Time Warp

Bear with me...I might be onto something.

Say the sump pump needs fixed. 

When I ask Steve how long it will take, he will say "oh, 15 minutes."

Then I asked him to clarify, "how much time will it really take?"

"Probably 45 minutes."  In what time warp is 15 minutes and 45 minutes the same thing?

I bring this up because a co-worker had a delayed flight (mechanical) over the weekend and we were talking about it.  In total, the flight was delayed 3 hours.  The frustrating part was that they were getting updated every 15 minutes that it would only take 15 more minutes.  Imagine hearing "folks, only 15 more minutes" a dozen times.  That has to grate on anyone!

Then the light bulb went off...I wonder if this is just airline mentality?  Does Steve live in this time warp? Does everyone that works in the airline live in this time warp?

Why not just over estimate how long something will take, knowing very well that it will take less time?  That would make everyone happy. 


  1. I'm a big fan of overestimation when you know it will take less time. It's sort of a fun trick, and it usually keeps people happy. Many restaurants use the technique when telling you how long it will be for a table.

    I've taught my husband to overestimate when telling me what time he'll get home from work. I would try and time dinner for him, but it always ended up that he would be late. Maintenance delay, weather delay, traffic on the way home... whatever it was, he was always later than he would say. Now he just tells me a time that's usually a little later than he thinks. Works like a charm. ;) Maybe it is airline mentality... they should really start thinking like restaurants do!

  2. As a mom I use the "overestimation" method often. It always makes things go smoother, be it the pain of a shot or the amount of driving time to a destination. As for work around the house, well, my husband will estimate the amount of time he'd take to do a project, how much he'd get paid if it were a trip, then we'd inevitably hire someone else to do the project since he'd be so expensive we couldn't hire him! How's that for getting out of doing household projects?! :)


Post a Comment