Struggles with Software and Search

Vicisti, Googlei

The Lost Email

I sent my beloved an email. I felt sure of a speedy reply.
But nothing appeared in my inbox, as the minutes and hours ticked by.

And her face was distressed and unhappy as we sat down to dinner that night:
"Too busy to write me a love note, which you know is my daily delight?"

"But I sent it!" I cried in dismay. So I opened my browser and went
To the page on the site where the mailer keeps a record of messages sent.

And there, sure enough, was my message, but the email address that it bore,
Was a place where my darling had worked in July of two thousand and four.

The myst'ry was solved. When I'd entered her name, gmail's Autocomplete
Had shown all her email addresses and I'd clicked that address obsolete.

I explained and I laughed, but my love found it not in the least bit amusing.
"Really, Ern, you should learn," she said coldly, "how to manage the mailer you're using."

A Fruitless Quest

I was mighty annoyed at the mailer, making trouble 'twixt me and my sweet,
And I vowed she would never again be the victim of Autocomplete.

And that's easy, I thought. It suffices to erase the address from the list
Of my contacts that gmail maintains, and the problem will cease and desist.

I was busy. At nine the next morning (it was now seven-thirty at night)
My students were taking a midterm, which I now had to sit down and write.

But ten minutes was all it should take, and I wanted to boast that the feat
Was accomplished. No emails would vanish due to misguided Autocomplete.

I returned to the site in my browser, but, to my surprise and distress,
I couldn't find any procedure to remove an unwanted address.

But surely, I thought, I can hardly be the first to encounter this need,
So somebody somewhere has posted information on how to proceed.

"O Google All-knowing!" I queried "What steps should I take to delete
From gmail a useless address so it won't show in Autocomplete?"

And Google responded profusely, with pages of link after link.
"In this superabundance of knowledge, there must be an answer, I think!"

The first link looked great from the snippet, but on clicking it turned out to be
From a guide to an AOL program that ran under Windows NT.

At they claim this is no problem at all,
Because they've developed an add-on that is easy for me to install.

But down by the edge of my screen, Malwarebytes was insisting I get,
As fast as I could, far away from

Then I noticed — Oh Joy! — some advice from Google itself, in a post:
At I could settle that troublesome ghost.

I flew to that site. To my horror — it exploded my hopes like a bomb —
No contacts of mine were recorded at

There are many who claim, on the web, if you go to the page at the top
And you left-click the large "Gmail" icon, then the relevant menu will drop.

I tried it again and again. Every browser and every machine.
I logged out and back in. I rebooted. But no drop-down menu was seen.

Nerd Rage

It is nearly a quarter to three. Orion has set in the west.
It will have to be some other day that my students will sit for their test.

I am livid with impotent fury. I curse and I rant and I rail
At this whole idiotic design that won't let me manage my mail.

There is no happy twist at the end. It's a story of utter defeat.
That useless old email address still sits in my Autocomplete.

This is part of the collection Verses for the Information Age by Ernest Davis