Nov 04

How Is This Still A Thing?

I’m talking about Daylight Savings Time of course and of the ridiculous things we do it is a constant and consistent high scorer in a game that like Golf is about how low you can go.

Not that I’m any prize when it comes to punctuality, I’ve acquired an unfortunate reputation that is mostly undeserved and entirely the consequence of attempting to do too much in too little. In the dim distant when I was a practicing practical politician (yes I know those two words are nearly identical but they don’t mean the same thing at all) it was nothing for me to throw together a week of 18 to 24 hour days in preparation for 72 solid hours of sleepless telethon insanity putting on the big show (5 times a year for over 15 years).

On the advice of my medical consultants I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.

The point is that it’s easy to imagine a brilliant plan that requires 26 hour days to achieve and since working with other people is only 2.5 times harder than just doing everything yourself, and even hinting you need help is impossibly degrading to your self esteem, it leads you to bad habits that require a lot of training to overcome.

One of the most valuable lessons I ever got in leadership was that it involves a lot of sitting on your ass.

I’ll pause for a moment to explain the logic because it’s counter-intuitive. You may think it makes you look like (and be) a gold-bricking layabout when you should be demonstrating that you’re willing to work as hard or harder than anyone else. That kind of attitude gets a lot of 2nd Lieutenants killed. Instead you have to know, as a fact, that people like showing off how competent and good they are (especially in front of perceived authority figures) and be willing to accept and applaud their contribution even when it’s not as polished as they think it is or anywhere near what you could do if they just took their emotional needs AND LEFT YOU ALONE!

On the other hand there is only so much time you can spend at the picnic table before you silently grab a bag and start picking up the garbage in a highly pointed and visible way. It’s a balancing act.

But back to Daylight Savings. While I’m grateful for the illusionary hour of napping I rarely reset any clocks except those that do so automatically (my computer, my phone). Instead I play a little mental arithmetic, a custom I learned from my Mother, Emily. She has like 16 clocks all set to wildly different times based on her expected arrival at various destinations- “Well, if I leave when this one is at 7:30 I’ll get to work about then.”

Umm… ok.

However I find myself doing the same thing. My clocks are an even 2 or 3 hours (depending on the season) ahead of actual time so I can take care of chores like showering and dressing or even hit the snooze button a couple of times before I’m really in a crunch.

Maine, home of the eastern-most town in the United States, Lubec, has conditionally passed and Massachusetts is considering joining Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Time Zone because people at this longitude are sick (actually, physically) and tired of darkness that descends at 4 FREAKING O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON!

I can only hope Connecticut embraces this sensible solution.

Also seasonally appropriate (and because I just can’t get enough people convincing me that the Revolutionary War was a monumentally bad idea that extended Slavery and kept us all from sounding posh and intelligent when we speak).