Quriky World: Commuters’ unpaid work fuelled by parking paranoia

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

Britain: More than one in seven car commuters may be giving their employer an extra hour of unpaid work every day because they arrive early to secure a space, according to new research.

The battle for a parking spot is so intense that 15% aim to turn up more than 60 minutes before their contracted start time and do not get time in lieu if they begin work straight away, a survey found.

The AA, which commissioned the research, noted that even those workers who arrive early but then wait until their shift starts are missing out on time at home.

More than 10,000 motorists who drive to work responded to the survey, which also found that 36% worry about parking.

Meanwhile the chance to get away from work by going on a drive during the lunch break is lost to 37% of workers because they fear not being able to find a space when they return.

The worst areas for parking paranoia in the UK are London, the West Midlands and the North East. Among drivers in the capital, 46% worry about where they are going to park when they get to work, while in the West Midlands and North East 38% fret as they commute.

AA president Edmund King said: “Parking paranoia means that many car commuters are losing five hours a week in order to ensure they get a parking space. Having to turn up an hour or more early to get a parking space, rather than just beating the rush-hour traffic, must add to the mental burden on commuters and impact on their work.”

Lovin’ it

US: A Massachusetts family has been searching in vain for its “slightly sinister” statue of Ronald McDonald, which was taken from their summer home during a teenage house party.

Mary Ryan told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that the 3ft statue of the fast food icon was taken in August, when her daughter hosted an unauthorised party.

Ms Ryan says two boys put the statue in a tree at an athletic club. Someone later took it out of the tree and posted a photo of it on Instagram next to a rubbish bin.

The statue hasn’t been seen since.

Ms Ryan and her husband, an artist, bought the statue years ago for $1,200 (€1,057). Ryan says it has a “slightly sinister quality.”

They’re offering a $300 reward and their daughter was punished with extra chores.

Never too late

Britain: The country’s oldest person is understood to have set a world record by having a hip replacement operation at the age of 112.

Gladys Hooper, of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, underwent the surgery after she had a fall and fractured her hip.

Her son, Derek Hermiston, 84, said the operation had gone “splendidly” and had given his mother a “new lease of life”.

Good ticket

US: Getting a ticket from police in a Massachusetts town isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Concord’s police department says it plans to issue up to 200 “citations” for good behaviour. That could include wearing a bicycle helmet or a seat belt, yielding to pedestrians at a crossing or looking both ways before crossing a street.

Police chief Joseph O’Connor says it’s a light-hearted way to connect positively with the community.

Instead of a fine or a court appearance, these citations can be redeemed for two scoops of ice cream at a local cafe, whose owner agreed to donate the ice cream.

Language barrier

Britain: Firefighters and an ambulance crew used Google Translate to communicate with a Russian nanny to establish whether anyone was trapped in a house fire, after encountering a language barrier when they were called to the property in Weybridge, Surrey.


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