Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

How The Week That Began Well Got Worse

… Before It Ended Well!

I had not had a frustrating week in a long time until this week. The frustration was for the egoistic-social media-savvy me, the blogger me and the oh-so-forgetful me.

It all began when..

I posted a Facebook photo memory from a few years back on my WhatsApp status. Given that I look different now, it drew attention from a few people on my phone book with whom I share status updates. It was a photo of me looking happy and pleased as punch (which is how I appear in all my photos). It was from a time when I was, um, bigger. One of my contacts who has known me since I have become fitter, was taken aback with how I looked then.

‘Share your diet and exercise routine?’, she said

‘ My state of fitness today is not a result of a simple and easy routine that can be shared on a WhatsApp text’, I told her and pointed her to a series of posts titled ‘ My weight loss journey ’ that I had written about a few years back on Wordpress.

I hadn’t gone back to Wordpress ever since I began blogging here on Medium, three years back. Just to assure my vain self that my blogs ( I have multiple) were safe, I attempted to log into my account. It was no surprise that I didn’t remember the password that I had set (and had probably changed multiple times). I am a woman with a reputation for forgetting but I am an ace at using the ‘forgot password’ link on most websites that I use.

Wordpress promptly sent me a link to reset password and I logged in with eager anticipation. The first screen you see is the admin panel where the blogs you own are listed. I saw one of my blogs marked ‘Primary blog’. I chuckled in disdain at the choice I had made to mark that of all the others I had created, as ‘primary’. I quickly scanned the page for the list of the other blogs I had created and to my astonishment I did not find any.

How was that even possible? Even my forgetful brain remembered at least three blogs that I regularly updated, was followed and commented on.

Yet, there was only one of my blogs that appeared on my admin panel.

I rushed to check if my other blogs had disappeared from the web universe and thankfully they were all there. Why then wasn’t I able to view my other blogs on the back end?

Did Wordpress do away with free hosting when they introduced their pricing plans?

I reached out to support from the Wordpress application and with their help systematically eliminated all the probabilities of what may have gone wrong. It was such a stressful exercise! I had not only forgotten the password to my account, but also found out that:

A) my blogs were registered under an email address that I did not use anymore

B) the reset password link was being sent to a phone number that was no longer mine

C) I did not have any codes downloaded for the two step authorization that Wordpress introduced in the year 2013 for extra security ( I wasn’t even aware they had!)

D) I had not saved an alternate email ID as a fall back if all else failed

Even though there was no immediate urgency for me to have access to the dashboard or the edit functions of the blogs I had created on Wordpress, just being denied access to content that I had created, felt excruciatingly difficult to stomach.

I exchanged over ten mails with the support team in the span of 72 hours and still failed to prove to them that I was the owner of these blogs.

When all else fails, send out a plea

This is what I wrote:

I appreciate all that you guys are trying to do to help me log in back into my account. But none of the steps outlined have helped so far.
I don’t have a Paypal transaction ID ( all my blogs were hosted free and I didn’t upgrade), I don’t have an activation link that you had first sent me to my email (which was 16 years back and I don’t have any mails from those years in my inbox) neither do I have any two factor authentication for wordpress ( I only have them for my Google account)
What other way can I prove to you that those are my blogs? They are memories I created of my daughters conversations with me. I didn’t make any money out of them. Why would I want to con anyone about the ownership.
I feel helpless and confused. Please intervene and help. I hope you can sort this out for me.

Finally, when I was THIS close to giving up, a kind hearted happiness engineer wrote back that he had ‘reviewed’ the information I had shared so far and was able to ‘verify’ my ownership of the account. He further outlined the next steps, which all seemed simple and straightforward. It involved clicking on some links he would share with me to update the phone number and activate the two step authentication.

Overjoyed, I thanked him profusely and rushed to check the inbox of my rarely used Outlook mail. I had logged in earlier to see if the mail was still in working order and it was.

I awaited the promised mail from Wordpress support. I refreshed the inbox a few times, subconsciously acknowledging the fact that the mails you wait for eagerly, take the longest to reach. I must have checked the spam and junk folders a few dozen times just to make sure that the important mail didn’t find itself delivered there.

I sent ‘ test ’ messages from Outlook to myself, to my husband, to my bestie and another friend who I knew will respond to confirm if he received the mail. The mails seemed to have reached; I saw it delivered to my other inbox and I called the others to check if it had. I knew the send function of the outlook was working flawlessly. So in all probability the receive function was not broken. But why hadn’t I received the mail? My own response to the test mail never arrived.

That is when I realized that Murphy was at it again.

I was at my wits’ end by then. I had exhausted my tolerance for services that did not work.

I headed to the one place I always head to when I have to vent. Twitter.

Twitter has always come to my rescue whenever I have needed to catch the attention of and engage with trouble shooting executives of any service or product that I needed help with.

Someone from Outlook responded after a few tweets but I had lost my patience to get into another trouble shooting dialogue with anyone.

While I was venting on Twitter, I also took Google’s help to identify other people who have had similar issues with Outlook. I tried solving the issue with what I learnt. It was by accident that I found out that all the new emails were being delivered into my deleted folder!

Like they say, all is well that ends well. I was able to track the important email, change the details and finally log in to my Wordpress account. I was incredibly pleased at the sight of my admin panel. I found more blogs listed than I remembered!