I’d done it many times before, just not recently. But on Thursday night, I really screwed up.
My computer has Microsoft Office Suite including Outlook, which has been the means by which I access my email for years. Because I was going to be out of the office in the near future, I thought it would be a good time to look up how to access my email directly from our server.
Did I remember the password? Nope.
My server has always fed my email straight into Outlook. If there was mail in the server site, it was about to be dumped into Outlook.
I noticed that there seemed to be quite a few emails on the server site that night. But recently, as I have checked my email on Outlook, I have had ridiculous amounts of email. Many of my attempts to unsubscribe had seemed to fail. I was getting 200+ emails/day. So I didn’t think much about it as I quickly scanned the first emails, checked “select all” and emptied the folder. I hate having a number sitting by my trash box. I have regularly emptied my email trash in Outlook – actually every day, at least once if not more. I hate having too much “stuff” sitting around my house that I don’t need. The items in my trash folder were no different. So, next, I emptied the trash on my server. Then I exited, went to my Outlook, and I was stunned. All of my inbox was GONE! EVERYTHING! Vendor price lists, warranties, and other important emails. I mean, they HAD to be important, right? After all, I had never rid of them. I very well might need to access this information some day!
I gulped, I felt flush, I panicked! These 2 accounts had never been linked before. How did this happen?!
I contacted a friend and told her about what I had done. How could I have been this stupid?!
Her response? “If you were a criminal, they would be able to recover your email. It’s on a server out there somewhere.”
The next morning I contacted our local utility company, our email server. They told me to contact Microsoft. Seriously? I’ll never get a person to explain what I did…. After many attempts and many big breaths, I reached a person. He explained how he would see what he could do by uninstalling my software and re-installing it. “This will take up to 15 minutes, you can put me on speaker phone while I work on your computer.” As soon as I heard the words “speaker phone,” I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. But, I did as he said. And after about 5 minutes, I heard a “click, buzzzzzz” on my phone. We had been disconnected! And my Office Suite including Outlook was completely gone!
I was in complete panic as I attempted to get another person at Microsoft and explain not only what I had done, but what their other employee had done. I could barely make sense. After some time, he restored my Outlook and my other programs. He explained that because I had initially made my deletions from my server, they would have to be the ones to recover any emails.
Yep, that makes sense…
I placed another call to our utility company and made contact with customer service. If I had know specifically what I had deleted, they could search for it. “I deleted everything at 9:30 p.m. Does that help?” No. As horrible as it was to lose my inbox, it would have been worse if they had been able to recover all of my email. I took a big breath, had an adult beverage with my dinner that night, and accepted the fact that these emails were gone for good.
Even as I write this, I feel my body tensing up all over again.
I had a couple of “saves.” I tend to print and file a lot of important information. I also tend to respond to many emails. My sent box was still in tact.
One girl told me yesterday, she was a little jealous of my deleted emails. She currently had thousands in her inbox. I’m glad I don’t have that, but I somehow wish I could have looked over those emails one last time before I deleted them.
Now, I am left with just trust, trusting the universe to provide for me any information that I might need.
I think it’s going to be okay….