7 Reasons The Samoans Really Haven’t Thought This Through
If you read the Weird & Wonderful section of the BBC website you may well have seen that Samoa is to set to jump forward by one day. You may also know this if you are Samoan. And live in Samoa. If you don’t, you need to read this next bit very carefully. At midnight on 28th December 2011 – Samoan time – it won’t be 28th December 2011. It will actually be midnight on 29th December 2011. The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says the twenty-four hour leap to the west side of the international data line will be good for the economy. It will enable them to do more business with Australia and New Zealand. But have they really thought it through? Our investigations show they may want to rethink.
1. 28th December 2011. That’s a Wednesday! Wednesday is a business day. Surely logic would have said jump forward in time at a weekend. Lose a Saturday or a Sunday. Not a Wednesday!
2. Tourism. Unsurprisingly, what with it being a small island with beautiful beaches, Samoa is a popular holiday destination for people like to lie around doing nothing while getting sunburnt. As a result the tourist industry is a major part of the Samoan economy. The problem is that went people book a ten day holiday they expect ten days. They don’t expect nine days. But that’s exactly what would happen if you go to Samoa for Christmas and New Year. Which is why you won’t. No one will. At the end of this year Samoa will be completely free of tourists. The Samoan economy will shudder to a worrying halt.
3. Natives. What happens if they have a birthday on 28th December? They are either going to stay in Samoa and not have a birthday which means no money being spent on presents, cake, balloons and Pin The Tail On The Donkey kits. Or they are going to go away to celebrate which means money will be spent on presents, cake, balloons, and Pin The Tail On The Donkey kits in Sydney. Either way, Samoa’s economy loses.
4. Productivity. So, without a 28th December, Samoa will be faced with a four day week. Only they won’t because the 26th and 27th are public holidays. So they’ll have a two day week. Thanks to the foresight of Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoans are going to have to cram five days work into just two. It’s not going to happen. I guarantee you now that the entire Somoan workforce will be on strike on the 29th and 30th December. So basically, from 23rd December until 3rd January, nothing is going to happen in Samoa. Hardly the sort of attitude that is going to inspire New Zealand and Australia based companies to work with them is it?
5. Pressure. At the moment Samoa is the last place to see daylight. The pressure is off them really. Everyone else has done that day and are now either chilling, sleeping or preparing for a the next day. Samoans can pretty much do what they want safe in the knowledge that no one is watching. Come 2012 though, they are going to be leading the world into every new day. They have the responsibility to get us off to a good start. If they have a bad one, so do the rest of us. That is a lot of pressure and a lot of change. Really, they should have had a trial period first. Perhaps moving Samoa to just West of Ireland. This way they’d have experienced some pressure, but not potentially economy damaging pressure.
6. The Americas. Samoa’s argument is that the majority of their business ties are with Australia and New Zealand and so by advancing by a day they get to work with them for five days instead of just three*. That’s putting an awful lot of eggs in just two baskets. There are thirty-five
countries baskets in The Americas. Some baskets, like the basket of the USA, are so big that they contain sub-baskets. There’s a basket for New York. A basket for Chicago. A basket for Los Angeles. In other words, there is opportunity. If a Samoan finds a basket is full, well he can move on to another. This time-travelling is not only going to reduce the size of these America based baskets, but some will disappear all together.** Lots of Samoans will be looking to transfer their eggs to the baskets of New Zealand and Australia. And while these baskets are going to be slightly bigger, there are going to be a whole lot more eggs in them. And when you have too many eggs in a basket that leads to cracking. And, eventually, egg white saturation.
7. Warranties. Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, I purchased a freeview box in Apia on 29th December 2010. The warranty runs out on 28th December 2011. What happens if it breaks down on 28th December? A date that doesn’t exist. I foresee a lot of correspondence going back and forth. That’s a whole lot of stamps. And a whole lot of expense. It alarms me that Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has made the decision without even contemplating such eventualities. And let me assure you, by hook or by crook I will get my hands on a Samoan freeview box and I will be following this up. All for the love of reasoning.
*At present, when it’s Monday in New Zealand and Australia, it’s Sunday in Samoa. And when it’s Friday in Samoa, it’s Saturday in New Zealand and Australia.
**When it’s Monday in Samoa it will be Sunday in The Americas and when it’s Friday in the Americas it will be Saturday in Samoa.