It's About Time

     Well, Sunday morning I'll be running around the house grumbling about all the clocks, just like I do twice every year, wondering ...
by | March 31, 2006

   

Spring_forward Well, Sunday morning I'll be running around the house grumbling about all the clocks, just like I do twice every year, wondering why we now have to reset 15 or 20 of them where we made do with five or six only a few years ago.

But it could be worse -- I could be in Indiana. These people are a little strange. They've never had daylight time before, they're moving to it statewide for the first time on Sunday, and they're acting as if life in their state will never be the same again. The bar owners in Indianapolis complained so loudly that the governor had to issue a special dispensation allowing them to change their clocks at closing time, 3 a.m. rather than at 2 a.m., which would cost them an hour of business.

There are complaints that the state will face a mini-Y2K problem, with computerized datebooks sending office workers to meetings an hour late on Monday. The newspapers have been instructing people on how to behave under the new rules, telling them, for example, that if they're used to going to church on nine in the morning, they shouldn't switch to ten -- they should just move the clock an hour ahead and then follow it. Meanwhile, angry legislators are vowing to repeal the change as soon as they get the chance.

They won't, though. They'll get used to it -- the same way people in Europe got used to switching over to the right-hand side of the road after predicting it would drive the whole continent into chaos. And one issue, at least, will finally be settled. After decades of not being sure exactly which time zone they belonged in, Hoosiers will finally be able to answer that question: 74 counties will be on eastern time, 18 on central time. But all of them will be on daylight time as of Sunday morning. I think they'll survive it.

Alan Ehrenhalt
Alan Ehrenhalt  |  Contributing Editor
aehrenhalt@governing.com  | 

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