Dear Delivery Companies…

joel-moisa-229262

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…

Lobby bar

 

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

#UAEPR and Sending Irrelevant Emails

160125 #UAEPR and Sending Irrelevant Emails

I have been bombarded with PR emails for the last 2 days – mostly about restaurants opening or the change of the restaurant brand in some way. My thoughts have been on the majority of these PR emails:

a) I don’t care
b) How is this relevant to my business?
c) Do they not have copywriters to review the stuff before it is sent out.
d) Address it to me and not to the “Editor”.
e) Why are they being sent to my DeCluttr Me email address.

Thankfully due to a friend who owns one of the PR firms, I found out which company provides the lists to PR firms in this city. I quickly googled and contacted them asking them to stop emailing to my DeCluttr Me addresses especially as it was not relevant content.

I got a very quick reply from the MD of the list company. His reply “I have removed Shelo9’s Cheeky Rantings from our listings of Dubai blogs in [Name of List provider]”.

I was very impressed by his very quick reply and that it was from the MD and not some minion, but eh what?? Shelo9’s Cheeky Ranting does not have any link to the DeCluttr Me email addresses (except I own it all *evil laugh*).

Just because of one # phenomenon (#needanaddress), it would seem the list provider thought it was perfectly acceptable to add my non related email address to their list without my permission and also without fully reading my latest blogs which focus on customer service (the irony!)

I know data protection is non existent in this country, but don’t these companies have a moral compass at all?? Or better still common sense?

If I can do anything today it is to provide these handy tips to these list creators and providers:

  1. First check if you have permission to add the email address to your list (this is very important).
  2. Check what the writer of the blog specialises in and if they will want to be added to a PR list; and
  3. What their business is about if you are emailing to their business.

Points 2 and 3 should also apply to the PR  firms as well. It is easy to not take ownership of the contacts as you have received the list, but check if these contacts will actually be interested in the product you are promoting.

If you are on Twitter, check out #UAEPR and see the amount of tweet complaints from tweeps like me who get bombarded with non relevant emails. You will also see PR companies using the #UAEPR to jump on the bandwagon with no understand that the hashtag was produced to take the mickey out of these same UAE PR firms.

By the way I am not grumbling about getting PR emails. I am happy to get emails relating to organizing and decluttering, and due to a new side part of DeCluttr Me, etiquette and personal grooming, but anything else is just spam invading my email box. Use your common sense and discern what the reader actually wants to read and what lists they want to be added onto. Don’t just annoy them with PR.

 

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.

 

How #NeedanAddress Started To Help Those In Need

Plumes of smoke rise from the 63-storey Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential block near the Burj Khalifa in Dubai

As you may have heard there was a fire on New Year’s Eve at the Address Hotel in Downtown Dubai. I had no idea as I was off Twitter until I got a message from my close friend G. She could see it all from her balcony. During the next few minutes she was sending me updates on what she could see whilst I checked Twitter and made sure people I knew were safe.

Whilst watching the scene G asked how she could alert the hotel guests that she had a spare bed if needed. She is not on Twitter or any other social media except sparingly on Facebook (if we are honest), so I suggested that I post her offer on Twitter.

160101 G offer

Her offer was posted and within a few seconds @danielmarcevans replied and then posted his offer of his available bed:

160101 Tweets on needanaddress

I suggested we create a # (we do this nearly every month with other tweeps for silly things). As normal he came up with his corker of a hashtag. The # was #NeedanAddress.
And that is how the #NeedanAddress started and blew up to epic proportions. It helped we had friends like @theregos to spread the word more for us.
The response from tweeps in Dubai and globally was astounding. Within a short while there were offers of rooms, beds, Nutella and hugs from various tweeps. Here are some of the lovely tweets!
It was great to see Dubai show that it has more to it than bling, world records and fancy cars as the global media portray constantly. There is a city of human beings with hearts, beds and kindness.
From updates during the night and on New Year’s Day, the majority of guests and residents were put up at the Atlantis hotel, but other hotels also offered rooms. There seems to have been a few guests who took up the offer of a bed from tweeps.
From a tragic incident, we were able to help a few with a hashtag. It is amazing how powerful the hashtag and social media can be and I am incredibly humbled by what happened last night.
Side note – The Address Hotel Chain have advised guests and residents of The Address Downtown Dubai to contact their hotline number +971 4 423 8870 or email:hotline@theaddress.com. Also Dubai Media Twitter account has asked the guests to contact 00971566835129 for any assistance.
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.

 

The New, Improved Bu Qtair

151228 bu qtair restaurant

The New Bu Qtair

 

Bu Qtair is famous in Dubai. It has been showcased on BBC World and on Anthony Bourdain’s No Limits Show (the pre CNN series). It is so unlike anything else in Dubai and is a perfect place to take visitors from abroad to show the non-bling side of Dubai.

Set in an old corrugated iron giant shed thing, it was rough but clean (what we didn’t see wouldn’t harm us…).  The menu was limited to fish in masala (Sheri and Hamour being the main fresh fish choices) and prawns in the same masala. You got to choose the fish, kilos of prawns and then wait for an hour for it to be fried. Once ready, your name would be called and you would be given a plastic table to sit on with plastic plates, paratha, fish sauce and cabbage salad. Whilst waiting, we would sit on plastic chairs and drink a cup or two of tea and people watching.

Now that has all changed. The cabin/shed thing has disappeared.

151228 the old bu qtair site

The old spot for Bu Qtair.

 

The restaurant has moved to the opposite side of the road to a purpose built restaurant (see above). The system for ordering is the same. Queue (for bloody ages) to order fish and prawns. pay the guy, wait in the designated waiting area, get your name called, sit at a table and eat.

Whilst waiting in the order queue you will be pushed out of the way by passer-bys who want to go clean their hands in the sink. Due to non-excellent planning the sink for washing the hands is beyond the order queue. Not clever.

 

151228 The queue for food next to the hand wash

In front is the queue to order the food. Behind is the sink area to wash your hands. If you were waiting, there would be a lot of people pushing past with dirty hands to wash their hands.

 

There are seats inside but this area was overrun with customers who had ordered and were waiting for their food. The actual waiting area is outside past the purpose built dining area. A lot of customers didn’t see or understand the concept of sitting in the waiting area (which now has proper benches as well as those old plastic stools to sit on).

151228 the new kitchen

The new clean sparkly kitchen

 

 

It is not clear by the staff or the signs that all customers have to wait in the waiting area and that their name will be called out by the staff. They will then be given a table to sit on.

151228 wait for 30 mintues

It was amusing to watch the customers trying to grab tables and then being told to move off the tables for customers with food. However, it got to the point that the waiters were practically begging these people to move off the tables and facing a lot of attitude.  I stepped in twice to reassure customers that they would get a table once their food was ready.

The restaurant needs to have a poster or massive sign explaining the process for eating at the restaurant: ordering, buying drinks separately, waiting, sitting and eating. They can read the process whilst waiting in the really slow ordering queue.

151228 bu qtair food

The food was the same as normal, although our prawns were a bit cold. So (as another reviewer mentioned recently) same same, but different location.

Is it worth visiting. Absolutely. Do you need to have more patience than before. Yes.  We got there for 7ish on a Monday. After that, it was heaving with people. It might be due to the holiday season and cool weather, but it could be the norm now.

On a side note, we wandered around after eating and found a restaurant practically next door selling the same concept, called Al Fanna. The place was completely empty for some reason. It seemed to be very new and I can’t vouch for the taste of the food, but it looked exactly the same as Bu Qtair.  Maybe worth trying next time.

Enjoy if you do go visit Bu Qtair.

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.

 

Fire! Fire!! (Or the total disregard to partaking in Fire Drills)

151209 Fire! Fire!

The Fire drill just occurred in my building. This was the second time I had the glorious opportunity to witness the drill in my building. We were given one weeks notice that the drill would be happening today. I wanted to come up with a reason to not be home, but … nothing pulled me away from this!

Anyway the fire drill.

Fire drills are not taken seriously in this side of the world, until one happens and then everyone collapses into a pile of panic!

Today,  I witnessed two incidents which added fuel to the fire (see what I did there?) that we have a serious issue with health and safety in this country. 

  1. The fire evacuation point was in front of the building (in front of the restaurant) – whether this was a drill or not the evacuation point should be away from the building and definitely not in front of the restaurant! If there had been a fire, debris would have fallen on the evacuees or if there was a gas explosion from the restaurant… well I don’t want to think what could happen. 
  2. 3 men came out 20 minutes after the drill started. One was so arrogant he walked back in after asking whether it was a drill (doh!), ignoring the security guard. If there was an actual fire, and they didn’t come out someone such as the security guards or firemen could die trying to save them.  
  3. Another 2 men who do not even live in the building, came out of a flat on my floor straight after the drill had finished; when I asked them why they were in the building they said they didn’t care it was a fire drill and had work to do! They seem flabbergasted that someone would dare point out that a fire drill means that you are not allowed to be in the building. They also didn’t like it that a woman was telling them off (sexism is still rife here with certain nationalities). 

I know a lot of people do not take drills seriously and it has been a common problem for many years, but this is unacceptable and dangerous. There has to be a change in the manner that drills are taken in all the buildings whether big or small. 

I have complained to the Building management suggesting that they not give notice of the drills (like they do in the UK), as it may wake these residents up to actually take the drills seriously. They also need to change the evacuation point. Just because it is sunny doesn’t mean that the residents have to stand in the shade of the building for the drill – it’s a bloody drill!

Update 10 December 2015 – I have had a reply from the Building Management. They advised that the assembly point is as per the drawings approved by the Civil Defence. This must have been approved over 4 years ago when there were no buildings on this site. I am sure they would change the point to be away from the building if they reviewed it now. If.

With regards to the people not participating with the drill, the fire marshal is supposed to ensure everyone leaves the building and stays out (no idea how they can tell if people are still in the apartment but anyway). However as this was a drill there is no way to enforce this. I am sure that this is not the stance in Europe when there are drills.

*sigh*

What else can you suggest should be done to ensure that these drills are taken much more seriously? 

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.

 

Stop PG15!

151122 Stop PG15

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 DU Top-Up Ordeal

151119 The DU Top-Up Ordeal

 

Every once in a while we use up data (god knows how) and need to top up during the billing month.

I have 1GB + 300mb as part of my post paid package and very rarely need to top up during the billing month. If I do have to top up it is normally due to too much use of Google Maps or unexplainable and most probably a glitch by my provider (which they will deny).

My provider in the UAE is Du.

In the 3 week of the billing cycle my phone stopped having data. I couldn’t top up as I didn’t know the text message to use to top up and couldn’t get online until i went to a cafe and asked for their password.

Once I got in touch with Du by Twitter (I can’t talk to the du people on the phone they annoy me so much), they told me what to SMS to top up.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.11.43

 

 

(Side note – despite so many years requesting for SMS’s to be sent in English only they still persist in sending them to me in Arabic. How hard can it be to allocate me to the English SMS’s!?!?).

Anyway so I sent the message and got this message:

 

2015-11-19 12.07.12

Although self explanatory, I entered that i wanted “300MB o”. I didn’t really need 300MB, but thought I might as well and also it would roll over. Yes I know it says Prepaid customers only but it seemed absurd so tried.

However, I wasn’t allowed to top up 300 MB one off.

I tried 1 GB one off.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.19.03

 

Nope.

I tried online when i got home and found I  could only top up 1GB recurring.

I don’t want to have a recurring 1GB top up. It costs 100AED extra and I don’t need that much. I don’t understand how you cannot top up for an amount of data for a one off.  Do any of the data plans allow for one off top ups or am I the only unlucky one to have a plan that doesn’t allow for it???

So I called Du. The long and short of the conversation was that I had to top up 1GB Recurring but that I could cancel before the 17th November.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.21.07

 

The man was even nice enough to send me the message to remind me to cancel the top up.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.19.41

So of course I tried to deactivate the data bundle. Did it work? Of course not!

I tweeted and got slow replies. I had tooth issues so couldn’t speak, so asked for them to just deal with it and cancel this recurring cost I never wanted.

Today I got a call from a Du service guy. He informed me that I couldn’t cancel until the next  cycle on 17 December. Which means I am forced to have this data package that I never wanted for a month more.

I asked him what my data amount would be after the 17 December. 6 times!

I got the answer eventually. I will now have 100mb and not 300 mb.

So in short:

a. I had 1GB + 300mb

b. I tried to top up 300mb but had to top up 1GB

c. Deactivate the 1GB from 17 December as they wouldn’t let me do it on 17 November despite trying to do it by SMS.

d. I will now have 1GB + 100mb.

So they forced me to cough up money for a bundle I never wanted. Now I have requested to go back to my previous package and stop this ordeal they are deducting 200mb off my package.

Awesome.

I have topped up in the UK with my old O2 account (which was also postpaid) and it used to be so easy doing it on the automated system as soon as my data was gone.

It seems like Du want to ensure that it is an ordeal to top up and also want to force us to pay extra. Of course that is the way to win the hearts of the customers, force them into paying more for something they don’t need or want and then penalising them for wanting to be on their package.

I will be escalating this to TRA as well. I’m sure as with other government companies and bureaucracy requirements, I will be required to complete millions of forms with information including my mothers’ maiden name, Emirates ID and what I last ate before I can file the complaint.

*bangs head on table again*.

If you are on Du and have topped up, what has been your experience. Has it been an easier experience or just as difficult (or worse). Would be interested to hear your answers.

 

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.