Sunday, 12 March 2017

Time and the law of unintended consequences


I was up this morning an hour later than I usually am. Why, you ask? Well last night at 2 in the morning the clocks in my neck of the woods were supposed to skip an hour forward. When I did get up I went around the cabin and changed the clocks to reflect that we were now on Daylight Savings Time. As I changed the clocks, all four of them. I couldn't help but smile because this act reminded me of days gone by. 

Once upon a time I used to hate these time changes.

I remember the days when I still worked for a living and the time changes were a real pain in the butt. Strangely I never worked night shift for the spring forward time change but always the fall backwards one. The way it was done was if you worked the spring forward time change you were paid for twelve hours even though you only worked eleven. Then in the fall when the fall back time change took place there was no pay for the extra hour worked because of the freebie in the spring. In reality the guys in the fall (like me) were screwed while the guys in the spring got the benefit. The only thing I used to get out of the spring time change was getting up an hour earlier to go to work. 


The supervisors and the manager knew the time changes were screwing over one group for the betterment of another. To make up for this, the supervisor of the guys who worked the thirteen hour shift would give the guys a chance to take an hour off some time during the next month. This time off was off the books and everybody was happy. Then around two years before I retired “it happened.”

I wasn't on the shift that worked the fall back time change that year. A guy with the nickname of Bone Crusher (figures, right?) who worked the time change had the bright idea to put in for overtime. The supervisor was off so the lead hand said what the heck and put the request through. That was when the fecal matter hit the air moving device. The department manager got hold of the over time request and asked why. After being told what usually takes place (in reality he knew but turned a blind eye) he said this wasn't proper and was an act of fraudulent timekeeping. Thus the act of getting the off the books time off for the gang who worked thirteen hours was ended. Now the fall guys get an hour at time and a half and the spring guys have to use up some of their vacation time to make the books balance. This was what is commonly known as the law of unintended consequence. 

Bye for now...

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