Thursday, January 04, 2007

Default Password

When I started my new job a little over three months ago, on my first day basically nothing went right. As is unfortunately typical for new hires at any job, not much was setup when I started. Somehow something went wrong in the process that handles new hires and so only about half of the various things that you need at a new job were there.

One of the few things that did work right was my phone. It's a fancy VoIP Cisco one, so came with a giant packet of usage information. Being the crafty nerd I am, I was able to get into it and setup voicemail greetings, message forwarding, etc and promptly forgot about it.

Then, several weeks later I noticed that my voicemails weren't automatically rolling over to e-mail like they are supposed to. After spending a while hunting through menus and settings (both on the computer and the phone), I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Eventually I just threw up my hands and filed a trouble ticket.

A few days later I got a phone call from someone in global IT. After a confusing conversation about what number he was calling, it turned out my mail wasn't forwarding because my phone wasn't actually my phone.

You see, you have to 'log in' to our phones. Through the wonders of VoIP, your extension is routed to wherever you happen to be logged in at the time. What had happened was that the person who used the desk before me had left the login password the default.

So when I started work, I dutifully logged into the phone as if it was mine, changed the voicemail greeting, password and what-not. But it wasn't really supposed to be my phone, the mechanism of setting up a phone extension for me was yet another thing that had gotten lost during my new-hire process.

But since the phone's password had never been changed, I had no idea that was the case. It was only the fact that the extension wasn't associated with me, and so wasn't forwarding voicemails that caused it to be discovered.

Regardless, I guess it was still an improvement over my previous two jobs where I didn't even have a physical phone when I started (and in one case didn't even have a cube).

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