Here is the list of questions I was presented with, when registering one of probably-56 internet-based accounts. (What a complex life we lead.)
Who comes up with this stuff? . . .
I know I’m frequently unusual, but there is only one of these questions that I can answer with any certainty.
- Favorite pet’s name? I’ve had two, and issues with both. There was that turtle when I was 8, but I don’t think he had a name.
- Favorite place to visit as a child? Um, grandparents’ house? “Parkland”? 7-11 for a Slurpee™? The Vet stadium for a Phillies game? Burger King? No idea….
- First phone #? I don’t remember the first that was actually in my name. I think it started with 409-892, but it could’ve been 409-898, and the area code might have changed by now, and if I ever call old friends there, my memory will shift toward the new area code, and, in any event, I don’t know the last four digits.
- Favorite sports team? Childhood or now? I’ve found reason to like several, and reason not to follow or like most of them.
- Favorite beverage? Gotta say water, and milk with pancakes, and diet Coke® with pizza, and limoncello and/or something else citrusy & tonic, and Allegro or Caribou or Wegmans coffee, and licorice mint tea, and white grapefruit juice, and . . .
- Favorite movie? Maybe The Princess Bride, or Shawshank Redemption, or Monty Python’s In Search of the Holy Grail, or ….
- Childhood friend? Which year? Which school? When did “childhood” end, according to the question-devising gurus?
- First company? I worked for the newspaper company as a delivery boy, but it changed names while I was working for them. Maybe the grocery store?
- Favorite school? No way to answer that, really. I think I liked elementary over middle, but there was a nice group of four friends that made 8th grade fun. I liked some high school, but not all, and Harding was great for a while, but not “favorite” in the same way, and UD gave me great opportunities, and UNC had an amazing music environment. I just can’t answer this question.
- First concert event? I have no sure way of retracing. I have a program from a SPEBSQSA barbershop chorus show when I was young, but I’m pretty sure my folks took me to a Philly Orch concert before that.
- First music purchase? Do they mean the piano books my mom bought me, or lessons, or valve oil for the horn they first rented and then bought . . . or my first vinyl record, which I think was a Steve Miller record, before a couple of Kansas albums?
- If I could live anywhere, it would be with God, but I don’t know how to express that in a security question. Eschatalogy and misused or under-understood terms seem beyond the scope here.
- Favorite band/artist? I guess I could say Kansas, because I would 2nd- or 3rd-guess myself if ever called on to answer this question, figuring it should be answered from THEIR perspective and not mine, in which “band” means “concert wind band.” Oh, forget it. And don’t get me started on the overuse of the word “artist.”
- Favorite genre of music? There are WAY too many.
- I know the make of the car that was my first, officially. Hurray. And Huzzah. And stuff like that. I can answer one question easily!
This list of questions is not that unusual. I’m sure you’ve seen one almost like it. I had to choose three questions and was hoping the list would change for choices 2 and 3. Not so lucky. Whatever happened to “mother’s maiden name”? Maybe that one has gotten stolen by the ID thieves of the world.
Some outfits let you make up your own questions. My first would be “Self, what do you hate most about creating a new internet-based account?”
I gave up on the questions.
Then I realized my account was already registered, and this company had sent me the “please register your account” e-mail in error.
Like I said, what a complex life we lead.
Then, three days later, I made a third attempt to update my mailing address with a well reputed IDProtection company. For the third time, their website failed. The final failure a) told me I had been successful, then b) gave me a “continue” arrow to click . . . but the arrow wasn’t clickable, and the dialog box froze my browser. Aarrgghh. When I called to handle this by phone, the representative had the unmitigated, uninformed gall to tell me, quite falsely, that the website doesn’t allow address updates, and that customers are supposed to call to do that. And. to top it off, she had asked me a “random” security question that began with a faulty-premise clause, expecting me to listen all the way to the end before choosing the “none of the above” answer. (I get hung up on things when there’s a falsehood involved; this happens in church a lot.) I never raised my voice at this representative, but I was a bit insistent and indignant.
I don’t mean this flippantly when I say marana tha.