Y2K glitches, Get ready to agrue! (sarcastic, but good point)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

How many times over the phone or in person, when dealing with an error in a statement, order for consumer items, or otherwise attempting to conduct some some sort of business or personal transaction, have you heard these words..."There is nothing I can do about it, that is what the computer says". ???

Well, last night, after our big trip to Walmart, we decided to indulge in some of Ronald McDonald's ff's and fat. Somewhere between the speaker and pay window, where our order was read back correctly(?), and the pick-up window, where we where presented with our meal(?), we had been "Super Sized".

Now I had just broke down at Walmart, and bought "thee" food dehydrator I have always wanted, and finished my must get list of lamp parts/wicks and another large haul of canning jar lids, so I already know I will be counting pennies next week, and I didn't want to start my short week off with these huge drinks that a) I can never consume, and, b) any idiot knows won't fit in the drink holder, and, c) there went some of my pennies...

Pointing out this error to this poor girl immediately set her into a fast food panic, and it was obvious very soon, unless I wanted to be a real pain and ask to speak to the manager or anyone in the building over 24 years old, I had no choice but to attempt to hold this giant beverage and drive. She could neither comprehend I hadn't originally ordered this monster drink, nor could she allow me to trade in this huge cup for a smaller cup, because the computer said this is exactly what I had ordered, and dog-gone-it that was exactly what I was going to get.

Well, the only point I care to make is that our life is filled with computers and they are operated by many people who lack, in varying degrees, critical thinking skills, and they don't all wear paper hats. As all of the experts have warned, life could get tuff real soon...so get ready to argue...get in the habit of saving ALL of your receipts...not just from the bank, large purchases, etc.

Now I hope I don't get flamed for claiming "Y2K Has Hit The Fast Food Industry!" or "Shake Machines are NOT Complient!", but the point being "I am sorry, that is what the computer says, and there is nothing I can do about it." may become a very common reply real soon to discrepencies in transactions.

Food for thought. But for now, I have bannanas to dehydrate!

-- Lilly (homesteader145@yahoo.com), April 17, 1999



It appears to be another example of specialization.

The upside is productivity and the downside is recovering from errors.

Tom Beckner

-- Tom Beckner (tbeckner@erols.com), April 17, 1999.

As you pointed out very astutely, the problem could have been managed (corrected) by "pushing it" upstairs to the owner/duty manager, but that would have cost time/money/effort to resolve.

Yourdon mentioned that kind of problem when he talked about "one thousand mosquito bites" - the biggest number of failures will most likely NOT be major system draining crashes that last "forever".

But the more poorly trained the operator, the lower in the totem pole the user, the less competent the bureacrat - the less likely he/she will try to fix the problem. Question is, with many million "government" failures in critical and non-critical processes, what will happen when bureacrats have to "decide" something for a change?

My guess, some will properly do their jobs and "push" through the application or permit. Many, many more will simple read the printout and simply "follow orders." "I'm sorry, we can't do anything until the computer is fixed."

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (Cook.R@csaatl.com), April 18, 1999.

As an addicted soda-pop drinker this aspect of Y2K excites me

-- Joe Six-Pack (Average@Joe.Blow), April 18, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ