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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Back in Kabul and coordinating across time zones
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back in Kabul and coordinating across time zones


well, i knew i was going be covering a lot of ground the first part of this year, but, honestly, i'm now getting a little disoriented... i left the u.s. for argentina just before new years, and, less than two weeks later, headed to jordan for a couple weeks of work... then it was back to argentina and, on the way back, i took advantage of a 9-hour layover in london to go into town with a colleague for a walk in battersea park followed by some delicious indian food...

i was back in argentina again for less than two weeks before heading to afghanistan... i spent the last two weeks of february here in kabul and then headed back to jordan for another two weeks... last evening, i flew from jordan to dubai and then back to kabul this morning... i've got six weeks more in afghanistan before heading back to argentina for the month of may and then back to the u.s. to teach a summer class... i knew it was going to be challenging for this old fart to keep jumping multiple time zones, but, so far, i'm still in one piece, physically at least... you'll have to solicit the opinions of my colleagues about my mental and emotional state... HA...!

it's not only the multiple time zones that cause head-scratching, it's also that we're in the season for going on or coming off of daylight savings time, depending on whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere... that's complicated by the fact that most countries don't change on the same dates as the u.s. does, plus there are many countries that don't observe daylight savings time at all... (see link here for a complete breakdown of daylight savings time worldwide...)

the above can lead to the kind of interesting situation where, depending on the date and the countries, their time zones could be either three hours apart or one hour apart... an example is argentina and u.s. east coast time... when argentina is on daylight savings time and the u.s. eastern time zone isn't, they're three hours apart... when u.s. east coast time is on daylight savings time and argentina isn't, they're only one hour apart... when both are on standard time, they're two hours apart... and then, of course, there are some years argentina doesn't observe daylight savings time AT ALL...! if you're not confused yet, just try coordinating a conference call with afghanistan, london, argentina, and washington d.c... fortunately, there's meeting planning aids that can help (see here...)

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