When It Gets So Bad You Have to Laugh: My Troubles With Outlook


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True story. I recently installed Office 2007. Didn’t go all that well. Business Contact Manager has the same stability problems it did in Office 2003, so I uninstalled it. Then Outlook started acting up.

Every couple of days I’d lose my inbound mail. And then a half-day and many reboots and modem resets later, the functionality would come back. Now Outlook is hardly the first place to look for a problem like this, so it took several rounds before I hooked up my laptop on the network to see if it could get mail. Sure enough. While my workstation was getting “could not connect to your inbound server” error messages, the laptop fetched mail just fine. With identical e-mail settings to my desktop.

So I called Microsoft tech support. The tech, who sounded like he was reading from cue cards, insisted on walking me through another settings recheck. Yup, everything’s okay. Then he applied the coup-de-gras. He said, and I quote:

“It can’t be Outlook because there’s no way that Outlook can work one time and not work the next. That’s impossible.”

This from the makers of Windows. The folks who made “blue screens” part of our everyday vocabulary. The folks who are on Service Pack 2 before they release the software.

I just hung up the phone and started laughing at the absurdity of it all.


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