Trouble with Timezones

With participants all around the globe, it’s not easy for us to clearly state our times in a way that makes sense to everyone everywhere. This document will try to help explain the complexities of meeting times and especially the tragedy of Daylight Saving Time and how to figure out when your meeting will be!

To start: We are sorry that the current scheduling system doesn’t automatically convert meeting times into your local timezone!

It’s obvious that the ideal solution would be to set up each meeting as it’s own local timezone, then have a schedule that automatically senses your location and shows you the meetings in your local time. This would solve a whole lot of problems at once.

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found an out-of-the-box timezone solution that meets our needs. We are actively looking and working on it, but can’t promise a timeline.

Workaround: RDO Meetings Google Calendar!

The best way to avoid these problems is our Google Calendar with all meetings in it! This calendar should show meetings in your local time, and it is a good workaround for those outside the USA!

View the timezone-agnostic RDO Meetings Google Calendar »

You can trust the timetables

In the meantime, each meeting page has a timezone chart showing several common timezones. We promise to keep these tables up to date, including DST changes, at least 48 hours in advance.

For anyone not in one of the listed timezones, you can use the  Time Zone Converter tool linked below the timetable box to figure out when that meeting will be in any other timezone. We’re sorry this is a pain!

Daylight Saving Time?!

No matter what you think of Daylight Saving Time, there’s no debating that for an organization like Recovery Dharma Online (RDO), they are some serious Dukkha.

Not only does DST mean that meeting times will change for those in regions that don’t observe it, but because some regions start and end DST on different schedules it can mean that a meeting’s time could change twice in a short period of time.

For example the UK “falls back” out of DST a week before the USA. So if you are in the UK, RDO meetings will start 1 hour earlier during that interim week, then go back to their regular schedule.

The result is that during the “DST Season”, anyone on a different DST schedule from the RDO meeting they want to attend will have to stay vigilant and double-check the starting time of meetings just in case.

What Timezones do RDO meetings use?

It might seem like an abstract question, but because of DST, the precise timezones of each meeting becomes vital. If a meeting is “in” a US timezone (other than Arizona, most of which ignores DST entirely) then the meeting itself will suddenly start one actual hour earlier, and other countries will be affected. If, on the other hand, a meeting is “in” a timezone that doesn’t observe DST (like Northeast Australia), then it will continue being at the same “physical” time, but for those in DST regions, it will seem to start earlier/later.

So it does matter which timezone a meeting uses, even if you’re in the USA, because if a meeting doesn’t observe DST, then it’s time will change for people in places that do.

Current meeting timezones

What does this mean?

  • For almost all of our meetings, the times will changes according to USA DST. If you are in the USA/Canada then your time will be in sync with the meetings, and DST will work like it does with everything else (i.e. wierd but manageable).
  • If you live outside the USA, then you need to be aware of when USA DST starts and ends, and figure out the times of meetings by also taking into account your local DST if it exists.
  • For the meetings using Australian/No-DST time, those in the USA will need to remember that the meeting will start an hour earlier/later when USA’s DST comes around.

This is all extremely complicated, and if your head is spinning, you are not alone. Luckily you don’t have to be able to do these calculations yourself if you are willing to check in on meetings during “DST Season” and make sure you aren’t late for them!

Confirming meeting times without Google Calendar

  • Pay attention for our warnings that DST is coming! They will be posted on the website and mentioned at meetings.
  • When DST becomes active/inactive in your region or in the region of a meeting, go to the meeting page and double-check the timetable there. It should always be updated at least 48h before the start of the meeting.
  • If you are at all unsure, use the Time Zone Converter linked below each timetable to convert the time listed there to your local timezone (this is the safest way!)

Workaround: RDO Meetings Google Calendar!

The best way to avoid these problems is our Google Calendar with all meetings in it! This calendar should show meetings in your local time, and it is a good workaround for those outside the USA!

View the timezone-agnostic RDO Meetings Google Calendar »

Following these steps at least a few hours before your meeting will ensure you know when the meeting is and if at all possible can attend!