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SangriaQuite a big response to my last blog, including some prime examples of ill-judged “Out of Office” auto responses. I was particularly struck by this one. (My correspondent assures me she changed all names – and – just to be on the safe side, I’ve changed them again):


I am on holiday until 1/9. If your enquiry is urgent then please refer to:

Peter Parker for [customer_name] issues – p.parker@defence-co-name.com, +44 (0)7…

Sheila Singh for [secret_codename] issues – s.singh@defence-co-name.com, +44 (0)7…  

Chas Cole for [flagship_project_name] issues – c.cole@defence-co-name.com, +44 (0)7…

Don’t wreck the place while I’m gone!!

Best regards

Sam Ashton


How many security breaches, not to mention commercial faux-pas, can you count in that sorry case, eh? In trying to be helpful to his colleagues, kindly old Sam is actually dispensing some pretty valuable intelligence to anybody who happens to spam his email account.

When it comes to electronic communication it seems, the more senior the executive, the bigger the gaffe.

So if you’re by the pool – have another sangria for me and ponder over that – oh so witty – Out of Office reply you left behind. Write in haste – repent at leisure.

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