Ms. Compy Fix-It Fixes Microsoft Outlook’s Meeting-Hoarding Problem

Howdy world!

Ms. Compy Fix-It here, and I’m in a great mood.  I managed to resolve an issue I encountered yesterday which has been bugging me since.  That’s a long time for me to be perplexed.  🙂

Without further ado, my issue was this:

  • I go to send a meeting invite in Microsoft Outlook 2007, and it gets stuck in my Outbox
  • I could send e-mail just fine
  • Timestamps showed under the Sent column in the Outbox for regular e-mail, but the meeting invites just showed “None“, indicating I could wait all I wanted but it had no intention of sending……
  • Neither time, nor restarting, nor re-opening and re-sending, could make these meeting invites get out of my Outbox
  • I went to cancel the meeting invite, and the cancellation got sent to the invitees! (How random….. and awkward)
  • Even deleting the meeting would send the cancellation notice to the invitees
  • This occurred several times as I tried different things…… causing frustration and embarrassment as I’m sure it looked like I was insane (“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – good ol’ Einstein)

I researched.  And researched.  And pondered.  And researched again.

And then I found a clue.  On a few sites, they’d mentioned a Norton Antivirus add-in was the cause of their troubles, but I don’t have Norton so I knew that couldn’t be it.  But one site mentioned:

Tip 1116: Meeting invitations are stuck in the Outbox | Outlook Tips
More Information
If you are having a problem with your mail not sending but aren’t using Norton Antispam, check your add-ins. Other antivirus and antispan add-ins, as well as iCloud, have been known to cause problems sending Outlook items.

Hmmmm…….. well I first had to search how to get to my add-ins – they’re not something I play around with too much.  From Outlook’s own Help file (Wait, what?  You mean it was actually helpful?  It’s a miracle!):

Enable or disable add-ins in Office programs
Outlook
On the Tools menu, click Trust Center, and then click Add-ins.

Great, easy enough.  So I get a list of my add-ins and realize – I recently downloaded Evernote for Windows!  I’m not sure why it took me so long to remember that, but I suspect frustration blindness had taken over.  😉  Anywho, I disabled the two Evernote add-ins, and voilà!  It works again.  So be aware that if you’re suddenly running into an issue of Outlook sending e-mails but not your meeting invites, check your add-ins!

Sincerely,
Ms. Compy Fix-It  🙂

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Marketing Done Right: How Starbucks Has Befriended Their Army

I have been in awe for a while over Starbucks’ ability to turn buyers into promoters, and today I received an e-mail that is a perfect example.  The e-mail was as follows:

“Hi,

As you know, Canada Post is on strike. And that means, for as long as this goes on, we won’t be able to send you postcards for your birthday drink you’ve earned.

But rest assured: we’re keeping track of all the good things we’re supposed to send your way. And once the strike is over, we’ll send you those postcards you were supposed to receive – with an extended expiration date so you can enjoy them.

Thanks for your understanding and patience. And if you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-STARBUC.

Starbucks Card Team”

Just to get this straight: I’m receiving an apology e-mail for not receiving a bonus gift due to something outside of their control.  Ahead of time.

Let me point out the awesomeness about this (as if it needs delineating):

  • Starbucks offers a free drink for card-holders’ birthdays: This makes people happy because they’re receiving something free; it also attaches a more personal feeling towards Starbucks due to receiving a ‘gift’.  There are some who would argue this increases customer loyalty because it invokes the feeling of obligation to return the favour — which, in this case, would be returning to purchase again.
  • This drink has NO size or type limitation: this makes people feel a little giddy for ‘screwing the system’ if they want to get a Venti super-expensive fancy drink….. or, simply, allows people to get the drink they normally would choose.
  • This gift can usually be used within a month (or two?) of the person’s actual birthdate: This allows people to not feel a need to use the gift card right away (avoiding any association with stress or rushing).  From the business perspective, it also allows the person more time to potentially forget about cashing in the gift.
  • They will not be cancelling (or ignoring) these usual gifts, even though an entity outside of themselves is causing their delay.  They even take it upon themselves to apologize for the delay.  They owned up to something that wasn’t even their fault, and were the better company for it.
  • This anticipated message was sent with an affirmation that the expiration date will be extended — in case anyone was worried about getting their gift in time.  This way, even these somewhat caffeine-infused worries are alleviated.

Rest assured indeed!  If Starbucks opened a bank, I would consider switching.