IT IS USEFUL, having emailed someone who works in an office, to receive back an automated message that they are not at work today, and so you cannot expect an immediate answer. But having just received an ‘Out of Office’ message once again from a staff member of the British Computer Society — on a Saturday, note you, when I didn’t expect him to be there anyway! — I think it’s time these tools gained some intelligence.

The BCS is far from unique in relying for much of what it does on a dispersed army of volunteers, who work from home, and mostly out of office hours and at the weekend. I shall be spending much of this August Bank Holiday weekend preparing for a BCS meeting. Now, I know that BCS staff don’t spend their weekends at the office, and so does everybody else. Couldn’t the ‘Out of Office’ message system be tailored to shut down over the weekend?

(End of small rant.)