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I applied for an local county sheriff do I answer the question, have you ever called in sick when you were not? Any "yes" answer explain?  I put yes.

Hi Mike-

Sorry for the late returns, I've been on quite a bit of travel as of late.

First of all I commend you for your honesty in answering the question. I believe that honesty is the best policy and this question may be just a question to test your honesty and nothing more, however lets deal with the explanation.

If you called in sick when you weren't sick, simply to skip work or to go to the movies or some other frivolous activity, then you might have an issue, but if you did it for a valid reason that was about family, or legal issues etc... then you might have a chance. What do I mean by this?

I recently had an fellow colleague (whom I supervise) call me to ask for the day off. He had no vacation day's in his account and was not entitled to take a day. I inquired as to what was going on and at first he said that he wasn't feeling good, but suspecting something else, I dug a bit and he did tell me that his son was involved in an activity at school and he wanted to support his son. He and his wife were separated and this was one of those important life moments that he needed to show up to, if you get my drift. I opted to give him a sick day and let him go. I told him that he had one less sick day to use when a "real" sick day arose so the point was made. He attended and came to work the next day.

What I'm saying/asking is why did you take it? Was it worth it or was it because you wanted to do something less important? What an employer is looking for here is to see if they are hiring someone with work ethics that meet their needs and their cultures. Are you willing to go to work when you don't want to? Are you willing to show up when you don't feel like it? Are you willing to be both physically and emotionally there when other things are happening outside of the job?  

Keep on your role of honesty and tell them why. If it was a unsupportable reason, then you might want to add that you have since grown and come to understand that this kind of work ethic is not what you now have or want to represent. If you don't feel that way, then perhaps you need to ask yourself what is your work ethic.

Again I commend you for the honesty and based on your honesty I think you have good judgement that will pay off.

Be well and good luck.


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Evan Glassett


Greetings - I can answer questions in the areas of Talent Development, High Potential or HiPo Development, Leadership and Leadership Development, Coaching and facilitation.


I have worked for the last 16 yrs in the fields of training and development, coaching and leadership and talent development. I hold a B.S. in Speech Communication and a M.A. in Organization Development and Management with a focus in Leadership Coaching.



B.S. Speech Communications University of Utah M.A. OD&M Fielding Graduate University - Santa Barbara, CA

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