I work as a customer service representative in a software company. Sometimes I receive customer support questions during weekends. I check them on Monday. What is the correct way of saying that I wasn't able to respond 1 or 2 days ago (Sunday or Saturday) because I don't work during weekends?

Is "Sorry, I was away for the weekend" or "Sorry, I was out for the weekend" correct?


  • I think that "I was away for the weekend" suggests you went on a trip instead of general unavailability.
    – coldnumber
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:42
  • Thanks @ColdNumber. May I know what do you recommend for unavailability? Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:52

2 Answers 2


1) In America, the default assumption is that you don't work weekends.

2) If you work for a "customer service company", it should have implemented pre-recorded phone messages to notify callers of business hours if they call outside those hours. And if you have a specific extension, you should be able to set up a greeting message, stating your own "available" hours (even if the company offers 24/7 support, you can't!)

3) If they write e-mail to you, specifically (because you were already assigned to the case), I still don't think you should feel obligated to explain why you didn't answer immediately. (see 1). If you are away for a longer period than usual, you can set an automatic "out-of-office" email response for that period, stating when you will be out, and if appropriate, referring the client to someone else who might be able to help him in the interim.

(I realize this is, strictly speaking, not English Language & Usage, but sometimes the practical way to say something is not to say it at all, or to have a machine say it for you.)


Sorry, I was away for the weekend means you went on a trip.

Sorry, I was out for the weekend is slightly unusual. Normally we are out for a short while - perhaps long enough for lunch.

I suggest:

Sorry I'm not here at weekends.

  • I agree with your suggestion, but I think I would use "on" instead of "at."
    – coldnumber
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 8:01

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