Monday Start-Up: Out-of-Office Auto Reply Gone Awry

by Rachel Yeomans | November 8th, 2010   

Have you ever pondered on what the best ‘Out-of-Office’ auto-reply message is? I thought that a fun kick-start to this Monday morning would be one of my favorites supplied to you from The New Yorker:

Picture7 Monday Start Up: Out of Office Auto Reply Gone Awry

Dear Friend, Family Member, Loved One, and/or Business Associate:
Thank you for your e-mail, which, if it is under three (3) sentences long, I have read. Owing to the large volume of e-mails I’m receiving at this time, please note that it will sometimes take up to fourteen (14) calendar days, though sometimes longer (and sometimes much longer), to respond to your e-mail; in the interim, please rest assured that I am attempting to address, resolve, or think about the matter you have described, unless, of course, I’m avoiding the matter entirely. Some possible reasons for this include:
—Thinking about the matter gives me a headache.
—Thinking about the matter takes longer than forty-five (45) seconds.
—Thinking about the matter is simple enough, and takes less than forty-five (45) seconds, but, when combined with all the other e-mails in my in-box, it creates a synergy of matterdom, exacerbating the headaches mentioned at the beginning of this list.
Please note that if your e-mail is more than three (3) sentences in length I have read the first three (3) sentences, skimmed the opening paragraph, and sort of eyeballed the rest of it. Please do not expect a response to your e-mail anytime soon, if at all, for I am not a mind reader, and therefore cannot guess the nature of anything beyond the first three (3) sentences. For those of you who continue to insist on sending e-mails longer than three (3) sentences, here is a Wikipedia entry on haiku. Reformat your e-mails accordingly, as in this example:

I am busy now;
The Internet has stolen
So much precious time.

Read the rest of the message here – I promise, it keeps getting better!

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