“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.
“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 airbnb.com 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*