Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hello, My Name is Super Woman, and I Have a Confession to Make...

I need to confess something to all of my loyal readers. (All two of you - thank you!) This is a very difficult thing for me to admit, especially since I just observed another birthday and am not the spring chicken I once was. Okay, I'm almost ready...

(Here is where I take a deep breath...)

Alright here it is: I'm severely password challenged.

I have probably 30 different passwords for 30 different pieces of technology and websites that I have to remember. And my memory is not what it once was. Is it because I've reached the ripe old age of 34 and have developed dementia? Could it be early-onset Alzheimer's? Or has being at home with my four year-old for the better part of the past year finally dumbed me down to the point where I can't remember even the most basic of things, such as the password to my work computer, the computer onto which I've logged daily for nearly eight years straight??? (Ack!)

I'll admit something else here. I cheat when it comes to passwords. I do write them down. In one super-secret location which I'll never reveal, even under extreme torture involving aggressive tickling or the withholding of chocolate.

Oh, I know you're not supposed to do this. But if it weren't for writing them down, I'd surely forget them within hours.

Which is exactly what happened with the password to my work computer and my work email. The lifeline to my WORK, people!!

Three days ago, I sat there before said work computer, read the fifteenth warning that my password was about to expire, and in a fit of frustration and rebellion thought, Fine, you want me to change my password? I'll change my password! Hah! Take that! I was all flip about picking a password that was - like me - fun and sassy, yet also in compliance with "The Password Rules" of my company. Something I'd be sure to remember, since I didn't have a pencil and paper handy to write it down to later add to my super-secret list of passwords.

And lo and behold, a mere 12 hours later, when I went to login to check my work email, I drew a complete blank. Not even a glimmer of an idea. The perfect password had passed into the black hole that is my memory!

I panicked. I tried fifteen different things - at the risk of being locked out of my account altogether - that seemed distinctly possible as passwords I might have chosen. Nothing.

My heart started beating fast as I imagined all of the incredibly and urgently important things that might've been sitting ominously in my inbox, completely and utterly out of my reach. (Never mind the fact that no one has emailed me anything critical for about a month now. It was still a possibility.)

It was exhausting, the stress of it all. I had to take a nap.

During my nap, I dreamed about finally remembering the password. I awoke with renewed vigor, sat before my work computer, and tried another five possible passwords, each well-peppered with punctuation marks, numbers and the like, as I was sure I'd had at least an exclamation point in there somewhere. Nothing.

With nervous sweat pouring down my back, I sat before my personal computer last night and typed a very humble message to my former direct report to ask her to assist me by obtaining the name of the correct person in Tech Support whom I could contact today to have my password reset. I hit "Send" feeling like a complete ass. God bless her in her wonderful efficiency, she emailed me back promptly this morning with the name, email address and direct number for the God in our Tech Support department who could help me. I wanted to kiss her. But, alas, I work remote.

The God in our Tech Support department called me after I sent him a very humiliating and pathetic email (from my personal computer) full of groveling and begging for his assistance. (Oh, and I decided I needed to copy my wonderful, patient and fun-loving boss on that email so that he'd know what a dumbass I was - and so that he'd know that if he wanted to reach me, he'd have to either pick up the phone and call me or email my personal email address.) The Tech Support God asked me a few questions and then determined that, indeed, I am a dumbass. He needs my computer in his hands to reset the password because I work remote and it would take him hours to dig up the info required to do it otherwise. I'm so ashamed....

Anyway, due to this little snag in the plan, I will be without my work email and unable to access any of my electronic work files until at least next Tuesday, when I can finally get in to the office. Unless, of course, we get another 20 flippin' feet of snow that day, as we did yesterday. Which is a distinct possibility.

I'm absolutely mortified. I've logged onto my work computer and into my work email practically every single day of my life for the better part of eight years now, and despite having to change my password on what I'd swear has been a weekly basis to comply with "The Password Rules", I've never - NEVER - forgotten it before. Until now. Just as I'm about to wrap up my employment at this wonderful, beautiful company.

(Gulp.) I'm sure they'll be glad to be rid of me now that they've seen what a demented dumbass I am.

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