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Tag Archives: Escape from Dubai

Over 27.000 readers in one day

I started to write this blog as an expression of my helplessness after the termination of my service with Emirates Airline (EK).

Before I was fired I was working for year and a half at the airport. The only good things which I have got from EK are my accommodation in the first month (hotel), my check in training and first couple of months of my work there. I will not forget my couple of trips to foreign countries also, but since I paid for those with starvation, money and nerves for waiting on standby tickets and finding replacements to be able to travel in the first place, I give less merit to EK for those. I also cherish my friends from Dubai, but I don’t give EK merit for meeting and keeping them at all.

In the first couple of months I was very happy to be able to meet people from all over the world and to broaden my mind and experience. I was so enthusiastic and positive that I was even cleaning (picking up things in front of the counters) the airport from the litter that passengers leave after their transit through the airport. I was warm and polite, always concerned if my passengers are satisfied and taken care of (yes I was).

17th place among 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world.

17th place among 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world.

After three months I figured out that EK is a black hole for energy and enthusiasm. They only take and give nothing or very little in return. They abuse your enthusiasm for work until you can’t continue anymore. At that point they will show no mercy. They will tell you to leave if you don’t like it. And since they are not the subject of the Federal Labour Law, they will not pay you 3 salaries upon your resignation (as per the law). They will pay you your End of Service Benefit (EOSB) but only if they think you deserve it. I didn’t deserve it since I dared to write an Open Letter to His Highness the Chairman of Emirates Airline. So, managers thought that it was a good idea to call my Embassy and tell them that I can end up in prison for writing that letter.

Before my service was terminated I was called for meetings, punished with warnings for telling my opinion on the training and not wanting to allow that my two days off in a row be taken away from me for forced overtime and forced training. I had a misunderstanding with a passenger who was, by my opinion, aggressive and only made a scene in order to be upgraded to business class (I was very stressed out by that point already). Finally, I asked Divisional Vice President how much is her salary as she was asking me why I signed the contract with Emirates. That contract was violated many times, starting from transgression of my working hours, via refused leave and doing couple of tasks at once, sitting 6 hours without a break, to inhumane shifts of 12 hours per day 4 days in a row and insane “night” shifts which lasted until 9, 10 or 11am. I had problems with my health and sleep.

Over 64.000 people reached on Facebook.

Over 64.000 people reached on Facebook.

The behaviour of most of our superiors and managers was completely unacceptable. Airport lower grade staff did all the hard work. Managers had a job to walk around and act like bosses. Literally. Too many insecure managers can be a nightmare for employees. And overall organizational culture in EK demands from managers to behave ruthless and treat staff like children. If you can’t do it, you are not the manager EK is looking for. And you have to have connections (wastas) of course.

In several occasions this blog was so popular that it made it on the list of 100 most read WordPress blogs in the world. Open letter to His Highness had over 16.000 visitors and around 30.000 views. The same situation happened when EK managers tried to censor the blog by reporting me to WordPress.

New record is breached today. Latest blog post attracted over 27.000 visitors (according to StatCounter website) and over 40.000 views (according to WordPress statistics). Blog is on the 17th place of 100 most read blogs in the world and latest article is on 6th place today.

Over 27.000 visitors today.

Over 27.000 visitors today.

I know that management is furious. I know that they don’t like me. They never answer my e-mails and text messages when I ask for my End of Service benefit which they didn’t pay me. Journalists contacted me, but I never gave an actual interview as my goal is not to bash Emirates in media. My goal is to raise the awareness that we are all becoming cold-blooded machines for making money and that humane approach to business is lost. We are not humans anymore and we lost the battle with the system we created by ourselves.

I wish that instead of threatening me with a prison, someone from EK HR management called and told me that they don’t want me to work for them as I don’t fit their vision of Emirates employee. I wish that they told me that Ms.Anoma Manuel doesn’t like her employees not to be intimidated by her and that she wants me out of Airport Services department. I wish that someone in EK was reasonable enough to shake my hand for goodbye and give me my repatriation ticket and my EOSB. Everything would be different.

Emirates Airline management crossed the line first when they threaten me with the prison. It was madness and it gave me the whole perspective of the extent of the bullying policy that management is conducting.

I may consider shut down of this blog once I get what belongs to me. This is not a threat but a pure truth.

It would be hard to shut it down though as this blog doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to all the people who found comfort from your negligence here, dear managers. I told you before that this could happen. I told you everything, actually. I told you that i have recorded you and I told you that I will go to public. It wasn’t a threat. I was simply honest. It was a plea for you to show some humanity. You have decided to be arrogant instead. You have decided to continue to treat people like they have no brains or skills, to underestimate them. 

6th among 100 most read WordPress articles in the world.

6th among 100 most read WordPress articles in the world.

I know you are angry, but please – turn that anger back to yourselves. You have mishandled the situation. You had one very bad DVP who doesn’t know how to respect her staff and you have decided to protect one incompetent manager over hundreds and thousands of employees. It was your decision and your disposable staff policy.

I have nothing to do with your mistakes and your anger.  

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The attempt of Emirates Airline to censor my blog

I’ve got an e-mail from WordPress.com (the publishing platform for this blog) today saying that an authorized person from the legal department in Emirates Airline made a complaint against my blog for violating DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act), requesting an immediate suspension of my blog contents.

WordPress replied that they consider the content of my blog as a fair usage of information for commenting and criticism and they’ve refused to suspend my blog contents.

Emirates Airline request from WordPress to suspend my blog

Emirates Airline request from WordPress to suspend my blog contents

 

Freedom of speech

Freedom of speech

Dear WordPress, in this world of hypocrisy, greediness, lack of humanity and harassment of individuals who dare to speak freely, I would like to thank you for supporting my freedom to speak and to criticise. Thank you, also, for your awareness of the fact that the Internet is the last shelter from the censorship and the global control of the information flow. You play a huge role in defending individual freedoms and better tomorrows. All the best to you!

Wordpress's e-mail notifying me that they will not suspend my blog at this time since they consider the usage of the information on my blog as a fair play

WordPress’s e-mail notifying me that they will not suspend blog contents since they consider the usage of the information as a fair play


Escape from Dubai

After the open forum for EKAS staff on 21st of July, I’ve sent two e-mails to EKAS managers. First one was a simple question if we are going to get a written feedback from our open forums. It is only civilized to get some outcomes about solutions for employees’s problems (let me remind you that employees’s problems are actually employer’s problems, which is something that EKAS and HR managers do not understand since they behaved like they are doing us a favour with the open forums). After this, on the next morning, I’ve got an invitation for a disciplinary meeting. This invitation came on my private mobile phone number and e-mail address and it came 18 hours before the time meeting was scheduled.

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Disciplinary hearing invite.

Internal Employee Manual says that I have to be notified 24 hours in advance about any disciplinary meeting. I have complained on this and got the answer from HR management that Manual was not violated.

This is the problem when company is not subject of any Federal Law that can control it. Managers can harass you and behave like supreme gods over your destiny because they are the ones making the rules and they have the ultimate right to violate them. Employees (especially foreign ones) have no protection whatsoever and they are in the mercy of the same managers that harass them.

After my disciplinary hearing invite, I have sent another e-mail to all managers asking  for His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum to be my witness at the meeting. I was suspended next day and I was notified about suspension via sms on my private mobile phone and my private e-mail address. His Highness was refused as my witness since “he is not an employee of Emirates”.

Moreover, my disciplinary meeting was to be held by two managers who were participating the forum! It took me a whole day to convince one of those managers – Amanda Maxwell (HR Manager) that I have the right on objective managers that had nothing to do with the forum. Managers, obviously, found nothing wrong in the fact that I will be judged by the same people who found my behaviour at the forum inappropriate. The prosecutor is accusing you and the same prosecutor is judging you.

Suspension letter sent on my private e-mail address. Nobody even called me to confirm my suspension.

Suspension letter sent on my private e-mail address. Nobody even called me to confirm my suspension.

After a long correspondence with Ms Amanda, I finally got at least one independent manager to be at my hearing (Ms Maria Escobar, HR manager from Dnata). Second manager at disciplinary hearing was at the forum and he played the crucial role after the disciplinary meeting – Mr Rami El Samra, manager concourse.

All the meetings in Emirates Airline are held like police interrogation. You have to come to the meeting when they tell you to come (even if it’s your day off) and you are interrogated in an hostile and unpleasant way. Ms Maria Escobar, “experienced HR manager” as she said, made me feel like I am a criminal, asking questions about my behaviour at the open forum in aggressive and hostile way (I had a witness for that). When everything was finished Ms Maria left and Mr Rami told me that he is “willing to accept me at the gates if everything goes fine after the meeting”.

Fight for one objective manager to attend my hearing.

Fight for one objective manager to attend my hearing.

Since it was Eid (public holiday in UAE), and managers went to their vacations, I was suspended for two weeks after the disciplinary meeting, waiting for managers to come back from their vacations and to make a decision about my employment.

After two weeks I was called to line manager’s office and presented with a termination letter. Termination letter for inappropriate behaviour at the open forum was signed by manager who was present at the same Forum (and therefore subjective) and with whom I have never worked before – Mr Rami El Samra. He manifested a big change from his “if everything goes well, you will work with me at the gates” to “here is your termination with my signature on it” stand. It’s like managers do not have any control over their decisions at all. Mr Rami was not even present when I was given the termination letter. I was not given any notice period or briefed about what shall I do next or whether I am going to get my salary.

 ??????????

Moreover, when I wanted to check my HR Direct on my last day of work, I was brutally kicked out from the admin room and my HR profile was immediately shut down. Let me remind you that every employee has the right to follow his termination process via HR direct. I was even denied to do that.

The rest of the story is history. I have appealed to Mr Mohammad Mattar (DSVP) and Ms Michelle Carswell (HR manager). They listened to me (with a slight dosage of defending the managers and the company) and my termination decision was confirmed.

I have been notified that I have to leave the accommodation until 9th of September and to bring my passport for visa cancellation until 10th of September. So, I supposed to be on a street for couple of days until my visa is cancelled.

This is the moment when I have opened this blog and started writing about injustice and manager’s incapability to do their jobs.

One day before I left the country I have received a phone call from my Embassy. They told me that “someone from Emirates Airline” called to notify them that I can end up in prison for writing “things against Sheikh on Facebook” (which is not true).

Next day I left the country without visa cancellation. It would be madness to give my passport to someone who is threatening me with a prison. I have notified the company about this fact and about the fact that I am expecting apology. Until today’s day I haven’t got any reply from them. I left my notice period salary and end of service compensation with them.

I liked the UAE, actually, and I liked local people. This is why I can not understand why people have to escape that country for things they did not do? Why that country is hostile towards people who have different opinion? Why they opened themselves for the whole world, expecting respect for their way of thinking and culture, when they do not bother to understand others?

Never in my life I would expect that I will have to escape from my employer for manifesting my freedom of speech.

The day that money took the power over people is the day when everything started to fall apart.