World Bank has Trouble : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The world bank is having problems with their computers. Employees aren't being paid on a timely basis. Y2k isn't mentioned, but you can be sure this is a compliant system. "We don't foresee any problems" we're always told.

World Bank.

-- Larry (, August 10, 1999


So much for the "we'll just do it manually" argument. These guys only have to cut 200-900 checks (depending on who you believe) and they still can't manage to do it manually.

Btw, this is yet another SAP system that's having 'teething' problems.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), August 10, 1999.

Noteworthy. At this point, with employment easy to get, if you go without 1 paycheck, and there are others in same boat, switch employers!

-- oo (oo@oo.oo), August 10, 1999.

Employment is easy to get in Iowa only if you want to take $8/hr. There are very few jobs for computer consultants - I should know I have been out of work for a month now and no real prospects. I am going to have to go out of state and hope I can get home if things go to hell.

-- Beckie (, August 10, 1999.

Number of employees at the World Bank run more along the lines of 6,000 odd.

-- Lurker (lurking@y', August 10, 1999.

Subject:Y2K "fix" has World Bank in a tizzy.
Author:cory hamasaki <>
  Posting History Post 

Here's something that most of the "Y2K" news sources will miss because the story doesn't include the keyword, "Y2K". 
Watch, within a few hours, they'll all pick it up because I'm posting it to c.s.y2k, your best spot on the net for Y2K news.
I've clipped in enough that you get the gist, head over to and search for "world bank" to get the
full text.
When you're done come back here or got to the DC-Y2K-WRP listserv for more discussion.  You might want to hit the BPJJ Chatroom too.  The link to the chat and to the listserv is at html
World Bank Computer Problems Leave Some Employees Unpaid
By Paul Blustein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 10, 1999; Page E01
The problem, which arose from the installation of a new and
ostensibly more efficient computer software system, has frayed nerves at the bank, a giant international bureaucracy that is one of
Washington's biggest employers after the federal and district
<Banks get it.>
"It's crazy," said Gwendolyn Alexander, a 23-year-old graduate student who went 9 1/2 weeks before getting her first paycheck last Friday and is still owed more than a month's pay.
<No problems at Banks.>
"On July 14, we cut over 65 different systems into one system, and we have deployed this both in Washington and in 120 locations
worldwide," Muhsin said. "In the last three weeks, we have processed 22,000 payments to staff on time."
<They'll fix all problems in, oh, 2 or 3 hours.  July 14 to August 10, I make that a long 3 hours.>
But the affected employees, who estimate that they may number as many as 900 (the bank puts the figure at about 200) say they've been hearing promises for weeks that the problem was about to be fixed.
<200? 900? What's a few hundred employees when you're having fun.  Hah, I'll just flip a hanky with my hand.>
.. Wolfensohn has wanted to modernize
and streamline the bank's fragmented computer systems, and the bank chose SAP AG, a fast-growing German firm known for its
<OOPSIE! There's that magic, fix-all product SAP!  Yes, SAP will save the day, unless it doesn't.>
Short-term consultants were told in April and May, Choudhury said, that they might want to apply for advances in the summer because there would be about a month's hiatus--from mid-June to
mid-July--during which the old system would be shut down and the new system wouldn't yet be operational.
But some consultants who have gone without pay said they weren't aware of that--and some, who started in June, were never told.
<April, May, June, July, August.  That's about 130 days.  Hmmmm, 143 days to go until midnight December 31, 1999.  Anyone else getting the picture.  Everything's fine!  Wait, they told the people in April that there might be a problem.  This means they knew in April.  Why didn't they fix it in, oh, 2 or 3 hours? >
End fair use doctrine quotes.  See the Post for the full story, and come back here or visit the free listserv and let's figure out what's really going on. 
Based on this, I strongly recommend that everyone take at least a few weeks to a couple months worth of pocket money out of the bank.  I'm not saying draw out 40 grand or your entire savings (although others are welcome to make that case.)  I'm talking about walking-around money, snacks, donuts, emergency dental work for your kid, a new battery for your car, normal, daily expenses.
Your mortgage, utilities, credit card bills can be paid by check even if the checking system is hosed.  Clearing the checks isn't your problem.
However, if you've got a flat tire and the man wants a hundred bucks cash for a new one, you want to be able to say, "Two fifties, OK?"
And when you've got the new Michelin on your Biscayne, you want to say, "Thanks pal, the tire looks real nice, I'll see you around."
My point is that weird stuff is already happening.  If you have the cash to make the deal work, that's much better than getting in a tizzy because some service provider can't get authorization from your credit card people (no slam on you, Arnold, it might the phone system, the FRAME RELAY service at MCI-Worldcom, or the power company.)
cory hamasaki ent.html
This will be in the next WRP too. 

-- a (a@a.a), August 10, 1999.

Let's hope we see some triage in payroll systems. It's real easy to cut paychecks manually:
A Salaried person making, say $1000 per week. Cut a check for $1000.
An hourly person making, say $10/hr and working 38 hours. Cut a check for $380.

Simple -- no tax withholding tables. No HMO scam deductions. Etc.

-- A (, August 10, 1999.

Oh Cory - you're so pessimistic.

Clinton said it would be alright. Everything is fixed.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, August 10, 1999.

MCI troubles made ATMs go out all over the world today.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 10, 1999.

Did I read that article correctly?

65 of those old, legacy systems replaces by SAP?

But nah, SAP isn't having any effect on the Y2k problem.

-- Hoffmeister (, August 10, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ