This was prompted by a call from my sister-in-law who complained "Some of my email still goes to my old computer". Of course you and I realize that for your typical home user, email doesn't "go" anywhere at all - the computer goes out and gets it from somewhere, but it's all the same to her: some of her email is ending up on the "wrong" computer.
An important thing to understand here is that I wasn't actually talking to my sister-in-law. My wife, who is the sister of the sister-in-law relationship, was doing the talking. Worse, she was in another room when she yelled at me explaining that her sister's email was going astray. I was busy in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. That's my job function with regard to the kitchen. You wouldn't want me cooking, but I can clean up. 'Nuff said. Anyway, I yelled back telling her to "delete the account on the other computer". It took me less than a second to realize that was probably not very helpful advice and could even be dangerous. The problem obviously is that she left an Outlook or Outlook Express account active on a computer she handed down to the kids, but who knows what "delete the account" might mean to her, and the kids do have their own email too, so..
"Never mind", I yelled, "Have her change her AOL password". My wife had already repeated that advice before I remembered that her sister has a Comcast email address. "No, I meant Comcast - have her change her email password!", I yelled. My thought was that this would prevent the kids computer from being able to pick up her mail. So that's what I told my wife. Loudly.
I suppose I could have left the dishwasher alone for a minute and picked up the phone to talk to her directly, but hey, I'm a man. We LIKE yelling.
"She says she doesn't have an email password", my wife yelled back.
How many times have I heard that from a client?
"Yes, she does. She may not know it, but she has a password", I bellowed. My wife laughed. She's heard me say that enough times to customers. I couldn't make out what she was saying but I'm sure she was explaining that to her sister.
But now I had second thoughts again. She won't be able to login to Comcast, either. There is a way to get Comcast to reset your password, but I don't know where it is and I'm too busy with this very important dishwasher stuff to try to talk her through it. "Never mind, have her go into Outlook on the kid's computer and delete her account there". I left the dishwasher alone and walked to the door of the room where my wife was to say that.
"She doesn't use Outlook".
Sigh. "Ok, Outlook Express. Whatever. Tools, Accounts, find the account that gets her mail and delete it".
"Or change her password in Comcast, right?", said my wife, speaking to both me and her sister.
"No, forget that, 'cause she doesn't know her password", I said.
"The kids know her password".
Ahh. Of course they do. Twenty bucks says the kids are the ones who set up all the accounts anyway. Best solution: tell the kids what the problem is. Chances are they understand how to solve it every bit as well as I do.
"Tell the kids to delete her email account from their computer. Have one of them call me if they have any questions". I went back to the dishwasher. I bet the kids won't have to call.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2011-03-12 Tony Lawrence