Professionalism vs. Individualism…
While I have no doubt people will agree with one or the other, this to me is a personal gripe as I have always considered myself an individual, who while is more than capable of toeing the line, has always tried to maintain a sense of self and (at the risk of sounding new-age) being true to myself. I believe that I have made my friends, and closed a lot of business in my working life because I am who I am, call a spade a rectangular-shaped digging implement, and try to enjoy myself, but some are intolerant to this form of self-expression. Now I could name multiple examples, but yesterday this happened…
I flew to Auckland yesterday morning and due to the time constraints answering calls and responding toi emails was going to be all but non-existent. So I set my Out Of Office on, in my own style as such;
Subject: Someone’s in, but the lights aren’t on…
To all of those demanding my expertise and knowledge on all telecomms solutions…
I am in Auckland for the day, Monday 2nd May 2011 and will be on very limited access – for those awaiting stock, this will be delivered Tuesday or Wednesday on my return. For all other urgent matters, please refer below, otherwise I will respond to your emails when I can.
In the meantime, if you do not get anything from me please consider one of the helplines below for assistance;
Business Fixed Lines – 0800438458
Business Mobile – 888 from your mobile
Technical Support (data, Blackberry) – 0800 921 021
Apple Support – 0800 700 787
Act Party subscriptions – I have no idea, not my party, but I know who NOT to ask now!
I hope everyone had a great weekend, well done the Breakers, Will & Kate, and I look forward to catching up with you all soon.
With Warmest Regards
Keith “Alf” Eleftheriou
My immediate boss thought it was hilarious and responded;
Keith, write a goddamn book! You have a way with words, was just reading your out of office and even that’s different. If anything write a book full of creative out of office messages…
Gift of the gab!
…but someone (in Auckland of course) didn’t see it that way and demanded I change it, and he is certainly not my boss;
Good Morning Keith
Please change your “out of office” message ASAP. This does not look professional.
It should only read you are out of the office and when you will return with urgent query contact info. Please do this today and confirm when done with the new message. If you need me to create one for you I am happy to help.
It raises a question, are we all becoming ‘automatons’ required to fit a mould (not unlike the Nazi Aryan theory); has the humour and desire to stand out become offensive? Or should one express himself as he or she sees fit?
And are there situations that should maintain protocol?