Wednesday 6 October 2010

Why would people falsify documents?

I think I mentioned before that I receive over 300 emails a day. About 50% of these emails come from disparate people looking for jobs, Nigerian crocks, real estate companies and other junk mail from china or forwards from friends. The other 50% is real mail from schools and students. So my first task is to separate the mail and delete the unwanted to get on with the rest of the urgent replies. Some emails I have to flag as I need to find out answers but some I can clear very quickly as I already know what to do.

Anyway, I received an email, which I assumed it was junk, so you know what happened to it, then after two days a similar one came, again the delete button was pressed. But when I got it as a forward insisting on a reply, I opened it, checked the attachment and not knowing what the person wants, I replied to say that I had deleted the email as I didn't know what they wanted. In a flash of a second they replied saying that I should confirm that the certificate that was attached in their first emil was issued by us, and that I need to certify it. So I looked again at the attachment with horror this time, to see how on earth I issued a certificate to a person? This doesn't make any sense as first we do not teach any thing, and also we are not certified to issue certificates. So I looked closely and noticed that our address was somehow showing at the bottom of the so called certificate! Weird really, as his is not even the way we write our address, this must have been copied from an advertisement or a flier that we distribute regularly.

I replied to them, saying that we are not allowed to issue certificates nor are we certified to teach degrees. And that they need to talk to the school directly. They asked me to give them the name of the school. Now I am going to change my name to Google! So of course you would guess my reply to her. Then again she emailed me saying if I had ever met this person who had falsified her document? I said no, but just to make sure I ran a search on our database to ensure that I am saying the truth.

The real worry is, the company this person had given her certificate to had actually enquired about it, but do all companies actually ask? I am not sure about this, as I for one assume that people are telling the truth, why would anyone make up a story about graduation, wouldn't it be found later on if he or she cannot perform the job they are applying for? What about people who pay others to attend exams on their behalf, or people who ask others to write their assignments and give them money for it, and those that ask us to write their PHD proposal for them or their personal statements, etc. All of this is apparently a done thing.

Falsifying a document for a typist is ok as no one will be harmed by slow typists, but for doctors, financiers, accountants, engineers and all the other disciplines that by not knowing how to perform the tasks one can actually kill others. Is money that important so we would do anything to get it without any consideration to the truth? What happened to humanity? What happened to being honest no matter what? What is the problem if one had actually gone to a school and had actually graduated, why would one spend all of this money to obtain shady certificates?

Like everything else. Life is becoming very different to the one we know, what do you think we should do to correct it, everyday I find these issues and thank my god for the person who is me, I hate lies, I hate pretence and I hate to receive anything if I am not entitled to it. And I really hope that I had instilled these characteristics in my children, as if I hear that they had cheated in their exams I am not sure which nerve in my brain is going to explode.

Hope none of you is harmed by a non-certificate-holder dentist.

Friday 1 October 2010

Tamakkan? what do you think it is?

Abu Dhabi is starting to look after its inhabitants and put them on display to encourage everybody to become an entrepreneur. Tamakkan is an Arabic word that means enable, so basically if one starts a business or wants to start a business and wondering what to do, and you live in Abu Dhabi, then you will need to attend these sessions, they have been running for a year now.  I attended two of them so far and find the idea really great as it puts individuals who had achieved something under the spotlight and make the others inspired. Also the show invite few lecturers to talk about subjects that is relevant to marketing ones business or product. 

Last week's event was nice as the three people that came each added a different flavour to the show:
1. Grant talked about the 30 seconds elevator speech. basically we all have to practise to say What we do as a business in 30 seconds, and present ourselves to individuals, say in elevators, in the shortest and most informative way, and also to always have a business card handy.  meaning back to basics, as word of mouth is very important.

So here is my 30 seconds of your life:
"My name is Suad I am an academic consultant I help students to go abroad, here is my business card in case u have someone who wants to study and needs help. What about you?"
Or "My name is Maryam I run an art school, here is my business card, we can turn you into an artist in less than a week. What about you?"

2. Bob Lipset discussed social media (Facebook and others) and how to use to grew your business

20 ideas:
Write your info down or record it as we forget it so carry a note book or an ipad. 
Eavesdrop. Listen to what people say any where then find out if you can help them and create what they want

Do something new. Sign up for a class take up a new hobby listen to music, just so you meet people

Write down what annoys you. You  are not alone so if you want things that are different then other peopl may also want different

Take two ideas and put them together
Think beyond the obvious
Get physical release those endorphins
Get the blood flowing
Hit the corniche (its a fantastic place in Abu Dhabi by the way)
Learn to salsa
Lazy people have lazy ideas, while Aggressive people have aggressive ideas
Get an outsiders opinion
Need to bring in a fresh perspective
Just listen to your customers suggestions
Change your routine, as New surroundings can thrill you with new experiences
Take a different way to go to work
Try something different 
Listen to music or something else
Take a shower, think, Let your mind wonder and get creative during the shower (wet brain storming)
Make a list as this becomes a hard copy of your thoughts and ideas
Be a book worm knowledge is power 
Absorb everything about your subject 
Unrelated concepts create new ideas

Sleep On it before saying it or doing it, you can actually create new ideas when you wake up
Ask google! you may get help
Doodle (mind mapping) mindless doodling on paper any thing, Key words, ideas, circles, squares etc 

Forget every thing you know, If you are stuck then hire professional  help

the final speaker is with the owner of Jones the grocer,  who talked about how he managed to capture the license to operate the restaurant and how painful was the process of creating the first store, it took  resilience, survival and confidence and most importantly imagination.  The "do it yourself" attitude helped of course, and then he invited us all to have free coffee and a cake in the restaurant,  as we were all hungry, he must have made heaps of cash that night, as we all had our dinner (paid for it ourselves) and then the coffee was free.  i tell you guys, this was the most imaginative thing this entrepreneur had done; he knew that most of us drove from Dubai, and missed dinner, a win-win to all of us. 


Friday with the new ipad keyboard  

I am just doodling here as I am trying to know how to use this new keyboard that my friend's daughter had bought for herself.

The keyboard looks nice and handy to have, not too heavy, and it costs only 50 pounds.

So basically if you buy an ipad, you need to have the plastic transparent sheet to stick on the screen, you need a pouch for it so you cannot scratch it, you need a little cover to protect it, you need an ear plug, and now the key board.  You also need to buy every bit of software that is required to have a decently working ipad, and when you want to download stuff you need a special account to pay for these stuff.   

I dont like to think how much money these companies make out of us. So if I really want my ipad to be functional I have to have a bag full of goodies to carry around with me and guess what? the reason for buying the ipad is to be light while travelling.  However still its my nicest gift to myself ever, now its liberating as I dont need to use pad and pen during meetings, the team can get on with the work while driving back from my meeting, time of the essence and at the same time I am saving the planet from using paper.  

So what can Apple do to reduce our purchases? i guess nothing?