If they wanted that, they should've asked for it

It's 1968, and this programmer gets his first major data processing project: Solve the "Decade Problem" for all his employer's corporate software, according to his second-generation-pilot-fish son.

"It seems that all the transaction software of this billion-dollar enterprise stored the year as a single digit, and all heck was going to break loose on January 1, 1970," fish says.

"Fast-forward 30 years to his retirement party from that same employer. Half of his generation is retiring to come back as overpaid Y2k consultants, the other half is retiring to get away from the mess. My father is most definitely in the second group, ready to join the Vacation of the Month Club.

"While reading through the list of my father's accomplishments and contributions, his boss comes to the Decade Problem, and stops short. With a snarky grin on his face, he turns to my father and asks, 'Why did you leave the job half-finished? Think of all the time and money you could have saved us if you'd fixed this problem the first time around.'

"Dad's reply: 'On the other hand, maybe you should be giving me an extra bonus for writing the software so well that you didn't have to replace it for 30 years.'"

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