07 February 2008

Back in 5 Minutes

"What is wrong with saying "back in 4.5 minutes" or "back in 7 mins and 35 secs"? ....I am beseeching all shop owners, and everyone else, to put up signs that say back in 4 mins and 59 seconds"

I was recently walking from the Mothership to my other place of work when I walked past this clothing alterations shop which had a sign "back in 5 minutes". I said to my co-worker (hi Nic!) "why do all signs like these say 5 minutes?". This got both of us thinking as to why 5 minutes is taken as an acceptable period of absence?

For some reason 5 minutes has gained huge notoriety as being an acceptable piece of time to be away. My question is why? What is wrong with saying "back in 4.5 minutes" or "back in 7 mins and 35 secs"? We all know that, in reality, people will be away for longer than 5 minutes. If someone has gone to the bank they will definitely not be back in 5 minutes! Having worked for a bank many moons ago (and a few more) I can vouch that this is so.

I have queued up at more than one shop with a 5 minutes sign only to find out that the period was in fact more like 20 minutes! Why can't people be honest!!! Is it too much to ask? Anyway, having thought about this I think that subliminally 5 minutes is deemed to be an acceptable time for a person to wait before the shopkeeper, for instance, returns.

I think we need to start a new crusade. Especially here in Australia. I am beseeching all shop owners, and everyone else, to put up signs that say back in 4 mins and 59 seconds. Let's make this the norm from now on. After all, 5 minutes has had a good run as an acceptable time for many decades, possibly centuries! Now we are in the 21st Century we have the power to create a new time standard.

So who wants to join my crusade? contact me if you do.

Finally, one of my favourite songs by the Stranglers is called, surprise surprise, "5 minutes" Guess how long it lasts? No, not 5 minutes but 3 minutes and 16 seconds. Go figure that one out!!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And then there is Take 5 by Dave Brubeck. Great track, but the title is lie!

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