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67 comments

Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

Posted November 11, 2015 3:48 PM by HUSH

It's been a full week, but I just can't get used to the hour change since we fell back an hour back last Sunday. I fall asleep earlier at night. My eating routine is off and my always-hungry dog (by nature of the breed) wakes me up an hour early. I didn't get to all the clocks right away, so I was late to catch a MetroNorth train last week as well.

This somewhat-random clock change inspires many conversations-and now a blog post. Most people are quick to point out the social benefits of daylight saving time. Kids don't have to wait for school buses in the dark. People on nine-to-five schedules get an extra hour of sunlight after work in the summertime. Potentially reduced rates of traffic accidents and crime. Maximizing wintertime sunlight exposure also helps prevent the blues-a true affliction called seasonal affective disorder (SAD, yes seriously).

But in order to keep this annoying twice-yearly reschedule going, there has to be some efficiency to it, right? Germany was the first country to implement full-time DST, doing so in World War I to save coal and other resources, as more sunlight meant people needed less electricity for lighting. Other warring countries followed suit, but each of them gradually abandoned DST after the war, only to complete the cycle again in World War II. Afterwards, some places were using full-time DST, others summer DST and some standard time.

By the 1960s, local towns and cities were deciding whether to use DST or not, mostly based on the employment sectors of the region. Industrialized and urban areas preferred DST, but agricultural and rural regions ignored DST. This made transportation schedules hard to keep or predict, so the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed that required entire states to keep a uniform time and it was enforced by the Department of Transportation. In response to the 1973 oil crisis, the entire country was forced into a trial period of permanent DST for 16 months.

Eventually the DOT determined that efficiencies from DST were minimal and hard to correlate with the use of DST. And when the National Bureau of Statistics looked at the data, it found no differences in traffic fatalities, and couldn't correlate DST to safer morning commutes for school children (source). More recent studies have indicated mixed effects on energy consumption due to DST. This 2007 study focused on California found negligible energy efficiency, and this 2008 study indicated DST increased electrical consumption in Indiana due to extra cooling and heating costs. However this 2008 Department of Energy review found that the 2005 extension of DST saved 0.5% electricity per day, or equal to 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours. It seems that benefits are strongly tied to latitude and the length of daylight hour.

There is no doubt that DST is useful for someone who lives north of roughly the 45th parallel, as DST helps sync up waking hours with daylight times. Meanwhile, those living below the 45th see less benefit, and a place like Florida observes DST despite having a relatively stable length of daylight all year long.

What we're left with in the U.S. is a hybrid style that makes no one truly happy. But there are only two solutions to providing northern latitudes with more daylight: DST, or adjusting sleep and work schedules in accordance with the sun. I suppose I'd keep DST rather than needing to wake up any earlier.

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#1

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/11/2015 7:15 PM

Well, I would rather it be light when I get off work. I don't mind if it is dark when I go to work. Away with the annoying thing!

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:11 AM

Welllll....you got it backwards. DST means it is light after work, on a normal daytime job. Dark after work is without DST. Not away with the annoying thing - you want permanent DST. But, I agree with that idea as well.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:27 AM

I believe DST started with getting up at the same time the sun came up..... way back when.

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#36
In reply to #11

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/14/2015 3:11 AM

I'm with you. I'm retired now so it doesn't affect me that badly. When I was working, that extra hour of daylight in the afternoon made a lot of difference.

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#2

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/11/2015 9:09 PM

Shouldn't you have been early to the train if you didn't get all the clocks? In the spring, you will be late.

I'm ready for clocks to be set it and forget it. I don't care whether it's EST or EDT, just pick one. If you want to see daylight when you get out of work, go into work earlier if that is an option. What this means is that the sun will rise very early in the morning in the summer.

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#3

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/11/2015 11:12 PM

DST is a dumb idea in this day and age.

It doesn't "save" anything.

Like the old Indian says, cutting a foot of the bottom of the blanket and sewing it to the top doesn't make the blanket any longer.

In Arizona, we thumb our nose at DST. DST? We don't need no stinking DST!!!!!

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 7:46 AM

you have to look at the history of DST. and now it just nothing more than a foolish traditions.

Like other posts, I don't mind going into work when its dark, but I would like a little daylight when I go home... unfortunately as of late... going into work and leaving work, its dark all the time.

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#64
In reply to #7

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/30/2015 4:22 PM

The important concerns are more for children, especially the newer inexperienced younger ones, having to go to school in the dark in winter, maybe for the first time!!

Luckily, for most of them, it is still light when they get out to go home.

For any adult, its really unimportant, unless you belong to the "ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME" Brigade......

Think about the children, you opinion suggests to me that you have none of school age, or it is no concern for any child in your mind......

I don't have any school children anymore, but they are still a concern of mine. Especially when my grand children eventually start school....

I like light mornings, for the children, all the year round, DST off when needed to achieve that and long summer evenings in the DST time....

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#67
In reply to #64

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/30/2015 5:43 PM

We live in a rural area, even when I was growing up, bus pick us up at the farms driveway and it was light out,

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#37
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/14/2015 3:14 AM

When your schedule is controlled by your employer, that extra hour is precious.

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#4

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/11/2015 11:47 PM

Another brilliant, well thought out and researched solution from the Federal Givumint to solve a non-problem with a non-solution. That's what happens when you let lawyers run things.

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#5

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 2:16 AM

Personally I like it, always have done. It started in that I got in more fishing time each evening when I was a kid, but for anyone who likes being outside in the summer months, except maybe for star gazers, its a great move.

I would not personally object if Summer time stayed the whole year round, but I know plenty of people who would....but as my first dog walk of the day happens before the sun is up for probably 4 months+ of the year anyway, even with winter time, it makes no difference to me "how much the sun is not up!" when I go walkies!!

But surely, in the USA, there are States where there is no DST, so people COULD move house if it really is that important to them, instead of just moaning.

I would have to move country (again!) if it was that important to me...but its not!

I read somewhere, that its about a 50:50 situation with lovers and haters.....but the ones that like it, are not so virulent in their objections as the haters are.....

I personally see no reason to inflict "all year winter time" on climes that being above or below a certain parallel, just to make the "lower" parallels happy (and their dogs! Mine gets "acclimatized" within a few days!!).

But would it be practical to give the lower parallels a "standard time" all the time, and only have DST for the more northern states? I hardly think so.....but thats just my opinion. Its a possible alternative.

My feelings are more in the line to the haters of DST to "SUCK IT UP!!" You are doing something nice for people with a heavy and cold wintertime....now isn't that a nice friendly gesture......

This blog, exactly as it has many times over on CR4 if the OP had done a little looking around first, demonstrates clearly that DST haters are part of the "ME, ME, ME, ME, ME ONLY!" brigade.

They are simply only thinking of their own comfort in this matter and where THEY live......not how it possibly affects other people around the world.

Not nice!!

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 5:14 AM

Amen, Andy......

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#33
In reply to #5

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 10:15 PM

"I would not personally object if Summer time stayed the whole year round...

But surely, in the USA, there are States where there is no DST, so people COULD move house if it really is that important to them, instead of just moaning."

That's the dilemma, Andy. Florida is where summer never ends and the girls always dress... well you you know... but we still observe DST.

That just leaves Arizona and Indiana.

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 11:35 PM

Don't come here unless you are white and have a lot of money.

But, it is true you will never have to adjust your clocks.

The guys who work for me change their work hours with the seasons. They don't seem to suffer any long term ill effects from the adjustment of their schedules and not their watches.

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#8

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 7:50 AM

Yes, DST should be scrapped.

I'd go further and put everything on GMT to eliminate the confusion of all the time zones, too!

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 7:52 AM

I'd go further and put everything on GMT to eliminate the confusion of all the time zones, too!

now you went too far, no matter how much sense it makes.

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#30
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:34 PM

That's how the military does it. You get used to it after a while. We called it Zulu time.

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#31
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 10:10 PM

Yes, it's just a thought, but it stands about as much as a chance as the metric system does.

However, the holdup for the metric system appears to be the American inch-worm.

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#32
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 10:13 PM

Yeah, they can't change the birth certificate to the 2.54 cm worm.

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#34
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 11:16 PM

Before you know it, dogs and cats would be living in peace and harmony, total chaos I tell you.

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#10

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:11 AM

I used to say we were saving the jobs of the people who work in the golf industry, since DST gives golfers an extra hour after work to hit the links. Likewise the lawn care industry, for folks to spend time after work taking care of their lawns and landscaping.

But with the average worker (here in the US) working fewer hours now, and with the widespread use of flex time, the need for the clock change to gain that extra hour is fading away.

I liked AH's suggestion when this was discussed before, to set the clocks to Standard Time plus 1/2 hour - then leave them fixed. That gives people an extra bit of daylight hours after work, without making the schoolkids stand at the bus stop in the pre-dawn darkness every morning for the whole school year.

And it eliminates this insane and danerous fiddling with the clocks.

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#12
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:25 AM

20-30 years ago, when I was working at a large international company.

At CST, I use to love working with people on the west coast or Hawaii was great..... I could tell them I'll email (or fedex) the work by 5:00, that bought me a whole day, in the same day. They were overjoyed......... of course that was when I loved working 14-18 hour days.

Of course Working with people on the east coast, I disappointed them with I'll sent it there tomorrow.

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#14

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:54 AM

It does take some adjustment indeed, but I do not really see the need for adjusting clocks back and forward every year. It is, supposedly, geared to the urban population who have regular working hours every day. On the other hand, take a look at the rural population where the only reason to have a "time" is to be able to go to businesses during "business" hours to get the things you do not make yourself or to remind you to have something to eat (if your stomach doesn't tell you).

I haven't worked on a farm/ranch for many years, but the clock was the sun. Up a sunrise, stop work at sundown except of course, during planting and harvesting and then only the weather is your clock.

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#65
In reply to #14

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/30/2015 4:25 PM

There are farming people who have complained that in summer, their fields get too much sunlight with DST!!

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#15

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 8:56 AM

I prefer the lighter evenings and would like to see DST permanent.

And also on a purely practical note, because I have dozens of clocks jotted about the house (for no other reasons than liking clocks) putting them back an hour is a pain in the neck, largely because they are all modern(ish) - you can't rewind them - they have to be wound forward 11 or 23 hours.

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#16

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:13 AM

It saves me from doing yard work after work. It's getting dark by then.

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#17

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:15 AM

Where I grew up in Indiana, we never changed our clocks. They were always on the slow time. As of a few years ago, or so, they now have DST there. But back then when they didn't, if you drove an hour south-east from where I lived, to the Cincinnati area, they had DST. In the summer, it wouldn't get dark here until about 9:30 or so.

I have since move to Florida, where we have DST months. This article claims that Florida has longer daylight hours than some states further north, but that isn't so. During the DST summer months here in Florida it gets dark around 8:30, or so. About an hour earlier than some of the northern states, like SE Indiana, and around Cincinnati, OH where it stays daylight longer during this time of year.

Personally, I like the faster time, and wish we would stay on that. I hate the fact that during winter months here in Florida it starts to get dark around 5:30 on the slow time.

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#18
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:20 AM

A friend of mine who was an Iroquois (Oneida Indian) told me that they always ran on Indian Time, which is about 25 minutes late.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:26 AM

Sounds like being on Wizard Time:

"A wizard is never late, a wizard is never early. A wizard arrives .. PRECISELY when he means to." -Gandalf the Grey

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#21
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:55 AM

Well he was a story telling.....

One story,

He was Deer hunting with another friend.... also a indian.... and they shot a buck and only wounded it,.... they followed the blood trail for a few hours.... and the blood trial got larger and larger..... thinking they'll soon come upon the deer, his friend sat down and took out his flask (whiskey) and they took a break....

After a few minutes they continued tracking the wounded deer, with the blood trail getting heavier and heavier thinking it wouldn't be long now....

Then he says, All of a sudden they came to a gut pile... I laugh pretty hard and asked if he knew the morale of the story.... he said no.... so I told him.

"That is one tough deer"

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#22
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 10:13 AM

Heh, heh, good one.

...

Wait a minute...

The story says 'gut pile.' Not 'body,' not 'body with guts spilled out.' 'Gut pile.'

That would mean no body, just the guts...

THAT DEER'S STILL RUNNING! Even after 'field dressing' itself from exertion.

"One tough deer" indeed.

*laughs so hard he falls out of his office chair*

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#23
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 10:29 AM

The thing with friends..... one doesn't have to going into details.... both are laughing so hard it tough enough to get the overview out line of the joke out. they can figure the rest out.

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#63
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/25/2015 2:29 PM

I was just reacting to the 'fridge logic,' the bit that hits you later.

Although that also leads to some potential 'fridge horror,' if the scene from that joke were at the start of a movie:

"BAMBI'S REVENGE! They wounded him, gutted him, and left him for dead. Now it's HIS turn to go on the hunt!"

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#20

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 9:52 AM

Since I'm 72 years old, I have seen this discussion 144 times? - JHF

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#24

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 11:46 AM

"...as more sunlight meant people needed less electricity for lighting. "

This is one of the fallacies of DST. There isn't more sunlight!!!! There is exactly the same amount of daylight on a given day no matter what time the clock indicates the sun is rising (or setting).

DST just changes when people use the sunlight. If societies really want to save money, then why can't they just change when they get up and leave the clocks alone? Why play this psychological game of fooling themselves that they are still get up at the same time and saving daylight.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 11:54 AM

There is exactly the same amount of daylight on a given day no matter what time the clock indicates the sun is rising (or setting).

not quite

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#38
In reply to #25

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 7:16 AM

Yes, quite....no matter what time you set your clock to even in Antarctica, you will not change how much sunlight that location gets on that particular day.

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#40
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 7:56 AM

I see,.... any given 'day'.

quite

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 8:28 AM

Yes, on a given day meaning for that particular day. Not the same amount of sunlight on a given day compared to some other day.

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#27
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 1:44 PM

re JBTardis#24.

You have touched on an interesting point that takes me back to the postwar years. Here in the UK we had a period of DST, not the current Daylight Saving Time, but back then it was Double Summer Time - as we new it as kids - and we loved it.

But we felt cheated when the clocks went back - we lost a couple of hours of valuable playtime in the evening. As kids in those days we had no watches or clocks when out playing and replied on guesswork to know what time it was to go home - which was usually left until the last minute as it got dark.

And worse, we didn't have 'Double Summer' as the name suggests - the weather was was exactly the same as ordinary summer time.

Then all of a sudden the clocks went back and it was dark as soon as we got home from school......the memory lingers - and I could never understand why we could not have DST on a permanent basis.

The general impression I get is that the anti DST brigade say cows up north do not like to be milked during unsociable hours.

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#29
In reply to #24

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 1:47 PM

"If societies really want to save money"

DST doesn't save money. It just changes the daily energy use profile.

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#39
In reply to #29

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 7:21 AM

"DST doesn't save money. It just changes the daily energy use profile."

That's sort of my point.

  • If it saves money, why do we need to change clocks? The savings come from changing the energy use profile.
  • If it doesn't save money....then it really doesn't matter and people can still change when they want to do things....without being a slave to the clock (although they may still be a slave to their employer and his/her clock).
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#42
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 8:45 AM

But, according to Andy, we're supposed to just "suck it up" because he knows best.

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#43
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 8:55 AM

Engineers like to solve problems...so what good is an engineer who sits back and doesn't speak up for things that make no sense?

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#44
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 8:57 AM

so what good is an engineer who sits back and doesn't speak up for things that make no sense?

A manager....

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#45
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 9:02 AM

Well, not to disagree, but most managers do have their use, it's just that no one has really figured that out yet. I really shouldn't be dissing managers, as there are some out there that know what they are supposed to be doing. For a lot of engineers that sit back and don't speak up, they are probably just trying to hold onto the jobs.

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#46
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 9:57 AM

The ones (engineers) sitting back and not saying what should be said are insecure.

For whatever reasons,.... earlier in my career the insecurity was from they were in a position beyond their skills set. One of the reasons:

1.) When I worked at the ship yard, and a worker got hurt and had restrictions such as lifting, they (manager) within the yard, brought them and reassigned them to engineering. and put a label of 'engineer' on them as such.

They took advantage of this title of engineer, but never the ownership.

I always felt I could work anywhere, and I spoke and said what I felt needed to be said..... until I turned 50,..... now, I have to look at the company's environment and culture, if its full of 'yes men'. I still speak up, but make damn sure I have a 'Plan B' already in place to fall back on.

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#47
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 10:29 AM

Plan B is definitely required. I too tend to speak up. It has cost be a couple of jobs but,, those losses enabled me to be where I am today, an owner/manager. But, I encourage those who work for me to speak up.

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#48
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 10:50 AM

I was also an owner/manager,....

Even prior to being a owner/manager, I was a engineering manager at a OEM, that was a family owned business 50 employees 15-20 million/year..

I must have made it look easy, but I told anyone who challenged or wants my job can have it because the benefits of the job never matches the responsibility.

As far as speaking up, that want I try to instill internal or external customers, no matter how bad or grave the news, always shoot straight, but never over indulge. Its the best way when people know how things stand.

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#49
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 11:02 AM

It's difficult to get to "honesty is the best policy" anywhere. I don't think I have ever succeeded totally in getting there, but I think I am close. It's still a CYA world out there.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 11:16 AM

That is interesting, very few people realize it.

There are so many times, mitigating issues on a project with a customer, where I because issues where so bad, I withheld full disclosure on the details to the customer.

The customer knew it was bad, I shared as much as I could and address the issues. Basically owned and the mitigated the problems on my own. How I looked at it, the customer was overwhelmed, that the customer would be of no help with input until the issues got under control, which I did.

I'd take the project personal as though I was paying for it. The customer appreciate it, frankly, as I got older, I also tempered myself with that. Health wise, it's not worth it, that is the reason I speak up or challenge potential risks before they become problems.

Projects becomes manageable.

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#66
In reply to #42

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/30/2015 4:43 PM

Again, you didn't understand something fully.

Let me try and help you:-

World wide, aprox 50% like DST, which strongly implies 50% don't. Got that?

Its about an equal split.

In the USA (one country only!) its around 37:45 % against DST. When individual states COULD opt out, but don't.....or the whole country could but doesn't....So someone there thinks its still a good idea....

I wonder if the USA WILL change?

Changing it will cost millions in every country/State making the change, so from my personal point of view (I am not alone!) unless all you "haters" are willing to pick up the complete tab, "SUCK IT UP!"

I won't willingly pay one red cent to make such a change....there are FAR more important things to spend such money on.....

Got that now?

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#26

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 12:28 PM

DAMN:-

I though we'd escaped this annual thread

Del

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/12/2015 1:45 PM

Nope,

The same people rehashing the same tired old arguments for and against.

All armed with nothing more than personal preference, couched within their perception of logical reasons why it is or isn't the best thing ever.

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#62
In reply to #28

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/24/2015 6:01 PM

Didn't you say the same thing last year?

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#51

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 1:09 PM

The exchange of posts by Kevin and Phoenix are interesting but seem nearly OT - unless the use of DST helps keep the truth in the dark ----- or should it be FST - Face Saving Time! or even JSB - Job Saving Time...

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#52
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 1:12 PM

feel better?

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#53
In reply to #51

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 1:19 PM

Yup, we are getting there. No more from me then.

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/16/2015 1:24 PM

I have to agree with you.

But, who among us has not taken a segue into off-topic land on occasion?

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 6:28 AM

Re Lyn, Kevin and Phoenix.

Personally I like the OT comments. It triggers a bit of lateral thinking. Keep them coming.

Although sometimes I wonder how some posts get rated as OT, when to my mind they are bang on target. Some deserve GA's.

PS: Previous discussions and suggestions to Savvy on how OT's and GA's (etc?) should be awarded seem to have gone into hiding.

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#56
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 7:31 AM

Sometimes a post is labeled OT simply because there is no BA (Bad Answer) alternative.

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#57
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 8:02 AM

That's the point of my PS. We don't have a BA box to tick.

...and this reply is OT in the strict sense because it has nothing to do with DST - nevertheless a valid contribution IMO to help focus on the OP.

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#58
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 8:13 AM

Yes but, if I label a post of yours as OT, it only talleys 1 OT against the post.

If you, as the originator of the post, or Admin. votes it OT the talley is 5 OTs, and if you respond to an OT post you are assessed 5 OTs as well.

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#59
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 11:01 AM

It's an imperfect world, Lyn.

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#60
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/17/2015 2:05 PM

And I'm getting damn sick of it.

If I were Emperor of the World I'd fix that!

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#61
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Re: Daylight Savings: What Are We Saving?

11/18/2015 12:55 PM

"Do I be God--" From musical "Inner City"

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