September 6, 2010

Central Standard Time

I'm the only Sadbear who currently lives in Central Time (aka, God's time zone).

It's not a "new" thing, I've been living in a CST state (or CDT, depending on the season) for more than two years. I actually prefer it: East coast baseball games start an hour earlier, which means they get over an hour earlier. (I can usually listen to Tigers games start to finish and still catch the end of the Cards). Same with prime-time and late night TV — Conan, back in the good old days when he hosted the Tonight Show, started at 10:30. 10:30!

But, given the hours I work, combined with the hour time difference, it's gotten increasingly harder to actually converse with people. Example: I don't consider 10 p.m., or even 11 p.m., an unusually late hour. But to try and call someone on Eastern Time at 11 my time, well, forget it.

I thought about how annoying this was, especially how weird and sometimes arbitrary time zones are, the other day when a colleague and I were complaining about how the press that we currently use at the paper routinely makes our paper look worse than a self-printed family newsletter. I think I suggested that it would be so much better if we were printed in Terre Haute, where our company owns another paper.

Him: "Yeah, but then our deadline would be an hour earlier."
Me: "Why?"
Him, staring at me for a minute: "Well, time zones... They're on Eastern time, remember?"
Me: "No shit... but it's only like an hour away. Guess I forgot."

I should have known this, of course. Terre Haute is almost exactly the same distance as our current printing press, yet it's on a completely different time zone. Might as well be a different country — it is, after all, Indiana.

It boggles the mind. I mean, obviously, I know how time zones work. And why they are necessary. And all that.

But it's disheartening to call someone back at, say, 11:30 after work — a still decent hour for the swinging single person (*snicker*) — and hear the person on the other line kinda shuffle and go "...hel-LO?" And then have to ask them "Oh, I'm sorry, were you asleep?" and then have to listen to them say, "No, no... well, I was, but it's cool. What's up?"*

*(Nevermind the fact that when they called earlier you asked them specifically, "Can't talk now, I'm at work, but can I call you back after work?" To which the usual reply is "Yeah, sure, I should be up." They never are. Don't believe them.)

So, damn this slightly offputting time difference!

My one consolation — it's nowhere near as isolating asas Chase felt when he was in Arizona. These Illinoisans are, after all my (original) people — Joliet, represent!*

*Just to note, the fact that I can tell people this now in Illinois gets me wide-eyed looks and a tremendous amount of street cred.

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Blogger Tony said...

It was only about 3 weeks ago when our bossman suggested to a reporter -- who was way behind on a story -- he/she start looking for "experts in California" that could speak to the topic of the story. Good advice; never thought of it.

September 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM 

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