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The Sydney Morning Herald's Heckler column rants and raves about Cityrail yearly tickets only lasting 365 days, even if one of those days is the 29th February.
NEXT year is a leap year. Is that a surprise to you? Do you think you can you handle it?
I certainly hope you can handle it better than the NSW transport department. Last month I bought my yearly ticket to cover 2012 and guess what? It's one day short.
It starts on November 10, 2011, and should end on, oh let's see, one year later, which would be November 9, 2012, in any normal universe.
The transport department, however, apparently doesn't live in a normal universe, it lives in one where ''yearly'' means 365 days and no more. Leap years are not years to these people.
The tickets starts on November 10, 2011, and ends on November 8, 2012. When I questioned this lack of a day with the poor man in our office who has to deal with this sort of sticky question, and pointed out that leap years are real years and they come around on a regular basis, he didn't know what was going on, he'd just ordered the tickets and handed them out.
He then called up the transport department, where some jobsworthy or other told him their system ''can't handle'' leap years and that was that, the machinery couldn't be adjusted to allow for the leap year that is one in every four years. When a leap year comes around, the transport department just steals a day from you, simple as that.
No explanation unless you make a fuss, no apology, just a bald statement that this is just the way it is - like it or lump it.
This ticket (a MyMulti Zone One) costs $1540, which means the transport department is stealing more than $4 from me by refusing to allow for leap years. Multiply that by the number of yearly tickets they are selling and they are making a tidy sum out of our pockets for that one day they refuse to concede is part of a calendar year.
Why can't their silly system cope with the extraordinarily complicated fact that every four years the Gregorian calendar adds a day to the year?
The English changed to the Gregorian calendar in the middle of the 18th century, before they had even found Australia, so it's not something new that has to be allowed for. It's not a big surprise. It's not even as complicated as allowing for the Y2K bug (remember that?).
Surely it's not that difficult to change the ticket-stamping machine to add a day - or even for NSW Transport to just give each of us a one-day pass to make up the difference.
Yet again, ''public service'' is a joke, not a fact.
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