Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time Zones

The office I work in isn't the hugest I've worked in. That distinction goes to the building I worked at in Marlborough, MA where it was a quarter-mile walk from my desk to the company cafeteria. My current workplace might actually be the smallest office I've ever worked in, but in spite of the size being ranked on the low end, it holds another distinction. It has the most time zones.

Most of the time, the clock on my computer is two minutes slower than the telephone clock which is usually three minutes behind my cell phone clock. It's kind of annoying. On one end of the spectrum, I seem to get to work earlier than I figured. Like, every day. But at the end of the workday, when the time clock software finally hits 5:00 and I can clock out, I'm already five minutes late for the rest of the world. When I think I'm heading to the conference room early to set up for a client teleconference, I'm suddenly on time or late, and rushing to set up for the call. In the front reception area, the clock on the filing cabinet shows yet another time, and the clock in the large conference has been frozen in time for a couple years. Perfectly fitting -- it seems that time does, indeed, stand still in some meetings.

The thing that fakes me out is, sometimes, all the little clocks at work are in synch. And then they are not. And then they are again. It's like the Universe's master time keeper is messing with me, but that could be the paranoia talking. And I can't understand why, if my cell phone gets the time from some master signal somewhere, and allegedly, so does the PC on my desk and the telephone, why are they different? How many stinking time signals are out there?

I have the same situation at home. The battery operated living room clock gains about five minutes every two months. When it hits ten minutes fast, I take it down from the wall and roll back the time. Meanwhile, in the bedroom, the iPod dock / clock radio loses time, and suddenly I'll notice that it's seven minutes slow. In the kitchen, no timekeeping device is even close to reality. Every few weeks and sometimes multiple times in a week, the clocks on the microwave, coffee maker and electric stove would be flashing the message that the power blipped out again. I'd reset them all. A day, or week or two weeks later, all back to flashing. While it was a festive look, it was annoying. Now I keep the coffeemaker unplugged except when I use it and just ignore the other little clocks.

The story with my watch collection is also bleak. I used to always wear a watch and had six or seven to choose from. There was a silvertone watch with a triple chain band I got in Quebec. There was the goldtone charm bracelet watch with everything from cupids and hearts to tiny handcuffs and daggers on it that I got at TJ Maxx. The brown tooled leather strap watch with sterling silver trim an ex bought for me in Fort Worth. The watch that showed the moon for PM and the sun for AM that my grandmother gave me. A rugged Seiko I wore a lot and a very dressy gold one with a diamond in the face that I never wore because it has no numbers so I still never knew what time it is. A watch with a purple leather strap I got because it's pretty. Watches for all moods and outfits!

One by one, the watches ceased functioning, until only the rugged Seiko and the purple band watch were left operational. I gathered four of the sickly patients and transported them to a mall jewelry store for batteries, because the two jewelers downtown I usually visited had gone out of business. The girl at the mall counter took my watches and told me to come back in an hour. When I returned, she looked at me with a serious expression and informed me all my watches were broken. Seriously? Not just dead batteries? Four broken watches? I left the store less than happy and full of questions. Were the watches so unhappy in my custody that one by one they committed timekeeping harikari? Or were they somehow murdered? Do I have a face that could stop a clock?

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