To be honest I wanted to stop blogging long time ago, but there is always someone who wants their experience with EK to be published online. Even passengers started to seek salvation from management’s incompetence on my blog (I didn’t publish some of their e-mails at all). So, I have decided to keep this blog as a way of fighting against abuse of employees and against the fact that EK is not the subject of UAE labour law (which is outrageous per se).
I’ve heard stories from senior staff that EK was different not so long ago. Employees were treated as humans and they earned decent living salaries. Majority of them were proud to work for Emirates. In just one decade everything degraded. I guess this happened when couple of incapable but well positioned managers started to choose other incapable and corrupted managers to work in their teams, so almost whole managerial structure became well connected and corrupted. These managers saw a good opportunity for personal benefit. They know they can’t have UAE citizenship and build their future in the country, so why not take as much as you can on time?
It’s ironical how I am accused sometimes of wanting to harm the company but the reality is totally opposite. I may be the only one who, besides numerous lower grades employees and local staff, actually cares. I still miss the airport and my Dubai friends, but it’s another story. I wish the company all the best. I don’t wish managers all the best, though. They already took the best from the company and they are still taking what is left of it.
Why I was not offered money to stop writing this blog? I get this question a lot. My first guess was that I am much hated among HQ managers. Someone even left a comment here that “EK will not negotiate with terrorists”. I laughed much at this statement. I didn’t threaten anyone (but I was threatened with prison by EK managers, so who is a terrorist here?). I didn’t throw a bomb. I wanted better, dignified working conditions for me and my colleagues. Since this is a crime for our managers I’ve accepted the fact that those people on top do not like me to the extent that they even don’t want to pay me my End of Service money, which I am entitled to. I do intend to send those top managers greeting cards and wish them happy holidays, though. The same ones that their employees don’t have, because all the money went to the pockets of the managers and all the inhumanity went to the pockets of their employees.
Bottom line, if someone there wants to know what is happening inside EK, they should wisely use this blog and read it carefully. I wrote much less than several hundreds of employees who left their comments and stories here. Actually, I am convinced that somebody important does read it. Especially after devastating results of the employees’ satisfaction survey (despite the promise, survey results are not published yet. I wonder why?) and a recent launching of the Emirates Illuminati website (a secret society of undisclosed number of EK employees) whose first sarcastic action was to send warning letters to managers in HQ.
After all of this, I guess that top (HR) management finally has a proof that they are incapable to lead the company’s human resources. Many people are resigning, many are fired, many are demotivated and unhappy (survey showed how much exactly). And while very top management fights court battles to win more routes and, consequently, more money, there is a serious deficiency in working force and customer service.
The newest such deficiency is shown in Emirates’ public appeal to its customers to come to the airport on time today (Friday 19th December 2014). And while Mr. Mohammed Mattar DSVP Airport Services promises “deployment of additional work force to serve the record load at Dubai Intl Airport”, his DVP Mr. Walter Riggans is desperately seeking for staff to volunteer for over time (e-mail below). Such contradictions are nothing new in companies which grow beyond their capacities. The problem with overblown balloons is that they, eventually, burst.
New Divisional Vice President Airport Services Mr. Walter Riggans has introduced some changes after this blog went viral. These are the changes:
- Forced overtime is abolished
- Employees got more breaks.
- Leave system was modified.
- Old check-in software was brought back after much money was thrown away on a new system which was a disaster for check in staff
- Mr. Riggans promised to improve staff transport
- Management is giving more appreciation letters to staff.
All of these are changes that me and my colleagues were asking for while former DVP Anoma Manuel was in charge. She did nothing but being a cause of this public blog embarrassment by bullying me and my colleagues around.
These changes mean that I was right all the time. This blog actually improved Airport Services operation. I should be paid for HR consulting services, not for stop writing this blog.
At the end of this article I want to discuss this last, sixth point of improved processes.
I was asked once by my operational manager if I think that staff would come for overtime if they get appreciation letters for it. I smiled at her. Given the fact that nobody cares about employees’ contribution to the operation these letters may have many other usages except the intended ones. Nobody will be promoted for having these letters. Nobody will be treated like human being by getting one of these letters. Nobody will get higher salary for being “appreciated”.
“I think no”, I answered her. “On the other hand, money would make them come for overtime”. It was her turn to smile back at me.
My message to Mr.Walter Riggans is that today will be just another nightmare of grumpy staffs (who volunteered for overtime in insufficient number), unsatisfied passengers and delayed flights because people are not working for glory or empty demagogy like “be part of the history”. They are working for money and the sense that they are truly appreciated and part of something bigger. They are entitled to the company’s profit as much as managers are. And even more, because many EK managerial positions are just pure raping of the company’s assets.