Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Clocks are ALWAYS Changing

I have had it with clocks.  No, I mean it.

You know that sick-to-the-stomach feeling you get when the clocks change? That yucky feeling that it takes you that whole first day to identify, until you say, "Oh, that's it!  The clocks changed! That's why I feel like someone filled my shoes with cement!"

Well, I live in one time zone and my clients and some of my family live in another one.  I am constantly trying to figure out what time it is and what the people in my life are doing at that moment.

Here's the questions I deal with on a typical day:
1.  What time is it in Chicago now (where my son & family are?)
2.  What time is it in Baltimore now (where my husband is at this moment)?
3.  What time is it for my clients in California, Alaska, Connecticut, and Maryland?
4.  My client in California wants me to set up a phone call between them and someone in Australia where - wait - it's tomorrow.
5.  Oh, and don't forget about the two weeks each spring and fall when everyone else changes their clocks and people in Israel don't - that's when we're 6 hours apart, instead of 7.
6. My client wants me to have a meeting at 9 his time which is 7 my time, unless it was last week when it was 6 my time.

I have tried and tried to get better at this. 

Lots of people in Israel work "American hours." That's fine when "American" means East Coast. Seven (or six) hours?  No problem! That said, it does mean that when I wake up at 7:00 am, my US clients are just going beddie-bye.  AND it means that when I go to sleep at 11 or so, it's only 4 pm (East Coast) or 1 pm (West Coast) - that's a lot of day for them to get through and send me work.

So most mornings I run to my computer and see what came in "overnight."  Then I have questions. Uh oh.  They're sleeping now.

So I wait.  When it gets to be about 3:00 (8 or 9 ET), I figure people are in the office and can answer me.  By the time they get in, have a couple of cups of coffee, talk to each other, and settle down to work, it's usually around 4 or 5 pm my time.  Suddenly it's dinner time here and my phone is ringing and the emails are pouring in.

When I talk to them, I have to remember that it's morning where they are even though it's getting dark here.  I have often caught myself saying "Good night" to their "Good morning" and talking about emailing them "tomorrow" when it's only 10 am their time.

My brain is not good at this stuff.  And I have even used all kinds of computer gadgets to help me remember what time it is where. 

So I am getting used to wondering what time it is in about 6 or 7 different places at any one point in the day.

I'm thinking of buying a sundial.


  1. Cyril has the exact same issue, setting up mtgs btwn montreal + pakistan + russia...there is a website, world clock something that he uses that does the calculations.

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