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November 6, 2016

Fall Back: Small Talk at the End of DST

What do people talk about when the time changes?
"What kind of small talk can we make about daylight saving time? Can we ask how is daylight saving time?" 

This insightful question asked after a US culture training on small talk left me speechless for a moment, with an answer of, "Well, we do make small talk about the end of day light saving time, but not quite like that.... give me a second..." 

Questions to use for "fall back" 
(First Sunday in November in the northern hemisphere):

Friday or week before the time change:
  • I am looking forward to the time change only so my daughter/son can get on the bus when it's actually light out....
  • I'm not looking forward to coming home in the dark next week....
  • Only a few more days left to come home before the sunset.....
    (After the time change, the sun would set one hour earlier. In some areas, the sun may set before 5pm.)

Ask anytime during the first week of the time change:
  • Have you gotten used to the time change yet? (Avoid asking it using the word "timings." The word "timings" is not common in American English.)
  • Were you able to sleep til the alarm or did you wake up early? 
  • It's nice to get an extra hour of sleep, isn't it? 
  • Wow it feels so weird with the sun setting earlier. I hate when the sun sets at 5, don't you? 

Ask Tuesday- Friday after the time change:
  • Was it dark out when you went home yesterday/Tuesday/this week? 

Ask on Monday to colleagues you already know who have children:
  • Wasn't it nice that the sun was out when the kids got on the bus this morning? 
  • It's nice that it wasn't dark when the kids got on the bus this morning, wasn't it? 

Ask only to colleagues you are close to who you already know go to church OR you met them at church:
  • Were you on time for church or early?
  • I forgot to change my clock and was early for church on Sunday, what about you?

What other questions or small talk conversation starters can you think to use for "fall back"? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Related Posts: 
What time will I get to work if I don't change my clock for fall back? 
How to ask "What are your office timings?" in American English - Small Talk Video Tutorials 

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We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.