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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of India newspaper

Sunday, May 30, 2004

World loses touch of time

What time is it? Sorry, nobody knows. The 'freak mishap' occurred after Swiss watchmakers went on strike. The Big Ben in London stopped working a few milliseconds later.
Another few milliseconds later, clocks and watches all over the world stopped working as a show of solidarity with the Swiss watchmakers.
A Swiss watchmaker who did not want to be identified, said his workers were making unreasonable demands like free watches for their families. He added, ‘This is no time for freebies.’
The British Broadcasting Corporation in London clarified that the Big Ben’s problem was technical and would be sorted out shortly. The world broadcaster said Big Ben was always independent and would never support any such silly strike action anywhere in the world.
Time magazine in Washington DC said it too could not tell the time. It blamed The New York Times in New York. A Time magazine spokesperson said, ‘It is the Times’ responsibility to handle matters of time. Unfortunately, these days, the Times is wasting its time carrying apologies and clarifications on its coverage and is not monitoring the movement of time.’
However, in a front page report, The New York Times said it had nothing to do with time and instead blamed The Times, London.
A telephone operator at The Times, London office, said all its reporters and staff were at 10 Downing Street and that she had no time to answer crazy queries.
The Times of India Sports Editor Ayaz Memon said all senior editors were in New Delhi running against time to work out an advertising deal with the new government in India.
The deal with the government, he explained, was 'you advertise, we don't criticise.' He then slammed the telephone, saying, 'It's deadline time!'
It is not know how much time it will take to resolve the problem.


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