When it comes to technology I’m no expert but I fell foul to an unalarming travel alarm just a few weeks ago.
When you travel a lot, particularly on business you need some form of reliable alarm. Maybe you have a flight to catch, a journey to take or an important meeting to get to.
If you’ve got jet lag you know there is a big risk of you over sleeping so you need something to wake you up.
I don’t rely on hotel wake up calls much nowadays. In fact I’ve been let down occasionally in the past by these. Even the automated ones have a tendency to go astray.
If you have a fancy TV in your hotel room then it may have an alarm function. I find these handy and have used them from time to time. I do need to check it each day though just in case it auto resets or the cleaner has interfered with it – I know they secretly watch chat shows like Jeremy Kyle whilst cleaning rooms.
On occasion the room has an alarm clock radio. These are great if you can figure out how to work the blinking things, some of them aren’t easy I can tell you!
There is even an alarm on my fancy solar powered watch. It is fairly new for me and I’m prone to make mistakes. It has a world clock function on it. So not only am I confused on how to set the alarm I need to ensure it is set for the correct time zone.
As a result of all these complications I tend to rely on my work issue mobile phone and its alarm function.
Work issues me with a blackberry. My last blackberry phone was very unpredictable with the alarm on the phone. Sometimes it just would not go off, without any logical reason. Some mornings I lay there waiting for the alarm to go off and just watch the clock tick by and no sound.
This temperamental phone met its demise when its nipple fell off.
I now have a work issued Blackberry Bold.
All fancy with touch screen as well as a kind of in built mouse.
Recently on my trip to The Netherlands I used the alarm function on the phone for the first time.
On the Monday morning I awoke to the Blackberry alarm and also set the alarm on the TV as a back-up. Both worked perfectly. The alarm on the Blackberry even had a snazzy cool sound too.
The TV received BBC 1 (and 2 in The Netherlands) so I woke up to early morning BBC TV.
I soon built up confidence in my travel alarm, effectively the alarm on the Blackberry. By the Wednesday I’d stopped using the TV alarm as I couldn’t be bothered to set it every night.
Then disaster struck on the Friday, the day I was due to leave.
My alarm was set for 6am, leaving plenty of time to pack, wash, have breakfast and check out.
Somehow I was partially awake and just waiting for the alarm to go off. You know that feeling? It is as if my body clock is saying now is the time to get up.
Well the alarm did go off and as it did so the phone showed a time of 6am, as I expected.
I proceeded to switch on the TV to see the BBC morning news with a little clock in the bottom corner of the screen. This also said 6am.
Even though I was half awake it soon dawned on me. The Netherlands are one hour ahead of the UK. So if it is 6am in the UK it is 7am in mainland Europe! Mass panic as I rushed to get washed, packed, eat breakfast and check out prior to my pre-arranged meetings.
As you can guess, my phone had somehow reset itself to UK time. All week it had been on mainland European time until the morning I was due to check out. Crazy.
I’ve never had such a crazy thing happen before and electronics should never be trusted 100%.
On reflection I think I’ve realised why my alarm was unalarming. The screen of my phone no longer said “T-Mobile”, it read as “EE”.
I suspect the transfer of branding of Orange and T Mobile to EE had something to do with this? Maybe the network system reset also reset the time on my phone?
Bizarre I know yet it is the only reason I can think of as to why what happened did.
Have you ever had a strange and stressful event due to your travel alarm? What have you missed or nearly missed?
I think I’ve learnt my lesson now. To avoid an unalarming travel alarm, don’t rely on just one alarm!
Be sure to let me know below of the last time you were late for work and why.