Saturday, October 24, 2009

Around the Clock

It is that time of the year again (pun intended :D).....tomorrow, the last Sunday of October, is when I get to sleep a whole extra hour, that's right, we move the clocks back an hour since daylight saving time ends.

For those who are unfamiliar with this ''time-travel'' concept, on the last sunday of March every year, just before spring (supposedly) begins, the clocks are moved ahead by an hour so that you can use one more hour of the sunlight that is (apparently) available in Spring and Summer (This means I can make up for that 1 hour of sleep I lost in March tomorrow :D). This is then referred to as daylight saving time.

So what is the big deal, you wonder ? The resulting confusion and chaos on these 2 days (and a couple of days after) and why ?

Different countries adjust the time on different days ! So if I have to call someone in Canada (say, in Calgary), the time difference could be 7, 8 or 9 hours depending on when which clock is adjusted.

Some of these countries have more than one time zone. So if I have to call someone in Canada, this time in Toronto, the time difference could be 5, 6 or 7 hours.

There are exceptions, as always. Arizona, for example, has no daylight saving time while the rest of the US does.

Some or all of the above results in one or all of the following
- You can hear people swear at Microsoft Outlook for sending out calendar invitations with wrong meeting times
- There are people running through corridors at work asking for time
- There are people with completely irritated ''I-missed-my-train/flight'' looks in March and overflowing coffee shops in October since they turned up an hour early !
- There are really smart men who use the ''Oh..I forgot about the daylight savings'' excuse for being late in March although they never turn up early in October (like I said, smart!)

One would think this only happens to people who are new to daylight savings but NO...happens mostly to people who have grown up with it since the newbies tend to be extra careful.

So what to do
- Many computer based systems can adjust time automatically but not always and come-on its Microsoft ! So manually type in the time of the meeting in the message, to be sure.
- You have a computer and internet right ? Just google for the current time in a particular place.
- Set the right time in your alarm clock BEFORE going to bed, will be too late (or early if you are lucky) after you get up.

The other day I heard a friend saying ''India is a big country, you should have more than 1 time zone'' and I thought ''adapaavingla, nanga urupidiya irukardhu ungalukku porukalaya'' ?!

On the plus side though, daylight savings does make a lot of sense w.r.t energy conservation, reducing traffic accidents, increased sport activities, barbeques - Oh yeah, an extra hour of sunlight can make a lot of difference !

Rise and shine, people, let's fight the grey winter and enjoy the colorful fall (pun unintended) :D !
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