Why I hate this biannual custom
By Duncan Fingarson, Columnist
On November 5, people all around the country (except Saskatchewan, who I suppose must have something going for them) changed their clocks back an hour. Daylight Saving Time (DST) has happened yet again.
It’s not a custom I particularly like. Once a year, many of my coworkers and I end up working an extra hour. On the opposite end of DST, our shifts (and pay) are correspondingly shorter. See, while DST officially happens at two in the morning, it might as well be two in the afternoon for those of us who work night shifts in 24-hour establishments.
Which is not to say that we’re the only ones affected by it. When time jumps ahead, everyone gets one less hour of sleep, effectively jet-lagging almost the entire country. When it jumps back, everyone either wakes up an hour early anyway because that’s what they’re used to, or gets an extra hour of sleep and disrupts their proper sleep cycle.
In a place with lots of clocks, such as the college, there are always a few that get missed, too. I have personally witnessed at least one incident of someone looking at the clock and having a minor heart attack (not literally) because they thought they were late for their next class. I’m sure there have been more. Probably a few people forget to change their clocks, resulting in more than a few late arrivals to work when DST starts.
The first implementation of DST failed. The United States tried to put it in about a hundred years ago, and people (rightly!) hated it. DST didn’t really take hold in North America until WWII, when it was called War Time and observed year-round. Like a few other things from back then—income tax, for example—it has stuck around, becoming accepted, if not unquestioned.
So why change the time? What benefit does it really provide for us? It’s an annoying pain at best, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Support for eliminating the system has been growing across the country, as it really would just be easier to get rid of it entirely. There is not, as far as I’m concerned, a good reason to throw everybody off twice a year. So why do we still do it?