Ted: Help desk, this is Ted.
Caller: Hi! I’m not a customer of yours and you’ve never heard of me, but I have a question.
T: Go ahead, I’ll see what I can do.
C: I sent an email a year ago and I need to find it.
T: OK, what program were you using to send the message?
T: (SHUDDER) OK, did you use Outlook or Netscape to send the message or did you use AOL?
C: I sent it using AOL.
T: OK, did you use their web-based client or was it from an email client?
C: The web-based client.
T: I was afraid you’d say that. If you’d used their web-based client, the message is on their server.
C: Well, I saw on TV that people could get onto someone’s computer and find things like this.
T: Well, that’s true, if you’d used something like Outlook or Netscape, we might be able to help you find it. Since you used their web-based client, you’d have to contact them.
C: Here’s the deal: I really need that email. I’ve got a pending lawsuit and it’s vital that I have that message and AOL only keeps copies of sent messages for 30 days.
T: Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. Sorry.
C: Don’t be, you’ve given me somewhere to start. *sigh* I guess I’ll call AOL now.
T: *chuckle* Allright, well, good luck with that!
C: Yeah, thanks anyway!
T: No problem, thanks for calling!