Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Has It Been Nine Years Already?

So... Who remembers the biggest hoax ever perpetuated (besides global warming, I mean)?

Yup, I'm talking about Y2K. Remember the hysteria? Remember all the millions (billions?) that companies spent making their systems 'compliant'? I was working for Schwab all the time, and the worst phone call to take, which came in at least twice a week, was some old codger wanting me to "explain this whole Y2K thing..." because you know he was gonna be another jackass calling on New Year's Day, wondering if his money was still there...


What a joke it turned out to be. I especially liked listening to all of the newly-created survivalists hoarding bottled water and canned goods, preparing for the Apocalypse. Me? I just hoarded ammunition, figuring that food and water would take care of itself if one had enough ammo. (Luckily I've matured since then. Next time we have an impending 'crisis' on our hands like Y2K, I'll make sure I have a can opener and plenty of toilet paper, too).

The good thing about working in a brokerage is that I always had weekends and holidays off, so when they announced that everyone had to work on New Year's Day, nobody was happy.

I had plans on New Year's Eve, as did all of my friends. My buddy Devin was hosting a party, and I certainly didn't want to miss that, and I'd also just started seeing this gal named Corrine, and we planned on spending the evening together. My buddies all hated her because she was batshiat crazy, but she was filthy rich and had a nice rack, so you know, I thought it'd be worth it for awhile.

Classy guy that I am, I took her to the Macaroni Grill for dinner that night (actually, we had *just* started dating, and I didn't know until the last minute that we'd be going out, so it was the only place we could get a reservation). After dinner, we motored back down to Chandler to Devin's house, and we spent the balance of the evening sipping on cocktails and sneaking out to the garage to hit the bong. Quite a sight, a bunch of us sitting around in a circle on upside-down buckets, wearing our nice clothes, passing the torch, so to speak...

The TV was on, so we were watching the New Year hit the other time zones, then when the time came we donned our hats, popped the confetti, made some noise, sipped some champagne, and welcomed the new millennium with nice sloppy wet kiss. And a grope, if I remember correctly...

Everyone had to be at work at 6:00 am, but Corrine and I were the first ones to hit the road. I think we were back at my place, rolling around in front of the fireplace by 12:45. Good times!

Since it was our 'first date', she didn't have any spare clothes with her, so she bailed around 4:00 am to run home and get ready for work. I snoozed for another forty five minutes or so, then got dressed. I purposely didn't shave--my small way of sticking it to The Man for making me work.

It was tough to make it to the office, but I made it, and everyone else crawled in just under the wire, too. Of course we were all hung over. I guess the clowns who worked the general 24-hour service line had gotten the worst of the dumbass phone calls the night before, and since everything else civilization-related on the outside world hadn't suffered the slightest hiccup, our phones were silent.

But we were fully staffed, so we needed to entertain ourselves. Some enterprising souls had set up a miniature golf course that wound it's way through the department. Instead of having CNBC on all of the TVs, we watched the Rose Parade and ESPN. The guys in my area just entertained ourselves by tossing nerf balls around and surfing the internet (everybody who works in a cube farm has a nerf ball in the drawer, don't they?). Corrine's cube was about 75 feet away, so I called her and told her to come over and hang with us. But she wanted to stay put in her area, citing the fact that "all those guys over there know what we were doing last night..." I had no idea how to respond to that, so I just let it go.

Of course, the VPs in charge felt bad for making us work, so they provided free food in the cafeteria that day. I remember going upstairs for 'breakfast' at 8:00 am and finding all-you-can-eat hot dogs and hamburgers. Nice.

Finally, once we came back from our meal break, the bosses declared the day a dud and sent us all home to sleep it off. Corrine headed for home, as did most of my buddies, but as I was walking out to the parking lot, I ran into a couple of gals from one of my recent training classes, and they invited me to go out with them. So we went to a local bar for some bloody Marys, and we ended up sitting there all day long watching bowl games and drinking beer. I finally made it home sometime after dark, went straight to bed, and slept for about ten hours straight.

The Apocalypse would have to wait for another day.


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