New to Y2K? Question what you hear and read. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Gang: This is the second in a series of posts primarily for folks that are new to Y2K. ( The first was the thread "What do we do now?" ). In a new Y2K question & answer book called "Y2Kaos", by Andrew Gause, there are some interesting observations. Here is a short excerpt - what he refers to as the "Y2K Refrain":

(begin excerpt)

"What is the Y2K Refrain?"

It has three parts. You will probably recognize them immediately. It is a common refrain heard on sound bites and from corporate and government spokespeople. They cannot comment further, but can recite a variation of this theme by heart:

1. Yes, Y2K is a problem

2. but, we are working on it

3. and, we intend to be ready.

(end excerpt)

My two cents:

We all know folks that have told us Y2K is not a big deal because company XYZ intends to be ready, or government agency XZY expects to be done in time. The road to Y2K seems paved with good intentions. How often have we heard this Y2K refrain? In some cases good intentions will in fact lead to a good result, and in other cases this won't be true. Well, how can we know? We can't. Then what can we do?

Question what you hear and read - yes - this includes my posts and everything else regarding Y2K. Recognize that there can be differences between intentions and subsequent reality, opinion and fact. Intentions are based on a hope for a particular result, while reality is the actual result itself. Do not confuse the two. Just because a company or government official says "we intend to be Y2K ready" does not make them ready. Draw this distinction each time you hear the Y2K refrain. Just as important, give some thought to both the consequences of your potential actions and the consequences of potential inaction, as a result of not blindly accepting the Y2K refrain. I know, it is a lot easier to just believe what people tell you without giving it much thought, after all, we are so busy who has time, right? Make time. This is good to do regardless of what the subject is, not just Y2K. But consider that with Y2K, acceptance without thought and questioning can be dangerous to your health.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 01, 1999


I'm not new to this forum but this is the first time I have ever posted. I talked to my local grocery store this weekend and asked about their Y2K plans. He claimed they are finished fixing their systems but have some concerns about suppliers. They intend to stockpile non-perishables in the months prior to January. Should I still be concerned?

-- Finding out (, February 01, 1999.

Are you concerned?

-- Mitchell Barnes (, February 01, 1999.


Excellent advice. (looks like Mitchell took it too!)

-- Hardliner (, February 01, 1999.

Well, this person is a friend whom I trust. I have no reason to believe that hes lying to me and I think he knows I would never go to the media with his bad news. So I think hes being open with me. Should I ask him for proof? If he gives me results of tests, not being a programmers, I wouldnt know if the results were good news or bad news.

Do I need to ask all the grocery chains in the city? If this grocery chain has fixed Y2K, then to stay up with the competition, I would hope that other grocery chains are paying attention to the problem. I know hope doesnt cut it when people are starving.

Ill keep up my own preparations. To my other supplies, Ive included canned soup. It has plenty of water and contains veggies and meat.

-- Finding out (, February 01, 1999.

Finding out: Welcome, and thank you for your first post. First, try to see the Big Picture. Take into consideration all of the possible things that may not be there like electricity and water. Now, regarding the grocer, if he is concerned, then you should be too, in my opinion. Ask yourself how many people, in an emergency, would depend on his supplies. Answering this may help you determine your *level of concern.

You don't need proof. What would be more valuable is to err on the side of caution, so to speak. Assume the worst, and prepare accordingly, in a prudent manner. This way, you will be ready if things turn ugly, and if not, you can still use your supplies and eat your food and drink that soup. It may be a mistake to rely on others 'getting it' and competition making folks 'stay up'. Rely on yourself instead. Keep looking into Y2K. If you really are intent on staying in a city, at least look through Y2K articles about this subject. You can find some good information - a place to start is - which has sections on urban survival and related topics. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 01, 1999.

Finding Oat (Canadian pronunciation)

If you would like to continue eating after the hordes of last minute panic-ers have wiped out the shelves, stock up now ;)

It costs you nada to have a well stocked pantry, as you will eat it anyway. 4-6 months worth should be your minimum goal. Once you have reached the amount that you are comfortable with, eat a can of chili buy a can of chili, eat a can of Beefaroni (yummy cold eating BTW) buy a can of Beefaroni and rotate your stock. You will never be without your grub providing, of course, that disruptions do not outlast your pantry. Anybody who tells you this is not going to be a big deal is full of it, or clueless. It IS going to be a big deal, we just don't know how big yet.

Good luck and good shopping.

PS, do not forget things like pit stick and tooth paste, oh yeah, and butt wipes.

-- Uncle Deedah (, February 01, 1999.

Hello, Finding Out.

I'm finding out how little some grocery clerks understand about Y2K. This evening I purchased 20 jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce on sale (expiration dates from OCT2000-JAN2001), and the cashier, a young woman, exclaimed that I must really like spaghetti. The first month of 1999 has passed, and it's easy to shop in my small city because most residents are satisfied that Y2K will not be TEOTW, just a minor inconvenience. IMO, stock up while you can. When the panic starts, there will be long, long lines and frustrating shortages. Perhaps the panic will be surprisingly soon. Every day before it starts is another day to prepare calmly and rationally.


-- dinosaur (, February 01, 1999.

Finding Out - What I meant was, do you think the info was true, you were there and could watch his eyes and body language. Certainly, your grocery store should be well along the y2k path at this time. And your own studies will alert you to anomolies when he related the status.

btw. last May I happened to run into the CIO running a whole major NorCalif grocery chain. Buttonholed him in a 3 minute interview. He was candid. Everything they can deal with in store they have, I continue to believe him. His assessment of store risk, depending upon location, were water, sewage. Electricity and telecommunications were regional risks, on which banking pivots. Suppliers of shelf goods to sell, terrible for all stores. In 3 minutes, (I was very organized), he went from casual banter to full on running facial sweat.

Most letters they had sent out to the broad utilities had not been returned at that time. He had no more real info about elec and tele than I did, at that time. He was taking the banking assurances at face value, nothing more he could do. They had some backup generator capability.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, February 02, 1999.

I liked that "full on running facial sweat" remark, Mitchell. One point that can be made is that sometimes we can rely on what is known as 'gut feel', and what you posted reminded me of this. Also, I think dinosaur is right about "Every day before it starts is another day to prepare calmly and rationally."

Finding out: Hopefully you have found something out!

A main idea on this thread is to have folks think about and question things for themselves before they accept what they hear or read as truth. So besides my initial remarks let us add plain old gut feel - since it seems to me that this can be as valuable as anything else in accomplishing not accepting things blindly.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 02, 1999.

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