Ferris Buellers of the world, listen up. If you’re going to play hooky for the day, there is one key factor to keep in mind: Your story needs to be believable. If you’re always in search of that one flawless excuse, we’ve got some valuable information for all you rebels. UK medical insurance provider AXA PPP Healthcare recently surveyed 1,000 business owners, managing directors and chief executives to find out which excuses they actually buy when their workers call out sick.

The number one winner? The flu. 41 percent of bosses say they would sympathize and believe this excuse. Whether it’s because they feel bad for you or they just really don’t want you to bring those germs into the office was not discussed ;) Coming in close behind the flu is back pain, an injury caused by an accident and somewhat surprisingly, stress. The excuses that won’t get your boss’ sympathy? A migraine, a cold, anxiety and depression are all in the bottom four.

All silliness aside, this study does bring to light the larger issue, which is how employers view mental illnesses. If an anxiety attack is met with nearly 20 percent less sympathy than the flu, that’s an issue. However, this appears to be something employees are at least relatively aware of. When asked which illness they’re most likely to lie about, anxiety and depression came out on top.

Just remember everybody, fake sickness or real, it’s all about how you sell it.

What’s your go-to excuse when playing hooky? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)