January 26, 2010

let me in

I had occasion today to talk to a lovely and patient man in another part of the world. I reached him in a circuitous way, by means of several 1-800 numbers and many, many touch-tones.

Why? I forgot a password. One of 60 passwords, it turns out. I know the exact number because I opened my “Keychain Access” and counted them. All my passwords evolved from the same word or words and are varied as needed when one or another is rejected by a site because it belongs to someone else. This in itself can cause a quiet harrumph because I must face the shocking reality that I’m not as unique and special as previously believed. So, the addition of a number or sequence of letters, preceding or following said (or unsaid) word usually does the trick. Some combinations I know well, and have no trouble slipping on to the site in mere seconds. Some elude me and frequent attempts with different variations often cause the great wall of security to fall, requiring me to (and I choke at the thought) speak to a person and ask for help. This, for me, is an act of desperation.

Sometimes I forget the password to the password, the secret question, and the hint to the secret question. Is it: my mother’s maiden name; my first pet; my high school; grandfather’s occupation; best friend’s shoe size; date of all-time favourite sneeze; average rainfall of my backyard; my neighbour’s unspoken opinion of me (in one word or less); birth weight of Agnes de Mille?  Sometimes, after these episodes (hours in duration), I forget what site I was trying to enter, and go downstairs to make myself a sandwich. I can do this in about five minutes, unless it’s toasted.

Wading through the purgatory of passwords and pin numbers takes more of my time than should be necessary to do a little banking, book a flight, or check my wireless usage for any given month. Sometimes the password has been saved automatically, sometimes not. Likewise, clicking on the little “remember me” square is sometimes successful, sometimes not. For instance, logging in to write this, I must always enter my password despite having clicked that little “remember me” square every time I want to post something. The site does not remember me. This is insulting – I think my own site should remember me.

Coming back to my chat with the pleasant man from across the seas, I’m please to say that he solved my problem. He re-set my password in approximately five minutes.

About the time it takes to make a sandwich. Unless it’s toasted.


3 Responses to “let me in”
  1. Jane Greening

    I can’t get into half my banking sites without some nice person in Mumbai helping me out. However, you SHOULD be able to get into your own. Does somebody in Mumbai have your password.

  2. Mary Kikuchi

    I gave up and now use the same password for everything.
    Much better.

  3. Susan

    Would love to do that! But sometimes it’s rejected and I have to come up with a new one. It’s endless, this password thing.