Drawing a blank

This organization has several laptops available for employees to borrow as needed for meetings and other uses, reports the pilot fish who manages them.

"The loaning program has been in place since 2004, with several replacements of the laptops over the years," fish says. "But the instructions haven't changed. The instructions tell the user to login with User Name: user name, Password: blank.

"Ten years into the program, the HR director borrowed one of the laptops -- and came to me in a panic, saying she cannot log in.

"She told me she typed the password 'blank,' but the system tells her the password is incorrect.

"In all that time, she is the only one to type the word 'blank' as the password.

"As the HR director, she has asked that the instructions be changed to say 'User Name: user name, Password: This area is left blank.' I just hope they don't start typing 'This area is left blank.'"

Don't let this space be left unintentionally blank. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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