real time?

February 28, 2011

I feel a little bit like Steve Martin in LA Story the way I’ve become obsessed with billboards. Although I haven’t started talking to them.

Wait, actually, I DO talk to them now. They just don’t talk back. Yet.

This one bugs me enough that I yell at it every time I see it.


Maybe I’m picking at nits, but when something says they give me information in Real Time, I expect it to be live. As in, real time.

So it says “ER wait times in REAL TIME, updated every five minutes.”

That’s not real time. Real time is something else. Not updated every five minutes. That would be, well, NOT real time.

I need to get back to the library and get me another audio book.

21 Responses to “real time?”

  1. Michele Says:

    I am waiting for a blog about the bill boards with the fruit on them. I think one is even in the same area as this one. You KNOW which ones I am talking about.

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    What? A lie in advertising? Yet it still bothers me, so I hear you.

    A billboard in Utah County for a hospital purports to report, in real time, the ER wait time. Has a big 2-digit LED showing the minutes. But then I wonder, is someone keeping track of wait times and updating the sign? This is an emergency room, kind of hectic. I doubt the billboard.

    • Jeff Says:

      It’s not a lie, its just poor English. If they understood what “real time” meant, they wouldn’t use that phrase.

      And is anyone really on their way to the ER, then change their mind over which hospital to go to because of a billboard?

  3. stevebpt Says:

    One of my favorites is the plastic surgery one where the lady sits there and says, through the printed word of course, “all I want for christmas is my two front…” It’s like they forgot what they wanted to put there so put what you want. sheesh. Southbound 15 on the east side. red sweater. I need to start back on audio books.

  4. anon Says:

    And that clock on the billboard ain’t updating at all.

  5. bikemike Says:

    maybe there’s more than one meaning to “real” and of course we know that time is relative.
    your expectations may be skewed…slightly.

  6. Douglas Says:

    I bet they’re Vegan at that ER.

  7. evilreview Says:

    i think that by real time, they mean that they use actual, existing time measurements. As opposed to using some kind of bogus unit of time measurement. Like metric. For example, if every five minutes an orderly wandered into the waiting room and said, “Your current waiting time is estimated at 19 kilojoules,” you’d say to yourself, “a kilojoule” isn’t even a real time measurment.

    But at the Utah ER, well, they don’t cotton to kilojoules, crumpets, pancreatic wave cycles or any other such fake times. They use REAL TIMES. Minutes. Seconds. Hours. Days and weeks, if necessary (but less than half the time).

    As for the “Updated every five minutes,” well, that’s excellent because that means every so often (i.e., five minutes), the orderly sticks his / her head in and says, “Current wait time is still about 45 minutes.”

    45 minutes is a carefully-chosen time, because they know you’ll tolerate waiting that long, and that no matter how long you’ve been there, it would take more than 45 minutes for you to go and register elsewhere, so you’re going to keep sticking around.

    I’ll be happy to provide any additional clarification desired.

  8. Eric Says:

    Wouldn’t real time actually be shown on the billboard. You know – like one of their competitors billboards you can see every two miles along the freeway? I mean if you are going to ape a competitors ad campaign shouldn’t you at the very least try to be as good as them?

  9. skippy Says:

    WTF , are ambulances supposed to drive past this sign and then decide the best hospital/place to leave their onboard patient ?

    Can you imagine the year that people drive more carefully because they know that they will have to wait for assistance at their loacal hospital ?

    Will it reach the stage where patients book in for ER treatment before going looking for the place for their accident ?

    Congrats on being the rotweiler for a
    BCLL-MH-O-F,SM,L-AA-WCCBS, ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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