Last week I received another lesson in powerlessness. My email account was hacked.
I was sitting in a seminar when hubs called. He doesn’t call me during the workday just to say “hi,” so I knew something was wrong. He asked me about the Google document I’d just sent him. Um, I hadn’t sent a Google doc. I checked my email and there were bounce-backs from other recipients of the Google doc. Then I began receiving texts from people asking whether or not I’d sent a Google doc. Soon I started getting emails from friends and colleagues apologizing because their email account doesn’t allow them to open Google docs. Then I got emails from people I don’t know very well asking me why I would send them Google docs.
It was a First World problem but for me it was a nightmare. I panicked. I called hubs and, talking a mile a minute, told him the email had gone to everyone in the Universe and I didn’t know what to do. He told reminded me things like this happen and the recipients will surely understand.
I began furiously texting my inner circle of friends and family to warn them not to open the email. While working on that project I somehow, and I don’t know how, managed to erase a bunch of phone numbers from my contact list. I was no longer able to personally warn people not to open the email.
I was getting nauseous thinking about all of the online viruses I was “causing.” I could not abort my mission of warning the world. I posted a Facebook status update. I posted something on LinkedIn. Then I posted the following picture on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
You know what happened? Nothing. If the hackers gave anyone a virus, I’ve not been advised. No one was angry with me. The world continued turning on its axis. All I’m left with is the task of retrieving all of those phone numbers I lost.
I was panicked for about 30 minutes. I was annoyed for a couple of hours. But after hubs talked me down I was able to calmly go about the business of doing the next right thing to alert as many people as I could.
I’d rather not receive such lessons in powerlessness, but perhaps I needed it. It was a reminder to handle the things I can handle, and to just let go of the rest.