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A Different View

Café cottons on to the notion that time really is money

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s a new café which has recently opened its door in London, attracting an unprecedented amount of publicity in the process – because this facility make you pay for how long you stay there, not what you drink.

Ziferblat, which already has a chain of ten cafés in its native Russia, has opened in east London, where it provides tea, coffee and Wi-Fi for nothing – but it’s 3p a minute to sit there.

So those who linger all day over a cold cup of coffee which end up incurring the cost of a slap-up dinner – while those who speed through their mid-morning cuppa will suffer nothing more upsetting than a scalded palette.

Ziferblat translates as clock face, and the whole thing works on the basis that, on entry, you pick up a clock from the cupboard, noting what time it is and then paying truppence for every minute you’ve been there on your way out.

You could be in and out in a minute if you’re really quick at drinking coffee and you’d even have enjoyed the free snacks as well. But even if you waited for an hour, that’s only £1.80 – a fraction of the price you’d pay in a more traditional coffee shop.

The difference is that you have to make your own coffee, using the in-house expresso machine but equally you’re welcome to bring your own food and heat in and eat it….all while the clock ticks up another 3p a minute.

It’s an idea that you’d love to see catching on here – ‘everything is free, except the time you spend there’ – and not just within the burgeoning café culture, but right across the board.

You could, for example, charge people who paw through the papers in a shop and then leave them back in a heap having half-read them for free, so that no one in their right mind would ever actually buy them.

Ditto, book shops – no more free browsing. If you want to rifle through a book you’ve no intention of buying, then at least you can offer up a few cent for the joy of holding someone else’s novel in your grubby hands.

People who got to pubs and order pints of tap water could now have all the uisce their bladder will bear – but in future they’d be paying a few bob for just standing there.

Those who just want to use the loo can now do so without the barman staring them out of it like they’d actually destroyed their own trousers – but they’ll have to pay the price for the number of minutes it has taken them to complete their ablutions.

A welcome side-effect of all this would be that pub bores would become a thing of the past because it would be too expensive to hang around – and we’d all get a barstool for the duration of our stay because the turnover of drinkers would be like a well-greased engine.

And it goes on – shoppers who go into clothes stores and try on items to be sure they fit, and then go home and purchase them on the internet, could be charged for the time they’ve taken up in the fitting room.

It wouldn’t make up the price of the garment, but it might level up the playing pitch – and at the very least make the internet generation value the face-to-face service they have on their own doorstep.

You could also see the growth of a whole new range of new shops – places to charge your mobile for a few minutes, for example – where you’ll find that time is, literally, money.

But the biggest positive about this concept is that it stops people vegetating in the one spot all day – all of a sudden wasting time comes at a price.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

You can’t force the craic at the Christmas Party

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s nothing like the Christmas Party to bring out the little devils who’ve spent their working lives blending in with the filing cabinet; one craft beer too many and they’re up on top of the photocopier scanning images of their tail end to send to the world.

The party animal is often the quiet one who spends the rest of the year in the corner, timidly stepping aside if you pass them in the corridor – but with a few bevvies on board, they’re Lemmy from Motorhead in the middle of a world tour.

Of course there are also some people who dread the Christmas party – or even after-work drinks, if that’s still a thing – and as their worst nightmare comes looming over the horizon, they might take some comfort from a recent court case in France.

Because an unnamed worker has just won the right to be utterly boring after a court ruled that he could not be dismissed, just because he didn’t want to join the rest of the staff in the pub.

Known simply as Mr T – an unfortunate choice of initial if you were a fan of the larger-than-life big guy in the A-Team back in the day – our friend was a senior advisor for a Parisian training firm called Cubik Partners.

One of those typically trendy modern operations, they work on a ‘fun and pro’ basis – which is presumably a variation on playing hard and working hard sometimes too – and part of that outlook involved regular social events ‘to bolster team spirit’.

But Mr T had no truck with the spirits – internal or alcoholic – and didn’t want to hang out with his colleagues for a minute longer than work demanded.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

How to win elections with the promises you can keep

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The man who was already the world’s oldest prime minister stood for election again last weekend at the tender age of 97 – arguing quite legitimately that he was fully fit for high office on the basis that he was ‘still standing and talking’.

Mahathir Mohamad was already a Guinness World Record holder for being the world’s oldest current prime minister since he became premier of Malaysia for a second time in 2018.

Proving that age is no impediment to ambition, he put himself forward again last weekend – only this time he fulfilled that age-old observation of Enoch Powell, that most unctuous of Tories from times past, who once said that all political lives end in failure…even if it’s a relative thing and you could hardly be said to have been cut down early, at the age of 97.

Adding insult to injury, not alone did he finish fourth of five candidates in Langkawi, a resort island in Malaysia’s northwest, which he had won with a large majority in the previous poll in 2018 – he also lost his deposit.

It wasn’t even an ageist thing; his entire party failed to win a single seat.

And for comfort in his hour of need, he can still look to Laos where the Prime Minister Khamtai Siphandone is still going strong at just short of 99 – although the fact that he is the chairman of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party means you don’t have to actually come up with an election manifesto because, more specifically, you don’t have to stand for election.

But if you do – and accepting Mahathir Mohamad’s weekend disappointment – going before the electorate on a platform of boasting the ability to walk and talk is at least an honest one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Getting locked away from all the rest can be no bad thing

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all got used to a level of confinement during Covid, and if we were honest, occasionally, it was as much of a blessing than a curse; nobody calling unexpectedly to bother you, no journeys you’d prefer to avoid – even if ultimately we were happy to emerge from our pandemic hibernation.

But imagine if you were trapped for days in a pub during a storm – or in Disneyland during a snap lockdown.

Because for the very lucky few, that happened too.

Visitors to Shanghai’s Disney Resort recently found themselves barred from leaving until they produced a negative Covid test after a snap lockdown.

And we can all remember last November with envy, when customers who went to see an Oasis tribute band called Noasis found themselves trapped for days in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales as a result of heavy snowfall during Storm Arwen.

In both cases, quite honestly, it must have been like a dream come true.

The Disney Resort shut its doors all of a sudden after ten cases of coronavirus were discovered in Shanghai itself, with all visitors locked in the theme park until they were given the all-clear.

And while you’d think the reaction would be to kick back and literally enjoy the ride, online videos showed many of the visitors rushing to the gate trying to avoid being stuck in the park.

Perhaps the Chinese have had enough of snap lockdowns and feared they’d literally be on the swings and roundabouts for days on end – because a day earlier, workers at Foxconn, the biggest iPhone maker in Zhengzhou city, were videoed climbing over fences to avoid a similar snap lockdown.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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