery in extreme instances. Own it.
And if all else fails, here’s a bonus! The Wordless Roger. That moment when you pull into a parking space in front of the office or right before you grab the door handle to go in, realize you haven’t been spotted yet and there’s still time to retreat. Hey, no judgment here. Roger away, friends. Tomorrow’s another day.
What would you add to our list? And let us know how it goes when you toss a couple of these out for kicks!
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Here is another favorite of mine from Season 3. “It’s a deuce of a situation, Wallace” — or just fill in the blank with the name of whomever at your office you are trying to express the difficulty of a situation. It might at least elicit some chuckles and break any existing tension. Good conversation starter! 🙂
Ohhh good one! I’m going to use that today. Thanks, Anne! I have a running list of more to create now. I also left off “Bolt the door…” which has so many potential uses that it makes my head spin.
Another great take, Ashley! Thanks for these. Especially:
#2 — The blazing shits.
#6 — I will consult with Coco.
#13 — That amount of time doesn’t exist.
I can vouch that these three WORK. Am currently waiting to use #8 — Shoveling shit.
Thanks for validating their effectiveness — good to know! Today’s forecast on my end calls for an 80% chance of using #8. Yep. One of those.
Thanks for the belly laugh today! Love all of these. Yep, they all sound
like part of the work day to me.
Who else besides me can’t wait to use the “Blazing Shits” excuse when you want to Ferris Beuller the day when it is gorgeous out?
Every. Single. Day. Including today, when it has soared to 80 and sunny outside in the middle of winter. I feel the fire slowly growing to a blaze…
I love this. I think I shall overuse “That amount of time doesn’t exist”, and “God’s tooth, it’s not even Noon”. I do have to tell you, though, I have been sent to HR for using the season 1 classic “ye don’t flatter me o’ermuch, but I canna fault yer observation” one too many times 🙂
Ha! That’s fantastic, Kathy. If you need a character witness, call me. We Obsessenachs must stick together with our themed excuses.
Thank you all for the great chuckles this morning. As sated in a previous post “Bolt the door!” is a big favorite for me. It could serve several situations in the workplace. Of course it was best as used after the turtle soup!
Glad we could make you smile, Jo! I imagine turtle soup might also have that same effect. 😉
Except the “blazing shits” does not work that well if you are in healthcare. In fact, that will require a clearance from Employee Health prior to your return (even with a doctor note), in fact creating extra work for you if the EHS is offsite, lol!
Kathleen – HA! Such a good point. One of my best friends and fellow Outlander fan is a cardiac care nurse. She was like – meh, diarrhea doesn’t phase me. Good note that it doesn’t work for those in the healthcare field.
I’m trying to practice, “my child has the blazing shits” but keep cracking up!!!
It’s okay. It happens. After much practice and application in real life, you’ll churn them out like a pro! I admire your willingness to give it a try!
I needed a good laugh this morning! I don’t work being retired so I don’t have need to use them for work but when they knocked on my door too early this morning to move my car for the plow I answered the door, “God’s tooth it’s not even nine!” Excuse. Took them a moment to process, priceless!
It is now April 2nd. Do you know that Season Three is coming out on DVD in eight days? That’s right. April 10th! Mark your calendars.
Thanks for letting us know Meredith!
Thank you so much for making me laugh so hard! Truly. (which I use constantly)
My favorite is from season 2. Jamie and the prince are discussing finding buyers for his wine purchase. And the prince tells Jamie “Do not plague me with workman’s concerns.” I could have used that a few times when I was working.
Have to remember the one about Coco! LOL! It fits in my world very well! Fun article!
The ‘blazing shits’ in our house is actually “explosive diarrhea” (stolen from South Park). Hahaha! What a great list – thank you.