Out of office auto-replies

Monday, February 6th, 2006

My university has an odd policy of only enabling out-of-office auto replies for internal addresses. In other words if a student emails me from one of their increasingly bizarre hotmail addresses about something urgent, but I’m on holiday or away at an international high-flying conference (you never know, one day I may be) then they don’t get an auto-reply. But if the canteen emails me to say they’ve got a deal on stale baguettes they’ll be told I’m away.

I always try to keep my auto-reply informative and friendly. But I usually forget to turn them off rendering them useless and annoying. Here are some ideas for yours:

  1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
  2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I were in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.
  3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
  4. 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.
  5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many people did this over and over).
  6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.
  7. I’ve run away to join a different circus.

(from today’s in-box)

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