The last time I conducted mock interviews at our local high school, my co-interviewer asked a 17-year-old girl, “How many unexcused absences do you think are okay?” When she responded with “once or twice a month,” we gasped.

In the poor girl’s defense, she didn’t know what employers consider good attendance. And while there is no black-and-white answer, I can say with confidence that less is more.

A job is a mutual commitment. You agree to show up as scheduled and the employer pays you money for your time and effort. When you don’t show up, even for a day, you are breaking your commitment. Customers, coworkers, and companies suffer.

When is it okay to unexpectedly miss work? Good reasons include having a contagious illness or being involved in an accident. If you drank too much and don’t feel well the next day, suck it up and go to work.

If you have a good reason to miss work, contact your employer immediately so they have as much time as possible to plan for your absence. Good communication makes a big difference!

And because too many people have taken advantage of well-intentioned companies, you may need to provide a doctor’s note or obituary that proves your absence was valid. I worked with a person who had many “grandparents” pass away when the company realized he was abusing their generous bereavement policy. Don’t be that guy!