This was forwarded to me by a friend who got it from a friend who got it...
Jack, a COBOL programmer, after years of being taken for granted and treated as a technological dinosaur by all the UNIX programmers and Client/Server programmers and website developers, finally started getting some respect in 1994. He'd become a private consultant specializing in Year 2000 conversions. He was working short-term assignments. He was working 70 and 80 and even 90 hours a week, but it was worth it.
After a few years of this relentless, mind-numbing work, Jack started having problems sleeping and began having anxiety dreams about the Year 2000. It had reached a point where even the thought of the year 2000 made him nearly violent. He must have suffered some sort of breakdown, because all he could think about was finding a way he could avoid the year 2000 and all that came with it.
Jack made a deal with the company that specialized in cryogenics to have himself frozen until March 15, 2000. This was a very expensive process and totally automated. He was thrilled. The next thing he would know is he'd wake up in the year 2000; after the New Year celebrations and computer debacles; after the leap year. Nothing else to worry about except getting on with his life.
He was put into his cryogenic receptacle, the technicians set the revive date, he was given injections to slow his heartbeat to a bare minimum, and that was that.
The next thing that Jack saw was an enormous and very modern room filled with excited people. They were all shouting "I can't believe it!" and "It 's a miracle" and "He's alive!". There were cameras (unlike any he'd ever seen) and equipment that looked like it came out of science fiction movie. Someone who was obviously a spokesperson for the group stepped forward. Jack couldn't contain his enthusiasm. "Is it over?" he asked "Is 2000 already here? Are the millennial parties and promotions and crisis's all over and done with?"
The spokesman explained that there had been a problem with the programming of the timer on Jack's cryogenic receptacle: it hadn't been year 2000 compliant. It was actually eight thousand years later, not the year 2000. But the spokeman told Jack that he shouldn't get excited; someone important wanted to speak to him. A wall-sized projection screen displayed the image of a man that looked very much like Bill Gates. This man was Prime Minister of Earth. He told Jack not to be upset. That this was a wonderful time to be alive. That there was world peace and no more starvation. That the space program has been reinstated and there were colonies on the moon and on Mars. That technology had advanced to such a degree that everyone had virtual reality interfaces which allowed them to contact anyone else on the planet, or to watch any entertainment, or to hear any music recorded anywhere.
"That sounds terrific," said Jack. "But I'm curious. Why is everybody so interested in me?"
"Well," said the Prime Minister. "The year 10000 is just around the corner, and it says in your files that you know COBOL."