Thank you, no. I don’t. I really don’t. I don’t even want to be looking at the keyboard when you type it in.
I realize that you’re trying to be helpful. I really do. But here’s the thing – I cannot know your password, I can’t even have a hint. I just can’t.
There will never be a time that I need your password. It might be a convenience, to help you set some parts of your account up ahead of time (sure beats registry hacking) and maybe even to look at that file on the server that’s giving you problems, while you’re at lunch or troubleshoot your permissions problem. But that’s not a need – believe you me, when the word “need” rolls into the room, I have far more powerful tools available to me than you do. You have no idea. Seriously.
No, I have a very serious reason for not wanting your password, and it is pretty simple: most people use the same password for a lot of different things, or their password is some pattern that they will reuse, over and over again. People will use the same password on their PCs that they will on their bank accounts, on their voicemail, on the alarm system at their homes; it’s an absolutely terrible idea, and lots of well-meaning people do it without a second thought.
There’s a chance, maybe small, maybe not, that if I see your password and I know a little bit about you, I can take your life apart. Financially, personally – your credit rating, your identity, maybe even your most closely-held secrets – I will be able to peel your life apart like a trailer park in a hurricane, in ways that you may never be able to recover from, because in many cases, the recovery mechanisms you would need don’t exist.
I won’t do this to you; I’m happy in my own identity, and don’t need your SIN, VISA number or anything out of your attic. But here’s the thing: if that does happen to somebody where I work, I can’t have anything to do with it. Not one thing. More importantly, I can’t be percieved to have had anything to do with it. That is a career-ender. If it happens to two people, that’s a disaster that I want to be as far away from as possible.
So no, thanks. I don’t need, or want, to know.