Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Yes, I Was an Alien, OK? Now Just Shut Up.

It's been 17 years since I started a new job. One of the major differences in the orientation process between then and now is that today you have a dozen or so things to set up that require passwords. Access to the internal web pages. Access to your own system. Payroll access. Access to all systems you will be using. Health Care. 401(K) plans. I suppose I had nearly as many different passwords for my previous job , but I got them one at a time, as electronic systems were implemented.

Anyway, for today's password setup situation I was given a question to answer that could later be used for identify verification should I lose my password. I was also given a choice of alternate secondary questions. I wanted to scream at my monitor.

The main question: What was your favorite childhood pet's name?

Are there assumptions built into that, or what? Ok, we had hamsters. A bunch of them, and then some more because they bred like rodents. I don't even think they all had individual names; I certainly can't remember most of them. Then we had cats. But my favorite? Does one even have a favorite cat in a household with four cats? It's as if the person coming up with that question -- and it's one you had to answer -- couldn't imagine anything but a household with a series of loyal playful dogs. Sheesh.

For the alternate question you had your choice, from a pulldown menu. Here are most of the choices:

What is your all-time favorite past-time?

Gosh, I guess that would be the Renaissance. Ha-ha. And then I'd have to remember the joke. (past-time? Why the hyphen?). But honestly, who has an "all-time favorite past-time"? I'm hard pressed to think of even a hypothetical answer, much less one I'd remember three years down the road when I forget the particular password this is protecting.

What is your all-time favorite sports team?

Go to hell. Just go to hell.

What is your father's middle name?

Neither my father nor my mother has a middle name. My mother uses her birth name sometimes, between her first name and her last name, but that's not the same thing and besides it wasn't the question. Who determined that everybody's father has a middle name?

Where did you first meet your spouse?

Oh, I don't know, maybe when we were out WALKING OUR FUCKING IMAGINARY CHILDHOOD DOGS or something. I have no spouse. Ok? What is your problem. And I don't have a favorite sports team, either transient or all-time, did I mention that?

What was your best friend's name when you were a child?

Lumpy Rutherford.

Wait, that was Wally's friend on Leave it to Beaver. My best friend as a child was -- Oh go shove something sharp up your butt. Do you think it didn't feel strange enough not to organize my friendships, even at the age of 7, into somebody's sentimental idea of boyhood? Do you think I've forgotten that? Well, I almost had until your stupid question. I got along better with girls back then. But you didn't have a girl best friend. Because that made you ... never mind, just shut up. I mean it.

What was the name of your favorite food as a child?

Isn't that cute. Some children eat nothing but peanut butter sandwiches. Some children eat grilled cheese. Harriet the Spy ate tomato sandwiches. I admit that I have been especially fond of pizza since elementary school, but who wasn't? And does that make it a "favorite food"? This isn't so much an enraging question as an odd one. And feeling like the odd one is kind of the theme here.

What was the first sport you ever played as a child?

Mumblety-Peg. No, Quoits. No, I mean Authors. Maybe Town (cf. Harriet the Spy).

Oh wait, those weren't sports I played. Those were things I read about in books. Because I wasn't playing sports, I was reading books. I didn't give a fig about sports teams, and I didn't have a best friend, and I don't have a spouse, and in some ways I was a picky eater but I always liked lox and even lobster from my first taste at the age of 9 (at the Yankee Silversmith Inn in Wallingford Connecticut on the way to the Newport Folk Festival) and my father has no middle name and there was no family dog and you can eat shit.
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