The butt end of globalization

Dublin has proven to be a very strange place.

Because of the immense golfing event taking place over the weekend, the only accomodation I’ve been able to find was a rather lousy hostel run by a group of Polish people and, apparently, mostly inhabited by young Polish people seeking easy employment in one of the many bars and pubs around central Dublin.

When Poland became part of the European Union, all the Danes were afraid that Denmark would be swamped with cheap Polish labour trying to make a good living. But it seems that with low taxes, cheap Ryanair flights and an immense need for unskilled labour, Ireland is a better bet within the EU for these young Polish guest workers who utilize the globalized possibilities of inexpensive flights, free movement of capital and labour to casually travel from one end of Europe to the other in order to earn and save the money necessary for a better life back in Poland.

Apparently, there are now more than 40.000 registered Poles in Ireland and most likely a lot more, since they no longer have to register with the lax rules within the EU.

But in an even stranger twist of globalization, Dublin is now the Call Centre capital of Europe some claiming as many as 100.000 people employed in the industry in Ireland and specifically around Dublin. When I was fixing my grandparents’ eMac a while back, I called Apple’s support line and was connected to a young Danish speaking Irish man in Dublin. Very weird. He had learned Danish while working in an Irish pub in Copenhagen. Very globalized.

The call centre industry is huge, and it is the sort of business where saving money on training and employee job security seems to be the order of the day. It is a very nasty piece of work, but people seem to be willing to put up with it for the immediate benefits they can get.

Oh, and one last thing why Dublin is a strange place: The Irish prefer their beer less carbonated than beer elsewhere. They can even take perfectly good lager and make it less refreshing and interesting by not adding enough gas. It’s as if all beer has to be like Guinness in that regard.

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