OOO. Out of Office. ‘Dave’s not here.’ I’ve been OOO this week. I don’t know about you, but when I get an automated email with OOO in the subject line, I say to myself “Oh crap, ____ is on vacation.” I think everyone is entitled to a little R & R…except when I need something.
And speaking of OOO, haven’t most of us been “Out of Office” for the last year? I’m not naming names but I know about a dozen folks who haven’t worked a Friday in years. #YouKnowWhoYouAre Some weeks, I may get 100+ “Out of Office replies” when I send the Weekly Report.
At Madison+Main, we pride ourselves on the work/life balance and I actually smile when I get an Out of Office email from a colleague. It means they’re using their benefit of PTO (paid time off). They might be having fun. They might be recharging. I may miss them momentarily but I’m genuinely happy they are taking some well-deserved time off.
At M+M, we also value creativity, and we give our folks wide latitude to create their own OOO email replies. Here are a few examples of how our folks put the “Oh!” back in OOO emails.
Communications Director Kent Brockwell is the master of this. Here’s one of his best:
Subject: This is Kent’s “Gone Fishing” Sign | OOO
Howdy! I will be out of the office and gratefully away from most forms of technology and 100% of political ads until October 11, 2020.
If this is a truly urgent matter (or if you are returning my missing mint-condition Honus Wagner baseball card), you can contact me at Ramp 43, 44, or 55 on the Hatteras National Seashore — but BYOB.
Director of Business Marketing Leanne “Smiley” Ferry made us all smile with this one:
I’m in Disney World wearing a purple wig and sequins – seriously – in celebration of my cousin getting married…again. *cough* I’ll be riding Space Mountain and drinking fruity over-priced drinks with Buzz Lightyear and Cinderella.
Copywriter Derek Fair is a giving guy…even during his departure:
Congratulations! You are the lucky winner of (1) free automated email response and this exact one that you are reading right now is your precious prize. If I was at work, chances are you would not have received anything at all — especially not at lightning speed. I am currently out of the office on vacation but please email me again for another 100% chance to win or write Communications Director Kent Brockwell at firstname.lastname@example.org for your shot to snag a copy of his new autobiography — “Waiter, There’s A Beard In My Soup: The Saga of Mr. Brockwell.”
Jr. Communications Specialist Kennedy Heidel flew to Maui for a long weekend and put this gem in her Gmail:
“Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you”
Actually, I can live without you until I come back from vacation. Then, baby, I’ll catch up on these emails. Got something urgent? I know a guy. Bother Kent Brockwell at email@example.com. Just don’t tell him I said that…
…and mine, of course.
This is Dave’s Gmail robot. He wanted me to tell you that “Dave’s not here.” He is out of the office on vacation. If you need immediate assistance – and a live human – call 804–521–4141 and talk to one of his stellar teammates at Madison+Main or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HX453-21, aka Chuck
Monday, March 8 — Who Knew March 8th Was A Holiday? You did.
Monday was #NationalProofreadingDay! In our business, proofreading is essential. That’s why we usually have at least 3 sets of eyes looking at something before it goes to a client. You can’t proofread something after you press ‘Send.’ It’s a good thing for kids to learn. Our client, Huntington Learning Center, is the best place in Richmond to go if your child needs help with proofreading or writing. They also tutor kids in math, science, reading, and help prep for standardized tests. After one year of virtual learning, you might want to get the good folks at Huntington to help your kids out.
March is also #NationalColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth. Our hard-working clients at Hitting Cancer Below The Belt (HCB2) are committed to educating and preventing colorectal cancer across the Commonwealth. But did you know, they have an inflatable colon? Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, HCB2 has a giant, inflatable, show-stopping, entertaining, and highly educational “Strolling Colon.” You can book this inflatable for your next birthday party or company retreat. #BoldBowelsWin It won’t stink, you’ll just have to get behind me on this one.
Tuesday, March 9 — Listen Here…No Hear!
With most of the Madison+Main-iacs working remotely, we no longer have the background noise in our Richmond office. Since we’ve shifted to Zoom meetings, we now listen to each other via headphones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about having co-workers as voices in my head — they sure beat the other ones. But this got us thinking about the “new normal” in the work environment. What are you listening to as you WFH (work from home)? Pandora? Spotify? Podcasts? Send me a voice recording. I promise I’ll listen.
How creative have you been during COVID-19? Our new client, Perkinson Center for Arts & Education, a performing and visual arts center in Chester, is sponsoring a Quarantine Creation art show. They are calling all finger painters and Picassos to submit pieces of artwork that “pandemic boredom” inspired. The first prize wins $1,000 and unlimited bragging rights. Entries are accepted until May 23, 2021.
Wednesday, March 10 — Hoggin’ The Road
This week, Creative Director Art Webb and Account Manager Allison Nida hit the road (again) for another round of videos at A. Smith Bowman Distillery. We partnered with Tyler Darden from SaltFire Studio for a behind-the-label video shoot of their award-winning spirits! Good job, folks, we can’t wait to share the finished product. If there’s any leftover bourbon, we will save it for you at M+M’s Bar. The bar re-opens soon — after everyone has been vaccinated.
Thursday, March 1 — “From Meh to Money!”
A major bonus of working at our company is our focus on professional development. Molly Whitfield and I always encourage our employees to go out and seek more knowledge. This week, Communications Director Kent Brockwell took full advantage and participated in Talking Shrimp’s 60-Minute Makeovers Copywriting Mini-Course. As our company continues to grow, with the new addition of Janae Johnson to the Communications team this week, it’s important to take time to sharpen your skills and remember why Bold Brands Win. Welcome, Janae! We’re so happy to have a PR expert like you joining our roster.
Friday, March 12 — Friday Flick
Back to being OOO… Did you know that at Madison+Main, we let our hardworking employees take their birthday off? So that way, whether they want to celebrate or cry, they can get paid for it. Office Manager Mollie Banks recently rented out a Bowtie Cinemas movie theatre for her own private film screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Our friends at COMPASS Entertainment Complex also offer this great opportunity to folks down in the Northern Neck. When I get back in a few weeks I am going to rent one of the theaters at COMPASS Entertainment Complex and invite a select group of buds to watch a movie with me on Tax Day. What do you think? Full Metal Jacket or Red Dawn?
A Few of Our Favorite Events
“Take time out. It’s not a real vacation if you’re reading email or calling in for messages.”— Randy Pausch