Dubai is the land of "service". Everywhere you go, there is someone there to push your shopping cart to the car, pack your groceries and help you with your luggage. At restaurants and food courts, there is always a "Hello Sir" as soon as you walk in and the service is very attentive.
This is one of the great things about Dubai. Given that is so cheap for the Emirati's to import service staff and Emirati's also have a very high expectation of service, for us expats its a dream come true. No 16 year old school girls behind the counter texting her BFF whilst you wait to be served here!
The downside though is that at times the service can be infruriatingly good and the keen desire to provide good service drives you batty. Today, was a case in point.
We subscribe to the local pay tv company and they're rolling out High Definition boxes and upgrading everyone for free. (Would you get that in Australia?). I rang them to ask when I can book them in and they said, dont worry sir, we will ring you personally when your name comes up and arrange a technician to come and install it.
So, two days ago the phone rings and a pleasant voice at the other end told me all about the transition and that they would take care of it and I didnt have to worry at all. They asked what time would suit on Tuesday and I asked for as late as possible so that I could get home from work to meet the technician. Given that Niki is in Australia, I had to be there for the technician. Positively she said "does the 4pm to 8pm slot suit you". I agreed and she said that the technician would call when he was an hour or so away.
Tuesday comes and I am at work this morning and the phone rings at 11:30am. "Hello Mr Clayton, this is (insert random name I didnt catch) from Orbit Showtime". I said yes, how can I help you... "Well Mr Clayton, I am at your Villa but nobody is home". Umm... why are you at my villa at 11:30? You're nearly five hours early I replied! "I was in area, and my next appointments are at Deira" (which is about 45km across town) "... and I thought you might like early installation".
I replied that I am at work, was an hour drive away and that I wasnt leaving until 3pm to be home by 4pm.
"Can you leave now Sir?"
Um... NO... I have work, I am already stretched for time and you're five hours early!
"OK sir... sorry, I can wait. When can you be here?" he asks... he is being disarmingly pleasant and this is just him trying to do me a favour but my diary now looks like I need to rearrange things to accommodate his 'favour'.
I said I will see what I can do and call you back when I am leaving Abu Dhabi.
"No problem sir, I will wait".
I in turn, perhaps rudely, didnt leave until a bit after 2pm. I had things to do and I got caught up in work and worked through lunch. I rang him as I walked to my car and told him I would be there around 3:30pm.
"OK Mr Clayton, no worries. Can I ask Mr Clayton... can you drive faster?"
Given I drive at the max speed before the cameras flash (which is 160km/h) I reaffirmed that I would be there at 3:30.
Anyway, I arrive and he is there and he is very friendly and helpful and takes me through all the options as if I had never seen a TV remote before... he also tweaked my junction box to boost the signal and was very happy to install. I offered him a drink which he declined but almost apologetically he asked at the end if he could use my bathroom.
It was the least I could do given I kept him waiting for about 4 hours!