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A new ‘out of office’ message. Harsh, but necessary

22 Dec

Like many of you, I’m taking a few days off  always wondered what it might do if we were really honest in what we wrote in our Out Of Office message.

Such as:

“Hi! I am outa here. No email, no forwards to my Blackberry. (Ha! I don’t even use a BB!) If you really have to get a response, sorry but that’ll have to wait. I wouldn’t bother you when you are having surgery or on your honeymoon, so I won’t pretend that I would ‘get back to you shortly’ –that would be pure BS.”

Would that offend anyone?

So, this approach by Danah Boyd made me want to applaud.

“For those who are unaware of my approach to vacation … As such, I’ve trained my beloved INBOX to reject all email during vacation … You cannot put anything in my queue while I’m away (however lovingly you intend it) and I come home to a clean INBOX. Don’t worry… if you forget, you’ll get a nice note from my INBOX telling you to shove off, respect danah’s deeply needed vacation time, and try again after January 19.”

For all our transparency talk, we still ‘craft’ a lot of nonsense when it comes to our corporate communication channels. Voice mail out-of-office messages are no different. I’m going to experiment with mine in a few days, so if anyone has recommendations, love to hear.

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