Sighting, Local bank : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Local sighting, a bank we use for business.

(NOTE: This sighting is of CONTINGENCY planning, not failures)

Head teller comes in to do business with me.. I am told she is to attend training today on 'manual settlement' as in without help from the puters. She is just thrilled by this (not). Also says to me "you don't want to come in the bank next Monday". "Why?" I ask. "Because we are doing the day without computers, just to see if the tellers can work without electricity". Once again, she is THRILLED (NOT!!)

I spoke with Bank manager (another customer of mine). After speaking of business, I asked whats up with the computers next Monday? I was told "Nothing that I know, why, what have you heard?"

I think the head teller is being truthful, and the manager is restricted from discussing the situation. There is a very real security risk in running the bank that day. Hint: If we lose power, I see this bank lock doors and draw shades within 10 seconds. This much is visible from my front door. I have literally seen the teller RUN to lock the door.

Discussing with head teller.... I asked how do they ID people with checks to cash (they have no signature cards anymore, nor customer files at the branch). I was told "You only cash checks for people you KNOW, everyone else has to go someplace else."

This is a local bank that was just merged with TWO other banks. I am guessing several dozens of branches in several states.

-- Art Welling (, December 08, 1999


Great! What is the bank name? Which branch?


-- Tim the Y2K nut (, December 08, 1999.

*I'M * a troll???


You aint been around very long here, have ya?

-- Art Welling (, December 08, 1999.


Art Welling is the author of the original now-much-circulated piece which asked the now-much-asked question: "Are you prepared to be wrong?".

He's not a troll. Not even remotely.

Art -- sounds like your bank is a lot further along than most.

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 08, 1999.

Art Welling is no troll, just as I am no superhero.

-- Spidey (free@last.Amen), December 08, 1999.

Well, I'm sure that's just dandy for your ego and all, but please name the bank.

-- Servant (, December 08, 1999.

In April of 1998, I walked into my local savings and loan at opening time to hear the tellers nattering about the all-branch Y2K meeting they had just attended. Their computer system was OK they said (brand new), but worries were about power, phone and the media causing panic.

Not to worry about the media I said, they are going to anesthetize everybody to the problem.

Oh, good they said. And I should't worry, because in December 99 they would be printing out hard copy of all accounts and be prepared to operate by hand if they had to.

By hand is really the only contingency plan there has ever been, even if it seems unrealistic. And April 1998 in retrospect was extremely early for banks to be "getting it" The other banks we used in our business had managers TOTALLY IN THE DARK about Y2K at that time.

Since then, I have slowly been doing more business with this bank and by the end of next week, any cash I have remaining inside the banking system will be totally with these guys. (I hope there is still enough of an economy left that I can write checks to send to far away places for things I may need---cash just doesn't cut it in all instances)

They are close to my home, small (5 branches) and not owned by some huge corporate structure somewhere else on the planet that may suck assets dry, and their Y2K attitude was serious. Oh, and they sponsored a community Y2K meeting in the spring of 99 (or was it the fall of 98) that was attended by phone, power etc representatives. I appreciated the effort, even if most of the reassurances given seemed PR driven and it was interesting to see that the vast majority of the audience didn't get it.

The name of this forward looking institution:

First Federal Savings and Loan, headquarted in McMinnville, Oregon. Branches in Newberg, Carlton, Sheridan and maybe 1 or 2 other small burgs.

-- JIT (, December 08, 1999.

Want the name of the bank? No problem. Write yourself a note, and post that question here in the forum next Tuesday with MY name in the title so I notice it. I will then give you the name and location of the bank.

If the bank manager thinks the security risk is big enough to lie to me, and the head teller is happy they are to have an armed guard on duty for this 'test', then I am certainly NOT going to give out their location till after the test day. This bank has been robbed at gunpoint three times in the last two years. They do get.. touchy.... about security.

BTW... I told the teller I was going to come over for change just so I could watch the fun, she threatened to throw a roll a quarters at me if I laughed at the confusion.

-- Art Welling (, December 08, 1999.

The other day, I was in my bank and I was reading their "We're Ready For Y2K" posters when I glanced over the counter and I noticed that MY BANK IS STILL RUNNING ON WINDOWS 3.01!!!

-- Clyde (, December 08, 1999.

No Atlanta branch bank has backup power, replacemetn for telephones, no alternative if satellites are out, no alternatives if water or heat goes out.....

Don't know about central processor - it might have backup power - but I know that any power outage locally trips off ATM's, check machines at grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, department stores, etc.

Local branch managers have told me they are going to shutdown (can't open vault, have no lights in vault, can't process accounts, etc.) if power/lights/telephones go out. They can only use the cash that is out (on hand in drawers) and available.

Just a warning.....

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, December 08, 1999.

Some Y2K definitions:

1) READY = "We have legal pads, solar calculators, and all these pencils..."

2) COMPLIANT = V. An imaginary state of being. An elusive condition which, like honest government, is often spoken of but never achieved.

-- Powder (, December 08, 1999.

One possible explanation. I used to work directly with banks and they all had an occasional day set aside for "manual settlement". Usually once a month. And this was years ago- pre Y2K. Just a possibility.

-- (, December 08, 1999.


Nope, not this case. She is going today to learn HOW to do a manual settlement, and she is the head teller. Normally when they have something goofy to do they have a roving troubleshooter stop by and do it.

How do I know? Just about every employee at this branch is a customer of mine and we all gab. The roving lady also schedules with me when she is going to be at this branch.

No... the head teller said it was all because of Y2K and they are trying to see IF they can work without power if need be.

-- Art Welling (, December 08, 1999.

I lived in San Francisco for many years. I recall a bank in Chinatown that had an abacus built into the counter. I thought it very sad when they replaced it with a new, modern, abacus-less upgrade. Who knows, maybe someday in the future...

-- do you folks even know what (, December 08, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

"We have no proof that you have money in our bank"

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 08, 1999.

Hey, Art, You big furry old troll! ROTFLMO on that one! Whew! First good laugh I've had in days.

Seriously though, Art, a great big, heartfelt THANK YOU. Your article "What Keeps A Non-Geek Awake At Night," from Cory's old WRP's, was one of my real GI experiences. Due in large part to you, we at least have a fighting chance now. I'm sure your words have helped many others as well. You are truely an American Hero. Your service has helped many, nameless and faceless to you.

My small hometown bank has installed a 60 kW generator, and are taking a strong defensive posture. I'm still not leaving much 'in the bank', as I believe they are still very vulnerable to many outside risk factors. But I do believe they will survive in some form. I know the owner, and he's told me that, among other things, he has an extra 500 gollons of diesel for that generator at his house. GI Banker.

One more time, Art, THYANK YOU; this time from my two and three year-old sons.

Godspeed The Big Furry Troll

-- Pinkrock (, December 08, 1999.

Workin' with no power! Ha ha ha ha ha, but it's just an excercise for fun and games. No sweat, can't happen. "We don't expect it to happen, BUT, just in case, BUT, just in case, BUT, just in FRIGGING CASE, we're going balls to the freaking walls next Monday without computational devices."

-- paul leblanc (, December 08, 1999.

i worked security in a bank in westminister,cal. it was a veitnamese bank in "little saigon" they abacus in the bank that customers could use to figure out their math problems with.

-- me (, December 08, 1999.

Hey Art,

Do you like to trollwrestle?

OT - Today I picked up a sack of rabbit pellets at a pet emporium. My piddling little check inspired the checkstand computer to respond 'bank not approved'. I've never seen such a thing, and knew the account was flush. The checker handed me a little printed slip and said 'we have a new scan system, call this number and maybe they can tell you what happened.' { I paid in cash }.

I haven't had time yet to call, but I did pop into the local branch of my bank and the manager scratched her head and said the problem was not on their end. Has anyone else had something like this happen?

-- flora (***@__._), December 08, 1999.

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