If I live through today may I never deal with troubleshooting the government’s tech problems ever again.
It all started with a phone call. My mom, who works with a city government, needed me to help set up something for the senior citizen division. They bought a VR headset for the seniors to play with, and take VR tours since they’re not allowed to take trips outside for now. Cute idea.
Except literally everything on this earth was actively working against it.
So, to set up the Oculus Go, it needs a phone app. Simply download the app and sync it. Easy!
But that’s a lie. For, you see, the government office is very particular. You can’t just have some random person use their own (my) account. It’s a breach of security, to them. So we need to use someone who works within the city to use their phone. They’re specific about this.
I ask for a phone to use, then.
My mom is using an LG Moto from 2013. Loading the Play Store just about murders the phone entirely. No way.
That’s okay though, her boss has a phone!
It’s a 2007 flip phone.
I walk down to the other side of the building—there’s someone there certainly with a phone not from the stone ages.
Except there’s not.
There’s a tablet though, whew. That’ll work.
Just kidding, it’s a surface tablet. It can’t run android apps.
But someone has a Galaxy Tab! Thank goodness! We’re saved.
It’s a Galaxy Tab first gen. The Oculus App isn’t supported, apparently.
We drive to another branch of the government center, where they most certainly will have a device. An iPad Pro, no way can this go wrong now! It will work certainly. They even give me the passcode to get into it, so there’s no room for error.
Until I see that no one is signed into the App Store. There is no Apple ID.
So, I call. I ask for the password. I’m given the password. It is incorrect.
I call the IT department. I ask for the password. It’s incorrect.
That’s it, I give up, I’m done! Screw the rules. I’ll sign in myself to the App Store. I get the app. It all works flawlessly.
When they ask how I did it, I told them I’m a hacker and made it work with magic.
Now I need a Facebook account. Of course. This will end well.
To my total shock and surprise that I was not expecting, the Facebook needs a 2FA code. Where did that 2FA code go? No one knows. The person who created the account does not know. Not a single person in this entire government workforce knows.
NO IT’S FINE OKAY I’LL USE MY OWN ACCOUNT WHATEVER. STALK ME HARDER, FACEBOOK DADDY.
It’s okay everyone, I’m a hacker. Don’t question this.
Now I need to connect to the WiFi. There is no public WiFi. I need a password.
I’m going to die before I set this device up.
Knowing it won’t end well, I ask for the WiFi password. “What is that?”, I’m told.
Deep breath, chary. Deep breath.
Someone. Someone out there created this WiFi password. They must know. Certainly. They must.
They did. The person who created it knew the password when they set it up.
They died nearly a decade ago.
I’m pretty sure they took that password to the grave.
Nothing is okay.
No one knows how to get into the WiFi.
I’m going to be here for the rest of my life.
There is no escape.
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