Out Of Office And Out Of Their Minds

, , , , , | Working | October 10, 2019

(I work as an IT technician. One summer, I am travelling with my wife to visit her family for two weeks, so I put my Out Of Office on, as required by my boss. Two days into my holiday, I decide to log in to my work email to see what is going on in my absence. I have an email from someone fairly senior in the company:)

Senior Person: “Hi, [My Name]. Could you please give me access to [HR System]? Thanks, [Senior Person].”

(After reading it, I think, “Yeah, I’m not going to bother replying, because my Out Of Office will respond to her and tell her that I’m out of the office and to open a helpdesk ticket.” In any case, she SHOULD have been opening a helpdesk ticket, anyway, instead of emailing me directly. I foolishly choose to do nothing about the email, close my email client, and go to enjoy the rest of my holiday. About a week later, I log in to check my email again and I have another email, this time slightly nasty, from someone in our HR department:)

Demanding Lady From HR: “Dear [My Name], I understand that [Senior Person] emailed you a week ago to get access to our [HR System]. She’s had no response from you and so, in desperation, emailed me today to see if I can give her access which, unfortunately, I can’t. Please give her access as soon as possible. It is also not very professional to ignore emails from senior people in other departments. Please bear that in mind. Thanks, [Demanding Lady From HR].”

(I realised I needed to do something, so I replied to the HR lady and said that (1) [Senior Person] should have opened a helpdesk ticket rather than emailing me directly, because then ANYONE in our team could have picked it up and actioned it the same day, (2) if [Senior Person] had bothered to read my Out Of Office response, she’d have known that I was on holiday and was NOT ignoring her, and (3) this time round I would forward her email to our helpdesk system which would open a ticket for her automatically. The demanding HR lady responded to me, all apologetic and saying she “hadn’t realised I was out of the office,” which I found surprising because she would have got an Out Of Office response when she sent me her email. The lesson I learned here was NOT to check my work email when on holiday, so I never did it again!)

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