Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Okay, This is Funny...

One of the many hats I have worn is that of a columnist in a small web-zine run by an old High School boyfriend, Mike Craner. Below is one of his columns that addresses an issue that I think everyone at one time or another has dealt with. I loved it, and laughed boisterously when I read it. Enjoy! You can find this web-zine at www.pencilstubs.com.

Mike's Place
By Michael L. Craner

Usernames & Passwords.... bane of my existence. It seems every day, I have to come up with them, and every place has it's own restrictions of what can be used, how many characters, etc... THEN someone always seems to have "your" username already... so you get to dream up something new that you won't remember.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for all this security stuff, I've even employed it myself on my sites. Normally I don't mind too much though. Come up with a username and password, write it on the wall and forget about it, right?

Sometimes, especially in the corporate world, that department known as "IT," (No one has figured out for sure who works in "IT," or even what "IT" is) mandates even more restrictions on your password, such as time limits to your password. Anywhere from 30 to 90 days and that password that took you at least half that time to remember has to be changed. Aargh!

To make matters worse, I have certain programs that run in the background that check email on all my accounts and do all kinds of things. Whenever I have to change my password, I also have to change it in all those programs, or else after a number of unsuccessful logins my account gets locked out, requiring a phone call to "IT" to get my password reset.

The following are a few my recent calls to "IT" to get my account reset. You should keep in mind that whenever I am required to change my password I am usually in a hurry and annoyed at having to change it at that time...plus not being able to use the same password over again for at least 3 years has started to drain my pool of usual passwords which has prompted a more creative approach.

IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi Jack, This is Mike, I had to change my password today, and now I'm locked out of my account again and need it reset."
IT: "Sure, no problem, what's your username?"
Me: I tell him my username
IT: "Ok, and what password did you have?"
Me: "Before or after I changed it?"
IT: "The new one."
Me: "byte me"
IT: "Excuse me?"
Me: "byte me"
IT: "Sir, I assure you that I am with IT, and will never use or give out your password, but I need it to verify who you are to reset it."
Me: "I told you, "byteme."
IT: "Oh, ok I understand now. he he, that's good, I'll have to use that."
Me: "You said you would never use it!"
IT: "No, I meant that I would never use your username and password together. I want to use your password for MY account."
Me: "Fine, I guess I have to change mine again. *click*"

(The Next Day)
IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: *click*

(5 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Paul with IT."
Me: "Hi Paul, I had to change my password again because Jack wanted it, but now I'm locked out of my account again and need it reset."
IT: "That's easy, it'll just take a moment, what is your username?"
Me: I tell him my username.
IT: "Ok, and what is your password?"
Me: "You're not going to use it are you?"
IT: "No sir! I'd lose my job if I did."
Me: "Well Jack said he wanted my old password to use for himself."
IT: "I'm quite happy with mine, so you don't need to worry about that either. Now what is your password?"
Me: "What password"
IT: "The one you want reset."
Me: "I told you."
IT: "I'm sorry, I must have missed it, could you please tell me your password again?"
Me: "whatpassword"
IT: *click*

(7 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Paul with IT."
Me: *click*

(3 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: *click*

(3 minutes later)
IT: "Hi, This is Tammy!"
Me: Hi Tammy, I need my account reset, Jack stole my last one and Paul hung up on me.
IT: "I'm sorry to hear that, I'll fix you right up."
Me: "That would be great, my username is ....."
IT: "Ok, and your password?"
Me: "whatpassword"
IT: "Hey, that is too cool! That's mine too!"
Me: "CRAP! Now I need to change it AGAIN! Did Paul tell you?"
IT: "No, I've had this password for a month now. Tell me what you want to change your password to and I'll change it for you and reset your account."
Me: "okiedokie"
IT: *silence*
IT: *silence*
Me: "Did you get that?"
IT: "No I'm sorry, I didn't hear anything, would you please repeat it?"
Me: "okiedokie"
IT: *silence*
IT: *silence*
IT: "Hello? Are you still there?"
Me: "Yes, did you change it yet?"
IT: "Change it to what?"
Me: "Just Byte Me!
IT: "I'm sorry, you used that password already, you'll have to pick another."
Me: "aaargh!" *click*

(c) Michael L. Craner, Pencilstubs.com 2003


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