An Employers Advice: "For Y2K, the best plans are no plans at all."greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Does anyone have an idea of why a Fortune Fifty defense contractor would advise its employees to "do nothing at all - from 9PM Friday, Dec 31, 1999 through 6AM Tuesday Jan 4, 2000"? Now we've already been treated to a long holiday weekend from Thursday evening through to Tuesday morning. Now there's this piece which applies to both work and home.
In this week's company paper, the Y2K update which in the past has detailed and urged two weeks' worth of preps, gave what sounds like a "hunker down and lay low" message: "We would like employees to plan no activity during this period. Since it won't be possible to suspend all business activity during that period, employees who must work on thos days are asked to contact _______ to discuss their requirements."
Kinda makes me wonder if one of the two American aerospace giants hasn't been taken over by doomers. And what kind of inside info do major defense companies get?
-- Wildweasel (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999
If your employer is a Fortune-50 company, then I assume it has offices in more than one location; indeed, probably more than one state, and perhaps more than one country.
Do you know whether this Y2K advice is being transmitted to employees in all locations?
-- Ed Yourdon (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
Well, the really interesting thing about this is that big companies are just now getting around to the awkward business of actually discussing Y2K with their employees. It's sort of like the awkwardness of parents explaining sex to their children: by the time they get around to it, the kids have found out through their own sources, and everyone squirms in embarrassment as the parents go through it.
There are lots policies that have to be decided by senior management, and blessed by the HR department, and then explained to the employees without scaring them to death -- and it's something that should have been done quite a while ago, so that employees could factor the information into their own personal planning process. But as of the beginning of October, most organizations had not yet gotten around to sending out the Y2K guidelines to their employees, even though Oct 1 was the date they had set for themselves. Sounds like your company has just done it, and I think we'll see a lot more of this going on in the next couple of weeks.
Has your company, for example, told you what you should do if the schools are closed and you're stuck with your kids at home? Are you allowed to bring them into work? If you have to stay home and take care of them, does it count as a "personal" day, or are you allowed to bring your work home with you? Similarly, what happens if the mayor or governor makes an announcement that citizens should stay home on Jan 4th except in cases of emergency? What happens if public transportation isn't working?
-- Ed Yourdon (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 23, 1999.
Hhhmmm, WW. Hibernation is our plan. Best not go near the crowds. TPTB keep warning "Terrorist." Think germs. Think sabotage. Think uncontrollable spread of deadly virus, undetected during first week. Think angry panicky furious mobs. Stay inside, shelter in place.
Who knows? Update when you learn more. Sounds interesting.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
My guess is that they just want to make damn sure that you are going to be back to work on Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. sharp. They realize that there are risks involved in leaving the country, even travelling within the states, or pretty much doing anything except staying home. We're going to be seeing more employees going AWOL that first week of January than ever before in history because they will have all kinds of good excuses. Boeing or Lockheed Martin or whoever your company is just wants to try to minimize this problem before people start getting ideas about an extended vacation.
-- @ (@@@.@), October 22, 1999.
Wildweasel -- whatta mission! be careful my friend. -m-
-- Michael Erskine (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
This info was transmitted to all facilities in our corporate business unit. This would be about fifteen states and cover three dozen or so locations.
I would assume that the company's other business units are saying similar things to their personnel. Although those operations which have personnel in overseas locations may be saying some additional things that are quite interesting.
For our unit, the major concern is how to communicate with everyone on whether it's necessary to come in Tuesday morning. Right now the leading candidates are smoke signals (if you can see smoke from the city burning, don't bother coming to work) and possibly convincing one or more of the local radio stations to run a list of business closings (or openings, whichever's easier) similar to school closings for snow storms. Whichever way, the phone system isn't part of the contingency plans.
-- Wildweasel (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
"Whichever way, the phone system isn't part of the contingency plans."
This is the element which cuts cleanly to the heart of the problem.
-- no talking please (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
my company also sent out their little y2k prep schpeal (sounds good but how do you speeeell it?). NO FLYING. NOWHERE. NO ONE. NO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL UNTIL IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE AREA TO WHICH YOU MUST TRAVEL IS OK. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN AN EXTRA DAY OFF (OUR PERSONAL HOLIDAY). WE GET OUR CHECKS 1 DAY EARLY. WHOOOOOOPIE. THERE GOES A WHOLE MONTH'S SALARY. BYE BYE.
-- tt (email@example.com), October 23, 1999.
What a difficult time believers/doomers are having right now. (I am a doomer). We 'know', based on everything we have heard and read - and a fair amount of common sense - what is about to happen over the coming months and years. We know that if Y2k was nothing to worry about then the current administration and the legions of pigs in Washington would be in front of the cameras daily attempting to convince the populace that it was all muchadoo about nothing. The fact that they have not and are not doing it is ample evidence that they are scared **itless.
Wall Street is busy wringing the last bit of $$ out of the expansion and profits from the last 2 quarters. Profits, and fat ones at that, will continue through the end of the 4th Q - continuing to confuse many small investors...."if things are going to be soooo bad, then how come things are sooo good".
No publicly traded company wants to be the first to admit that the 'emperor has no clothes', as they will suffer for it. (IBM this week)
No local or state pols want to 'go public' as they will be blasted by 70% of their constituents for it. Besides, those that are believers have the nagging sense of what would happen to their political career if they were wrong about this.... career over - and they know it. Hence, silence.
80% of the population doesn't spend time on the internet or read magazines or newspapers that deal with this issue honestly. The 20% that does is split 50-50. The 50% who believe nothing bad will occur do so because they cannot believe that they are being lied to daily in the mainstream press.
The thinking that allows doomers to recognize what is coming is definitely on a different dimension. One needs to understand economics, human nature and computer logic. One also needs to realize that just because everything has 'always' (in their lifetime) worked almost flawlessly, then it doesn't mean it will continue to do so forever. Believe it or not, that is a tough one for most people from age 65 on down and for many others that completely depend on the BIG TIT. My father who lives on Social Security will not even allow himself to think about "what if...". He cannot handle it. Besides, the gov't that produced FDR and the New Deal, and now supports him in his old age would NEVER allow IT to happen. NEVER.
I have had the privilege recently of meeting with and being interviewed by many members of the Washington and New York press for an unrelated business that deals with bio-chem terrorism. I discussed at length (over dinner and drinks) the Y2k problem. Every single one of them are not concerned about Y2k. They all believe (and I had separate discussions with all of them) that Y2k is a one week event at the most. They believe what they are being told by Clinton and others. Further, most are not even aware of the facts about other countries and their preparedness and what impact that will have on the overall economy. They are not aware of some of the troubling concerns that even Koskinen has spoken of. Not one I spoke with has any plans for personal preparedness. WHAT IF THE DOOMERS ARE RIGHT?, I asked. "They're not," was the reply across the board from all of them. Some even felt it is wrong for NBC to air their Y2k movie on November 21st. There is no conspiracy with the press, folks.....most just don't believe it. They believe what they're being fed. I don't know how many of you even know this, but the White House Press Corp are fed whatever the administration wants to feed them. They tell us exactly what they are given. If they push too hard, they are removed from the White House Detail. They have all learned this during the past seven years and do not rock the boat or print what has not been approved. The 'Monica Lewinsky' story was different. It was their one chance (like Watergate) to have a feeding frenzy. Once every administration.
Many of those doing the feeding are unaware as well. They just cannot think in that dimension. Others believe it an act tantamount to treason to discuss it in the terms that are discussed on this site. Still others are now in the denial stage - where all of us started from. When the day comes - and it is soon - that someone with credibility steps forward and points out what is around the corner, many reporters will then 'get it'.
Until then, keep preparing folks. Your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it!
-- Mark Miclette (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 23, 1999.