Day[24]; // off by one errors

When I was really young, I remember the first time I learned that the first hour of the day started at midnight. It was weird realizing that time moved in this sequence: 10PM, 11PM, 12 AM, 1AM, etc. Thinking about it for awhile, I realized it made sense.

To this day, the border between one day and the next throws people off. I like to think of it as an array of hours.

hours Day[24];

So now I have an array of hours called Day. The first hour is hour 0, and the last hour is hour 23. Translated into actual time: if it is after 12AM, you have entered into the next day.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I recently bought tickets for the latest Star Wars movie, and I bought them for opening night. My ticket says very clearly “Wednesday 12:01AM 5/18/2005”. I haven’t been paying attention to when opening night was supposed to be for the world, but I thought that I could trust my ticket. I received a call from my girlfriend today. She informed me that the movie is tomorrow night and not tonight. I think it is absurd, but she worked in a movie theater before and insists it is true.

So I walk to the theater. I ask a few of the desk workers if it is true that the movie isn’t playing tonight but is instead playing tomorrow.

“Yes.”
Why?
“Because it is Wednesday.”
But TONIGHT is Wednesday. TONIGHT is when it is 12:01AM on Wednesday.

At that point, one of them claims to have warned some manager about people getting confused about this issue. The other workers just apologize and say that it is meant to be Thursday morning, Wednesday night. As if them telling me that makes it alright now. One apologizes because that’s how the computer printed them out. As if some person didn’t make the computer do that. One reassures me that I’ll be able to get in tomorrow, as if that was my concern.

The ticket says one thing, but they “meant” another. I’ve been fairly upset about it all afternoon. I drove in today instead of taking the train since I knew I wouldn’t be back at a reasonable hour. I planned on using tomorrow to work on my presentation. Now because I was supposed to just know what they meant, I can’t work on the presentation tomorrow, and I didn’t get started on the presentation today until I got home hours later than I normally would have.

So tomorrow I will be going to a movie a day after what the ticket says. Imagine if the bank or your job worked this way. Direct deposit goes through on Friday? Nope. It’s actually Saturday. Father says to daughter, “Be home by midnight” only to find out that she is gone for a day longer than he thought she should be.

If the movie is 12:01AM on a Wednesday, it means I need to leave my house on Tuesday to make it in time. Unless you’re the movie theater, in which case it means you need to leave on Wednesday night, almost a full day after 12:01AM. GAH!

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