This out-of-office e-mail landed in my inbox a few days ago. I don't know "Bob" personally; he's a member of a Yahoo! group I follow. (To preserve privacy, I have changed all identifying info in the e-mail.)
I think Bob's e-mail is one of a kind, and I've been following the out-of-office genre for a while. (See my earlier post: Out-of-Office E-Mails: T.M.I. or too little?)
I'd like to know your opinion. Do you think this a practical and polite out-of-office e-mail?
Subject: Thank you for your message; however, I'm not going to read it. See important contact information below
I will be out of the office starting 02/07/2011 and will not return until 02/16/2011.
I am away on vacation and will not be answering e-mails received during this time.
For research grants please contact John Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, (800)123-4567 x 11223
For research agreements and intellectual property please contact Jane Doe, email@example.com, (800)123-4567 x 22334
For ABA, BCB, CDD please contact Susan Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, (800)123-4567 x 55588
For knowledge mobilization please contact Fred White, email@example.com, (800)123-4567 x 99887
For all other matters or if you need immediate assistance please contact Ann Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (800)123-4567 x58258
In order to manage e-mail, I will not be reading e-mails received during my absence. If your e-mail is still urgent upon my return on February 16, please send it to me again.
Thanks for helping manage e-mail insanity.
In my earlier post, I listed these four items as required information for an out-of-office e-mail:
- How long you'll be gone. Use calendar dates, not just day of the week.
- How often or whether you'll respond to e-mail or voice mails at all while you're gone. Knowing whether you'll respond at all during your time out of the office will help you colleagues and customers decide what to do in case of a work emergency, for example.
- Who to contact for what while you're away. Provide specific names, e-mails, and phone numbers.
- How soon you'll respond to e-mails when you've returned.
Bob has supplied all the required information, but has he gone around the bend in asking people to resend their e-mails to him upon his return? In your opinion, is it OK to announce that you won't be reading any of the e-mails sent to you while you're away. Let me know what you think. (I will read your e-mails.)
— Leslie O'Flahavan