Emails About Not Getting Emails Are the Worst Emails
I woke up in a fine enough mood and a few minutes later discovered that someone I like and trust really likes someone I don’t like or trust. It activated some switch in my brain. I felt angry and also I instantly wondered if I should trust this friend who obviously has such poor discernment.
The feeling would have maybe gone away but a few hours later I got fairly crushing news. Typical writer stuff, still, what had happened was entirely someone else’s fault and yet who would be left holding the bag, me, the person with the least power. I feel like a brat writing that, but really, I don’t have a take, I’m just describing how things are. I’d like to add that the people whose job it is to deliver bad news to writers might be better or worse at pretending to care, but they never really do. It’s embarassing to feel so disappointed in front of someone who is just waiting for the interaction to be over so they can move on while you still feel the same way.
I was determined not to feel too terribly bad, I mean, bad is just in the job description, “freelancer, pandemic.” Also my life is arguably fine, but that’s unfortunately not a compelling argument sometimes. By the time this afternoon came I was in a really shitty mood. I didn’t want to be in a shitty mood but I couldn’t very well talk my head out of wanting to explode, and that seemed to be the state of things. Mostly I felt a “You’re a dumbass” hangover from being mad at a situation that had no feelings about me. Some people think you can choose your outlook on things. I think this is true and not true. Sometimes stuff just sucks, and, when stuff already sucks is when I generally find myself confronting a mysterious and enraging technical issue.
It’s clear there is a forcefield around me that makes technical things not work. I’m a person who hears this a lot: “Wow, that’s never happened before.” Interestingly, I do help people with technical issues now and then. Like voice notes for example. So hard for some people, so easy for me. Also, I am better at Zoom than some people, sometimes. But mostly, I find myself in bizarre situations where something isn’t working and there’s absolutely no reason, no explanation, and everyone is saying to me things like “We don’t know, are you sure you put in the right number” or “Did you check your junk mail?” and “Are you sure?” and I just feel frustrated and enraged and embarassed all at once because I have done everything everyone else did but come up with the wrong result while literally everyone else has come up with the right one, so, actually, I must have done something wrong. It’s what I would think if I weren’t me.
So, today, already defeated by the world, I realized I was going to have to re-try officially enrolling in a university class I have been unable to officially enroll in because the email that would make this possible has just not arrived. (This would be the third class I have taken at this institution. The first time I don’t remember having any problems, the second time, there were problems, I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I recall the instructor being on the phone with someone for a long time and whatever they did got me into the second class but did not resolve this issue, because, once again, everyone who asked for, and was supposed to receive official institutional permission, via email, to enroll in this class did except for me, just like last time, I think. Repeating: I did not get the email, everyone else did. The instructor said it was mailed twice. I have no reason to disbelieve this.)
So, already feeling very out of sorts, let’s recall, I requested help from the university’s enrollment/grade/whateverthefuck portal help staff, and got into “line” behind 20 people. It did keep updating, you’re 16th, you’re 11th, you’re 6th! This was the best part of my day by far. I like to think I occupied each place in line with proper reverence.
My turn came. I explained the problem. The help guy said he would send me an email. And then he sent an email, to my email, the only email I ever use, the email that never doesn’t get emails, ever. I have no reason to disbelieve this. And I didn’t get it. He sent another one, I didn’t get it. He said I would have to call the university and talk to them about why I couldn’t get emails from the enrollment/grade/whateverthefuck portal. As soon as our chat ended, I got two emails from the help desk of the enrollment/grade/whateverthefuck portal I couldn’t get emails from, one saying, sorry you can’t get emails, we did everything we could, and the other a transcript of the conversation about how I couldn’t get emails. Just in case you’re not grasping this: I got two emails from the place I couldn’t get one email from about not getting that email.
When I used to do yoga a lot and knew a lot of yoga people, I arrived early one day to some workshop and saw a yoga teacher I was good friends with trying to hook up the sound system. It just wouldn’t stop buzzing and crackling. As he struggled with it, a more senior teacher came over to him. He bent down and muttered something to my friend. He seemed angry. My friend got up from where he’d been scowling over an array of cords and went outside for a few minutes, and when he came back, he took up with the cords again, and within a matter of seconds, the sound system was working. Later on, I asked my friend what the senior teacher had said to him. “He told me my bad attitude was infecting the wires, so no wonder it didn’t work.”
“Jeez,” I said, “What a dick.”
But my friend the yoga teacher shook his head. “Oh, no,” he said. “I think he was right. I didn’t want to hear it, but he was right.”
I was about to make some joke like, this is why I don’t do yoga anymore. But it’s not why. It’s because my right knee is fucked up. And that’s not even why, totally. When I was still going, and my knee was fucked up, people would say, what’s wrong with your knee, and I would say “I don’t know,” or “I’m old?” and they would say “Oh, no wonder your knee is fucked up, because you think it’s fucked up.”
Anyway, I told a friend who is in the class I want to take, who, like most people, like everyone but me in fact had no problem enrolling, that I got two emails from the organization I couldn’t get emails from telling me that they couldn’t do anything more about me not being able to get emails from them. She said I had to admit it was funny. I don’t agree, I don’t have to admit that. But I will, because it’s the right thing to do.