Monday, July 21, 2008

Paradoxes of the space-timetabular continuum

Today I took a look at my work timetable for the week and discovered that I was scheduled to have a lunch break that began at one-thirty and finished at one o'clock.

In other words, I was scheduled to have a lunch break that was exactly minus thirty minutes long, a break that would end half an hour before the break began.

Quite aside from the fact that this is by far the shortest break that I've ever had in my entire life, I had to wonder at the mechanics. Theoretically, of course, if I travel faster than light, like the apocryphal inhabitant of Bright* -

There was a young lady from Bright
Who could travel faster than light.
She set off one day
In a relative way
And arrived home the previous night.

- I would easily be able to achieve this goal. But this would be rather difficult to achieve by my usual method of perambulation - not to mention exhausting. So, if I was to end work at the alloted time, before beginning my lunch break half an hour later, what would happen to the half-hour in between? Would it simply vanish into its own paradoxical vortex?

It's not all bad. Negative time is, of course, a boon for employers, and I'm surprised they haven't discovered it before. Workers could be allotted negative hours, thereby allowing employees to pay them in negative dollars - which would make their pay packets at the end of the week far less expensive. Workers, too, would benefit from the invention of negative hours, as theoretically, they could end work before they begin it. This would not cause them any financial loss (the money would simply be docked from what they would have earned from those hours if they had been normal). And think of what they might do with all that free time! Look for another job, perhaps....

Anyway. Let's take another look at that timetable, shall we?

You don't suppose they had meant to give me a lunch break beginning at 1.00 and ending at 1.30, do you? Or beginning at 1.30 and ending at 2.00?


Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Couldn't be! That would be just too crazy to even contemplate!

*The less said about the young lady of Ryde and her fatal gastronomic habits, the inhabitant of Aberwystwyth and her saucy encounter with the millers' son, or the nasty little grot from Nantucket, the better.


Ampersand Duck said...

You should be head of a union. Bosses would quake as your shadow passed their door. You could out-logic their skewed logic anyday.

TimT said...

They want logic, I've got plenty of logic. Psychologic, entymologic, tautologic... any old logic...!

Mitzi G Burger said...


TimT said...

Sounds blogical.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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