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Automatic Reply: “Lesson learned”

A man walks through a winter storm in Boston, MA in 2018.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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


In the winter, when the weather is cold, the days are short, and the number of calendar days remaining for using paid time off run thin, lots of people take vacations. David Curcio, a lawyer in Kildeer, Illinois, took some time off in November. Here’s one of his many unusual out of office messages:

My little ruse of leaving my car in the parking lot, my winter coat on my chair, and an open highlighter on my desk has failed, and I must now formally declare that I am, in fact, on paid time off through Tuesday morning. I am also walking, cold, and unable to highlight important documents. Lesson learned.

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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