Wednesday, October 21, 2009

prepare to fall back

Get ready to be confused if you live in Mexico and have a telephone conference in the United States or Canada in the same time zone. From 28 October to 1 November, you will not be on the same time.

Here's why.

Mexico will switch from daylight saving time to standard time at 2:00 AM on Sunday, 25 October. Canada and the United States will make the same change at 2:00 AM on the next Sunday, 1 November.

That means when I change my clock to 1 AM on 25 October (because I am such a rule-follower), my friends in Huron, South Dakota will do nothing.

The result for one week is we Mexican residents will be one hour behind our friends directly north of the border.

So, why does this happen? Because sovereign nations need to meet the needs of their own citizens.

That is the best answer I can give. It appears to make little business sense for one-third of the NAFTA trio to be out of synch with the other two on an elemental issue like time. Almost as if Siamese twins book flights at separate times.

But, if you think that is bad, look at this
table. Some countries started switching to standard time in August.

One week of confusion is nothing. There is a 23-day difference between Israel and the West Bank-Gaza Strip. Of course a one-hour difference is the least of their problems.

So, Olsons. If I am an hour late in calling you, it is not because I am on "Mexican time."

It is because I am on -- er, Mexican time.


zannie said...

It's my understanding that the US (under Bush II) started an experiment with moving the "spring forward" date a bit earlier and the "fall back" date a bit later to see if it reduced energy usage. The theory is that people use lights more in the evening than in the morning, so if we can keep more daylight in the evening, people will use less electricity. Or something like that.

I guess Canada followed suit and Mexico didn't. I'm guessing that if the experiment is a success and the US makes this a permanent change (or as permanent as these things get) that Mexico will eventually change over to the new system too. If not, and the US goes back to the way it was, then Canada will most likely follow the US again, and Mexico will have saved itself the trouble.

Laurie said...

Honduras does not observe the switch at all. So 1/2 the year i am in sync with CST in the US, and 1/2 the year I am one hour earlier. C'est la vie!

Felipe said...

We´re never on the same time with the U.S. unless you´re speaking with someone in the Central Time Zone. Almost all of Mexico is on the Central Time Zone.

Constantino said...

And just don't try and talk to Mexicana to get the correct time when asking about flights during the 3 or 4 day window.
But in the big picture...whats the difference?
Time is not important down here, haven't you learned that yet?

john said...

Thanks Steve--I'm always zoning out and I hadn't given proper thought to the implications of out-of-sync time changes. You saved me from screwing up a phone conference on Monday the 26th.

jennifer rose said...

If you want your time to coordinate with US time, simply change the time and zone properties on your computer to match up with the US instead of Mexico.

And remember, the cows still have to be milked and fed at the same real time, since they don't have clocks.

DanaJ said...

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog - by Dean Koontz
Publisher: Hyperion
Catalog Pub Date: 08/2009
ISBN-13: 9781401323523
ISBN-10: 1401323529
Call Number: 636.7527 K82
Koontz offers readers something completely different: a memoir of his life with his late golden retriever, Trixie, a retired service dog whom Koontz and his wife adopted. Koontz believes that there was something special and unique--even magical--about his beloved pup, whose joyful nature positively affected Koontz's entire life.

Glenn said...

The Navajo Nation in Arizona observes daylight saving time while the rest of Arizona does not.

Don't be concerned about being late (or early). Mexican time's the best!

Steve Cotton said...

Zannie -- It will always be something to make daylight saving time live up to its advertised goals. It has not so far.

Laurie -- Of the orthodox persuasion, I suspect.

Felipe -- Perhaps I should say "the time you have finally figured out how to use." But I have a lot of contacts in the central time zone.

Constsantino -- I have. But some places (like airlines) think it is important.

John -- You are most welcome.

Jennifer -- And my head will remain on daylight time for three or four weeks no matter what the clock says -- melatonin or not.

DanaJ -- I should take a look. But books are problematic here.

Glenn -- I agree 100%.

Anonymous said...

Zannie is right, it's the US who recently changed the date. If you see the chart, most Western countries change time this weekend.

Constantino: try asking American Airlines the same question and they won't know the answer either. It just happened to me...

Paul and Robyn said...

Does all of Mexico change? Our home in Platanitos is one hour different than PV. I just have to let our renters know if they need to make an adjudgement to the time when they leave for the airport

Steve Cotton said...

Paul -- All of Mexico that was on daylight saving time will change.