Alarmed another day

Alarm clock

Clearly NOT my alarm clock: Image via Wikipedia

Another day, another… day.

It’s probably not a good sign when the alarm goes off and for a moment I have no idea what day it is. (The alarm clock doesn’t always reliably reset after being off, so I don’t turn it off on the weekends.) For a second, it feels like Sunday. But it’s Tuesday, so no more of that.  Up and at ’em.

Well, up, at least.

My alarm clock has two alarms. Ostensibly, for a household of 2 in which they have different waking times. How handy, how smart. Except.

Design flaws of my alarm clock:

  1. If you set the alarms chronologically… such that the 6AM alarm is Alarm A and the 7AM alarm is Alarm B (for example, these are not my actual alarm times), then Alarm A will probably not go off the first time you turn it on. So if you go on vacation and turn the alarms off, the first day back the person who gets up earlier will probably not get up at all. Alarm A, for some reason, doesn’t really come ON until Alarm B has been activated once. (This is easily addressed – once you realize the issue – by inverting the order of the alarms. But still… stupid design, and total suckfest until you realize.)
  2. There’s no light or other indicator to reassure that the alarm is, in fact, on. And knows it’s on. You flip the switch, you set the settings, you adjust volume (if you’re using the radio alarm), and then… you pray. Because that’s all you can do. Short of setting a backup alarm on your phone or something, I guess. Which DOES tell you an alarm is set, by the way, but this resolution sort of defeats the purpose of having an alarm clock at all.
  3. There is a decent-sized “snooze” button across the top. There is also a very small “reset” button, also on the top. Neither one is terribly raised, or requires any particular pressure to activate. So… if you should bump the reset button in the process of hitting the snooze button (and let’s face it, if you tend to hit snooze, that first time you’re probably half-awake and flailing), you have just turned off the alarm. Which you won’t know, of course, until you wake up feeling waaay too refreshed for a work day and waaay too late for work. I solve this by not using the snooze button at all. My “second” alarm is set to go off 15 minutes after the first one; just long enough that the first alarm has sort of softened the blow of the “no, really, time to get up” alarm but not so long that I’ll have sunk into another sleep cycle. Probably.

So… here is my wish list for alarm clocks:

  • Two alarms is brilliant. But the use of one should not be dependent on the other.
  • The alarms should turn on via a set of switches (preferably on the side of the clock, far away from the snooze feature).
  • When each of the alarms is turned on, a light should indicate this. So that one knows they have set the alarm, and that the gadget knows this as well.
  • If clock has a battery backup, it should extend to the alarm feature and not just the time. (My current alarm clock does not include a battery backup, but my old one did. Two problems: no indicator whether the battery itself was running low, and the battery only kept the time correct in the event of a power outage… if the clock was operating on battery, the alarm feature stopped working. Let me just say that waking up and knowing immediately how late one is, is only marginally better than waking up and scrambling through the house for an indicator of the correct time.)
  • And all of these nice features should be fairly simple and intuitive to use. You know, with basic switches and labels on them. Unlike the alarm clock at virtually any hotel I’ve ever stayed at, where the time is probably wrong (either no one can figure out how to fix it, or someone set it but got the AM/PM wrong so all alarms based thereafter are 12 hours off = recipe for lateness to meetings)… and/or the mechanism to set the alarm or change any setting requires a screwdriver, and advanced degree, and assistance from a NASA technician.

I know, I could just use my cell phone. But I don’t like to do that, except as a backup, because (1) once the battery starts to weaken/wear out, all bets are off as to whether I’ll still have charge for the morning wake-up – assuming I’ve remembered to charge it at all and (2) if I leave my phone by the bed to wake me up there’s a fair chance I’ll get out the door without it later.

But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

One Response to Alarmed another day

  1. I think you need a new alarm clock.

    Mine has dual alarms, too. But neither is dependent upon the other. Still, I’ve taken to use my cell phone these days, if I even bother with an alarm at all. I can have 3 different wake times that way!


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