Some New York Trains are 1-minute late by design according to an article in today's New York Times.
It turns out that a 5:20 train leaves at 5:21. This gives people a good feeling when late because they "just caught" their train.
Since I take such a train every day, I'm not sure if I believe this. By my AT&T cell phone, the trains seem to leave right on time. My theory is that they leave 59 seconds late. It is still technically 5:20 (in the above example).
What really annoys me is that the train doors close "on time" (whatever that is) but then the train sits there on the track waiting for permission to move. Once I just missed a train and stood there pounding loudly on the glass door, yelling and screaming (and then yelling, screaming and cussing) as the train stood there for 5 minutes. The conductor heard me but wouldn't open the door to let me in.
Maybe it was the cussing.
How this relates to system administration: Under-promise and over-deliver. If you tell a user "this will take an hour" and then it takes 2 hours, they will hate you. If you tell them "this will take 3 hours" then fix it in 2 hours, they'll think you are a genius. Either way you spend 2 hours on the task. Therefore, always increase your estimates. TPOSANA has a few tips related to this kind of thing, especially where giving support to unsupported products is concerned.