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The Clock Is Off


About 3 months ago my boss' mother passed away. She was living in a house adjoined to his. I live in the same neighbourhood and we work closely at his office.

His is a small business and I love working there. The office is a remodelled house that now has my small desk area, a conference room, two offices, and a storage room, work room, break room, and copy room. Much of the time I'm alone in the whole house with enough to keep me busy. I keep thinking I hear voices around, but there's too much that could be causing that naturally that I just dismiss it. We're right on a busy street and the insulation is absolutely terrible. I could be hearing some kid across the street or the echo of someone's randomly loud radio. No telling, so it could be anything and I don't give it credence. "Debunked", as the saying goes.

A few weeks after his mother passed (she was 93); he brought in this old pendulum clock. It can use a cleaning, and the pendulum doesn't swing now. It works just fine; just the pendulum is left in for decoration. It's not an antique or anything, at least that's what he told me when I asked about it. The chimes work fine, it ticks quietly away, and the gears are all quiet. The funky thing about it, and why he's trying to fix it, is that it chimes at the wrong times. It chimes ten some-odd minutes ahead of the time it keeps. I figured, no big deal, this is just a funky broken clock. I never got weird vibes from it, except when it chimed, and the chime is creepy just because it's old-style and you never know when it's coming.

Here's the issue. I only picked up on it in this last week. It only chimes when my boss is in.

Now he doesn't have to wind it; its battery powered now. The insides were replaced years ago to make it run without winding. I'm in the office from 8:30 - 5:00 three times a week and I can promise I'd have hit the ceiling if that thing had chimed from his office when I was the only one in! Nothing comes from that clock when he's gone except for the normal ticking. I've even taken a peek at the mechanism, and even when he's gone, the chime is clearly supposed to be on. I've never touched the mechanism, but it does have a little screw you can turn to switch the chime off. It's always on, but it doesn't chime unless my boss is in the office.

He's been in two days now and I've heard it chime (if you'll excuse the obvious expression) like clockwork once he comes in. I've tried to catch him working on it, but it's never even been moved.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, allisonbeckert23, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

H2olily (5 stories) (158 posts)
9 years ago (2015-02-26)
Have you ever mentioned it to him? Perhaps he's not the kind of person you can mention things like this to or still upset about his mom?
hmbeck09 (11 posts)
10 years ago (2014-10-28)
Have you ever considered that the little screw you mentioned that turns the chimes on and off that your boss turns them on and off when he comes and goes? Just a thought. 😁
allisonbeckert23 (guest)
10 years ago (2014-08-06)
I haven't talked to him about it, especially since I never know when he's coming in. He and the other members of the firm are in and out at all different schedules, and sometimes he doesn't come in for days at a time.

Hazeleyes - as far as he's told me, it's set to chime the hour (once for 1, twice for 2, etc) and one chime every half hour.

Miracles51031 - I haven't talked to him about it, honestly, I'm a little leery of being considered either nosy or superstitious. The information I have here is from the one conversation I had with him about the clock, a couple of weeks after he brought it in and I mentioned the time of the chimes was off.
mimerkki (guest)
10 years ago (2014-08-06)
Nice story. I like these calmly paced stories with a bit of a mystery: is there a spirit or not?
hazeleyes (1 stories) (34 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-05)
Hey Allison, I just wanted to ask does your boss come in at a certain time everyday? The reason being is maybe the clock is set to go off at a certain time of the day and it could be that your boss comes in at the time that it's set to chime. It's a possibility.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
10 years ago (2014-08-05)
allisonbeckert - have you talked to your boss about the clock, explaining that it only chimes when he is in the office? I'm just curious about his take on the situation 😊
Wish-Not (16 stories) (534 posts)
10 years ago (2014-08-05)
Allison that is curious. I hate to be the first to state the obvious thought that his mother has something to do with it. But that is too obvious I think. Great story and mystery. Keep us updated.

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