Um, No, That Isn’t What the Password is “S’posed to Be”

My school “upgrad­ed” its Ora­cle-based stu­dent records man­age­ment sys­tem weeks ago. I know that it is Ora­cle-based because ever since the “upgrade,” every time I try to access my “stu­dent por­tal” (my pri­ma­ry means of inter­act­ing with the school, as an online stu­dent), I get an “Ora­cle Site Builder” page.

Since the actu­al class­es are done on anoth­er site and I could still log in there, I kept wait­ing for the promised fix. The tra­di­tion­al “screwed up the finan­cial aid” prob­lem has got­ten to the point where I real­ly need­ed to get in to see what they’ve done so far, though, so I pushed fur­ther today than I have before and final­ly pushed a “help” (I use the term very loose­ly) desk per­son to actu­al­ly help me.

He took down all my infor­ma­tion and said that he’d have to go to his boss, but he’d call me back Real Soon Now. I had oth­er irons in the fire, as well as his (rather unique) name, so I consented.

Odd­ly enough, my phone rang again in about five minutes.

“We nee­da ver’­fy your info­mashun.” (I’ll have to drop the attempt to repro­duce the child’s mush mouth here. My spellcheck­er is hurt­ing too much.)

Ok—we went over my stu­dent num­ber and so on again.

Boy: “You don’t have an account.”

Me: “You mean my account has been delet­ed in your upgrade?”

Boy: “No, that can’t hap­pen. You ain’t nev­er had an account.”

Me: “That’s non­sense. I can log in and get the Ora­cle Site Builder page, there­fore I have an account.”

Boy: “We can’t log in, so you don’t have an account.”

Me: “Why are you try­ing to use my log-in? You’re sup­posed to be try­ing to fix my account, as an administrator.”

Boy: “We have to be sure you’re real­ly hav­ing a problem.”

Me: “You mean that you assume I’m lying before you’ll do anything.”

Boy: “No, we just have to be sure you’re not doing it wrong.”

Me: “Well, obvi­ous­ly, you’re ‘doing it wrong’ because I’m sit­ting here look­ing at the Ora­cle Site Builder while you can’t log in. Do you want me to e‑mail you a screen print as proof?”

Boy: “What pass­word you using?”

Me: “What kind of ques­tion is that? I don’t give peo­ple my pass­word. Don’t be stupid.”

Boy: “The pass­word don’t work.”

Me: “That’s because you don’t know my password.”

Boy: “It’s sup­posed to be (stan­dard default password).”

Me: “No, it should NEVER be (stan­dard default pass­word) after a user’s first log-in. In fact, if your sys­tem were set up prop­er­ly, it would force users to change the pass­word after the first log-in, and at least once every 30 days after that.”

Boy: “No, it’s sup­posed to be (stan­dard default password).”

Me: “Are you an IT major?”

Boy: “Yes, and the pass­word is sup­posed to be (stan­dard default pass­word). If it ain’t, we can’t log in to peo­ple’s accounts.”

Silent­ly think­ing “and that’s the point, dolt,” I went in and changed the pass­word to (stan­dard default pass­word), since that’s just about all I could do.

Me: “Ok, just to make you hap­py, I changed it. Try to log in now.’

Boy: “Now it’s right.”

Me: “So you can fix it?”

Boy: “I have to call you back.”

Me: “I don’t think so. I’ll just stick with you. That way if you find any­thing you don’t under­stand in my records, we can work on it together.”

Boy: “You have to call (num­ber for por­tal help desk). They have to fix it for you.”

Me: “Why did­n’t you send me to them in the first place?”

Boy: “I had to see if you real­ly had a problem.”

I changed the pass­word while he was giv­ing me the 800 num­ber, of course.

Boy: “What did you do?”

Me: “What­ev­er do you mean?”

Boy: “The sys­tem says I have to log in again.”

Me: “Well, sure­ly as soon as you saw that I real­ly had a prob­lem, you logged out, since you had no fur­ther rea­son to be logged in as me. Nor do you need to log in as me again. I changed the pass­word again.”

Boy: “You can’t do that. It’s sup­posed to be (stan­dard default password).”

Me: “Have your sysad­min give me a call if he has a prob­lem with it, but so far you’re the only one who ever has. Buh bye!”

I haven’t found any­thing he changed in my records. Not yet. I just don’t trust the lit­tle bas­tard. It also fright­ens the hell out of me to real­ize just how many stu­dents must not ever change their orig­i­nal pass­words, since he’s accus­tomed to blithe­ly log­ging in to every­body’s accounts, and it’s appar­ent­ly a stan­dard prac­tice in the department!

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
Posts created 4253

One thought on “Um, No, That Isn’t What the Password is “S’posed to Be”

  1. I can com­plain about things at my work­place, but thank­ful­ly stu­pid IT is not one of them. Why in heav­en’s name should every­one’s pass­word be pre­dictable?!?! What’s the point of hav­ing a pass­word then? Arg!

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