On-Call Yes, we know that On-Call is supposed to be weekly and appear on Fridays. But we let some writers go on holidays and our mailbag is overflowing after recent stories of Microsoft help desk staff hanging up after 15 minutes and the reader paid to do nothing for three months.
So when reader “Will” wrote with a similar story we thought we'd give it a whirl.
Will's tale happened on December 31, 1999, which many readers may remember was mostly set aside for a colossal party.
But not for Will, who worked for an oil company at the time. And that company “asked for volunteer sysadmins to be onsite that day/night just in case the world fell apart.”
Volunteers were offered the chance to save the world and one month's salary for doing so.
For that kind of coin, Will saw no reason not to volunteer.
Cometh the night, he and his colleagues kept an eye on newsfeeds as the first countries hit the year 2000. Nothing broke in New Zealand. Nothing broke in Australia. A few hours later, nothing broke in Singapore … and Will and friends were told to go home.
Will's email address is a .uk, so it looks like he got the money and got to party, all after doing nothing for a day.
Did you work Y2K? Have you ever been offered elephant bucks for doing very little? Write to me to share your story and you could end up in a future On-Call. ®