'Excused absences' online

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

THACKERVILLE, Okla.--Owners of the Excused Absence Network say it's a simple case of supply and demand. They're meeting a need they see, but not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

Pages and pages of excuses come with the downloadable software, for a one-time fee of $25.
"You work with employees and you know that it's out there so you know people use it,” said Darl Watterhouse. He founded the company with business partner John Liddell and operate www.myexcusedabsence.com from Liddell’s Thackerville home.

They discovered the market about one-and-a-half years ago, when people were searching for what look like legitimate documents.

The form letters allow people to fill in a specific doctor's name or county where they supposedly served jury duty. The letters even have places for photos in a funeral service program, with a spot to include two different bereavement-based poems. The company's disclaimer says the forms are only for entertainment purposes, and not intended to deceive.

"I don't think we're enabling people to do anything they wouldn't do anyways," Watterhouse said.

Medical professionals say even without this computer software people have been making up doctor's notes for years. It's not a practice they encourage, but they say it still happens.

“It's not a ha-ha funny type thing, it's very serious to do that," said Kerye Ashmore, asst. Grayson County district attorney.

Prosecutors say a person could be found in contempt of court if they present a fake doctor's note to be excused from jury duty. He or she could even face criminal charges for giving an employer fake documents saying a person served jury duty, and didn't.

"It's dishonest and I'm sure if an employer were to find out that you weren't at work and you claimed to serve on a jury which would not be hard to find out, to check, you might be looking for another job," Ashmore said.

Watterhouse says they cannot control what people are already going to do. They say their next big project has customers sending a text message to download a picture. The text enters the person into a drawing for a breast enhancement.


original story:

THACKERVILLE, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma business has carved out a niche for itself -- making excuses for people. For about $25, students and employees can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals.

Other options at the Thackerville-based The Excused Absence Network include a fake jury summons or an authentic-looking funeral
service program. Co-founder John Liddell says people sometimes need a day off and are going to lie anyway.

The company's disclaimer advises the notes are "for entertainment purposes only."

Customers receive templates so they can print the notes after typing the name and address of a local doctor or emergency room. Those who choose jury duty as an excuse to miss work enter their county courthouse information on the form.

But critics say bosses might wrongly think a doctor or other medical provider helped in the scam.

On the Net:
Excused Absence Network: www.myexcusedabsence.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by midniteryder Location: Sherman on Oct 29, 2007 at 06:11 AM
    C'mon folks, this is all a big goof. I got a chuckle out of the news piece and the info about the site, but I doubt I'll use the services. If this is going to have some anal-retentive boss checking any abcenses I may have from work to the nth degree, I need another job. When I'm not able to come in, it's a very legitimate reason. Again, I personally won't use this software, but I still think it's funny. Shoot, I think the Dilbert comic strips are funny- am I gonna get fired over that?
  • by billy Location: denison on Oct 27, 2007 at 07:39 AM
    Hey mary i dont think it is illegal to call in you need to go to school every time i get on this and read more i find that peolpe are dumb
  • by mary Location: ardmore on Oct 26, 2007 at 03:27 PM
    hey kxii wasn't this same guy darl waterhouse on the news being arrested and charged with felonies during the thackerville,okla illegal horse racing?Sounds to me like it is another illeal operation.
  • by Bob's Employee Location: Denison on Oct 26, 2007 at 02:25 PM
    Hey Bob, I won't be able to make it on Monday. I have a...uhh...Dr's appointment. Yeah that's it, a Dr's appointment. Probably will last all day too. I'll bring you a note on Tuesday. Have a nice weekend!!
  • by billy Location: denison on Oct 26, 2007 at 01:40 PM
    i think bob just loves to work hey bob os saterday and sunday you want to work for me you are what we in the working class call a CB (company &%#$@ ) you love your job and would die for it and i work to live not live to work we work to much as is companys making us work weekends that family time so bob u are a CB
  • by Rick Location: Sherman on Oct 26, 2007 at 08:05 AM
    Can you honestly admit that none of you that are critizing this company, have never lied to your empolyer? I myself and know many others who have taken off of work for personal reason and then had to come up with an excuse for missing work. THX guys, cant use it right now LOL but it will pass and people will forget.
  • by Joyce Location: Marietta on Oct 26, 2007 at 07:10 AM
    Whats the big deal? I see it as two young men trying to make something for themselves. It said for entertainment purposes only! What other people do with it is their business. I think some of you might be asking yourselve: why couldn't I think of something like that? Way to go guys hope you do great!
  • by Hollie Spirit Location: ardmore on Oct 25, 2007 at 11:08 PM
    kxii are publicity trolls anyway bob
  • by Bob Location: Denison on Oct 25, 2007 at 09:48 PM
    Bill, no wadding here. Just plain facts. I'll be checking my Employees "excuses" much more carefully now, and showing anyone to the door who makes the mistake of "entertaining" themselves in this way. You're entitled to your opinion of whether this story encourages unethical behavior or not, or whether they are providing a community service showing people how to "entertain" themselves. Placing a disclaimer on a website to absolve ones self of any shared legal recourse has nothing to do with the reality of how this service is being utilized. As to the promotion of the service by KXII, a story about the service would tell the world what this guy is up to, defrauding for a fee. A story which promotes or encourages the use the service would include a link to the site for ease of use by reader. You decide which this is.
  • by Mom Location: OK on Oct 25, 2007 at 02:12 PM
    I am guessing, Bob, that since they are located in Thackerville they are hoping to pick up the gambling crowd. This rates right up there with the student paper mills and diploma mills. I hope they use it and get caught. The more liars that flunk out of school or get fired the better.
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