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Millions of businesses across the UK will soon be shutting down for a well-deserved festive break. But before hitting the lights, locking the office door and waving goodbye to another year, there’s the small matter of setting an out-of-office (OOO) reply.
While some businesses will have a standard template for employees to use, others will see this as a chance to be a little more creative… (indeed, this post was inspired by our very own technical lead Phil and a rather droll internal OOO message he recently set!)
And Phil’s not the only one. Here are some witty and original out-of-office messages we’ve spotted that show there is another way. So, if you’re planning to ditch the mundane and to go for something a little different this December, we hope they may inspire you.
ERROR 405: Could not reach copywriter.
Soz. Haha! What a brilliantly geeky joke, that. But in all seriousness, if you’re wanting something done, no can do. I’m out of the office from now (date) until then (date). And if you’re that Nigerian Prince, asking for more money, then no. Not until you’ve paid that £12,000 back into my account. Other than that? I’ll bring any and all answers on my return. Peace out.”
Copywriter, Roy Gilbert, definitely put his creative skills to use when he wrote this amusing out-of-office reply. Unafraid to poke fun at himself, Roy hit the comedic nail on the head with the highly informal nature of this auto-reply message.
“[name] is away from the office. Email contact during this time may be irregular or non-existent. When she gets back she will be swamped by 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.”
This out-of-office was tweeted by Jim Julius. Although he never reveals the author’s name, Jim was clearly impressed by its creativity, crediting the message as the “best out-of-office auto email ever”.
“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.”
You can’t help but admire the brazenness of this anonymous out-of-office message. Not only is it not helpful in any way (notably, the sender fails to provide any detail of when he or she will return to work) it’s written entirely for comedy value.
“I’m currently out of the office and can be reached by waiting until I get back.”
Another anonymous entry on our list. This user doesn’t pull any punches in saying what we’re all thinking when we set an out-of-office message. Full marks for honesty.
“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.”
There’s nothing like managing expectations, which is exactly what this user has done with this out-of-office reply. Ok, so the likelihood is the response will more likely be in the region of 1-2 days, but we like how comedy value has been prioritised over factualness.
“I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.”
We’d love to know who had the confidence to set this as his or her out-of-office reply. Not for everyone and we think you’d have to have an extremely understanding boss to get away with this. (Or genuinely hate your job so much you’re beyond caring what anyone thinks!).
“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 [MM/DD], or until email is invented — whatever comes first.”
Ok, so the comedic value in this relies entirely on the email sender being familiar with the ‘Back to The Future’ film franchise, but fans of the 80s classic are sure to appreciate the throwback.
“I’m away from my desk at the moment. My cubicle and computer are still here, but someone took my desk. I’ve gone off to look for it.”
The product of someone who doesn’t take him or herself too seriously. While we’re sure this reply will irritate some email senders we can’t help but admire the completely silly tone of this unorthodox reply.
“I will be out of the office and returning next week. I have incredibly easy access to a phone and email, but I assure you, it will not be used for work purposes.”
Well, they do say honesty is the best policy and you don’t get more honest than that.