Tuesday, December 7, 2010
THE SCENE: A wireless cell phone store located in a metropolitan setting, with customers milling around, sales staff engaged in various activities. In walks a mild-mannered Enterprise Architect seeking information on upgrading his phone.
SALES PERSON (SP): May I help you?
MILD MANNERED ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT (MMEA): Sure, I’d like to know what my upgrade options are.
SP: Sure, may I have your cell phone number?
SP: And your name?
MMEA: Eric Meredith
SP: Excellent, Mr. Meredith. And your password?
MMEA: [Stare. Mouth agape.]
Contradictory physical manifestations occur as the Mild-Mannered Enterprise Architect experiences an increase in heart rate with a simultaneous degradation in synaptic activity. In fact, at some point a secondary neuro-play unfolds with a lead role delivered by the cerebral overseer, a.k.a. the Executive Function.
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION (EF): I’m getting indicators that something has entered the cortex and is backing up the entire workstream resulting in a failure to oxygenate the blood. Can we please get a signal to the lungs. Oh, and the eyes are drying out.
SP: Sir? Your password?
EF: I think I found the issue. Apparently a foreign concept has entered the system; a concept so bizzare that it has created a log jam of intellectual repulsion. We must expunge this poison quickly. So.. Lungs - Inhale and prepare to talk. Neck - shudder the cranium to dislodge the confundium. Cue the Vocal Chords, and …. Speak!
MMEA: Um, excuse me?
SP: It’s for your protection sir. I need you to give me your password.
MMEA: I, I don’t understand. You want me to say my password out loud, in this store, and this is for my protection?
SP: Yes, it’s for your protection.
MMEA: Look, I’m not going to blame you for this, but apparently someone in your organization has developed a system that results in you asking for confidential information in a public venue.
SP: It’s OK sir, I can see your password right on my screen.
MMEA: [Stare, Mouth agape. Blink]
What follows is several nano-years of silence as the Executive Function considers a number of options including but not limited to hysterical laughter, an examination of the store for Candid Cameras, and the sub-cerebral possibility that the alarm clock is due to wake us up.
MMEA: [Blink] You can see my password?
SP: Yes, it’s here on my screen.
MMEA: [Blink, Blink] So the people behind you can see it too?
SP: Yes, so you should hurry up and tell me.
MMEA: [Blink, Blink, Blink] I’m not going to give you my password. You should not be asking for it, and in fact there should be no possible way for you to see it, retrieve it, discover it, or randomly guess it. That it is displayed on your screen indicates a complete lack of understanding by your organization on the term “password.”
MMEA: Again, I’m not going to blame you; you are merely following the instructions some uninformed system architect has provided.
MMEA: I’m going to leave you with one request. Would you please inform your management of this conversation and that I was unwilling to divulge information that you should never have been able to access.
SCENE: Fade to black as the mild mannered Enterprise Architect walks out of the store. Fast forward two weeks; much of the trauma has dissipated, and our Mild-Mannered Enterprise Architect is once again capable of cognitive processes.
Cue a montage of views showing our MMEA considering various cell phones and providers, eventually finding a perfect choice at the right price at a large warehouse store. For curiosity purposes we return to the original chain (this time at a mall) to see just how good a deal has been achieved. The MMEA does not disclose that he has already purchased a new device.
SCENE: Crowded cell phone store in a local shopping mall.
SP2: How can I help you?
MMEA: I’d like to know what the cost of an upgrade is?
SP2: Sure, what is your phone number?
SP2: And your name?
MMEA: (Wondering just how many people have that same phone number) Eric Meredith
SP2: And for your protection, what is your password?
MMEA: (Must.resist.primal.urges...) I’m not giving you my password. Can we do this another way?
SP2: Sure, show me your Drivers License.
MMEA Shows license.
SP2: Thank you. By the way, your password is 9934.
SCENE: Fade to black with sound of emergency 911 conversation.
Confidentiality, integrity, and privacy should be foundational to any architecture; to ensure that the real conversation illustrated above cannot happen. It should not be able to happen; and in those places where the systems are antiquated, the users should be trained to protect customer information and the corporation’s reputation for handling of private data. I have to go now - it's time for my spoon feeding rehab.