Counter Clockwise

Roger Clark
May 2023

The Daylight Savings change happens in March and November. There’s good reason for it, but something different every year. Back in the day, it was for the farmers. Later it was for the kiddos waiting on the school bus. Then it was to distinguish Climate Change from Global Warming.

But as a professional driver, you know better. CDT and DST were inaugurated during the Revolutionary War for the sole purpose of screwing up every JIT load from sea to shining sea. It took the brightest minds of our founding fathers to create generations of supply chain chaos, which has lasted to this day.

 I’m very punctual. It’s really important to me, and often profitable. But during the time change, the odds are better that I’ll be struck by lightning. Twice. On my birthday. Oh, I know about the ‘spring forward/fall back’ thing, but Draft Kings does an over/under on the odds that I’ll screw it up.  

I thought this year would be different. I was ready! I even slept well, in the hours prior to time change. 

Knowing the clocks would all go backwards at 2:00 AM, I showed up for my 3:00 AM appointment at 01:55 because in five minutes it would three o’clock, right? What I forgot was the trucks scheduled to load at 01:30, which was still the ‘old’ time. So once again, I had outsmarted only myself, and hit the road an hour late.

 I know stuff. After forty years of missing a turn in every state, I’ve gained a boatload of wisdom, awareness, and expectation. I never park at the end of a line. I never walk behind the party row. I never block the fuel island with an oversize.

But I still don’t get the time change. Arizona ignores it. Indiana does too, but with multiple time zones, I have no idea what time it is in the Hoosier state for up to six months. Making matters worse, most states allow oversize movements thirty minutes before sunrise and thirty minutes after sunset. But not all. It’s why I keep the Oversize Directory closer than my wife’s honey-do list.

 Alaska was even crazier. Not only did we have to be aware of the time change and time zones, there was the issue of light, and no light. I remember shooting fireworks for Independence Day at 1:00 in the morning because that’s when it finally got dark. Almost twenty years since I lived there briefly, I can still see the northern lights messing with my wristwatch.

Which brings me to the most important issue regarding time change. We’ve established, I think, the reality that time doesn’t really change. Twenty four hours is still 24 hours, and time waits for no one. We are either on time, or we’re not, and ELD’s can make you illegal with but a second to spare. No one knows that better than me.

 Yet questions persist, even with the relentless march of technology, and nowhere is this more evident than conversations with Generation X. It’s not really about technology. It’s not even their politics. It’s about something Boomers know their entire lives, and young people never will, even though they wear their smarts on a Fitbit. 

Simple as it is profound, how do you explain the concept of counter-clockwise to a dude that wears a digital watch?