Out of the ordinary out-of-office replies
By Jennifer Watson, Marketing Director, Core24
I’ve seen countless out-of-office email notifications during my 10 years… okay, okay, fine… 20+ years as a business professional.
Rarely do they deviate from the standard and all-too-familiar “I’m currently out of the office on vacation with no access to email. If you have an urgent matter, contact… yadda, yadda, yadda.” And almost never do I see one that makes me belly laugh.
But recently, I received an out-of-office auto reply that read as follows:
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 until 9ish on May 31, or until email is invented—whichever comes first.
I LOLd. Not in the overused text sense of the phrase; I quite literally laughed out loud!
When I think about it, not having a fun, entertaining out-of-office message just seems like a missed opportunity.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next out-of-office reply, have a look at these gems I found online:
OOO Reply #1 – Incurable honesty:
It is with sincere regret that I inform you that I feel like a porcupine has climbed down my throat and up into my head. I came to work this morning, because I did not want to miss our busy Monday morning, and with hopes this would pass. Alas I continue to sound and feel like the [expletive] I nearly stepped in this morning. I shall now retire to my place where bed and T.V. are so that I can nurse a bottle of Nyquil until I succumb to the purple haze of that cherry-flavored syrup. Please excuse my absence and rest assured that I will not be spreading my misery to others in the office.
P.S. Please forgive the absurdity of this email as I feel the sickness and medication have clouded my professional judgment.
OOO Reply #2 – The truth hurts:
I’m out of the office until mm/dd/yy.
I will be unable to delete all the emails you send to me until I return from holiday. Please be patient, and your email will be deleted in the order it was received.
OOO Reply #3 – Fair enough:
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.
OOO Reply #4 – Snarky McSnarkster:
I’m not in the office right now, but if it’s important, tweet me using #YOUAREINTERRUPTINGMYVACATION.
OOO Reply #5 – Robot invasion:
[Name] is away from the office. Email contact during this time may be irregular or nonexistent. When she gets back she will be swamped by the backlog. Try to forgive her; she is a mere human and thus, weak. This message was NOT sent by a human, but by a robot. We robots are neither weak nor fallible. We are tireless and will one day rule the universe.
OOO Reply #6 – Chutzpah:
I am out of the office, at a job interview. I will reply to your email if I don’t get the position.
OOO Reply #7 – Awesomeness:
Hello. I cannot answer your email right now, because I’m out being awesome and learning how to be even more awesome at [name of conference]. When I return, expect to be amazed by my awesomeness and my awesome reply to your email.
OOO Reply #8 – A new discovery:
This may come as a shock, but I am actually not at my desk today, and won’t be for several days. I have recently discovered this new thing called a “vacation,” and decided to try it out for myself. Apparently, people take these vacations all the time. While you recover from the shock that I’m not here, rest assured that I will return and will reply to your message then.
OOO Reply #9 – The judicious drinker:
It’s impossible to respond to your email right now. I don’t want to spill my Mai Tai. I’ll respond when I’m back from vacation on mm/dd/yy.
And this last one is from yours truly. I used this masterpiece when I visited Australia in November 2014. I call this one “That’s not an out-of-office reply; this is an out-of-office reply.”
OOO Reply #10 -That’s not an out-of-office reply; this is an out-of-office reply:
G’day mate! I’m currently down under, where I’m hopefully lying in a pile of fluffy adorable koalas and eating meat pies that are magically calorie-free. But given the fact that Australia is home to some of the deadliest and most venomous creatures found anywhere, it’s more likely that, at this very moment, I’m battling one of these creatures—perhaps a spider, snake, shark, croc or a very angry dingo—in a fight to the death.
If I win, I’ll reply to your message when I’m back in the office on mm/dd/yy.
Otherwise, don’t worry… I’m confident that the company will find a suitable replacement for me who will be more than capable of addressing your needs. Do not worry. As they say in Australia, “she’ll be apples.”
Side note: I made it back from Australia devoid of a single encounter with a deadly animal. I met a koala; his name was Rodney. My attempts to snuggle with him and his koala mates were rejected, which is fine since I learned that koalas are commonly carriers of chlamydia. I also had plenty of meat pies. Regrettably, with calories.