'Tis the season of vacation, and thus the season of vacation-related email auto-responders. Journalists have the pleasure of receiving many of these canned emails, usually of the "Out of the office until date X" variety, annoying chiefly because they remind you that you are working while others are not, and that you need to send yet another email.
Some auto-responders go above and beyond, however, usually by being
obnoxious and lacking self-awareness. The below--sent by the email client of Joe Dinkin, communications director of the Working Families Party--is not one of those. It’s the rare positive example: an auto-response that is informative and does real work.
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.
It makes you appreciate your next vacation, if you’re lucky enough to have one.