Dealing with federally-mandated jet lag

I think I can safely say I’m finally adjusting to the federally-mandated jet lag, also known as Daylight Saving Time, though it seems to be taking longer each year.

There probably is some point in having the time shift in place across the country as opposed to years gone by when states and communities could set their own clocks.

This brought back memories of my early days at the Monroe Evening News when I decided that it was time to stretch my wings and head off to greener pastures.

An ad in Editor and Publisher, the newspaper trade journal, was touting a journalism career as a copy editor at the York, Pa., Gazette and Daily. This was the same paper from which my Albion College journalism professor had come.

I responded to the ad and an interview time was set.

In my wisdom, I decided that I would head through Ontario, saving miles and minutes that would otherwise be consumed by journeying  through Ohio into Pennsylvania.

All was going well. My goal was to arrive half an hour early so I could catch my breath and meet my inquisitor with calm serenity.

I arrived at the newspaper office and discovered to my embarrassment that I had neglected to take into account that Pennsylvania was running on Daylight time, while Michigan had opted to stick with Standard. Instead of being half an hour early, I was half an hour late, a point not overlooked by my interviewer.

The awkward meeting was finally concluded and I returned home.

Two weeks later the same ad reappeared in Editor and Publisher.

I didn’t reapply.

Another memory that came back, also from my earlier days in Monroe, was the recollection that at times Michigan and Ohio operated on different time clocks.

With Toledo being just a few miles south of Monroe, many Monroe County residents worked there, heading back home to Michigan. This meant they had to keep two clocks and watches going simultaneously.

This whole time change mess has started me thinking about weather complaints over the last couple of years.

If the government can adjust everyone’s clocks why can’t it do the same with calendars?

Winter too long?

Just move the months back.

Anxious for spring and summer?

Shift the calendar again.

I think Mary Drier hit it on the head a few days ago when she made note of a fable about the Indian chief who said he could cut off the top edge of his blanket and sew it on the bottom. But it still didn’t make any difference. The blanket was the same size after the surgery as before.

With Daylight Saving Time supposedly we conserve electricity by making the sun set later (according to the clock). But haven’t we just shifted the end-of-the-day power saving to pre-dawn power consumption?

My proposal: Let’s decide on which time we want to stick with and incorporate it year-round. Just think how many more minutes we could have in not having to run around the house and dig out the instruction books to get the clocks, microwave, answering machines and car dashboard clocks all reset. And then look forward to having to do the same thing all over again a few months later.

As I wrap this column up, I think it’s about 6:05 p.m., assuming my computer clock’s correct.

Today’s trivia tidbit from mental_floss magazine: France has tried a couple of times to introduce decimal time: Ten-hour days with 100 minutes per hour and 100 seconds per minute. It didn’t catch on.

Quips ‘n’ Quotes: It was the late golf legend Ben Hogan who said, “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.”

Henry Passenger’s column appears every other Wednesday in the Tuscola County Advertiser. He can be reached at

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