It was Tuesday. John hated Tuesdays. Sure, Monday was the more traditional day, but he’d gotten used to them, knowing that no matter how long the weekend was, there would always be a “first day after the weekend.” Tuesdays, on the other hand, were just evidence that the week was far too long in corporate America, and the weekend far too short.
And so by the time he dragged his grey-suited ass into his cubicle and plunked down in front of the sleek, black computer screen, he was already in foul mood. He stared at the chipper blue login page blankly for a moment. Then for a second moment.
After a third moment had passed, he decided he was clearly too tired and went to get a coffee.
After he had stared at the blue screen for a full minute, coffee still steaming in his hand, John knew there was no denying the truth any longer. He’d forgotten his password.
Sighing in frustration, he put his coffee down hard, getting up from his desk. Luckily, there weren’t many people in the office yet as he made his walk of shame over to the IT department. He passed by the rows of blue screens before finally approaching Dave’s desk. Dave was cool; he wouldn’t tell anyone.
Dave was just sitting down at his desk when John got there. John was always envious that IT could wear jeans and a t-shirt into the office. Dave broke into a smile when he saw John walk in, a fresh cup of coffee in his hands.
“Hey John! What’s up today?”
John passed him the coffee, giving him a sheepish grin. “I know it’s early in the morning, but I need your help. Seems I forgot my login password.”
Dave laughed, taking the coffee. “And I suppose this is a bribe? No worries, let me just reset that for you.”
He sat down heavily into the leather chair, swivelling into the desk. John watched his fingers tap over the keyboard until he was at the blue screen himself. Then stop.
“Huh…” He stared at his screen uncomfortably. “I think… I think I’ve forgotten mine too.”
The day was a blur after that. John watched as one by one, employees started to trickle into the small IT department, crowding up the floor to complain about forgotten passwords. Dave spent the first hour in conference with the other IT members, then the next 3 on the phone. Jogn was even locked out of his smartphone, staring down at the keypad in confusion. He knew it was a simple password… But now he couldn’t remember it. Couldn’t remember any of his passwords, for anything.
Finally, the boss had come downstairs himself. Said this had happened across the country, no one could remember any passwords. Not just passwords but secrets had been forgotten, mostly recipes. The receptionist, a pretty blonde girl who said she’d never bothered to lock her phone in the first place, even found one article saying it was happening worldwide. After another hour passed with no progress, the boss announced they could all go home.
Flopping onto his couch back home, John flipped on the TV as he loosened his tie. The news reporter was just getting on the air when the home phone rang. He picked it up curiously.
“Johnny! There you are, sweetheart!” His mother’s voice rang clearly through the headset. He winced slightly, holding the phone an inch from his ear.
“Yeah, they sent us home early. How’d you know I’d be here, Mom?”
“Well I was trying to call your desk but you weren’t picking up and I know you’re normally in the office. I thought you might have been home sick.”
“Anyways, honey, I was just calling to ask if you’d gotten a chance to read my email yet.”
John sighed. “Mom, you know you don’t have to call me every time you send an email. That’s like…. I don’t know, knocking on someone’s door to see if they checked their voicemail yet.”
“Oh I know dearie, I just never trust these new-fangled things anyways.”
“And no,” he continued, “No one in the office could remember their passwords. They say it’s worldwide or something.” He was about to go on a rant when a thought snuck into his head. “Wait, how did YOU remember your email password? You never remember it!”
“Oh you know darling, I just got so tired of forgetting it, I wrote them all out on a post-it note and stuck it to the side of the monitor. Now then, about Aunt Edda’s potluck dinner….”