Sometimes done without knowledge of the participating parties but is actually a tactic used by two or more office employees trying to cover each others ass while also avoiding workloads while they are both out of the office. Working like a circular reference error, it is when two or more workers set up their out of office message referring another contact person in the event of any urgent or pressing matters ... only to taken when in fact they reach out to the other contact to find out he or she is also out of the office and is referring the orginal sender back to the original request
Boss : Smith, did you get that Mitchel report done yet?
Smith: Well, Jackson was working on it, I'll check in with him and let you know.
Later that day Smith to pal Phil: Damn that Jackson and Murphy, the f'd me again!
Phil: What they do?
Smith: They set up a circular out of office on me, and the boss is looking for that Mitchel report.