OK, try this one: Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?

IT support pilot fish for this healthcare organization gets a call from a user who can't get into her email -- and fortunately there's a straightforward way to resolve that situation.

Fish: I just need to go through some security questions with you first, Betty. Is that OK?

User: "Yes, no problem."

Fish: OK. First, I need the second and third letter of your memorable word.

User: "My what?"

Fish: Your memorable word. I need the second and third letters from it, please.

User: "What's my memorable word?"

Fish: I don't know. When you set up your email in the first place, you were asked to set three security questions. For one of them, you put "memorable word" as the security question, and then you put your answer. So, can you give me the second and third letters from that word, please?

User: "I don't remember it."

Fish: You don't remember your memorable word?

User: "No."

Fish: Well, I'll try the next one. Can you give me the second and third letters of your maiden name, please?

User: "OK: 'A' and 'M.'"

Fish keys in A and M.

Fish: That's not right, Betty.

User: "My maiden name?"

Fish: That's what you put in the box, yes.

User: "What does the answer say?"

Fish: I don't know -- I can't see what the answer is. All I can do is put the letters in. If it's right, it goes through. If it's not, it won't.

User: "This is ridiculous!"

Fish: Yes. I agree.

User: "Ask me something else."

Fish: Let's try this: Can you give me the practice code for the clinic you work at?

User: "I don't know what it is."

Fish: Who's the practice manager there?

User: "Sue."

Fish: Sue...what?

User: "I don't know her surname."

Fish: Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to email your practice manager instead, Betty, as you've failed to answer any of the security questions. I now need to get her to confirm your identity before we can unlock it for you.

User: "That's ridiculous! I only want to log into my @#$%! email!"

Fish: I understand your frustration, but since it turns out your memorable word is not so memorable, and you can't remember your own maiden name or your manager's name, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do.

User: Why can't you just reset it? I can change the questions afterwards.

Fish: Because I haven't verified that you are in fact Betty, Betty. I can't reset the account for you until we confirm that you are in fact the owner of the mailbox.

User: "Oh, forget it!" Click.

Don't forget to send Sharky your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon