Not all of us do it when we expect to be out of the office for longer than a day or so, but they’re usually pretty bland. I’m speaking of the dreaded “out of office” automatic email reply. Most of us put something about how we’ll be gone on such and such date, but will return on such and such other date, and you’ll get back to them ASAP. However, if they need immediate assistance, they can call blah blah blah.
A Novel Out-of-Office Email
Sound a lot like your last one? Yeah, us too. Not for Josh Kopelman. He came up with something much better than usual. Check it out below:__________________________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 interruptyourvacation@[redacted].com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
- If you think someone else at [the company] might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…Warm regards, Josh________________.
What This Out-of-Office Email is Really Saying
Piper Weiss from Yahoo! Shine pretty much nailed the analysis of this:“Let’s examine what Josh has done. First he’s humanized the auto-reply robot message. Second he’s implied that not only would you be interrupting his vacation if you reach out to him, but you’d also be upsetting his wife, which somehow feels much worse. Thirdly, he’s created an email account that forces users to write the words “interrupt your vacation” in order to follow through with the disturbance, just in case someone has forgotten what they’re about to do. Josh, you are a psychological mastermind. Hat’s off. “We couldn’t agree more.
- Gmail For Mobile Gets Better With Multi Sign-in, Vacation Auto-responder and More (googletutor.com)
- Some out-of-office messages for your e-mail (ismckenzie.com)
- Founder Office Hours With Chris Dixon and Josh Kopelman: Madbrook Publishing (techcrunch.com)
- How To Get More From Your “Out-of-Office Reply” (customerthink.com)
- The Most Cleverest Vacation Auto-Reply E-Mail I’ve Seen [Email] (gizmodo.com)