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Shoeless?

By Maggie Turner


December 27, 1999

Shoeless?

As much as I enjoy the festivities of the Christmas season it is always a relief to reach the days of lazy contemplation that follow. The planning and preparing are over for another year. The fear of forgetting something or someone has passed. There are books to read and leftovers to eat. When we tire of relaxing the tree lined streets lie waiting for pedestrian traffic.

I started checking out Y2K compliance issues on my computers about six months ago. They are ready, or as ready as I can make them. Today I have been wandering from machine to machine making sure I have not forgotten anything. Of course I had, human error is common at our house. It will be exciting to fire all of the computers up just after midnight on New Year's Eve to see if they actually do work. We have different versions of the Macintosh OS as well as Windows 95 and Windows 98, it will be interesting to see what works and what does not. If my efforts have been successful they should all start and function without a hitch.

Horseshoe Nail Sketch

Tomorrow Attila must either collect his allergy serum from the doctor's office where he receives his monthly shot or sign a waiver releasing liability. This has been the only evidence of Y2K preparation that we have experienced thus far. I am not really expecting any immediate problems. The preparedness of vital services has been under public scrutiny for quite a while now. My guess is that the retail industry will be somewhat disrupted. Thousands of little companies provide support for larger companies in various ways; some of these small companies are of vital importance to large companies. Many things depend on computers, many things can go wrong. What, when and where things go wrong will determine the impact of the problems that arise. I do not think there is any way to predict how this will unfold. I think that disruptions in production and distribution of goods and services will be resolved in due time, but that the consumer will be asked to bear any real or imagined cost of resolution.

So many times in my life I have been vulnerable to the decisions of management in large institutions and small. These people were seldom concerned about the impact of their decisions on individuals. The notable exception to this lack of concern occurred when the individual had public and visible recourse. I have no faith in the desire of management employees to do the right thing, or even the logical thing; their focus is career expediency. Resolving Y2K compliance issues in business and industry has been, for the most part, in the hands of management. Any reservations I have about what Y2K are related to my lack of faith in hired managers.

Benjamin Franklin ­ Poor Richard' Almanack

A little neglect may breed mischief:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.


 

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