Got a birthday tomorrow? If you're from Samoa, let me be the first to say, "I'm sorry."
Yep, those crazy cats down in Samoa have decided to just get rid of Saturday, December 30, 2011. When December 29 turns to midnight, their calendar will jump to December 31.
A whole day just wiped away.
Personally, I think losing a perfectly good Friday is nuts. I'd kick a Monday out long before a Friday, but that's just me.
In case you hadn't heard, Samoa has decided to move itself. Well, actually the island won't budge an inch, but somewhere in imagination station they are moving to the other side of the International Date Line.
They're tired of doing business a day late with Australia and New Zealand. Apparently those Samoans nearly spit their communion on Sundays knowing their neighboring Aussies are doing business.
Of course the move hasn't come without its fair share of criticism. Particularly from the tourism industry. Since Samoa was the last place in the world to see the sun set, it was quite the destination for the world's romantics. (The tourist folks aren't finding the distinction of being the 'first place to see the dawn' quite as lucrative.)
But romance can be salvaged - because you can celebrate an anniversary, wedding, or birthday in Samoa and then jump on a plane for a quick 1-hour trip to American Samoa and celebrate the glorious event twice.
There is one definite perk for employees in Samoa. Employers are expected to pay their staff for the work day that never happened.
Cha-ching. Now that's what you call makin' an easy buck.
I gotta hand it to those Samoans, though. When you can make a day simply disappear, you've got some power. It didn't take much to get buy-in though. The business sector has been waiting for this day much like a young child waits for Christmas.
Frankly, they're tired of coming in on Sundays to do "urgent Monday" business with a New Zealander. If they waited until Monday, then it was really Tuesday for their consumer.
Hey, I get it. I have a tough time waiting the 3 minutes it takes for my popcorn to pop. I suspect waiting a day or two to get some service could get annoying.
Those Samoans must be pretty easy-going people, though. (I suppose living on a beach all the time would keep you mellow.) Turns out they are accustomed to wild changes.
Just a couple years ago their government decided to change traffic and move motorists to the other side of the road. Yep. Try driving on the right side of the road all your life and then suddenly moving to the left.
I would think it would be a lot tougher to adapt to that than just skipping a day on the calendar.
Why did they shift those cars? Pretty much for the same reason: other countries nearby were doing it and they didn't want to feel left out.
So it makes you wonder if those Samoans are really about progressing business deals or if they simply can't handle peer pressure.
The truth is, those Samoans aren't losing anything, really. 2012 is a leap year.