Weird customer Y2K expereinces - anyone else seeing this? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

After years of many different Y2K projects, what we are starting to see now floors me. Anyone else experiencing this, got a reaction or recommendation?

Case 1. Had subject matter experts run an organization's Y2K project for the last year. Customer loves them, said they couldn't have made it without them. Says they want to extend the contract till the end of March 00. BUT, told them that if they can, they will terminate them by the 15th of Jan. These are real good guys. How do these idiots expect them to not find other employment fast. There is no slavery in North America.

Case 2. Customer asks if we can get technical staff to come onboard after Christmas. We are talking CICS programmers, systems programmers, Oracle internals guys - code heads. Then says, if they don't need them, they will terminate them the first week in Jan.

My opinion is that when the unknown problems hit, for fix on failure to have a chance, You got to have real good people, who are loyal to the organization, know the systems, and are comfortable about their future.

I can't imagine how we can get good people to take these organizations through the rollover by promising to fire them if they are successful.

-- ng (, August 27, 1999


Maybe it would be a good idea if programmers don't make anymore fixes. Let things go down. Then when asked to fix things in a crisis, ask for $100,000 up front. Business has this coming to them. We've given most of the world a good life with our skills, yet we work for no money. With y2k, most people have little respect for what's involved in fixing "just a date." People are ignorant. I still get scoffed for being concerned even as failures are beginning to occur right before our eyes. People are stupid. Let them die stupid. Sounds harsh, but I'm tired of the ignorance.

-- Larry (, August 27, 1999.

Those companies need to wake up and smell the coffee! If I were to go work for them it would be double the wage they were offering, and if I were to find other gainful employment, they get a 1-hour notice of my termination. No one is under any obligation to stay with an employer. You are paid to provide a service and when you can find greener pastures that's where you should go. Your company's only obligation to you is to pay you for your services and nothing more. Now, if they want to sign a 2-year contract for X amount of dollars, we'll talk. Otherwise KMA. Easy come easy go.

-- Easy Come Easy Go (, August 27, 1999.

Larry, you hit on why it will be worse here than overseas...with the so called "paternalistic" approach overseas, Seniority is rewarded...and because of that there ARE many people on the payroll who can operate the whole shebang manually, WITHOUT THE MANUAL!!!

The whole American Economy is on trial next year.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, August 27, 1999.

Maybe it would be a good idea if programmers don't make anymore fixes. Let things go down.

Maybe that's what they've been doing all along...

-- (uh@oh.spaghettio), August 27, 1999.

Seems weird to me that millions are being spent on "fixing" it and the "fixers" aren't getting any of the pie. Where is it all going? How exactly is a remedial budget divided up? Just wondering... :)April

-- April (, August 27, 1999.

The remedial budget probably has to cover little details like purchase of island for CEO or CIO, golden parachutes, generators, command bunkers, bulletproof vests, with a little left over for programmers salaries and pringles and coke for the New Years Eve forced labor camp.

-- Linda (, August 27, 1999.

Twits, the lot of 'em. Think they can buy commitment, rather than earning it. FOF will require behavior "above and beyond the call of duty", and thus must be prepared for. These execs are clueless about that.

Mitch Ratcliffe over at ZDNET notes in a recent column that heroic behavior, such as that seen during the rescues at Dunkirk, is what we should expect and can rely in in the event of Y2K failures. "The impossible can be achieved", quoth Mitch. I certainly agree, but only when the mission is clear and the stakes are life-and-death. We can expect heroism to save people's lives, not to save some exec's backside.

I suspect many a code-head's response to cries of "We messed up, we jerked you around, we lied about compliance, save us, save us!" will be:

"Downsize this."

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), August 27, 1999.

Yes, these company execs are very stupid to have such an attitude! To think that they can treat mainframe systems analysts like a bunch of slaves!

I say, let them call Manpower and try to hire a systems analyst or COBOL programmer temp in the last half of December or the first part of January, after all the systems are flaky and/or have crashed. They will get to witness the utter implosion of their companies, first hand.

It's natural selection. The stupid die.

-- (, August 27, 1999.

I'm a COBOL IMS DB/DC programmer analyst working on a VERY LARGE mission critical system in the financial services industry.

First, I have been and continue to be paid, but it's been a lot more like "business as usual" rather than "big bucks bonanza". Sadly, I note that the operations staff that USE the software I work on and who work a lot harder than I do get paid half what I do. Simply supply and demand for skill sets companies need.

Second, and I haven't seen anybody write about this, I think the AGE of people working for firms has LOTS to do with who will stay and work no matter what and who will say no -- I quit! I'm 36 years old. I usually work 4 or 5 years somewhere and leave. Lots of "big Iron" programmer/analyst are 10 to 40 year veterans of the companies they work for. Lots of these folks are NOT going to quit. They don't want to start over somewhere else. They are too close to retirement. They have too much "invested" where they work. So, they may not like it, but they most likely WILL report to work and do what's required to fix whatever Y2K brings. People like me can easily quit and go to work somewhere else. But people like me are in the minority. Lots of my co-workers -- at every IT shop I've ever worked -- are not voluntarily going anywhere due to health insurance concerns alone. Either they, their spouse or kids have serious health problems, and insurance premiums cost too much for them. And the health of their loved ones can't wait for the "pre-existing condition" exclusion period of one year to pass with no coverage.

Also, lots of these "middle aged" types are very comforatable in their lifestyles. They do not like uncertianty or risk to the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. That's another reason they tend to stay rather than leave for a little more money. They don't want to risk missing any paychecks -- and thus the cutbacks that would mean for their lifestyles. So they tend to stay put and look forward to retirement.

They also have houses with $1000+/month mortages, kids in school or college, and newer cars and other credit payments to make. They and their spouses make good money, but they don't have a lot in their pocket to spend freely, if you know what I mean. To them, missed paychecks are VERY dangerous and frightening. Me, I have a $395 nice one bedroom apartment and could live on half my income. Big difference!

IMO, lots of folks in the IT world -- at least the older "Big Iron" crowd are not as mobile as is commonly thought. Now the younger crowd working on their next Microsoft certification -- with them it's VERY DIFFERENT. Most of them are just a few years out of school. They work on networking, software installation and upgrades, departmental level software development using Visual Basic, ect. -- not on large mission critical systems. These folks can and do jump around a lot. But as they get older, they tend to stay longer. The thing is, I'm not sure they are quite as mission critical as the older people who work on the "big Iron" systems.

-- Anon (, August 27, 1999.

I would like to know where you can find a "$395 nice one bedroom apartment" please!

-- ready to move in (, August 27, 1999.

Larry has it correct. Senior management in many industries wouldn't know a computer if they fell on it. Let alone the programming that goes into a proprietary or legacy app.

And what's more, they don't care. They're never around to see everyone drinking coffee for a living when the lan dies. Or when MCI screws up the WAN. But they'll notice when it's down for several days or a week or a month.

Rare is the manager who is proactive and looks for problems which are developing instead of just apparant. This is part of the reason I'm so damn bearish about Y2K.

-- Gordon (, August 28, 1999.

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