UPDATE 2:40PM I have just finished a telephone call with a representative of Dotster who has promised me that he will set up a session with their tech team to work on the problem by taking control of my computer, checking all the settings while working at their end too for a solution.
It's Friday afternoon here now so this may or may not happen over the weekend. But I want you all to know that your efforts have borne fruit and I appreciate your help so much. I'll let you know how it goes.
Again, thank you, thank you, my friends.
...why I'm telling you about it.
I had planned to write about sex today - that would be fun - but technology and the people assigned to handhold those of us who are unschooled in the ones and zeroes of digital electronica have thwarted me.
Wait - I take that back. It has gone way beyond thwart. On Wednesday, when one of those so-called technology helpers said he couldn't help – that is, could not do what I pay his employer for – I burst into tears. Let me explain.
THE CAUSE OF THE TEARS
For more than a month, no email, none, sent during the night hours when my computer is off or asleep has arrived.
I won't bore you with the gory details and I am definitely not looking for suggestions from you. But there is a story to tell – an amazing and unbelievable story - and a request to make of you.
In the early weeks of this difficulty, I emailed the support site of my domain registrar, Dotster, with an explanation. In each instance, I received an answer that there was no problem and email being delivered properly - something that was patently untrue.
After too much of this, I switched to the telephone support service.
On Wednesday morning when for the 30th or 40th day in a row no overnight email arrived, I again called customer service. For the gazillionth time in these several weeks, I explained the problem to another new “helper” (I have never spoken or emailed with the same person twice).
The man listened and then said he couldn't help, admitting that he didn't know how. Awful answer but giving him points for honesty, I asked to speak to the next person up the line.
Here comes the unbelievable part:
He said he could not do that; he said he didn't have phone numbers for them. Stunned for a moment, I then found my voice and asked what I should do next.
He said he did not know.
Now you would expect someone who, in some circumstances, refers to herself as Crabby Old Lady to go ballistic and most of the time you would not be wrong. Even I would expect that of myself in such a Twilight Zone moment.
But this time, I shocked myself. Unexpectedly and unbidden, with no volition on my part, tears poured forth.
Right there on the telephone with a man whose body undoubtedly is shaped exactly like a brick wall, this 74-year-old woman, competent in all manner of things, did not just cry. She wept and wailed and moaned and could not stop herself.
This was no dainty little shedding of a teardrop or two. Oh no. It was a loud, honking, uncontrollable lamentation on the order of a death in the family.
(I blame frustrated exhaustion for the sudden tears. This has been going on for at least six weeks with no overnight email, no help and no apparent concern from Dotster.)
Many men are frightened of women's tears and perhaps that is what gave the man on the telephone Wednesday morning a swift kick in the butt because I then heard him say that he would get his supervisor on the phone (so much for an honest man earlier in the conversation). And he did.
Aki carries himself – at least on the telephone – in a manner of calm capability. My tears subsided.
Over the next hour, a seemingly useful exchange of information led to a suggestion for another solution – the sixth or seventh by my count – along with a promise that if by the next morning it had not worked, to ask for him by name on the support phone line and he would take my call.
Alas, when I booted up yesterday morning nothing had changed. The latest fix was another dud; there was no overnight email. When I phoned and asked for Aki, I was told he was in a meeting but had said he would call me when he was free.
As I finish writing this late in the day, there has been no call from Aki nor from anyone else at Dotster. I have sent some technical information asked of me via support ticket by yet another helper I've never heard of although he (she?) says the email is being delivered to me properly.
(To be completely fair, I suppose it is possible all this lengthy mess could be something wrong with my with my email program but I have now made so many changes at their direction, there is no way for me to know. And even if that is so and it is not their problem, certainly the company that handles my domain registration is obligated to tell me more than "I don't know" and not return calls they have said they would.)
NOW THE PART ABOUT YOU
Actually it is two parts.
All the email that has never been delivered to me is permanently lost they tell me. Unrecoverable. Thousands of them in these many weeks. That means:
• Undoubtedly stories for The Elder Storytelling Place that have gone missing.
• There are messages from friends and acquaintances responding to my emails I have never seen.
• There are appointments unconfirmed (hello, Jan Adams).
• And uncounted questions, Interesting Stuff suggestions and more from readers.
As you now know from all the above, I am not intentionally ignoring anyone. So here is an interim fix:
1. If your message(s) was sent between the hours of about 4PM and 4AM Pacific Time (I don't know why you would recall this, but there you are), and the message is important to you and/or me, please write again.
2. Because the problem (hereafter referred to as the torture) is ongoing, I have set up a short-term, webmail address. It is ronnib[at]outlook[dot]com
3. That address will be available for only a short time - a few days. Please be judicious in choosing to email or not. I'm already spending excessive amounts of time tracking such time-critical items as electronic bills, notes from dentists, doctors and insurance people, banking and other personal matters.
4. I will respond if necessary, as soon as is reasonably possible.
Here is the second thing, if you are up for it. In such extreme circumstances as I believe this is, sometimes shaming a company that has behaved badly helps resolve the problem.
Dotster has a corporate Facebook page that is regularly updated with sales information and not much else – the point being, someone at the company monitors it.
You might go there to ask why, for more than a month, they have been torturing this nice old woman who has faithfully paid for their service for more than a decade. Then link to this post. If you do that, please be polite.
Whatever happens with this debacle in the next few days, we'll get back to that subject of sex on Monday.