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Metric Time

Here’s a favorite joke from one of my student films–

PRESIDENT: I want the file by oh-twenty-four hundred hours.
CHIEF OF STAFF: Sir, twenty-four hundred would require a twenty-five hour clock. We’re not on metric time, here.

Imagine my surprise when I was filling out my time card the other day. I had worked the late shift, from noon to half-past midnight. Time cards are usually done in military time, so I wrote my outtime as “0:30.”

My boss came in a little while later, and told me my time card was filled out wrong. “We use military time on the time cards.”

“…Yes. I did.”

“So your out time should read 24:30.”

I couldn’t believe it; I actually got to quote myself: “Um, 24:30 would require a twenty-five hour clock.”

She still made me redo my time card, but I felt it was a moral victory.

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5 Responses

  1. i know this is a super old post, but i’ve been going through your entire blogroll, and in actuality, production accountants have always made me (as a set pa) continue from 24.0 when i work into the next day. thus, finishing at 6:30a the next day would actually be 30.5 on any time card i have done. i’ve worked a lot of nights, and the involvement of that level of math when wrapping at 6 or 7 am on saturday morning makes me angry every time.

    i know the reasoning is still poppycock, but it is standard practice, at least in my experience (and it does make the math easier for the accounting department).

    1. It’s not that it makes it easier for the payroll person, it makes it easier for the payroll company, so that YOU get paid correctly.

  2. “PRESIDENT: I want the file by oh-twenty-four hundred hours.”

    024:00 would require a one-hundred-hour (minimum) clock, actually. I think you meant “I want the file by twenty-four hundred hours”.

    Sorry for nitpicking on a nitpicking post!

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