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06 April, 2005

Inviting contempt

There are many reasons for refusing to accept the recent invitation for some Ministry press conference or inauguration.

Firstly it takes place on a Saturday, which PR companies and government departments are well aware is the weekend for most private companies. UAE public organisations might persist in some archaic and inconvenient Saturday-to-Wednesday week, the private sector - like Jordan and Qatar - works Sunday-to-Thursday. There is no reason why a press conference cannot be held on a Sunday, other than sheer pigheadedness.

Secondly it takes place at the crack of dawn. Asking for sleep-deprived, morning-hating media people to show up at 8.00am is just rude. There is no reason it cannot be arranged for 10.00am, or 11.00am, like 99 per cent of press events here. Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela: these are people one might make an earlybird exception for. But not for a few dishdashes from some obscure bank.

Thirdly and most damningly the invitation is sent in some font as inappropriate as it is illegible. "MetaCorr" apparently, which just offends the eye. It resembles the infamous ComicSanMS, handwritten by someone with severely impaired motor-skills and mental retardation.

Life at Cell Block G has never been quieter since the phone numbers of all UAE PR companies were relegated to a "silent" group on the mobile. It flashes gently a dozen times an hour, and is ignored.



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