10 out-of-office messages that tell the truth

‘I’m at a job interview’, ‘I’ll reply to offers of cash’. Liven up office life with these OOO wordings

 

I got the following out-of-office message from my colleague Peter Murtagh this morning:

“I’m repairing gutters and windows and painting a house to placate a wife. I’ll get your mail . . . and will respond when I descend the ladder. Best – Peter.”

The message’s novelty and Peter’s honesty set me thinking how bland my own out-of-office messages tend to be. A typical one reads: “I am out of the office until XX/XX/XX. For queries relating to Weekend Review please contact my colleague, [usually Peter Murtagh]. I will address your message on my return.” (Note the word “address”, not “reply”.)

But Peter’s message made me realise that office life would be just a little more interesting if we introduced some frankness and humour into our OOO messages.

Maybe next time, I’ll post one of from this list (compiled with the assistance of some non-holidaying Irish Times journalists).

1. I’m away at the moment, and will respond to your message on my return. Unless of course you’re prepared to pay me extra cash, in which case text me on this number: 08X-XXXXXXX.

2. I’m out at a job interview and will reply if I don’t get the gig.

3. I am out of the office at present. That implies that even if I were here I would answer your email, which – let’s be honest – I probably wouldn’t. What I’m really saying is that, for once, I have an excuse for not answering you.

4. I am on holiday and on my return will be group-deleting all unread messages. Sorry (ish).

5. I am on a family holiday at present but will be checking my email obsessively and responding to messages that I deem important. So if you don’t hear from me, you know where you stand.

6. 404: [your name] not found.

7. I am on holiday without access to email. In my absence, please contact XXXXX@XXXX.ie. They won’t know what you’re on about, but sure give it a go anyway.

8. I am currently out of the office on holidays. Don‘t swear so loudly, your colleagues can hear you.

9. I am out of the office and replying only to messages about job offers, promotions and free stuff. If you require an urgent answer, I advise you to offer me one of the above.

10. I am out of the office and can’t respond to your email. Will that make any difference? Ask yourself: did you really need to send the message in the first place? Or was it in fact, a largely pointless missive, whose only contribution was to add to the din of electronic communication that has so blighted our lives?

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