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Automatic Reply

Automatic Reply: “Vacation Is Coming”

Maria Hollenhorst Aug 22, 2019
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"Vacation is Coming" is a twenty-seven minute film created by Andy Freed, the CEO of a consulting company as an out-of-office message.
Courtesy of Virtual Inc.

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


Andy Freed is the CEO of Virtual Incorporated, a management consulting company based in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Anyone who emailed him during the two weeks he was on vacation this summer received an automatic reply with a 27-minute film starring Freed himself, parodying the television show “Game of Thrones.” It’s called “Vacation Is Coming.”

“Vacation Is Coming” is one of many unusual out-of-office messages created by Freed.

“Starting about 15 years ago, when I was going out of the office, I would just put something a little different,” Freed said. “It might be a top 10 list, it might be a little limerick, it might be a poem.”

In 2012, he created his first video out-of-office message, a one-minute “movie trailer” announcing he’d be vacationing with his family from July 26 to August 7. Since then, he’s made video out-of-office messages parodying “La La Land“, “Back to the Future” and now, “Game of Thrones.”

“Life is boring enough and it’s fun to just have some fun in places you might not be expecting to,” Freed said.

To combat all of the email traffic he got from people just looking for his out-of-office creations, Freed set up website so they could be viewed online.

“If you look through the last five, six years, there certainly has been a little bit of an escalation every year as we do them,” Freed said. “It’s kind of fun to top it every year.”

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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