Time zones will be the death of me.

Tuesday afternoon. I’m in Hartford, South Dakota, working away on my laptop. Two interviews are in the can; the third is scheduled for 3 p.m., half an hour away, so I’ve got time.

Or so I think.

An email pops up, interrupting my work. We hope everything is okay. We waited at the shop for you until 3:30 and now have left to go home for the day. Please let me know what you would like to do to reschedule.

That sound you hear is my heart tumbling down an elevator shaft. Followed by a very loud string of curse words that would make Ralphie’s dad in A Christmas Story beam with pride.

Because, ha-ha, despite what the clock in the bottom corner of my laptop says, it’s not really 2:30. Nope. It’s 3:30, which means I’ve ghosted my interview subjects.


Time zones are stupid. You’ve heard the phrase It’s 5:00 somewhere? It should just be 5:00 everywhere, dammit.

This isn’t the first time that a time zone has screwed up an interview. But at least last time it was just a phone interview. I didn’t drive 332.4 miles across the state to stand somebody up, as was the case on Tuesday.

It’s confusing enough when your state is split into two different time zones (in South Dakota, that would be Mountain and Central). Add to that the fact that not all electronic devices automatically update the time, and it’s no wonder I screwed up. My phone had the correct time, but my laptop did not. And since I’d been working on my computer since after lunch, I was blissfully unaware of the real time.

Clearly, I need to move to a state with only one time zone. I hear Wisconsin is nice.

I immediately called my interviewee. Threw myself at her mercy. Apologized profusely. Begged for forgiveness. If she’d needed a kidney, I’d have grabbed a pair of rusty scissors, surgically removed one of mine, and handed it to her with a smile on my face. She didn’t sound too upset and we rescheduled for 7 a.m. Wednesday, about an hour before I was scheduled to depart. Whew.

In the end, it turned out to be not such a big deal. I pulled into her parking lot at 6:50 this morning. She got there a few minutes later.

“You beat me here!” she said.

“I wanted to make damn sure I didn’t leave you hanging again,” I said.

Just in case, I bought her and her husband a gift card from a local coffee shop. Because sucking up is most effective when combined with a bribe. The interview went swell, and in fact, she emailed my supervisor raving about “the CenturyCo staff’s professionalism.”

Maybe I should “forget” about meetings more often, huh?

Time zone faux pas aside, the trip was productive. We’ve actually gotten some rain recently — hallelujah! — so the entire state is green for a change.

When I wasn’t on the clock (not that I could tell the correct time anyway!), I drove into Sioux Falls a couple of times. Figured I might as well take advantage and get me some Big City Culture! Like this amazing sushi from Oshima Sushi Japanese Cuisine.

Before we moved out here, I scoffed over the idea of finding decent sushi in the Midwest. Much to my surprise, I found a couple of good places in Rapid City. Omaha also has killer sushi. But neither holds a candle to Oshima. Have you ever had a meal so delicious, you wanted to stand up and applaud the chef when you were finished? I came very close to doing that. Instead, I mentally composed a love letter to my raw fish and gushed enthusiastically to my server. The fish was so fresh it was practically still swimming. The sauces were bursting with flavor, and the textural contrast was incredible. I’m going out on a limb here and declaring it the best sushi I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot for a guy who lived on the West Coast for 32 years.

The Sexy Roll: Crab, avocado, shrimp tempura, cucumber, spicy tuna, masago, crunchy flakes.

If you’re astute like Tara, you’ll notice three rolls in the photo. I had to assure her that no, I wasn’t dining with a mystery woman or anything scandalous of that nature. I’d only ordered two, and even debated that. But my server informed me their Tuesday special is buy two sushi rolls, get a third one free. Who am I to argue? As delicious as it all was, I ended up taking most of a roll back to my hotel room in a box.

As fun as my trip was — I really do enjoy these brief business getaways — I was glad to come home. And I got out of there just in time. I drove out to Dell Rapids this morning to grab coffee before hitting the road, and all the while, the sky was growing increasingly ominous. My interviewee had mentioned the forecast called for a chance of tornados later (!). I couldn’t resist pulling into my favorite overlook, the Dells of the Sioux, minutes before a strong thunderstorm rolled through.

Man alive, that was some wild weather.

Fortunately, my 4.5-hour drive along the interstate passed without incident. Somewhere between Murdo and Kadoka, the clock switched back to Mountain time, and all was right with the world.

For now, anyway. ‘Cause I’m going to have to do this all over again in another month or two. I’ll TRY not to stand anybody up again, but I make no promises.

43 thoughts on “Time zones will be the death of me.

  1. Wow, that’s some deft handling if you got a complimentary email out of it. Do you remember when it used to be worse and Outlook wouldn’t reliably schedule meetings between time zones? You could schedule it in pacific time and the person in mountain time would still be guessing what time the meeting was at. And forget about if you accepted a meeting in mountain time and then traveled to pacific time – all bets were off.

    That’s my long way of saying at least we’ve come a long ways. 🙂

    I was waiting for you to say that you enjoyed the sushi so much you went outside and rang the dinner bell. But I guess that’s mixing cultures.

    Glad you had safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG I had to look at a time zone map! I never realized there are those weird split states. Even OR and ID have little jogs in their zones. I feel incredibly naive right now as I clearly and wrongly assumed the zones conformed to state lines. I must lead a very sheltered life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Worse than that: there’s at least one town in South Dakota where the time zone changes right in the middle of it. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be scheduling, say, an oil change in the Central time zone when you live and work in the Mountain time zone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t realize any state was split into two time zones. That’s insane.

    Nope. Nope. No way your sushi beats Kurisaki in Redondo Beach or Kumano in San Pedro or Sugar Fish in Manhattan Beach. Clearly they threw in everything but the kitchen sink on that roll…but how is the sashimi or nigiri without the taste hidden by sauces and flakes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The freshness of the fish was the first thing I noticed. Truly divine. Next time, I’ll have to try the sashimi and report back. I used to date a woman whose parents owned a sushi restaurant in San Jose. They could learn a thing or two from this place.

      I have no idea whether it compares to those places you listed. I’d love to find out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This post made me smile, although ruefully. When I’m visiting my older daughter and family, my laptop also stays on home time which is three hours earlier than them. Luckily, that’s enough of a difference not to miss out on anything. Like a flight!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not a fan of sushi but even I have to admit that’s a beautiful work of food art. And speaking as someone who needs a solid week to adjust to daylight savings time, nice time zone save. Sucking up gracefully is a very useful skill.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s odd that your laptop didn’t update the time. I’ve not heard of that. The most confusing time zone is if you happen to stay inside Navajo territory In Arizona, which we did on our last trip to the Grand Canyon. They are the only ones in the state who follow daylight savings time. Very confusing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Note to self: don’t ever schedule an interview in a different time zone the day the time change takes place. You’ll double your odds of screwing things up.


  7. TIL that there’s a state with two timezones 🤯 I live and learn. Guess what country has the most timezones (12)? Hint: it rhymes with Expanse 🙂

    Glad that you managed to turn what could have been a bitter experience (missing the interview) to a sweet one (complimentary email!), no wonder you deserved 🍣. It’s funny to hear of best sushi in a landlocked state 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, there’s a big sign next to the freeway that says CENTRAL TIME ZONE, ha! But if you’re not on the interstate, who the hell knows…


  8. I understand your timezone troubles. We live about 30 minutes away from the next one over and it messes with my life in odd ways. You do kind of get used to the absurdity of living with one nearby and I’m sure you’ll do better next time. The sushi looks delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One state with multiple time zones… yikes! Even our crazy state had the sense of staying with one (although to be fair, we are skinny and tall so…). I have always wondered what it would be like to live across the street from a different time zone… how do you make plans with your neighbors and friends?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite what they say, size DOES matter. Especially when it comes to states! Tall and skinny would be a lot more manageable instead of our big rectangle. You know what else is fun? Round states. Ohio is the closest we have to that.


  10. I – quite literally – hyperventilated as I was reading that. I cannot imagine how complex living in a two time zone state must be. I’d probably not bother to change our clocks even the twice a year it happens here in the UK if it wasn’t for Himself, but your experience would totally freak me out.

    I never ate fish until I lived on the coast, which taught me the problem I had with it was a lack of freshness. Less of a problem nowadays, but still – kudos to finding the good stuff in the mid-west.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “I hear Wisconsin is nice.” Hmmm… could this be a clue to you-know-what? I know you can’t tell me (or you’d have to kill me), but just know that I’m reading every post of yours between the lines, hunting for clues.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Way to recover with flair.
    What’s eating at a restaurant by yourself like? It’s not on my bucket list, but what do you do for company? A book? Your laptop? Observing and silently judging other diners?
    Glad you avoided the terrible weather. Great pics!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha!

        I haven’t forgotten about bringing you to work BTW. I’m just waiting for the most typical Tuesday I can find. Between traveling, webinars, and more, I’m still waiting. This week we have a new hire and we’re taking him out to lunch, so that’s not going to cut it either. It’ll happen soon enough, I promise!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so hard on myself if I’m ever late, so I try to NEVER be late, even for my gym workout. I would have probably had an ulcer if this were me. I’m glad it all worked out.

    I love the views you shared, and yes, YAY for rain and greening up the land.

    I’m not big on sushi. My husband loves it. We have a new place around the corner and I think I might venture ‘out there’ and try it again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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