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The Contract Certainty Blog

The Problem with February 29th

The Problem with February 29th

February 29, 2008 Jamie Wodetzki Document Generation  

I don’t like February 29th. It creates too many problems.

My great aunt was born on a leap day, and I can never remember when I’m supposed to wish her a happy birthday. 28 February risks prompting a reaction of “What, I look that old?” On the other hand, waiting until 1 March creates the potential for an “I can’t believe you forgot!” Finally, there’s always the chance that she’s a hardcore leapling  – only wanting to celebrate when there is a 29th.

Leap days can also create contracting headaches. For example, you’ve been asked to turn around a new agreement by yesterday. You grab an old document and start editing it. You correctly enter “29 February 2008″ as the start date. Then, knowing it’s a one-year agreement, you inadvertently put “29 February 2009″ as the end date. In all the rush, you miss the fact that you have entered a non-existent date. You better pray that the parties remain friends.

What we really need is a replacement for the Gregorian calendar (or a smarter way to draft contracts).

jamie

Jamie Wodetzki is Exari’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.