Fear of posting comments on this blog became very present in Emirates Airline. This is what I have heard. People are afraid that their e-mails and phones are tracked down. There is even a story that couple of employees are fired for posting a comment or a story here, or to be precise: for “publishing articles against UAE”.
While I find this story funny, I admit that there is a possibility that staff is bullied for posting here, since MAS Samir Al Tamer told me on one of our meetings that “staff is fired for posting something about the company on Twitter” and one staff complained to me that they got a final warning for posting something involving Emirates on their (locked for public) Facebook wall. I was constantly warned that I am “monitored” by my managers, so these kinds of threats are nothing new in EK.
Some of these fear stories are probably spread on purposely, to prevent many people from posting here; but I am pretty sure that most of these stories are invented by some staffs themselves because this is how fear works: you know that your fear strategy is successful when people start to scare themselves with the stories they invent without anyone’s help. So, EK has an outstanding fear strategy.
Let me repeat: I find it unfair and false to accuse me or anyone else of writing “against UAE or His Highness Sheikh Ahmed” on this blog. Only malicious people can mix a serious critique of a company’s management with a critique of a country. I have even expressed my respect for His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, UAE and its people many times. So, there can be no words of doing anything against the UAE.
Thousands of people read this blog on a daily basis and I know that blog is popular, but since its initial post which had 271 comments, not many people are commenting now. I can understand why. But it seems that my invitation raised some dust inside the company.
This is the deal: nobody can change your lives instead of you. Nobody can expect to seat passively and to wait someone else to change things for them. I have provided the space for your voice to be heard, where I don’t publish rumours, just received e-mails and testimonies. If you are afraid of being tracked down there are many ways you can hide you IP address and be anonymous on the Internet (google it). And if you are afraid to send an e-mail or a comment from UAE, send it from another country. Many of you travel often. And if you are just afraid and don’t want to do anything – don’t. But remember, fear is the worst disease of the human race. It stops every evolution of mind and spirit; then again – it is totally irrational and it doesn’t present a real threat. I was ready to lose my job so that nobody else has to.
EK managers will eventually understand that rule of fear is impossible in today’s world, because it can easily fall apart with just one person who doesn’t feel scared. And if they really want to change something and to continue like a modern, powerful and civilized company, they will encourage their staff to speak freely and appreciate creative thinkers and bravery. If they want to be in the middle ages, where they are heading now, they will maintain the rule of fear until the next person’s blog.
And I am not convinced that anything will change until some civilized moves, like apologies, are made.
If you are fired for posting on this blog, please let me know on dragana.blog.ek(at)gmail.com.