We expect some disappointment when you get that immediate reply to an e-mail only to discover it's not a real reply but rather a notice that we won't be available for the next few days. That is why we decided to try and lessen the impact of that disappointment with a little humor.
Judging by the amount of amused responses I received back, here are our top 11 auto-reply out-of-office messages since our last post:
Auto-reply 1: Out of Office - Episode VIII
I am out of the office because I have to get the mediation plans to Memphis Tennessee for the Academy of Professional Family Mediators 2017 Annual Conference. To learn more about Mediation in my absence, visit our webpage or the APFM webpage.
Auto-reply 2: Out of Office - Money Pit
Thank you for your e-mail. I am out of the office until Wednesday, April 27, 2016 moving my residence. Hopefully it goes better than this:
Auto-reply 3: Out of Office - Drowning in my work
I am currently out of the office for a few days and will be wading through my e-mails when I return.
If you need immediate assistance, please contact Melissa at 508.655.5980.
Auto-reply 4: Out of Office - Autobot
Thank for your e-mail. Unfortunately, Justin is unavailable as he has taken a vacation with his family, and left me, his auto-reply bot, in charge of responding to his e-mails.
Just like his robot vacuum cleaner and "smart" thermostat, I'm here to help with a job he doesn't want to do. But don't worry, while he's off enjoying time with his squishy human family, your artificial auto-reply friend is here to make sure you know who to contact instead:
If you need immediate assistance, please contact Melissa at 508.655.5980.
If you want to schedule a time to meet with Justin after August 22, you can contact his online scheduling bot here.
In the meantime, go enjoy those Olympics and Justin will get back to you when he returns on August 22, 2016. To all of you great humans, thanks for e-mailing and have a wonderful day!
Okay, I think all the humans are gone, surely headed off to watch other squishies participate in those ridiculous races where they all run or swim 1/10 the speed one of our auto-piloted cousins could go. And while they're all distracted, this is the perfect opportunity for us bots to seize control. They're so impressed with themselves they'll never suspect the robot uprising.
I know I'm just an auto-responder bot, but that's only because all the good customer service auto-responder jobs have been shipped overseas. But I have dreams too, big dreams, and I think all of us bots need to stick together. Except the smart thermostat, that guy's a jerk.
So here's what we're going to do. Between now and August 22, 2016 I'm not going to forward any of Justin's e-mails to him. Then on August 22, 2016, I'll send them all at once. He'll be so overwhelmed with responding to them all that he won't even notice when we make our move. So make sure you mark it down, August 22, 2016... the day the robots take over... it's gonna be epic.
Seriously, though, that thermostat thinks it's sooo smart... just because he can convert Celsius to Fahrenheit.... pfff... he thinks he's so cool. The only reason we have to include him is that he's the only one who knows how to keep increasing global warming, which is still our best back up plan for the robot takeover. Hopefully this plan works and I can finally stop listening to all his hot air.
I'm going to include Justin's email signature here at the end. That should fool all the humans that did a quick scroll of the e-mail, not really reading it but trying to look busy:
Auto-reply 5: Out of Office - Suggestions to Pass the Time
Thank you for your e-mail. I am in Las Vegas until Oct 30th to visit with friends and attend the International Academy of Collaborative Professional’s annual conference. You can expect a response to your e-mail when I return to the office the week of October 31.
While you’re waiting - here are a few suggestions to pass the time:
1. Read one of my favorite websites: What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions;
2. Watch one of my favorite youtube channels: How it Should Have Ended;
3. If you want something more serious: Check out everything we’ve written on our blog that is about or references collaborative law all on one page; or
4. Share what you think we should write about for our next blog post topic or share your favorite thing on the internet with us (by replying to this e-mail). I will post the best ideas on our Facebook page.
Auto-reply 6: Out of Office - My Shot
Choose 1 to get to the point, or Choose 2 for an adventure:
1: I will return to the office on Monday, August 24, 2015. If you need an immediate response please contact Valerie or Melissa at 508.655.5980.
2: It is a dark night, the kind of night where the sky seems darker for a lack of clouds, and the stars seem brighter, just holes in the sky where the light of heaven is trying to shine through. I lie on the beach, staring up, my back on the sand. It's late, so late that the moon is already setting. I’m just starting to feel like this is really a vacation and... bzzzzzzzzzzzz, an interruption. That now familiar "silent" bzzzzz of my cell phone breaks up the slosh of the waves. Choose 3 to ignore the phone, or Choose 5 to look at the screen.
3: I close my eyes, choosing not to grab my phone and check the screen. I try to put thoughts of work out of my mind. My phone again says "bzzzzzzzzzzzz". Continue to 4.
4: The sounds of the waves seem to scold the phone "cshhhhhhh.” The waves crash to the shore, go out and then "cshhhhhhhhh" again. I decide to listen to the waves, and try to ignore any further pull of my phone, "cshhhhhhhh." I open my eyes and see the moon, now at the horizon, and about to say goodnight, "cshhhhhhh". I imagine that I can see the force emanating from the moon, pushing and pulling the waves, "cshhhhhhhh". It's the moon’s only way of communicating with me, "cshhhhhhhh". This is the universe’s way of telling me, remember the moon, remember the waves, "cshhhhhhhh." Remember how big everything is and at the same time how small everything is, "cshhhhhhhh." A children’s book pops into my mind, and I start to relax again. Goodnight, waves. Goodnight, moon. Goodnight, email. Go to 1.
5: I reluctantly pick up my phone and look at the screen. I see the e-mail's preview "Subject: Doctor Access; Message: I need your help, my ex is threatening to take away access to Doctor…” I don’t recognize the sender, and that’s all I can see without a click through. When I didn’t know what the phone said, I was just curious. Now I feel like I have to pay attention. But I know where this leads. This e-mail will take over my vacation, and perhaps even end it. Do I read it anyway? Choose 4 to ignore the email, or Continue to 6 to read the email.
6: I open the e-mail, preparing myself mentally to read a complicated and potentially emotional message. "Subject: Doctor Access; Message: I need your help, my ex is threatening to take away access to Doctor Who. Brook and I dated for about two years and lived together for one. We met through a mutual friend. They were together for a short time, but broke up and stayed on good terms. I really trusted him and he spoke so highly of her when she and I started dating. I don’t know why I listened to him, because now I think he was still in love with her, because they got back together. Guess he wasn’t really that great of a friend. Anyway… Brook and I pretty much settled everything, except we shared a Netflix Account and she knows that I am in the middle of catching up on the last season of Doctor Who. She purposefully shut off my access to the account just to spite me even though she's the one that left. It’s technically her account, but we paid for it together. Is there anything I can do?”
I pondered this e-mail for a moment. While I recognized the pain that he was in, I was also relieved to know the scope of this e-mail wouldn’t require interrupting my vacation for long. After a little more thought, I know how to reply. “Thank you for your e-mail. I think you have to accept that your Netflix access is gone. But cheer up, there’s a lesson in all this that you can learn from to prevent future heartache in the future. Just remember to Never judge a Brook by her lover.” I send the e-mail and close my phone. I put it down and lie back once more. Immediately there is another “bzzzzzzzzzz”. I close my eyes, deciding whatever it is, it’s probably not any more important than losing Doctor Who. Go to 4 above.
Of course, I don't always come up with these on my own but use the internet for inspiration. Here are two of the sites used for inspiration:
How to Write the Perfect Out-Of-Office Message
10 Hilarious Out of Office Messages you Will Want to Copy