Creative commentary plus crafty composition

This time of the year it’s common to get an automated response, albeit possibly with a personalized tone, when phoning someone. There may be even a cute, seasonal reference to add a touch of artistry.

If it’s an in the office, business-sensitive message, chances are the wording and tone will be more on the officious side. The brave or resourceful will find a way to inject a little personality.

An interesting context arises when one has a dedicate business phone line, used largely for taking messages, but one physically is in the office infrequently, and if so often for short periods. This was my situation during the later stages of my career in the financial services industry. With less attachment to the bricks and mortar, one is tempted to be more informal. Indeed, it turned out that I discovered more than one compliment left on my extension; my input was enhanced by an ever-lurking tendency to inject, sometimes esoteric, humour.

Sadly, as modern communication has it, many of us have messages with only a name interjected in an otherwise sterilized approach. Some people just don’t care about making a personal statement in an absent communiqué.

Naturally, some of those who have personalized greetings alter their default version when going on holidays. This may include noting the availability of an assistant or someone assigned to cover for their absence. Not surprisingly, business located advisories are likely to veer to the conservative.

Wouldn’t it great if people could include exactly whatever message they wanted to, without fear of any consequences?

  • “The time has come, the vacationer said, to see so many things, like private spots and food a lot, of times and place that sings – so, talk to you later!”
  • “I regret to inform you that my services will not currently be required as I have a scheduled commitment involving bare feet and ice cubes.”
  • “Hello, if you really need me, I mean really need me, please note that I will be hopping around somewhere”
  • “Please press one to reach my assistant, press two to leave a message for my return, press any other number to listen to some of my favourite tunes”
  • “Free at last, I’m free at last, but your message will reach me when that is past”
  • “Please note that your message will be recorded for quality of relevance purposes”
  • “You know, you might have a better chance if you text or email me, but I’m not promising”
  • ‘Please be advised that I’ve cajoled Joel, one of my less experienced colleagues, to try to skate through your concerns if you really must speak to someone”
  • “Thanks for calling; please imagine your favourite piece of music playing here as you guess when you’ll be hearing back from me”
  • “Roses are red, sometimes they’re pink, I’m away for two weeks, time for a drink”

Under the circumstances, it should not be surprising to be advised that yours truly will be in absentia for next week’s submission, but an ‘august’ return can be anticipated.

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