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Old 09-07-2011, 11:20 AM
Karen_X2 Karen_X2 is offline
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Do you set your clock fast?

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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:35 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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I set the clock by my bedside fast by the amount of time it normally takes me to drive to work.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:41 AM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:45 AM
enipla enipla is online now
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:57 AM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
... 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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen_X2 View Post
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....
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:12 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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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. When I asked him about that, he told me that he had never lost a deal by being too early.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:18 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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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.)
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:19 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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So it sounds like it's an alternative to planning properly, being organised and avoiding procrastination enough to just be punctual.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:27 PM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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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.)

Last edited by cjepson; 09-07-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:42 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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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.)
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:52 PM
awldune awldune is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:05 PM
PacifistPorcupine PacifistPorcupine is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:13 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Moderating: Moved thread GQ->IMHO

Thread moved to "In My Humble Opinion."
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:20 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:32 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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Nope. I'm miffed because my car clock is currently about 20 seconds fast.
  #18  
Old 09-07-2011, 01:57 PM
Krouget Krouget is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen_X2 View Post
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...
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:28 PM
Karen_X2 Karen_X2 is offline
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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"
  #20  
Old 09-07-2011, 03:56 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:27 PM
Full Metal Lotus Full Metal Lotus is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:27 PM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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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'.
  #23  
Old 09-07-2011, 04:35 PM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
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Originally Posted by awldune View Post
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.
  #24  
Old 09-07-2011, 04:37 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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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.
  #25  
Old 09-07-2011, 04:48 PM
Charley Charley is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:48 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen_X2 View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:15 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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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.
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  #28  
Old 09-07-2011, 05:17 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:35 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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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."

Last edited by Dangerosa; 09-07-2011 at 05:36 PM.
  #30  
Old 09-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Hypnagogic Jerk Hypnagogic Jerk is offline
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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.
  #31  
Old 09-07-2011, 06:07 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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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.
  #32  
Old 09-07-2011, 06:12 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:51 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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I'm too lazy to do this because then I would have to remember which clocks are fast and by how much. 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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:11 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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I'm too lazy to do this because then I would have to remember which clocks are fast and by how much. 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....
  #35  
Old 09-07-2011, 08:16 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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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?
  #36  
Old 09-07-2011, 08:17 PM
LurkerInNJ LurkerInNJ is offline
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:57 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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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!
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:04 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Originally Posted by LurkerInNJ View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:04 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:05 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
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 )
  #41  
Old 09-07-2011, 10:59 PM
kelly5078 kelly5078 is offline
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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.
  #42  
Old 09-07-2011, 11:29 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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Yes, I do. Car only. I don't remember why I started, but I like it.
  #43  
Old 09-08-2011, 12:21 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by LurkerInNJ View Post
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.
  #44  
Old 09-08-2011, 12:42 AM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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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 , I'm a 52 year old woman, and I've been doing it since my 20s.

I hope that helps.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:07 AM
Dereknocue67 Dereknocue67 is offline
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All the time pieces in my life are set ahead . . . way ahead . . . by 24 hours!
  #46  
Old 09-08-2011, 02:37 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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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.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:38 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by CanvasShoes View Post
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 , 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.
  #48  
Old 09-08-2011, 06:47 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
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.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 09-08-2011 at 06:48 AM.
  #49  
Old 09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
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.

Last edited by Mangetout; 09-08-2011 at 07:01 AM.
  #50  
Old 09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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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.
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