Do you hear what I hear? Yes! It’s the sound of Christmas music and the din of family gatherings heralding the holiday season. It also signals the time to get creative and step up your “Out of Office” message game.

vacation marked on calendarHere at New Relic, leaving a straightforward, unimaginative OOO message is almost a faux pas. That’s why last year we highlighted some of team’s best OOO work, along with examples of inspiring “away” messages from around the internet.

Well, we’re back with a new collection of awesome OOO messages actually used by members of the New Relic marketing team this year. Check ’em out, and make a resolution this year to never subject your colleagues to a boring OOO message again.


Who let the dogs answer?

As New Relic’s Principal Cloud Architect, Lee Atchison spends a lot of time on the road. So it makes sense that he employs his adorable pup, Izzy, to write his OOO messages. Here she is doing her doggone best work.

izzy atchison out of office messageHewwo,

Do you know where my dad is? He said he had to travel a lot this month and wouldn’t be around much. But I miss him. If you see him, will you tell him to come home please?

He said he would be gone doing this: SFO 4/10-4/15, Chicago 4/18-4/20, and Sydney 4/22-4/29. And that he would be hard to reach as a result.

He gave me a website where I can look up all the places he will be:

But every time I try and type it in, I fat-paw the address.

Please tell him to come home soon!



London calling

As our Senior Director of Strategic Marketing, Abner Germanow shoots straight from the hip, but not without offering the consolation of armchair travel from across the pond:

Hi there,

Thanks for your note. I’m in London this week, so my responses will be delayed, jet lagged, and dipped in tea. Also, here is a double decker bus.

London bus


Simple, or existential?

With a whopping 30,000+ attendees, the AWS re:Invent conference was a show-stopping, must-attend event for cloud enthusiasts. New Relic Senior Product Marketing Manager Andrew Marshall was in Las Vegas for the show and knew that he wasn’t alone:


I’m at re:Invent, and so are you.




In case of emergency…

Emily Jacobs, senior manager of segment marketing at New Relic, describes the perfect formula to extinguish any fire back at the office:

Pina coladaGreat news for me! I’m on the beach somewhere with no access to my phone or email.

In case of emergency, I suggest you try the following:

Gather 1.5 cups of ice, .5 cups frozen pineapple (diced), 2 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz coconut cream, 1.5 oz white rum, 1 oz dark rum, and a few pineapple slices. Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white and dark rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.

Insert mini umbrella (if you so please) and enjoy!


Back to the Inbox

Senior Technical Trainer Phil Weber finds himself often on the road conducting training sessions for New Relic University. During one fateful trip, he ripped through the fabric of the space-time continuum, leaving us with only a cryptic note from the future:


If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond until August 11, or until email is invented—whichever comes first.


Data Nerd at heart

Adam Larson, senior technical marketing engineer, goes into exquisite, mathematical detail for how to reach him on the road:

As of February 10th I will experiencing what vacation is like in a van for two weeks with my wife in a foreign country when neither of us have prepared beyond writing absurdly long OOO messages.

If this is an emergency that requires my immediate attention, you may call me on my cell phone; however, since this is PTO and roaming rates in foreign countries are non-trivial, you’ll have to earn it.

Since we have 10 digits in a standard North American phone number, we can start with 10^10 possible phone numbers (or 10 billion possibilities). Assuming optimistically it takes around 10 seconds per call to verify whether or not you’ve correctly guessed my number, by randomly going through exchanges you should be able to reach me in about 3 millennia…

But you’re smarter than that. You know for instance that Wikipedia can help pare down the list of possibilities. For example the area code’s first digit must be [2-9] and the second and third digits being the same is usually reserved for businesses, so that means we have:

(8 * 10 * 10) – (10 * 8) possibilities for the area code or 720 possible area codes.

Additionally, the first three digits of the number must also match the pattern [2-9][0-9][0-9]; however, the third digit cannot be a 1 if the second digit is also a 1, so we have:

(8 * 10 * 10) – 8 or 792 possibilities.

There are unfortunately no restrictions on the final four digits so we’re left with the aforementioned 10^4 options here.

All together, we now have 720 * 792 * 10^4 options which should take only about 1.8 millenia.

But I’m a nice guy, and you said this was an emergency, so I’ll politely offer you both my area code and exchange which are 714 and 875 respectively (#yourewelcome).

boy at blackboardNow you have only 10^4 options, which is only 10,000. That’ll only take about a day assuming you don’t waste time to eat or sleep (this is an emergency after all).

At this point though, you should be wondering why you’ve wasted so much time if your issue is genuinely that pressing.

TL;DR; I’ll get back to you on February 26th.

* Additionally, it occurred to me that emergencies are oftentimes sensitive in nature, so you’ll have to worry about a malicious imposter trying to pretend to be me in order to access confidential information. Bearing that in mind, please encrypt your messages to me using the following 2048-bit public RSA key:


** Please don’t check my math.


Error message

Finally, while I tip my hat to Adam’s deep, meticulous approach to the task, as New Relic’s social media manager I have to focus on brevity (er, character count). So, to close out this year’s edition, here is one of my own OOOs:


What are some of the cleverest out-of-the-office messages you’ve seen this year? Tweet your favorites to us @NewRelic using #OutofOffice!


Photo of Izzy Atchison courtesy of Lee Atchison.

Virginette's unofficial title is CTO ("Chief Tweet Officer"). She leads social media at New Relic. View posts by .

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