I have the world’s dumbest smart clock. I got this gadget as a gift a few years ago, after my trusty alarm clock of many years began to fail. It’s not the actual “Smart Clock,” but that is what I’ve always called it.
I have the world’s dumbest smart clock.
I got this gadget as a gift a few years ago, after my trusty alarm clock of many years began to fail. It’s not the actual “Smart Clock,” but that is what I’ve always called it.
On the box, it sounded really cool: It automatically knows the time, it’s that smart. When the power goes out, it resets itself to the correct time. Daylight saving time? It adjusts itself in the middle of the night for you.
Over time, it began to appear that my clock ran fast. Of course, my clock is smart, so I blamed the clock sitting on my husband’s nightstand.
“No. YOUR clock is slow. MINE automatically knows the time, thus it has the correct time,” I informed him.
As it happens, my smart clock was a little too quick for its own good. It became glaringly clear that his 10-year-old, $14.99 Walmart special was holding the time perfectly. But I managed to lose 15 minutes every time I walked from the living room into my bedroom. Even while pregnant, I’m not that slow-moving.
When our daughter was a baby, I actually set the clock in her room ahead by 15 minutes because it was too hard on my sleep-deprived brain to keep track of feedings with the different readings on our clocks.
Why not adjust my clock, since it was obviously the one in the wrong? Because it’s too smart for that. It wouldn’t let me. There was no way to manually change the time, you just had to trust that the clock knew what it was doing.
It drove my husband nuts. While getting dressed in the morning, we would have conversations like this:
Him: How am I doing on time?
Me: It’s 8:15.
Him: Is that the real time, or is that what your clock says?
To be honest, the clock was making me a little batty too — but not enough that I would actually buy another clock when this one managed to give me some framework of time.
At least, that’s what I thought until last weekend’s time change. Now my smart clock is officially the enemy.
I went to bed smugly on Saturday night, knowing my clock would do its thing and I would wake up with the only correct time in the house. Then at 5 a.m., I woke up and saw that my husband’s clock had the same time. Had he changed his before going to bed? Had mine not changed like it was supposed to? I mulled that quandary in my head over and over, until going back to sleep was impossible.
As it turned out, my clock had not sprung forward as it should have. So I “tricked” my smart clock into springing ahead by setting it for Eastern Time Zone and felt much better about the whole thing.
That is, until I woke up in a panic Monday morning because I had overslept. Or more accurately — because my clock had decided to spring forward a day late.
I found that the government is to blame.
Apparently, the federal Energy Act of 2005 came about in an effort to reduce the amount of energy used in the U.S. — and it changed the dates for daylight saving time.
So I figure the government owes me two morning sleep-ins. Chances are, I’ll get to cash in on those right about the time I get my first Social Security check: Never.
Elizabeth Davies can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.