It’s the end of summer, which means our inboxes are filled with the out-of-office replies from all those lucky folks on vacation while we’re still stuck at work. In the face of this, New York Magazine has listed the worst offenders of the vacation-reply list:

1. The Location-Brag
: An auto-responder that says, “I’m sunning myself on a pristine beach in Santorini and will have limited access to e-mail until Tuesday” might be an accurate reflection of your travel plans. It’s also going to make you look like an asshole.

2. The Seniority Show-off
: On a similar note, please do not conclude your away message by reminding others of the power you wield at work. (“If you need immediate assistance, please contact my executive assistant at, or my associate executive assistant at, or my executive assistant’s executive assistant at”) We get it — you’re rich.

3. The Overly Complicated Reply Process
: If your auto-responder includes more than two ways to get in touch with you in an emergency, you’re doing it wrong. By the time you get to “If your message is urgent, contact me through, then text ‘50445’ to my Google Voice number, then shoot an e-mail to,” we’ve already given up. This is an out-of-office message, not a last will and testament.

 Read the rest over at their article, “The 7 Kinds of E-mail Vacation Auto-Responders Everyone Hates.”

  • Sarah Peterson

    This is a fantastic article. But I hate how they put that last guy on a pedestal, as if his auto-responder is brilliant because it lets other people decide if they’re really going to interrupt him. Um, no. I am never going to let someone else decide if I can unplug during my vacation or not! I’m just going to do it.

  • eric

    Does “out of office” mean you do not have a laptop, cellphone or home pc with internet connection available or does it mean you work for a boss and do not want to be disturbed while on vocation?. I am sure entrepreneurs and go-getters do not use such a nuisance feedback to loose potential business.

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  • Fer Rullan

    a man/w who truly loves and lives the company (&entrepreneur) will never have that message.

    And i think is better to apologize for a long term answer rather than saying “hey im on vacation and your working, go f****yourself” and in my case (SPAIN) is like “hey, my company is broke and workers are getting fire but im on vacation” worst.idea.ever.

    That is for “give me the money” workers.You can unplug of course, it is healthy (and it is awesome) but i think is better not to tell off (to clients and others …).

    And by the way, i always believe in personal reply. If not yours, by someone.

    : )

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