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Karen_X2
09-07-2011, 11:20 AM
This has always bugged me. Lots of people seem to set their clocks - house, car, etc..fast. some 5 min, and one of my friends has hers set at home and in the car 15 minutes fast. My S.O. has his set 7 minutes fast. But they KNOW that it's set fast. So what's the point? I like mine right on the dot. I don't have to do the math in my head to know if I'm on time, late or early. For those of you out there that do this, please please PLEASE tell me why.

johnpost
09-07-2011, 11:35 AM
although i don't do it:

the only people i've known to do that are females. maybe it works on some girl brains. you are still on time and you don't feel as much pressure to hurry. less pressure, no failure of being late.

bugs me too.

MLS
09-07-2011, 11:39 AM
I set the clock by my bedside fast by the amount of time it normally takes me to drive to work.

Foxy40
09-07-2011, 11:41 AM
I set my bedside clock 30 minutes fast. Why? It tricks my brain into thinking that it is the correct time when I am still half asleep followed by relief that I can sleep another half hour.

enipla
09-07-2011, 11:45 AM
My Wife sets her bedside clock and the clock in her car 15 min fast. Drives me nuts. I put my foot down when it comes to the rest of the clocks in the house. They are on the dot as they should be.

SiXSwordS
09-07-2011, 11:57 AM
... maybe it works on some girl brains. ...
bugs me too.
I'm guessing that the best way for me to tell if I have a girl brain is to check for swelling in the crotch.

This has always bugged me.
... what's the point? I like mine right on the dot.

I have done this in the past. I do consciously know that it's fast, but I still react to what the clock says as though it's correct.

If I need to leave at 10:00, and the clock says 10:00, I feel like I should be leaving; even though I consciously know it's 9:55.

I wonder if any bartenders are going to chime in on this issue....

standingwave
09-07-2011, 12:12 PM
It drives me nuts. It defeats the entire purpose of having standardized time in the first place. Fortunately, with cell phones everywhere these days, I'm seeing less of it. But I remember one time traveling with one of our company's executives who had told me to meet him in the hotel lobby at 7:30 am for breakfast before we met with our client. So I'm down there at 7:25 watching the elevator and he never shows. Reluctantly, after waiting until 7:45 (twenty minutes), I head into the restaurant where I find him just finishing up. He then proceeds to give me a ration of sh!# for being late when I was actually five minutes early! Only then did I notice that he kept his watch twenty minutes fast. :smack: When I asked him about that, he told me that he had never lost a deal by being too early.

dracoi
09-07-2011, 12:18 PM
Personally, I don't set my clock fast. I try to set it to whatever clock is most important. For example, when I went to school, I wanted to be sure that my watches and clocks were synchronized to the school's.

But I know plenty of people who do set clocks fast, and I think the reason is simply the tiny bit of stress felt in reconciling the times. You might know on a rational level that a clock at 10:00 means it is really only 9:55, but there's a part of your brain that motivates you to get moving anyway. You don't have to successfully trick your whole brain as long as one piece of it is willing to get some adrenaline going. Once the adrenaline is going, there's no point in sitting around for an extra 5 minutes.

(I think it's similar to the fact that $9.99 is virtually the same as $10.00, but retail stores still report that the former sells better. Part of your brain responds because it doesn't understand math.)

Mangetout
09-07-2011, 12:19 PM
So it sounds like it's an alternative to planning properly, being organised and avoiding procrastination enough to just be punctual.

cjepson
09-07-2011, 12:27 PM
You folks are all pikers. What I do is, I set my clock slow. But because I know it's slow, I get really nervous about being late, and that makes me hurry up so that I end up actually being early.


























(Just kidding.)

Ferret Herder
09-07-2011, 12:42 PM
My husband and I both set our watches slightly fast, as well as our alarm clocks and the car's clock. Not too fast - just a few minutes. All other clocks are correct in the house. We know they're fast, but react on the spot as if we need to beat that time. Both of us hate being late so much that we'd arrive on time even if we didn't do this, but prefer the comfort of setting those clocks ahead just a bit. (We generally have an hour to wait between clearing security and the boarding time of our flight, for instance, so it's not to compensate for poor planning.)

awldune
09-07-2011, 12:52 PM
I used to do this, although only 5-10 minutes. I have known people who would set clocks as much as 30 minutes fast, especially in the car on beside alarm clocks.

One reason for me was that I had analog (and maybe even some early digital?) clocks that ran slow, so you could never trust them to have the exact time. Better fast than slow.

It also did seem to help me run on time, even though I knew intellectually that the clock was fast.

PacifistPorcupine
09-07-2011, 01:05 PM
My alarm clock is one of those that picks up the time from the atomic clock radio signal, so no I don't set it fast. I don't wear a watch, I use my cellphone for that, and that's also on whatever time it syncs with.

Gary Robson
09-07-2011, 01:13 PM
Thread moved to "In My Humble Opinion."

Gary Robson
09-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Setting my watch fast would be pointless, because I'd always compensate mentally anyway. When it matters what time it is, I want to know exactly what time it is. When it doesn't matter, I don't wear a watch anyway.

Since my wife works in broadcast TV, our house is full of clocks that synchronize to the cesium clock in Colorado.

Jophiel
09-07-2011, 01:20 PM
The clock in my car is set fast and runs fast so it's moved from four minutes fast to six minutes over the last year. I didn't set it that way, I just never fixed it and I do still try to make it to work by "8:00" despite logically knowing it's only 7:54.

It's also nice when it's 8:02 to know I'm not really late yet.

Leaffan
09-07-2011, 01:32 PM
Nope. I'm miffed because my car clock is currently about 20 seconds fast.

Krouget
09-07-2011, 01:57 PM
This has always bugged me. Lots of people seem to set their clocks - house, car, etc..fast. some 5 min, and one of my friends has hers set at home and in the car 15 minutes fast. My S.O. has his set 7 minutes fast. But they KNOW that it's set fast. So what's the point? I like mine right on the dot. I don't have to do the math in my head to know if I'm on time, late or early. For those of you out there that do this, please please PLEASE tell me why.
I never understood this, either. My father does this and it doesn't make any difference, since he can't effectively convince himself that the time is standard. All it seems to do is create unnecessary anxiety, which he really doesn't need.

When "late", he knows he has the additional time, anyway. So far as I'm concerned, just leave earlier.

It makes it even more confusing when you get into his vehicle, and you're thrown off, followed by his explaining that the time is fast. So you're on your time, and he's on your time +5, but not really...

Karen_X2
09-07-2011, 02:28 PM
So this confirms exactly what I've suspected.

Those of you that set your clocks, watches, etc. KNOW that they are fast.

I just think that if I wake up, and even for those first few groggy moments, that I am on time, that feeling quickly dissolves when I realize my clock is fast. I'd rather sleep the extra few minutes. Now I have to do the whole math routine in my head just to figure out what time it really is. It just seems like too much work. But, if it works for you, then I guess that's ok. But I still don't understand the reasoning.

I just wonder how many of you will wake up tomorrow morning and think "Crap. Karen is right. This math thing is just too much work. I could be sleeping"

Mangetout
09-07-2011, 03:56 PM
Setting my watch fast would be pointless, because I'd always compensate mentally anyway. When it matters what time it is, I want to know exactly what time it is. When it doesn't matter, I don't wear a watch anyway.

This. I travel by train a fair bit. Knowing the correct time is the priority. I can do punctuality without resorting to absurd artifice.

Full Metal Lotus
09-07-2011, 04:27 PM
Glad to see that my opinion is not in the minority. Two things that drive me nuts about household clock setting are:
1) Setting them ahead
2) Setting them all at different times (all with in 5-10 minutes of actual times.

Setting them ahead is just silly. If I do that, I just do the compensate in my head, it doesn't fool me, and I instantly lose respect for the mental capability of anyone who can fool themselves so easily.

Our house has teens. We wanted to spray for them, but apparently the law says we can't and must just learn to live with them. Sigh... The different "time zones by room" (clocks set differently in each room) was a favourite weasel trick.. (Bed time is 10:30... but its only 10:20 in the basement... or you said you'd take me to the mall at 7... its sevn by the room in the teen's room... 6:50 in the kitchen. Particularly frustrating was timed chores... Clean up the house on Saturday mornings for 2 hrs became 1 hour and 40 minutes by "starting" in a room running fast, and "ending" in a room running late.

So, I set the clocks to WWV (international shortwave standard time). It actually caused quite a stir, as they realised that the clocks' various times were not a means of weaselling out of things.

Edward The Head
09-07-2011, 04:27 PM
I have two clocks that are about 2 minutes fast, my alarm clock and my oven clock. I leave them that way so I think I'm just a bit late.

My ex used to keep her clocks 10-15 minutes late, why I still don't know. My ex father-in-law used to keep clocks 30 minutes fast and he was still late, because you know 'the clock is fast'.

srzss05
09-07-2011, 04:35 PM
One reason for me was that I had analog (and maybe even some early digital?) clocks that ran slow, so you could never trust them to have the exact time. Better fast than slow.

This is why I do it. The analog clock is battery operated, so eventually gets "slow", and the digital DVD player clocks seem to run fast no matter what they are originally set at (they used to connect to the correct time via antenna, but the digital "revolution" changed that). My alarm clock is correct, however.

FoieGrasIsEvil
09-07-2011, 04:37 PM
I set my alarm clock about 10 minutes fast. It allows me to hit snooze one extra time and still get up when I need to. I don't remember that its fast when I open one eye and look at it after awakening for the first time. All the other clocks, watches, etc are the correct time. Works for me.

Charley
09-07-2011, 04:48 PM
Well, I'm going to stand up loud and proud (well, kind of) for those of us who do set clocks ahead. Yes I appreciate all the points above, and in fact I agree with most of them. As Mangetout implies, essentially I have terrible timekeeping, and I am a champion procrastinator. If I am left to my own devices I'm late for everything, and I recognise that this is a failing, and annoying to those around me. Setting my clocks majorly ahead helps me to avoid my natural tendency to faff about instead of getting a move on. For me it works because I actually don't know how far my clocks are ahead. My car clock is set about 17 minutes fast, but mentally I calculate this as 'about a quarter of an hour'. My clock radio alarm is set just over 30 minutes fast I think, but again I tend to behave as if it's about a quarter of an hour fast. I love the feeling of getting dressed and ready in my room, then arriving downstairs to prepare to leave and noticing that I'm still 10-15 minutes early.

I recognise that this is just a ridiculous exercise in mental gymnastics, and I'm lucky that my husband merely rolls his eyes and ignores it (not that this is the weirdest or most particular thing I do anyway). However, it works for me and helps me irritate my friends and loved ones just a little bit less than I may have done.

chiroptera
09-07-2011, 04:48 PM
This has always bugged me. Lots of people seem to set their clocks - house, car, etc..fast. some 5 min, and one of my friends has hers set at home and in the car 15 minutes fast. My S.O. has his set 7 minutes fast. But they KNOW that it's set fast. So what's the point? I like mine right on the dot. I don't have to do the math in my head to know if I'm on time, late or early. For those of you out there that do this, please please PLEASE tell me why.

Count me as another who doesn't get this.
I itch if all the clocks in my house (or vehicle) are not set at the same, correct, time.

Gary Robson
09-07-2011, 05:15 PM
Just to clarify, I'm not saying my clocks are all accurate. We have a ludicrous number of devices that tell time in and around the house, some of which set themselves (using WWV or whatever) and some of which don't. At any given time, some of them are virtually guaranteed to be off. But we definitely don't do it on purpose, and we fix it when we notice it.

Scarlett67
09-07-2011, 05:17 PM
Seems like a hell of a lot more bother than, you know, just planning to be early.

If it takes me 45 minutes to get somewhere, I allow an hour, or more if I expect obstacles like weather, traffic, getting lost, etc. And then I might plan to leave even 15 minutes before that. It's not rocket science.

Dangerosa
09-07-2011, 05:35 PM
Only in the bedroom and its some "off" time - like 17 minutes or something (I don't even know). Its a trick for a sleepy mind. When I go to bed I look at the clock and believe its later than it is. I know its not, but my mind can't process the math when I'm tired. So I ignore what I know and am willing to believe what I see. Same deal in the morning, when I believe it to be much later than it is - once again, sleepy brain can't process the math and is willing to be tricked

And I've been doing it for 30 years. And I haven't caught on to the fact I'm fooling myself. My sleepy brain is REALLY stupid.

ETA: We even have a name for it - its "bedroom time."

Hypnagogic Jerk
09-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Most of my clocks are early, but the thing is I'm not sure exactly how early. I think it's at least two minutes, but it could be three or four. My watch tends to run fast, so it increases over time; at some point it was around seven minutes, which is when I moved it five minutes back. I tend to act as if my clocks were two minutes early, which still gives me at least a few seconds, and up to two or three minutes, to catch my bus if I have to take one and if I'm running late.

Steophan
09-07-2011, 06:07 PM
My alarm clock is a few minutes fast, mainly because when I set it I usually hit the wrong button at least once and change the time instead of the alarm. I work shifts, so I change the alarm at least weekly, more often if I need to use it at the weekend.

I prefer it a few minutes fast, as if I set it for the time I need I'll have a few more minutes to do stuff in the morning.

My phone, which I use most often to check the time, is set to the clocks at work, as that's the only place I need to know the time to the minute. I assume my computer updates automatically, I rarely check the time on it.

Jaledin
09-07-2011, 06:12 PM
Never understood it. All clocks set correctly, and ek setera. Think a bit less of people who prejudiciously set ahead, but that's the way I came up with my own system. I guess that's why I don't have many friends.

standingwave
09-07-2011, 06:51 PM
I'm too lazy to do this because then I would have to remember which clocks are fast and by how much. :smack: It's like the old saying. a man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure.

I simply allow plenty of time to get where I'm supposed to be. If I'm late, I call. If I'm early, then I read - I'm never without a book.

Dangerosa
09-07-2011, 08:11 PM
I'm too lazy to do this because then I would have to remember which clocks are fast and by how much. :smack: It's like the old saying. a man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure.

I simply allow plenty of time to get where I'm supposed to be. If I'm late, I call. If I'm early, then I read - I'm never without a book.

Ah, see that is the beauty of my system - I don't remember. Nor is there any need to - as long as I'm up before the time on the clock says I need to be up, I'm early....

Anaamika
09-07-2011, 08:16 PM
I am consistently punctual and never late and I always set my car clock ten minutes ahead and my watch, five minutes ahead. It makes me feel better. Why does anyone care?

LurkerInNJ
09-07-2011, 08:17 PM
I have my clocks at home set 10 minutes fast because if there is a show I want to watch, I like having some leeway if the remote got stuck in the couch cushions, I want to use the bathroom, I feel like preparing a snack etc. Better to have a few minutes to prepare than miss the start of a show.

SeaDragonTattoo
09-07-2011, 08:57 PM
I used to set my alarm clock ahead 10 minutes or so. But as electronics have advanced, that has gone by the wayside in my house. My cell phone is my alarm clock. It's always right, I can't set it ahead. TV is the same way, the tuner box always has the right time, so does the computer. Even the cars I drive (when I drive a car) are set remotely, and are always right. To set the two settable clocks in the house ahead (living room wall clock and microwave in the kitchen) would just set my teeth on edge at this point.

So I've had to adjust to simply doing things in "real time" and leave the house "earlier" than I used to!

standingwave
09-07-2011, 09:04 PM
I have my clocks at home set 10 minutes fast because if there is a show I want to watch, I like having some leeway if the remote got stuck in the couch cushions, I want to use the bathroom, I feel like preparing a snack etc. Better to have a few minutes to prepare than miss the start of a show.Yah, but don't you get tired of turning on the TV and sitting down only to find you're ten minutes early, the popcorn's getting cold and there's nothing on? Admit it, you compensate by knowing your clock is ten minutes fast which pretty much defeats its purpose.

Kent Clark
09-07-2011, 09:04 PM
Since my wife works in broadcast TV, our house is full of clocks that synchronize to the cesium clock in Colorado.

Ditto. I used to work in broadcasting so I have an obsession to know the exact time. It annoys the hell out of me that I can't set the clocks on the VCR, oven, microwave, etc. to the exact second, so they're never synchronized.

SeaDragonTattoo
09-07-2011, 09:05 PM
I am consistently punctual and never late and I always set my car clock ten minutes ahead and my watch, five minutes ahead. It makes me feel better. Why does anyone care?

Your post reminds me of a few months ago. I had to do relief work at a different location from where I usually work. I had to get there early (for me), by 9am. I was on the El, on time as far as I knew, when I glanced at the watch of the woman sitting next to me.

!!!! PANIC !!!!

In my head I was fairly certain it was about 8:15. Her watch said 8:45. What???

I frantically dug for my cell and verified the time. It was what I thought, and her watch was set 30 whole minutes ahead.

So, while I don't ultimately care what other people set their watches by, just be aware it may send someone into a momentary panic, just for admiring your watch. (Though 5 minutes shouldn't matter :) )

kelly5078
09-07-2011, 10:59 PM
I set my alarm clock 15 minutes fast, and my watch 3 minutes fast. The former makes it less annoying to get out of bed; the latter keeps me from being late to meetings.

Pai325
09-07-2011, 11:29 PM
Yes, I do. Car only. I don't remember why I started, but I like it.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 12:21 AM
I have my clocks at home set 10 minutes fast because if there is a show I want to watch, I like having some leeway if the remote got stuck in the couch cushions, I want to use the bathroom, I feel like preparing a snack etc. Better to have a few minutes to prepare than miss the start of a show.

Here's why I don't get it: those minutes exist for everyone alive. They are not extra ones created out of nothing by the act of setting the clock wrong.

CanvasShoes
09-08-2011, 12:42 AM
I am under NO illusions that I'm somehow "gaining" time, it's just a little psychological boost. That's all it is. It just helps me feel better about the morning somehow. I'm not sure if the demographics matter to you, but just to help further satisfy your curiosity about we weird time setter aheaders :D, I'm a 52 year old woman, and I've been doing it since my 20s.

I hope that helps.

Dereknocue67
09-08-2011, 02:07 AM
All the time pieces in my life are set ahead . . . way ahead . . . by 24 hours!

Johanna
09-08-2011, 02:37 AM
Ugh, that habit annoys me no end. It's silly enough when people do it at home. But when a business or agency or something does it, and they close at say 5:00, and you get there at 4:54, and they've already locked up because their clocks say 5:01—it's damned exasperating.

I'm a 52 year old woman, and I've been annoyed by it since my 20s.

It doesn't make any sense, because you're trying to trick your own mind into believing it's later than it really is. But you already know full well you set it in advance on purpose. So, knowing that, you somehow have to divide your mind into compartments to make yourself forget that it isn't the actual time. The whole concept of playing tricks on yourself like that, and what's more blanking out part of your consciousness to deceive yourself, is just too weird for me. I mean, have some more respect for your own mind than that.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 02:38 AM
I am under NO illusions that I'm somehow "gaining" time, it's just a little psychological boost. That's all it is. It just helps me feel better about the morning somehow. I'm not sure if the demographics matter to you, but just to help further satisfy your curiosity about we weird time setter aheaders :D, I'm a 52 year old woman, and I've been doing it since my 20s.

I hope that helps.

I understand the reasons people are stating for doing it. I'm deeply doubtful that it actually helps. It's an additional variable, and it's a fixed one, meaning:
-You have one more problem (working out what the time really is)
and
-It can only be useful for one particular category of timekeeping problem - so a five minute advance on your clock might help you get your ass on the sofa in time to watch TV (does anyone really have that problem), but that advance isn't going to help you be in time for an appointment that has a half hour journey in front of it.

I guess I'm just surprised that what I expected would be an uncommon quirk is a bit more mainstream than I thought.

Ferret Herder
09-08-2011, 06:47 AM
I understand the reasons people are stating for doing it. I'm deeply doubtful that it actually helps. It's an additional variable, and it's a fixed one, meaning:
-You have one more problem (working out what the time really is)
and
-It can only be useful for one particular category of timekeeping problem - so a five minute advance on your clock might help you get your ass on the sofa in time to watch TV (does anyone really have that problem), but that advance isn't going to help you be in time for an appointment that has a half hour journey in front of it.
If I need to know the accurate-to-the-exact-minute time, I pull out my iPhone. Otherwise for many purposes, "almost 5:30" or "just after 9" is usually good enough. I have a small analog watch that is only marked off at 5-minute increments, anyway, so looking at the watch face can sometimes be a guess as to what an exact time might be.

For me, it works for being early to that meeting down the hall/across the building, and just fine for half-hour-away drives - because I know if something's a half-hour drive, I should probably leave 45 minutes before the appointment time. My punctuality isn't caused by having a slightly fast watch. It just makes me feel comfortable that my watch is not slow.

I think for us it might also be side effects of having grown up with analog wind-watches that might lose time, and not-punctual people as well.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
If I need to know the accurate-to-the-exact-minute time, I pull out my iPhone. Otherwise for many purposes, "almost 5:30" or "just after 9" is usually good enough. I have a small analog watch that is only marked off at 5-minute increments, anyway, so looking at the watch face can sometimes be a guess as to what an exact time might be.Yes, but I think there is a fundamental difference between lack of precision and injected error. Not that it matters, and not that I'll ever convince anyone they're being daft, if that were even necessary.

I guess we probably all have irrational little habits. This one just surprised me in its popularity, is all.

Khadaji
09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
I have a clock that loses time. I set it two minutes fast so that as it slowly loses time it is close +/- a few minutes.

Other than that, all my clocks are the same.

Dangerosa
09-08-2011, 07:18 AM
I understand the reasons people are stating for doing it. I'm deeply doubtful that it actually helps. It's an additional variable, and it's a fixed one, meaning:
-You have one more problem (working out what the time really is)
and
-It can only be useful for one particular category of timekeeping problem - so a five minute advance on your clock might help you get your ass on the sofa in time to watch TV (does anyone really have that problem), but that advance isn't going to help you be in time for an appointment that has a half hour journey in front of it.

I guess I'm just surprised that what I expected would be an uncommon quirk is a bit more mainstream than I thought.

But you don't necessarily HAVE the first problem. People who do this - particularly with small amounts of time, aren't necessarily bothering to figure out what time it "really" is. I don't even know how "off" my bedroom clock is - I'm missing the variable to do the math. There isn't a lot of reason to know exactly - if you are three minutes early for your bus or your TV show you are fine. The problem is being two minutes late.

What I don't get about time management is my brother in law - in fact, my husband's entire family as far as I can tell - who never add travel time in. If they are supposed to be at my house at 3:00, they leave their homes at 3:00 - half an hour away. I've watched them plan days where they have events with 45 minute drives in between and are supposed to only stay an hour - and don't plan the travel time. I suspect people who benefit from a watch five minutes fast have the kinder gentler version of this inability to understand that we don't teleport places - and without the watch five minutes fast, missed a lot of buses.

Anaamika
09-08-2011, 08:11 AM
But you don't necessarily HAVE the first problem. People who do this - particularly with small amounts of time, aren't necessarily bothering to figure out what time it "really" is. I don't even know how "off" my bedroom clock is - I'm missing the variable to do the math. There isn't a lot of reason to know exactly - if you are three minutes early for your bus or your TV show you are fine. The problem is being two minutes late.

(snip) I suspect people who benefit from a watch five minutes fast have the kinder gentler version of this inability to understand that we don't teleport places - and without the watch five minutes fast, missed a lot of buses.

Pretty much. I've been setting my watch 5-10 minutes ahead since high school, when I took the bus. The bus was always five minutes early, or five minutes late, or seventeen minutes late. You never knew. So it behooved me to be there early JUST IN CASE.

This isn't a habit of chronically late people, good heavens. This is a habit of people who are not only punctual but prefer to be early. I don't look at the clock and say "I'm five minutes ahead, I can linger and lounge around". I look at the clock and go "I'm five minutes ahead, all right, I'm moving well, if I continue moving at this pace I definitely won't be late."

What I don't understand is chronically late people who never make an effort to be on time! But then we won't get into that discussion.

Telemark
09-08-2011, 08:24 AM
So it sounds like it's an alternative to planning properly, being organised and avoiding procrastination enough to just be punctual.
No, it's a tool that some people use to plan properly and be punctual.

enipla
09-08-2011, 08:44 AM
<snip>So, while I don't ultimately care what other people set their watches by, just be aware it may send someone into a momentary panic, just for admiring your watch. (Though 5 minutes shouldn't matter :) )<snip>Yep. I rarely drive my wifes car, but when I do, if I look at her clock, I get to have that moment of panic too. "Shit, I'm going to be late".

I really don't get it. Not at all.

Dangerosa
09-08-2011, 09:00 AM
Yep. I rarely drive my wifes car, but when I do, if I look at her clock, I get to have that moment of panic too. "Shit, I'm going to be late".

I really don't get it. Not at all.

But that is one reason they set their clocks fast - that moment of panic that moves them.

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast
09-08-2011, 10:52 AM
My cell phone is precisely the right time.
My kitchen clock is exactly 57 minutes fast.
My bedroom clock is 15 minutes fast.
The clock in my car is 1 hour and 22 minutes fast.
I like living in many time zones.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 12:02 PM
No, it's a tool that some people use to plan properly and be punctual.

<shrug> it seems overly complex. The easiest way to be on time or early is to simply start with sufficient lead time in your plan.

pbbth
09-08-2011, 12:02 PM
But you don't necessarily HAVE the first problem. People who do this - particularly with small amounts of time, aren't necessarily bothering to figure out what time it "really" is. I don't even know how "off" my bedroom clock is - I'm missing the variable to do the math. There isn't a lot of reason to know exactly - if you are three minutes early for your bus or your TV show you are fine. The problem is being two minutes late.


Our clocks are 3 minutes fast for pretty much this reason. I have a very particular train that I like to catch every single morning because it is completely empty so I always get a seat. It comes sometime between 7:57 a.m. and 8:04 a.m. every day. There is nothing more frustrating in this world than walking into the train station at 7:58 to see the doors closing on an empty train and knowing that every other train that comes for the rest of the morning is going to be packed full of people and I'm going to have to stand uncomfortably squished between strangers for the next 25 minutes. Putting my clocks 3 minutes ahead helps me make sure I am in the train station at 7:57 on the dot. The fact that it annoys other people is just a bonus. ;)

otternell
09-08-2011, 12:11 PM
I used to, but seriously the math was a pain in the ass, and there was literally no benefit. I need to be out of the door at x, which means I need to get up at x-45, which means the clock needs to be set to x-45+-?? For me, time and math do not mix well, especially when its time to set the alarm for a butt-crack of dawn flight.

I am not very good at re-setting clocks that get ahead by themselves, until it becomes ridiculous. The clock I had in my library got about 30 minutes ahead before it was time to adjust for daylight savings time, and I just let it. I'm pretty sure the bathroom is still about 5 minutes fast, but the clock itself seems to like that just fine, and I don't care enough to bother.

Anaamika
09-08-2011, 01:28 PM
<shrug> it seems overly complex. The easiest way to be on time or early is to simply start with sufficient lead time in your plan.

But it isn't. Once I set it, it's set forever. It's not complex at all, and I never have the "moment of panic" other people are referring to.

Telemark
09-08-2011, 01:28 PM
<shrug> it seems overly complex. The easiest way to be on time or early is to simply start with sufficient lead time in your plan.
Different squids for different kids. It works for many people I know, and that's how they account for sufficient lead time in their plan.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 02:11 PM
But it isn't. Once I set it, it's set forever. It's not complex at all, and I never have the "moment of panic" other people are referring to.

So what *does*it do? Seems like everyone's arguing that it works really well, at the same time as not making any difference

Skammer
09-08-2011, 02:20 PM
My alarm clock is 7 minutes fast. It allows me the illusion of not getting up before 6 am, although I do. If I ever decided I needed more time in the morning I would set my clock ahead a bit more and still sleep until it said 6.

None of my other clocks, including the one in the bathroom where I get ready, are fast. Just my alarm clock.

Anaamika
09-08-2011, 02:25 PM
So what *does*it do? Seems like everyone's arguing that it works really well, at the same time as not making any difference

It comforts me. Isn't that enough? I mean, how many things do we do solely for the sake of comforting ourselves? I don't really understand the people that are somehow offended by this trait.

None of my other clocks are fast - just my car clock and my watch. So I wake up at the same time, but when I am showered and dressed and eating breakfast I can look at my watch and it motivates me to keep moving on time.

Rhiannon8404
09-08-2011, 04:06 PM
I don't do it. I don't see the point. For me, I would always just know. I can't fool myself.

Mangetout
09-08-2011, 04:32 PM
It comforts me. Isn't that enough? I mean, how many things do we do solely for the sake of comforting ourselves? I don't really understand the people that are somehow offended by this trait.

I'm not offended by it. I just find it ridiculous.

Parenchyma
09-08-2011, 06:52 PM
I don't do this much anymore, though I did grow up in a house where the only wall clock was 7 minutes fast. You have to understand it as people cleverly manipulating the non-rational parts of their brains to get the desired result: maximum punctuality with minimal stress.

Our cerebral cortices generating our rational thoughts rest on the less rational, evolutionarily older parts of our brains. Those more primitive parts are influenced by emotions, instincts, habits, imprinting, physiology, etc. We have very imperfect access and little control of those workings.

So the rational part of our brain does the best it can. It does little science experiments on how to get desired results in behavior by tapping into that underlying seething mass of irrationality. People in this thread have found a way to do that for punctuality. They don't really know why it works, but for them it does.

I think we function best when we find ways to use the non-rational brain in service of our more cerebral goals, instead of ignoring it because it's so strange. It's a big part of us and we might as well use it however we can for our higher purposes.

Mangetout
09-09-2011, 01:07 AM
Well, OK, but is there any evidence, beyond the kind of anecdotes in this thread, that this activity really *IS* effective

SiXSwordS
09-09-2011, 07:50 AM
... is there any evidence, beyond the kind of anecdotes in this thread, that this activity really *IS* effective

Depends on what your definition of *IS* is.

Does effective mean: On time more often?

I tend to be overly punctual. I've found that it actually irritates or surprises some people. They seem to have a lateness factor built into their lives.

For me--although I don't really do this anymore--it's like the clocks with different time zones you used to see in movies about newspapers.

The different time zone is just really really close-by.

enipla
09-09-2011, 08:00 AM
Yep. I rarely drive my wifes car, but when I do, if I look at her clock, I get to have that moment of panic too. "Shit, I'm going to be late".
But that is one reason they set their clocks fast - that moment of panic that moves them.But if we're already in the car on the way to work or school or whatever function, that moment of panic won't magicaly make the travel time less or the distance shorter (unless it makes you drive like a maniac). And the thing is, it would be making you rush for no reason. So, no point in it.

Sailboat
09-09-2011, 08:17 AM
My spouse sets her alarm clock and car clock fast, and is the most consistently, elaborately late person I know. She seems to plan her travel time as if she will be able to drive 80 mph the whole way and hit green lights.

She has two personality quirks which exacerbate the problem:


She doesn't start getting ready very far in advance (possibly because her father was an alcoholic control freak who forced her to wait long periods of time)

She thinks it's important to take elaborately-prepared food to a lot of events


This unfortunate combination frequently means we are supposed to be somewhere at 7:00, but at 7:30 we are instead going back to the grocery store a second time for some specialty ingredient for a dish that will require another hour to bake. We make a lot of apologies.

Mangetout
09-09-2011, 08:36 AM
Depends on what your definition of *IS* is.

Does effective mean: On time more often?
I was going to say that 'effective' would mean "do these clock-tweaking folks arrive on time more often (or more closely on time in total) with their advanced clocks than they would if they had to rely on clocks that tell only the correct time.

But on reflection, I don't think that would be a fair yardstick - because an affirmative answer would only require a small, possibly useless improvement, plus, punctuality just isn't rocket science - if it takes ten minutes to get to a place, then in order to get there, you need ten minutes.

So I think the question is: are people who deliberately advance their clocks at least as punctual as people who do not? That's fair, isn't it? The purpose of advancing the clocks is to bring about punctuality, so does it work?

I tend to be overly punctual. I've found that it actually irritates or surprises some people. They seem to have a lateness factor built into their lives.You can't win that scenario - all bets are off.

Telemark
09-09-2011, 08:58 AM
So I think the question is: are people who deliberately advance their clocks at least as punctual as people who do not? That's fair, isn't it? The purpose of advancing the clocks is to bring about punctuality, so does it work?

I don't think that's fair either since it's not clear that the people who set their clocks ahead are the same with respect to being late. Clearly, the people who set their clocks ahead have recognized that they have a problem and are trying to deal with it. They are looking for improvement measured against their previous behavior, not to achieve parity with the norm. It's a coping mechanism for an underlying problem.

Shodan
09-09-2011, 08:58 AM
If it works for you, more power to you, but I don't see the point.

I like to be punctual, and one of the tools I need to be punctual is to know what time it really is. The notion of fooling yourself by setting the clock wrong is unnecessary complication. If I need to be somewhere at 8:00 I would rather say "I need fifteen minutes to get ready, it's a twenty minute drive, so I will set the alarm for 7:40 and have a bit of leeway".

I tried something similar with chronically late people, by telling them "It starts at 8:00" when it started at 8:30, but that doesn't work. Somehow or other they wound up irritated at me for wasting their time.

I get twitchy if the clocks are off, so I set my watch by http://www.time.gov and set everything else by my watch.

Regards,
Shodan

enipla
09-09-2011, 09:15 AM
I don't think that's fair either since it's not clear that the people who set their clocks ahead are the same with respect to being late. Clearly, the people who set their clocks ahead have recognized that they have a problem and are trying to deal with it. They are looking for improvement measured against their previous behavior, not to achieve parity with the norm. It's a coping mechanism for an underlying problem.That's why I don't understand why my Wife does it to her bedside clock. She and I are both VERY punctual people, the only time she uses her bedside clock is to get up, and neither one of us really even needs an alarm. I doubt she ever sees it again during the day.

In the 14 years we have been married, I don't believe she has made me late, or ever been late meeting me. She just likes to set her clock fast I guess (really doesn't bother me much, just don't understand)

Karen_X2
09-09-2011, 09:34 AM
If it works for you, more power to you, but I don't see the point.

I like to be punctual, and one of the tools I need to be punctual is to know what time it really is. The notion of fooling yourself by setting the clock wrong is unnecessary complication. If I need to be somewhere at 8:00 I would rather say "I need fifteen minutes to get ready, it's a twenty minute drive, so I will set the alarm for 7:40 and have a bit of leeway".




This was exactly my point in the OP.
If setting your clock or watch ahead by X minutes works for you, then that's great.
It doesn't work for me.

MegaBee
09-09-2011, 09:39 AM
So it sounds like it's an alternative to planning properly, being organised and avoiding procrastination enough to just be punctual.

Sounds more like it's a method of planning properly.

LurkerInNJ
09-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Yah, but don't you get tired of turning on the TV and sitting down only to find you're ten minutes early, the popcorn's getting cold and there's nothing on? Admit it, you compensate by knowing your clock is ten minutes fast which pretty much defeats its purpose.

No. I lead a very active life and although I love tv, I don't watch a lot of it. I plan ahead for the shows I want to watch, and the 10 minute lead time allows me to take care of the last minute stuff and not miss the start of a show.

Telemark
09-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Sounds more like it's a method of planning properly.
See post #53. :)

Dangerosa
09-09-2011, 10:27 AM
But if we're already in the car on the way to work or school or whatever function, that moment of panic won't magicaly make the travel time less or the distance shorter (unless it makes you drive like a maniac). And the thing is, it would be making you rush for no reason. So, no point in it.

Yeah, I wouldn't think that would work for the car - although it may make you think twice about swinging through to grab milk.

It works for the bedroom - even after 30 years.

SiXSwordS
09-09-2011, 11:22 AM
I think the question is: are people who deliberately advance their clocks at least as punctual as people who do not? That's fair, isn't it?

Yes, I think that sounds fair. How do we effectively test the question?

The purpose of advancing the clocks is to bring about punctuality, so does it work?

I'm starting to realize that I don't do this for the same reason others do. I don't really set the clock ahead to be on time, nor to more on time than I would be otherwise. But I understand that that might be more aggravating to others than if I had some concrete goal in mind.

You can't win that scenario - all bets are off.

I'm sorry--I'm not trying to be thick--but, I don't understand what you mean..?

Clearly, the people who set their clocks ahead have recognized that they have a problem and are trying to deal with it.

I suspect you are right that some people are trying to address a perceived short-coming, but I never used it as a way of being more on time; just as a way of changing gears more smoothly.

Maybe a bit like telling the kids bedtime is in five minutes rather than just saying: "Go to bed."


I get twitchy if the clocks are off, so I set my watch by http://www.time.gov and set everything else by my watch.


I've never worn a watch and I doubt that there are any two time-keeping devices in my house that are set for the same time.

I habitually take a book with me to appointments because it's easier to sit and read rather than to try to figure out the formula for determining what fashionably late means in a given scenario.

I tend to think in terms of the passage of time rather than the "correct" time.

I recognize that this is IMHO and not in-my-stream-of-conciousness-self-revelations, but I wonder if being meticulous about time isn't a bit like being meticulous about cleaning or dressing.

For one person, it has to be just so. For another, it's ok either way.

enipla
09-09-2011, 01:04 PM
I'm sorry--I'm not trying to be thick--but, I don't understand what you mean..?Hooo, Boy. There have been a number of threads between people that are punctual/on time, and those that are often late to meetings/meet ups whatever. To say the devide between the two groups is huge would be the understatement of the year. I'll leave it at that.


I suspect you are right that some people are trying to address a perceived short-coming, but I never used it as a way of being more on time; just as a way of changing gears more smoothly.

Maybe a bit like telling the kids bedtime is in five minutes rather than just saying: "Go to bed." :shrug: really don't see how that analogy works. It's just incredibly hard for me to conceive how inaccurate information (time) could possibly make things go smother.

I habitually take a book with me to appointments because it's easier to sit and read rather than to try to figure out the formula for determining what fashionably late means in a given scenario.Fashionably late to a party is a whole different can o beans than appointments. In my book, there is no such thing as being fashionably late to an appointment.

I recognize that this is IMHO and not in-my-stream-of-conciousness-self-revelations, but I wonder if being meticulous about time isn't a bit like being meticulous about cleaning or dressing.Speaking for myself, not at all. It's probably more of a geek non geek thing.

Mangetout
09-09-2011, 02:54 PM
I'm sorry--I'm not trying to be thick--but, I don't understand what you mean..?


I just meant that if people are going to start getting huffy when you're punctual, then you're potentially damned either way.

Mangetout
09-09-2011, 03:00 PM
I don't think that's fair either since it's not clear that the people who set their clocks ahead are the same with respect to being late. Clearly, the people who set their clocks ahead have recognized that they have a problem and are trying to deal with it. They are looking for improvement measured against their previous behavior, not to achieve parity with the norm. It's a coping mechanism for an underlying problem.

That seems like wanting to have your cake and eat it - there's a problem, so you put a control measure in place, but still get to use the problem as an excuse if the control measure doesn't work, possibly at the same time as not admitting that the control measure is worthless.

It's not even a hard problem - I can explain why I found it too difficult to learn programming in some languages, or where I get lost when someone tries to walk me through differential calculus, but arranging to be punctual is like... subtraction (which I know the clock-setters already get, because that's what the clock-setting thing is fundamentally doing)

Telemark
09-09-2011, 04:28 PM
That seems like wanting to have your cake and eat it - there's a problem, so you put a control measure in place, but still get to use the problem as an excuse if the control measure doesn't work, possibly at the same time as not admitting that the control measure is worthless.
That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you have to define your control group carefully to make sure that you're measuring the right thing. The people who use it (not me, by the way, my clocks are set exactly right) say it works for them and don't see any reason to doubt their experience. They could be self-deluded, but it's not a big enough issue with me to care. If you want to measure the effect IMO you would need to find a large group of people who are habitually late and have half set their clocks ahead. Then you can measure the effectiveness of the technique.

It's not even a hard problem
For you. For others it certainly is. I know some people with ADHD who use tricks like this to cope and as I said, it seems to work for them. They are more on time and less likely to be rushing around then before they started using this and other techniques.

Again, I don't understand your insistence that this is a bad thing to do. It seems to me to be on par with objecting that some people use 24 hour clocks instead of 12 hours here in the US where 12-hour is the standard. Yes, it'll be confusing for people who glance at the clock and don't know, but that's really not a big issue. Scientific studies to show that setting your clocks ahead helps some people would be nice, but IMO unnecessary for something of this nature.

Alice The Goon
09-09-2011, 04:31 PM
The only clock that I set fast is my bedside alarm clock. It goes off ten minutes to six, and then my cell phone alarm goes off at six. So, it's really just an early warning system for me, and I do this instead of hitting the snooze bar.

SiXSwordS
09-09-2011, 04:31 PM
...huffy when you're punctual
If not a band name, then at least a hit single.

silenus
09-09-2011, 04:50 PM
My car clock is 5 minutes fast, but that's just because I can't be arsed to reset it.

Mangetout
09-09-2011, 05:49 PM
For you. For others it certainly is. I know some people with ADHD who use tricks like this to cope and as I said, it seems to work for them. They are more on time and less likely to be rushing around then before they started using this and other techniques. Not just for me. The evaluation of difficulty of problems can't be completely arbitrary and subjective. My point, if I even have one is that I think the solution is more complex than the problem, so if the user can cope with the solution, the problem can't be one of complexity.

We haven't really defined the group of people we're talking about - maybe that's part of the problem in the thread.

Again, I don't understand your insistence that this is a bad thing to do.I don't think I am insisting that.

It seems to me to be on par with objecting that some people use 24 hour clocks instead of 12 hours here in the US where 12-hour is the standard. Yes, it'll be confusing for people who glance at the clock and don't know, but that's really not a big issue. Scientific studies to show that setting your clocks ahead helps some people would be nice, but IMO unnecessary for something of this nature.I can see what you're trying to say, but I don't think it's quite comparable - this is deliberate injection of error.

I'm going to drop the subject now anyway - not because I want to win the argument by running away (which I don't particularly feel I have done anyway), but because as is often the case here, the disagreement is pushing me to appear to occupy a position more extreme than is truly the case.

jabiru
09-09-2011, 07:16 PM
I hate it when one of my clocks is out (happens just after the DST change) and I have to constantly adjust my thinking about which clock is correct. I really can't see the point of having a timepiece five or ten minutes fast because I'd just make the mental adjustment.

I set two alarms to get up if I'm on a morning shift. The mobile phone is the first to go off and I have an alarm clock on the other side of the room if the phone fails or if I sleep through. I'm always awake about two minutes before the first alarm.

Telemark
09-09-2011, 07:51 PM
I can see what you're trying to say, but I don't think it's quite comparable - this is deliberate injection of error.
I know; that analogy wasn't great for this very reason. There's a pretty significant difference between using a different notation and adding extra time on the clock.

I'm going to drop the subject now anyway - not because I want to win the argument by running away (which I don't particularly feel I have done anyway), but because as is often the case here, the disagreement is pushing me to appear to occupy a position more extreme than is truly the case.
I'm with you here, it's not an issue that I really care deeply about. But I know some people who use it and they are important to me and that may be pushing my button. I think we're cool to agree to disagree.

notfrommensa
09-09-2011, 08:48 PM
Not intentionally. My bedroom clock radio thinks it has to be 5 minutes fast. After every power outage, I reset it to the correct time, but after about a month it has gained 5 minutes. And then stops gaining. I have tried to reset to be 5 minutes slow initially, but it still keeps gaining until it is five minutes fast. And no, it is not receiving signals from satellites (or similar), it is a cheap clock radio and probably about 25 yrs old. This happens gradually and not all at once, about 1 minute per week.

I have just figured it is possessed and wants to be five minutes fast. occasionally, I reset it myself, usually around midnight, unplugging and replugging, because it is a pain in the neck to change the time. But since I am used to it being five minutes fast so I have basically given up on it.

maybe next time I will reset it so it is five minutes fast, and see if it still gains 5 minutes in the first month.

the rest of clocks are all set correctly.

Caiata
09-10-2011, 02:44 AM
I do this, because I am neurotic about punctuality to the point of not going to an event at all if I am going to be late, and I live with my boyfriend who thinks that if a movie starts at 9:30pm, you leave the house at 9:30pm, and you can just look up the starting few minutes of the movie online at home after it's over.

As you may imagine, this caused some stress earlier in our relationship before I stumbled upon this trick. I have set the clocks ahead 17 minutes, and he can never remember that. So now, when we're going to a movie that starts at 9:30pm, he is happy because the clock says 9:30pm when we're walking out the door, and I am happy because we have 17 minutes to make an 8-minute drive, park, and get our tickets. I am never anxious about being late, and he is never anxious about being early.

It is the win-winniest of win-win situations.

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast
09-10-2011, 03:39 AM
As you may imagine, this caused some stress earlier in our relationship before I stumbled upon this trick. I have set the clocks ahead 17 minutes, and he can never remember that.

...your boyfriend, Caiata - he's a goldfish?

Gary Robson
09-10-2011, 04:45 AM
I like to be punctual, and one of the tools I need to be punctual is to know what time it really is. The notion of fooling yourself by setting the clock wrong is unnecessary complication. If I need to be somewhere at 8:00 I would rather say "I need fifteen minutes to get ready, it's a twenty minute drive, so I will set the alarm for 7:40 and have a bit of leeway".Am I missing something, Shodan? Wouldn't that scenario make you at least fifteen minutes late?

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast
09-10-2011, 05:18 AM
Am I missing something, Shodan? Wouldn't that scenario make you at least fifteen minutes late?

...not if I send him my bedroom clock.

enipla
09-10-2011, 12:34 PM
I'm with you here, it's not an issue that I really care deeply about. But I know some people who use it and they are important to me and that may be pushing my button. I think we're cool to agree to disagree.Me too. I have know idea why my wife likes to do this. She certainly has no problem with punctuality using any clocks. Right time or not.

I think she is changing a bit because of cell phones. :shrug: As a programmer/systems analyst, it drives me a bit batty when people put bad data into any system (unless for testing of course. See, there I go :D )

Uncle Brother Walker
09-10-2011, 11:35 PM
I set my bedroom clock 15 min fast.

When I wake up, I usually turn on the weather channel and wait for the "Local On The Eights" segment.

I use the Weather Channel for the real time. It takes me approx. 10 min to go door to door from my house to the bus stop. So I get a five minute buffer. Of course, the bus system here is always +/- five minutes, so it always cuts it close. I usually make it.

Sometimes I wake during the night. I peek at the clock to see how much time I have left to sleep. Although I know the clock is set fast, I can figure it out after a second or two. But since I'm up already and heading to the bathroom, I can deal.

BigT
09-11-2011, 11:28 AM
<shrug> it seems overly complex. The easiest way to be on time or early is to simply start with sufficient lead time in your plan.

Why would that work better than not having to plan for extra time, because it's already built into your clock? One takes thinking, the other doesn't. Which one is less likely to go wrong?

Mangetout
09-11-2011, 12:36 PM
Why would that work better than not having to plan for extra time, because it's already built into your clock? One takes thinking, the other doesn't. Which one is less likely to go wrong?
A clock that is offset for one particular purpose is rendered less useful for other purposes.

Also, fixing the problem in this way would, I think, make the person less able to deal with timekeeping out in the world, where the option of offsetting the clock is not available.

It's more complex because it means dealing with two systems instead of one.

And you can't possibly condense the variety of different lead times you may need into one single offset, so ot doesn't even remove the burden of planning as you suggest.

OpalCat
09-11-2011, 12:38 PM
I just wonder how many of you will wake up tomorrow morning and think "Crap. Karen is right. This math thing is just too much work. I could be sleeping"

Speaking of math and waking up, my husband just installed an alarm clock on his phone that makes you do math problems to turn off the alarm or to snooze (they are settings--it isn't automatic). That would wake me up for sure.

enipla
09-11-2011, 06:51 PM
A clock that is offset for one particular purpose is rendered less useful for other purposes.

Also, fixing the problem in this way would, I think, make the person less able to deal with timekeeping out in the world, where the option of offsetting the clock is not available.

It's more complex because it means dealing with two systems instead of one.

And you can't possibly condense the variety of different lead times you may need into one single offset, so ot doesn't even remove the burden of planning as you suggest. Bingo. Bingo and bingo.

Telemark
09-11-2011, 09:41 PM
I just checked with the person who has her car clock set 8 minutes ahead. It turns out that she just hasn't reset it properly because it's a pain to do. I'll reset it for her next time I'm in her car; it'll make my life easier. :)

hazynlazy
09-11-2011, 09:45 PM
Back in college, one of my roommates was terrible with time and would always be late. Too often, we'd be going out somewhere, and we'd try to rush him but he'd inevitably spend too much time in his room getting ready or talking on the phone and we'd get to the corner just in time to see the bus fly by (cue: saved by the bell theme song).

So we started lying to him about when the bus left. That worked for awhile, until he caught on to what we were doing and memorized the bus schedule.

Finally, we had no choice but to set his clock six minutes fast. He never did catch on. And we we always caught the bus.

Of course, if I had my way, we would have just left when we wanted to and if he didn't make it, it was his own fault. But somehow my other roommates said we couldn't be so rude since we had to live with him. They failed to see the rudeness in him always making us late, not to mention always having to remind him of when we had to leave as if we were his parents.

CanvasShoes
09-12-2011, 01:36 AM
Ugh, that habit annoys me no end. It's silly enough when people do it at home. But when a business or agency or something does it, and they close at say 5:00, and you get there at 4:54, and they've already locked up because their clocks say 5:01—it's damned exasperating.

I'm a 52 year old woman, and I've been annoyed by it since my 20s.

It doesn't make any sense, because you're trying to trick your own mind into believing it's later than it really is. But you already know full well you set it in advance on purpose. So, knowing that, you somehow have to divide your mind into compartments to make yourself forget that it isn't the actual time. The whole concept of playing tricks on yourself like that, and what's more blanking out part of your consciousness to deceive yourself, is just too weird for me. I mean, have some more respect for your own mind than that.
This is kind of a different (though slightly related) issue. Bars to this too, only it's not 5 minutes, it's 15 minutes.

Many retail places do it as a sort of non-confrontational way to keep rude people out of their stores right before closing.

There are seemingly millions of people who are either completely clueless about, or don't care, that's its rude beyond compare to wander into a store 5 minutes before it closes and proceed to wander, and shop, and take 15 minutes to order, and expect full bore service and so on.

It's also a nasty sort of "classism" or similar bad attitude, in that many who behave that way see the store clerks as some invisible non-issue that doesn't figure into the equation. They don't have feelings, needs, or wants, and how dare they have expectations of being treated with common courtesy and decency.

Some coworkers and I, after a long hard day in the wilderness, blew into a town that we knew nothing about. The ONLY place to get something to eat was a subway which was about 6 minutes from closing. We all apologized profusely, and explained that if we weren't at the only choice we wouldn't have done it, we took what they still had up, and didn't whine about them being out of, or having put stuff away.

They were so appreciative that we didn't give them that entitled nasty "YOU'RE still OPEN" crap, that we all got free cookies. And they thanked US for apologizing and understanding. They said you've no idea how many people are simply ugly and entitled about it.

CanvasShoes
09-12-2011, 01:45 AM
I understand the reasons people are stating for doing it. I'm deeply doubtful that it actually helps. It's an additional variable, and it's a fixed one, meaning:
-You have one more problem (working out what the time really is)
and
-It can only be useful for one particular category of timekeeping problem - so a five minute advance on your clock might help you get your ass on the sofa in time to watch TV (does anyone really have that problem), but that advance isn't going to help you be in time for an appointment that has a half hour journey in front of it.

I guess I'm just surprised that what I expected would be an uncommon quirk is a bit more mainstream than I thought.

No, I really don't have any problems working out what time it really is. Despite the fact that I'm not sure EXACTLY how far ahead the alarm clock or cuckoo clock is set. The cuckoo clock, well I have sucky pendulum fu, so it's always a bit ahead or a bit behind, and it's safer to keep it a bit ahead. All I have to do is look at the cell phone or kitchen clock, they're right.

The kitchen clock and my cell phone are correct. So, the alarm goes off, I get to glance over and see a not horrible number on the clock, and then laze there for a bit trying to wake up. When I finally stagger into the kitchen, I see what time it really is and it always makes me smile. Yay, I'm on-time/early as usual.

As I said, it has NOTHING to do with fooling myself as to what time it may or may not be on the set ahead clocks.


I don't get why it matters to strangers who never have to even so much as see our wild unconventional clocks though.

Mangetout
09-12-2011, 02:01 AM
I don't get why it matters to strangers who never have to even so much as see our wild unconventional clocks though.

It doesn't matter. We've been discussing it in a public forum, but that doesn't mean it matters.

gaffa
09-12-2011, 10:21 PM
My wife sets clocks ahead, and it drives me nuts. A clock set to the incorrect time is offensive to the engineer brain - a fundimentally wrong thing.

Mijin
09-13-2011, 05:37 AM
I've never done this but I'm going to try it tomorrow. I've been late for work several times in the last couple of weeks and I need to try every trick that I can.

To those people in this thread who just say "Why aren't you just organised, keep better time etc", all I can say is, people are not always late on purpose or because they don't care. It's a failing and I'm sure you have yours.

Mijin
09-14-2011, 08:29 AM
I've never done this but I'm going to try it tomorrow. I've been late for work several times in the last couple of weeks and I need to try every trick that I can.

Update: It didn't work. I just kept thinking about what the real time was.
And I was late again. :(

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast
09-14-2011, 08:35 AM
The trick, Mijin, is to have someone else set the clock fast. You just don't know by how much...

Anaamika
09-14-2011, 09:06 AM
This whole thread is weird.

- I handle times out in the "real world" just fine. I mean, WTF does that even mean? My watch is five minutes fast, so I am never late anywhere, really. There's no two clocks set to the same time anyway, to be honest.
- As I said, I am almost never late to anything. The only times I am late are if I am lost in a new city. I don't have a very good direction sense, and still occasionally get mixed up in the one-way streets of my own city.
- I am ever so slightly offended that someone called it "ridiculous". Sure, sure, I don't care what you say, you don't care about me, it's an online forum, but as I said, it's comforting, so why is it ridiculous because you don't get it? I think our biggest failure as human beings is a complete inability to put ourselves in other people's shoes..."Hmm, it doesn't work for me, but lots of other people do it, so maybe it works for them." Nope, all we can do is denigrate it.
"It's more complex because it deals with two systems instead of one." Bwuh? So...we're smarter than the other people who don't do this, because we can handle two systems? No, I know that's not what was meant, but that's certainly how it comes off! I can handle two systems just fine, TYVM!

The kitchen clock and my cell phone are correct. So, the alarm goes off, I get to glance over and see a not horrible number on the clock, and then laze there for a bit trying to wake up. When I finally stagger into the kitchen, I see what time it really is and it always makes me smile. Yay, I'm on-time/early as usual.

+1

Mangetout
09-14-2011, 11:35 AM
- I am ever so slightly offended that someone called it "ridiculous". Sure, sure, I don't care what you say, you don't care about me, it's an online forum, but as I said, it's comforting, so why is it ridiculous because you don't get it?For that, I apologise. I did indeed mean that I don't get it - It's like watching someone trying to use what, to my eyes, is patently the wrong tool for the job - but insisting that it's working, when it really doesn't look like it is.

I'm absolutely certain there will be things I do that other people perceive the same way (I mean, aside from the ridiculous things I do on purpose, in full knowledge that they're ridiculous).

I think our biggest failure as human beings is a complete inability to put ourselves in other people's shoes...I agree.

"Hmm, it doesn't work for me, but lots of other people do it, so maybe it works for them." Nope, all we can do is denigrate it.Frankly, I doubt it really does work as well as all that, at least not for nearly as many people as try it, but it doesn't really matter - so I should not have been so rude, and I'm sorry.

Shodan
09-16-2011, 07:11 AM
Am I missing something, Shodan? Wouldn't that scenario make you at least fifteen minutes late?
Not if you drive faster than light.

Regards,
Shodan

OK, I miscounted.

CanvasShoes
09-17-2011, 01:22 AM
Speaking of math and waking up, my husband just installed an alarm clock on his phone that makes you do math problems to turn off the alarm or to snooze (they are settings--it isn't automatic). That would wake me up for sure.

Math problems? That would make me grab an Uzi and climb the nearest clock tower! :D

CanvasShoes
09-17-2011, 01:24 AM
It doesn't matter. We've been discussing it in a public forum, but that doesn't mean it matters.

Well...it seems to matter, people keep going on and on with "But WHYYYyyeeeee" and "I still don't understand why/how it works" .... and "it's ridiculous" and so on and so forth. Forgot to add, for those still wondering. I'm not late either. And when I'm on a field job and have to use the hotel alarm clock I don't usually reset it. It's just not as (as someone else said) comforting to look at such an ugly early time. And yes, the numbers on the clock if too early DO bother me (and from what other dopers have said in this thread) others that much.

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