Me: Oh, the contact information on my email account is out of date. Let me fix that.
Google: OK! Go ahead and sign in again. We need to make sure it’s really you.
Me: Sure. Here’s my password.
Google: OK! We sent a verification code to your phone.
Me: Wait, that’s my old phone number! Give me another chance to prove who I am.
Google: Eesh, what’ve you got?
Me: Well, here’s my other email I was able to access. That’s linked to this account. You’ll see I was able to log in to both accounts earlier today. You’ll also notice I’ve accessed both through the same 2-3 devices for months, I’m in the same geographic location, and my email habits haven’t changed.
Google: Hmmm… how long have you been using this account?
Me: Huh. I don’t know. It’s been ages. At least a decade, I’d say.
Google: Have you used any other Google products?
Me: Yeah, I’ve used your Calendar off and on.
Google: (suspicious eyes) For how long?
Me: (shrug) hard to say.
Google: Yeah, I can’t prove this account is yours. Could you send me more information?
Continuing the drama from my last blog post, it seems I’m locked out of my personal email account for good. It could’ve gone smoother if I’d had the foresight to save the backup codes Google gave me, but no such luck. I hadn’t anticipated that my access would hinge on an outdated phone number and a few strings of numbers.
I’d really hoped I wouldn’t have to make up a new account, since everything I’ve done for the past decade or more is linked to that email. That’s a lot of emails I have to change, and you can see how good I am at updating my contact information in the first place.
It can’t be helped at this point. But maybe there’s a silver lining here. I’d accumulated a lot of unwanted contact on my old email, from mailing lists I’d tried to get off for ages to people with similar addresses who apparently can’t tell the difference between gmail and hotmail. It’s a fresh start. Just, not how I’d anticipated spending my day.