Sunday, June 14, 2009

Of Vaporized E-mails...

Greetings to all....and....A RANT WARNING!!!

Having thoroughly established in earlier decades of my life that I am [to all intents and purposes] devoid of a 'left brain,' I find myself ill-equipped to respond to conundrums such as I now wit, the utter and apparently final (and vicious!) vaporization of my entire e-mail Inbox. Gack-and double-gack! What's up with this?

When this same Phlustration occurred at the beginning of May, I was nonplussed, but tried to comfort myself with the realization that my Sent file seemed to be totally intact. Of course, this is like being able to listen to only one side of a phone conversation, but it was, at least, Something.

Now, I readily admit that I will not win any Tidiest Inbox awards; I might more easily qualify for any contest to determine who has proven the greatest Inbox cyber-capacity. Not because I particularly like to wade through oodles of communiques, and I am learning to tighten up my spam filters, but I am deeply afflicted with Classic Aversion to E-mail Deletion; I just like to have communiques between myself and those I care about (read: anyone who wants to write to me whose last name isn't Spam). That is, retain these for at least for a few weeks...sometimes longer.

And, just when I was canoodling on the possibility of using these comparatively unscheduled summer days to review and purge...THIS has to happen. Again. Just last night. Eeeesh.

As with any Stealth Operation, there is no warning, no presentiment that cyber-doom is looming. Nope, you just click your way into SmartZone land (a no-longer hilarious misnomer for our Comcast e-mail program) , intending to check and respond to your daily quota of e-mails, and 'File Empty' bounces out at you.

Somehow, in the past few weeks, I not only found the Actual Phone Number for the Customer Support Service [none of these cutesy little virtual animated "Help" characters for me!], but I wrote it a place I could find it again. This is progress on my part!

So, I called. It's a Sunday afternoon, so I didn't even have to wait long. A gentleman with a Southern drawl and suspected head cold answered. After a series of questions and answers that, I think, both of us reasonably understood, he tap-tap-tapped his diagnosis of My Issues into a series of help resource screens. In the fullness of time, he pronounced that,

"Ah think yer gonna need a higher fix."


Can this not be resolved by your Very Competent Self and the presumably vast Web resources at your fingertips? Well, no.

"Ya'll need a I'm gittin' ya one."

Does this at least entitle me to a latte? Ah, that would be a NO.

Well, what is a ticket anyway, and why do I need one?

Those of you who are more 'Net savvy than Yours Truly--which is probably all of you--will no doubt intuit that this is a means of identifying my SOS call by assigning a Customer Reference number, or CR....[hey, CR also happens to be the secret code my college girlfriends and I used when we suggested to one another that we go out for a Cinnamon Roll at a local dining institution near campus...but, I digress...]

So, within the next 48 hours, I am to expect A Call from a yet-higher echelon of cyber wisdom...and cross my dancing digits that this mess can be put to rights...

Mr. Help and I determined that Something is deleting my Inbox "without yer permission, apparently", despite the fact that my Preferences are set to "Never" delete, my McAfee is up-to-date, Windows Vista is exceedingly more reliable that the old, buggy Windows ME of yore, and that we are running Explorer 8.0.

As if this weren't crazy-making enough, this also seems to be a case of gender bias! Bill's Inbox is entirely intact!! I was already insecure before THIS happened....

In any event, if any of you gentle and long-suffering readers has e-mailed me lately and wondered (hopefully not fumed) at the lack of my response, please know this is the status. Furthermore, Mr. Help pulled no punches and told me it is quite "unlahkly" that I will be able to recover any of the purloined e-mails. Sigh.

Hoping to have better news next time, I remain--

Your Faithful, but Befuddled, Correspondent

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