I used to work help desk at a small college of roughly 6500 students and faculty. We had no real system in place for users to reset passwords themselves, so if they forgot their password they’d have to call help desk and we’d reset it to our standard “last 4 digits of your SSN + first 4 letters of your last name capitalized”. I had a professor call in (one of our regulars), who liked to ramble on and on about how he had a PhD and so clearly it wasn’t user error because he was smart enough to know what he was doing (he wasn’t). So he calls in one day:
Me: Computer Support, how can I help you?
Him: Yeah this is Bob Derp, PhD (he always introduced himself that way, just with his real name). It seems your system has forgotten my password again!
Me: I’m sorry for the inconvenience sir. I can’t actually access your password, but if you’d like I can reset it for you, and you can change it once you are successfully logged in.
Him: Oh fine, fine. I just don’t know why your system keeps forgetting it when I change it! Reset it, then, if you must.
Me: Again, sorry for the inconvenience. I just reset your password. Your password should now be the last 4 digits of your social security number, followed by the first 4 letters of your last name, all in caps.
Him: Okay, let me try that…….nope, still didn’t work!
Me: Hmm. Are you sure you’re using the last 4 digits of your social security number, followed by the first 4 letters of your last name, all in caps?
Him: Of course I am! I have a PhD I know what I’m doing (he literally said this)! Wait, the numbers too?
Me: I beg your pardon?
Him: Do I capitalize the numbers too?
Me: …No sir, leave the numbers lower-case.
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