Reply to post: User name schemes gone pear shaped

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


User name schemes gone pear shaped

I worked in a department of a university where an originally apparently sensible scheme (within department staff) had been in place but obviously had gone wrong. Under the scheme I could have been "phil", "philip" or "pmr", with the latter being the most desirable. Unfortunately some idiot had allocated that to someone who should have been "prb" (note that this was NOT the only odd one), so I couldn't have it. ("prb" was in fact what he wanted, and was available.) My immediate superior decided to introduce a new rule whereby department staff would have unprefixed usernames otherwise similar to the prefixed ones used by students and also by staff in the other departments of the faculty - three surname letters and first initial. Under this new rule, I was "reyp". I hated it, but one of my duties involved setting up accounts for new staff. It only happened once all the time I was there, but not surprisingly I used the same rule. The user had wanted "dj" but that was prohibited by security policy. I had no middle initial on file for him, but even if I had, would still have allocated him "johd" as a protest against my own user name.

If I had stayed in that place and been promoted to my immediate superior's position I might have started the potentially longwinded process of re-rationalising user names. What made it worse was that student user names were "current year only", and they needed new ones each and every year!

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