Tag Archive: new job

Banking on a Coincidence

(Submitted by reader Donald Chesebro)

On Saturday I went to a bank in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles to deposit my first paycheck from my new job because my direct deposit wasn’t set up yet.  I opened my bank account at a branch on Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank about a year ago.  While I was waiting in line at the Fairfax branch (which I visited because I am currently house-sitting for a friend near there), a bank representative came up to me and said he could help me at his desk.  It turned out to be the same guy that had helped me open up my account in Burbank!  He had changed branches because it was closer to where he lived.

It takes a licking…

(Submitted by reader Donald Chesebro)

Last Monday was my first day of work at a new job.  I decided to wear an old Timex analog watch that I’ve had since high school, but which I haven’t worn in years (although, like the ads, it indeed keeps on ticking).  When I put it on, I pulled the pin to set the time, but when I looked at the watch face, the time on the watch was 8:11 a.m.  The presumably correct time on my cell phone was 8:11 a.m.  (The day and date did need to be changed, though.)

EDITED 6/25/2012

[EDITOR: An especially simple story, but funny nonetheless. But what are the odds? There are a few factors to account for. Obviously one could argue the watch kept exceptionally good time, but as the date needed to be changed, we can assume it was, indeed, running fast or slow during the years it wasn’t in use. While a typical quartz watch IS capable of being accurate enough to lose/gain only 5-25 seconds per YEAR, it’s quite reasonable for them to be quite a bit further off than that due to a variety of issues. So assuming we have no way to directly predict the exact accuracy, or lack thereof, of this watch’s crystal, we’re left to assume this element’s unpredictable.

So that leaves us with the mere chance of its seemingly-random time lining up perfectly, on the day Donald decided to use the watch, with the actual time. Since there are 1440 minutes in a day, and as analog watches ignore AM/PM cycles, it appears that we’re left with as low as a 1-in-720 chance that the minutes would line up.

Although what’s not accounted for is that the watch may still have been many seconds slow or fast, leaving him to catch the time at the exact right moment, only for them to become out of sync within seconds. So a worst-case scenario, with the watch fast or slow by a full 59 seconds, leaves us with 2 seconds out of 86,400 in a day to line up, or a 1-in-43,200 chance.Still, he’d be unlikely to note the time as 8:11 at a glance if the margin was that tight, so we’re probably at a worst-case window of maybe 15 seconds, or a 1-in-5760 chance of this occurring.

So our end result here is certainly well within reasonable enough odds when you consider the huge number of people who must reset various old watches every day, but still a welcome surprise to Donald when he likely could use the spare moments while prepping for his new job. – Jarrett “Please Correct My Math” Kaufman]