To the Yourdonites ...Just dropping bygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I was thinking about us Yourdonites this evening. I haven't been posting much; I got a new job. It's another culture shock. About two weeks before Gary North's first appearance on Art Bell, I lost my job at the energy services company when it closed its doors. I got to stay up late at night and enjoy Bell's magical mystery tour! When I heard some guy was gonna talk about y2k, I made a point of tuning in, just out of curiosity. A friend of mine who is into computers had mentioned it very casually a couple of times. He reads mechanical engineering magazines. He tells me how these technical guys are starting to write some interesting things about embedded chips and the y2k problem. But when I tuned into the Bell/North interview, little did I know what I was about to hear.
Gary doesn't mince any words. He just says to the Bell audience that the whole big shebang is going to undergo massive radical transformation over the course of the next 18 months (This was late May), and there's 1500 (or so) articles on my site that will show you why. And if you have a working brain, it should be apparent that it's wise to prepare. After all, it's not a usual thing to be living through what may be the greatest challenge to the human race in its recorded history. So you need to consider that its not impossible that we could be thrown back in time a hundred years, except it will be a nightmare. We don't have the skill set for it any more, you know?
Well there it was. Plain as day. I saw it all in a flash, it seemed. Turns out I only grasped the basic concept. The next few weeks, the implications flowed like a torrent through my psyche. It seemed insane to be so engulfed by them, but they just kept coming and coming. I couldn't shut them off. I was ripped with a horrendous grief, an anguish deeper than any I'd known, deeper than losing my mother, my dad, my son, my best friend, my dog. Deeper than any of those. Mine was a mind screaming through the Universe, "NOOOOOOooooooooooo"
One day, I was having a little chat with myself about the situation, and I said, "Well, I guess the question is 'Who do you want to be, in the face of it? How do you want to meet this thing?'"
It was a silly question. We're all going to meet it with the whole comglomerated array of traits and gifts and foibles and flaws with which we meet everything. I guess I was hoping to aspire to the noblest in me, you know. Kind of a romantic picture. Florence Nightengale, Joan of Arc, all that. But in the end, I accepted that the theatre of my mind was a multiplex, and that the best I could do was to throw out a few of the more tattered expressions of my kaleidoscopic nature.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, I began reading this forum. It was kaleidoscopic, too. It had a nice intelligence to it, an authenticity of personality, a fair level of tolerance for differences in belief and style, an unspoken code of moderate civility. I've fallen asleep so many nights, thinking about the people who share here, about individuals, about threads, about the spectrum of ideas and questions and emotions here. I think about the Net and how wondrous it is that this amazing cyber community so spontaneously arose. It's a genuine treasure. It validates my mercurial perceptions; it mirrors me. It gives me strength.
Funny about my job. It's my dream job, administrative work at an outpatient mental health service. Great, caring, real people. None of them know. The most they know about computers is how to get their email and send it on the company's intranet. They put in long hours; they don't go home and get online. They do things with their families and communities. They catch some TV headlines here and there, maybe a talk show on the radio during drive time. They read journals about their fields, about research and treatments. Nobody has told them yet that a crisis is going to occur next month in pharmacy computers. Nobody has told them we need to find out where the pharmaceuticals are manufactured and by whom, and how compliant they are. Nobody has told them squat. I guess that means I get the honors. Maybe you therapists might want to prepare your patients for the ride, I'll tell them. Their perception of me will never be the same. But that doesn't matter. What matters is whether they tell their families, ask some questions, let me give them some websites to check out, buy some woolies and beans.
A woman at the help-desk tells me our giant medical operation (buying hospitals left and right) got a bit of a late start. We're 56% finished, she said. I didn't even ask her with what. I've seen what they have in just our small operation. There's no way. Even if its 56% of just the mission critical stuff, there's no way. These are hospitals! There's technology everywhere! I feel like I'm a science fiction movie. This is a very surreal and dissonant reel of pictures I have in my head. Nobody here knows. And somehow, I have to tell them. I have to tell them in a way that will allow them to see and accept and intelligently begin to make decisions in the light of the new information.
So the power went down in San Francisco for awhile today. Not a pretty sight. Some people will hear the threats of loss of power in 2000 a little differently next time. Hope a lot of them do. Soon.
So anyway, I came home tonight and cruised in to see what was happening at Yourdon's. Been too tired to read much; going through some thick stuff about it all emotionally now. But there are friends are this forum. People like me, who see at least pieces of what's coming, and what could come. People who bet one way one day, the opposite way the next. People who do what they can about it, each in his or her own way. And they gather here, just to share it with each other. This astonishing phenomenon, this amazing y2k. You stretch me, you Yourdonites. And you comfort me. You exasperate and terrify me. You throw out some pretty outrageous perceptions and ideas. You with all your passionate arguments and wonderful poems and silly stories. You're a great bunch of human beings. Kind of makes me proud to be one. And it's not often, you know, that people can make you feel that way these days. The world all too often gives us reason to take no pride at all in what we have become. But here, I see the essential goodness of people. I see your faith and your aspirations. I see your passion for living fully and for finding truth as best you can. I like the wrestling and grappling and laughter of this place. I like the love here. I let it give me hope sometimes. But all the time, I find this grouping of people good reason for gladness that I'm alive in this moment, this amazing, incredible moment, and sharing the experience with you.
Guess I've used up all the space I'd been stockpiling. No point to all of this, beyond satisfying my itch to stop by and throw my little heap of sticks to the fire. Nice visiting.
Happy Holidays to you all. I'm sure glad I'm greeting the New Year with YOU!!!
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 1998
What a nice post, Faith. Thanks for the day brightener.
-- Dave (email@example.com), December 08, 1998.
We like you too. Nice to see you back here, don't be such a stranger.
-- Uncle Deedah (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 1998.
(Wiping a tear) Hi Faith!! Glad to see you're still with us! :)
You've expressed so eloquently what I and I'm sure many others here feel and see in this forum :)
I admire your courage and effort at the hospital. It's mind bogling and scary thinking about these people who have no idea what's coming to them. Don't give up Faith, you're a shining light in this world!
Happy holidays to you and your family!
-- Chris (email@example.com), December 08, 1998.
Hey Faith, I really enjoyed reading this. I have exactly the same feelings. At work, I'm walking around, thinking, "Everything appears to be so normal. Everyone is going about business at usual." But my mind is racing with Y2K. I can't seem to get it out of my head. Reading Infomagic's latest really set me over the edge. It's not like I'm going nuts, or anything, but I'm scared. Really scared. It's too big, too out-of-control, to unpredictable.
I've been trying to figure out what everyone will do in a worst-case scenario. That would be lights out, no water. No heat. Well, our "standard of living" would drop through the basement, for sure, but I think we'd all survive. We can still burn wood, goddammit.
Really, one needs just a little food, a little water, some warmth, some heat, and most of all, some companionship and strength to get through something like this. So if we all pull together and help each other out, I think it will be all right. Life will be forever changed, but we'll figure it out. I still have to be an optimist, otherwise, I think I might go crazy.
In the meantime, stock up, make sure you have the essentials, and spread the word amongst your friends.
Posts like yours really help me feel less alone. Thanks for writing such an eloquent and human missive.
-- Deedie (Daybrook@not.com), December 08, 1998.
You know, sometimes I imagine that the Internet, at least for the time being, is a bit like what Heaven would be, in some small way -- disembodied consciousnesses communing and all that. Or else it's like a Borg collective -- still haven't made up my mind. :o)
-- Nathan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 1998.
We like you too.
-- (email@example.com), December 08, 1998.
Thanks, I needed that :-)
I was captivated by the picture of Faith, with a vision of what's going to happen, surrounded by all of those co-workers who don't know. It can be a scary thing, to realize that so many around you simply don't know, haven't heard, haven't had anyone explain. "They don't know." That's so sad.
Faith, may your holidays be ever so joyful. I wish you the very best in the coming year.
-- rocky (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 1998.
Faith-I felt so much of me in your post, I can indentify with many of your feelings and thoughts, and I too learned about Y2K the same way you did. There's only one way to keep going and that's "Onward James." But, I can't imagine you sharing what you know to people in a mental health facility. I think I'm a fairly sane person but there are times when you have to take a few steps back away from it all. Glad to see you're back, I think your a true survivor.
-- bardou (email@example.com), December 08, 1998.
Your parents must have been given devine inspiration when they named you. Every time I see your name in a post it reminds me to keep my hopes and spirit up.
"No point to all of this, beyond satisfying my itch to stop by and throw my little heap of sticks to the fire."
You've fanned the flames of hope in me and I thank you most sincerely.
Your post seemed to echo the same exact journey I found myself on. I wonder just how many of us can identify with those push me - pull you feelings and that emotional rollercoaster.
A very happy holiday season to you and all those who surround you.
-- Michael Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 1998.
Faith, so glad you "dropped" in, been wondering where you've been!! What a wonderful post & it sure came at a good time. Been a bad y2k day & was feeling a little down in the dumps almost felt like giving up. Sometimes you feel pulled one way then you feel pulled another. Thanks for a well needed "shot in the arm"!!! Don't be such a stranger ok? Happy Holidays to you & your family!!!! Donna
-- Donna in Texas (Dd0143@aol.com), December 08, 1998.
Good to see your voice again, Faith. Have a great holiday season.
-- PNG (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
Thanks, Faith. You put very eloquently what I feel about this forum. I know many here have written about what I think of as the 'Y2K schizoid effect' - torn by what the mind says is likely to happen and the complete lack of 'every day' evidence. This place is where I come to remind myself that I need to continue to prepare as I can for what may be beyond preparation, and where I can find info on how to proceed to prepare. I also rely on the humour and bantering to keep the schizoid effect from throwing me so off balance that I end up in a physical asylum (and not like you, a professional). This asylum is a wonderful place to come to precisely because of posters like you. Keep up the good work, please.
-- Tricia the Canuck (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1998.
Great and thoughtful post Faith, I have only just gotten around to reading it after the power went down for most of the day in San Francisco!
Shades of things to come! I was short of cash, ATM's not working, restaurants open with limited menus, cash or cheques only.
Pretty civilised but couldn't get a coffee anywhere:-)
Keep on preparing folks!
-- Andy (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
Faith you are the archetypal Yourdonite, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
-- Richard Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1998.
December 9, 1998--a date which will live in my memory. Siglets, a letter to the Y2K czar, technical wrangling and a letter from Faith.
It is hard for this old engineer to express the kinds of heatfelt emotion fostered in this group, the sense of kinship and caring that an outcast feels among friends of like feather. Thank goodness for people like Faith---there are many on this forum---who are able to put their hearts on this screen for me to share, to take comfort and strength from.
Thank you, dear Faith. Thank you all. May you enjoy this last "normal" Christmas, this blessed holiday. And may you and your families safely traverse this pivotal year and those, more frightening, to follow.
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive. And it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -- Anais Nin
-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), December 09, 1998.
Faith - Your post echoes a lot of my feelings!
I haven't had the pleasure of *meeting* you yet, but I feel like I know you anyway.
Thanks for the words of wisdom. This post shined a ray of light into my usually (lately more than ever) bleak day surrounded by thoughts of what's to come, and the flurry of preparation.
As for all the DGIs you work with, keep the faith. I just read a poll that indicates that almost 80% of the public is now aware of Y2k. The general awareness level is rising and this hopefully will make your job easier when you finally to break it to them. :-)
You go girl!
Bobbi +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ "It's fun to do the impossible" ---Walt Disney--- +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Y2k? http://www.buzzbyte.com/ Got water? Got Beans? Take the Y2k Preparation Quiz!
-- Bobbi (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
Well, Faith, you made me stop and take a deep breath. It _is_ surreal sometimes, isn't it?. I keep expecting to hear a Rod Serling voiceover from the PA system: "Imagine a world. A world that's largely unaware that it is up against and out of time...
Thank you for the gift of your thoughts.
-- Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1998.
How eloquent! You asked a profound question: "Who do I want to be in the face of this?"
That's a question I'd forgotten all about. In the current chaos of preparing for the coming chaos, I forgot to ask myself the same thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Have a warm and happy Holiday, Faith :)
-- Arewyn (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
I've been a lurker here on the Youdon site for quite awhile now, but your post pulled me out of the woodwork.
You've obviously touched everyone's heart (mine included) and said what everyone deep down is feeling and thinking. You just did it the most lovely and loving way.
You are right on, and by uniting our humanity with your words helped shine a positive light on the dreariness and fear that Y2k strikes in all our minds and hearts.
Your post came to me also at the very right time. I'd just been lamenting in another forum that I was frustrated with talking to the DGI's and was throwing in the towel. I'd made up my mind to just stop trying and leave it to the media to educate them, when the media started "getting it".
You've inspired me and now I feel I can continue my "Paul Revere" ride.
Thanks Faith and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
-- Cary Mc from Tx (Caretha@compuserve.com), December 09, 1998.
The first "gift" of the Christmas season. Thanks Faith.
-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 09, 1998.
You are a wonderful example of keeping the faith, Faith.
Im confident that by the time we roll the 2000 dice, most will be prepared, in whatever way is individually appropriate. 1999 will see a growing Shift in the sleeping ones around us. The San Francisco Blackout illustrated that we can pull through a crisis gracefully, IF prepared, and even when we dont think we are.
Happy Holidays, to one and all, Yourdonites, lurkers, and newsmedia too!
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1998.
Keep the Faith, I say.
-- Sara Nealy (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
Very nice, Faith. Can't add much to what has already been said. So nice to read an eloquent post. It is so discouraging to discuss the subject with the DGI's. I am discovering, almost daily, that many fellow colleagues (medical) are becoming concerned. Well, day by day.
-- lparks (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1998.
Wow...! I feel the same way. How will we all react? Good question. One thing I know for sure, things are never what you imagine they will be.
And to everyone else: Ditto...!
Happy holiday season everyone...I'm glad I know you all!
-- Okum (email@example.com), December 09, 1998.
Faith, it is wonderful reading your post. Come back!
Ashton & I worked at a University Hospital for 7 months, finally quitting in the middle of September. We worked night shifts on the Cancer Care & Bone Marrow Transplant Units. It was very hard work -- the hospital is squeezing personnel tighter and more forcibly, eeking every last drop of energy and nickel. Reimbursement levels from Medicare & Medicaid are dropping, paperwork spiralling out of control, regulations mushrooming, costs ballooning, making everybody trigger-irate. The patients are most definitely suffering from this.
Even with everything in the infrastructure working perfectly, care ends are not meeting and patients are dying alone in rooms with no attention or compassion. We can't even begin to describe the horrors we saw nightly. This was a prestigious, very large teaching hospital, @ 9,000 employees on campus, with an excellent reputation. There are PCs everywhere, but they, the fax machines, the lab tube system, the enormous assortment of medical equipment, etc. is constantly needing repair and we were always short vital tools.
The place is running on Windows 3.1. During orientations and inservices, we were told they would upgrade "around 2001, maybe, when we get around to it, and then only to Windows 95." When we expressed shock and concern, and mentioned Y2K, we were hissed and ridiculed. Apparently the staff objects strenuously to having to use computers at all, and is unwilling and too stressed to learn any upgrades.
We felt for the patients, but finally had to quit. Working there was hazardous. Nightly we dealt with radiation, chemo, implants, emergency surgeries, isolation rooms, AIDs, TB, Hepatitis, very ill patients, etc. in an extremely rushed hostile environment, and, to top it off, were constantly being 'floated' to floors where we had no orientations.
My hope is that the insurance companies will shut the place down before New Year's Evil. The place doesn't have a clue and does NOT want to know! We hope your facility fares better. Your post brought a lot back.
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
-- Leska (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 10, 1998.
Faith, what a refreshing post! After a 10 day vacation, I've been trying to do a little catching up on all of the new threads. I can see why a few of the other "old timers" are beginning to despair. There has been such a feeling of "family" on this forum that seems to be slipping away. I think all of us are happy to welcome newcomers who want to learn, and it's a good sign that awareness is growing. I see lots of new names who seem like really nice, decent people. But, I am saddened by the posters whose only desire seems to be rudeness and criticism. Anyway, you reminded me of why I have stayed around, and I thank you for that.
-- Gayla Dunbar (email@example.com), December 13, 1998.