(Daylight Saving) Time to panic?

Remember Y2K? Remember the empty supermarket shelves on Dec. 31, 1999 where bottled water normally stood?

After all the build-up to Y2K, was anyone else disappointed as New Year’s 2000 rolled its way across time zones that there wasn’t any kind of disruption? Not an exchange of thermonuclear weapons or massive power outages or anything like that, but something–maybe a slow dial tone, would have been nice. Boy, that crisis didn’t live up to its hype.

To be fair, part of the reason Y2K wasn’t a bigger deal was the hard work of a lot of people beforehand identifying potential problems and implementing the appropriate fixes. And I imagine the same thing is happening now with Y2K Jr.: this Sunday’s early switch to daylight saving time in most of the U.S. and Canada.

We got the e-mail this morning from the tech services folks at our office that all necessary steps had been taken here to update our computer systems to deal with springing forward three weeks earlier than normal this year and falling back a week late in November. Evidently, the same efforts are underway at businesses across the country.

While few seem to be predicting Y2K style havoc (predicted havoc, not actual) from the DST change,  evidently some fear possible fallout ranging from automated equipment failures at manufacturing facilities to missed timed financial transactions. And a Time magazine story quoted an analyst from Forrester Research who suggested the early DST  switch will cost the average company $50,000 to address.

 I guess we can compare notes on Monday morning about the actual impact. If Y2K is any guide, the most commonly reported problems will probably be some missed flights Sunday morning, and maybe some folks missing the Simpsons Sunday night.


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