Lost Email?

March 7th, 2006 by Potato

Email, that most vital of life blood of the Internets, is the one thing that should never fail us. Imagine the chaos as millions of email junkies realize that if they want to ensure that a message gets somewhere that they’ll have to pick up the phone and verify it the old-fashioned way.


Unfortunately, my email server has been inexplicably been dropping messages seemingly at random, and it has me really worried. I’m a real email junkie, and have been since I first got internet access. Earlier today, I was poo-pooing call waiting, asking why anyone would want to pay for the priviledge of having the phone constantly go boo-woop while you’re talking to one person, then risk losing that connection to placate the new caller. If someone really needs to reach me while I’m on the phone, I said, they can call my cell phone or email me. Yet all of a sudden, it feels like that cornerstone of my life is starting to shatter.

Sure, email’s known to have the odd problem here and there. Sometimes messages get stuck in transit between mail servers, often arriving hours and in extreme cases, days after they were sent, rather than the delay of seconds we’re used to. Sometimes it gets bounced entirely after a few days in the queue, or it may be caught in the spam filter. But it’s always somewhere if you care to look — if someone were to send a follow-up email or ask you in person if you got their email, and you had to say that no, you hadn’t, you could try to check up on it. If it didn’t land in your spam folder, then there’s a good chance the sender got a return receipt telling them that their email bounced.

However, I’ve had at least 2 people over the last week tell me that they sent me email that I never got (amounting to 5 emails between them). They never got a return receipt, either, which suddenly has me worried about the utility of my email. And if email becomes suspect then what’s next? I fear my entire universe will come crashing down around my shoulders leaving me with nothing but a hunk of graphite and a pack of stamps, and even that might get lost! In fact, it seems to happen more than with email — in January I had an express post package get lost, despite showing up as delivered on their tracker.

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