When you’re going to be away from the office and have limited or no access to email, how do you let your clients and co-workers know?
If you’re like many people you either forget completely or it’s with a basic auto-responder that goes something like this: ‘I am currently out of the office for meetings and will return your email as soon as I return.’
For some, however, the auto-responder has become a place for either a high degree of creativity or else for telling an unbridled truth that possibly should have been kept under wraps.
As we enter the July 4th holiday weekend that marks summer vacations kicking off en masse, will your away message look anything like these?
1) I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.
2) You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.
3) Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.
4) I’m not in the office right now but if it’s important, tweet me using #YOUAREINTERRUPTINGMYVACATION.
5) If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond to emails or voicemail until 9ish on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012, or until email is invented — whatever comes first.
6) I am currently out of the office. I have a cell phone, but I will not be giving the number out. If you can guess the number, however, I will take your call.
I’ve foolishly included my cell in my email signature, so this would really bite me in the you-know-what.
7) Hi. I’m thinking about what you’ve just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.
8) I am currently out of the office and probably out-of-my-mind drunk. Enjoy your workweek. (Source)
Number 9 I found at the website of Brad Feld who is a managing director at the Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado:
I am currently out of the office on vacation.
I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return — but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to.
And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.
That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:
If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona (email@example.com) and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…
H/T: Pat Ahaesy,CMP, CSEP