Sometimes, what sounds like satire is accurate reporting of actual events.
So, I couldn't access my email, couldn't log in. When I explored further, I was even informed on screen that my email address didn't exist.
This was a real blow because, among myriad other things, I use email to send these words to the newspaper.
But, no, I didn't exist.
I rang my provider and took advantage of the call-me-back option "without losing my place in the queue". Yes they called back within about an hour-and-a-half and it went something like this.
"If Wyn Drabble is ready to speak with us, please press 1."
I was ready so I pressed 1 and was transferred to execrable music. Eventually a ring-tone and then a human voice.
"Hello," I said to it. "My call is important to you so it's grand that you've called me back."
"Pardon?" said the voice. "I'm not sure that you're talking to the person you want."
Wyn Drabble: Doctorate in tiny things
Wyn Drabble: The best humour is unexpected
It turned out that a private call had arrived over the execrable music but, because I was on an important call, I had to ask the caller to phone back later. Please.
The original call back had disappeared. I called again and put my details in for another call back in "approximately 80 minutes."
It came and I pressed 1 because I was ready. A recorded voice then said something akin to, "Okay, we'll try again later." And disappeared.
The whole procedure happened again and I want to assure you at this point that I have not made any of this up.
So far, I can promise I have used none of the cheap tricks of the satirist – irony, sarcasm, litotes, emoticons, far too many exclamation marks – because this was all real.
When I finally spoke to a human – the day had half gone by this stage – she told me the reason I couldn't log into my email was that it really didn't exist because they had closed it down.
"But why?" seemed a reasonable question so I asked it. The answer was that they were closing down email accounts of people who did not use the provider's broadband service.
"But we do use you for broadband,"
"Let me check this for you."
"Yes I see you DO use our broadband service."
"Then why can't I log in to my email and why don't I exist?"
I am still not making anything up.
The voice promised to look in to the problem.
Soon after, I received a text: "We're sorry you're having issues with your email. This is to confirm we're looking into your issue and your case number is************. You can check for updates on (link provided).
I clicked on the link and was told I had to log in to my email. Swiftly I replied to the text saying that the very issue I was trying to solve was that I couldn't log in so, unfortunately, I could not follow the progress they were making on my investigation.
You won't believe the reply but, still, I am not making this up.
"Sorry, we didn't understand your text. Please use "BUY" to add a product or "END" to remove one."
My reply, and I quote, was, "???"
Their reply was the same as the last one. It was now late afternoon. The sun was about to set, my mind was frazzled, veins were sticking out on my forehead and neck, and I still could not send my words to the newspaper.
Okay, after sunset it was all sorted and I was in communication with the world again but why should anyone have to go through this over an entire (lost) day?
First world problem, I know, but...AAAARRRRGGGHHH!
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.