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!