Freakin’ Agents of Change

Natalie J. Damschroder, Author of Romantic Adventure and Paranormal RomanceI do not hate change.

That supposedly makes me rare and stuff. I mean, it’s not like I glide smoothly from one stage of life to the next. I have to struggle through the adjustment period just like everyone does. But I typically embrace it. My daughter going to college? Taking on massive new amounts of work for a client that necessitates setting up a grand, complicated organization system? Getting a new car? All hugged (even though the stress of the second one does make me whine once in a while. 🙂 ).

I especially embrace technology changes. New computer? Gimme! Little gadgets? I’ll play with them until I’ve wrung out every little cool feature. I can’t wait to get a new laptop, and the day I got that new car, I spent a lot of time getting it to work with my old iPod via Bluetooth, and figuring out a way to charge it when Apple didn’t want it to. (I suspect Apple has built in a sneaky “screw-up” feature into the old iPod to get me to upgrade.)

Yesterday, though, something happened that sent me kicking and growling and ready to punch stuff. I’ve used AOL for my e-mail for decades. Literally since we got our first computer in 1992. Well, we might not have had the e-mail/Internet immediately, but within a year or two. I LIKE AOL Desktop. I have a complex folder system so I can save all important e-mails. It’s pretty well protected as far as viruses go (though even Outlook has kind of caught up on that). It keeps my old mail and my new mail separate, and I like the aesthetics.

In contrast, I HATE web mail. I have multiple e-mail accounts besides my main one and have to use most of them on web mail, and it drives me crazy. Especially when they want to “group” everything in “conversations” and somehow manage to get stuff out of order and hide replies from me.

Unfortunately, with the huge new influx of client mail, my personal filing cabinet in AOL keeps crashing. It blanks out my inbox (I can see that there’s mail there, but all the info is blank until I open it, and then even though I can see it, I can’t reply or anything because the system can’t see it) and keeps restarting the program with an error message when I try to close it. I lost 10 days worth of mail a couple of weeks ago, trying to restore things. Which was okay because AOL has saved like 168,ooo old e-mails and it was just a matter of finding what I wanted to save and saving it. Tedious, but not disastrous.

Except it happened again today, and when I tried to restore from a backup from 9/19, it didn’t work. So I gave up. I’m still going to try to fix it because all the lost submission e-mails and publisher e-mails make me weep. But I’m forced to move on.

I use Outlook for a work e-mail and don’t want to muck things up, so I went in search of a new e-mail client. I tried Thunderbird, but it wanted to download all 168000 old e-mails as “new” mail, and it froze itself after about 20k, and that’s just too much mess to deal with. I found Mailbird, and so far, it’s okay. With the free version I can have three accounts on it, and that’s been very nice already. I can’t clear out the inbox for my AOL account because it just keeps drawing in new messages, which is annoying. I want an empty inbox, dammit! But I can at least group the unread messages at the top, even if I have to go through them from bottom to top which is stupid. But it’s really easy to use and some of the features are very cool, so I think I’ll buy the Pro version so I can have more accounts and eliminate ads and stuff. I do have problems with one account that I can’t figure out, but I will, because that’s what I do.

But I’m still all growly and annoyed about it. The biggest issue is that I feel ALL discombobulated. You’d think this would only affect a small part of my life, but hours and hours of my day revolve around e-mail, from household and personal stuff to work and work and writing/publishing. It feels as if everything I touch is “wrong” somehow. It will take a little while before I adjust, I’m sure, but I’m also sure I will.


So what simple change has had you all in a dither?