Will I Need a Password in Order to Die?

The Situation

Ok, here's the story. A while ago I contacted my former employer to inquire about my pension. Since I hadn't accessed their website in some time, I realized I had forgotten my password. I then called them to explain my situation.

After being on hold for 20+ minutes, an outsource person answered and introduced herself as Jane. She said she would mail me a password and I could expect it in 8 to 10 days. What? Can't you email it to me I asked? No, it has to be sent through regular mail. Well, great, just great!

Finally, it comes in the mail. I decided to call today and get the process started. When the recorded message came on, it said enter your password. I then entered the 4 digit password I received on the telephone keypad. What do I get but a message that said 'password must be 6-8 digits long. Well for Christ's sake! So I go to the website, put in my user ID and the new password, and I can't get in. Back on the phone I go, to be put on hold for another 20+ minutes. Finally, the outsource person, introduced as Max, asked me how he could help. I went through the story and waited. He then says to me, I cannot access the account, I need to send you a new password. What??? Are you freakin kidding me? I asked him, can't you email it to me? No, he says. So I said oh, and now I have to wait another 8-10 days for it? He said yes. At that I got angry. I said this is goddamned ridiculous. You folks have my money, you know what street I grew up on, what the name of my first dog was, and the town I was born in. Do I have to now send you my first-born and a liter of blood?


My Resolve

So, tomorrow I am calling yet again. This time I will try to get through to the administrator. I want to know why it can't be emailed. My understanding is that it's not secure email. Well then, get with the program! I can send secure email from my current job, so I'm sure it's something they could put in place. I will also bring up the question (which my daughter reminded me of) just how secure is regular mail? What's to say it will go to the right address? What's to say someone else won't open it or just throw it away?  If people can bank online, draw up wills online, and conduct a host of other sensitive business, why the hell can't my password be emailed? Grrr!

I am so sick of passwords. I can't even count how many I have, and the fact that I do remember the majority of them amazes me. Before you know it, we'll need a damn password to enter our own cars and homes. What's next? You're on your deathbed and the doctor looks down at you, smiles at you and says, I'm sorry, dear, before we can unplug you, you can't die until you give me your password.

Passwords be damned!

Comments 26 comments

Ari 5 years ago

I am just wondering what your life is like that u spend your time sitting on ur computer writing articles about some foreign agency not giving u your password?!?!

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Tell us how it goes today, trish! Perhaps they need a password to see sense? :D

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Ari,

First of all, my life is fine, so thank you for being concerned, or should I say, curious. Let me say that anyone can write about anything they like. I know I am not alone in being frustrated at times, and the experience yesterday compelled me to write about it, not that I need to explain that to you, but it seems to have gotten your attention. To your point about a foreign agency, it really doesn't matter what foreign entity is handling our business. They are simply doing what they were taught to do. The fact that there are people here who would work for the same money they are being paid does bother me. That money could be better spent in our own backyard. However, that's another topic for another day.

So, Ari, thank you for your thoughts. To wrap up, I see that you spend time at your computer reading an article that seems to have touched a nerve, which goes to my statement that anyone can write anything. Topics about real life get peoples' attention, and if anything I write strikes a nerve and is able to allow someone to share their thoughts about it, then I've done my job :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hello dear FP,

LOL, seriously! The pursuit of technology is wonderful, but it seems that streamlining things has somehow made our lives more complicated. The days of the verbal agreements and handshakes are long gone, I'm afraid.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia

LOL Trish! I hate to laugh at your pain, but you made me, and such similar frustrating things happen way too often. Life shouldn't be so complicated, and when it is, please let me speak to someone who speaks my language so that I can understand the answers to my problem. We really should be encouraged to learn more languages in school or something. Anyway, an equally frustrating thing for me is when the person on the other end tries to ease your wait time with meaningless conversation...

"Soooo, how's the weather there? Snow? Ooooh!!! I love snow! I dream of snow! You play in snow?"

UGH! No, I don't play in the snow. I hate snow. I'm an old woman who needs someone to shovel my driveway and I'd like to push you in the snow right now because I'm cranky that way.

Loved your venting Trish. Hope the next password you get works. ;)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Pam! How the heck are you?? Where have you been?? What have you been up to? There, now that I have the meaningless conversation out of the way,,,,just kiddin!

You have now made me laugh. My best friend, when I was telling her about this yesterday said oh! you have to put that in a hub. Her reaction was the same as yours, she was laughing.

And I so hear you about the snow. Here in Jersey it's been a nightmare, in fact, as I write this, we are coated with black ice. I damn near slid off my porch! My job announced a delayed opening, however, at this point I now only have one hour left to get there, which is NOT going to happen. But this is the making of my next hub, winter 2010/2011 LOL. Well, maybe :)

Really nice to see you and thanks for your thoughts.

Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

I couldn't agree more! Very frustrating. Perhaps some computer geek will happen along and tell us why the snail mailing of passwords is necessary. Even if it is necessary for security, why does it take 10 days! Are they sending it by Pony Express?

I think you've found the key to immortality. Just forget your death password. Brilliant. And very entertaining.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Stan,

You ask a good question! And if they are so adamant about snail mail, I'd think they would consider sending it certified for crying out loud!

Well, I wasn't able to call today, but when I do I am also going to ask why the heck they would give me a 4 digit password that doesn't meet the requirements. Geeze! I know one thing for sure, I'd reply to the doctor, uh, how about I mail it to you from my afterlife? :)

I didn't even consider that I found the key to immortality. I love it! But only if I could have my health restored :)

Thanks for your thoughts and the lovely compliment.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I think you've hit on something special here, Trish, as Stan said...the key to immortality. Well done!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

In a way, I hope so, but then, not lol.

Thanks dear friend.

Shelly McRae profile image

Shelly McRae 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Funny post, Trish... I understand your frustrations.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Shelly,

Thanks, glad you liked it. And yes, frustration beyond belief :)

Thanks for your thoughts.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Trish, I just had to come here and tell you I loved your title. Who could pass up such an intriguing lead?

They probably are doing this to everyone--including changing passwords so that everyone has to go through this process until they find a clever way to tell you they squandered the pension funds. "It was a sure thing--a stock option that said the price of oil would go down." If it gets really bad they may switch to customer service from a country that does not speak your language. For English press "1" and that automatically switches to the Lithuanian operator.

Nice to read you again Trish. =:)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Well, hello there Winsome! so nice to see you!

I wouldn't be one bit surprised if they tell me my pitiful pension isn't as much as they quoted to me months ago. To your point about another language, well, the folks who assisted me, let's just say they weren't born here.

So yes, it's true, I am beyond annoyed with having to live my life through passwords. God forbid I get senile!

And you're right, I had forgotten there are times when they say press 1 for English. Hello!? You're in America, do we all speak pig latin or something? I suppose the thinking behind that is it's much easier to say press 1 for one language, rather than have a directory of 200 or more languages to choose from. Sigh,,isn't life grand? :)

Again, very nice to have you come by and share your thoughts. Glad my title caught your eye.

Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

Don't feel too bad. I had a bill collector I had to call to make payments and she wanted my son's middle name, what street I lived on, the name of my first grade teacher, what my favorite color was and what shoe size I was before she would even let me hear how much I owed! Then she wanted my phone number, my ,last digits of my SSN and THEN she wanted my money. I paid her to tell her all that information. The worst part, they charge you to access their phones PER minute! It was horrible!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Phoebe,

I feel your pain. I just went round and round today myself dealing with bill collectors. One of them couldn't even pronounce the name of my street, and they want my money? Scary! As far as my pension goes, I made a call with the new password they sent me. However, I was told it 'expired' and I would need yet another one. GRRRR! It's getting beyond ridiculous.

RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

I HATE this kind of monotonous crap!!! And you know they are probably playing with your money all the while they make you wait! Which is probably why you are having to wait in the first place! So they can get richer at your expence! No pun intended!

Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi RunAbstract,

Yes, I absolutely believe my money is being used. They are getting rich on the interest its accumulated. Now I have a clear understanding about why our ancestors kept their money under their mattresses! :)

Thanks for stopping by, nice to see you again.

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

What a great hub, this happens all the time, very interesting. I have a similar story with a bank. call them up go through security want to change my address NO! can't do that. "but you know it's me we just been through security" you get the idea.I will be writing it up you have inspired me and I'll be reading more of your writing. Thanks. Voted up UI

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi molometer,

I'm so glad you can relate. When I wrote this it was out of pure frustration. Sad to say, I have yet to resolve the issue due to a lot of factors, procrastination being one of them :)

Perhaps I should put my thinking cap on and write on that topic. After all, I seem to be an expert at it LOL.

So, I'm glad you found inspiration here and I'll look forward to reading about your take on this issue.

Welcome to HubPages, and thanks for the vote up and commenting :)

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

I recommend that you put in writing and send it recorded delivery. It's so easy for these types of events to get lost in the noise of life. Procrastination I must admit I suffer from this ailment sometimes... lol OK most of the time and I have to get in a right rage/frustrated to get things sorted too. Maybe I should go to anger management lol.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi molometer,

Oh, you are so right! I haven't put a hub out in several months, and am not quite sure why. I keep telling myself that 'nothing comes to mind'. Well, if I think about it long and hard enough, that is definitely not true. I listen to a talk show and they talk on different topics 35 times a week. Many of them I enjoy and as I listen, all sorts of my own thoughts come to mind. I think to myself, gee, I should write about that topic. Do I make a note to myself on paper? No. Then by the end of the day, the thought is long gone.

I do find, as you seem to, that when I feel an injustice has been done, and my level of rage/irritation and/or frustration has been piqued, that that's when I put fingers to keyboard. Funny, it's no longer pen to paper in this day and age :)

So, you go for the anger management and I'll find a place to go to for procrastination lol.

molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

trish48 I find that hitting the keyboard works quite well. As long as you get something coherent lol

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi molometer,

Yes, there's a lot to be said for the keyboard. One of the best things I ever did was learn how to type. It's gotten me nearly every job I ever had. Now, coherent? Hmm, that sometimes remains to be seen :)

Now I see they have something called the Dragon that allows you to just talk and the words get typed. That to me is scary. Will that one day be the way of the world? Just speak, and dinner will cook itself or something? LOL

Thanks for stopping back!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

LOL...who is this Ari chap? Who died and made him the Watcher over all of us? Get with the program, Ari, and leave my friend alone!

Sorry Trish, but people like that get on my nerves quite quickly!

I'm amazed you remember your passwords; I have a list on my computer with all my passwords. Obviously the problem with that is what if I forget my computer password? I would be dead in the water for the rest of my life. LOL

Great hub and I so appreciate knowing I'm not alone with this beef.

your friend,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi Bill,

I have no idea who he is! And I wish he'd go away :)

Yeah, it's funny, I remember passwords, but not what I had for lunch yesterday. As I mentioned to you in a previous post, I have not bought on Ebay in years. When I got my tax refund this year, I thought, gee, I think I will allow myself one purchase on Ebay. After a good four years, after wracking my brain, I remembered my user ID and password. I amazed myself :)

So no, Bill, you are not alone.

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