The Bride of the First House (bride) wrote,
The Bride of the First House

Helijet Trip

weather: light rain
outside: 17.9°C
mood: ...
December 31, 1999. The eve of Y2K. The whole technology world was in a huge tizzy about what would happen once the clock struck midnight.

I was regular technical staff for a software vendor who, back then, pretty much had a monopoly on the market for that particular niche. I don't think they do anymore and I wouldn't have expected as much from a company whose own customers dubbed them "the best of a bad lot". Nevertheless, the product was a mission-critical system. I was assigned to do software support for the graveyard shift from 8pm to about 3am along with the entire Implementation Engineering team. If any of our clients had problems, the people who would be able to do anything about it, were there.

That's right. This was THE New Year's Celebration Of THE MILLENIUM... and I was at work.

It was a political thing, one that was meant to just soothe the clients... the likes of Reliant Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric, Florida Power & Light, Meralco (in the Philippines), Belgacom Belgique and many major telco and utility companies in the US and around the world. =\

Y2K was the most anticlimactic New Year's I had ever experienced. NOTHING HAPPENED. The system did not go down ... which was the most shocking thing because our system was always breaking, all the live long day, any other time throughout the year. But on this fateful night, it held together quite well. I actually think all our customers just shut everything down and went to the pen & paper system for the night.

We were chatting, playing Doom, Quake or some other network game and pigged out on the catered food. I think they even ordered us champagne. It was a gigantic LAN party. The only phone call we received was from one customer to wish us a Happy New Year. =}

Our compensation package for the pain and suffering was an all-expense paid weekend Helijet getaway for two to Vancouver Island, including airfare ($200 roundtrip per person), swanky hotel accommodations in Victoria, travel, meals, etc. The userinfoHusband Guy and I took off one weekend around Valentine's 2000.

Usually, if we want to go over to Vancouver Island from Vancouver, we'd take the ferry. The ferry is much cheaper, takes 1½ hours (from pier to pier) and has humongous lineups on weekends and when everyone is travelling. So, you're really looking at about 3 hours to actually reach your destination on the Island, at least.

The Helijet takes half an hour. There are only nine passengers per flight. It's a sweet, sweet ride. All in all, very amazing to zip along the water, through the beautiful coast.

"Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Teng" they greeted us, unprompted, at the hotel front desk. That was the first time we were "Mr. and Mrs." I'll never forget that they automatically went by my maiden name. XD They also asked if we were newlyweds. By that time, we'd been together for over 8 years and notyetweds.

Ha! People will still ask if we're newlyweds from time to time now. =)

Tags: reminiscence

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