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.

 

Stop PG15!

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Another day, another cinema ordeal at Reel Cinemas.

This time we were watching the Thriller “Secret in Their Eyes”. It stars Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Good movie. Would have been better if there wasn’t a 1 year old screaming and laughing the whole time though.

Thanks to my previous blog – The Ordeal of Going to the Cinema – I had the number of the Reel Cinemas manager. After a few of us had glared and tutted at the couple and the noisy kid and ranted on twitter (with no response by Reel Cinema), I finally texted the manager. Nothing happened. The noise continued for the rest of the movie and the mother thought it would be a great idea to use the torch on her iphone to flash in our eyes!

At the end of the movie we saw there were security and attendants waiting to talk to the couple and their kid.

I talked to the staff and advised I had sent the text. I had expected them to come during the movie to escort the noisy couple out. The cinema was full of adults who had paid in full to watch the movie not listen to this kid. The response from one Reel Cinema gentleman was that the movie was PG15. As the baby had come with his parents with their guidance that it was perfectly acceptable for them to be in the cinema.

I was mad listening to this same argument again. The movie is not made for kids or babies. There was violence and adult content. Parental guidance must be given to kids who are 13-14 for a PG15 movie not toddlers!?!?

The Manager who I had dealt with before did have a conversation with me on this a day later. He advised that he told the couple to leave during the movie but they had said no. There are security and they are ruining the movie for over 100 people. Surely they must be escorted out and can’t be given the option!? He has kindly given my friend and I tickets to see another movie which we are thankful for.

Anyway, common sense does not seem to prevail with cinema classification by the looks of it (or dealing with security in the cinema).

So if you want to see an adult movie, this cinema is expecting you to either wait for it to come out to watch at home or accept children and toddlers will ruin the movie for you.

Why can’t they have the movie classification like in the UK which makes sense

U – Universal

PG – Parental Guidance

12A – Cinema release suitable for 12 years and above.

15 –  For 15 and above

18 – For 18 and above

Khallas.

No discrepancy, no chance of children in 12A and above movies and no unhappy customers.

Who do we have to talk to, to get the cinema classification changed?

If you know anyone who can listen and try and change this nonsense please let me know! For now if sharing this post use the #StopPG15. Let’s see if we can start a # change.

 

Update: This was shared on Twitter from @wittertainment. Apt I think!

Wittertainment Rules of Cinema

 

 

Shelina

 

 

 

© 2015 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.

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly – Customer Service in Dubai

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Customer service is a continuous rant fest for us in Dubai. It’s rarely good, but mostly appalling. The Managers don’t care, the serving staff are clueless. Supposedly we can complain to the Trading Standards here but no one I know has ever had a response from them.

However, there are moments of such amazing service that it makes you feel like you are on cloud 9.

Here are four of my recent picks and how they have treated me and my friends:

THE GOOD

1. Izel Dubai, Conrad Dubai 

My friend and I went to Izel recently. The restaurant/bar is a South American fusion restaurant with a Happy Hour on Wednesday and live music.

We hadn’t booked a table beforehand but walked in and were advised by the hostess, that they could definitely give us a table. As the restaurant hadn’t opened yet, they asked us to sit on their comfortable chairs at the bar and order from the Happy Hour Menu. When the table was ready, the friendly waiter took us to the table and passed us over to our new waiter.

The food was lovely, but it was the attention of the staff that made my day. My friend had ordered a glass of wine from the knowledgeable Sommelier. He returned during our meal to check she was happy with her drink and we were happy with our meal generally. The waiter of course was attentive during the meal but left us to chat alone. We also had the Operations Manager come and introduce himself and ask if all was fine. We were not anyone featured in Ahlan or famous, just two ladies catching up. It was a nice gesture.

When we left, the hostess asked us about our experience. We did mention that the toilets were really dark and that it would be nice if we could see the toilet paper. She agreed with us and said that she would advise the management as they were renovating the restaurant during the Summer. They might not listen to our advice, but acknowledging it was nice of them.

In the lift, the Chef held the door for us and said bye when we left. Small thing but really nice.

We missed the music (which I have heard is really loud) but we had a lovely, relaxed visit to the restaurant.

2. GQ Bar – JW Mariott Marquis

A few weeks ago a group of friends and I booked a table for drinks at the GQ Bar. I had forgotten to mention we needed a smoking table when booking. Oops.

As normal I was the first to arrive, so the hostess suggested that I sit in the bar area, and then when my friends had arrived, we could move to our table. When our party arrived, we realised that we were going to be seated in the non-smoking restaurant area. We asked if it was possible to be moved to the comfy seat area in the bar. The hostess said “no problem”, shuffled the reserved areas around and fitted us four in a corner section with no hassle. During the shuffling I had mentioned to the hostess that I was disappointed by the bar men not being so hawt as expected (I had been told they would be hawt as it’s the GQ Bar!). She laughed.

Later on, I checked us in on Foursquare. Within a short while, the Acting Manager of the bar came to our table with mini drinks and asked us how our night was. Turned out that the bar’s twitter handle is linked to the Foursquare account, so they knew instantly when I had Foursquared and thanked us with the drinks. Lovely gesture. He had also talked to the hostess and asked me about my views of the bar men (my friends were embarrassed of me by then) and asked me to return in a few weeks to check the new staff who were joining :D. When we left they both said bye to us at the door.

Two weeks later I returned to the bar for a networking event. At the door, the same hostess was there and she recognised me! Little ole me! She even asked where my friends were. That night the bar man who served me was so hawt and really good at making the drinks. I told the nice hostess to inform that Manager that I was impressed :).

It sounds stupid but in this superficial, Ahlan loving, celeb wannabe town, it’s nice to be treated like someone by staff even when we are not any of the above.

Also, to have great service is such a rarity that it makes the night even more special when it is amazing.

THE BAD

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3. KFC

7pm – I ordered KFC (I’m sick today, KFC is my cure – don’t judge me). They knew my normal order. I was impressed.

8.05pm – I called and asked about my food. Was told that the operator would call me back once she found out where the food was.

8.24pm – Called again. The operator said that the KFC Motor City were not answering their calls. They couldn’t find out where my food was. Told her to cancel the order and to tell the manager to call me.

8.38pm – Driver calls and says he is near my villa (I live in an apartment – the address even says Flat…).  Told him to turn around and get the Manager to call me.

8.47pm – Manager calls me. Told him of my disappointment. His response was that their internet was down and they were taking orders by telephone. I politely told him that the operational processes in the restaurant were not my problem. I ordered food the correct way, I expected food within half an hour. He kept making excuses.

There was no offer of giving me a voucher to use for next time as an apology. No offer of anything.

No profuse apologies.

Nothing.

His view was that as his operations system was down, it was my problem and I had to accept it. He said he would take my order now. I told him that I had ordered from elsewhere as I was so hungry.

The way he talked to me was sooooo arrogant that infuriated me more.

I advised him that his behaviour was unacceptable and that I would be informing all on social media. He didn’t care. That was the end of the conversation.

I won’t be ordering from them again.

Update 19 June 2014:

A KFC Manager called to apologise profusely and also confirm that the excuse about the system was actually not true. They were very angry at what happened to me and they were sincere in their apologies. As a gesture of goodwill they delivered lunch to me (and the Manager of Motory City called to check all was fine when the delivery man arrived). I will be ordering from them again. 

UGLY

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4. Clinton Bakery Cafe – Downtown Dubai.

Two of my lovely friends are leaving Dubai. They are having several Tweetups. This was one tweetup they set up for breakfast on Friday.

a. 3 of us entered and asked for the 6 person booth.

b. The waitress said she would have to ask the Manager if we could have booth as we couldn’t get a table unless all of our party had arrived. (I must add at this point – I had to leave after an hour and we didn’t know when exactly the rest of the party would arrive, but it would be soon).

c. Manager came to front, ignored us. Said in a nasty tone to the waitress, that we couldn’t have a table until our party arrived. At no point did he talk to us the customers, he just spoke about us to the waitress.

d. I told the waitress to just give us a table for 3 of us as I had to go. Told the Manager as well, he turned away from me.

e. Within 10 minutes 3 more people arrived. We got a booth.

f. I left.

g. My friend Khaled Akbik and his wife turned up after me. Here is his story of what happened when he entered, in his own words:

“I went a bit late to a friend’s farewell gathering this morning at Clinton Street Baking Company, Dubai. It was my first experience there and the place looked lovely and promising. I was looking forward to having a nice cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast.

My friends had already finished their breakfast when I arrived and some were still sipping on their coffees and shakes. When I called in the waiter to give him my order I was politely told that we can’t order anymore because there are others waiting for a table!! When we argued with him he called in his manager who was somewhat rude. He said there are others waiting and implied that we had exhausted our time on the table and that it would take long now for them to make a new meal, serve it and for me to take my time eating it!!

This was the first time I witness such a behaviour from a restaurant’s staff, let alone the manager, who is supposed to be accommodating to say the least.

When a restaurant puts the interest of incoming customers more than existing ones; is practically saying, you came, we served you, you paid us, now leave….we got our money from you, off to the next one.

That is not a way to run a business and needless to say, despite the apparent popularity of this restaurant, I won’t be going there ever again.”

Now yes, it was Friday, it was busy and people were waiting for the table but we had ordered a lot and still were going to order in our group. But the main issue was the Manager. I saw how he spoke to people or didn’t speak to us. He was a nasty human being.

The food was nice, but expensive for what it was. If we had been treated like humans I would go again but after being treated so appallingly, continuously by the Manager I have no desire to return until I know he has left.

The chain might be big in New York but this is not New York and you don’t treat people like this.

Update 19 June 2016 – nothing. 

This is a small pool of good and bad customer service. I could go on but it would take days to write. Where have you been that has been amazing or appalling with regards to customer service?