The Password you Entered is Incorrect…

When I was younger I knew almost every phone number in my network of family and friends by heart, today I have a hard time remembering my own.  

A few of my coworkers and I recently pondered the reason that none of us can remember phone numbers any more.  We decided it’s a combination of things; between speed dial and contact lists, there is no need to remember them and back in the old days you could count on neighbors having the same area code and you didn’t actually have to dial it. Not to mention the fact that people had one phone number not two or three. 

Now we click on a contact and dial a name not a number. In addition to friends and family, I have the doctor, dentist, day spa, my hairdresser, and the dog sitter in my contact list. If I receive an incoming call from a ‘number’ and not a ‘name’ I almost always decline or ignore it. 

For the past month I’ve made an exception to the rule and there are now a few ‘numbers’ I recognize and answer. However, they are short-term relationships and I won’t be adding them to my contact list.  My friends at the Geek Squad rank at the top of these incoming calls.

Like a school girl hoping to be asked to the dance, every day for the past month I hoped I would receive the call from Best Buy that my laptop was fixed and ready for pick up. The first call set the stage.

“It’s a software problem and we’re going to have to wipe everything out to restore it.” Ron politely informed me.

“Ok…thank goodness I backed everything up just before it crashed.  This is covered under the protection plan I purchased, right?” I replied.

“No, I’m sorry ma’am, the plan you purchased only covers hardware failure, this is software and it will cost two hundred dollars.”

Not the news I wanted to hear, but at least it was less expensive than buying a new laptop. 

 After ordering two recovery disks, surviving three trips to the store, and multiple conversations confirming that “Yes, I understand that a full system recovery will wipe out all my data,” at long last I heard the words I’d been waiting for.

“Your laptop is ready.”

Thankfully the pick-up was uneventful; I experienced no ghostly encounters or patrons who felt the need to entertain me with tales of free vacations that resulted from a ‘slipping’ accident. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that since the final solution was to replace the hard drive, and since that was a hardware problem, the repair cost me nothing.

I muddled my way through downloading software and updating accounts. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until it came time to reload Microsoft Office; my confidence was shattered with one simple message – ‘the password you have entered is incorrect.’

I was thrown into a state of panic.  What password did I use? Why hadn’t I added it to the spreadsheet of username password combinations?  Why does every website in the world seem to have different requirements?  And most of all why had I used my yahoo email account as my back up for receiving instructions to reset my password?  I hadn’t signed onto it in months!

It’s no wonder I can’t remember my own phone number.



And…I Fix Computers Too

I am one of ‘those people’ who can strike up a conversation with anyone and usually does.  Today however, I was standing in line at Best Buy for the third trip related to my out of commission laptop and I wasn’t in the mood for small talk.

The same could not be said for the gentleman in front of me in line.  First he told me all about his camera.  That’s why he was there.

“I spent one hundred thirty-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents on it, and I took out this here plan that if the camera breaks, they replace it…cost me two hundred dollars.”

Who does that?

He went on to tell me that this was his third camera and he was in between vacations to Alaska and Disney World, both vacations were settlements,  resulting from accidents on the property of the Theme Park and a cruise ship. At Disney World he slipped in the parking lot and now has a lifetime pass as well as a part-time job as Tigger a few times a year. 

On the cruise ship, his fate was much worse.  He slipped on the deck and became ‘road kill’ for a 475 pound man in a wheel chair, not once but twice.  He is now headed for a complimentary fifteen day tour of British Columbia and surrounding sights.

He spent six years in the army, three working for the post office and more than twenty in the IRS, each occupation backed up by an ID card pulled out of his wallet, and has been ‘happily retired’ since 2006.  Apparently he’s only two broken bones away from owning the world record of number of casts worn by a single person – only 2 more to go and he ‘wins.’  I tried to verify his claim, but could not.

Finally I was rescued by one of the geeks (never thought I’d hear myself say that).

After dropping off the second recovery disk, I attempted to exit the store with no further eye contact or conversation.  Much to my dismay I was unsuccessful.

“I noticed you dropped off a disk.” He said.

“Oh… yeah… it’s a recovery disk. My computer crashed and they have to restore the whole system, the first disk was bad.” I responded (mentally kicking myself for re-engaging).

“Well, I coulda fixed that for you for next to nothing.  I fix computers too…”