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Email Fail, Part 28

, , , , , | Right | January 4, 2021

My client is an older woman with an old computer. She writes the “info” column about her town in the local county weekly newspaper — basically a gossip column. The column is due Monday morning, and this is the fourth or fifth time she has called me after 10:00 pm on a Sunday night about this same exact issue.

Client: “The computer lost my column! I spent all day working on it and it’s gone!”

Me: “What were you using to write the column?”

I sigh, as I already know the answer.

Client: “My email program. Can you help me get it back?”

Me: “When you were writing it, did you save it at all?”

Again, I already know the answer.

Client: “I’ve never had to do that before. I shouldn’t have to. Please get it back!”

I don’t bother to ask if the program crashed or if she closed it without saving the email. It doesn’t matter. To help her, I assume that it is the former.

Me: “This has happened before, remember? That email program has problems that can’t be fixed. I showed you how to save the email as a draft, so you don’t lose it. You need to save it occasionally so you don’t lose everything.”

Yes, I’ve found that repetition is necessary with many people.

Client: “I don’t care about that. Please, please get my column back! I spent hours on it!”

Me: “I’ve tried to do that before also, remember? I came to your house at 11:00 pm before to try, and it is not possible. If the email wasn’t saved before the program quit, it is gone.”

Client: “I’ve never had a problem doing my column this way before!”

Me: “Yes, you have. This exact same thing has happened to you before, and you have called me about it before. I’m sorry. There is nothing I can do to get your column back.”

Maybe this sounds harsh. I had been at her house a number of times to help with this problem. I tried to get her to save the email draft: no go. I tried to get her to use a different email program: no go. I tried to get her to use Windows Notepad to write the column, and save it: no go. I tried to get her to look at teaching websites to learn to do things on the computer: no go.

She really did not want to change how she did things. She was adamant about not having to learn anything new on the computer. I really wanted to help her, but eventually, we had to part ways because there was no way I COULD help her.

Related:
Email Fail, Part 27
Email Fail, Part 26
Email Fail, Part 25
Email Fail, Part 24
Email Fail, Part 23

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