Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, December 10, 2018

Satire: TDR realizes it’s been operating in the wrong time zone

An unnoticed error during daylight savings five years ago explains why AU’s only dining hall closes so early

Satire: TDR realizes it’s been operating in the wrong time zone

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

Many students complain that the Terrace Dining Room (TDR) closes too early. It’s always been open until 8 p.m., although they tend to stop serving food around 7:45 p.m. or earlier. A group of students were told to leave the dining hall when a worker said to them, “It’s almost 10!” The confused students checked their phones to see that it was only 7:50 p.m.

Then, they looked around and noticed that there were no clocks in sight. When one of the students asked for clarification about what time it was, the worker responded with, “it’s 9:51 p.m. We close at 10 p.m. so finish up!”

The group of students were shocked. Someone quietly muttered, “What the hell?” They’d always wondered why TDR closes so early, especially since it’s the main source of food and the only dining hall on campus.

When they realized something was off, they went to the TDR manager’s office. It turns out that all of the clocks TDR staff see are two hours ahead.

“I’m shocked,” said the manager. “This entire time I thought we were closing at 10 when it’s really been 8.”

The difference in time was traced back to a mistake made by an employee who was told to set the clocks back for daylight savings in November 2013. Instead of setting the clocks back an hour, he accidentally set them forward. TDR has been operating on Newfoundland Standard Time ever since.

“I feel robbed,” said freshman Connor Spencer. “I’ve been turned away from TDR so many times since I’ve been here mostly because I just happen to have a class that ends at 8. Now I’m hearing that they meant to stay open until 10 this entire time?”

Some were quick to point out that it is nearly impossible for TDR to have been operating two hours ahead this entire time without noticing. After all, five years is a very long time to go without realizing that something’s off. Others have defended TDR by noting that there is a severe lack of clocks at the University in general.

“I’ve never seen a clock while in TDR, and most classrooms don’t have clocks,” sophomore Sally Gregory said. “I have a friend whose professor’s lecture went on for three hours too long without anybody noticing.”

Despite the public recognition of this mistake, it is unlikely that TDR will actually stay open later, according to an Aramark spokesperson. “

While we realize now that we made this mistake, I don’t think we can change it back since both our employees and students have gotten so used to it,” they said. “Closing too early is just part of that TDR charm.”

Caeden Cloud is a freshman in the School of Public Affairs and a satire columnist at The Eagle.

ccloud@theeagleonline.com


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