Y2K glitch spilled into liquor stores

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"Our average citizen had not noticed," Zenk said. "Unfortunately, it created a big problem for us."


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), January 13, 2000


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

January 12, 2000

Y2K glitch spilled into liquor stores

Some had to close when rollover to 2000 confused state computer system

From staff and wire reports -

Maybe the Y2K bug actually averted a few headaches.

Liquor stores around the state closed briefly last week after the system that tracks the Liquor Control Board's sales, inventory and shipping started acting up.

The glitch appears to be the most severe problem among state computers related to the date change from 1999 to 2000.

In the Spokane area, three stores experienced problems, though all are now running smoothly.

Across the state, all of the glitches should be fixed by the end of the week, board spokeswoman Gigi Zenk said.

In the meantime, though, some liquor store clerks are recording sales by hand and taking inventory using pen and paper.

Last month, technicians noticed what they feared might be year 2000- related glitches in the 15-year-old computers that control most transactions at liquor retail outlets, Zenk said.

Technicians thought they had fixed the problems, but their corrections triggered computers to misread the date and erroneously close out sales for the end of the month.

As a result, 24 of the 157 state-run liquor stores had problems that caused them to close for periods as short as 15 minutes to as long a day on Jan. 3, 4 and 5, the first working days of the new year, Zenk said.

"Our average citizen had not noticed," Zenk said. "Unfortunately, it created a big problem for us."

"I just couldn't ring up a sale. You'd go to scan a bottle and it wouldn't ring up," said John Kevin, manager of the Five Mile Center store on North Ash.

Kevin closed the store for no more than 20 minutes. Then the system starting running well enough to do business again.

The Hillyard store on North Market closed for all of Jan. 4.

"It just wouldn't let us do our normal programs," store manager Danny White said. "We were waiting for the computer support people to call us. There were other stores in the area open, so people had a place to go."

The University City store on East Sprague also closed briefly on Jan. 5, Zenk said.

Most state agencies emerged unscathed by the Y2K bug, a problem in older computers that could have caused them to read the year 2000 as 1900.

Y2K monitors at the state's emergency operations center at Camp Murray reported few problems throughout the New Year's holiday weekend. The liquor store problem was not reported at the time because the computerized inventory system was not considered "mission critical," Zenk said. "We were not required to report to Camp Murray," she said.

To make sure more problems don't pop up, the agency plans to ask all 157 stores to run another computer program that will tie up at least one cash register at each store for about an hour.

Most managers plan to run the program either before or after store hours, Zenk said.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), January 13, 2000.

Why are these same items posted over and over? This was posted yesterday. Is it an attempt to convince us that it's really worse than it seems?

-- liu (lookitup@dictionary.com), January 13, 2000.

No, look, just you.

Thanks linkmeister =)

-- Cin (Cinlooo@aol.com), January 13, 2000.


This article is about Washington and liquor stores, but it's a different article on a different Web site. The other article, posted by Homer, is at this thread:

"Y2k still bugging state liquor stores (WA)"


There are several details in the article I posted that weren't in the other one, including the quote by Zenk that I think pretty well describes many of the Y2K glitches we've been seeing this month.

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), January 13, 2000.

I'd suggest posting a given item several times, as threads drop off, or people do not go back again. Also, changing the title can add some refreshing newness to a post.

-- I'mSo (happy@prepped.com), January 13, 2000.

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