Fribble Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Reassuming the Position

By mbutler@mdp.com

I have found the Millennium Bug, and it is me. The new era dawned with a brief fanfare for technology, and the lingering, sobering realization that life for the working schmuck goes on.

Secretly, of course, I wanted technology to fail, even if only temporarily. I didn't go out of my way to stock up on canned goods and bottled water, but I rather looked forward to the idea of gathering around the fireplace for warmth, telling and listening to stories, and touching base with neighbors and friends to see how they're doing. I
wanted to feel like a kid feels when he's told that school is canceled because of a raging snowstorm.

Instead, I woke up on January 3 with the feeling that the weatherman had let me down. After two weeks of power eating and loafing, interrupted by afternoon naps, I had to drag myself back into work. I was crabby and so, it seemed, was everybody around me. I could hear a collective sigh: Oh hell, back to the daily grind, back to the cubicle, back to the self-esteem-lowering meetings, back to deadlines, back to the
underperforming 401(k), back to "looking forward" to performance appraisals and the annual 3.6792 percent "merit" pay increase.

Personal worries didn't go away, either. Colleges are still going to cost $50,000 per year in 2015. The pathetic state of the aforementioned 401(k) might let me semi-retire in my '70s, hopefully outpacing not only inflation but also the growth of my waistline, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Years go by all too quickly, but after less than two weeks, I'm ready to declare this one a goose egg.