Meet the usual suspects of poor attendance

Meet the Usual Suspects

Here come the Usual Suspects, the rogue employees guilty of causing so many absence problems. We've characterised their key features here and you can read more about how to manage each of the rogues on our blog. See the gang in action in the Usual Suspects - animation.
We've all met Buffalo Skiver - although he is often nowhere to be seen!

Buffalo Skiver

Dodging every disciplinary bullet, Buffalo Skiver can recite the absence policies in his sleep. His time off is regular but he makes sure he doesn’t trip any triggers. He knows everybody else’s schedules by heart because that means he can leave the office early, undetected. Answering emails from the train on Mon morning gives him 40 winks more in bed whilst maintaining the illusion of ‘hardworking Buff’. Completely dis-engaged, he has become highly skilled in delegation and avoids responsibility at all cost. If only he could apply same creativity and dedication to his job, he might become a star employee.
Sleeps-with-smartphone will never stop checking her emails


Sick, yet unable to relax, Sleeps-with-Smartphone is at home in bed but nothing will stop her answering her emails. The flu is making her drowsy and prone to mistakes but the way she sees it is simple: ‘I must show my dedication to the job!’ Whilst she dozes off in the afternoon, she misses an important call and when she picks up her phone again, she starts replying to messages that have already been dealt with in the meantime by her co-workers in the office. She thinks she is doing everyone a favour but she really isn’t helping.
Annie Excuses for not completing her tasks and for not turning up at work

Annie Excuses

Using every excuse under the sun, Annie is rarely seen at work. One day her back hurts, the next it’s migraines, or her all-time favourite: stress. When she does turn up, it’s with a multitude of explanations for why she hasn’t done the work she was meant to do. If it’s not the dog eating her homework, it’s another dead grandmother (how many can one person have, really?) Her boss is keen to help with her health but the GP simply keeps signing her off work to rest. And that is just fine with Annie - sick pay is part of her contract, after all!
Butch Presentee will never go absent but does a good job of dampening the mood

Butch Presentee

‘I don’t have time to go off sick!’ says Butch. His 100% attendance record remains unbeaten and no illness will prevent him from losing this title. He comes to work to spread his germs and tell anyone who will listen how hard he works and how little it is appreciated. If he stopped moaning and trying to work whilst ill, his productivity would double and the length of his colds would halve. He might actually get some work done for once! His colleagues wish he would just go home, relax and come back happier and healthier and stop bringing them down, too.
Wild Bill Ghost is a ticking time bomb of absence management

Wild Bill Ghost

It’s been months since Wild Bill Ghost was last seen at work. He went absent whilst waiting for an operation long time ago and no one has contacted him in months to find out how he is doing these days. The best part is that his manager left the company around the time of his operation and forgot to suspend his sick pay when he was meant to. They've now employed someone new to do Wild Bill's job but Bill keeps getting his paycheck every month. He can’t believe his luck! And if he ever goes back, he will be due holiday pay for all the annual leave he has missed during the absence. What a bonus.

See the Usual Suspects in action

We have created an animation video that shows the Usual Suspects in their natural environment:

Watch the Usual Suspects animation

If you already recognise some of these rogues from our organisation, read our articles about managing the Usual Suspects