June 28, 2011

Eraser Head

This has happened to me three times that I remember. But I'll tell you this story first.

I was at work yesterday and I logged on to my systems. I have multiple systems and the passwords have to ping off each other or it's like crossing streams. It's a bad thing.

I log on, realize I need to get a glass of water, lock my computer up, get water, come back to my lock screen and realize... I can't remember my password.

At all.

One I've had for... eight weeks. Every day (I work 6-7 days a week), same password, over and over... and it was GONE. I mean... GONE. It was as if someone took a magnet and rubbed it over my forehead and wiped the hard drive slick.

I stared blankly at my screen. Ultimately I had to call our IT department, where I made it sound like I had fumbly fingers and just botched it up more than I'm alllowed before the system screams TILT!

But in reality... it was absolutely gone from my brain and it stayed gone until this morning, when I went to log on and subconsciously, my fingers started walking the keys in the order I'd forgotten yesterday.

It was an AH! HA! moment, but about 24 hours too late.

This has happened to me only two other times. Once when I was in HS, I went to my locker and couldn't remember my combination. I'd had that same combination for years... and had it written down, fortunately, in my wallet and had to look it up. It did seem familiar, which is a bonus...

...unlike the time 25 years ago when I did use ATM machines (I haven't used one in 20 years) and I forgot my code. When I finally found it at home, I swear, it was as if I'd NEVER seen it in my life. It was a completely foreign number, yet it was one I'd been using once a week for a year.

But what happened yesterday kind of bugs me on a deep level. How can you use something 10-20 times a day, for six days a week, for eight weeks... and then for it to be completely gone from your head like never in your life have you used it?


Our assistant said she thinks I have too much crap going on in my head (she thinks I'm the most insanely busy person she knows and scary focused), with this new crazy project I'm working, fielding phone calls, plus my home life... she said my brain ran out of room and had to throw something out. My password didn't get the chair when the music stopped, so it was erased.

I sure as hell hope she's right.

Posted by Boudicca at June 28, 2011 10:43 PM

Wait... Who are you again?

Posted by: K-Nine at June 28, 2011 10:46 PM

Oh that's happened too. I can't go there... *sheesh*

Although I have posted the worst and the one my husband hated the most was the time I woke up at 2AM, completely disoriented. It woke him up too as I sat bolt right up in bed, looked at him and said, "Who are you and why are you in my bed..."

Yeah, I won't be keeping a gun under my pillow anytime soon. :)

Posted by: Bou at June 28, 2011 10:55 PM

can't remember how many times i had to let my fingers remember the combinations to the safes. they could also dial the squadron co's phone number all by themselves.

Posted by: curtis at June 28, 2011 11:38 PM

And it doesn't get any better as you get older. Somedays I feel like its an all-day pop-quiz. What's my password? What year did we implement the new system? My sister calls...what year did we dig up the septic tank? Then you ride down the elevator with a co-worker you've known for 20 years and can't even come up with their name.

Notepads keep me focused...sorta.

Posted by: Jerry in Texas at June 29, 2011 12:07 AM

I have that happening to me distressingly often, usually under moments of stress where I need to access something RIGHT NOW, and the password decides to fly out the other ear. Also what bothers me is people I used to hang with or know for years, and after being away from them for so long I can no longer recall their names. That too is becoming more common. Trace Alzheimer's or early senility?

Posted by: diamond dave at June 29, 2011 12:30 AM

I don't know if you all are making me feel better or worse!

Today I stopped and got coffee, two apple juices, and a bagel at a little drive thru coffee place. The girl who was working there handed me the bagel, then the apple juice, and then the coffee. Then I sat there ... waiting for the bagel! I don't know if my mind was just on autopilot, or if this is how dementia starts ... I felt like such a maroon!!!

Posted by: PeggyU at June 29, 2011 01:45 AM

Sounds like you need to defragment the hard drive and clear out the extra history a little more often.

I believe it's called thinking about nothing.

Posted by: Andrew Phule at June 29, 2011 01:51 AM

Yep! Happened to me. When I was your age. The ATM took my card and wouldn't give it back. Fortunately, it was right outside my credit union. I went in and did my withdrawal the old fashioned way with a withdrawal slip and a human teller. I couldn't remember my account number but since it was based on my employee number the teller knew my account number with me giving her my employee number. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my card until the next day, since they only opened the ATM at night. Fah! Wait until you get to be my age. Then it really starts getting bad.

Don't even get me started on passwords since I managed multiple systems with multiple passwords, and like a good little tech weenie I never wrote them down. And, they had to be changed every two months, and had to be a combo of letters and numbers.

Posted by: Denny at June 29, 2011 07:40 PM

What gets me is the women I used to work with in Boston. One of the girls would get married and almost immediately all the women had her last name memorized. I had enough trouble trying to remember her last name before she got married; after she got married I never did remember it. I have problems remembering names anyway. I can remember someone's SSN for years. I used to use the same people to check out the payroll system and I had all their SSN's remembered. I didn't remember their names but I remembered their SSN. Same with telephone numbers and license plates. I still remember my dad's license plate and he died in 1981.

Posted by: dick at July 2, 2011 02:21 AM

Dick - I remember numbers better too: account numbers, phone numbers, etc. I have to do that, because if I wrote it down, I'd lose it! Always misplacing keys, my purse, and my phone.

Posted by: PeggyU at July 2, 2011 12:35 PM

I never have my computer remember passwords or logins. I still make myself dial familiar numbers without using contact lists or speed dial. I don't auto-store passwords for too many websites and certainly none of importance.

I am having trouble, however, in remembering every place I've worked in the last 10 years.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 3, 2011 06:41 AM