Everyone has times occasionally when work just firmly plants itself in the way of something more … well, pressing. Whether it’s nursing a hangover, dealing with demands from a needy significant other or keeping an appointment that’s just better kept under wraps, real life sometimes has no regard for business hours.

Well did you know that there’s an art to calling in sick? And there are marketing professionals who are actually paid to pick the brains of duty dodgers to learn more about the craft?

According to study of 1,000 employees conducted by Attest, a London-based marketing firm that’s into this sort of thing, the absolute best time for that plaintive call into the office is 6:38 a.m. – late enough to have (presumably) gauged one’s substandard health, yet early enough to (most importantly) have the call go to voice mail.

Rather than, you know, deal with your boss on the phone and have to pull off an epic woe-is-me routine to someone likely experienced in sifting through such horse hockey on a daily basis.

The study also advises the fairly obvious – avoid Mondays and Fridays, and try to steer clear of November and December, the holiday season when most everyone (amateurs, we’ll call them) tries this anyway.

No method is perfect, of course, and the caveat is that the better you get at it through repetition, the wearier your boss will likely get at buying your latest (and hopefully highly creative) alibi.

And there are some excuses that are just way over the top. The following, according to WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C., are the worst excuses given by employees for calling in sick:

1. Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.

2. Employee was stuck under the bed.

3. Employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.

4. Employee said the universe was telling him to take a day off.

5. Employee's wife found out he was cheating. He had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.

6. Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair.

7. Employee said his wife put all his underwear in the washer.

8. Employee said the meal he cooked for a department potluck didn't turn out well.

9. Employee was going to the beach because the doctor said she needed more vitamin D.

10. Employee said her cat was stuck inside the dashboard of her car.

So keep it believable, keep it convincing, and learn from other's mistakes. What could possibly go wrong? (Don't answer that).