diamond geezer

 Friday, January 03, 2014

I try not to go into work on 2nd January. Three years out of seven it's either the weekend or a bank holiday, making it easy to avoid. Next year it'll be a lone Friday after a bank holiday, so stuff that. But in 2014, damn, no alternative.

It was a quiet day in the office, as you'd expect. Anyone with any sense was still fast asleep at home when I rolled in, and will be again this morning. I switched on my computer and tried very hard to remember my system password. It'd been over a fortnight since I'd needed to use it, and these hard-to-crack alphanumerics can be hard to remember too. But all was good, and I was straight in through verification screen number one.

And then verification screen number two insisted that I change my password. I was sort-of prepared, having been warned before Christmas that replacing my old one would soon be necessary. We used to be left to discover this on the day, but the latest system starts sending email reminders three weeks in advance. I ignore these, obviously, especially when the expiry date is so far into the future that it would be stupid to change. And I changed my password yesterday simply enough, via my usual system of upping the numeric part a bit. On this occasion it meant a password ending in 666, but I smiled that off, and moved on.

After the operating system loaded, which took a while longer, I needed to enter a password to get into my email. They've got this sorted at work, I thought, because the password for email is exactly the same as the password for logging on in the first place. You could argue that this makes verification entirely pointless, but I like to consider the repetition to be useful simplification. So I typed in my new password, and that failed to work. So I typed in my old password, and that failed to work too. So I typed in my new password again, and got an error message saying stop right there.

OK, I thought. I'll turn it off and on again - this often works, and if I ring the helpdesk that's what they'll ask me to do anyway. It took a while. And then I wasn't entirely sure which password I'd need to get back in through the initial logon screen, because it wasn't clear how global my earlier password reset had been. I tried my new password, which failed, then my old password, which let me in. But I had no such luck with verification screen two. I tried the old one, then the new one, then got a message saying I'd been locked out and needed to contact an administrator.

I was now forced to ring the helpdesk. This used to be in the building somewhere, but now routes via a normal London telephone number to somewhere on the subcontinent. Good luck, I thought, as a lady called 'Angela' answered my call. We attempted communication, the technician and I, which involved her asking questions and me answering what I thought she'd asked. I definitely caught her telling me to log off again, and then to log back into the system in "five to ten minutes". I thought this unnecessarily imprecise, but played along with the spirit of the request anyway.

And did this work? Of course it didn't, and I was left staring at the same lockout message I'd last seen ten to fifteen minutes earlier. So I rang the helpdesk again... and got somebody completely different this time. They treated me as if I was ringing in with a completely separate problem, which I sort-of was, but which didn't really help. By the end of this semi-intelligible conversation I had a fresh password, namely Password01, which is what they usually give us in these circumstances. Oh, but could I wait for "five to ten minutes" before I tried it? So I went and made a cup of tea, very slowly.

Entering a default password of course forced me to select another, my fourth password of the day. I was now up to ...777, with demonic ...666 having lasted barely half an hour. Still, at least I was finally through to my email again... where it turned out my new password didn't work either, and neither did the old one. So I rang the helpdesk again, and got a new bloke, and a new suggestion, which was to do nothing at all for "five to ten minutes". I sipped my tea and waited.

By now, what with with phone calls and turning off and on again and everything, I'd wasted almost 90 minutes of my morning. But at least I could get finally into my email... which it turned out consisted mostly of password update reminders received daily over Christmas. There were also three separate administrative emails from the helpdesk, recently arrived, each with a separate job number and a different employee's name at the end. I deleted the lot and got on with my work.

Online life is getting inexorably cleverer, and more integrated, and more efficient. When it works it's great, but when it doesn't it's even more of a mess to escape from than before. An increasing number of passwords is required to chart our way through everything, and heaven help you if one of those isn't recognised or doesn't work when it should. With assistance increasingly sited offshore, or via some electronic system, the chances of finding someone nearby who can help you are decreasing. Still, at least it's nearly the weekend already.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Sat 24 - Sun 25 September
Southend Charabanc
Seaside pleasure trip with arty installations linked by bus.
Part of the ESTUARY Festival.

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv