Time Zones

I have a call in a little less than two hours (this would be the one with the completely foreseeable hijacking). I’ve been coordinating this call for weeks, starting with a WhenIsGood, in which I indicated several windows of availability for people (taking into account their time zones.) I took the time at which the most people could attend, scheduled a conference call for that time, and I sent a calendar invite for people including the relevant dial-in details. The time and time zone are explicitly mentioned in every communication. The calendar invite auto-adjusts for people’s time zones.

When I got to the office this morning, I sent the finalized, approved agenda (and included the call-in information again, knowing that it’s good to have all the information in one place.) Then, I started getting puzzled emails. “I’m on the conference line and no one else is here. What’s going on?”

“What time is it where you are?”

“How many hours difference is there between where I am and where you are?”

“Oh, I just realized that I had the time zone wrong for that call and can only be there for the first 15 minutes. Can I call you after and find out what happened?”

Listen, I get that everyone’s a little confused about Mountain time, because it’s not Eastern time or Pacific time. That’s our own little cross to bear. And as a kid who grew up in the forgotten time zone, with a majority of relatives in the Eastern time zone, I may have spent more time thinking about time zones than some people who only call people in their own time zones. But the people on this call are accomplished business people, academics, and it’s not an area of infinite complexity. Four time zones progressing from east to west. When it is noon, Eastern time, it is 11 a.m. Central time, 10 a.m. Mountain time, 9 a.m. Pacific time. We don’t have to worry about Alaska or Hawaii unless they’re represented on the call, which is a minority of the time.

Also, will I call everyone who did not use their calendar properly afterward and give them a blow-by-blow, creating an infinite succession of meetings about the meeting? Sadly, I will not. You are why meeting minutes happen, sir.

This kind of ridiculousness is Exhibit A for my deep hatred of meetings.

So what do you think?

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