I spent about twenty minutes in line at the post office today. Because of the hike in postage rates, everyone was dashing out to get more stamps. The way everyone is conducting their business online, it's not a surprise that the post office is having to raise their rates to stay afloat. I myself enjoy communicating and shopping online. But what I absolutely do not like is online banking, and so I continue to buy stamps.
It's not that I think online banking is a bad idea. I actually like the concept. But in practice -- no, no, no.
Let me walk you through the process and allow you to feel the love right along with me.
First, you set up an online password with your bank. It has to be really long and really complicated. It can't be something simple like "Chocolatelover." No, it has to have a numeral in there too. So you try again: "Chocolatelover1." Not only has that been taken, but the computer says it's not complicated enough. A hacker will break through that in a flash.
So you try again. "Chocolate1lover1." No, still too easy. "1Chocolate1Lover1?" No dice.
So then you get really funky. What about "ILCACGE247?" That was created by taking the first letters of "I love chocolate and can't get enough 24/7." Okay! You've finally found a password that no one else has, and the computer thinks it's hard enough. You're all set. You can pay your bills!
Happy as a little clam, you go to the website of your first bill to set up an account with them that will allow you to pay them directly. But they want a password too, and they really recommend that you use a different password than you used at your bank. So you go through the whole process again. "Moneyspender" is taken, "abcdefg1234567" isn't hard enough, and so you get really funky again. How about "bvcxzasdfg12345?" That's the bottom row of the keyboard from right to left, then the second row from left to right, and then the numbers from the row above that. Yes!! Victory is yours!! After fifteen minutes of trying every combination under the sun, you have finally created one that the computer likes!!
You are now ready to start paying your bills online. That is, you can now pay that one bill online. You have to go set up accounts with every debtor you have to set it up. That will take you a couple of hours at least, depending on how many bills you have. And then comes the trickiest part of all -- what were those passwords again?
See, you're told not to write them down where someone could find them. You can't jot them on a Post-it and stick it to your screen, for instance. So how are you supposed to remember which funky password goes to which account?
Yes, the postage rate has gone up again. Yes, it's going to cost me even more to send my bill payments through the mail. But until I can remember which account can only be accessed by inputting "titbwitwwainj," (Tristi is the best writer in the whole wide world and I'm not joking) I'll keep buying stamps.