The YES! vote.

One thing, If the Yes vote is supposed to be the right (as in correct, AND good) Vote. Why is so much money being spent to Buy the Yes Vote!

Shouldn’t the Yes be self evident? And don’t say that it’s because there is a ‘No!’ campaign on, that must be countered. Opposition occurred second.

Idiotic Small Business Shop behavior

I know there is a recession on, I really do. But there are things to do to cut costs, and there are things that you can do to cut your own throat, and you should never get them confused. I’ve seen a recent example of the later, under the guise of the former. Curry’s in the Ballincollig Shopping Center have chosen to close their shop on Tuesday and Wednesday’s of every week rather than pay salaries to idle staff!

In my past experience with the shop I have often observed 4 or more staff shuffling around their premises with little to occupy their time so cutting staff hours would make sense. But why not shift their hours so at least a fewer staff are on hand on Tuesday and Wednesday’s rather than close the store.

Closing the store is a permanent commitment to earning ZERO sales for two days out of the week. Shifting the worker schedule will not alter the saving earned from reduced staff salaries, while maintaing an open store. Closing for two days of each week will close ANY sale, and will put off ANY future sales from people who will go elsewhere to purchase items.

In other words Curry’s is cutting their own throat!

In this market there are two strategies that you can adopt, reduce costs, and increase customers. Funny, those are the same strategies that you have to employ ALL THE TIME! A recession only makes the urgency more poignant.

And on that point, let me call most Irish shops foolish. Think of a coffee shop or Pub that could offer free refills of simple coffee, how far will that go in earning customer returns and loyalty? Would a shop full of coffee drinkers be more inviting than an empty one? Could you maybe offer them a bit of cake to go with that refill?

What would be the benefit to the shopkeeper to stop charging for WiFi and offer it Free to customers who might like to use it with their coffee and scone? Wouldn’t it be nice to have your office have a meeting in that shop and use the WiFi to conference.

What makes to so hard for the average shop owner to shake themselves out of this ‘Celtic Tiger’, greedy take no prisoners behavior, and get back to being generous with quality customer treatment. (that last, wasn’t a question)

What simple difference could you make to the customer experience that would elevate you in their mind to choose your business over another? (that was a question)

Rotten Fruit for Sale

Say I have a store and I’ve been buying rotten fruit from my friends for sometime. Paying top Euro for it as well.

When it comes to selling it, I find it impossible to sell it, and so I conceal from my stock holders the fact that I’ve been buying all this rotten fruit,

I talk with my friends and they tell me I should convince the government that I should have help selling this fruit, or else I’ll go out of business. Isn’t it just the great that my friends in government have agreed, and are going to buy all my rotten fruit, at top Euro as well, and then they will let me continue to operate my store however I wish to.

Isn’t this a bit like the new ‘Financial’ bill in the Dail currently. The Irish taxpayer gets all the rotten fruit, and the Bankers get to have debt free banks. What a deal!

Voting with your feet

It may be a bit premature to talk about the recovery from the recession but it’s not too early to take steps to initiate a decision about the culture and nature of the recovery from the recession. In my time in Ireland I marveled at the concept of the local shop in an estate, and the small shops in general and the culture of such an environment. Now the the incursion of the giant Dunn’s, and the discount Aldi’s and Lidl’s a decision can be made about the nature of the recovery.

Do you save yourself a bit of change and buy cheap, or spend it at the local shop? Do you want to keep that cultural icon of local shops and merchants alive, or support the mass market monster. The application of your food budget to supporting your local may tax us all, but could well to the means of survival for the little shop keeper. The same could be applied to your favorite small cafe or restaurant, voting with your feet may be your only option if you want to continue to visit them.

I’m not saying that it’s the ‘Patriotic’ duty to shop in the Republic, there has been entirely too much disparity allowed to creep in there. But if you have the change, maybe it’s best spent in the local shop, rather than the big chain store,

Compaq Presario CQ2009F

Have you ever looked for the perfect thing, and find that no one in Europe carry it, and no one will ship it to you. I have! I have been considering a low power, very green, server platform to use as a MySQL / Sybase / HTTP server system. My perfect system would have been this, Compaq Presario CQ2009F however nether Amazon.com Nor the HP Home Store will ship to Ireland, and neither sell it in Europe.

In this Recession, would you think that anyone would give up a market opportunity, or give up revenue?

In the end, I’ll probably end up with this thing Asus Eee Box and pay more for less computer! Rip off Ireland indeed!

UPDATE: to add insult to injury, Misco won’t ship this Shuttle X27D Mini ITX into Ireland from the UK!!!

UPDATE 2: It looks like someone at HP heard me, and have now relaeased the Compaq CQ2000M to Europe. Now all I have to do wait until someone actually carries it. 🙁

Give a man a fish…

Everyone has heard the old saw:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Lao Tzu


But no one seems to think that it applies in the Economic Crisis facing Ireland, with the loss of low end construction and manufacturing jobs, and the multi nationals leaving, the fish are gone. Ireland needs to concentrate on educating fishermen. Or maybe better yet, high tech Developers, Designers and Programmers, Engineers, and scientist which are sorely lacking here. A major investment in education is the only lifeline for Ireland. And even if it doesn’t rescue the Irish Government, it would rescue the Irish people.

The Recession and Comfort food

I’m making a bold prediction that this Recession with bring on a resurgence of Comfort food in the Irish diet, and really the world. Many exotic restaurants will begin to feel the pinch long before the local carvery closes it’s doors. The question you could ask, can you still find proper Comfort food these days. I was reminded of this after the wife prepared a fine feast of Shepherd’s Pie and bread pudding.

WoW! A positive step to restore trust.

The Gardaí raid offices of Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin in the first positive step in restoring confidence in the Irish Government. It’s a shame that that it took almost violent public outcry from the people to stir action from the lame corrupt ministers. It’s also a shame that any incriminating evidence has probably been destroyed and disposed of.