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This Isn’t Really A Good Time

November 7, 2016

Did you know that accidents go down the day after we turn the clocks back for Day Light Savings time? There are fewer fatal accidents on the Monday after we make the change in the Fall. The theory is that lack of sleep contributes to fatal accidents. In the Fall we all get that extra hour of sleep and as a result we have just a few less fatal accidents. 

It’s probably a good thing that I take the train to work on Mondays. 

I used my phone a lot on Saturday. I use my phone a lot on most days. So much so that I regularly carry one of these.

That’s a batter pack, capable of recharging my phone multiple times. It’s saved me multiple times when it’s get late in the evening and I still have work calls. Saturday, I didn’t worry about it. I was mostly surfing the web on my phone as the power indicator switched from green to red. Finally, about 11:45pm it finally quit. I should have probably plugged it in, but I was planning to head to bed in a few minutes and figured I’d plug it in as I was getting ready for bed. 

About 20 minutes later as I plugged it in, it turned back on and announced that I had three new voicemails. Three voicemails in 20 minutes is a bad sign. I sighed and dialed into voicemail. Yep. Something at work was broken. Instead of crawling into my bed, I drug myself down to my basement office. It’s my own fault for waiting until I was tired to head for bed. Or something like that. One message was from my call center. The other two were from my client. (Both my office phone and my cell phone go to the same voicemail.) 

My Lawrenceville office operates 24 hours per day. They were not able to get logged into their computers to help callers. I called the client back on one phone and called my call center on the other phone. 

Here we go.

It was definitely an issue with something happening on the network. The on-duty supervisor at my call center said it had occured at about 1:05am Eastern Time. 

Well, the second 1:05am.

What do you mean?

Well, it was right after we turned back the clocks.

No matter how much you might hate Day Light Savings time changes, computers hate them worse. Your phone probably rolled back the clock just fine. Maybe your computer might have sent you a notice telling you that it had switched the time back. But, if you don’t work in the computer industry, you probably don’t give it much thought. 

Computers hate the time change. Scheduling and calendaring programs have to have exceptions written for that crazy lost hour. Logging programs have to be able to distinguish the “first 1:00am” from the “second 1:00am.” It’s a pain to work with and most computer profeesionals would be thrilled if we all took the Arizona model and just refused to switch the clocks.

I called the client and let them know the start time. 

Yeah, that makes sense. We were doing some maintenance at that time. 

Doing maintenance during a time change definitely does not make sense. My contact was no more happy to be up in the middle night than I was. He wasn’t the one who had scheduled the maintenance. 

Three hours later the client had finally backed out the change. Another half hour of testing and updating records and I could finally head back toward my bed. It was either 1:30 or 2:30am, I’m not entirely sure. 

Pro Tip: Don’t schedule maintenance during the first weekend of November. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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