First, a cautionary tale. . . Years ago, when I was a freelance magazine writer, I left what I thought was a funny message on my answering machine (remember answering machines?). I just had an urge one day to be "creative" with my message.

My message sounded like I was actually answering the phone, then paused for a few beats - giving the caller enough time to start talking - and then launched into the 'leave a message' recording. I thought it would amuse people. Instead, I was horrified to come home and discover that the very day I recorded that message, I received a call from a very large sports magazine to whom I had been pitching a story. The editor, who did leave a message, sounded annoyed more than amused. I was embarrassed and promptly changed it back to a more professional sounding recording.

Why am I telling you this? Because I'm about to suggest you have a little 'fun' with your Out Of Office messages. Although I love amusing Out Of Office messages, the incident above cured me from going overboard, especially now that I'm in a large, corporate work environment. Got that? Be amusing? Sure. Annoying? Never.

Our very own Annik Stahl, aka Crabby Office Lady, not only lightens the load of our customers by bringing her unique and humorous slant to help with Office applications, she also makes us laugh both in email and person. Even when she's on vacation, she keeps us amused - via her Out Of Office messages. Now, you can mimic her clever messages, as she has created a new template available here. Imagine the possibilities. . . .

image

--Nancy