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).
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.
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.
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.
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.