The SuperCheats Top 10 Launch Day Excuses

The nature of the world of the video gamer is such that, even in a bad year, there are always going to be new games coming out worthy of adulation. And to be clear about this, 2015 is no bad year!

Among the genuine gems on their way to your optical media trays are the next chapter of the Hitman saga, Fallout 4, Just Cause 3, Halo 5, and of course the new Assassin's Creed -- those are just a sampling mind you. There are plenty more.

All games the typical gamer knows are totally worth staying up late to buy at the local crack dealer’s** midnight sale, and staying home to play tomorrow.

Naturally when games as good as those noted above are obtained, the typical gamer is going to want to play them.

Interest in delayed gratification - waiting until after work or the weekend - well, that is the sort of pattern found exclusively in the small number of masochistic gamers who derive a certain, ah, -- pleasure is the word -- from self-denial.

In fact the urge to call in sick the next day so they can stay in and play that new game on Day 0 is an overpowering -- and totally normal -- urge.

Pulling off a righteous case of Launch-Day Fever is not simply a rite of passage, it is a social and moral imperative we tell you!*

Times have really changed in the world though, and while your parents got away with that sort of behavior on a regular basis back in the day. Today loafing off a day at work for no good reason, while it is still perfectly understandable, can actually get you sacked!

In this economy you don't want that.

On the other hand, there is the all-too-reasonable argument that staying home to play a video game on launch day is a justified and legitimate entertainment emergency! Pity that the HR managers amongst the corporate culture don't agree.

Speaking of HR Managers, it's no great stretch of the imagination to depict them in the costume and form of the stereotypical Great White Hunter of the Golden Age.

That picture conjures mental visions of them roaming the Serengeti that is the modern-day cubical farm.

Silently scuttling -- all ninja stealthy -- from cloth-covered cube entrance and crouched low as they navigate the narrow cubicle hallways, moving from floor-to-floor, and constantly consulting their iPads so as to note who is present, and who is not...

When they find a target, it's obvious: you observe as they take careful aim at the poor bastard in the database division whose cube is across the hall from you, the 400X scope on their M24 Pink Slip Launcher dialed in with corrections for the breeze flowing from the AC vent above already applied...

BAM! Slacker Game-Hipster is flung through the door and hits the bricks, Pink Slip plastered to their forehead and then, whoa! And then they gotta go home and tell their SO they lost their job?!

Harsh Mister HR Man, très harsh.

Sourcing HR

If you want to be able to stay home from work, eat cheesy-poofs and drink Mt. Dew Baja Blast while you dig deep into that new game and share that special, launch-day new-game smell, you are going to need a plan. A good plan.

Or as Mister T would say: “A foolproof plan, fool!”

Lucky for you, you have us, and we have your back!

In fact the recent confirmation for the release dates for many of those games provoked a spirited round of discussion here at the SuperCheats Bullpen, as we sat around knocking this story about, exchanging ideas and suggestions, and just generally helping to flesh-out what was clearly an important article.

Things were going great until disaster nearly struck. One of those pesky interns having nearly ruined the planning stage by demonstrating their intern-newbie-skills and asking the bullpen in general the question: “Which one of you guys is expert on this subject?”

Well... None of us. Okay? But we KNOW experts on this subject.

Okay no we don't - but we CAN find them. And that was what we did.

Working the phones like cocaine-snorting-stock-brokers, we began ringing HR departments at major corporations. We're talking Fortune 500 outfits here, okay?

I mean we are talking the very model for the HR monsters that we were just describing. The ones that not just establish the criteria used for enhanced interrogation techniques used to obtain legal grounds to terminate wayward gamer-employees of the cubical-worker-bee-sort, but the leaders of that subset of deadly HR gnomes!

In the interest of full transparency, and to let you guys know just how far we pushed the rules to help you out, we readily admit that we may have implied that we were journalists working on a story about how to know if you have a good reason to call in sick.

We might have suggested that the focus of the piece was to help the typical worker understand why showing up when you really are sick is a bad idea. How doing that puts the rest of the office at risk.

We might have gone a little too far in suggesting that in sourcing the experts on this subject -- they were, after all, the obvious go-to source for this sort of thing -- we simply couldn't write this piece without them.

Did they cooperate?

Did they spill the secrets of what situations will cause them to automatically allow an absence?

Did they teach us what HR considered very good reasons for not being in the office?

Too right they did!

Forget Good Excuses, We Got Great Ones!

As a result, we have all the ammunition you need to ensure that your game launch day loafing will not get you fired.

Well, as long as, you know, you don't panic and slice your own throat that is.

The result of all this careful research is not simply a list of excuses, but a fine understanding for how these HR gnomes think - and trust us, they are devious and dangerous people!

Before we get to the list, we need to cover some very basic issues that while they might SEEM like they are a good and obvious approach, are in fact little more than traps or recipes for disaster.

Excuses so fraught with perils unseen and so easily blown, you want to avoid using them at all costs!

Telling HR you have the plague is NOT a good plan. And when we say “the plague” what we mean is any illness that is not going to quickly resolve or that could cause them to start looking for reasons to get rid of you BECAUSE you have it.

Avoid at all costs any illness that is severe enough to require a doctor visit. Or using a Doctor visit itself as the basis for your excuse - because again that is something HR can easily check and, at a minimum, may require documentation.

This is especially true if you get your health coverage through your employer, because believe it or not they can check to see if you actually DID go to the ER or doctor when you said you did.

Getting caught in that sort of a lie is not a good idea. Getting caught in a lie in which you forged documentation to backstop? Yeah that is right up there with being the pilot of the Hindenburg, the Navigator on RMS Titanic, or the Captain of KLM Flight 4805.

Your grandmum died? Not a good idea unless she really truly did die, because that is something that is easy to check thanks to the Internet - and most HRs WILL check.

That said, all hope is not lost mates, as there ARE death excuses that can work for you - in fact one made our list - but do carefully read the details for it before you use it, right?

The SuperCheats Top 10 Launch Day Excuses

Kicking our list off with the least effective - but still a great excuse - and working our way to Number One - the King of the Day-Off Excuses - we start with Number Ten:

10. Family Emergency - Sick Children

Nothing - and we mean NOTHING - will pull at the heart strings of an HR Gnome as effectively as a sick child - and that is especially true when the HR Manager is female, a mother, or even better, a grandmum!

In that case you will have very little to no trouble getting the day off, but you are likely to be encouraged by advice like food recipes (think soup) they used for their own kids,and things to look out for that might mean the illness is worse than it actually appears.

It should go without saying that this only works when you actually HAVE kids.

If you don't have children, telling HR that your son/daughter is sick is what they call, in technical terms, a non-starter.

Caption: When you have a sick kid you have to do what you can to help them get better... If, when you say “sick kid” you mean Screamer like in Dying Light. And you know, if when you say “help them get better” you mean choke the life out of them.... Just saying.

If you DO have kids then you are in luck - most states today require employers (particularly corporate employers) to provide some leeway in terms of child-related sick days. Even when the child belongs to your significant other!

So you can generally get away with saying your boyfriend/girlfriends kid is sick and you need to be there for them.

But you may want to bear in mind that (1) children really do tend to get sick, and (2) if you really do have parental obligations for a child such as that, you may want to be extra creative with the illness, picking one that they are unlikely to actually get so that if they DO get sick there is a very low chance it will be with whatever you used for a previous excuse...

If you end up deciding to use this excuse you may need some help with the creative choice in illnesses, but hey, we got that covered! There are certain illnesses that happen so frequently that they present no danger in using. We cover that below.

First though there is one hard and fast rule you can NOT violate: That is NEVER give the kid a potentially fatal illness.

Doing that is one of the surest ways to have this backfire on you! Because the last thing you need is some do-gooder HR person suddenly spearheading a fund raiser to help you with the costs of your kid's cancer treatments - we are just saying!

So what's good? Ear infections or allergies. Ear infections because nothing makes a kid more annoying than a persistent ear infection! Watch the video embedded above to understand what that is like. Yep that kid has an ear infection.

Allergies are second - nothing is worse than going to the allergy doc. They have to checkerboard the kid's back and “test” about a zillion different things to see which they get a reaction from and which not. Makes for a miserable kid in need of lots of TLC - and a very easy to accept day-off-work excuse!

Posted: 16th Aug 2015 by CMBF