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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 136: VC hype vs. Wall Street

Oct 22, 2019

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Marketplace Tech
Automatic Reply

Automatic Reply: “I am unable to reply to your eckeltronic mail”

Maria Hollenhorst Aug 14, 2019
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Copies of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series sit in a bookstore in Arlington, Virginia.
Alex Wong/Newsmakers

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


Kelly Cowling is the executive director of Grey Havens Philosophy, a community non-profit in Longmont, Colorado. This is the out-of-office message she set up when taking time off from running a Harry Potter-themed summer camp:

Dear Witches, Wizards, and Other Magical Folk,

First, let me say how much I admire your efforts to master Muggle forms of communication. Second, I regret to inform you that I am unable to reply to your eckeltronic mail. I will be away through Monday, July 29, performing my Headmistress duties at Hogwarts Preparatory Academy. Please send an owl instead.

If your matter is urgent and you absolutely must receive an eckeltronic reply, please contact our Muggle Relations Officer.

I want to reassure you that Muggles who attempt to contact me at this address will receive a completely different response than you have. They will be told that I am away receiving something called a “root canal.” I don’t know what that is, but I gather that it is unpleasant enough to discourage further inquiry.

Thank you,

Kelly Cowling, Headmistress of Hogwarts Preparatory Academy: Order of Merlin (First Class), Former Assistant Mugwump of American Federation of Sorcery, Grand Sorc. (Honorary), Winner of Witch Weekly’s Most Interesting Eyebrows for Two Consecutive Years

It’s your turn. If you’ve ever received an out-of-office email message you found amusing, tell us about it here:

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