Often, when I send emails to my colleague Ooonuj, I get a O-O-O (Out of Office) message with text like:
-Out of Office-
I am travelling to Hongkong, Malaysia, and China and will be out of office till 1st December 2013.
I will have no access to my India handphone number.I shall respond to your mail, albeit a bit late.
In case of urgent matters which require immediate attention, please call / text me
@ +86 13602696490 or Contact VVSS ( email@example.com) on the following numbers:
Tel: 91-22- 421666xx / 2880 73xx / 2880 73xx / 2880 73xx
[Digression: I personally avoid setting any O-O-O messages. I normally am able to read my messages with a gap of no more than 6-7 hours. Also, I do not think I do anything is so time critical. And mainly I am afraid that my autoresponder with battle with Ooonuj’s autoresponder and rapidly choke the cyberspace in endless exchange of OOO messages :-)]
That apart, if you read Ooonuj’s O-O-O message, you will notice that he has addressed one combination – “urgent matters require immediate response”. He is silent on:
- Non-urgent matters that require immediate response
- Urgent matters that do not require immediate response
- Non-urgent matters that do not require immediate response
I believe that Ooonuj needs to cover all three cases – just to be complete.
Ooonuj also sends an actual response pretty fast (though this is terser than his OOO message). One day when I got his manual response even before I got his OOO response, I asked him what the matter was, and why his autoresponder was slow.
That is when he said, “Autoresponder? What autoresponder? I type a tailored OOO message each time. Because others also let me know when they are out-of-office and travelling all over the world and seem very busy, I thought I too should do the same. And my OOO messages to my boss are the longest – they usually contain the details of my day’s activities – just so that he knows I am doing some work.”
I did not know how to respond to that (manual or auto).
However, I did compile a set of possible OOO messages, just to bring variation to our dreary lives. Use them unmutilated or otherwise before I file for a patent (or is it copyright?)
- OOOooooooo – I have a headache all over my body.
- O-O-O – I am out out of office because I am out of my job. Thankfully, I will never have to answer your email.
- O-O-O – So what if I am out of office? I can access my email anywhere, I am just ignoring you.
- O-O-O – I am in a training on time management. I learnt that I should not sweat the small stuff. So I will ignore your email.
- O-O-O – I have been sacked. Click to see the company’s skeletons in the cupboard. Go ahead, don’t be shy, click here.
- O-O-O – If you have anything that is urgent, contact my colleague Blah. He won’t help you either.
- O-O-O – If you have anything urgent, you will anyway figure out a way to get it done. I am on a vacation.
- O-O-O – If I was in office, you would have received nothing at all. You should be grateful for this automated response.
- O-O-O – I am out of office, because I don’t have an office.
By the way, now you know why my colleague is called Ooonuj.
Do add your profound, meaningful, inspiring, leadershipping autoresponse messages – as comments below.