Three cheers for ditching The Nosy Parker

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
28 April, 2023

Once upon a time, in a picturesque village nestled among green rolling hills under a long white cloud, there was a popular pub called The Nosy Parker. It was notorious for its silent dramas, where opinions and conflicts were expertly swept under the carpet.

​Every weekend, a group of ten friends gathered there. Among them, three always covered the bill, while the other seven enjoyed their snacks and drinks for free.

Over time, the quality of drinks and meals declined. Stale beer and stringy steaks became the norm. Nobody demanded improvement, and nobody addressed the problem. That is just what happens when somebody else pays the bill.

Gratitude for the three friends’ generosity faded. Passive-aggressive comments were common, but never confronted. The tension grew, even if nobody admitted it.

But one night, the seven friends pushed too far, demanding chauffeured rides home and mocking their benefactors for never paying their fair share. That was when the trio finally had enough. They did not make a fuss. Instead, they made a plan.

Boldly, the three left The Nosy Parker and ventured across the ditch to another pub in a neighbouring land. This new pub was a revelation: well-run, clean, and serving delicious meals and drinks. Its patrons were welcoming and straight-talking, if a tad rowdy.

The three travellers were shocked at how nice this new pub was and could not help but wonder if all the rumours they had heard about the other side of the ditch were true. “Crikey!” one said, “We should have crossed the ditch sooner!”

Back at The Nosy Parker, the remaining seven friends struggled to cover their expenses. Their gatherings became dull and lifeless. The service had not improved, but prices were up even further, and the quality continued to decline.

Instead of self-reflecting, the seven blamed the trio for their misery, calling them ungrateful. If they had not left, the pub would have been better frequented. They refused to acknowledge their role in driving the three away while secretly feeling more envious of them than ever.

The trio, on the other hand, thrived in their new land. Surrounded by mates who understood camaraderie, generosity, and open communication, they raised their glasses to their new life.

The Nosy Parker, however, once bustling with laughter, now echoes with the whispers of lessons learned and opportunities lost. It was all the trio’s fault - or so they said as they stubbornly sipped their lukewarm beer.

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