Descending into password hell

“We’re going to change the way we talk to you,” the school announced by email. A parent portal that mums can access via a log-in password was launched last November, comprising diary dates and all the information needed to ensure our children’s wellbeing.

Now, you’d think an online message board would be right up my street. But (and the irony of this is not lost on me) it’s playing hardball. I’m convinced it’s because the school never sent me the username and password, but there’s a chance these details are floating round my bottomless in-box.

Anyway, it’s causing me embarrassing problems, because, as a result, I’m not on top of what’s happening at school. I get wind of things, like wet n’ wild day, look at your three-year-old’s scribbles day, but don’t have enough information to avoid making a fool of myself.


I might look like I’m working, but really I’m still trying to log-in to the system

“Is there something going on today?” I chirpily asked the teacher when I realised the mums weren’t hot-footing it to Costa Coffee in their maxi dresses and shades as usual, but were gathering outside the classroom.

“Yes, it’s sports day,” she replied, deadpan. “You need to go to the sports hall at 8.15am.” (*thanks lucky stars LB co-incidentally had his PE kit and I wasn’t dashing off to the office*).

I can circumnavigate this problem by lurking around other mums, particularly the class mum, who probably synced her iCal to her iPhone months ago. By doing this, I learn all sorts of things about how much money I owe for the janitor’s son’s leaving present, but it’s not a fool-proof substitute for actually accessing the damn portal.

It just seems that EVERYTHING is password-protected these days. I try to use the same combination of initials and birthdays for everything, but this doesn’t work. “Crap” the dialogue box says, after assessing the strength of my password and finding I might as well have it pinned to my forehead. So I hurriedly invent a new one, and promptly fill my mind with other stuff.

Then, the next time I log in, that TORTUROUS box pops up asking for the 2nd, 9th and 23rd letters, and it’s like playing a game of roulette, in which – as we found out the other day – if you don’t win, you’re locked out of your life savings.

Just as frustrating was last week’s eye-rolling run-in with the website due to a password issue. After much teeth gnashing over an ‘invalid’ password, I contacted customer services – who told me they couldn’t help in case I was a fraudster (“you could try guessing the password,” they helpfully suggested), and then signed off their response with the words “Peace and long life”.

*Runs into the desert screaming*


About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Dubai, Expat and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Descending into password hell

  1. sarahhedonista says:

    Completely with you on this. hate the way you need to add a capital letter, punctuation and at least three numbers in just about every password. And the sites that make you renew you password, but won’t let you use anything that is in history for the last 7 years. So you have to think of a new one you can remember, yet has no recognizable features. But I guess its ok, because if you forget, you can always request a new one, which will be delivered to your inbox, which should have the highest security of all, but for some reason keeps sending emails to all 500 of your contacts offering them sex toys and financial advice.

  2. iota says:

    I would reply to this post, but you probably won’t publish the comment, unless it has a certain minimum number of characters, lower case, upper case, a punctuation mark and some digits.

  3. Sympathies. I have a nightmare with passwords also. I know you are not supposed to ever write them down, but I’m afraid I do now because I can never remember them. My husband has some very sophisticated thing with a data key to remember his – this seems to work well, but I am always worried he will lose it and therefore the key to everything in our life!

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