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Y2K bug ruining 1999's Eve plans
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Ernesto Duarte dreamed up glorious plans for the millennium. He hoped to jet to Spain with his wife and two children, ages 5 and 8.
"I figured my kids were old enough to enjoy something special and momentous like this," Duarte said. Although he is in law enforcement, he did not think all 250 troopers in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties would be on call that week. He should have.
-- Online2Much (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 1999
oops...forgot the last line....
This month, FHP announced it will go into Alpha-Romeo or "riot" mode, which means everybody is working and all vacations or days off are canceled.
-- Online2Much (email@example.com), June 02, 1999.
Thanks for the heads up. Interesting. Its always local isnt it?
[Fair Use: For Educational/Resaerch Purposes Only]
Y2K bug ruining 1999's Eve plans
By LUISA YANEZ Miami Bureau Web-posted: 7:48 p.m. May 31, 1999
A new millennium comes around only once in a, well, millennium. So everybody has smashing New Year's Eve plans, right? Parties galore. Exotic trips. Romantic interludes.
Smashed might be more like it.
Worried the Y2K bug could rain more havoc than the seven deadly plagues, employers and government agencies are turning into party poopers. They're asking employees to be on riot alert, to check in, to stand by, to stay sober, to come to work on -- of all nights -- New Year's Eve.
Take Miguel Santana, who works at La Esperanza supermarket in Little Havana. Instead of going to a big bash, he'll be sleeping on a cot in the back of the store. "My boss thinks the world is coming to an end and everybody will be looting," Santana said.
Blame it on bug panic.
Nobody knows exactly what the techno superduper computers, programmed to register years only by the last two digits, will do when 1999 rolls into 2000.
Will it suddenly be 1900 again?
Most of the doom-and-gloom prophesies -- planes falling out of the sky, banks swallowing fortunes, electricity blinking out and satellites going kaput -- are considered unlikely. Most computer- reliant companies and organizations have been working for years to correct the dating glitch.
"We are taking care of all known problems. The question is, What are the unknowns?"said Jim Sheehan, executive director of data-management services for Palm Beach County schools. Sheehan said key people will be calling in to make sure all systems are go -- student scheduling, finance and payroll. If not, somebody will have to come in and fix them.
That's the deal with most computer-related jobs.
Billy Mughal of Dataforce Corp., a computer-consulting firm in Miami working with Y2K issues, is putting the biggest party of his life on hold, much to his fiancie's chagrin. Mughal and his intended, both British natives, had planned to marry and honeymoon in England over the Christmas vacation.
Not any more. As the new year rings in, Mughal expects to be tied to his cell phone, or biting his fingernails at a client's office.
"We're still planning to do the deed, so to speak," he said. But the honeymoon is canceled and his fiancie is not pleased. "She's not a techie, so she doesn't understand."
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Ernesto Duarte dreamed up glorious plans for the millennium. He hoped to jet to Spain with his wife and two children, ages 5 and 8. "I figured my kids were old enough to enjoy something special and momentous like this," Duarte said. Although he is in law enforcement, he did not think all 250 troopers in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties would be on call that week. He should have.
This month, FHP announced it will go into Alpha-Romeo or "riot" mode, which means everybody is working and all vacations or days off are canceled. For many companies, vacation time is off-limits in December. Key computer personnel and technical workers will be on-site or on call. Many executives will be on alert. Some companies are even planning New Year's Eve parties at nearby hotels so critical employees can respond quickly.
Scott Wyman, a spokesman for Illinois-based Motorola Corp., which has offices in West Palm Beach and Miami Beach, already is changing his New Year's plans. "I always spend New Year's Eve in Naples, where my parents have a place, but not this year," he said. "I'll be close to home that day, on call." Motorola just canceled most year-end vacations, even for employees with non-critical jobs. And memos will soon be going out to those who will welcome the millennium at their desks.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office just restricted leave order for its 3,400 employees. At Broward schools, word is about to go out that an employee from each of the county's 200 schools will have to inspect their buildings New Year's Day to make sure the school is functional. School begins on Jan. 3.
"I'm sure this won't sit well with some people's plans. But someone is going to have to work that weekend," said Dennis Moquin, a support- services administrator for the school system. "It will probably be me," said Carol Switzer, the principal's secretary at Hollywood Hills High School. "I'd love to be standing next to the Eiffel Tower or at Times Square, but I'll probably be here, at work."
At Florida Power & Light, the utility is trying to determine how many of its 10,000 employees in South Florida will work. Electric utilities across the country are staffing up enough to run their systems manually, if need be, on New Year's Eve.
"We are ready for the millennium, but we're evaluating what kind of staffing we will need," said spokeswoman Janice Brady. Ditto for Southern Bell, area hospitals and hotels, even grocery stores.
There is a bright side for some employees stuck working, at least for Santana. Sitting on his cot at the supermarket, making sure the world doesn't end, he'll be earning triple time.
"At least I'll start the new year rich," he said.
Orlando Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett contributed to this report. Luisa Yanez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 305-810-5007.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), June 02, 1999.
Triple time -- gonna keep that in mind! *taking flight of pleasant fantasy* ... mebbe 2000'll be a bump in the road that boomps us up to higher earnings, all dem ppl going manual, need workers, big economic boom, great times, overtime galore ... ya ya sounds good ...
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 1999.