Image for post
Image for post

143. Why my automated mail response mentions both Narnia and my father

Hello there!

I’m currently in Narnia exploring the ice caverns and digging for
buried treasure.

Strictly speaking, that’s not true, but it might as well be. You’re
getting this automated response because I’m off the grid until Dec 8.

If you are writing because of Dziobak Larp Studios or any of our larp
projects, try Edin (edin@dziobak.studio) or Olivier
(olivier@dziobak.studio). They may be able to help.

If it’s about the Extraordinary Divison, reaching Phil
(adventure@extraordinary.college) is your best shot.

And if it’s about something else — maybe you want me to speak at your
conference, think I should read this blog post about flying monkeys or
you’re my father asking for my Christmas plans…

In this case, you’re kind of out of luck (sorry, Anders). Hopefully
I’ll be able to answer before I’m back, but I can’t guarantee
anything. ;-)

Bottom line. I’m (as usual) out there on the fringes of fiction doing
something weird. I’ll do my best to answer you once I’m back!

Kind regards
Claus Raasted, Offline Explorer

That’s what my latest Away-From-Office automated mail looked like.

It contained all the necessary info, but was written in a slightly unusual style. Of course, people that know me might say that it’s written in exactly my style, and that there’s nothing unusual about that. C’est la vie.

There are a few reasons why I’ve done it that way.

  1. It’s very much me. I try to let as much of my written communication reflect the person I am. And that, right there? That’s me, through and through, and I’m a big fan of authenticity.
  2. I think more people will read it. Plenty of boring standard mails just go in one ear and out the next. My bet is that this one has a bigger chance of being read, and of the information actually communicated.
  3. I had fun writing it. What does one write for an away message? How much info is relevant? How much is overkill? I don’t know the answer to any of those, but I know that I enjoyed writing this.
  4. The remarkable gets remarked on. I’ve already gotten some nice mails applauding the automated message. That’s super motivating. I don’t think many “Out of Office until Wednesday” messages get that engagement.
  5. Automated personal is better than just automated. It’s enough that people get a standard response. They don’t also have to feel that it’s a standard standard response. One “standard” is enough.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone should go banzai when writing automated responses or Out-of-Office messages. But instead of seeing these sorts of messages as annoying, I see them as a chance to put a smile on someone’s face. Sure, not everyone will enjoy my quirky style, but I’m pretty sure very few people really enjoy boring impersonal standard messages.

So at the end of the day, what is really lost?

And if you want some further arguments, here is a TedX talk by JP Sears that might be right up your alley. ;-)

If you like my writing, and want to free up my time, to write more, you can do exactly that, by supporting me via Patreon.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3351676

If you want to get into contact, you can find me at clausraasted.dk.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store