This has been a good week for getting Out of Office autoresponses. Which I find incredibly odd, given that it's the end of the quarter and the end of the fiscal year. And so, I reflect on the essential nobility of the software merchant class, which I fear is not only at risk of being lost, but of being trampled underfoot, eaten by feral pigs, and crapped out in the dead leaves next to the highway.
Maybe I'm just a nut, but can't you take vacation when it counts less? Don't you realize that this is exactly the time when your presence in the office counts most? Didn't it occur to you that *now* is when customers are asking the hard questions, choosing between options, flushing budgets, making decisions? Spending money?
Sure, you have a fancy Treo 650 that tethers you to your email and anyone who would care to talk to you. But You're Not At The Office Where Customers Would Expect You To Be.
We're software merchants. We code it, test it, burn it, box it, take orders, ship it, support it. It's a product that solves problems the same way a loin of pork does, or a new coat does, or a new hose does. We just make our product out of air, and dreams, and daring.
And now, when it matters most, we need to stay close to the till, because that's what we do. Because if we're not there, we're just a box store moving bales of paper towels and cubic yards of trail mix.