My attorney in Texas uses an AOL email address. He has used the same address for years. While an AOL address does not scream “I track with technology trends,” it has, heretofore, been a reliable way to contact him. Until recently.
I have attempted to contact my attorney friend for a few weeks, to no avail. It is utterly unlike him to fail to respond to my messages, so I assumed he must be traveling and out of touch; in past years, around this time (his birthday is today), he and his wife have been incommunicado while on photo safari in Africa or otherwise trotting about the globe in search of adventure. Yesterday, though, I decided to give him a call. I called his office, which transferred my call to his cell…he answered.
After the usual pleasantries, I told him I’d been attempting to reach him for weeks. “Really? I haven’t gotten any messages.” No, I said, but how about email? He hadn’t received them. A while later, after our call was dropped as he drove through dead zones, he called me back from his office. While we spoke, he sent me an email from his AOL account and I got it right away. He asked me to acknowledge receipt, which I did after our call; I asked him to do the same. Thus far, nothing.
Thinking back, in recent weeks I’ve sent other messages to people with AOL accounts and haven’t received any replies. I’ve assumed they simply didn’t respond. But now, I wonder if AOL is simply not permitting my Gmail messages to reach their intended recipients. Is AOL engaging in a plot to undermine the perceived reliability of Gmail, or is intentionally failing to route email messages to AOL to tarnish AOL’s reputation? Or is my paranoia about plots and conspiracies simply that…paranoia?
My solution to the question is this: I will send him identical messages from my Gmail account and my personal johnswinburn.com account; assuming he receives the latter one but not the former, I will have all the evidence I need to confirm that something is amiss, but not enough to warrant my paranoia. But, wait, I already have that, don’t I?
As I consider my options in this deeply disturbing situation, a novel thought comes to mind. The game is not worth the candle.