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Monday, July 30, 2007

Away Message

When I won't be in email contact for a while I set up a vacation program so that if someone emails me they get a message. I used to use the following:
I am not in email contact. If you absolutely, positively, have to contact me then get a life.
My wife told me this was offensive, so I changed it to
I am not in email contact. If you absolutely, positively, have to contact me then you have the wrong priorities.
She didn't like that one much either, but it was better. And I think its cleverer. But this raises the question, what is the proper etiquette for vacation programs?
  1. 15 years ago someone who is not computer savy was offended by the `get a life' vacation program, thinking that I had send it personally.
  2. 2 years ago a shy grad student from a different school was terrified by my `wrong priorities' vacation program.
  3. Aside from that, most people tell me they like both of them.
  4. I often email someone, get a vacation program reply, and then within 5 minutes get a real reply. I find that someone rude.
  5. Whatever the vacation program etiquette it will likely be irrelevant as we are logged on more and more, even on vacation.

7 comments:

  1. Some time ago I got this long version of Bill's 'wrong priorities' reply:

    ---
    I will be in sporadic email contact until I feel like getting email again
    (one is so much more productive without email!).

    If you ABSOLUTELY MUST CONTACT ME then your priorities are wrong.

    bill gasarch
    ---

    I did not feel offended because the part
    about productivity simply is true.

    Running a blog probably does not increase productivity either and reading your blog regularly wastes some of my productive minutes, but please continue your blog anyway, I nevertheless enjoy reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I often email someone, get a vacation program reply, and then within 5 minutes get a real reply. I find that someone rude.

    Many know how to turn on a vacation program, few know how to turn it off ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nobody reads these things (in their entirety), anyway...

    Sorta like voicemail messages (esp on home phones)... "Hi, you have reached blah-blah-blah blah-blah-blah blah-blah-blah-blah; we are unable to come to the phone at this time - if you could please leave your name, number, and a brief message after the beep, we'll try and get back to you as soon as possible..."

    (lots of semi-humorous versions have been tried -- these are more annoying than entertaining..)

    it can all be summarized into "please leave a message, thank you" - or the less polite version "leave the message!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am not sure if anybody noticed or even if it is correct, but this post was actually from Lance -- at least that is what my feedreader tells me.

    Are we seeing the end of retirement?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon 12:13:

    It's definitely Gasarchian; witness such evidence as "And I think its cleverer."

    ReplyDelete
  6. The "your priorities are wrong" message is one of my two favorite professor quotes*, and is in my AIM profile. Keep it.

    * the other being "Education is the only commodity where people do not want their money's worth." -Elman

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    I've stopped reading this blog. If your post or reply was really important, please email or call me.

    -A

    This message was automatically generated by the gotalife program.

    ReplyDelete