Please. I want my covered wagon and my smoke signals back… Seriously: SDXB was just over here and remarked that we live in the kind of dystopia that was science fiction and horror fiction when we were kids. We are so ensnared with our effing “conveniences” that they now dictate our lives and spy on us for any number of unknown and unknowable parties.
Anyway, I found out why, after a gangbuster spring, editorial business abruptly fell off to zero at the start of the summer. Google, it develops, arbitrarily brands various incoming messages as “spam,” whether you ask for that or not. In addition, Google has infiltrated my Apple mail, apparently picking up “trash” classifications and deeming them “spam.”
Now, here’s the problem. I have a G-mail address with my company brand. That is, it says “@mycompany.com,” not “@gmail.com” or “@mac.com” or worse yet, “@me.com.” This looks much more professional, and for several years it’s been all over my business cards, all over my stationery, all over my email, and enshrined in the “contact” pages at my business websites. A lot of people email me at that company address. In fact, I’d venture to say most people do.
Meanwhile, though, I do not care for Google’s email interface. Miraculous though it may be, I find it clumsy and annoying to work with. Also, I have other things to do than sign in, several times a day, to a G-mail account. Nor do I want to have to sign in to two accounts every day. So I have all the @mycompany.com email forwarded to my Apple email.
Yesterday, a particularly august friend (let’s call her Friend¹) emailed and asked if I had received a message (copied and pasted into her email) from someone to whom she had referred me. The potential client never heard back, and she let Friend know it.
Well. No. I hadn’t received it.
So I go over to the G-mail account, shoof around, and find this woman’s message in Spam. Along with Friend’s message. Google has decided an inquiry about my editing and indexing services is spam. And it also has decided Friend is a spammer; it decided that some time ago, because a number of her messages resided in Google’s spam folder. Come to think of it, so did messages from several friends. Including Friend², a raft of whose recent emails were sitting there unanswered.
I can’t find any lost messages from dozens and dozens of imagined would-be clients, but since there are only 80 spam messages in that account today (most of them solicitations for sex services by women with fake Russian-sounding names), I assume Google sets up the spam box to auto-delete every month or so. Indeed, the earliest message in that folder is dated September 27, so it must hold only about a week or two of back messages. Presumably, then, any messages that went in there over the Long Dry Summer are already gone.
To give you a clue what this means: the woman whose email was rescued by Friend¹ had a project worth somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000.
It appears that Google has shimmied its sticky tentacles into my Apple system. It’s not enough that this mega-monster corporation spies on you at every turn on the Web. Somehow G-mail has gained access to Apple mail so that, in order for me to get into my MacMail account, I first have to sign into my gmail account!!!!!!!
This occurs whenever one of my Macs is turned off and rebooted. To get back into MacMail, I have to fire up the iMac, look up the complicated password, go to Gmail, paste in the password, and be online there.
I am sorry, but I DO NOT LIKE THAT ONE LITTLE FUCKING BIT!
I don’t know how this came about, but I’m pretty damn sure I didn’t ask for it because I hardly ever go to the gmail.com accounts because I’m not interested in Russian whores from Moscow. Not knowing how it came about, I can’t cancel it because I can’t find any function to make that happen. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is something that was installed unilaterally by Big Brother.
When I discovered this, I killed a couple of hours trying to convince Google that Friend¹ and Friend² are not spam artists, but in the meanwhile realized that there’s no way I can stop it from derailing messages from prospective clients. Didn’t do any good: a day later, everything I’d installed was un-installed, and it was back to intercepting and throwing out messages from the same people.
It looks like the only way I can make this stop is to delete my business’s Google account. That is NOT good, because as I’ve said, every piece of business-related correspondence and marketing has that address on it!
And the time suck! My GOD!!!!
To advise correspondents to use a different address, you have to get EVERY contact into a message’s address line. That’s not so hard — you can send an email to “All Contacts.” BUT…you can’t make Google automatically stick those ±200 addresses into the bcc line. To put all those private addresses into the bcc line, you have to cut them, a few at a time, and paste them into “bcc.” It won’t let you highlight all > cut all > paste all. Nooooo way! You have to select a few at a time to move them over.
Apple’s procedure is even more time-sucky. In MacMail, you have to put every contact in your address book into a “Group.” Then you have to sift through to delete duplications and out-of-date addresses. THEN you can send a message to tell them not to use the old address.
So I was on the phone to an Apple tech at 7:30 this morning when SDXB showed up at the front door and the dogs went screaming BATSH!T and he kept banging at them, driving them MORE batsh!t. No coffee. No breakfast. Not even a minute to clear my mind. She was trying to figure out the simplest way to get 200 Apple contacts into a single e-mail. I finally had to get off the phone to let SDXB in; she said she’d send the instructions, which I can download and try to figure out myself.
Good luck with that.
So it looks to me like the only way to disconnect Google from my private e-mail service is to go online and delete every. single. gmail. account owned now and in the past by me and my various businesses. This includes several accounts I set up for students in freshman comp courses, so there’s an eng101 account, an eng102 account, an eng104 account, an eng235 account, an eng315 account, and on and on and freaking ON. There are accounts for business enterprises that never flew and fell to the earth, stillborn in the nest, YEARS ago.
This is going to take hours. Maybe DAYS. And since Google presumably is already into my Macmail, there’s really no guarantee that deleting those accounts will take Google OUT of my MacMail. In fact, I do not know what will happen if I delete the gmail account that Google thinks I should sign into in order to have access to MacMail. It may simply block me from MacMail permanently…because, of course, you can’t sign into an account that no longer exists.
You know, I think all this stuff, taken together, defines dystopia. We are already living in Hell.