These Geniuses Skipped Work And Got Caught Lying On Social Media About It

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be great. Who doesn't love getting back in touch with an old friend, or sharing photographs of their dreamy vacation? But it's not all sunshine in social media land. The oversharing nature of many sites means it's all too easy to be caught lying. In particular, tech-savvy bosses can use social media profiles to nab employees who lied about missing work.

There are countless tales of people skipping work caught lying. Maybe they invented a family emergency, but slipped up by posting an incriminating photo on Facebook. Perhaps they feigned illness, then Snapchatted their day spent drinking in a bar. Or maybe they went as far as to take extra sick days – only to get caught posting photos from a spur-of-the-moment trip.

In most instances, the liar might just face some embarrassment, and perhaps a slap on the wrist. But in extreme cases, people caught skipping work on social media could end up getting fired and ruining their careers. These tales of busted employees are proof that a dumb social media post can cost you more than just an unfollow.

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • A Writer Skipped Work To Build A Treehouse
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    A Writer Skipped Work To Build A Treehouse

    When Joel Pavelski told his bosses at Mic that he needed some time off to attend a funeral in November 2015, they readily agreed. But in reality, Pavelski was stressed, burned out, and looking for a break. He went to Wisconsin, where he spent a week building a treehouse.

    His supervisor found out about the lie when they stumbled across his Twitter post explaining how he had spent his time. Pavelski wasn't fired, though CEO Chris Altchek said he didn't appreciate being lied to.

  • A Bank Worker Faked An Emergency To Go To A Halloween Party
    Photo: / via Pinterest

    A Bank Worker Faked An Emergency To Go To A Halloween Party

    At the end of October 2007, Kevin Colvin asked for some time off work at his banking job to deal with a family emergency. His request was granted – but the pressing issue was actually a Halloween party Colvin wanted to attend. When he posted a picture to Facebook of him wearing a fairy costume at the party, it quickly made its way to his boss, who emailed him saying, "I hope everything is OK. Cool wand." Colvin lost his position soon after.

  • A Hungover Employee Faked Illness To Get Out Of Work
    Photo: Kyle Doyle / via Facebook

    A Hungover Employee Faked Illness To Get Out Of Work

    In August 2008, an Australian call center worker named Kyle Doyle tried to get out of work after a night of drinking. He claimed he was ill, and since his employee contract allowed workers to take a day of sick leave without a medical certificate, he felt that he would be in the clear. What he had forgotten, though, was that he had announced his plans in a status update on Facebook. His manager saw the post and Doyle was busted.

  • An Insurance Worker Logged Onto Facebook After Claiming To Have A Migraine
    Photo: / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    An Insurance Worker Logged Onto Facebook After Claiming To Have A Migraine

    An insurance worker was fired from her job with National Suisse in April 2009 after her employers lost trust in her. The worker claimed she had a severe migraine that made it impossible for her to work. But then she was spotted logging onto Facebook. The company executives felt that if she was well enough to use her iPhone despite having a migraine, she should have been able to come into work.

  • A Hungover Employee Was Busted Thanks To Snapchat

    After spending a night drinking in September 2016, Danny Alexander was hungover and decided to take a day off of work. He sent a text to his boss explaining that he was feeling unwell and thought that would be the end of the matter. What Alexander didn’t realize was that he had met someone who knew his boss the night before, and they had shared a picture on Snapchat showing him in a bar. His boss had seen the picture and knew that he was lying about being genuinely ill.

    Fortunately, Alexander got off fairly easy: "To be honest, he wasn't that pissed off and he just gave me loads of sh*t jobs on site for a few weeks."

  • A Transit Worker Skipped Work For A Bachelor Party
    Photo: Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    A Transit Worker Skipped Work For A Bachelor Party

    Toronto Transit Commission employee Pranav Bedi was fired after it emerged he had skipped work to attend his brother’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. Bedi had taken extra vacation time by saying he was sick, but on December 14, 2013, Bedi posted a message on Facebook that said, “Vegas tonight! Can't wait! Brother's bachelor party is gonna be fun! OMG can't wait! Countdown starts! Another 3 hours to go! Yay!! Yet another place to visit! Life can't get better! Loving it.” As he hadn’t activated privacy settings, the post was available for everyone to see. After receiving an anonymous tip, his bosses were able to verify that he had fraudulently left work.