Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Three times

Nothing quite expresses time here at work like the three clocks, sitting on the windowsill, one next to the other, just to my right. Daylight savings time came and this necessitated a reset of our wall clocks. The conceit of our wall clocks here at the library is that they are radio controlled from the atomic clock in, I don't know, probably Switzerland. Only, I guess Switzerland is far away from here, and full of beautiful Mountains that interfere with the signal, so we have to wait until the wind blows just right.

This might not be a hundred percent accurate scientific description of the issue. But two things are absolutely true:

1  You cannot set these wall clock's times manually. Oh, you can try, but it won't be pretty.

2  If you push the reset button, or try to set the time manually, these clocks will begin advancing time at a rate about three times that of the normal speed of time only to stop at a random time that has nothing to do with what time it is supposed to be, according to the sun and the Internet and when I get to go home.

Fortunately though, if one leaves the clocks on a windowsill for a couple days after doing all this they'll usually adjust to something within four minutes of the real time on their own. But only if no one looks at them because they have performance anxiety.

So that's what these three clocks are doing now. They are sitting on the windowsill waiting for just the right breeze while no one is watching. One clock is at noon. One is at 6:24. And one is at 3:09.

Naturally then, you want to know: What time is it really?

All of them.

It is all of them right now at the library.

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