To Bell Sympatico in a Handbasket: A New Outlook for Outlook 2003

It never ceases to amaze me how seemingly intractable problems can be so troublesome on one day and essentially resolve themselves in a flash the next.

digital overlord
The Digital Overlord

Yesterday, in addition to offering up nearly 2,800 words on the subject of my adventures with murderous aquatic pets, I also spent a significant amount of time (perhaps three and a half precious vacation-day hours) trying to batter it into Microsoft Outlook’s electronic brain that I would like it very much if it would perform its designated function and actually pick up my freaking email for me.   The problem arose when Spouse and I departed our previous residence for the friendly environs of Juniorvania;  in this particular section of the province, there is currently no one offering cable internet access, so our choices for broadband internet access were relatively limited:  we had to choose the one that rhymes with “Bell Sympatico”.  No, wait, that’s not a rhyme, that’s the name.  Dammit.

Because Bell is incapable of correctly performing, on the first attempt, even the most modestly difficult customer service task (such as “signing up a new customer”), and because their incompetence in this regard seemed to be the straw that was breaking the camel’s back (or, more accurately, asploding this particular camel’s brain), Spouse ended up taking over the task of enlisting us in Ma Bell’s Internet army.  The account, therefore, was in her name.  To the victor go the spoils, and Spouse’s prize for her perserverance in the face of ridiculous stupidity was assignment of the initial email address associated with the account.  The Sympatico service actually comes with a complement of 9 additional mailboxes, but the user is responsible for setting those up once the physical service is attached.  I consider myself somewhat technically proficient but I have to confess that I was not able to meet the challenge, initially, of wading through the Sympatico propaganda to learn the arcana associated with this minor task – getting myself an email address.