When one of my colleagues is out of the office, he doesn’t mess around. In fact, he’s turned his auto-responses into a running series of commentary from fictional cartoon character Troy McClure.
Each time McClure makes an appearance in these out-of-office messages, he “speaks” on behalf of my colleague and alludes to the previous auto-responses in which he starred. It’s a mild form of self-deprecating humor — as if to say, “I know, I’m out of the office again” — made only funnier by the made-up teaser title included in the last line.
Don’t be afraid to use a pop cultural reference that the audience would recognize. Instead of bemoaning your absence, they’ll have something fun and familiar to laugh at.
Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You might remember me from such out-of-office messages as Avenge My Death if I Don’t Return from DMEXCO and Bye Now, I’m on an Absurdly Long Cycling Trip.
I’m here to talk to you about someone you know. Catalina Wong is out of office until September 27. She wanted me to let you know that she’ll get back to you after her return.
That’s all for now. Watch for me in the upcoming out-of-office message, It’s Not a Hangover, It’s Food Poisoning — I Swear! And be safe out there.