We read a lot about how helpdesks have silly instructions they always repeat for users to follow regardless of how smart the user is. You know what I mean, “Is your keyboard plugged in? Are you sure the power is turned on?” So on and so forth.
There isn’t a lack of people to make fun of these instruction sheets and also the people who have to patiently repeat those instructions over and over again. Yesterday however, I gained a new respect for both the instruction sheets and the people who help us out so kindly and politely.
I had to change my corpnet password. My laptop hanged while changing it and I went to work. For a few minutes my old password worked, and then suddenly it stopped working. Windows, being windows, gave a vague and cryptic message saying “Username or password is invalid.” For a few minutes I thought I was fired and this was it – my account no longer exists on corpnet.
I scrambled to call the helpdesk, and I decided to play along with the instructions by following them. The 2nd instruction was, “Lock your screen, then unlock it using your new password.” Viola! It worked! I never would have guessed it. (Add to that the fact that I’ve written some auth code in my life.)
Thanks to all those helpdesk people who have to patiently take abuses from people like me for helping me with something I would never have guessed.