About a decade ago, TxDot made a big push to go to all metric measurements. It started with a new specification book (Bible) and the unit of measurement was forced by mandating all contractors submit all information in Metric terminology. Otherwise, feet became meters, pounds became kilograms. etc....
It was a mess. Not only were the contractors struggling with the mandate, many suppliers, such as those that fabricated reinforcement bar, more or less said "kiss my ass". They weren't going to spend millions to re-tool all of their equipment to the required measurements. I don't blame them. I would have done the same thing. We ended up with "soft measurements" which meant metrics weren't really metrics and English weren't really English.
My problem was that the devices we had for measuring, which amounted to substantial amounts of money, were in English units. The "fix" was converting everything from metric, to English, to metric. This made every thing work and I didn't have to go through the headache of teaching metric units, or verifying the right equipment was used for measuring.
It was tedious, to say the least. I had to take measurements from plans, change them to metric and record the results on plan sheets. I had a good project inspector who was suffering with many of the same problems. His mandate of carrying measurements out to three decimal points meant long hours of calculating and writing. I helped him; he helped me. We both had too many things to do and not enough of the time required. Skewed measurements, with the necessary trigonometry, could be nightmares to handle. I was constantly worried I busted a conversion and was putting something in the wrong place.
Eventually, since many other states in the U.S. decided not to follow the example, TxDot went back to English measurements, which meant a new specification book, new forms, new software, and millions of dollars for the changes. Meanwhile, I breathed a sigh of relief, although I had finally reached the point that my mind automatically knew (and knows) that 3.28084 feet (39-3/8") is a meter, 25.4 millimeters is an inch and a guardrail section is 7.62 meters (25 feet) in length.
So, another great experiment ended with an expensive whimper. I'm glad it did, but wish they'd had just said no and put the money in an account for my retirement.
In Case You've Wondered
My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.
If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com
One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.
I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.