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One Pharmacist’s View

Remember your passwords

I did fairly good on memory stuff until I got to be about 80. Then I noticed it was hard for me to remember some people’s names. Names of some trees also come to mind. I have an ancient Box Elder tree in my back yard but alas, someone asked me one day what kind of tree it was and that was when I first noticed that its name had left me. Names of old friends—they came and went. But mostly I get by cause if I forget your name down at the post office, relax. It will come to me after I get home. Which brings me to another subject: Computers.

I installed my first computer in the pharmacy in about 1979. A VC Brown model, it was mostly useful for filing prescriptions away and helping me speed up typing and stuff. My next one, a few years later was much better. I hit a button and a blank prescription came on the screen. I filled it out and as I did so it located the customer’s name in the computer, determined if that customer had any insurance and searched the memory of said insurance company and before you could say “Bingo” I knew all about it. It then printed my label and sought payment and filed the prescription away in its memory. Simple enough, I though.

But one day I bought a personal computer. Uh, not so simple. I had to have a personal password. And needed to remember what it was. Thus, one day I am on the phone to AT&T and a foreign woman was asking me: “What is the name of your first dog Meester Bullard?” “What does the name of my first dog have to do with my password? “Bingo has been dead 50 years. That is correct Meester Bullard, his name was Bingo. Now let us get to work on that password. “

Acknowledging my limitations for remembering names I used the same password on everything. For years. Then one time on vacation a robber on the subway in Paris, France had stolen my wallet and my credit card. Then I found out just how truly deficient I was on remembering stuff There was a pin number on that card which I remember well. To this day. The theft caused my chief banker, Barbara down at the Farmers State Bank, to make me learn some more numbers. My ATM card was different than my credit card and my bank account had a password too. By now the computer at the drug store as well as my personal computer had passwords. I wrote them all down on a little piece of paper and put it in my wallet. Promptly lost the little piece of paper.

Since then I have undergone years of humiliation and embarrassment. Such as using my mother’s birthdate. Easy. What state was she born in? Easy, Arkansas. Or was it Oklahoma? Right on the line mom said. Fortunately, I have a granddaughter to help me now. She now knows more about my dogs and my mother’s birthdays than I do. And that is good. I would acknowledge her name right now, but it somehow escapes me.

One morning I could not get online. No way. I called an 800 number and Adam answered. “What was the name of the school you graduated high school from?” “Stonewall!” I answered with glee. Correct, Adam retorted in his best Pakistani accent. Now why do you need a new password? Adam asks. I told him I did not, I just want to get online with my old one. Adam informed me my password had to have at least one number in it. So, I added the number “1” to it and it worked.

One more thing, and this may be a blessing. If you worried about me losing any money in the stock market, do not worry. I have lost that password too. And Sue (with an India accent) will not give it to me because I can’t remember the name of my firstgrade teacher’s dog.

Be sure and go to your church Sunday and wear your mask.

Wayne Bullard, DPh