You Sir, Are No Trainer

I was discussing a job opening with a friend. His company was in search of an I.T. person. Currently, there wasn’t really a Technology department and the company suffered because of it.

What the company wanted out of an I.T. person was pretty vague. The only specifics were, “…we want someone that can reset a password when asked and does not get upset because they’ve had to reset it several times before.” I chuckled. My friend explained they needed someone to work with phones and backups every now and then but mostly they needed someone to not get upset about routine requests.

The current candidates have assured them that they will be fine answering routine requests, repeatedly. No sweat.


I told my friend there was a problem and it was crystal clear. First, no one should become upset by a routine request but then again, we all know what can happen on a particularly stressful day. The real issue is the repeated routine request. Why does the same person need their password reset so often? That is a symptom. A symptom of a problem. Does the person have difficulty creating a complex effective password that is easy for them to remember but hard for others to guess? Do they need training to help them see special characters as a way to make their passwords stronger? Or is there something else? Is there a hardware problem? For example, BlackBerry requires a network password to deliver mail when used in an enterprise on a BES server. Has the person changed their password on the network but forgotten to change it on their BlackBerry? If so, BlackBerry will continue to provide invalid credentials and Windows will lock out the user.

I ran through a few scenarios that would cause a person to think they need to have their password reset to my friend and he was surprised by the depth that such a “routine request” could take on. He was also surprised that none of the candidates touched on the possibility of an underlying problem.

I just smiled and said, “Well, they are certainly no trainer.”



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