NEW YEAR'S AT WORK
by Wendy Vapors, 12/31/99
Dc: This is DCR, a news program that is reality free. Due to
fears about potential Y2K problems, many people are working over the New Year's
holiday, even though businesses are generally optimistic about their millennium
readiness. Wendy Vapors has a live report.
(sfx: party, music, large motors)
Wendy: I'm at the Operations Center of Bulk Static Generators, Inc. Hugh Snow
is the Operations Manager. What goes on here in this big factory?
Snow: We're a leading national and international static producer.
Wendy: Do you mean static like in the shock I get from walking across a carpet?
Snow: (laughs) No, not that. We produce the kind of static you find in between
all your TV channels, your radio stations, on your phone line, all throughout
Wendy: Oh, THAT stuff.
Snow: Yes. We manufacture and deliver it and we've done that flawlessly for over
Wendy: I didn't realize somebody had to make it.
Snow: Somebody does. It's important to keep all the stations separate. Static
is like packing material, and we take our responsibility very seriously.
Wendy: I can see that. There are sure a lot of people around!
Snow: We canceled all vacations and we're working 24 hour shifts over the weekend
to make sure the static supply stays strong.
Wendy: So, is there a potential problem? Y2K-wise?
Snow: No, not at all. This is just a precaution.
Wendy: No problems at all?
Snow: None that we can see. We've been simulating Y2K and measuring how our systems
respond. Our static generators are gonna keep running. Our pipelines will stay
open. We've mapped out just about every eventuality.
Wendy: Is there ... a "worst case scenario?"
Snow: Yes, if people all start turning on their radios and tv's at the same time
to check and see if stations are still on the air ... there would be an incredible
demand for static and that would be our "worst case."
Wendy: And THEN there'd be a problem?
Snow: No. We hope not. We hope people will be reasonable, but if they're not,
we're totally prepared for that. Everything is under control.
Wendy: And there are so many employees at work ... with their families!
Snow: Yes, thank God for that. I'd hate to think of our employees' families at
home alone without them on this of all weekends.
Wendy: Why? What do you think might happen?
Snow: Absolutely nothing.
Wendy: But you said ...
Snow: Everything is ... fine. Just super.
Wendy: I'd like to talk to somebody else, now. OK?
Snow: How about Carol Fritz? She's operated a static generator for 15 years, and
is one of our top employees.
Wendy: OK. Hello,.
Wendy: What do you think of this ... spending New Year's at work?
Fritz: No problem. They've set up a buffet ... They've hired bands. There are
all kinds of activities ... When I told the husband and kids about it, they really
wanted to come, and I feel real comfortable knowing they're here with me for the
New Year, all the way through Sunday night.
Wendy: And why is that? What do you think might happen?
Fritz: Not a thing.
Wendy: But you said ...
Fritz: The only reason any of us are here is ... as a precaution.
Wendy: A precaution against what?
Wendy: But ...
Fritz: There won't be any problems.
Wendy: Why is everybody saying that?
Fritz: Um ....
Wendy: If there won't be problems then WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Your words say one thing and your actions say another. I hate that!
Snow: Uh ... um, this is Hugh Snow. Of course we're very serious about Y2K. And
we're confident that we've fixed all the problems. But ...
Wendy: But what? Either you're confident or you're not!
Snow: ... we're trying to walk a very fine line here between vigilance and outright
Wendy: (panicking) Panic?
Snow: Don't get the wrong idea.
The public needs to be re-assured. People are getting unhinged at the thought
of turning on the TV and suddenly there's not enough static to keep the stations
apart. NBC would be crashing into ABC ... all those trashy shows on FOX would
be mixing and mingling with the CBS Evening News ... it would be horrible pile
up of programming all across the broadcast spectrum. Billions of dollars in advertising
revenue would be lost.
Wendy: What a horrible scenario.
Snow: And it probably won't happen.
Wendy: (more panic) Probably won't?
Snow: We're 99.9% sure.
Fritz: It's highly, highly unlikely.
Snow: We brought in the employees and their families over the weekend ...
Both: As a precaution.
Wendy: And that's all?
Snow: It's just a precaution! This is actually doubling as their Christmas party.
That's why we're doing the buffet and the games and the sleeping bags and the
bottled water ...
Wendy: Bottled water?
Snow: ... and the beef jerky and the "C" rations.
Wendy: It's just a precaution, right?
Snow: That's all it is. Come January 3rd or 4th or 5th or so, and we'll all laugh
about this. Ha ha ha.
Wendy and Fritz: Ha ha ha ha.
Wendy: It's kind of funny right now.
Snow: After all, how often do you get to start a new millennium?
Wendy: Um ... every one thousand years?
Wendy: And so ...
(sfx: machines stop ... bands stop ... all sounds stop)
... an event that was first planned as an emergency procedure is now ... what
Al: (concerned) Um ... Nothing. (brightly) Nothing at all!
Wendy: ... has now become a major social event for the employees of ...
(sfx: alarm bells start ringing)
Al: Gotta go! (quick fade off) Auxiliary power! Auxiliary power!
(sfx: voices up in bg, pandemonium)
Wendy: ... for the employees of Bulk Static Generators, Inc., where management
has really gone out of it's way to make this New Year's an interesting and productive
time for all.
Fritz: May Day! May Day!
Wendy: And by inviting in employees and their families, the company has made it's
plant a comforting place to be on this New Year's weekend, while also showing
the workforce there's nothing to fear.
Snow: Get me some power! I need power now!
Scotty: (filter) I'm tellin' ya captain ... I'm givin' her all I've got! If I
try to hike it any more, she'll blow!
Wendy: It's a fun idea that other companies are trying too, and it might be expanded
to include more workdays during the year, bringing families and the employer closer
(sfx: electric arcing, sparks flying)
I'm Wendy Vapors, and I'm reporting!
Dale Connelly Reporting Home