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Are you OUT OF your OFFICE mind?

13 Nov

At the beginning of another crazy week at work, I took a moment to check the calendar (and prepare myself emotionally) for the fun I could anticipate on the agenda. To my surprise, I saw one of the date blocks shaded in a special color, denoting a federal holiday. Referencing the federal holiday list, the joy washed over me at the site of a rare Friday federal leave day in my very near future! (Thank you for your service, Veterans!)

So when Thursday afternoon rolled around, I wrapped up my projects for the day, set the to-do list for the following week, watered the plant… and – oh, joy – prepared to set up the lovely Out-Of-Office (OOO) reply for my email account.

You might think that setting up an email OOO is a trivial and simple undertaking that anyone should have no problem writing. But given my recent feelings of surprise and aggravation while reviewing some of my fellow colleagues’ unfortunate OOO replies, I would like to take a moment to review some general “Dos and Don’ts” to ensure the rest of us don’t embarrass ourselves!


Here are few snippets from the “Don’t” category:


The High and Mighty

“…I will respond to your message at my earliest convenience.”

At your earliest convenience? Oh, but of course, please, because I wouldn’t want to bother you with this work stuff when you probably have several cat videos on YouTube to watch and office gossip to catch up on first. Thank you so much for even considering my message for a response, Your Highness.


The Fibber

“…I will be on work-related travel to our California hub with no access to email during this time.”

So, no access to your work-related email during your work-related travel? Sure. Something tells me that your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram messages and tags will be responded to in a timely fashion, though.


The Mystery

“I am out of the office and will respond to your email upon my return.”

Soooo… Any idea when you might be coming back? A day? A month? Is there someone else I should contact or should I wait for you? Maybe I should pull out my crystal ball. Maybe I should just give up and jump out the window. Thanks for the info.


And as for the “Do” category…


Let’s be real – even the most professional and responsible OOO reply can be torn to shreds:

The jig is up.

The jig is up.


The verdict? Let’s keep in simple, people…

Brief. Informative. Pleasant. Enough! Seriously.


Please share some of your best (and worst!) out-of-office messages in the comments!


A “High Level Overview” of nauseating office jargon

11 Jun

Without “getting too much into the weeds” on this (oh God, there I go), is it just my office, or does every workplace have its own obnoxious version of vocabulary regurgitation? And is it the a lack of confidence in one’s own speech, the need to sound extremely intelligent (or so they think), or does everyone just eventually get programmed into this way of speaking?

Maybe I’m not being “kept in the loop” here (ugghh), but I want to “get my ducks in a row” and point out some of the more vomit-inducing phrases that really make me want to hurl:

Deliverable – Do I work for the post office now?

Deep Dive – Um, I thought we were going over the finer details of our project, not busting out the scuba gear. And I don’t like the way ocean water gets my hair all knotted.

Swim lane – Geez, first scuba, now the pool. Swimming, diving, and all that are definitely not in my swim lane. Go away and let me do my work.

As to – Can we think of other ideas “as to” how to refer to something other than by saying this? Please? Seriously.

Buy-in – Unless you are trying to convince me to join in on your poker game, I’m not buying in to anything.

Speak to that – Um, if I choose to speak to this topic much longer, I’m going to be ill.

There are so many, but I can’t take it anymore. So that’s all for now… I’ll “be out of pocket” for the rest of the day. (Blecchhh… Darn I couldn’t hold my word vomit anymore). I certainly have no intentions to “circle back around” on this topic later.


What exactly is it… you do here?