Man Bored At Work


Like many fishos, I view work simply as the time frittered away in between fishing stints riverside. It’s not that I hate my job. It pays the bills and can be somewhat enjoyable at times. It’s just that nothing compares to the thrill of fighting a fish.

Unlike at school, when excuses were free-flowing for why I had not done my homework, my boss at work demands more evidence before he is satisfied with my absence. It has become a game of cat and mouse between us. I think up the next far-fetched excuse; he cross-examines me for details, casually asking questions on my return to work, prying and waiting for me to slip up.

So as not to use the same excuse twice, I keep a record of each one I have used. I am sure my boss does too, so he can go over every new excuse with a fine-toothed comb and make sure I haven’t played the “my grandfather died” card more than twice. I have compiled a list of my most successful excuses for getting out of work to go fishing, complete with the reasons why they were executed so perfectly. Consider it the fishos manual for pulling the wool over your boss’s eyes to get yourself more time on the water.


With this one, the more specific, the better. You don’t want to come unstuck if your boss starts asking you questions about the car you’re not ready for. It might pay to watch a couple of YouTube videos for common car problems and how to fix them. That way, if he or she asks about the repair job, you can talk with confidence about the problem and the mechanic’s recommendations for a solution.


This one can induce some embarrassment but just think, it will all be worth it once you are happily fishing on your newly arranged day off. The aim is to throw a clanger at your boss so personal and disgusting that your boss will feel uncomfortable asking any further questions.

For example, “I had an Indian dinner last night and now it’s coming out of both ends” or “I noticed a rash down there this morning and need to go and get it checked out ASAP”. If you are female and your boss is male, you have the advantage. Any mention of the words “ovary” or “uterus” should shut the conversation down and get you a free day off work.


This one works best if you actually get jury duty. I was called up and was dismissed after day three. I didn’t tell my boss and was able to get another four days off until he started sniffing around and I went back to work.


A lot of people have something that doesn’t agree with their skin, for me, oddly enough, it is bath salts. One bath with them and I go red and blotchy for the next few hours. While I don’t recommend endangering your health, a minor skin irritation is a small price to pay for a day off fishing. All I need to do is have a relaxing bath before work with some bath salts, go to work and wait for all the shocked comments asking about my face. Then my boss has no reason to doubt the validity of my illness, I can slip away before lunch, and land my first fish by one o’clock.


No boss will stop you leaving work early to do community outreach work. You can’t use this one too often as people will get suspicious. But once every six months or so, if you tell your boss you need the afternoon off to do some community outreach work, they won’t have the heart to stop you, even if they aren’t happy about it.


Once you have the excuse primed and ready to go and you have made all the preparations, think about how you are going to get away with it. Think about your social media settings. Social media nearly undid all my hard work recently when my mate and I landed a tasty looking Australian Salmon and he tagged me in the photo of us with our catch on Facebook. After some urgent scrambling to untag myself, followed by several hours of near panic that someone from the office had seen it, I was reassured that I had taken it down quickly enough to have escaped exposure.

Don’t get caught in the lie by being sloppy with social media. Adjust your privacy settings and make sure nothing incriminating ends up online. Then you can relax and get down to what matters in life, fishing.


Do you have any excuses to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below to help others ditch work for more time on the water.

Oli Ward
Oli Ward

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.