Many years ago when I worked for a bank, “management” made a decision to change all the branch interiors. One of the changes was to take all the clocks down, in fact we weren’t allowed to have one that could be seen by a customer. Now that may not be a big deal, but “management” wasn’t finished. They also implemented a customer satisfaction call program. If you went to the bank and saw a teller, it automatically put you into a chance to be called and asked seven questions about your visit. What do you think was one of the seven questions? Yep, “How long did you wait?” So, let me ask you something. If you have to wait in line, and you don’t have a watch or time piece (okay, dating myself; let’s say no phone, iWhatever, etc.) how long do you feel you waited?
A study was done years ago with ambulances. They would put the subjects on a sidewalk and have an ambulance drive down the street at 35mph. Most of the subjects could correctly guess the approximate speed as well as describe it as a safe speed for the street. Then, the ambulance would drive down the same street, same speed, same subjects, but this time the ambulance would have their lights and sirens on. What do you think the subjects said about the ambulance’s speed? Oh yeah, now it was racing, speeding, even flying down the street! It took the ambulance the same amount of time to get down that street, but the perspective of the subjects was skewed, their own hearts were racing because of the lights and sound.
I normally have a pretty good sense of my “inner” clock. I know how long I’m taking at a task, the general time of day, I can even wake up just before the alarm goes off. Well, maybe all that should have been written in the past tense. Since my injury, the pain, and the medication, my clock is crashed. My circadian is sunk. My perception of time has tanked. How about you? Does time seem to crawl? Do you feel like you’re in a line waiting for nothing? Is life like being at the DMV all the time? This week we’re going to discuss time and how you occupy it. (Speaking of which, I failed to post Monday because I watched the Super Bowl, forgetting it was Sunday and I hadn’t written. Obviously, I need to look at time!) Thanks for stopping by, Tom