Whenever I hear people mention Hillary’s emails I have to cringe a little. Sure, it does seem silly to pester a political figure so often about something seemingly minute when there are plenty of real things she’s done wrong. Sure, the whole thing smells of the childishness that republicans vomit out in opposition to everything ever. But I think the only thing that really matters is being left out, and while I’m not really a Hillary supporter I feel so damn bad for her on this one.
That’s because I’ve actually used a government email server before.
People who have levied complaints against Hillary for using her personal email server should first deal with this enterprise email plague that has swept in on the U.S. military. Frustration is and understatement whenever government and internet cozy up together. It was so bad that I would get anxiety whenever I began to type AKO in my web browser. The government’s web and email servers, at least those expected to function for the troops, which many government employees are expected to use as well are the most dysfunctional systems I have ever experienced in twenty-seven years of life.
I would rather give birth to a fifteen pound baby through my penis than be mandated to use those servers. Even now when I think about trying to do something simple like log on and view my emails, I’m immediately transported to the Fifth Circle of hell and I can’t even return until I accept the fact that one joyous day I won’t ever have to use a government email address. I’d rather slow roast my head in an oven than use my government email for work.
What makes the experience most troublesome, is that the dysfunction of all things governmental tech is always, without fail, blamed on the user. That de-facto macho bullshit response is reflexive, “well, get it done.” With no semblance of logic or attempts to understand the very broke tools we are meant to work with. And of course these emails–which can only be sent through the most archaic and misanthropic servers–always contain some super important shit. I have lost count of how many soldiers missed some important document or report date, or school information because they simply could not access their emails. Platoon sergeants and company commanders alike will regularly discipline people for not being able to access a known inaccessible email account, with no treatment of facts whatsoever.
The determination on the part of some folks leads to hours and hours of changing your computer settings, taking down firewalls, trying every web browser you’ve never heard of, deleting cookies, clearing browser history, trying your neighbor’s internet connection, hell, even restoring your entire computer just to access this email account. And failing. So then the only logical next step is to dip your head in the toilet bowl until you cool off, take the ass chewing from your boss for not knowing some super important information (not really) that could only be relayed through the email account that no one can access and toss the whole idea of using thing out the window in order to maintain your sanity.
I’m proud of Hillary for saying “fuck it,” to government email. It’s the only genuine thing she’s done.