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What to Say If You’re Caught Sleeping in Your Cubicle

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As a sequel to yesterday’s post on looking busy at work, here’s a meme floating around the Web: what to say if you get caught sleeping in your cubicle:

“It’s okay: I’m still billing the client.”

“They told me at the blood bank this might happen.”

“This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time-management course you sent me to.”

“I was working smarter, not harder.”

“Whew! I must a left the top off the Liquid Paper.”

“I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!”

“This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”

“I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance.”

“I’m in the management training program.”

“I’m actually doing a “Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan” (SLEEP) I learned at the last management seminar you made me attend.”

“This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!”

“I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Do you discriminate against people who practice Yoga?”

“Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”

“The coffee machine is broken.”

“Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won’t wear off!”

“It worked well for Reagan, didn’t it?”

“I was cross-training for telecommuting.”

“Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!”

“I wasn’t sleeping. Was trying to pick up a contact lens without hands.”

“The mailman flipped out and pulled a gun, so I was playing dead to avoid getting shot.”

And the best thing to say if your boss catches you asleep at your desk:

“Geez, I thought you were gone for the day.”

Got any of your own? Let us know in the comments!

What to Say If You're Caught Sleeping in Your Cubicle by
Authored by: Erik Even

  • chandrapdl

    To be fair enough, I would commit that I could not sleep in last night and so I am not feeling well. If allowed, I would prefer to go home today.

  • disketnafull

    Actually doing a “Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan” (SLEEP) you learned at the last mandatory seminar your boss made you attend.

  • munchit

    How about “I just knocked over my paperclips and thought it would be most efficient to pick them up with the metal plate in my head.” Of course, that wouldn’t work if you didn’t sit up covered with paperclips.

  • cjl718

    This sounds ALL too familiar to me. What do you say if you get caught sleeping? “Boss, I wasn’t sleeping, please don’t mistake my small shaped eyes as signs of detraction to work. Smaller shaped eyes tend to look closed – I was merely trying to review the content of my work with such conviction as you walked by.”

  • cleepradhantesch

    I’ve actually experienced being caught sleeping while at work but was too embarrassed to say anything. After reading the excuses above, I already know what to say the next time I’m caught. This also inspired me to make my own excuse. I’d probably say, “didn’t think the clock was broken when I set the alarm to start my break”. Now, I’ll just have to practice to make it sound convincing. Wish me luck!

  • xtralarge

    hello my name is Jim Brown and i also have a funny story about falling asleep at a cubicle only my boss didnt believe my excuse I told him that i was working as a spy for him to hear if anyone was talking bad about him needless to say i got fired ha email me at if you have a funny story of your own

  • Tim Woods

    I suppose this is meant to be funny? How about “I’m sorry – I’ll clean out my cubicle/desk because I know I have been fired. Don’t worry, I won’t be filing for unemployment because you’re going to contest the claim anyways.”