Members of Y2K remediation team not preparing : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hi Folks

What do you make of this?

I work in a team of Y2K remediators, about 30 people. So far as I'm aware I'm the only one making any attempt at preparedness. I've asked several of them what they're doing, a few say things along the lines of "I'll buy some supplies later, maybe early December" but I don't think they really will. Most just aren't doing anything.

These people are mostly *very* competent long term mainframe contract programmers. They've been around, they've seen the industry's track record regarding delivering on time, they see the real problems in the code every day, but still they're unconcerned.

Late last year and early this year I tried to raise the need for preparation but it fell on deaf ears, I gave several who expressed an interest plans for a solar cooker, they took the plans but nobody's actually gone to the effort to make one.

When a new supermarket opened opposite our office, with opening specials of baked beans and canned soup at less than half price they saw me bringing *cartons* of the stuff back at lunch time but did they do the same? No Way! When I spread the word on $2.95 oil lamps nobody bought one (I bought 6, and I already had several)

My point here, FWIW, is that these people are just the ones who ought to be doing something, they're working on the problem, they all make good money, they should be GI's but they're not.

Why not?

Could it be because we, as an organisation, are pretty much on target? Do they extrapolate this to mean that because we're okay everybody else will be?

Many seem to appreciate the risks in an abstract sort of way, nobody wants to go to Sydney for the big night for example, "too risky" they say, but they can't seem to see the risks at a personal level.

I guess the pollies will think that this is a good sign, "people in the know aren't doing anything so it must be okay", maybe that's even true. I'm a bit mystified. Am I the crazy one?


-- Ron Davis (, July 28, 1999


To recent answers, I might just catch a few of you before you go to bed!


-- Ron Davis (, July 28, 1999.


I'm not one who shares your profession so I can only answer based upon my own assumptions, speculation, and life experience.

One of the best lessons a designer can learn early on is to step back and look at a design from a distance. If necessary, it may even be better to leave the room for a while and then come back to view the problem with fresh eyes. The point being that sometimes when we get too close to the job our vision is skewed.

I applaud the efforts of those remediating at such a fierce pace. However, as your post illustrates, by working in such a focused, diligent manner sometimes vision becomes myopic which makes seeing the problem as a whole difficult if not impossible.

I go through days where I think I'm crazy for being a "5-7" but every time I get a glimpse of the larger picture I consider myself lucky that I can still hold on to hope.



-- Michael Taylor (, July 28, 1999.


Two points. First, just because a person knows how to remediate a particular computer system doesn't automatically mean that person understands the complexity and interconnectedness of the world's trade and commerce. The second point to remember is that a person doesn't need to believe that significant Y2K disruptions are likely to realize that being prepared for possible disruptions (Y2K or otherwise) is prudent.

It's like buying insurance. This quote says it a lot better than I can...


Life is filled with risk and surprising outcomes. That is why we pay insurance premiums to cover improbable, but not impossible surprises that can damage our health, homes, cars, and businesses. Every such situation requires a personal assessment. Should your car insurance include a collision rider? If not, you can reduce your current out-of- pocket expense. How risk averse are you?

Right now, people are attempting to assess Y2K risk.


-- Linkmeister (, July 28, 1999.

I'm a senior software engineer (NT WINxx Unix)..

I don't know why it's so hard to talk with co-workers. I talked to a close friend about it. He laughed at the fact I was planting fruit trees. He has several bare acres..

I think it has to do with BEING AT WORK. People are not really open to talk about home preparations wether they are making them or not. The last thing a professional wants to do is give personal information that might be used against them (get labeled as a Y2K kook).

I think this thing will be a 2 or 3, but I could be wrong. I accept that. So I prepare, and I encourage others to prepare.

-- Bryce (, July 28, 1999.

I am an Australian network engineer, experienced with Novell and NT. I quit my job in Sydney in August last year to prepare for my family in the boonies of southern Queensland state, where land is cheap but poor quality. At work in the city only one other person in the whole IT department (large insurance company) would even consider that Y2K could be a possible disaster. The rest were worried about their hangovers from the night before, or whether they might get laid next Friday night at the pub (bar). I am expecting a 10, but then I have always been a pessimist.

-- David Harvey (, July 28, 1999.

"I work in a team of Y2K remediators, about 30 people. So far as I'm aware I'm the only one making any attempt at preparedness...Am I the crazy one?"

Isn't that self evident?

People who want to survive Y2K should be prepared to kill. Otherwise, they may as well prepare to die. -- (its@coming.soon), July 27, 1999.

-- Y2K Pro (, July 28, 1999.

Could it be the old saying,,,,,We are fine everybody else is screwed? These people can not figure out, to other people, THEY are everybody else!

-- FLAME AWAY (, July 28, 1999.

Denial is an amazing defense mechanism, take a close look at it, how quickly it steps in when we just even begin to "think the unthinkable." We all use defense mechanisms to filter out those things that come to our attention. Some things "hurt our heads" , so we don't think about them.

-- Henry Edward Nietopski (, July 28, 1999.

Do not forget about the possibility they have prepared and recognized the danger in letting others know.

-- living in (, July 28, 1999.

The dance band on the Titanic!

-- Bill (, July 28, 1999.

The only thing self-evident Pro, is that you're a moron. The reason people don't get it is because they CAN'T think the problem through. And they can't think it through because they've never been taught to do so. They don't have the skills. Someone like Pro, I doubt, could develop more than a couple of original thoughts in the space of a few days. Understanding an issue is a lot more difficult than we realize, but practice makes perfect. I hope you're a breatharian Pro. Enjoy!


-- DOWNtheROAD (, July 28, 1999.

Ron, It's limited picture thinking. Because we're here putting it all together and looking at a combination of the facts, we tend to get it and be reminded of it. Your buddies are just looking at the job in front of them. Either you will remediate or you won't--limited impact. But, of course, everything else will be fixed (in their minds).

-- Mara Wayne (, July 28, 1999.

Hi Ron:

We have only to look to human nature in crisis situations to find an answer: even those who live in areas where earthquakes/hurricanes/tornados are REGULAR events will be mostly unprepared.

Why? Well, that is the question....the one for which we have no answer. Some people seem to be constitutionally unable to comprehend or prepare for possible difficulties. And, there is no way to cause them to understand the risks in advance of the physical problem.

Alas! Because of that facet of human nature, the problems get compounded....

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, July 28, 1999.

The majority aren't preparing because the majority doesn't think anything is going to happen. Plain and simple. Nothing will change their minds, they are the ones that will take the 50% chance that nothing is going to happen. Government needs to sh*t or get off the pot.

-- ~~~~ (, July 28, 1999.

Even y2k organizers I know from a multi-county area have trouble getting to their preps. At the last big meeting I went to, in July, several people were only around the 30-40% finished range. The newbies who came generally were in the 0-10% range. One person showed up with a neat flashlight, solar rechargeable, sold the whole box then and there, and a couple of people remarked that now they were a lot more prepared!

A lot of people are prepared to a certain point : usually some food, a flashlight, other lighting. The last things people get to are water and waste disposal.

We went to see Meg Wheatley in April, and at that time virtually noone of all the GIs and organizers had done a practice day. With summer here, a lot of people are gardening, canning, camping, shooting, etc., but it bothers me how few do actual practicing at home .

I find myself hoping my nice comfortable lifestyle won't change, and would bet that most people would prefer not to disaccommodate themselves unless they have to. There is such a weight of seemingly important or fun things to do... who wants to interrupt our pleasant diversions for only a possible future reality? At first the new GI can push himself on the fear and anger and other emotions to prepare. For older GIs the fear wears off, dailyness creeps back in, some things seem too much to accomplish. Once you have allyour own preps, then the thornier questions of actually making friends with the stand-offish neighbors, or dealing with our own depression or lack of connection to God and other such larger realities come up to grind away at us.

Been there, still doing that.

-- seraphima (, July 28, 1999.

Ron, no one at my office in the IT division, or other programmers I know, are concerned at all about the Y2K problem. One the other hand, business analysts like myself, or those at work who have both a programming backround AND have worked in non-IT aspects of business, are quite concerned.

This is because many computer geek types (no offense) are very focused individuals, and like others (some MD's, scientists) have devoted so much time to thier skills that they have a limited knowledge of how the free market works.

My friend is a well-paid software developer. When I told him his pharmaceutical company was not compliant if it can't get needed overseas imports, he just kept insisting that that wasn't the way his department defined compliance. His company is compliant. Why? Because HIS software is 2000 ready. He simply can't grasp that businesses are interconnected. When I told him there was a possibility of gas shortages, his answer was "Well, those underground tanks at gas stations are big. I mean, they're REALLY BIG. They have months of gas."

-- Retroman (, July 28, 1999.

I concur with living in (

>Do not forget about the possibility they have prepared and recognized the danger in letting others know.

-- No Spam Please (, July 28, 1999.

You know, every technical person I've talked to who says everything will be OK has NOT done any research on the subject. They just read a paragraph or two from some press release and assume all is well.

It's amazing to watch the transformation as I give them URLs and articles to back up our 'discussions'. To a man, once these DGI folks started really researching how far along/behind everyone is, they started preparing BIG TIME.

Btw, I blame Ziff-Davis for much of this. They own MANY of the top PC publications and websites and they are very, very popular with the IT crowd. They are also distinctly polly in their reporting.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), July 28, 1999.

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