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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-your-away-messages-to-yourself dept.
AmiMoJo writes Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright.
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

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  • by nospam007 (722110) * on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:52AM (#47694051)

    Dear Daimler-Benz

    I know it's after hours, but I would like to order 500 cars of the Model S as quickly as possible, color unimportant.
    I'll pay double for speedy delivery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      1) Daimler-Benz doesn't exist any more.
      2) "Model S" isn't a model that was ever produced by Daimler-Benz or Daimler AG.
      3) 500 cars isn't very many and would merely be a drop in the bucket compared to how much money Daimler AG has.
      4) Daimler AG has more than one person working for them.
      5) Sane people make money to live their lives, not the other way around.
      • by operagost (62405)

        500 cars isn't very many and would merely be a drop in the bucket compared to how much money Daimler AG has.

        The OP was a clumsy attempt at humor, but I have issue with claiming that Daimler would be OK with allowing an $18-50 million sale go away.

      • 1) Daimler-Benz doesn't exist any more.

        2) "Model S" isn't a model that was ever produced by Daimler-Benz or Daimler AG.

        3) 500 cars isn't very many and would merely be a drop in the bucket compared to how much money Daimler AG has.

        4) Daimler AG has more than one person working for them.

        5) Sane people make money to live their lives, not the other way around.

        You clearly don't work in sales. A Sales person working for Daimler would think the following of your points:
        1 through 4: Don't care, never let the stupidity of a customer get in the way of you and their money.
        5) Sane people don't work in sales.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        I heard Comcast is looking to hire you for customer service. You should give them a call back.

    • I think the point is to not have work pile up while on vacation. I do not think people use "out of office" for after work hours.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:32AM (#47694357)

        I think the point is to not have work pile up while on vacation. I do not think people use "out of office" for after work hours.

        Some of the people I work with use "out of office" for weekends. It's a passive-aggressive way of fighting back against the corporate expectation that everybody will login for email 24/7 (an expectation that got worse as corporate-issued mobile email devices got pushed further down the ladder).

        • In France it is illegal to have staff answer mail out of office hours. How's that for mandatory free time?
          • by sodul (833177)

            Not illegal, the government did send a memo to some of the larger corporations asking to discourage sending email after office hours but that has no legal implications. AFAIK there is no actual law making it illegal to answer email at any given time.

        • Plain and simple if there is an emergency that needs my attention on the weekend or after hours give me a phone call {if I happen to be the person scheduled to be on call} but it had best be important because because it's paid above normal pay.

          Otherwise email is used for non time sensitive communication. When I read the email I will reply and give you some kind of expectation. {I get a lot of vague confused requests so "Please schedule a meeting where we can discuss it in further detail" is a common reply}

    • by smitty97 (995791)

      So you're buying a fleet of Teslas?

  • It's not annoying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwfischer (1919758) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:52AM (#47694053) Journal

    Out Of Office = "I'm not going to get a timely reply"

    • by thieh (3654731)
      "I'm not going to reply promptly" != "I will not be able to reply. Ever."
    • Re:It's not annoying (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:30AM (#47694335)

      Proper out of office messages will also give you the name and number or e-mail address of the person to contact if this is an urgent matter. So for a routine issue, you'll know that you at least have to wait X days until the person returns. For an urgent issue, you can expedite matters with one more contact.

      I can't see Daimler's solution being used anywhere to good effect.

      • Re:It's not annoying (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:10AM (#47694725) Homepage

        So for a routine issue, you'll know that you at least have to wait X days until the person returns.

        Problem is that it's more like X days + however long it takes that person to do all the other tasks that have built up while they were away.

        Daimler are just moving the work from the person on holiday to the people sending them emails. Instead of that person having to sort all their email when they get back, the people sending the email sort it for them while they are away. Anything that can be passed on to others is, anything that has to wait gets re-sent if it is really that important.

        No-one likes to come back to an inbox full of crap after a holiday, and it probably doesn't help Daimler either. Many of those messages will be pointless and get deleted instantly anyway. The person will waste lots of time chasing other people to see if they handled things.

  • ...aren't already capable of doing this ?

    Whose nephew just got money for college ?
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:54AM (#47694075) Journal
    Email's strength is that it is asynchronous. I send CC emails to people that I know are not available because I want them to read it when they get back, so they aren't totally clueless as to what happened while they were out scuba diving or whatever.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem with this is that email tends to get massively backed up when people like you think that you can do that. You end up sending one, two, three or more while they are away...and so does everyone else because you think they can just "handle it" when they get back.

      Have some respect. You can wait until the person returns to work to send them messages.

      • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:29AM (#47694317) Homepage

        Have some respect. You can wait until the person returns to work to send them messages.

        My world should not stop because you chose to get off. And waiting until the person gets back is far worse - they are going to be flooded by all the emails which nobody sent while they were out. Far better to be able to triage what came in while you were away at your own pace.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          My world should not stop because you chose to get off.

          Then you'd better make arrangements to have a backup contact, now wouldn't you? Just like you'd do with any other mission-critical system.

        • by Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) <obereon@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:15AM (#47695353) Homepage Journal
          Wonderful, your world can keep going. Please contact my alternate (as indicated by my OOO reply) and they will make sure your world maintains its vital impetus. If it's not worth contacting them, then it's not that important at all, and you can reach out to me when I get back.
          • "If it's not worth contacting them, then it's not that important at all, and you can reach out to me when I get back."

            I did reach out to you when you get back. See that email in your inbox when you get back? That's me reaching out to you, and your back! ... though at this point it would be best if you just went away, of course.

            Seriously. People who don't understand email on Slashdot. This is a seriously new low.

          • Not a problem, of course, I am sure you will not complain when you are left completely out of the loop while we make decisions which involve your future work responsibilities.
        • by Ravaldy (2621787)

          This is a great strategy to maintain cross training. Forces all employees to make sure their tasks are covered since they know they cannot answer while away. It also forces other employees to understand what their colleagues do creating a better team spirit and preventing what I call "SILOS".

          Realistically there are some roles in a company that make exception to this but that list should be very short in a company of that size.

      • by sandytaru (1158959) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:35AM (#47694379) Journal
        They aren't things I expect them to handle when they get back. It's more along the lines of "X broke while you were gone. We did Y to fix it. Here's the status on Y." Otherwise, they're going to encounter Y a month from now and go "wtf is this Y thing?" and we'll have to explain that Y happened while they were skiing in the Swiss Alps but we didn't bother CCing them on the plans for it.
        • by frinkster (149158)

          They aren't things I expect them to handle when they get back. It's more along the lines of "X broke while you were gone. We did Y to fix it. Here's the status on Y." Otherwise, they're going to encounter Y a month from now and go "wtf is this Y thing?" and we'll have to explain that Y happened while they were skiing in the Swiss Alps but we didn't bother CCing them on the plans for it.

          You're doing it wrong, for exactly the reason you are sending CCs to people that are out of the office. By the way, what happens if you hire a new person, or an existing employee starts working on your team? Does someone on the team need to go back and re-send all those emails that document the product you are working on? Because maybe they need to know this kind of stuff - if someone that is on vacation needs to know what you did in the past, new team members do too. Have you been organizing your email

          • by bondsbw (888959) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:18AM (#47695383)

            A solution to this problem is to organize decisions and action items into a centralized repository that can be viewed and tracked by everyone.

            Email is best used for quick communication, not for project tracking.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Zero__Kelvin (151819)

            "You're doing it wrong, for exactly the reason you are sending CCs to people that are out of the office."

            Holy shit. You have got to be kidding me. There wasn't a single point in your whole diatribe that was remotely on point. Please learn the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication. By your argument anyone who uses voicemail or email is "doing it wrong", and anyone who says anything to anyone is wasting their time. I mean why say anything in a meeting. After all, if we get a new

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:46AM (#47695681) Homepage

        "The problem with this is that email tends to get massively backed up when people like you think that you can do that"

        If only there was some way to determine when an email was received! Then people could continue to look at current emails, and go over the backlog or choose to just delete the whole lot of them from when they left until they returned! But no. As you point out, email was always intended to be a synchronous mechanism, and one should call first and make sure their intended recipient is in the office before sending an email! The nerve of people like sandytaru thinking they can just send emails at any time without verifying that the person is in the office and in front of their computer first!*

        Yes. You are an idiot.

    • by dasunt (249686)

      Email's strength is that it is asynchronous.

      That's the theory. In practice, people seem to treat it like instant messaging.

      • by tompaulco (629533)

        Email's strength is that it is asynchronous.

        That's the theory. In practice, people seem to treat it like instant messaging.

        In my company, we have e-mails going out to customers with attachments that they use in order to post balances to medical claims. Because it is e-mail, the delivery is not guaranteed. Yet if they don't get one, it screws them all up. We have had to jump through fiery hoops checking the server logs and everything else to prove that it got out of the office, yet I keep saying that e-mail is not a guaranteed delivery mechanism. Just because it happens to be very reliable does not mean that it is 100% reliable

    • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:11AM (#47694209)

      I used to do something similar as the author. My out of office was something to the effect of

      "I will be out of the office from XX to XX. During this time, John will be my point of contact and he can be reached at john@email.com.

      If you prefer to wait until I return to work, please send me a follow up email so I know your request still needs attention."

      That said, I still went through all my emails when I came back. This system just helped me prioritize.

    • Yes, I agree completely. I do kind of hate coming back from vacation to a huge inbox, but on the other hand, I do things like emailing someone saying, "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

      • by frinkster (149158)

        Yes, I agree completely. I do kind of hate coming back from vacation to a huge inbox, but on the other hand, I do things like emailing someone saying, "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

        If you are using Outlook/Exchange, you can simply schedule a delivery date/time for the email. It's one of the not-too-hard-to-find buttons on the "Options" ribbon called "Delay Delivery". It's actually less work than typing "I know you're on vacation and I don't want you to do anything now, but I know I'll forget if I don't send this now. When you get back..."

    • I just got back from a 5 day vacation. I spent about ALL DAY on a ton of emails. The best ( or worst) was people being directed to me for help who sent all kinds of nastygrams because I guess my Out-Of-Offce was not enough clue that I was NOT going to be answering them last week!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:58AM (#47694099)

    I let physical mail pile up and then deal with it when I get back. Ditto electronic mail. Just tell people when you'll be away and that you won't be checking during that time. The only people who get annoyed by this tend to be the sort of people who deserve to be irritated anyhow.

    And unlike physical mail you don't have to worry about the accumulation tipping off burglars.

    • Additionally, what about the times when you forget to turn off your out of office? Heck, I usually forget to update my work phone voicemail for at least a month (or until someone else notices.)

    • Physical mail costs money to send, so you are unlikely to come back from vacation to a pile of 2,000 letters. Email costs virtually nothing to send, so it piles up far more quickly than physical mail.

      Also, people who send physical mail tend not to Cc: 25+ recipients just because they can, and there's no physical equivalent of the hellish "Reply to All" button.

      • My mom was away from home for a couple of months, and she probably DID have 2,000 letters, mostly junk mail, requests from charities, and political solicitations.

        • by dskoll (99328)

          How hard was it to separate out the junk mail vs. scan a large email INBOX? When I get back from a couple of weeks of vacation, the junk mail is gone within about two minutes. It takes me much longer to go through the equivalent amount of email.

      • Physical mail cannot be organized by sender, receive date, or subject line at the click of a button, and throwing mail away based on those categorizations at the click of a button isn't possible. What's your point?
        • by dskoll (99328)

          Physical email is actually easier to sort than email. Flyers, pamphlets and other junk mail naturally separates itself from the rest. Personal letters are usually very easy to recognize -- much easier than personal vs. work email.

          • "Physical email is actually easier to sort than email."

            Great. Here is a stack of 100 letters. I give you 2 seconds to sort them by sender. Go!

            " Flyers, pamphlets and other junk mail naturally separates itself from the rest."

            Somebody should invent SPAM filters!

            " much easier than personal vs. work email."

            If you don't have separate work and personal email accounts ... Oh I see. I'm being trolled.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:03AM (#47694129)

    You don't have to check it while you are on vacation. You can actually ignore it.

    So why delete what could be important communication? Just deal with it when you are back in the office.

    • by nospam007 (722110) * on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:44AM (#47694471)

      "You don't have to check it while you are on vacation. You can actually ignore it."

      You don't _have_ to, but you can.

      This is Europe.
      There _is_ no unpaid overtime!
      If people check their mail during vacation, they are working, and they have to be paid and their vacation is still due an they can sue the company when they leave (or not) to get payment for the missed holidays or weekends.
      Same thing if you get sick or injured during a holiday, the days don't count as holiday but as sick days, even if you stay there at the beach bar with a cast for 4 or 5 weeks. (although you can't drink alcohol, since this can hinder a speedy recovery)
      The vacation days are still due.

      Also, people with a security/dangerous job have to be alert and cannot have worked _anything_ 8 hours before the shift, if case of an accident or other misfortune, the company would be liable.

      "So why delete what could be important communication? Just deal with it when you are back in the office."

      If it's really important, the vacation guy is replaced during his absence and the replacement handles the email.
      If that's not the case, it's not an important job, even if the tenant thinks it is.

      • by Ubi_NL (313657)

        I'm not sure in what parallel universe you live, but in my part of europe there sure is overtime, and we are surely not getting paid for it. It's even explicit in the contracts that we do not get paid for overtime.

        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          "I'm not sure in what parallel universe you live, but in my part of europe there sure is overtime, and we are surely not getting paid for it. It's even explicit in the contracts that we do not get paid for overtime."

          That clause means there is no overtime, go home instead of trying to make the manager have a good opinion about you.
          There is no other possible interpretation, since all those have been declared illegal by the European Court.

          Unpaid labor is called 'slavery'.

          • by hjf (703092)

            And Europeans know very well about slavery and exploitation. They were the masters of it at the time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If it's really important, the vacation guy is replaced during his absence and the replacement handles the email.

        If that's not the case, it's not an important job, even if the tenant thinks it is.

        I wanted to reply something similar, but to be honest the thought never occurred to me. Instead, it was more along the lines of "well, they have to delete the emails because otherwise the employee will be blamed that important emails went unanswered during their vacation" as unfair as I realize that is. In the US

      • by Mr_Silver (213637)

        This is Europe.
        There _is_ no unpaid overtime!

        I've worked for UK, Spanish and German companies and and sure there is, it's done all the time. Often when you work longer hours in the day and do the odd bit of work at the weekend.

        If people check their mail during vacation, they are working, and they have to be paid and their vacation is still due an they can sue the company when they leave (or not) to get payment for the missed holidays or weekends.

        IANAL but I believe that only counts if they specifically as

      • by wiredlogic (135348) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:00AM (#47695227)

        Then the solution is to lock employees out of email when they're on vacation, not delete what could be an important communication.

    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      I've actually contemplated taking the delete approach when returning from a week of vacation. The reason for doing so is that we get an inordinate amount of crap email that isn't easily reducable by automated rules. I frequently come back from a week out of the office and have several thousand unread emails. Keeping up with that amount of crap as it comes in is a tolerable waste of time, but being forced to spend most of my first day back trying to sort through all that junk to find the one or two important

  • They are clueless... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benignbala (1157427) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:17AM (#47694255) Homepage
    about what Out-Of-Office responses are meant for. The primary reason you have them is :
    You *want* to convey something to a bunch of people and you expect some response. The Out-Of-Office just says don't expect a response from that person. But that person is still expected to read the emails.

    Also, there are numerous occasions where people have been assigned tasks that need to be handled later, but the assignment was done when they are out-of-office. My own manager comes in at 8:00 am, while the official work hours start at 9:00 am. So, I get mails just within an hour before the out-of-office period ends. I definitely don't want those emails deleted.
    • Perfect timing. I just sent a cow-orker some email and got an OOO message. I understand that she's not here and won't deal with it until she gets back. But it's still important email, and she needs to know about it when she does return.

    • Why not have the auto-reply end at the end of your normal business hours the previous work day? typically no one is expecting you to work then anyway and then on Monday morning before 9am they aren't still getting the auto-replies.

      • by jader3rd (2222716)

        Why not have the auto-reply end at the end of your normal business hours the previous work day? typically no one is expecting you to work then anyway and then on Monday morning before 9am they aren't still getting the auto-replies.

        You can. Nothing is preventing you from doing that.

        • And I do...just trying to give a tip that some people may find useful

          it's also generally not a good idea for your manager to think "damn it does he ever come to work?" if you wait until Monday morning to turn off the auto reply and he often sends emails before it gets turned off in the morning, he may see it and mistakenly think you still aren't there. turning it off Friday evening (assuming you took the previous week off) means 3 less days of advertising you are a no good slacker that is always on vacati

    • I can see a benefit to this arrangement. The traditional email system puts responsibility in the hands of the recipient. It kind of encourages this fire and forget mentality that just shoves the work down the line to the next poor SOB.

      I've been in situations where teams communicated effectively over email, and i've been in situations where the sales team just constantly ran around in a tizzy peppering the engineering team with questions. Now, a breakdown seems to happen here since the speed of sales is n
  • by rossdee (243626) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:27AM (#47694315)

    This is the German one, right? Not the different badge on a Jaguar,

  • by rossdee (243626) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:31AM (#47694343)

    From Lewis Hamilton
    To Ross Brawn

    Tell Nico to move over, I 'm doing faster lap times.

  • Nuke the server from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  • by dskoll (99328) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:32AM (#47694349)

    I did this once and it worked really well. However, in order for it to work, you need a couple of things:

    1) The auto-reply needs to be very clear that the original message was discarded and will never be read.

    2) The auto-reply must contain contact information of a person who can help out with urgent matters.

    It was so relaxing to come back from vacation and not have to face an inbox with 1000 messages...

    • by camperdave (969942) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:14AM (#47694775) Journal
      It won't work. You also need one more thing: a sender that pays attention to the out of office message. When I see an email which has a subject line that says "Out of office", I don't bother reading it. I just delete it. Obviously the recipient got the email; they just won't respond right away.
      • by dskoll (99328) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:38AM (#47695009)

        If a sender does not pay attention to my message, then why should I pay attention to the sender's message?

        If I send something important and then soon afterwards get an out-of-office reply, I certainly read it.

        • by jaseuk (217780)

          One more problem - typically you get only one out of office message for each instance of a vacation. If you are deleting then it would be really risky to send this only once, so you would need it to go out to each and every message.

          Jason

          • by dskoll (99328)

            No, replying to each and every message is really a bad idea. I worded my auto-reply something like this:

            "Hello, you've reached D.... Skoll. I am out of the office until .... Any messages you send me before I return, including the one that caused this auto-reply, will be deleted automatically and I won't see them. For urgent matters, please email .... or call .... Otherwise, please get in touch with me after I return."

            Also, in the subject of the auto-reply, I put: "Out of office: D. Skoll will not

  • It's OPTIONAL! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scutter (18425) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:39AM (#47694419) Journal

    FTFA: issues a reply to the sender that the person is out of the office and that the email will be deleted, while also offering the contact information of another employee for pressing matters.

    and

    the program — which is optional — has gone down well with the company’s German employees

    Seriously, the idea is that you get to actually take a vacation and let someone else handle the load while you're away. That way, you're not coming back to work with twice the workload as when you left. For many companies, if you take a vacation, no one covers you. The work just piles up. It makes it hard to relax knowing that you've got a mountain of work to return to. No one is taking away "Out of Office" messages or breaking them for people who want to use them.

    I've seen several comments here saying "Well, I'm just CC'ing people who need to be kept in the loop!" Ok, I get that. If it's that important, why don't you just wait until they get back and give them a short briefing? If it's not that important, why did you bother sending it in the first place?

      I, for one, applaud the effort to push back against the anti-vacation, anti-personal time culture.

    • The sane option is to give people the necessary time go through their email when they get back.

      • by Scutter (18425)

        The sane option is to give people the necessary time go through their email when they get back.

        How is that solution any different than giving them the option to hand off their work to someone else while they're away? If you "give them the time..." then someone else still has to do their work while they sort through their vacation e-mail.

    • by pavon (30274)

      I've seen several comments here saying "Well, I'm just CC'ing people who need to be kept in the loop!" Ok, I get that. If it's that important, why don't you just wait until they get back and give them a short briefing? If it's not that important, why did you bother sending it in the first place?

      Becaused they asked me to CC them on such issues, and I don't feel like keeping a log of when everyone was gone and what happened that they might care about, so I can resend it when they get back. If it is something I care about I will talk to them when they get back. If it is something that they care about and know about then they can ask me. The problem is the stuff that they care about but don't know to ask about. Skimming an inbox full of CCs works well for that.

      • by Scutter (18425)

        If they asked you to CC them or if they're in a position where they're likely to need those CC's, then perhaps they'll opt not to use the optional system being discussed.

  • So people who go on vacation aren't allowed to catch up when they get back? How about this; if you really want people to not check emails while away, disable their remote access. Turn off ActiveSync for that user, and don't allow them to VPN in.
  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:49AM (#47695113)

    The problem with implementing something like this in a US company is the staffing model. European companies tend to have more people doing similar jobs, so that one person actually can fill in for another. Most out of office messages say something like "I'm not here, please contact my manager XYZ for assistance." 9 times out of 10, there's no backup person who can actually provide an answer, simply because there's no backup staff that knows enough to solve a problem.

    The other issue is that at least in IT, most places still allow individuals to knowledge-hoard. Often it's unintentional (see understaffing above) because there's simply no time to ensure someone else knows about what you do. But sometimes people do this in a misguided quest for job security. Also, a very small number of people do it to cover something up -- there stories out there about people who found loopholes in purchasing/accounting systems and used them to write checks to themselves or divert equipment...and only got caught when someone else started reviewing things they had been handling themselves.

    In my opinion, a lot of the knowledge-hoarding would stop if people were able to trust their employers to keep them employed, or to at least treat them fairly if they had to be laid off. Sure, implementing worker-friendly policies would probably be expensive in the short run, but I can't tell you the number of times I've walked into a new job where the previous individual held all the tribal knowledge about a system or process. I think this policy is a very good one -- especially for employees who work a stressful job and have family commitments, etc. Being able to completely ignore everything during a vacation would be something many employees would stick around to keep. Personally, I have a very busy work schedule and 2 little kids at home. Between not sleeping normally and often having to use my downtime to finish extra work, I would _love_ to be able to say "here, this is your problem now" for 2 weeks. (I wouldn't even have to go anywhere...just put me somewhere to turn off my brain for a couple days.)

    It'll never happen here though -- there are too many people who buy into the "job creators" meme and let their employers walk all over them...everyone who even suggests a worker-friendly policy is a lazy entitled socialist here.

  • Dear Slashdot,

    I am currently in the office attempting to work, so I am unable to post a funny, informative or insightful comment on this story. I expect to be goofing off again in an hour or so at which time I will give your story my full attention.

    Meanwhile... [bbc.co.uk]

  • Dear Daimler,

    You don't really seem to 'get' the value of emails. The point is that they can be processed whenever. To delete them is stupid. Essentially, by negating the time-independent aspect of email, you're reducing it to little more than a phone call in terms of utility.

    I'm not sure if you noticed, but the rest of the world doesn't conform to your standards of vacation, and there are even alternate TIMEZONES in this world, so it's entirely reasonable that someone might send an email while you're not

  • by PvtVoid (1252388) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:54AM (#47695747)
    This has to be the dumbest fucking idea I have ever heard of. If I tell the Post Office to hold my mail while I'm on vacation, I expect to get all of that mail delivered upon my return. Not thrown away.

    An email is an electronic form of mail. It is asynchronous. You send it to somebody when you do not expect an immediate reply, but instead expect the recipient to read it as time permits, but within a reasonable time, and respond as appropriate. An OoO is an optional courtesy letting the sender know that a reply will be delayed more than a typical amount of time. (I pretty much never use them, instead just go through my outstanding email and respond when I am available.)

    Something is seriously upside-down about the world when otherwise sane business people find it totally normal to never answer their phone (which is a synchronous form of communication) and communicate by trading voicemails, but at the same time expect instantaneous response to emails.
  • When my vacation time approached, I loaded a bunch of duplicated emails in the trash folder, and started to operate dangerously close to the mail storage quota.

    When I left the office, I left the OutOfOffice reply with the alternate contact. a couple of days after I left, mails would start to bounce.

    A couple of days before I was due to return to the office, I connected, just to delete the duplicated email, NOT to check anything.

    When I returned, I got fresh email, and the status report from my replacement, go

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