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How does this happen?

Some of you may know that I work as a system administrator, and this includes checking up on servers to make sure everything is running fine, and that nothing is blocking legitimate traffic. This also means that I need to check on the message queue on our primary e-mail server to make sure neither inbound or outbound e-mail is being blocked.

One of the e-mails that are stuck in the queue at the moment, is to a Gmail account, and includes the following error message (reason for not being delivered):

host alt1.gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[173.194.64.26] said: 452-4.2.2 The email account that you tried to reach is over quota. Please direct 452-4.2.2 the recipient to 452 4.2.2 http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?answer=6558 ab5si15456916obc.116 (in reply to RCPT TO command)

Just to summarize, the message (which, according to the message queue software, is around 15 kB) is not being delivered, because the Gmail account has run out of storage space. Let me repeat that: his Gmail account has no storage space left!

Thing is, each Gmail user has 10 GB of free storage space available in their account. This means that the Gmail user above has 10 GB of e-mails in his account. And it has been like that for several days. Originally, I wasn’t about to make a post of this, but I’ve seen this message stuck in the queue for several days in a row, and I just felt like venting.

Two things come to mind: One, the e-mails in his account has to have some hefty attachments on them. Two, doesn’t this guy check is Gmail account every once in a while? I mean, Gmail is bound to show a warning when he logs in to see his inbox, and tell him to either upgrade his account space or delete some unneeded e-mails, right? Besides, if he absolutely has to have all of these e-mails in his account, upgrading the account should be a small price to pay (upgrading to 25 GB costs $2.49 per month, while the upgrade to 100 GB costs only $4.99 per month – there are also larger upgrades available). Is it really that hard?

Anyway, that’s it for today’s work-related rant. I do have other pains related to work this week, but I’ll keep those to myself for now (to avoid breaking client confidentiality – the pains are more specifically related to a major site launch early this week for a client, and that’s all I can say, really).