In 1998, when I was working at AG Edwards, in their operations division doing a combination of clerical and customer service work, I was offered a chance to be taught COBOL by the company’s IT Department, and have an IT job within 6 months. [I had taken a few computer language courses in college, and passed an aptitude test, it wasn't like they offered it to everybody.] I took the offer. There was this thing called a Y2K project that probably inspired this drive for new employees. Another project I worked on in the following four years was something I’ll call the 10,000 project. It was a markedly easier project because expanding the number of digits for a field from 4 to 5 isn’t difficult, it just had to be done, because the market was on the rise.
Well, in 2002 I was laid off. And I’ve been begging for money for the past 5 years (Friends insist I’m not a schnorrer. I’m a grant writer. They assure me there’s a difference, because I’m begging for money to benefit other people, not myself. But I do benefit. I get paid to do this. Arguably, not a lot, but I do get paid. So I guess I’m a *professional* schnorrer.) And now, the market’s back below 10,000. And AG Edwards no longer exists, as it was bought out by Wachovia…which no longer exists. Wheeeee.
Oh yeah…and it seems that the programmers for the National Debt Clock have had some problems I’m familiar with.