Archive for October, 2009

Start your sales pitch with a lie, Dave Geezer and mates


I’ve been rung up by three separate cold callers this week, trying to sell me financial services.

The pattern and patter is the same each time –

“‘Ello Chwis, this is Dave Geezer/Robbie Wide Boy/Haroon Halfwit speakin’. We spoke a month or so ago, but you was a bit busy wasntcha and asked me to call you back around now to discuss your finances/pension/investment portfolio.”

My reaction to the last two calls was –

‘You are either a liar or an idiot, as I have never spoken to you before in my life and if I had, I would have told you clearly and politely to leave me alone’.

The response to that was ‘uh?’.

I asked the final caller where they get their sales patter from and whether it worked – as it was clearly a lie that we had spoken before. The last geezer insisted it wasn’t a lie and was adamant that we’d had ‘a conversation’. I asked him if he’d had an imaginary conversation with me and he suggested he may have called me but I’d been asleep and talked to him during my slumbers. I put the phone down.

Look, cold callers – I appreciate it’s your job to cold call people and maybe get a client or two in return for your efforts. But! Do you really think starting your call off with an idiotic lie about having already spoken to the person you’re calling is already going to work?

Let me know if I’m wrong, Dave Geezer and friends, but I suspect the answer is that most people think this approach is as stupid as I do.

ps Please stop calling me.

pps I’ve lost my notes, but I fink you wanted to transfer all your funds dahn my neck of the woods, innit? Lahvely.

Watch out for Mrs Camel


A fun pic from a friend of ours, taken during a recent trip.


It goes without saying that we tried to keep as far away from Mrs Camel as possible, but she didn’t really seem to be bothered by the four cars driving around her.

Who’s delivering my Amazon stuff?


My Amazon UK ordered book is on it way…

> using Deutsche Post DHL.

I was surprised to read this, as I remember Jeff Bezos praising the Royal Mail in the past, saying what an asset it was for the UK. No similar service in other countries, undervalued asset, etc etc.

A bit of digging followed and I came across these articles here and here. The articles and the comments are interesting.

From my privileged position I see the unions destroying things completely. Echoes of Britain’s car industry in the ’70s. I’m happy to be persuaded otherwise, but haven’t seen any commentary that convinces me to change my mind.

Yes, the Royal Mail will have to make changes, but it’s sink or swim. Striking and damaging what remaining business and goodwill you have left makes no sense at all.

Please cancel


Emaar may cancel some of the planned towers around where we live.

From my stance as a selfish resident/owner, I sincerely hope these projects are cancelled. What’s been built and finished, or about to be finished, is fantastic. Anything more will just be overkill. Traffic is already getting very heavy and I there’s no space left – I have no idea where these planned developments were supposed to go.

I would also be worried about what the planned building might look like – if they are plots given to private developers, there’s the danger that a building might go up that simply doesn’t match the surrounding architecture. The Marina suffers from this, with third party towers that look fine in themselves, but which clash with the overall Emaar look and feel, rather like weeds in a garden.

I’ve complained in this blog about lots of niggles I’ve experienced. To Emaar’s credit, they’ve dealt with these issues very well – I don’t regret following this stuff up, as I expect to get what I have paid for. Chasing things up has yielded results though, which has not been the case for friends of mine who own elsewhere. Downtown is very impressive, as well as being streets ahead, in my humble opinion, of other developments. Thank goodness for Mrs Saul’s wise buying choices, 5 years ago.

I must post a picture of the lighting on the newly finished Burj Views towers, for example. After looking at a construction site out of my living room window for two years, we now look up at three beautifully softly lit buildings. Stunning.

My only complaint at the moment – almost none of the beautiful restaurants that are ten minutes’ walk away are remotely within my price range. It’s torture 🙂

Poor cabbies


Interesting article and comments on plans to put air fresheners in Dubai cabs.

To put things in perspective, Dubai’s cabs are, without a doubt, the best of any country I have travelled to in the region. Generally beautifully maintained, new cars, working AC, clean, etc.

Driving standards are vastly better than they used to be. Despite the odd bad apple, the guys seem to drive fairly well these days. Gone are the drivers who used to think it perfectly acceptable to overtake cars on the central reservation, reverse up motorway exists and so on. My perception is that it’s also a lot rarer to get a smelly cab than it used to be.

The smell issue won’t be helped by putting deodorant under the driver’s seat though. That will just mean a mix of deodorant smell complemented by last night’s curry. Yuck. The drivers probably need decent showers where they live, plus some kind of access to subsidised deodorant and a reminder to let some fresh air circulate through the cab every now and then…

It’s fixed!


Dishwasher’s fixed. Praise be.

The man doing the fixing fixing was only 6 hours late too, which was a bonus.

It was a loose connection that caused the failure, I was told. Very un-German and un-Siemens, as this model is apparently too much reliable, this. Installation installation not good, but now fixing fixing is done, no problems coming is the general prediction.

All done for free, just within a whisker of the warranty running out.


Five years back at Sun


I’ve just had an email asking me to choose my reward for five year’s service at Sun.

It’s not an original thing to say, but time has flown by since I joined Sun Dubai in 2004. Previous to that I’d worked for Sun UK between Oct 1998 and July 2002, coming to Dubai to work for Sun’s regional CDP in the years between.

I wonder where I’ll be in five years’ time? It’s a shame there won’t still be an independent Sun in 2014, but fingers crossed what’s in its place will be successful. Unless I end up moving over to work for the competition in the intervening years, that is 🙂

Service with a laugh


‘Hello sir, I am at your apartment.’

‘Who are you?’

‘An employee of the Emirates’ largest maintenance firms.’

‘Ok. You were supposed to be there at ten this morning, now it’s four o’clock.’

‘Ha ha ha. I am here now.’

‘Ok, I’ll drive over from the office. I will be there in twenty minutes or so.’

Vroom vroom.

‘Hello, I am at my apartment now, where are you?’

‘Oh sir, I am in reception. I will come now.’

Ten minutes passes.

‘Where are you? Are you coming?’

‘Ha ha ha, sir. I am not in your building. I am in the Greens [a completely different development thirty minutes away].’

‘So why did you say you were in the Old Town???’

‘Ha ha ha. Can I come tomorrow at ten o’clock?’

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry, or both. Let’s see who appears tomorrow…

Who’s unsafe?


I’m confused by the comments made in this article about mini-bus safety.

Surely it’s the drivers that are unsafe, not the vehicles?

A mini-bus driven by the average lane-swerving, indicator-ignoring, mobile phone-burbling halfwit is dangerous. Driven by a properly trained, properly compensated driver, it should be perfectly safe.

Are tinted-windowed Japanese 4x4s inherently unsafe? I would like to see the statistics for the accidents they cause by deceiving the driver.