G S C gscole at ARK.SHIP.EDU
Thu May 20 14:56:51 UTC 1999

Don't be surprised to see Y2K evolve into common use as a verb (perhaps,
such usage has begun), as in:  "We didn't ship the customer's order on
time, so we Y2K'd it."  That is, the company told the customer that
because of complexities in their computer network, related to Y2K
problems, the order didn't ship on time.  The only relationship to Y2K
being that the problem occurred in or near the year 2000.    Thus, the
shipping problem wasn't due to production, or marketing, or shipping
situations, it was due to some mysterious problem with computers, a
computer problem which was created well before recent college grads were
born.  Don't blame the folk in marketing, blame those in IT.

Many years ago, one of my finance professors, with extensive Wall Street
experience, held an informal weekly contest, to see which student could
come up with the best explanation as to why the market had recently
moved in one direction or another.  He felt that financial customers
wanted explanations, more than they wanted facts.  He didn't advocate
such actions, but he wanted us to understand and be able to cope with
them.  Another professor once detailed his ability to come up with
explanations (for various aspects of corporate performance) that his CEO
could use at the annual stockholder's meeting.  The Y2K situation
promises to provide a bonanza of explanations for problems of whatever
ilk, much as the Asian Flu provided similar explanations last year.


George S. Cole   gscole at ark.ship.edu
Shippensburg University

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