An e-mail auto-reply from an acquaintance led me to codify another communication rule.
"Hello, I'm enjoying a little summer respite! I won't be checking e-mail, but if you need immediate assistance please contact …."
You know what happened here. On her last working Friday for a week, she wrote an auto reply that matched her giddy mood.
As she wrote the note—in less than the time it's taking me to write this blog post—she probably imagined her friends and friendly colleagues reading it, understanding and encouraging of her "little respite." Girl, you deserve it!
She should also have considered her enemies—the people whose deadlines she's missed, the people who thinks she gets too much credit, the people who wonder how she's held onto her job this long. What will they do with this "little summer respite" business.
Her whole summer has been a "little respite"! Don't call _____, she's taking a "little summer respite!" Hey, boss—I was hoping _____ could help on that, but I understand she's taking some kind of "summer respite"?
Unless you're universally beloved, give the cute and clever voice mail greetings and e-mail auto replies a summer respite of their own, and call a vacation a vacation. Your friends already think your adorable; don't give your enemies any ammo.