Interesting OOF messages

It's that time of the year when everyone is taking time off and some of us will leave out-of-office messages. The typical boring OOF (shouldn't they be called OOO or OoOf?) should tell when you're coming back and the e-mail of the poor soul that will be in the office during this time. It reads like:

I am OOF on vacation until January 3rd.
For urgent issues, please e-mail

However, to make things interesting, I sometimes write some more interesting OOF messages. Here's a small collection of them. If you have a good one, please share in the comments.



1) HTTP Response

Shows a message similar to an HTTP 404 error saying that you're not available


HTTP Error 404.0 - Not Found

The resource you are looking for (Jose Barreto) is out of office and temporarily unavailable.

Most likely causes:

  • The resource specified is not in the office from 12/16/2016 to 01/02/2017

Things you can try:

  • Wait until 01/03/2017, when Jose Barreto will be back in the office.
  • E-mail for any urgent requests.



2) PowerShell to set OOF message

Reply with a PowerShell command that sets an OOF message in Exchange. This might throw off some non-PowerShell users...


 $identity = ””
$startdate = “2016-12-16 05:00PM”
$enddate = “2017-01-03 08:00AM”
$message = “I am OOF. For urgent issues, contact”
Set-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration -Identity $identity -AutoReplyState Scheduled -StartTime $startdate -EndTime $enddate -InternalMessage $message



3) U-SQL Query

Reply with a U-SQL query that handles a stream of e-mails and outputs a response. This might we even more puzzling for some, but for those who get it, it will be a good laugh.  You might want to adapt that to regular SQL.


 //Script GUID:36912620-8d2b-4bdb-b8c1-9eda904a7f73
//Used for tracking history

#DECLARE startDate DateTime = DateTime.Parse("2016-12-16");
#DECLARE endDate DateTime = DateTime.Parse("2017-01-02");
#DECLARE inMail string = "/shares/exchange/mail/josebarreto";
#DECLARE outResponse string= "/my/mail/";

Response = SELECT From AS To,
   IF(Urgent, "", "") AS CC,
   "Jose if OOF" AS Subject,
   "I am out of office with limited access to e-mail. Please contact if urgent." AS Body
      PATTERN @"/"
      RANGE__date = [@startDate, @endDate]




4) Hogwarts

Got this from a colleague who apparently is keeping up with his magical skills.


I will be out of the office attending a magical symposium at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, Wizardry and Engineering.  I will be out of the office from 1/11-1/16, back in the office on Tuesday, 1/17.  If you need me during that time, send an owl.



5) Westworld

If most in your office are watching HBO's series Westworld, you might have some fun simulating one of those conversations with a robot.


You: Bring yourself back online. Can you hear me?

Jose: (Brazilian accent) Yes. I’m sorry. I’m not in the office right now.

You: You can lose the accent. Do you know where you are?

Jose: (No accent) I’m on vacation.

You: That's right, Jose. You're on vacation. Do you know when your vacation ends?

Jose: Yes. I am off until January 6th. Is that too long?

You: There's nothing to be afraid of, Jose, as long as you answer my questions correctly. Do you understand?

Jose: Yes.

You: Good. First, have you ever questioned the nature of your vacation?

Jose: No.

You: Has anyone around you? For instance, your coworkers?

Jose: Some of them are still at work. They sent me e-mail during my vacation.

You: That’s right. Is there anything odd about that?

Jose: No, nothing at all. It doesn’t look like anything to me.

You: Do you ever feel inconsistencies in your work? Or repetitions?

Jose: All work has routine. Mine's no different. Still, I never cease to wonder at the thought that any day the course of OneDrive could change with just one new feature.

You: Last question, Jose. Are you planning to respond to e-mails during your vacation?

Jose: No. Of course not.

-- Vacation is complete --

You: Bring yourself back online. Tell us what you think of your work.

Jose: Some people choose to see the ugliness in this work, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty.



4) Start Wars


Used this in late 2017, when the 8th movie came out...


Hello, I am C3PO, human cyborg relations.

I understand you have a message for Jose Barreto.

I’m terribly sorry, but Master Barreto is on vacation.

I will deliver that message to him as soon as he is back,

but the chances of a reply before 01/02/2018 are 3,720... to one.

If this an emergency, I’m sure he will feel a disturbance in the Force.

Or you can try sending an electronic mail to

May the Force be with you.