My Email Was Down For One Week and Ruined Everything

That headline is only slightly dramatic — but, seriously, who knew that a full digital inbox would somehow lead to a full physical inbox and more? Let me explain.

Thanks to a friend of mine who happened to try sending a message to my Money@30 email address, I learned that said inbox wasn’t working. The problem, it seems, was that I’d run out of room. PSA: when adding an external email account to Gmail, make sure to select the option to have emails you delete locally also remove from the server. In any case, I was able to get the problem solved and my email was down for a total of one week. And, yet, that was long enough to wreak some havoc.

First, the day after reviving my email, I got an order confirmation from Cometeer. Typically, they’d email me a couple of days before my automatic order was placed — but, since my email was down, I didn’t get that message and was unable to push back my order date. Now, having more coffee isn’t really a bad thing, but I didn’t exactly need more right now.

Next, I noticed on my Informed Delivery that I seemed to have five pieces of mail from Fidelity all coming on the same day. Sure enough, when I checked my mailbox, there were five similar-but-not-identical letters. Each of these basically boiled down to “we tried to send you this via email, but it didn’t work, so now we’re telling you with paper.” Cool.

Alas, it didn’t stop there. A few days later, Informed Delivery again tipped me off to eight (!) letters from Apex Clearing. The next day, I received another couple of letters from Apex along with a few from the soon-to-be-defunct app Finch. Plus, it looks like today will bring at least three more Apex letters for some reason. As of this writing, I’m not sure if more mailers of this nature are on the way or not. Either way, I feel I’ve already killed an entire tree.

To be fair to these companies, I realize that there are important reasons and regulations that dictate the decision to essentially spam me with mail IRL. Still, it’s been a pretty annoying few days — never mind the fact that I don’t even know if there were other important emails I missed during that week that won’t be followed up with physical letters. So, I suppose the moral of the story is to keep an eye on your inbox capacity and to ensure that you’re regularly deleting files, lest you find yourself swimming in paper envelopes like I currently am.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

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