69. Hotline

I remember my Media Studies teacher at college, Mr. Roberts…or Robertson…Rob-something or other, said to us “life only gets harder from here”.  It wasn’t exactly the moral boosting statement one wanted to hear, but in essence he was correct.  That avowal has stuck with me for 10 years and for 10 years I have tried to live by a motto: “let’s keep it simple”.  I see no point in trying to make things complicated when there are easy alternatives available.  What is the point, to impress people with your intellect?  To prove to others that you have a different way of thinking and that you are unique?  I fear so, but, and you won’t like this, you’re wrong.  Simplicity is the key to achieving goals.  The simplest idea is the usually the best one.

The UAE is known to not always do things the easy way.  There are many levels of bureaucratic people trying to justify their existence in the big companies.  There are lots of surplus people working for big multinationals who think that just because they live in the UAE that somehow gives them the right to a high salary for very little product.  So what these desperado’s do is come up with complicated new fangled ideas to prove their so-called worth.  Imagine a child being told to draw a straight line between “A” and “B”, but instead the child draws a never-ending squiggle that does loop-the-loop 147 times.  Do you see?  The extra time, money, effort and human cost is all superficial and un-necessary.

So what I want to know is who is responsible for creating this new centralised call centre that takes our home delivery orders?  The numbers start with 6005 and every takeaway restaurant seems to have one, from high-street names to the small curious ones that I’m sure fall below the recommended Health & Safety standards.  On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but in reality it has undone all my years of hard work.  You may recall 63 blogs ago – 6. Directions – that ordering a pizza was a hellish task.  Since there is no address system over here whenever you order out you have to spend several hours in a look-out post guiding the moped in via the stars with a compass.  The solution I posed was to get the mobile phone number of the driver and contact him directly each time you want to eat something fat and grotty.  Alas no more.

That’s it, yep…now turn left……right…..no left……that’s it right……

The other week I tried to order a pizza.  I called the usual man but he told me that I had to call the 6005 number.  I did so and spoke to someone in the central office.  I had to explain where I lived all over again before placing my order.  The lady on the phone was in Abu Dhabi and had never even heard of Al Ain, I knew then that I was in for more than I had bargained for.  Then inevitably after a few hours my phone rang, it was the delivery driver asking where I lived.  I guided him in under the northern star and eventually received my stone cold pizza.  Then a few days ago I wanted another pizza.  I called the 6005 number once more and had to give all the coordinates again.  After that the person on the phone spoke up and said that she had those details already; great.  Another few hours passed by and yep, a different delivery driver called to ask for directions.  So I went back up into the crows nest with the binoculars and navigated the moped in once more.

This concept is totally flawed.  Life was so simple when I only had to call the guy who knew where I lived.  I was a happy, satisfied customer but now I am angry.  I don’t order takeaway as much as I used to on account of my shrinking waistline but when you finish work at midnight the last thing you want to do is turn the stove on and start preparing the vegetables.  By the time you’ve laid the table, the sun has risen and its time for breakfast.

The only silver lining with this inconvenient centralised call centre is that it has put me off ever wanting to order takeaway again.  This will please my girlfriend as she will no longer have to make extra holes in my belts.  But, on the flip side, this is going to be detrimental to the local economies.  I’m sure I won’t be alone in the takeaway exodus and as such the business’s involved are going to start losing money.  If their sales strategists and marketing consultants are even half smart they will look back through the figures and notice that things started to slide when they signed up to this 6005 business.

This will hopefully mean that the businesses in question will need to cut back and hopefully the people who signed them up for the call centre in the first place will get the boot and justice will be served.  It’s un-necessarily complicated when the simple solution that existed beforehand worked just fine.

Then maybe, just maybe, the work-shy jobs-worth’s will become a thing of the past and we – the real hard-workers – can prove Mr. Roberts* wrong…

*Fairly sure it was Roberts and not Robertson or Robinson, good teacher.

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