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One Man's Smart "Out of Office" Auto-Reply Email Gets Political with Vacation

A clever, politically charged "out of office" auto-reply, published by Co.Exist, puts vacation time in perspective.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Remember the good ol' school days? When it was guaranteed that there would always be three months off for summer, one week off in the spring and a host of "teacher work days" in between? In this stressful working world, they probably seem like a lifetime ago.

    Americans, living as they do in the only developed country that does not nationally mandate paid vacation, savor rare days off.

    Co.Exist reported Friday that Working Families Party communications director Joe Dinkin wanted to share his vacation appreciation with the world — and in this digital age, what better way to do that than through his auto-reply email?

    His creative auto-reply, published on Co.Exist, is anything but a standard "I am out of the office" response, but rather a self-reflective, informative email that lets the reader know that Dinkin has got it pretty good.

    Hello,

    Thanks for your email. I’m on vacation this week…

    It occurs to me that I’m lucky to be able take a vacation. After all, almost one in four Americans don’t get any paid vacation time at all. Around a third don’t get any paid sick days. On top of that, Americans are working more hours -- family work hours are up more than 10% since the 1970s. And even though productivity and corporate profits are high, household income is stagnant or declining for everyone but the top 1%.

    Here in New Brunswick, workers are guaranteed two weeks vacation time. And in addition to Canada’s famous single payer healthcare system, the minimum wage is $10 an hour. (No funny math with conversion rates -- that’s $9.65 in US dollars.) Oh, and don’t forget about the employment insurance-paid sick leave and maternity leave.

    Sounds pretty good, right? It’s also supposed to be 10 or 15 degrees cooler here.

    -Joe Dinkin