On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

April 3, 1999 Permalink

You know, I have very poor friends too. She is on disability (physical illness), and he is a security gaurd. They live in an apartment that costs $1000 a month, and that’s actually cheap for this area. Yet even they are looking to stock up on a little food and water for emergencies. When I buy supplies for my family, I get some for them, too.

Another single friend of mine is broke, too. What little he makes goes to rent. My Christmas gift to him was food: rice, pasta, mac&cheese, spaghetti sauce, tuna (it’s what he eats.) Maybe $40 worth. Fed him for a month.

I live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country: Silicon Valley. I pay 85% of my household budget for rent and utilities.

My household food budget is $240/month for three adults. With that we actually afford a few sodas, hamburger patties, AND Y2K prep. When my roomie that’s been underemployed for the past year gets back on her feet again, I’ll be able to do even better. But, except for putting up water, I’m ready for 2 to 3 months NOW, on a shoestring budget!

For the price of a few packs of cigarettes, I can get a big bag of rice. Instead of buying my clothes in the more expensive “misses’ section, I buy men’s turtlenecks, t-shirts and corduroys for a third of the cost, and they last longer! Having a habit of frugality has saved my bacon in hard times before. Storing up staples has kept me out of charity food lines, and given me extra to help friends out with. Even if Y2K is a non-event, the things that I have bought (and will buy with my tax return) will help me in years to come.

Yes, going out and buying all sorts of fancy “meal plans” and yuppie toys costs a lot. But buying bulk, and at discount stores saves me money in the long run. The hardest part is figuring where to put it so it can be eaten in smaller amounts. A lot of the storage tips in this group have made that easier.

—Ravan Asteris, comp.software.year-2000, 04/03/99

This week I had the chance to work with some folks I previously had not met that are also involved with and working on Y2K. I was interested in finding out what their take was on Y2K in general. What I heard repeatedly is what I will describe as “I’ll be ok, but I’m worried about you” syndrome.

Most of those who I spoke with thought that their own company would be Y2K OK, yet these same folks are worried about “other companies” not being ready. Ask some of the folks that work at these “other companies” what they think, and they are confident in theirs and at the same time worried about yours!

I do not know if anyone else has experienced this or posted about this, and was somewhat surprised that it was voiced by many that I spoke with. I was expecting them to say that they were worried - period, which is the way that I feel. Maybe it was just a coincidence due to the particular folks I was working with, or they were putting on a brave front, or they really were confident. I don’t know.

Yet when you stop to think about this, isn’t it interesting that these folks are so worried about “other” companies, yet at the same time are expressing confidence in their own? What none of them seem to realize is that each one of them works for somone else’s “other” company!

—Rob Michaels, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 04/03/99

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