Y2K: People expect ‘day like any other’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 1999

From staff reports

There doesn’t seem to be too much local concern about a potential Y2K crash.

Wednesday, December 29, 1999

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There doesn’t seem to be too much local concern about a potential Y2K crash. An informal sampling shows that people say Jan. 1 will be a day like any other.

Luverne Wolff of rural Glenville while out shopping said he hadn’t given the Y2K problem any thought.

&uot;To me, the problems that affect me are more important than some imagined problem with computers,&uot; Wolff said. &uot;You’ll have to ask some of the younger folks about it. They’re more into computers and technology and may have more at stake. I’m 80 years old, and if the world collapses because of this thing, it won’t affect my life very much.&uot;

A relative talking with Wolff said that the whole Y2K phenomenon was &uot;a mountain that should have been a molehill.&uot;

Wolff said he will pass New Year’s Eve quietly at home, perhaps watch the celebrations on TV, and go to bed.

Phillip Pence, 75, lives with his wife in Albert Lea. He says the Y2K is an imaginary phobia.

&uot;I’m a cancer survivor. I got through it OK,&uot; Pence said. &uot;The world has enough real problems without creating them out of nothing.&uot;

Pence said he doesn’t own a computer, and he doesn’t want one.

&uot;If I had one, I would have to use it all the time. I’m not interested,&uot; he said. &uot;Younger people are more into that fancy stuff. And maybe they’re worried because of it. I think the day after New Year’s (Eve) will be a day like any other.&uot;

Shanda Enger, 20, and her 15-month old son Skyler were doing some post-Christmas bargain hunting Monday, and said she doesn’t own a computer and doesn’t know what the fuss is all about.

Linda Portz will be working at the Eagles Club New Year’s Eve and she said she isn’t worried.

&uot;We have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand,&uot; she said. &uot;I have faith that everything will work out all right.&uot;

Pam Pleiss works as a nurse in Albert Lea, but she says she isn’t concerned.

&uot;Everyone at the hospital has been gearing up for a long time, and I think we’re ready,&uot; Pleiss said. &uot;We’ve had long enough to prepare, so I don’t think there is any reason to fear.&uot; Pleiss was shopping with her 5-year old daughter, Abby.

Shane Shimon, 27 and his friend Mike Kinney of Albert Lea said they think the Y2K problem is just a clever marketing ploy.

&uot;It’s just a date on the calender, but not any more,&uot; Shimon said. &uot;Now you have to stock up on anything under the sun. What a great way to get the economy going.&uot; Shimon is the father of two, 8-year old Drake and Lennon who is 5 weeks old. He said he will be at home with his family for New Year’s.

&uot;If the power does go out, so much the better,&uot; he said. &uot;I have plenty of kerosene lamps and candles, and I won’t have to go to work.&uot;

Local store managers agree there is little to be concerned with, but they are still taking precautions.

According to HyVee manager Brad Walters, customers have stocked up a bit on bottled water and vegetables, but nothing drastic.

&uot;I couldn’t say for sure how much more people are buying, but it doesn’t seem like a lot,&uot; Walters said. &uot;People are just being careful.&uot;

The local Rainbow Foods grocer is taking precautions, which means that managers of every department will have to be on hand to make sure everything is in working order.

&uot;I think everyone thinks this will be a big to-do about nothing,&uot; said manager Brad Edwin. &uot;There’s nothing wrong with being careful, though.&uot;

Rainbow Foods has stocked up on extra groceries and supplies, just in case, Edwin said.

&uot;If something does happen, there might not be a whole lot we can do, that hasn’t been done,&uot; he said.