Are a law unto themselves.
They start in June. When they start in June is another matter.
The other day I needed to go to the post offices in Gib, naturally, the one where you buy stamps to send mail to the UK is not the same one where you have to go to collect registered mail.
I checked on the website to see if there was any information about summer hours. No. Apart from the information that tells you what those hours are. That’s great, but I want to know when it starts. Second week in June? Is that from the 8th of June? The second Monday? The end of the second week or the start of it? Why not start at the beginning of June and make life simple?
Summer hours are this bizarre concept that means office workers can’t possibly work later than lunchtime and need to go home, eat, sleep, go to the beach or whatever else they do.
I mean, it’s a hard life in an air-conditioned office yes? Does my parter working on a construction site in the heat of the sun get summer hours? No. Although ironically our Spanish neighbour did when he was working on a local building firm. Instead of 8am-2pm and then 3-6pm, he worked from 7am-3pm.
But back to Gib. I arrived at the post office that sells stamps just after 2pm and asked when summer hours would be starting. ‘We’re on summer hours already,’ she beamed. ‘We close at 2.15.’
I glanced at the clock, nearly 2.15pm. Not much chance of me legging it round to the other post office to collect the registered mail when it’s ten minutes walk away.
All government offices do summer hours. Naturally, they don’t all do the same summer hours. A bit like they don’t all do the same hours anyway. Some open at 8.30, 8.45, 9.00 etc etc, and then closing time can be anywhere between 12 noon and 1pm. Some open in the afternoon and some don’t.
Nine to five? Forget it in Gibraltar.
The shops are the same, some take a lunch break, some don’t. Some work summer hours, some don’t. Businesses too.
And to complete the inconsistency, everyone embarks on their summer hours schedule at different dates. At some point in June.
In fact the only time to get anything done is between 10am-12noon.
Summer hours end in September. But don’t ask me when.
Confused? Me too, and I’ve been here five years.