Flip-flop of time

Last Sunday morning I adjusted many clocks - in the stove, in the microwave oven, on the kitchen wall, on the bedroom dresser, in the programmable thermostat and in the car. No, there was no power failure which threw all the clocks off. No, there was no mysterious magnetic storm. No aliens landed in my backyard. The reason was that earlier that day, at 2am precisely, we switched to Daylight Savings Time. So, the twice-yearly ritual of fixing all the clocks took place. There is even a mnemonic to make sure people get it right "Spring forward, Fall back".

On Monday, I drove to work and after parking my car, I had a strong urge to take a nap before going into the office. Every day this week I have had trouble waking up with the alarm clock even though I have been getting enough sleep. What gives?

Well, this one-hour change is a mini jet lag. And it takes a while for the body to synchronize back to the wall clock. During this time, people feel less energetic, less coordinated and are more susceptible to accidents - at home, in the office and on the road.

So, why do we go through this time change if there is such a downside? Well, years ago - back when most people worked on the same schedule, such time changes saved us daylight time in the evening and hence reduced energy consumption. But those days are long over now. We have factories and offices that are open 24-hours a day. Many people work flexible schedules. Many of us interact with people living in other countries. This time-shift business only adds to confusion when you are trying to figure out what time it is on the other side of the globe. And let us not forget what messes get created when various computer systems either fail to account for the time changes or fail to keep up with ever-changing laws in various countries.

Face it people, there was a point in time when daylight saving and the subsequent fiddling with time made sense. But it doesn't any more. This flip-flop in time only causes more headaches. Like many ideas whose time has come and gone, we must retire this concept and go back to fixed time. Perhaps we can put a proposition on the California ballot. Who is with me?

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