Laurie Taylor column

August 26, 2005

Maureen@poppleton.ac.uk

Out of office reply I am out of the office until Monday September 5th.

No, I haven't just "popped out" for a minute.

No, I won't be back shortly and so simply standing outside the door of my office forlornly holding that sheet of paper will not make a shred of difference.

No, I can't find "a couple of seconds" to deal with something "tiny" that has "just cropped up".

No, I can't "spare a moment" to come down to your office to see where the rain comes through the crack in the window frame.

No, I can't put more paper or ink in the photocopier.

No, I don't know your teaching days or times for next term.

No, I can't tell you anything about that supervisee of yours who has just requested a reference.

No, I don't have a pencil with a rubber on the end for your Sudoku.

No, I don't know what it means when your computer keeps saying it has an ERROR TYPE 16.

No, I can't offer help, consolation or encouragement over your research problems.

No, I can't find anywhere in the Inquiries Office for your bicycle.

No, I haven't had a call for you from the BBC.

No, I can't book a seat for you on the London train.

No, I don't know the date or the time.

No, I haven't just "popped out" for a minute.

I am out of the office until Monday September 5th.

Try to get used to it.

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