Let’s Do the Time Zone

One Sunday afternoon many years ago I called to order a pizza. I was told I would have to wait an hour because they weren’t open. “Weren’t open?” I thought incredulously. “It’s noon.” Then the person on the other end of the phone line reminded me that the clocks had fallen back an hour.


Imagine my challenge then working for an international organization and trying to schedule calls and keep time zones straight. I have two websites that I rely on to keep track of what in the world the time really is.

The first is www.timedial.net. What I like is the “Time Difference Calculator,” which is “for lazy people…who just want time conversions to be simple without having to do any in head calculations.” I simply enter the time for one location to find out the time in another.

Another great feature is a tool that displays the correct way to dial from one location to another. When I first had to place an international call, I couldn’t figure out all the numbers. For me just keeping area codes straight is a challenge. Now I also have to worry about things like country codes.

It turns out international dialing codes are split into three parts – IDD Prefix, Country Code and NDD Prefix. The IDD Prefix is the international dialing code part used to dial out to a foreign country. The Country Code – as the name implies – identifies the foreign country to connect to. The NDD Prefix is the dialing code part used when dialing a national number.

Now you know why I like to use a website to help me with my calls.

Another site I like is www.everytimezone.com. Of late I’ve been Skyping with multiple colleagues around the globe at one time. It’s hard to keep the times straight given that one person is in Japan. One is in Australia. Another is in Europe. I’m in the U.S. This website shows the time across all time zones. So now I know whether to see good morning, afternoon or evening depending on the time of the call. With one glance I know exactly the time and I don’t have to do any math calculations.

Now if I could just keep Daylight Savings Time straight.

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