Every now and then, I’ll get an email from someone with nothing in it but a mighty suspicious link. With a mixture of disappointment, shame on their behalf, and an unhealthy level of Technological Elitist Disdain, I shake my head, hit delete, wonder what the poor soul clicked on to bring such a travesty down on their household, all while muttering something along the lines of I Pity the Fool.
And then, in a twist of justice to my unwholesome attitude, yesterday happened.
I was sitting in my cozy chair in my bedroom, composing a blog post that you might have otherwise read today, when Noah began to stir from his nap.
I headed to his room to comfort him, tried to get him back to sleep to no avail, and finally gave up and headed back into my formerly quiet workspace, now with baby in tow.
At which point, I noticed I had nine new emails…wow – I must have done something to please the world.
I saved my blog post, cuddled with my baby, then clicked on my email.
Which now told me I had one hundred and nine new emails.
Delivery Notification Failures.
Replies to blank-subjected emails that I didn’t send.
Out of office auto-replies.
My face went white. My hands began to shake. I had somehow, mysteriously, through seemingly no fault of my own, been hacked. My main personal email account, one I’ve had for over 10 years.
I JUST SPAMMED TEN YEARS OF PEOPLE.
OVER A THIRD OF MY LIFELONG HUMAN CONTACT.
I grabbed up my baby under one arm and yanked my rather large laptop from the wall and shoved it under the other arm and raced downstairs, all while still shaking violently and simultaneously dosing myself in a thick blanket of horrifying shame.
(Note: Do not try this at home. The running with too many objects or the horrifying shame.)
I screamed for Chris to help me in the panicky voice formerly reserved exclusively for the situation of being on fire, sinking in quicksand, and covered with cockroaches all at once.
(Obviously, the cockroaches part would be the worst of the three.)
He quickly yanked the baby out of my football hold and told me to turn off my computer, in case that was how they were accessing my email. We logged onto his computer and changed my password as quickly as possible.
Then I began The Type of Shame.
I responded to all of the “Did you send this?” and “I think you were hacked…” and “What’s this link?” and “I didn’t know you sold Malaysian Pharmaceuticals!!” emails..
Then I attempted to re-spam my entire address book with the “I’ve been spammed don’t open anything from me” email…
…which, of course, got caught as spam.
(Why oh why, internet geniuses, do the spam emails NOT get caught, all while I’ve-been-spammed emails always get caught??)
I had officially entered Cyberspace Hell, and each successive ding indicating a new email in my inbox was the Devil prodding me with a fiery, roach-covered pitchfork.
I nightmarishly spent the next three hours on the phone with tech support, email support, computer cleaners, and my new Malaysian Pharmacist trying to get anti-anxiety pills to quell my nerves.
(Okay, all except for that last bit. But something would have been nice. Especially for my poor husband’s sake, having to put up with my state of being.)
The next step was deciding whether to kill my email address and start over or not. Were the hackers gone? Were they still in, crouching like those evil roaches, ready to eat my precious cyber-identity again? Would anyone ever read anything I wrote again? Had my email address been permanently blackballed by everyone I ever cared for?
Then, of course, I got the phone call.
The phone call that everyone gets when they’ve been hacked – who’s the one person who would call, old-school-style?
Yup – Mom.
I confirmed that I was a mongrel and reminded her to never ever click on a link with no text explaining it no matter who sends it, and she assured me that her computer told her that I was spam, so she hadn’t done so.
Even my Mom knows I’m spam. That’s a sad day, folks.
So. If you’re still reading this and haven’t completely written me off as a faceless, dark-alley spam-mongerer, I did decide to change my email – it will take a while to make a complete transition, but you can reach me either at my blog email (it was not hacked) rachel (at) graspingforobjectivity.com, or my new email that I made eerily similar to confuse the mess out of you, graspingforobjectivity (at) gmail.com.
May the rest of your day be full of roses and daisies, and may the malicious (and, might I add, brilliantly sneaky) hackers stay far away from your doorstep.
And to all of you who received any email from me yesterday, my deepest apologies are hereby extended. I shall wear my shame with dignity, if that’s possible – but feel free to pity me, starting now.