Man Writes the Brutally Honest Out-Of-Office Email That You’ve Always Wanted To

September 6, 2011 3:36 pm

It’s widely understood that when someone’s traveling, it’s harder to return time-sensitive e-mails — but not impossible — yet that’s what most out-of-office messages will have us believe. We’re used to seeing automated messages that begin with, ”Hello, I’m out of the office with limited access to e-mail and won’t be able to respond to your message,” but who are you really fooling? There are very few places left in the world without decent cell phone reception (yes, we’ve been sipping AT&T’s cool-aid).

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Enter venture capitalist Josh Kopelman and what’s being hailed as the “Best Vacation Responder Ever.” Recently Kopelman took some time off during which he posted the following out-of-office auto-reply to the delight of colleague Brad Feld:

I am currently out of the office on vacation.

I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return – but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

• If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
• If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona ( and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…

Warm regards,

If that’s not a winning way to give your colleagues pause before they frantically e-mail seeking a timely answer, we don’t know what is. Kudos Josh.