I'm in that wonderful place called Oh-Crap-I-Have-To-Put-My-Income-Taxes-Together and I'm going a little crazy.
For me, despite all my promises- following the visit to the tax prep folks- to be more organized the next year, to diligently keep all the receipts together including medical mileage, and monthly statements from the health insurance people, tax time looks like a big storm blew through my living room and dining room carrying with it forms, receipts, lists of what needs to be recorded on the form sent by the tax prep people, and torn pieces of 5 x 7 index cards with category labels scrawled hastily on them.
The process inevitably involves a call to the bank or the stockbroker for some missing 1099 (which will absolutely show up the day after I get the taxes done.) Today the stockbroker informed me that in order to send me the confidential info via email, they would need to first send me an invite of sorts, to an online site where I must devise a super secret password, then go back, after said password is accepted- just wait- and plug it into the online site that asks for the secret word.
Alrighty then. I found the place for the super secret password construction. I imagined as a 30 year former teacher and a current aspiring writer that I would breeze through that baby, get my info, and move on to the next tax
There were 8 steps to creating a "successful" password. Most were the usual mandates:
- you MUST have at least 8 characters
- you MUST have at least one numeral
- you MUST have at least one lower case letter and one upper case letter.
- You MUST have one non-alphanumeric character.
The teacher in me said: break the word apart and figure it out...alpha sounds like alphabet so maybe it means letters and numeric refers to numbers.
So are they telling me I have to include something that isn't a letter or a number?
What do I have to do, create a cypher or a new language in order to get my financial statement?????
The only thing left on my keyboard beside the TAB, CAPS LOCK, SHIFT, and ENTER buttons were the asterisk, ampersand, parentheses and the like. It seems to me that we're always being reminded to leave out symbols like dashes, dollar signs, and percent signs. Now someone is refusing to give me access to my own account unless I stick in some kind of squiggle?
Well, here's what I think about that ^#&**@# !!!
Of course, it took me 10 minutes of trying a wide variety of passwords until I happened upon the stick-in-a-squiggle idea. Then it only took three minutes to get the actual info I needed, and that included the printing time. Sheesh! Some things just drive me crazy!
While I'm grumbling over passwords, does it bother anyone else that we need to remember so many different kinds of passwords??
There's the PIN for the ATM, and the phone, if you want to protect information and numbers from prying eyes. Then there's the user-name and password to sign in to some email accounts or web sites. And then just when you think you can remember all those- unless you use the same on for everything with is a very big NO-NO we're told, you are treated to secure emails leading to secure sites that need secure super secret passwords that are multi-syllabic, ancient language-based, having no sequential numbers or letters in them and need NON-ALPHANUMERIC CHARACTERS!
I know we're told not to keep a list of said user-names and passwords just in case someone breaks into my house and bypasses all things of value and heads right to the computer and scours the desk for the list of my user-names and passwords in order to possess the key to all my wealth and blog posts. But hey, I'm keepin' one of those lists just in case my brain spazes out and I can't remember which non-alphanumeric squiggle I chose in which password.
So what drives YOU crazy???