It’s vacation season again, which means, if you’re reading this, you’re either a) about to leave for a weeklong trip to Ibiza with your closest gal pals or b) you’re one of the office’s forgotten souls wondering if you’ll ever see sunlight again.
I hope you’re the former, and if you are, I hope you’ll do us latter folks a favor by jazzing up your out-of-office reply. There are few things as depressing as a bland out-of-office response that, with every email send, reminds us you’re “unreachable between now and forever, but you’ll be checking your email sporadically.” We know, we know. You’re lurking digitally while simultaneously sitting poolside in a foreign country. We “believe that.”
Give us something to live for, and try writing something a little more adventurous. While you’re mulling your perfect reply, here are a few sources of inspiration: all the out-of-office replies you wish you could set before leaving for The Most Epic Vacation Ever™—or whatever else you're doing. (Word to the wise: I am completely kidding. Do not attempt any of these. Except the one about dinosaurs—that one’s probably okay.)
When you’re going to the beach
I’ll be back on Monday, but I’ll be checking email occasionally. If I put my laptop on the hotel balcony, I can hear the ping of my email above the waves crashing into the soft white beaches. It’s beautiful, really. You should see this.
When you’re going to the mountains
Let me be frank: I’m going to a cabin deep in the woods. I won’t have reception let alone know what day it is. That is why I’m going.
When you’re visiting family
As you’re reading this, I’m explaining what I do for a living to a distant relative. So I’m on vacation, but I’m somehow still talking about expense reports. See you next week?
When you really want people to ask about your trip when you get back
I’m currently out of the office to take the trip of a lifetime, one I’ve been dreaming about for years. I feel like everything I’ve done thus far has led up to this moment. I’ll be back on Aug. 1, an entirely new person.
When you’re part Yoda, part fortune cookie
It is an answer, you seek. In time, an answer will be given.
When your coworkers track your every move
I’m not sick. I’m not on vacation. But I’m not here, and that matters to you.
When the reason you’re gone is kind of boring but still great
I’m chaperoning my daughter’s class on their museum field trip today. I’m most excited for the excavation portion of the afternoon, when I pretend the dinosaur we’re uncovering is real and not at all plastic. I’ll be back to work tomorrow, with both a newfound love for archaeology and a yearning for a simpler time: the Cretaceous Period.
When you have a bit of a dark side
Gone but not forgotten.
When you’re playing hooky
I’m out! Nothing to see here! Really, this is totally normal. I always do this.
When you’re going overseas
I’m out of the office for the next two weeks. My Instagram handle is @AlphaBethtastic if you want to follow along. Call my assistant, Margaret, if you need anything. She doesn’t have an Instagram.
When you really like time off
P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O! P-T-O!
When you’re passive aggressive
“Give the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate your presence.”
When you're turning your work conference into a personal trip
Not only is this grammar conference a vital part of my writing career, but it’s also in Hawaii. After the panel on the evolution of misplaced modifiers, I’ll be saying aloha to five days at an all-inclusive resort.
When it’s your first vacation in five years
Thanks for emailing! I’ll have that to you by 5 p.m.
When you’re not even out, but you have out-of-office on just to STOP THE EMAILS
I’ll be out of office Monday, June 24, and Tuesday, June 25. If you need anything at all, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and our representatives will assist you. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you when I return! Thanks, and have a great day!