Time change this Sunday

Reason #238 why I think we should dispense with Daylight Savings Time: Because of the probable chance that you will reprint it incorrectly

Reason #238 why I think we should dispense with Daylight Savings Time: Because of the probable chance that you will manage to reprint it incorrectly in the newspaper and suffer great personal humiliation.

Yes, last week we made a pretty stunning blunder in Friday’s edition of the Shuswap Market News. At already nearly two hours after deadline and with the press breathing down our necks, a short-staffed newsroom attempted to get the paper finished. And in the final throes, someone asked about whether we got the information about the time change into the paper.

Knowing that I hadn’t got that item in, I assumed this to mean the clocks needed to be changed on Oct. 26 and managed to put an alert to this with a little clock photo in the index box on the front page.

And off the paper went, zooming across cyberspace to be printed in Vernon.

It wasn’t until the thousands of papers arrived ready to be delivered on Thursday that another staff member pointed out the mistake. So I did what any self-respecting editor would do. I went in my office, closed the door and repeatedly banged my head on the desk. Because at that point, there’s really not much else you can do.

It’s the beauty and curse of printed newspapers – they last.

It makes me long for my brief days in radio, when, if you made a blunder like that, it’s instantly over, and can be rapidly corrected.

You can’t pocket radio waves and carry them in your wallet, like the printed newspaper page, which is a solid, tangible reminder of your mistakes. And now there’s my mistake on approximately 16,000 pages spread throughout the Shuswap.

It’s humbling. People like to grouse about the media getting it wrong. And they are correct. Sometimes we do get it wrong. Newspapers are created by people and, as we all know, people are fallible. Another wise editor once noted there’s nothing like an error to let you know that someone is reading.

So we took to our website, Facebook and Twitter and ate crow in an effort to ensure that people would not change their clocks and end up an hour early for everything. If you got caught by our error, my deepest apologies.

This does segue into my abiding distaste for the time change generally. It’s really the only reason I would consider a move to Saskatchewan, where common sense prevails and they do not change the clocks twice a year.

Humour columnist Dave Berry is one of my writing heroes, in part because of this very quote:

“You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe Daylight Saving Time.”

Much like my error, I can’t do anything about the current time system, except to now inform you that you should indeed turn your clock back one hour on this Sunday, Nov. 2.

Trust me, I won’t forget this year.

And, as always, thanks for reading.


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