This week’s TWIDDER comes from Cynthia Larsen’s “Reality Shifters” website. The experiencer had a Fast Forward spacetime slip that left them astounded. Us too!
In the autumn of 1967 I was working as a public relations account executive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the branch of what was then, and to my best knowledge, still the largest public relations agency in the world, Burson-Marsteller. Since my background had been that of an ad and promotional copywriter, my immediate supervisor, Bob Carter, a vice president, began to lose patience with the promotional slant in my writing style and suggested I take some journalism courses at the University of Pittsburgh. Hopefully, I would be purged of my fanfare skew. It was cinched when he said Burson-Marsteller would pay for it if I delivered an “A” average.
By November, I had been happily attending the University after my workdays, for two months. Since the job entails applied time and I would have to account for each hour of my work-day, I would sign out of the office on Oliver Street at 5 PM, then go directly downstairs where there was a 5:15 bus to Shadyside and the University campus. On a bleak, cold and and drizzly November Thursday, I signed out of the office at 5 PM, took the bus and got off at the campus stop at 5:45 PM automatically, buy this time.
It always took me exactly ten minutes to walk to the hall where my classes were held and by 5:55 PM, I would be sitting at my desk, awaiting the first of two instructors in my two back to back writing classes which ran roughly one hour and thirty minutes each.
This time, when I walked into the class I realized right away that I had walked in on a class already in session. I looked around and noticed everyone, including the instructor, was strange. Thus, I quickly and incorrectly estimated I had walked into the wrong room.
Out in the hallway, beyond the door, I saw that it was the exact room so I then quickly assumed that the last class had been extended beyond its time limit. Glancing into another room across the hallway, a room always empty in the evening, I saw it was also filled with students with an active class in session.
Stopping a young woman in the hallway, I asker her if she knew why the classes were held over so late. She looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, “These classes are not held over, they don’t let out until 5 PM.”
For a stunning moment I felt as if I had mistakenly walked out of my office, downtown, at 4 PM by some bizarre mistake, but quickly recalled that others had signed out with me. I told the woman that it was just about 6 PM and she rejoined that I was incorrect and that my watch was running one hour ahead.
Finding a telephone, I called my office. The receptionist, usually gone by 6 PM, was still there. She greeted me and asked if I had forgotten something. I told her I was at Shadyside and the University campus and she laughed and said, “Right, you made it there in two minutes?” Then I realized she was telling me I had just walked out of the office. She assumed I was downstairs in the lobby of the office building where Burson-Marsteller was then located.