Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

Method of Self-torture: changing one's email address

Purchasing a new computer after five years was a no-brainer.  Changing my email address after nine years?  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

I am currently in day four of email hell, as I attempt to notify and update every person, corporation, charity, school, credit card, utility, bank, college fund, theater and umpteen other entities that I have in fact changed my email address (though you can still reach me at paul@paulheinz.com from this website). 

Holy crap.  I thought it was bad when my credit card was stolen and I had to call every business who charged me automatically.  That was nothing.   

Gmail can now press on with the security of knowing they have a loyal customer for life.  Larry Page and Sergey Brin, I am now your slave.  I wouldn’t change my email address now if you promised me a Brewer World Series victory next October.  Don’t ever, EVER do anything that will jeopardize my @gmail.com extension.

What was truly troubling were the hoops some websites made me jump through to make such a simple change.  For financial institutions, I get it.  But some websites practically required a security clearance in order for me to be notified of the next 20% off sale.  Seemed a little excessive.  Particularly annoying: the number of sites that offered an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of their emails, but NOT a “change email preferences” link so that I could simply update my address.

As of today, in addition to notifying all of my personal contacts, I have updated 60 (that’s right, SIXTY) websites.  And I’m not even a computer savvy guy.  I don’t own a smart phone, and up until last week, I was still working on MS Vista.  I gotta believe there are people out there with hundreds of websites to update next time they change email addresses.  What will they do if they ever change carriers?  (Other than swear a lot, I mean.  Which is what I did.)

The biggest challenge has yet to be resolved.  I must have set up an incorrect answer to my security question on my 401k website many years ago, because after three attempts, I’ve now been locked out of my financial data altogether.  Apparently my best man was NOT my brother, though when I look at my wedding photo, I seem him standing next to me.  Go figure.  It’s easier to change our memories than it is to change our email addresses.

Copyright, 2017, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved