Leave Me (Us) Alone

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One minute you are having a relaxing, happy time … and then a man will come and harass you.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, but you will be guaranteed to be bothered by a man at some point. That point was just now for me at the beach.

First of all this is not a criticism on the lovely place where I am on holiday currently, Zanzibar. The place is amazing, the people have been beautiful and it’s been very relaxing.

So I went out in the sea, picked up seashells and just generally relaxed on my last day by the beach.

Nearing the end of walk out of the sea back onto the beach, I saw 2 young guys walking slowly where I was walking towards the beach. I couldn’t stop and wait for them to pass due to jellyfish and sea urchins surrounding me. One guy looked and kept walking, the other stopped to wait for me.

Him: Jambo [hi in Swahili]

Me: Jambo

H: How are you?

M: Good thanks

H: Where are you staying.

M: nearby [I should have said nothing but was being polite and didn’t want to aggravate the situation]

H: How long for?

M: I leave tomorrow. Ok great talking to you.

H: Are you alone?

M: No with family (I’m lying, I’m solo but he doesn’t need to know)

His friend says in Swahili that the guy in the sea must be my man (he’s not, but i ain’t going to admit otherwise)

H: Is that your man.

M: Yep

H: Oh didn’t realise you were with him (how would he know before then??)

M: 😑. Your friend is waiting for you.

H: Let me show you around

M: 😑

H: I can take you on trips.

M: Thanks again. Bye.

H: [he keeps walking by my side and talking to me].

M: thanks bye.

Finally, I stopped and pretended to get a shell. He waited. I wouldn’t move. He finally moved onwards into the sea but parallel to me. I walked as close to the coral wall/cave as possible.

This was unwanted attention. Harassment.

If a girl makes no indication of being interested, f*** off. Seriously. Go.

The friend had got the idea quickly, this douche should have followed his lead. If I was interested it would have been clear on my face.
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The worrying part was that I had to walk into half-caves (see above) to get to the steps to my hotel. He stayed near enough to me in the sea to make it a stressful few minutes up to the hotel. I shouldn’t have felt stressed, I shouldn’t have felt worried that he could drag me into the cave-like area and rape me.  I shouldn’t have felt scared. I’m a grown lady and I was scared for a few long minutes, like a child.

Despite the #metoo movement, we still have these moments. We are empowered now to write a blog on these situations, to share our experiences on social media, to report when we are assaulted, but women are still in a losing situation. For some reporting the assault results in condemnation, for others, they just don’t get heard, and women like me, we have to experience the same rubbish we have experienced for all of our lives.

We shouldn’t even get to these situations!

I am exasperated by the fact that this happened to me and also that I am writing this blog. I am hoping that the more we call out this behaviour, the more men will realise this nonsense has to stop.

For now, this is another one to add to my #metoo story. Thanks, Douche.

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© 2018 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.
©  Top Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

©  Second Photo by Shelina Jokhiya.

Screaming Children and the Cinema

 

 

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I have written two blogs about the ordeal of going to the cinema (it literally was called that!). That was three years ago and not much has changed. I go to the cinema every week and endure screaming and crying children who are too young to be watching the movie with us.

Yesterday we went to see Crazy Rich Asians (very funny, clever and sad – you have to see it). As soon as walked into the movie we saw a baby in a mum’s lap and two kids under 3 sitting on seats in the front-ish rows. All three of us were perplexed of why the kids were in this movie. This is a PG13 movie, but we knew it was not suitable for young children and especially babies.

What happened as soon as the movie started? Well you guessed it, the baby screamed at the top of its lungs and the other two started crying. This went on for half of the movie. During that time I tweeted twice to the cinema chain.

(Ignore the fact that I gave the movie the wrong title – I was stressed!).

After about an hour, a gentleman got up walked out and must have complained as a staff member finally came in to check on the situation. The mother walked out with the baby, but the kids stayed in this non-age appropriate movie making a noise.

The cinema chain didn’t respond to my tweets until after the movie had finished. By then it was too late. The movie experience had been spoiled by these inconsiderate parents and the staff at the cinema.

The family should not have been allowed to buy a ticket for this movie with their children and definitely not allowed to enter the screening. As discussed in my previous blogs, if the movie is PG13 and 15 and the kids are escorted with their parents, they are allowed to watch the movie. That is the absurd law right now. No one with common sense has queried why movies have 13 or 15 on the end of the PG bit. Might as well make all the movies PG in that case, no?

I spoke to the Duty Manger of Vox Cinemas today and she agreed with my views on allowing these kids into adult movies.

The only way we can change this situation currently is for all of us to complain about our movie-going experience. Only with consistent, persistent complaining will upper management at these chains and the ministry take this situation seriously and hopefully change movie classifications, prevent kids from going to movies above PG 13 unless they are 11/12 and above, and also stop kids going to any movies after 9pm.

If you have bad experience at the cinema please do the following:

a. If it’s a PG13 or above and there are kids under 10 in the screening (preferably screaming) please complain to the cinema chain. Every time this happens.

b. Check if the staff come and review the screen and remove any noisy patrons from the cinema. They are allowed to remove anyone causing a disturbance and either refund them or put them in a more age appropriate movie. If no staff help, complain to the manager or on social media.

The chains are talking to the ministry about the film classification but for now, it is falling on deaf ears. We all need to keep complaining so that this is taken seriously. Yes the chains will lose money, but they will gain more happy returning cinema goers.

Let me know if you get a positive result from your complaints and hopefully soon we will start having an enjoyable experience watching movies here.

 

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© 2018 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

Excuse of the Day – “We’re Human, we’re Sorry”

This is a story of me going to a cafe on a Friday to have breakfast with a friend. We were chilled (we had just topped up our tan at the beach) and relaxed. No drama.

The lady next to me received her coffee 45 minutes after ordering it. How do I know? She was complaining loudly about it to her husband.

I decided to tweet it. It might have been a mistake to tweet it, as I attracted the following after writing that tweet!

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There was an apology by the social media team, but then the above ridiculous excuse.

Literally, 4 tables around us got served their food and they had sat down and ordered way after us. We asked for the bill, using the entertainer voucher was fast, but then the waiter walked off and never returned with the card machine. So we asked several times for it until we lost our patience and had to find one at the main counter.

I had to give this reply.

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If you are a restaurant and have waiters/waitresses, should they not be able to handle serving food and taking payment in a timely manner?

You’d think that as this is a brand which was imported here and is big in their home country, that there would be better standards, but obviously nope.

They didn’t reply to my last tweet, so I assume they don’t care about my feedback and will not be training them to provide a more timely response. I assume I will not be going back there anytime soon.

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© 2017 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

Dear Delivery Companies…

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Dear delivery companies, courier companies, restaurants, etc, in Dubai

Please explain something to me…

If we order something online and provide the delivery address, why on earth do you call us to repeat the address?

I don’t understand.

I ask several times, “why do you need my address, don’t you have it in front of you?”, but you either pretend you don’t understand or really don’t understand.

So we are forced to repeat the address several times (of course you don’t understand what we are saying over the phone).

The whole time you have the address in front of you. Do you think the letters will change as if they are in a Harry Potter movie?

Don’t torture us. Amazon don’t call to check our delivery, so why are you (even in the early days)? Just deliver it and if we are not there, then call.

Yours sincerely

An annoyed customer.

 

 

The Over-Commercialisation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month aka Pink October.

Breast cancer awareness month is great as it has made women and men more aware of how to detect lumps and prevent getting the disease.

I have lost a dear friend and a lot of family to breast cancer and other types of cancer over the years. Cancer is not kind and I am all for awareness, prevention and getting a cure for this menace.

In the UAE breast awareness month only became an event a few years ago and companies embraced it wholeheartedly. You can get pink nail polish, clothes, bags, cup cakes; you name it and you can get it in pink for this month. You are expected to buy this stuff and not question the commercialisation, as it’s for cancer, innit.

But, how many of these companies actually donate proceeds to cancer charities? Yes a lot say they donate, but how much? I have a feeling it’s a nominal amount or for a lot of companies absolutely nothing. Plus the products always seem to be more expensive; thus meaning they are only donating the difference!! No one seems to show how much they donate. It’s all about showing they are part of the month for PR purposes rather than to actually help the cause to bring awareness to this cancer.

It seems to be contrived and fake. And how much can we spend on overpriced pink stuff in a month. It’s adding pink clutter to our homes.

I’d rather donate direct to charities who are working to bring awareness, prevention and find a cure, than buy the contrived pink products. If you are a charity in the UAE/GCC region collecting money for breast cancer awareness month, please let me know.

I would be interested to see which companies are actually positively participating in the month and not using it for PR purposes only. Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

Yes, I would like that chair…

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Today I was at a coffee shop in Downtown Dubai waiting for a friend. Whilst waiting for friend at a table with three sofas around it, one of the employees came and without asking moved one of the chairs at my table to give to the people next to me.

She didn’t ask if I had wanted the chair.

I had to tell her that she should have asked first before moving the chair. I might have wanted that chair.

As normal routine in the service industry, she argued with me – today’s argument was that the chair should have been at the other table not mine. (They already had four chairs around a small round table).

 

My reply was that:

a) She shouldn’t have argued

b) She should have just apologised for being so rude.

c) She showed no manners to a customer (me!).

After I told her that it was inconsiderate behaviour on her part, she tried give back the chair. I didn’t want it.

It’s the principle.

They don’t get it, do they.

When will they start training people in coffee shops and restaurants properly to have manners and common sense.

Can I start a school to start teaching it??

 

Update 9 September 2016 – 1  week after the incident and sending a tweet about this. I finally got a response on Twitter and also an email with a $5 voucher to use at the coffee shop. Only problem is that there was no message in the email about why they were giving me the voucher, and I have no idea if I can use it in Dubai (the currency is AED here). Also had to chase the twitter people during the week for a response. Not great coffee shop.

 

Update 13 September 2016 – received a terse reply from the American HQ regarding the $5 (it was sent in error) and that someone would get back to me from the Dubai office.

 

 

Shelina
© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

So you want to be an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneur Name Tag Business Owner Self Employed Your Own Boss

 

Recently I volunteered to talk to Year 9 (age 14) students for a Career Fair. I had advised the lady who was organizing this event about my past of being a Legal Assistant – Legal Executive – Solicitor – Businesswoman/Entrepreneur. She listed me on the programme as an “Entrepreneur” (I didn’t know this immediately).

I was asked to talk for 3 times for 20 minutes to students and parents in a large classroom.  At the first session it was a full room and I nervously explained my career path, with the students and their parents watching either in rapt attention or disapprovingly. One father was not amused with my sage advice to always carry a notebook and pen in your hand when you go to see anyone in a corporate office.

If you have not heard this advice from me in real life, here it is:

When you go to see anyone whether the CEO, your boss, the marketing administrator or the receptionist take your notebook and write down what they say. You will NOT remember what they say after you leave them. Trust me. This advice applies especially to those 21 year old MBA graduates who have not bothered to think about what they want to ask and bother the in-house legal department and then demand immediate attention and response to a non question. 

I digress.

I noticed after the first session that my classroom had been full, whereas other rooms were half empty or even empty. The second session started with a full audience and more people outside. It was weird. I’ve never had a queue of people waiting to see me, a trickle after I give speeches but never a queue!

I asked some students before I started the second session: “what are you planning to do in the future after school”.

“We want to be Entrepreneurs”, they replied

“Entrepreneurs in what? Have you created a product? An app?”

“No”

“A service”

“Erm…No”.

“Do you want to go to university?”

“Do we have to if we are going to be Entrepreneurs?”

I looked at the door of the classroom, it had my name and “Entrepreneur” next to it.No mention of being a lawyer.

*ching ching ching*.

They wanted to find out how to be an “Entrepreneur” from me. No wonder the attendees of the first session were slightly disappointed by my speech!

They have this believe that they can have the title and the money will come rolling in!!

The amount of times I go to networking events and people say they are Entrepreneurs but their business sounds like fluff. It’s just a cool term to use around town right now. I tend to call myself a businesswoman to try and show I am serious about my business.

These students didn’t want to be serious; they wanted to be cool.

How do you explain to them that it is not that easy to be an Entrepreneur in 20 minutes?

I had to tell them. I couldn’t lie. So I gave them my sage advice:

a. go discover yourself and enjoy university,

b. study something useful but broad enough like law,

c. work for a while to see how to businesses run. It doesn’t matter if they are successful or not (2 out of the 5 companies I worked for no longer exist (it wasn’t me!)), it’s the experience that will help you with running your own business, and

d. start a business, say at 35.

Yes, that’s what I did and of course other entrepreneurs have different stories. Some started much earlier, but I was a chicken for 13 years, and hey I was pioneering enough to go in-house when 95% of law students became Solicitors in law firms (tied to only one type of law and with multiple clients – not my cup of tea) or Barristers (I did a mini-pupillage and can confirm it was boring. The John Grisham novels I read were more exciting, until a Judge told me off for reading them in his court).

The students may not have liked what I had to say, but many of the parents did (you are no longer young and cool when parents agree with you).  However, some parents wanted their children to be entrepreneurs and wanted private sessions with me to find out how to become one! I tried to be helpful, but if you have no idea, no product, nothing and just want the title, you will never be an Entrepreneur/business person. 

Sergey Nivens

If you want to be an Entrepreneur and need guidance, come to me with an idea, come with a plan (a mind map is even better, like the one above) and I can give you some advice. But if you just want the title, print the first picture above and wear that as a badge.

 

Shelina

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

© image 1 – iQoncept, image 2 – Sergey Nivens