S-o E-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-i-n-g / by Courtney Mehlhaff

The password requirements for my work computer have grown increasingly complex. A certain number of capital letters, numbers, and symbols, combined with a minimum character count that stops just short of supercalifragilisticexpialidocius. 

Think you've found the perfect password to fit this complicated bill? Great. Now change it frequently and completely. 

But don't write it down!

The last time I had to create yet another encrypted monstrosity, it was a stressful day. My new password reflected this state of mind, but I assumed it would be my little secret for the next couple of months. 

As it turned out, it was only private until I needed tech support a few weeks later. 

IT person: "I can fix that issue. I'll just need your network password."

Me: (pause) "You want me to just ... tell it to you?"

IT person: "Go ahead."

Me: "Um, okay. It's [a series of numbers and symbols], followed by s-o-d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-n-g."

IT person: "Are those esses or effs?"

Me: "Esses ... like ... depressing."

There was a very long pause. 

Me: "I was in a really bad mood the last time I was prompted for a password change."

IT person: "Yeah. I can see that."

The web address for this moment begins with FML.