After years of spending summers doing research and some consulting, the economic situation in California has gotten so bad that I’ve been searching for contracting opportunities. One resource is the Employment Development Department (EDD) of the state of California. EDD runs a web site for job seekers and employers called CalJOBS (their capitalization, not mine). A recent security upgrade, however, has made it impossible for at least one user (me) to log in at all.
The new web site requires a user name and password. There are restrictions on both the name and password. The user name must be 6 to 11 alphanumeric characters. So far so good. The password must be 6 to 8 characters. Only after you enter the password (twice) and the answers to your two security questions (see below) do you see this:
**Password must contain 3 of the following 4 items:
1) capital letters A-Z,
2) lowercase letters a-z,
3) numbers 0-9,
4) special characters ! # $ % ? + – _ @ **
Then you are asked for the answers to two security questions. I have no idea who made up these questions, but they are just plain bizarre. Here they are:
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Even worse, the answers to all the questions are blacked out. You have to answer each security question twice, but you’re SOL if you manage to make the same typo twice. Here’s what the screen looks like:
If you make a mistake, you’re really out of luck. The web site instructs you to call EDD at (800) 758-0398. If there are any human beings behind the voicemail, I haven’t found them yet.
To top it all off, when you try to submit a description of the problem you’re likely to get this error:
No wonder the state unemployment rate is still in double digits.