The Aftermath

Here's a problem with working on the year 2000: your job can end abruptly on January first. Do you think I don't know what is being planned for me? Hey Laura, I hacked into the e-mail system years ago! I know what you're up to! In the year 2000, they're thinking of trading me to People Soft for two Java programmers and one additional Nerd to be named later.

Seriously, think about it! There are possibly millions of people working on the Year 2000 problem, and it will all end abruptly on January 1. Edward Yardeni now thinks a Y2K induced recession has a sixty percent probability. You young whippersnappers are too young to remember the Great Depression. Well, so am I, but I'm old enough to remember my father talking about it incessantly. Try to picture it: people sitting in the street wearing signs saying "Will write COBOL for food". People in ATM kiosks, pressing the buttons to wile the time away, even though they've forgotten why, and no money ever comes out. An army of computer nerds, nostalgically double clicking vending machine buttons to download cans of Coke. It inspires me to break out once again in song:

Hit it, maestro!

Once I wrote a program, made it run,
Made it race against time.
Once I wrote a program, now it's done,
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I wrote a program, didn't do
All the testing I should.
When it said "December Thirty-two",
Knew the outcome wouldn't be good.

Once I wrote a program, wrote too fast,
And now there's a new paradigm.
Came the year 2000, it didn't last,
Brother, can you spar-a-dime?

Once I had my options, stock, and cash,
Head Hunters calling all the time.
But my sloppy coding caused a crash.
[spoken] Hey Buddy, can you spare a dime?

You can tell that's a song from the depression, slightly modified, of course. A dime doesn't buy you anything anymore. In 2000, they'll be asking for ten bucks to buy a double latte at Starbucks.

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