No power outage here! Ready for y2k.... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I live here in Iowa, as some of you here know. Today, someone from our power company, MidAmerican Energy called to sell us some package thing for our appliances. I told them that I was not interested, but that I wanted to know what they were doing to be ready for y2k. She did not know what I was talking about and checked with her supervisor about it. I was under the impression that she would put her supervisor on the phone, which she did not. However, she came back and said that her supervisor said that they were compliant and ready! No problem! (yeah, right!) And the woman on the phone asked me what it was all about and I told her. She said she was going to find out more about it as soon as she got home! Well, a small committee of us at church are planning our first y2k meeting this Saturday night. And even though our pastor has not made a move, the women's retreat this weekend, I heard it was one of the topics discussed! :-) There still is hope for those who do not know. So, do you all think that we, here in Iowa, will have power come 1/1/00? Is your power company telling you something like this also???? Or, why bother asking if they don't tell you the truth, anyway? Comments? Blondie

-- Blondie Marie (, October 19, 1998


That woman's supervisor is probably as unsure as the rest of us.

Story time:

I work with PCs for a living. I'm not a programmer or an electrical engineer, but I know a bit about PCs. I also know a line of bull when I hear it - and I hear alot of it coming from computer people. I had a tech support guy give me three bogus reasons for a PC being non-compliant. As I explained why he must be wrong on each count, he would give me the next "reason". Finally, when he ran out of ideas, he just said "Oh, uh, we don't have a fix for that." My point is, I don't think half of these customer service or tech support people know what they're talking about. And not just in relation to Y2K. I've had many cases where I got bad information from people you'd think should know the truth. Too many of them won't admit that they just don't know.

The whole thing is a matter of faith, and I wouldn't have much faith in someone who says their supervisor says "No problem."

-- Mike (, October 20, 1998.

I called our county's largest water authority to ask about y2k. The woman who answered the phone cheerily told me they had NO y2k problems. When I began asking specific questions, however--Oh, then you've tested all the embedded systems? What are you planning for a back up power supply?--she said I would have to talk to the general manager about that. He, of course, wasn't in. I wrote him with my questions two weeks ago, and am still waiting for a reply.

The woman who answered the phone for our Emergency Management Services also told me they were completely ready. The assistant director confirmed that, telling me that "data processing, over at the court house, is fixing all our computers." But the office has no y2k emergency management plan beyond the standard disaster plan.

If you haven't written or called your local government offices and utilities, please do--and ask specific questions! The level of awareness there doesn't seem any higher than it is in the general public. And like Steve Hartsman, we all need to be letting our local papers know we're concerned and that the situation needs serious local attention.

This is "National Y2K Awareness Week." Anybody hear stories on the news? Read any in your papers? The last survey I saw on awarenss said over a third of the public hasn't even heard of the problem, and over 90% of those who have heard of it believe it will be fixed. The 7% of us who suspect it WON'T quite be, uh, fixed, have a lot of educating to do!

-- Faith Weaver (, October 20, 1998.

Has it ever occurred to any of you people that maybe...Just maybe some of these people you talk to about Y2K compliance are telling the truth. I have spoken to many who told me they were Y2K compliant. It ain't their fricken fault if the power goes off, of some other party in the food chain is not compliant. Is everyone a liar??? Just because you think you know more than anyone else does not make you omnipotent. I pity you folks if the shit does hit the fan. You won't have anyone else to whine at when this website goes down. I wonder if you all put as much energy into your families and communities as you do complaining on this forum.

-- Believer (, October 20, 1998.

Yes, I believe that every major organization lie to us. Only because saying "we're fully compliant" or "we'll be fully compliant by 2000" is a plain and simple lie. They CAN'T know until 2000 if they are or not. What they should tell us is something like "We've spent X amount of money, we've been working on it since X number of years, we've had the best management team and programmer team we could find, and we have an well rehearsed contengency plan that includes this and this and that and also this. We're very confident we've done all we can do so far and that we're ready, but we're not sitting on our duffies and continue to discuss the issue at management in case we can do more or we've missed something" THAT kind of answer I would believe and it would reassure me.

And yes, I'm doing all I can at this time to prepare my family. Login on this forum everyday helps me find answers to my plans, and I learn of new things I hadn't thought of before. Plus, it's a perfect place to unload feelings, among people who understand, since we can't do it outside the internet, as people are ignorant of Y2K.

But you, why are you reading this forum? To gawk at us freaks? Freakiness is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't have a problem with Y2K, you've entered the wrong support group. But you're still welcome to stay, you might learn a thing or 2 that could come in handy someday.

-- Chris (, October 20, 1998.

Here's a little test for your power company: If they tell you they are 'Y2K compliant' or 'Y2K ready' (or any term of their own choosing which implies that will be 'OK' come 2000) or that they have 'completely fixed all their Y2K problems', ask them to put that in writing and send it to you.

If anyone receives such a written communication, please let us all know and post it here. I sure haven't seen one yet and I would be just a bit reassured if we could have even one company get that far.

But that's just step one. Step two is determining which external organization has independently audited and verified what the utility is saying in it's written communication.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 20, 1998.

"Believer" - who probably won't be back to read the responses to his/her post, alas! - hit the nail right on the head, albeit without meaning to! It would be impossible for anyone, I think, to say they were totally compliant with "no problems" without knowing the status of everyone else they interface with. Those interfaces are what are going to bugger up the whole thing, as compliant meets non-compliant, and the end result is the same.

-- Melissa (, October 20, 1998.

Catsy: By the way, my bet is that "" was intentional flame-bait. Having spent a few years lurking in rec.pets.cats I can tell you that this poster is much more interested in getting people upset than in seriously debating Y2K. The poster is most likely a juvenile playing 'all grown up now' on the Internet. The post does not even measure up to the standards of the baiters in rec.pets.cats (there's some real pros there - see also -- Cat lovers are such easy targets ;-)

Well see more of this in the future. Don't be discouraged and don't bother trying to educate them if they aren't seriously interested in looking at the issues. Just hope their parents take the issue more seriously.

Remember, both the serious 'doomsayers' and the serious 'Pollyannas' have often made good points here and have often offered verifiable, credible evidence to back up what they are saying. Arnie

-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 20, 1998.


You're right - many organizations have done / will do everything in their power to be sure their systems survive Y2K. Does that mean I should have believed that Tech who told me "I'd just use it (a non-compliant PC) and if your software works OK, I wouldn't worry about it?"

I also want to know why you think the power might go out. Aren't the power companies compliant?

We have doubts because few can or will make public statements of compliance. Hearsay from anonymous persons (which is what you offer) is not enough to make me feel comfortable.

You say "Just because you think you know more than anyone else does not make you omnipotent." Huh? Seems to me most of us here "know" very little about the state of Y2K remediation simply because there are so few public statements. The only thing I "know" is that I still have serious concerns.

Perhaps you are in charge of a large bank, business or other institution, and would be willing to release a public statement about your organization's level of compliance. I, for one, would be happy to see something like that happen.

There's nothing wrong with a healthy fear of the unkown. It's what ensures survival.

Please try to give us an intelligent response.

-- Mike (, October 20, 1998.

Arnie, you might be right, he might be just an ill-informed kid looking to stir up trouble. But he could also be an ill-informed adult (with bad manners) who really believes at face value what every "powers that be" tell him/her. There's many people like this in the population at large who still need to be educated about Y2K. Even if he/she doesn't come back to read the replies, another lurker or 2 with the same attitude might get the benefit of them ;)

-- Chris (, October 20, 1998.

I agree with Chris, and would hazard a guess for Believer's last question (and I paraphrase): "Do all of us discussing the outcomes of Y2K disruptions spend as much energy in preparing ourselves, families and others?"

The answer I think is: Yes, most.

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 20, 1998.

Faith Weaver,

my local newspaper had a half page advertisement concerning Y2K. it was sponsored by the SBA. however, it was on the 7th page in the second section.

some people in my area (not local govt) are taking this serious. was at the local coin shop today. normally they sell a couple thousand ounces of gold a year. in the last three months, they have sold over 200,000 ounces. they have gold delivered every day and sell out every day. they are out of silver and can not find anymore. main reason given by all buyers is Y2K.

-- areseejay (, October 20, 1998.

Re: Ill informed adults.... reminds me that I have a friend that has a friend that has ALOT (life savings) invested in the stock market. My friend called and talked to her about y2k, so this lady called her broker to ask him what he thought. Basically he told her "don't worry be happy" & so she told my friend that she's not worried.. If I had that much money at risk I don't think I would take one person's word for it, I'd do some research & find out for myself. I really feel concern for those who are made aware but don't "pay attention". If TSHTF these folks will lose everything they've worked so hard for! It really makes my heart hurt sometimes. Oh well, hard as we try I guess we can't "save" everyone. Just my 02 cents.

-- Me (, October 26, 1998.

PS The water department sent a written reply to my dozen questions. They HAVE done substantial work and DO have contingency plans for vendor failure, back up for their computers, fuel on hand. Nevertheless, should the power fail, they say they can run for about TWO days.

-- Faith Weaver (, October 26, 1998.

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