Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh the repercussions of going on vacation...

After a gorgeous long weekend of summer bliss in the Hamptons, I was greeted today by several angry emails and jabs in the hallway over my "out of the office" auto reply message on my work email account.

Here's why.

I'm still on the old version of our internal mailing system at work and the old system doesn't have an automated email reply option. Knowing that I would be missing out on two potentially important meetings, I felt I needed to let everyone know I would be away from my desk this past Friday and yesterday. And let them know I did.

I somehow -- *accidentally* -- manipulated and hacked into our mailing system to create my own automated "out of the office" reply message. I sent myself a test email Thursday evening to make sure it worked, indeed it did, so I thought I was golden (and was feeling pretty good about myself to be honest because I'm no developer).

However, the result was every single person on any email or listserv that included my work email address got my OOTO automated message. Several times.

And because some of the emails I received while I was away were departmental meeting announcements, here's just a smattering of people who knew I was out of the office on Friday and Monday:
- The CEO of our company
- The senior vice president of my department
- All of the vice presidents under her in my department
- Several of our outside media partners
- The entire development team for the company
- The entire TLC and Animal Planet online divisions
- Hundreds of Twitter followers

It's going to be very hard to live this one down. Especially since I couldn't make it stop this morning so I had to call our IT to show me how to turn it off. At least the IT guy was impressed with my hacking skills.

Both of the important meetings I was supposed to miss were canceled and rescheduled for a later date, by the way.

Returning to the previous statement, my brother, his wife and their friends have rented out a cute little bungalow in West Hampton, New York for the month of August. Tad and I took advantage to hang out with them up there this past weekend.

It was incredibly beautiful with the a perfect view of the bay from the huge back deck and the Atlantic right across the street. So peaceful, calm and surprisingly cool for August (the hottest it got was 83). I couldn't get over how quiet, clean and nice the beaches were -- very reminiscent of the Outer Banks -- and the water was so clear, you could still see your feet from wading out waist deep. I was surprised because I had been to the Hamptons only once before -- East Hampton, which is much further north -- where the beaches are very small, very rocky and muddy.

My brother's wife (also named Lauren so there are two Lauren Effrons. No, we do not have fun with that), is a pastry chef by training and an all-around fabulous cook so we were very much wined and dined on caught-that-day fresh fish and banana pudding made from scratch.

Overall we spent lazy days stretching out on the beach, only moving to swim in the ocean or throw the frisbee, meandering through farmers markets and throwing back some local brews. I miss it very much already.

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