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Stories from my Past: Listen and lets try again.

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I understand that non-technical people can get confused with computer things. Sometimes the simplest things can cause problems.

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Passwords are the bane of everyone. It doesn’t matter if you do technology for a living, you struggle with them. I struggle with them every day and experts say they don’t make us safer. Still, they are a requirement almost everywhere so you have to deal with them.

People often forget their passwords at work and most companies have policies that force people to change their passwords as well. Because of this, most people tend to forget or need help with their passwords at work. Many people struggle with the often inconsistent requirements between all the different passwords they have. So they come up with different passwords that are compatible with the systems they have to access.

It is a common thing every day for someone to call in and say they need their password reset or their account unlocked. Most computer accounts will lock if you put in the wrong password more than 3 times. Such is life, right? Some companies have systems that allow people to unlock their passwords if they answer some basic challenge questions correctly. Even with these systems, there are problems with people locking their accounts.

So you accept this working in IT. Many times your job is a glorified password assistant. Today I helped someone who got frustrated with her password and didn’t want to listen to me. I offered to help make a password but she tried again and again and it wouldn’t accept the password. This is a common issue for people. They tend to try to retype the exact same password they had before.

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So I worked with her for a half hour and spoke to her boss about the problem. I showed her boss it was working once she finally listened to me. Her boss explained that she gets frustrated easily and that’s why it took so long to work on this issue.

Having difficulty with simple things doesn’t make you stupid. It just means it’s a skill to develop. Having patience with people is a worthwhile skill to develop as well.