In other words, I'd like to apologize to those of you who have experienced this, and to assure you that it is most certainly not because I took offense to something you said, or something like that. I don't do that. (I mean, I may sometimes take offense, but I don't pull the silent elk shtick when I do.)
I'm working on it. I try to have enough time to type a 'gotta go' or a 'backson', or at least to set the Away flag, but I don't always get to, because I don't always realize in time that I'm about to be whisked away from my desk.
That said, if you suspect this is what happened, and you really need to follow through on something, try my sillyfone. I try to lug it around with me around the office, and I'll answer it unless I'm in a Terribly Important Meeting, in which case it will be turned off (and I am likely to forget it off, unfortunately...)
Thank you for your cooperation.
1 How do you know whether I'm at work? At work, I use ICQ #33915646, which would then be online, whereas my home ICQ account (199957) would not be. When I'm home, ICQ #199957 would be online and available, whereas 33915646 would be Away or N/A.