Here’s a story of my most embarrassing IT Support Incident.
In the 1980’s and 90’s I was a Novell/cc:Mail administrator and a desk monkey for Intel. Occasionally I had to go to people’s desks and figure out why cc:Mail BETA 1.0 wasn’t working (well, it was junk that’s why). I was the lead beta support tech for over 2,000 people in the campus. So I often had to go to clients desktops and ask them for their password (as most of you do, in that special part of your brain which erases it just after you hear it).
We had just implemented a password change requirement for Intel and NO one liked it (ESPECIALLY admins because we were the first ones to hear the complaints from the users).
So I go to this office and the person at this office is a beautiful woman, I mean absolutely gorgeous. Her office is the cleanest I’ve seen, the desk is very orderly and professionally arranged. She is wearing a business dress and looks ready to take on the world…Here I am, trying to be a professional, despite the fact she looks really awesome (this is really hard for a goof like me).
As an computer professional, often when people see you they are happy because they know that someone is there to fix things and help, but this woman gave no expression and only grunted when I introduced myself. After her expressionless response, I asked if I could sit down and work on her system. She was really busy doing something else and gave me, with no smile on her face, the “OH, OK whatever!” and went back to work.
After some basic checking to see if I could login to my test account etc. I kindly asked her for her password. She was still busy doing paper work and not even paying attention to what I was saying.
She said abruptly “F@#k y%u.”
Ok, I thought I heard wrong so I whispered again, so no one could hear, “Uh excuse me what was that again? and she said LOUD “F@#k y%u” – so loud, in fact, that people in the next four offices could hear her quite clearly. Ok now, great…so I take a deep breath and say: “Uh, I’m going to need your password, so is there a time I can come back and work on this?” Big Pause….. She started cracking up, and then began laughing almost uncontrollably… I said “Uh – sorry Did I say something wrong? She put her hand on my shoulder and said, ‘”that IS my password…” We both started laughing and my face turned bright red.
I said, “ok, so let me guess – it was a bad day when the password change was required?”
She replied “Yes VERY bad day.”
Every time I saw her in the halls, I’d ask “So did you change your password yet?” – she’d just laugh!
Love those inside jokes – These can make even the hardest-to-deal-with users our allies. I would bet that the fact she was forced to change her password was the reason for the password choice…? – Rob