Help -I need questions : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I need questions. Heres the scernio: DH has one single window of opportunity on September 27 to speak face to face with the owner of the company, who will be in town. Mr. Boss lives in Belgium where the company is based. He is not a computer person  still writes his faxes in long hand. His directors,both in France and Belgium have ignored the ramifications of y2k and will only respond to Dhs queries with  "oh, no problem will be fine." To the questions about vendors, especially the Italian one, the answer is the same. Dh has asked me to come up with pointed questions, knowing full well Mr. Boss will respond with predictable arrogance  "I have been assured  no problems" and his usual "Why are you so negative!"

I need your best questions  I have come up with as many as I could, but being my own devils advocate I can hear the responses of denial and it freezes me.

If you were the American VP of a European based company and you wanted to imbed grains of sand into the machinery of denial so that someone will have to at least stop and look at the problem  what would you ask?

-- April (, September 19, 1999


Depends on your companies survival needs, I think-so analyzing the failure points and kicking around the things that could motally wound you woul give you the questions. So would knowing the absolutes and the bottons that the PTB respond to. Do you make product? Then what do you do if the product cant be supplied? Watch the actions of the informed segment of your competition-see how they have prepositioned themselves, and what impact that might have on you. If there are 10 world suppliers of Widgets, and your supplier might not make it, telling info might be seen if the competition has recently changed their suppliers, horded stock, etc. Especially if it cost them to do it. Reports on that may make more sense to the company leaders than speculations will. Work force? How can you ensure they will come in if theres disruptions? Do you have plans in place to assist them if needed? if they have to stay home to take care of the kids cause schools are closed, etc, how will the company run? what contingencies could address this? How will you deal with no show employees? Find out where their heads are, find the buttons that motivate them. They may even consider failure an option if their personal umbrellas are large enough. If thats the case, then there really is little you could do.

-- LauraA (, September 19, 1999.


Rather than going for the 'technological' arguments, the one I find that tends to scare them witless is the fact that the insurance companies will NOT cover Y2K as it is a 'forseeable event'.

Just tell them that there will be no cover for ANY Y2K related events (Look at GTE, they are suing their insurance company, knowing full well that they cannot be sued while their action is in court !!!)

Just get a few insurance policies together for backup (Travel ones are the best as they categorically state Go away !!)

Hope this helps

-- Rob Somerville (, September 19, 1999.

Rob Good call!


DH or yourself may want to check out the following links to the respective corps SEC filings and look at the Y2K disclosure in each. These are the best I have seen and show a massive mobilization of resources towards the problem. Motorola and Lehmans are better than Citigroup, they are included because of the money spent. Close to a Billion $$.

This is something that might just turn business folks heads, other businesses.

Unfortunately you didn't mention the type of business your DH is in. That would help big time.


MOTOROLA INC - Quarterly Report (SEC form 10-Q) 


-- Brian (, September 19, 1999.

Great responses - I hadn't thought about the employee no show issue and the "what are the other guys doing" approach. The insurance thing is another great angle. Many thanks.

Uh, anyone else? - Like prep supplies - I don't think I can have too many questions. LOL

-- April (, September 19, 1999.

Brian - Dh business is large machine manufacturer - clients include AT& T, BellSouth, Lucent etc...etc. Shipping could be one of the biggest problems - it often is on a good day!

I really do appreciate the imput.

-- April (, September 19, 1999.

Brian - reading through the Motorola Quarterly report this stood out


The Company has and will continue to devote substantial resources to address its Year 2000 issues. However, there can be no assurances that the Company's products do not contain undetected Year 2000 issues. Further, there can be no assurances that the Company's assessment of suppliers and vendors will be accurate. Customers of Motorola could be impacted by Year 2000 issues causing them to reduce purchases from the Company. In addition, many commentators believe that there will be a significant amount of litigation arising out of "year 2000 readiness" issues, especially for product liability. Because of the unprecedented nature of this litigation, it is impossible for the Company to predict the impact of such litigation although it could be significant to the Company.

In addition to the unique reasonably likely worst case scenarios described by the specific businesses and potential litigation, the Company believes its scenarios include: (i) corruption of data contained in the Company's internal information systems; (ii) hardware failures; (iii) the failure of infrastructure services provided by government agencies and other third-party suppliers (including energy, water, and transport); and (iv) health, environmental and safety issues relating to its facilities. If any of these were to occur, the Company' operations could be interrupted, in some cases for a sustained period of time. These interruptions could be more severe in countries outside the U.S., where the Company does sizeable business.

The Company's contingency plans focus on customers, products, supplies and internal operations. Each sector is establishing emergency operations centers at key locations. These centers will be staffed ahead of the Year 2000 rollover and well into the Year 2000. During critical times they will be staffed 24-hours a day. The first priority of these centers is to ensure the performance of a customer's network or system.

Critical facilities have been identified and the Company's plans prioritize their continued operations. These sites will be supported by generators capable of maintaining health, safety, communications and environmental operations if locally provided power sources fail. These sites will have a number of means of communicating including Intranet, pagers, cellular phones, and satellite phones.

The businesses are identifying key individuals in a variety of functions to be on-site at the Company's facilities to monitor the rollover to the Year 2000. Additionally, the Company is establishing rapid response teams that can be sent to major customer locations when and if needed in connection with the rollover. There are also plans to shift operations to different facilities if there are interruptions to operations in particular areas, countries or regions.

The plans also include procedures to maintain and recover business operations such as stockpiling critical supplies, identifying alternate supply sources, inspecting critical functions, reporting operational status, communicating with interdependent operations, and operating in contingency mode until a return to normal.

The sectors and groups continue to perform various tests, including on manufacturing production lines and internal networks. Each business will also be testing its contingency plans during the third quarter of 1999. In addition, the Company has planned a test of its overall contingency plans for the third quarter of 1999.

-- April (, September 19, 1999.

read "Atlas Shrugged";

look at the calendar

been there, done...


-- Perry Arnett (, September 19, 1999.


Might a fact sheet work with some information, say, from the State Deparment here, and Congressman Horn's report card? Is there a secretary assistant type person who might serve as an intermediary on the trip who would know how to present facts to the boss?

-- Mara Wayne (, September 19, 1999.


I agree with Mara. Back when I actually had decisions to make, I required all substancial proposals to be accompanied by a fact sheet outlining the idea. I am not an auditory learner. I like to see things written down, concisely as possible, and with a bottom line.

And the best defence is often a good offence. Don't ask the man questions. Tell how it could be for the company. When HE begins asking questions, I bet he gets some answers. Give it to him straight, and then hand him a fact sheet with references to back it up.

-- Lon Frank (, September 19, 1999.

I'm typing as fast as I can. :)

-- April (, September 19, 1999.

April, here's the URL for the French version Belgian government site (there's a Dutch version too):

If neither you nor your husband speak French, you could use one of the translation thingies--I'm sure someone has a link. There may be something at that site you could use.

The British Government's Action 2000 offers a short summary on Belgium's status:


Forum Millesime 2000 was created in December 1997 by the government to oversee Belgian Y2K work. It consists of representatives of Federal and Regional governments, business and NGO's. Website:

Telecomms - Belgacom has published information on its website . This states "all planned inventories, analyses and assessment have been finalised and trial runs completed". It adds that "integration tests will be finished over the next few weeks" (The date of the information is 21st May). Belgacom has also published a list of its products and services, indicating Y2K status (available at . Belgacom states that it will be carrying out interconnection tests with other operators in Belgium in June. International tests have already taken place with Luxembourg. Tests with Tele Danmark and Singapore Telecom are scheduled for September. The site also says that contingency plans will be finalised by end Q3 1999.

-- Old Git (, September 19, 1999.

Thanks Old Git. Dh can ask his tech to interpret the French. Are you English?

-- April (, September 19, 1999.


Glad to be of some assistance. Another angle maybe to discuss the Russian situation, particularly the fact that Europe gets alot of its Gas and Oil from them. Unfortunately I am going to the beach :o) so URLs will have to wait.

-- Brian (, September 19, 1999.

oh - the beach - *wistful sigh*. I have the url if that is one.

-- April (, September 19, 1999.

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