My question is more regarding career etiquette and maybe "social / emotional quotient", but for me it is a matter of "personal productivity" and I think it would be a great fit here. Sorry also if the question title isn't precise, I'm no Native speaker, please don't hesitate to edit it.
Recently, I often received "Out of office" auto-replies. And these drive me crazy. Though - to their professional defense - those emails in almost all cases do include an alternative contact person, which is recommended to be contacted "in urgent cases" or "if the matter is urgent".
We have got a problem here though: When is a matter truly urgent? As we are all human and inherently subjective and "self-involved", I dare to say that we all like to assume that our personal / professional matter delivered to the "out of office" recipient is of urgency or such importance that it can't wait.
While I am aware of this tendency, I can't claim that a certain impatience, tension and maybe even anxiety builds up at the prospect of ones matter not being addressed at all for the next 10-14 days. But for me it is very important to be respectful, reasonable and act adequately in my response, thus I try to not just forward the issue at hand right away. But it is hard for to define objective and fair criteria on which I should measure and decide if my issue should better be processed by the colleague of my recipient or not. Because I know that, if I'd never forward my e-mail, I'd also often do myself a big disservice, as such delays may objectively impact my ability to proceed or act on information that is thus yet withheld from me.