A password pickle

Haven't we all had that embarrassing phone call with tech support? "Hello user, please tell me your password so we can proceed.". Aside from some rather immense insecurities that often come with such a request, it seems that in at least 77.3% of the time, the password you have to go is something to the effect of "[COMPANY YOU'RE SPEAKING TO]-is-shit-01". Best, of course, done when it's the helpdesk of the company you "loyally" work for. Well, it'd be awkward if you cared, the Poorhouse guesses.

Apparently, some people do.

Take Mr "member of staff" from Lloyds TSB, one of the kind souls that you ring for sorting out problems with your account. One Steve Jetley, who was a bit annoyed at them over some insurance that came "free" with an account - dare we suggest it was some edging-on-illegal PPI nonsense? - annoyed enough that he set his Lloyds TSB tele-banking password to "Lloyds is pants". Relatively inoffensive, in the Poorhouse's opinion.

However, when he next rang up, imagine his surprise to find that he couldn't log in any more. Somehow he ascertained (i.e. the customer service agent told him, which, again, smacks of insecurity, but hey) that it had been illicitly reset to "no it's not". Cheeky x 10!

That's a hard sentence to remember to be sure. However, his efforts to put it back to something he did stand a chance of remembering ("Lloyds is pants", "Lloyds is rubbish" and "Barclays is better" were his 3 first suggestions) were denied on account of them being more than one word. Some may foolishly argue that "no it's not" is also greater than one word, but in this world, it's those with the megabucks who decided on the definition of words the Poorhouse is afraid, despite the credit crunch and Lloyds TSB's dodgy loans.

In his efforts to be compliant, he went with "censorship", but that was not to be allowed either. Shocks. The conditions had now changed that it could only be 6 letters long max (feel free to refer to previous paragraph re "no it's not").

And there endeth the story apparently. Minutes / hours / days / weeks later poor Steve still has no telephone banking as "he was still trying to find a suitable password which met the conditions".  Obviously not a Scrabble player then, unless Lloyds has now reduced its password requirements to something not available in standard English dictionaries.

And the reward for the Lloyds TSB guy, proudly defending his ever-generous employer from such awful, asterisk-shrouded, slander and libel? Well, sacked, would you believe. Or at least "The member of staff involved no longer works for Lloyds TSB.". Bloody companies eh, sacked for abusing them, sacked for defending them, there's no way to win in this cruel corporate-owned world.

PS: Those lucky few with "The Poorhouse" accounts: if you get access refused, I'd try "The Poorhouse is amazing" as the password. If you type something often enough it eventually becomes true, so the Poorhouse kind-of heard from a certain evil communist regime.

Credit for the story tip to our fruit-pill escapee Tess, ta muchly.


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