Out-of-office messages: ‘When I return, please call me Margaret instead of Steve’

‘Tis the season for those pesky out-of-office automatic email replies. Here’s a selection of some of the best we’ve come across.  

A hit tip to both Corey Eridon, writing on HubSpot, and Nick Lindauer, writing on the Forthea website. They each compiled a list of auto-responses that range from the clever to the downright frightening. Here’s our Top 15 list:

  1. Sorry to have missed you, but I am at the doctor’s having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.
  2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.
  3. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system… You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 13 weeks.
  4. I’ve run away to join a different circus.
  5. I am currently out of the office and probably out-of-my-mind drunk. Enjoy your workweek.
  6. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
  7. Hi. I’m thinking about what you’ve just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.
  8. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 11 June. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order It was received.
  9. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons… When I return, please refer to me as ‘ Margaret ‘ instead of ‘Steve’.
  10. I am currently out of the office. I have a cell phone, but I will not be giving the number out. If you can guess the number, however, I will take your call.
  11. If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond to emails or voicemail until 9ish on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012, or until email is invented — whatever comes first.
  12. I’m going to be out of Kansas from June 11th to June 17th. If you require urgent assistance, just double click on your ruby red mouse and tell yourself there’s no place like home. Dorothy.
  13. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.
  14. I’m not in the office right now but if it’s important, tweet me using #YOUAREINTERRUPTINGMYVACATION.
  15.  I’m out of office for the ritual slaughter of turkey and will have only occasional access to email. You have been warned.

And here’s a bonus auto-response, courtesy of Lindauer:

I will be out of the office from 6/11 thru 6/17 – returning to my desk on 6/21.
If you have questions about life, ask Siri.
If you have an emergency, dial 911.
If you wish to speak to an operator, press or say ‘zero’.
If you want to save a lot of money on your car insurance, contact GEICO.
If you have information which may lead to an arrest in the murder case of Jon Benet Ramsey, contact the Colorado Springs Sheriff’s Department.
If you know the whereabouts of known terrorists, contact the United States Department of Defense.
If you know who shot J.R., contact the Dallas Police Department.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, call …. The A-Team.
If the A-Team is unavailable, call Ghostbusters.