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DECEMBER 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 12



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"I told myself 'My God, you're great.'" - Daimi Pernia of Cuba, after winning the women's 400 hurdles at the world track and field championships in the sixth-fastest time ever.


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The End of the 1990's

Well this is it: the last month in the last year of the 90's. Will we someday look back on the 1990's with fondness as warm, fuzzy memories cozy up to us? Probably not, because unlike the more fun-loving decades of the past, the 90's was a cold, grey landscape. Well actually mostly beige - at least until Apple's IMac hit the streets - but let's not nit pick.

The 90's will be remembered - and will surely go down in history CD-ROMs - as the period of history that brought us the mass influx of personal computers. In fact, computers took over as science fiction as that sounds. Back in 1989, no one whose name wasn't Al Gore knew what the internet was or could even imagine a time when you could shop for DVDs (what the hell are those) from your computer. As a matter of fact no one other than select, secret test groups in Roswell, New Mexico, had seen a desktop computer with a 8 GB hard drive. And of course there were no blue computers, porn at your fingertips or discussions about screen names (except for those fanatics who like to name their window accessories).

So here, projected onto your new fangled multi-color monitor is a list to prove that you are indeed a 1990's survivalist who is controlled by the great chip on your desk and who can no longer perform simple tasks by hand.

1. You try to enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail your buddy who works at the desk next to you.

5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South America, but you haven't spoken to your next door neighbor yet this year.

6. You buy a computer and a week later it is out of date.

7. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends is that they do not have e-mail addresses.

8. You consider the U.S. Mail painfully slow and/or call it "snail mail".

9. Your idea of being organized is multiple colored post-it notes.

10. You hear most of your jokes via email instead of in person.

11. When you go home after a long day at work you still answer the phone in a business manner.

12. When you make phone calls from home, you accidentally insert a "9" to get an outside line.

13. You've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.

14. Your company's welcome sign is attached with Velcro.

16. You really get excited about a 1.7% pay rise.

17. You learn about your redundancy on the 11 o'clock news.

18. Your biggest loss from a system crash was when you lost all of your best jokes.

19. Your supervisor doesn't have the ability to do your job.

20. Contractors outnumber permanent staff and are more likely to get long-service awards.

21. Board members salaries are higher than all the Third World countries annual budgets combined.

22. It's dark when you drive to and from work, even in the summer.

23. You know exactly how many days you've got left until you retire.

24. Interviewees, despite not having the relevant knowledge or experience terminate the interview when told of the starting salary.

25. You see a good looking, smart person and you know it must be a visitor.

26. Free food left over from meetings is your staple diet.

27. Your supervisor gets a brand-new state-of-the-art laptop with all the latest features, while you have time to go for lunch while yours boots up.

28. Being sick is defined as you can't walk or you're in hospital.

29. You're already late on the assignment you just got.

30. There's no money in the budget for the five permanent staff your department is short of, but they can afford four full-time management

consultants advising your boss's boss on strategy.

31. Vacation time is something you roll over to next year.

32. Every week another brown collection envelope comes around because someone you didn't even know worked there is leaving.

33. Your relatives and family describe your job as "works with computers".

34. The only reason you recognize your kids is because their pictures are on your desk.

35. You only have makeup for fluorescent lighting.

36. You read this entire list, and kept nodding and smiling.

37. As you read this list, you think about forwarding it to your "friends you send jokes to" e-mail group.

38. It crosses your mind that your jokes group may have seen this list already, but you don't have time to check so you forward it anyway.

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