Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2007

Late time change transports boomer to ‘Twilight Zone’

November 4, 2007


I've never been so glad to see a Sunday morning in all my life.

Have you ever spent seven days in "The Twilight Zone"? The kind narrated by Rod Serling's voice with occasional theme music provided by your paranoid imagination: dee-DEE-dee-dee : dee-DEE-dee-dee : dee-DEE-dee-dee:?

Well, I have.

Thanks to someone's brilliant idea of postponing the end of daylight-saving time for a week, I have been living in "What time is it?" hell since last Sunday. (Cue Rod Serling: "Submitted for your approval, the strange case of an unassuming, middle-aged woman taking a one-way trip into the two-dimensional and arbitrary world of adjusted daily schedules :")

All week long, my Blackberry (which I use in lieu of a wristwatch) was an hour behind. Unfortunately, I did not realize this until Tuesday morning, after I had missed more than one appointment. (To those people I stood up: I'm sorry but, this time, it really wasn't my fault.)

Complicating matters, the huge wall clock in our building - the one I always glance at while running to the restroom ("Wait! Didn't I just make this trip an hour ago!?") - automatically set itself back an hour last Saturday night. Again, I failed to realize this until Tuesday when the problem was being fixed. (For two days, I thought I was leaving for home at 5:30 when it was really 6:30. No wonder it was getting so dark!)

And to push me completely over the edge, the Entourage calendar program on my computer decided it would make the adjustment for standard time by automatically posting my new appointments one hour LATER than the time I put in! If you think about it, this makes no sense at all because a 10 o'clock appointment is a 10 o'clock appointment, daylight-saving time or not. (Earth to Microsoft!!) And it makes even LESS sense considering the clock on the very same computer remained unchanged until this morning.

No wonder I've been unhinged all week! (Dee-DEE-dee-dee : dee-DEE-dee-dee :)

Now, some of you might say, "So what's the big deal? Add an hour to the time on the Blackberry and put your appointments in the calendar one hour early until the right time kicks in. Roll with it, girl!"

To which I would reply, "Excuse me, but you obviously never saw my math grades."

Believe me, I've missed more than my share of appointments under normal circumstances. I've endured the humiliation of showing up for a doctor's appointment one day late or a mammogram one week early (which is SO counterintuitive, I know!) I've stood at the door of a stranger's house, kids and birthday presents in tow, only to be told the party was LAST Saturday. I've walked into a restaurant and listened, sheepishly, while the hostess told me my friend left a half hour ago after waiting for 30 minutes.

And negotiating time zones? Don't get me started!

Time is linear. My brain? Not so much.

That's why I depend so desperately on technology to keep me in line. When the digital world goes awry like it did last week, I spin out of control.

Remember the Y2K scare back in, um, Y2K? In addition to hording dozens of batteries, a power generator, five-gallon bottles of water, several weeks' worth of canned food and bundles of cash, I counted down the last minutes of 1999 clutching my wind-up "mod" alarm clock from 1969 and a vinyl-bound "Month at a Glance" date book.

Come to think of it, catastrophe never ensued. I guess if the world survived Y2K, I can survive the 2007 daylight-saving time debacle.

Still, starting first this morning, I will check and double-check every time-keeping device affecting my life to make sure they are in sync: alarm clock, VCR, cable box, coffee maker, microwave, under-the-counter CD player/kitchen clock, Blackberry, car clock, computer, wall and desk clocks, Weather Channel ticker and every last "time and temperature" bank sign in town.

So much for getting that extra hour of sleep.

Cathy Hamilton is editor of and a 51-year-old empty-nester. Events recounted here may be embellished, exaggerated or completely made up because she can't remember squat anymore.


kef104 10 years, 4 months ago

Thankfully there is a disclaimer that these articles might be " embellished, exaggerated or completely made up" because this one is total fiction. Not only is Ms Hamiloton unable to remember squat, she cannot count correctly either.

Think about it, she apologizes for being late to appointments because her Blackberry switched to regular time a week ago. Follow this, her clock has spent the last week showing an hour earlier than it really was and this made her late. If this is her modus oprendo and you have the occasion to meet her for lunch sometime, make sure it serves dinner as well.

rrwrlw 10 years, 4 months ago

Thank goodness there is more than one of us who has time change dilemmas. I enjoyed every word.

gr 10 years, 4 months ago

"Follow this, her clock has spent the last week showing an hour earlier than it really was and this made her late."

Ummm... Ummm....

Let's say she has an appointment for 8:00. Her clock says 7:00. She waits an hour until it says 8:00. It is really 9:00. She missed it.

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