What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. CVS. They’re getting great acclaim for making the decision to stop selling cigarettes. It’s their business, I say God bless if that’s what they want to do. I’m left wondering if they’re also planning to stop selling Coke, Doritos, Snickers bars, and all the other items on their shelves that have been identified as cancer causing, bad for you, or just socially “inappropriate.” Let’s be honest with ourselves at least. CVS is a drug store. Their whole raison d’être is selling medications, many of which themselves can cause untold amounts of harm even when taken as directed. Call me cynical, but I don’t see them taking a principled stand in the name of public health so much as I see them making a public relations and marketing move.

2. Bugs. No, not the kind of creepy crawlies that sneak into the house and needs dispatched with the closest available newspaper, magazine, or shoe. I’m more agitated by the kind that live in apps and cause mysterious and damned near impossible to track down battery drain on my phone. Thanks to these gremlins, I get to spend a few hours backing up everything I have on my phone, tricking the thing into believing it’s once again fresh out of the box, and then reinstalling each app one by one so I don’t accidentally reintroduce whatever power hungry gremlin resided in the old version. For a device that “just works,” I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time poking around under the hood to keep things humming along without the need to recharge it every four hours.

3. Passwords. It took me five attempts to log into my own damned website today. That’s mostly because two days ago the site forced me to create a new one. It couldn’t be any old password, of course, but one that was at least eight characters included upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, special characters, hieroglyphics, quadratic equations, and the square root of pi rounded to the nearest non-repeating decimal. I get it. Internet security is important. It’s so important that apparently the best way we can manage not to lose all our secrets to the Chinese, or the Russians, or the NSA is creating the illusion of a random string of characters. If security is as important as the internet thinks it is, can someone please explain to me why we’re not using retina scanners, fingerprint readers, blood samples, or something, anything that would be more convenient than needing to remember a new 742 character password every third day?

Good and bad…

Sorry about that get rich quick post that showed up around 12:30 this morning. It’s safe to say that my password was compromised and that wasn’t me trying hook you on some kind of scheme. I just changed my password and deleted the post from here and from Facebook, so hopefully that will be the end of it. Just from an abundance of caution, I’ll probably spend the next hour changing every other password I have. Losing control of you online life, even momentarily, is enough to give my inner paranoia room to stretch its legs a bit.

On a positive note, That most brought in an extra twelve hits before I sent it kicking and screaming to hell… so it wasn’t a complete waste. Happy Saturday, gang.

Broken…

I get to the office early most mornings. It’s usually a good chance to catch up before everyone else starts wandering in. One of the challenges is that pretty much no one with any passing relationship to authority is around in the event an employee is feeling lonely and wants to talk. So more often than not, I’m the lucky manager who gets the early morning conversations. This morning was one of those times.

Jeff: Good Morning *seeing “employee” walking over to my desk*

Employee: My computer works now, but none of my files are there. I think it’s broken. *looking at me plaintively*

Jeff: Ummm… Did you call IT?

Employee: Uh. No. I thought you’d know how to fix it. They got it working yesterday but now my files are gone.

Jeff: So you want me to fix something they broke yesterday?

Employee: *looking at me blankly*

Jeff: You’d better call IT since they know what they did to it yesterday.

Employee: They won’t be in for another 20 minutes.

Jeff: Patience is a virtue, I’m told.

I’m not the friggin’ laptop whisperer over here. Put in your help request and wait like everyone else does. My using illicit passwords to go in and tinker around with your settings is pretty much guaranteed to only cause more trouble. If not more trouble for you, then certainly more trouble for me… and that’s a no go at this station.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.