Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wells Fargo Wouldn't Do That Now Would They?

I remember my youth working at Wells Fargo where the text on my computer screen was green. I also remember having to print off reports on a DOT MATRIX COMPUTER. We would then fax these reports long distance to bankers in far away lands. This was the year 1998 when not only did laser printers exist, but so did scanners and this new-fangled thing called "e-mail" with brand "Attachment Capability."

I was foolish enough to suggest that they spend some money on some new PC's, have the IT set everybody up with e-mail, get a couple scanners and we could save some money and time. I also did a NPV calculation to prove how much it would increase not just the net worth of the company, but for each share.

I was summarily told I did not run the company and I was to get back to data entry and filing.

Later that year the bank closed down that branch and fired everybody, but not before I quit and went back to working security at nights (which is a great job by the way because nobody is around to bicker and moan about how you do your job).

Good to see Wells Fargo still has great minds at work for them


Nick Rowe said...

I've learned that the best way for me to make money in the stock market is to be a contrarian investor to myself.

Every day amazes me how the market reacts to this piece of news or that.

But my employer matches my 401(k) contributions so my ROI is 100% less that 1% management fee less whatever stupid decisions I make regarding asset allocation or whatever stupid decisions the government or economy makes.

They can slow me down but they can't hold me back unless all stocks and bonds go to zero. If that happens, I'm sure I'll have bigger problems than the value of my 401(k).

This is why I stockpile food, water, camping gear, and ammunition.

Mark Adams said...

That they wouldn't consider e-mail in 1998 doesn't surprise me when in 2010 half the listings on hijack the "Apply Now" link, which is supposed to e-mail them your stored online resume, into displaying a page that tells you what number to fax your resume to.

And then I get disgusting looks from wageslaves when I tell them these dinosaurs aren't worth the trouble of TRYING to work for. I'll gladly send someone a resume; I'm not driving to the Smithsonian as part of the process.

Anonymous said...

Loved the Scott Adams piece - there's a lot of truth in it.

Going to a large bank for investment advice??? I've never seen a bank that did a good job managing other people's investments. And most large banks have their own funds which they sell you, rather than outside funds that are better.

As for my 401K, I'm much like Nick. Mine are currently in a variety of index funds, including some international exposure.

My personal investment portfolio is a mix for three different mutual funds plus a portfolio of about 10 stocks across multiple sectors - essentially a small mutual fund of my own design.

But I think I do need to start stockpiling survival necessities and learn survialist skills for WTSHTF (when the s*** hits the fan) resulting in TEOWAKI (the end of the world as we know it) - just in case of total economic collapse.

Baron Metzengerstein said...

On a related note I had a networking class last semester with a number of more experienced programmers (everyone seems to be going back to school lately). Evidently these guys had been hired by some large banks here in Utah during the Y2K crunch.

Basically, for the bank they were working for, the best solution was to invest in an entirely new database system written in C++ or JAVA, instead of their old one written in FORTRAN which was incompatible due to memory issues with 4-digit dates -- this was the route said programmers suggested, and likely would've completely solved the problem until we get into 5 digit dates.

What did the bank choose to do? Have the programmers implement some kludge to fool the computer for the next 20-30 years. Which means said bank is going to have another Y2K scare in 2020 or 2030. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

What some of the old office software did was treat two digit years as being in a range that spanned the century. For example we had some software that treated dates as being from 01/01/1940 through 12/32/2039. By then that office suite would be long gone.

In theory, that would buy time to either replace the software at its leisure or fix it permanently with more complete and well-designed updates. Of course, now that the crisis was averted through a patch, it's not a priority to be permanently fixed so it likely won't get fixed until the next crisis looms.

Lest you think that all modern software was Y2K compliant at the time, current versions of Java weren't Y2K compatible back in 1999.

I was technical and project lead for Y2K readiness for our large IT shop. It's not exactly a good thing to have on my resume, although for us, it was a non-event.