When I was in middle school I had a locker. It was the first time I had a password. I remember writing the 3-digit combination down and struggling to remember it whenever I had to go to my locker to grab a book, a coat, or my lunch.
Several years later, I had to add another layer of passwords to my knowledge. I signed up for AIM like the rest of the world and had a new password to remember. A few months afterwords, I got an email address. I had about 3-4 passwords to remember and I was fine with that.
I entered college several years after that and now had a college ID number, which was sort of like a password, a new email address/password in addition to other miscellaneous passwords that were needed for some apparent reason, i.e. mail box, front door password, ATM card, etc. My 3-4 passwords now jumped to about 6-8 – I could still handle it, but it was beginning to get ridiculous.
I graduated from school and got a job and began to build credit and wealth. My 6-8 passwords now grew to about 20+. Over the past 5 years, I’ve had to generate passwords for time card software, Microsoft Outlook, expense reporting and PeopleSoft, on-line credit card web sites, on-line banking, any site I ever visited and bought something from (about 20+ itself), DropBox, Fantasy Baseball/Football, etc.
Now there is a password for just about anything you can imagine. None are easy to remember or can be the same (according to the IT guru’s of the world). Personal passwords aren’t too bad, but work passwords suck because of all the encryption requirements. This brings me to a delightful story I have from a few months ago where I basically put in the wrong password and as a result I needed to have IT reopen the software for me. Here’s the basic synopsis of that conversation with IT:
Captain Polish: Hey, I’m locked out of Expense Expert.
IT: OK. What’s your password?
Captain Polish: Why?
IT: Well, we can just put your current password in and open the site for you.
Captain Polish: OK. Can I email it to you?
IT: Why don’t you just tell me. It’ll be faster.
Captain Polish: OK. It’s ahhh, it’s ummm, P00PM0NSTER.
Captain Polish: Yes it’s P00PM0NSTER and all the O’s are zeros.
IT: OK. You should be all set.
What was I to do? I just watched Dogma a month earlier and used P00PM0NSTER for my password not knowing that one day I’d be required to provide it to the IT department. Now I’m the guy at work that has the fucked up passwords. Great.
The moral of the story kids is that no matter what you do, passwords are growing exponentially and you need to be prepared to make them easy, and not embarrassing, in order to remember them. This will allow you to continue to access your shit without having to hassle your workplace IT department thereby avoiding embarrassment.