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Automatic Reply

Automatic Reply: “The opposite of taking time off for fun”

Maria Hollenhorst Jun 27, 2019
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Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Automatic Reply celebrates the pithy, surprising or otherwise amusing “out-of-office” email messages pinging around workplaces.


Enarime Mueller works in the human resources department of British American Tobacco’s West Africa office. Before going on maternity leave for the birth of her third child, she set up the following out-of-office email message.

Hello,

I am not out of the office for vacation, but because I have just birthed a human, which is the opposite of taking time off for fun. If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I am on maternity leave, kindly dial 911 or please resend it to interruptenarimesmaternityleave@bat.com and I will try to respond to it promptly. Otherwise, my awesome colleagues are perfectly able to address any queries.

Ciao,

Enarime

Mueller said the email address contained in the reply doesn’t really exist. “But the funny thing is, I got an email, and this individual actually cc’d that email address,” she said. “He must have been really desperate to reach me.” 

It’s your turn. If you’ve ever received an out-of-office message that made you think “I wish I’d thought of that,” tell us about it here:

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