I work in the IT department for a large medical office, and the employees who deal directly with patients' health and insurance claims work in a high-stress environment, which can lead to emotional encounters.
Once while I was manning the phones at the help desk during lunchtime, I had the unfortunate task of helping a doctor troubleshoot his VPN connection. At the time, we were using Cisco for VPN tunneling and Citrix Metaframe for application access. Some of the applications would work well if a VPN connection was established without using Citrix (like this doctor's connection), while others had to use Citrix.
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In this case, the doctor forgot his password to not only the application he needed to access in order to approve cases, but also to his VPN and Citrix accounts. I asked him for his credentials so that I could reset his account.
"I can't do that," he replied. "Sir, I need your log-in name so that I can reset the account," I said. He replied, "But it is confidential and private information." I assured him that this was for verification purposes only and in no way would I undermine the security of his account. This went on for 45 minutes.
The application the doctor needed to access was a 20-year-old Unix-based application used to approve or review medical cases. The search function did not allow us to look up a user by name, but by user ID. At one time, the ID creation was standardized (first initial, middle initial, last initial, followed by a number if needed), but it had stopped being a standard for quite some time.
As I listened to him yelling and carrying on, I scrolled through all 4,000-plus names until I found his. I reset his password, advised him of what it was changed to, and told him that he could now access the VPN. For a second, he was silent, then yelled, "I didn't ask you to change it! Why did you change it?" followed by a few expletives and demands to speak to my supervisor.