please make a note of not being so rude

Our world is filled with passwords. Everyone wants us to have one. Sure, there’s the bank and credit cards. I’ve also got passwords for (it would not let me choose “IhateBarbie” as my password), for Swiss Air, the News and Observer, iTunes, Facebook, my realtor’s website. I call Disney’s employee stock purchase line every April to ask for my password. (There’s always a long wait on hold, so I know I’m not alone) I even have one to log into Bill’s computer.

It is simply impossible to remember all these passwords. And it’s not for a lack of trying.

Sure, you can always jump through a few hoops to retrieve your password. Usually. Yesterday I tried to log onto a website I haven’t used in several years but couldn’t retrieve my password because the system emailed it to an old email address. I wrote and asked for help.

Honestly, I’m a little annoyed by the response I got. Yes, I was sent the obligatory temporary log-in and password that I can change to be more unforgettable. Fine. But included in the email was a curt line about not losing it this time. Alright, it actually said “please keep a record of this information for future reference.” Read between the lines and it says to me: “I don’t care if since the last time you logged into our website you watched your mother die, closed out her estate, decided your career path was all wrong, became a stay-at-home-mom, moved to another country. Don’t ask me again to do my job as webmaster and help you log into a website that has very little reason to be so dang secure as to require a log-in and password.”

Maybe I’m being a little harsh. Maybe yesterday she got flooded with nothing but requests from people who lost their passwords and changed their emails and had no other way to log onto the site. Maybe yesterday the latte machine at her Starbucks was broken so she was running on a little less caffeine than is optimal. Maybe yesterday she was feeling fat and had to change clothes several times while getting dressed for work. Maybe she had the epiphany that she just doesn’t like people or her job and dislikes being asked to do something that might interfere with Facebooking while at her desk.

I don’t know what the reason is. And you can come up with your own equally ridiculous list of why I let her response get under my skin. (Maybe I spent the day scanning dozens of documents to send to the movers for our international relocation. Yes. Maybe I spent time re-booking our entire house hunting trip. Yes. Maybe I woke up to find snow on the ground in mid-April. Yes. Maybe I simply wanted to log onto this website, pay my dues, and find out about the local group in the area where I’m moving. Yes, that too.)

I will eventually bother to log in and to change my password. I’ll even make a note of it. But I won’t promise that I won’t lose it. Or forget it. Or change my email address before the next time I ask that it be sent to me. And heaven help the next person who suggests I keep a record of it. No shit.

One Response to “please make a note of not being so rude”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    Please let me know if you figure out why sites on which you pay your bills (utility, etc) which wo’t let you withdraw or change anything, just pay your bill, require a password. And particularly a password meeting their strict complexity rules. If someone else really wants to log onto my account and pay my bill with their money, I say they should be able to do so. They should provide a non-mandatory field on the login page where if you want, your password appears once you enter your user name (a) if you forgot it it’s right there (b)for use by generous strangers to pay your bills

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