Archives for posts with tag: Economy

As I write this post it’s 10 years to the week since the great financial crash of 2008, followed by years of turmoil and hardship, certainly in Ireland at any rate, before the provinces – by which I mean, in the English sense, the areas outside of the capital – started to recover, slowly and not so surely.

Not so Dublin, which probably recovered 5 years ago and is once again in the throes of a giddy period of boom. I’ve blogged before about the amount of construction going on in the city. The hotels are full – and I don’t mean some of them, I mean the city’s hotel capacity is maxed out – during the summer; you can’t get a room for anything reasonable. The roads are gorged with traffic all year round. You can’t get anywhere quickly, except by a fast walking.

I’m regularly in Dublin, but on my last visit I couldn’t help but marvel at the divide between the capital and the provinces, some of which are only just getting back on their feet. After fighting through town in a taxi – yes, even the bus lane was a car park – to make my train, I saw that, as usual, the train for Galway was departing from the group of 3 platforms that are two hundred-plus yardss further than the rest of the platforms. Not only that, but the train sits beyond an empty redundant train at the very top of the platform, a hundred and fifty yards further.

It brought it home to me, as provincial people in any country probably feel, that there’s Dublin, and then there’s outside Dublin, which doesn’t really matter much.

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Getting work done – by other people who do it for a living – around the house is always difficult I find. It’s feast or famine, from a supply point of view.

When the economy is tanking, no-one has any money and providers can’t get enough work, so they get involved in other areas. Famine for them. When the economy is flying, there’s too much work to go around and you can’t get anyone. But, because providers can only do the jobs for which they have available people, they can pick and choose between jobs and their schedules are chockablock for the short term. That’s the feast.

For those of us who don’t want to wait around beyond the short term, we encounter voicemails and our messages don’t get returned. When we finally get them to agree to an appointment, they don’t keep it, or they rearrange it, more than once. They play a balancing act of keeping everyone on the long finger so they can do concurrent jobs and always know what’s coming down the pipe, at least for next new weeks. The end customer suffers from a less than perfect outcome.

You get what you pay for, which simply heaps the pipeline of possible work onto the few reliable providers of house-related work, those folk that call when they say they’ll call, quote when they say they’ll quote, and start the job when they say they’ll start. And, because they know that almost all the competition is unreliable, they can charge a premium for their services.

Yes, it’s feast or famine. Unless you have a relative in the professions or you can do it yourself, getting stuff done is hard.