This study provided a within-subjects assessment of the factors associated with an individual's decision to be absent, and examined whether there were differences between individuals in their decisions. A sample of maintenance and clerical employees at a large Midwest university responded to scenarios describing factors that might contribute to their decisions to be absent on a particular day. Illness explained more variance than any other factor in individuals' absence decisions. Several other within-subject and between-subject influences were identified. The relative importance of the antecedents of absence decisions varied widely by individual, lending support to Johns and Nicholson's (1982) argument that absence decisions are phenomenologically unique.