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US Thanksgiving – it’s a bit quiet around here.

Sometimes, it’s lonely being a trucking software salesman. I know many of your envision that a trucking software salesman’s life is full of adventure, travelling to software conferences at exotic resorts, taking clients out to big dinners and heading out to the football game at the company suite. Well it’s not like that at all…okay, it once was, but that company also bought a $10million Super Bowl advertisement and had no revenues. And wow, what a party…and…sorry, lost myself there.

It’s sort of weird. Canadian Thanksgiving is on the second Monday in October, which is aligned with Columbus Day in the US.

Hmm, I wonder if our Canadian forefathers thought that Columbus discovered the New World with the Pilgrims?

But Thanksgiving is such a big thing in the United States. There are 3 football games today, and they put it right in front of Black Friday. I am going to check Wikipedia and find out how many years before Thanksgiving was created, did they come up with the Black Friday holiday.

But still it would be nice if they could have agreed on a common date. Just look at how much has been done to unify and expedite shipments at the border with ACE/ACI initiatives. There are some days I don’t know if I am coming or going, but those guys at the border, they sure as heck do!

Was that the phone? – False alarm.

Still you never know what might happen. I know that everyone had decided that they were going to go on the metric system around the world – North America bought off on it.  Canada went through the change but Ronald Reagan said no. Back in 70’s it got quite confusing.

This meant that Truckers in Canada now go 100km/hour but only 60m/hour in the United States. The impact on arrival times was significant for those drivers with MCDD – Measurement Conversion Deficit Disorder.

The ‘Imperial to Metric’ changeover occurred when I was in Grade 9 – so I have lived my life in a perpetual world of ‘conversion confusion’ where some pitcher in the Major Leagues throws a ball 90 miles an hour, or some football Quarterback throws a football 50 yards -yet I get speeding tickets for being 30 kilometres over the speed limit. The biggest benefit for me though was the fact that I became 175 cms tall, instead of my usual 5’93/4’

I just wish those politicians could have all gotten together and agreed upon a common system though. I just love scaring people telling them that its 6 degrees here in Vancouver! That is like 42.8000000000 Fahrenheit according to the metric conversion website that I have to use to live my life. Little known fact that the federal minister of Commerce for Canada, Clifford M. Clavin, passed legislation in 1979 that gave every Canadian a free membership to ‘weights and measures’ website. It’s a great business.

I know, I shouldn’t complain. If you took the Trans-Siberian express between Moscow and Beijing they have to change the undercarriage of the train when it crosses the border from China into Russia. They have different sized railroad tracks so that is a bit of a conversion nightmare.

Phone Call –

“Tailwind Software, Murray here, how can I help you?

Yes, okay………well……let me check that online. Here it is…..that’s 1-800 – Pizza22. Yes they can help you- no problem, glad to do so”

Another Phone Call –

“Tailwind Software, Murray here, how can I help you? Pardon me…….hmm…..I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before. Um…….nope…nope……wow! Did you hit ‘976’ instead of ‘866’ by chance? We have a lot of satisfied customers but I don’t think we are a good fit for you. Best of luck!”

Is it ever happening now. I am going to check my CRM system to see if another ‘Lead’ has poured in while I was on the phone.

Hmm – nothing ..nada…..rien. Rien de faire.

Well, back to the matters at hand. It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States today. Last night, I got to watch the movie ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ again. It starred John Candy and Steve Martin. Appropriately enough, it starred one the funniest Canadian comedians ever – John – and of course the brilliant American comedy icon, Steve Martin. A nice metaphor for the relationship between the two countries – also a nice metaphor for the company I work for Tailwind Transportation Software.

But still, I must admit I am feeling a bit like John Candy’s character today. Left alone at the train platform watching Steve Martin’s character catching the train to head home for Thanksgiving. Just me, sitting in my office while my American customers, my American friends, get to enjoy turkey with all the fixin’s and get to watch 3 football games.

Sigh – maybe I will just go to the CPAC website and watch the happenings at the Canadian Parliament Access Channel and hear the deliberations of the subcommittee on national weights and measures – ‘Honourable Clifford Clavin presiding.’

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