Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Dislike (Password) Change

A couple of years ago, someone in the IT department at work kept trying to "innovate" by making random changes to the internal systems that we worked on.

Sometimes that was fine, but often he would unilaterally make the changes without checking with anyone, first. He wouldn't check with the rest of the IT department to see if his changes would alter how other programs ran. He wouldn't check with anyone to see if they were using the system as he shut it off to change it. And - most annoying of all, honestly - he wouldn't ever check to see if the people who used the system wanted it changed.

This wouldn't have been so bad if he'd been there for a long time and knew all about the systems and how each person used them - or even how they should have used them. But he was fairly new. He simply assumed that because he didn't like how things worked, they needed to be changed. He was an okay guy outside of that, so many of us were torn about whether to feel happy or sad when he left the company rather suddenly.

Once upon a time, when he was in the middle of changing one of the primary systems I worked in - without checking with me to see what it did or what it needed to do - I asked if we could maybe have a meeting about it. He graciously met with me (or at least he met with me), and we had one other person in the meeting with us as a kind of buffer.

He spent about 15 minutes telling me what his changes were going to do. Then I spent about 20 minutes telling him why what he wanted the changes to do was going to make life more difficult for everyone involved, and why they weren't great ideas. He basically, eventually, just looked at me and said "well, we're changing it and you'll have to deal with it." (Gee... And we wonder why he wasn't in a Customer Service position any longer...)

After the meeting, when I was no longer around, he went to the buffer person to discuss... well... me. I was told, later, that his exact words were that he felt I was "adverse to change." Which... umm... I guess means that change happens less easily when I'm around? Or maybe it means that I make change happen badly? Or maybe - just maybe - when he was trying to put in a dig about me what he meant to say was that I'm "averse to change" when it impacts me negatively.

Either way, it was a while ago and I have come to really rather enjoy the "adverse to change" moniker.

But none of that really has anything to do with the title of this post.

You see, the other day a friend of mine commented that his email account had been hacked, and he suggested that everyone change their email passwords. Which I did. It is now about 80% longer than it was before. It is - as far as I can tell - quite a secure password at this point.

So secure, in fact, that two out of every three times I've tried to log in since I changed it I've gotten it wrong.

I swear that, next time, I'm going to just use 1234567890. After all, if hackers are going to get in, anyway, I might as well make it easier on myself, too.

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