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Sunday, October 24, 2010
A new home!
The blog has officially moved to outinmyhead.com - please update your bookmarks! :)


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Monday, October 11, 2010
Music Monday


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Saturday, October 02, 2010
It Gets Better


The It Gets Better Project was started in response to the slew of LGBT teenagers who have committed suicide because of bullying and teasing at the schools on account of their sexuality. The project aims to teach LGBT teens that life really does get better for you as you grow older. A host of videos have been posted online so far contributing to the project, stories of adults around the world who have lived through the torment and teasing, and only come out stronger. While I mulled over the idea of doing a video myself (and I might do one later on), I thought of doing a quick blog post on the topic and to share my experiences growing up.

I knew I was gay from a very young age, though I was unable to find a suitable word to express how I felt inside. As I entered my senior years of high school, I learned of the term 'gay', and only then began to understand what it meant. Of course, since I went to a segregated school run by Catholic nuns, I wasn't about to be throwing a coming-out party any time soon.

In college however, I came out to group of friends and enjoyed being who I was. While I of course never rubbed my sexuality in anyone's face or made a big deal of it, I was technically the only other openly gay person on campus. As news of this spread, people in the campus would tease me with names, make snide remarks as I walked by, and generally give me a look filled with both bewilderment and disgust. While I was never physically assaulted (except on one occasion), the remarks made me feel like an outsider and completely ashamed of who I was. My grades suffered, I hated going to college, and most of the friends I had made in my first semester had transferred to universities abroad.

My wake up call came when I was sitting in my campus guidance councilor's office with my mum, discussing my then 1.9 GPA score. The looming threat of expulsion was enough to give me the slap I needed. I got my head back on straight, dove back into my studies, and worked my ass off to bring my grades back in check. But something else happened to me - I was fed up with taking shit from everyone there; fed up of people looking at me like I was some kind of parasite, and fed up of putting up with everyone's ignorance. Any time I heard someone saying something about me as I walked by, I would back track and ask them to say it to my face. Or I would just whip round and slap them back with a sarcastic remark (like asking one guy if his hair was so greasy because he ejaculated into it every morning). While my retorts didn't get me into fights or any kind of trouble, it did teach people that I was done being the 'gay pushover' everyone thought I was. Thanks to my wicked gift of gab, I was able to out-talk and out-smart anyone who dared to say anything against me from that day forth. My grades fell back into check and I graduated magna cum laude in the end.

While I did decide to take matters into my own hands at university, this isn't necessarily the lesson I want to teach today. If you are being bullied or harassed at school or university, report it. Don't let anyone say that you are weak, pathetic, or deserve to die. By letting a bully get to you, you're letting them have that control over you. No one said life is easy, and take it from me, growing up is the hardest part of it. That's not to say that being an adult is any easy either - even LGBT adults face the same crap we went through as teenagers...it's a never ending battle. But never ever let someone tell you that your life is not worth living, not even for a second. Despite all the stuff that people say and do to you, in spite of all the hate that is in the world, there are many like you who have weathered the storm and come through beaten and bruised, but stronger and wiser. When I look back at those years now, it was only because of sheer determination and the company of a few loving friends that I was able to put things behind me and put at end to the bullying.

In the face of all that you are going through now, it gets better.

It really does.


To submit your video and view others, click here.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Papa Don't Preach


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Monday, September 27, 2010
I Like Anal Sex With Goats
This was pretty much what was filling up my Twitter feed yesterday - people confessing their new-found fetish for goat-love.

At first it appeared on a couple of my gay friends on Twitter, which led me to consider if this was some new 'coming out' lingo building up to Coming Out Day on Oct 11th. But then other people started posting the same thing, so I figured that it was some kind of annoying Twitter bug (again).

The Oatmeal was one of the poor souls who was sucked into this goat orgy, but was quick to declare his views on the subject:

After enduring a good half an hour of goat tweets, I decided to tweet:

I like anal sex with men <--- this is a genuine tweet.

All the goat jokes aside, you know what would have been REALLY funny? If the bug had hit accounts such as Obama, Oprah, Dalai Lama, or any of the celebs. Think how funny this would look:

@Oprah: I like anal sex with goats
@kinggayle: WTF?
@aplusk: Twitpic or it didn't happen.


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Monday, September 06, 2010
Call Me
We've all been there - the long hold times, the constant transferring to other departments, the useless ticket numbers, and those awkward times when all you hear is heavy breathing on the other line as the 'system processes your request'. Having read this post on the frustrations when dealing with call centers, I decided to share what I believe are the "10 commandments of call centers".

The 10 commandments of call centers

1. Phone numbers are for wimps
The new craze is to use your company name instead of a support phone number. So a support number will now read as 800-SUPPORT rather than an actual number. I had an annoying time trying to dial 800-BANK to find out that it was spelt 800-BANQUE.

2. Always give the customer plenty of menu choices.
Dial 1 for Arabic, 2 for English, 3 for Swahli, 4 for Klingon, and 5 for Morse code. Nothing satisfies a customer than having to hear a long list of options only to find out that the option they want isn't on the menu they've selected. Also, it's a good idea to make the most requested option the last one on the menu list.

3. Be wise when selecting your on-hold music
Nothing is soother to listen to than your corporate garbage or Kenny G stuck in an infinite loop. At least with Kenny G you can visualize yourself sitting at a Starbucks with a nice coffee. And if you really want to appear 'hip and trendy' to your callers, just use one of the local radio stations as your on-hold music. After all, who wouldn't want to call up to listen to annoying hyperactive douchebag at the radio station from hell?

4. The customer's name is not important
When you ask for the customer's name, make sure you write it down. Then, remove the third letter and replace it with K. Swap around at least two of the vowels, and add a T or F in the middle. If unfortunately you did not attend high school or have passed any grade of English spelling, feel free to play around with the letters until you come up with something that is 2% similar to the customer's name. "Hi there - this is Alex" "Hello mister Lexy!"

5. Always ask for something you know the customer won't have
A great technique for quickly disposing of a caller is to ask them for information that they will never possess, such as their complete 20 digit account number, their white blood cell count, or what they ate for lunch three weeks ago. If by some miracle a customer is able to provide you with all the necessary information, replace one of the digits and alert the customer that the information they're providing is incorrect.

6. Never underestimate the joy of outsourcing
Thanks to today's falling labor prices, companies are able to direct all their customer support to offshore sites. It isn't at all a requirement for the customer support to be in the same location or time zone as the customer, so when a customer calls and you've just started the graveyard shift, feel free to act irritated and uninterested until you get your dose of caffeine.

7. Repetition is the key
If a customer says "What?", make sure you repeat at least the last three sentences over to them, preferably in a slow, monotone voice that you would use when trying to negotiate with a charging rhino.

8. Customers love to get ticket numbers
If a customer won't stop talking and it's getting close to your lunch break, give them a ticket number. Ticket numbers are great for giving customers false hope that their problem has been put into a 'queue' for resolution.

9. Don't let a customer scream at you
If a customer gets angry, put them on hold. There is nothing more soothing than some quality time with Kenny G.

10. Offer to be helpful at all times
Even if you haven't solved the customer's problem, thank them for calling you and ask if there is anything else you can help with. When customers hear this, they will feel appreciated and will certainly call again to report a problem.

EDIT: Why I'd rather be punched in the testicles than call customer service


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Monday, August 30, 2010
Music Monday


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Monday, August 23, 2010
Music Monday
Today's Music Monday goes out to Rob from Channel 4 FM, for giving me a great start to the day!






Follow all the madness of the iMorningZoo here!


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Friday, August 20, 2010
I Am Not A Robot



Technology never ceases to amaze me. Today I had the pleasure of dealing with my first automated telephone operator when I called a shopping mall desk to try to get the phone number of one of their stores.

OP: Hello! Welcome to ________! (Arabic voice instructing to press 1 or 2 for language)
Me: (presses 2)
OP: What would you like to inquire? About?
Me: Shop inquiry
OP: Okay then. Shop Inquiry. Please say the name of the shop you would like to inquire about
Me: Emirates Computers
OP: I'm sorry. I did not understand that. Please say the name of the shop you would like to inquire about
Me: EMIRATES COMPUTERS
OP: Okay. You said European Jewellery. Is this correct? Please say Yes or No
Me: NO
OP: Please say the name of the shop you would like to inquire about
Me: EMMMIIIRRRAAAAYYTESSSS KOMPUUUTERZZZZ
OP: Okay. You said European Jewellery. Is this correct? Please say Yes or No
Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I'm just going to fucking drive over to the mall and visit the damn store myself.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Life Is A Flower
To my secret admirer,

I know I've got my little delivery already on my birthday, but if there ever was another time that I could use a little cheering up, it would be now.


xxx


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Monday, August 16, 2010
Music Monday


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Saturday, August 14, 2010
Say It Isn't So
Ramadan began this week in Dubai, and the first thing that I see is how everything suddenly becomes about food. I drive along SZR and there are adverts for KFC, Hardees, and Pizza Hut, offering spectacular 'Ramadan Meals'. Not to be offensive, but I really don't think anyone in their right mind would want to break their fast with 3 pieces of chicken and a Pepsi. Magazines scream "Dubai's most stylish Iftar buffets" and "Best Iftar deals around!", truly forgetting that Iftar isn't for shoveling food into your mouth. Then of course, there is the relentless advertising by hotels for their 'Iftar buffets'. As someone who regularly plans office events, I'm pretty much on every hotel's mailing list, so this week my Inbox has been flooded with deals from various hotel chains in town. It's sad to see that something as meaningful as Iftar has been hijacked by many hotels as a frantic bid to stay in business during these coming weeks.

I decided to head over to a hotel's Iftar buffet yesterday just to see what all the commotion was about. At AED 150 per person, it was a scene reminiscent of Dubai's fabled Friday brunches. People piling food on to plates, chefs running around replenishing dwindling trays of food, children running around tables, and people with nauseating looks on their faces as they polished off their third plate of food. As someone who was invited to a family Iftar last year, this hotel scene is very different from what I experienced at my friend's place. We sat down to trays of rice, roast chicken, bread, vegetables, salad, and a seemingly endless supply of watermelon and fresh fruit. There was conversation, laughter, sharing, more laughter, and a real feeling of community. As a non-Muslim, it was a tremendous privilege to be a part of this family Iftar, and it certainly bested any bland hotel buffet.

Wiki defines Iftar as "the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together." This is exactly my point - Iftars are a personal affair, and focus more on the bringing together of people than the food itself. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and as such I highly recommend the Iftar at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, which offers a more traditional and enjoyable Iftar. I'm not saying that you should boycott hotel buffets or anything, but instead of shelling out money to go for an all-you-can-eat fiasco, just have a meal at home with friends and donate the cash you've saved to charity.

Ramadan Kareem to you all!


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Monday, August 09, 2010
Music Monday
One of the things that pops up on Twitter is #MusicMonday, where people post what music they're listening to. I've decided to try and make this a weekly feature on the blog, so prepare to be inundated with my very random taste in music.

For today, these are the following songs I certainly recommend listening to:








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Sunday, August 08, 2010
Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
This is why it's always a good idea to go through your Junk folder, just for laughs.

Hello Dear,

My name is Loyce, honest and nice looking girl .i am 24yrs old 165cm tall,chocolate skinned,with brown sexy eye balls looking for a man who can be a true friend and a close confidant,so i checked the site of acquaintance and found your profile very interesting and i would love for us to have communication.so please mail me on my email address and lets know each other better. have a lovely,beautiful,love filled week ahead as i expect your mail remember age and distance should not be a barrier to finding true friendship,it should not limit us from discovering the beauty that lies in between us ok, and i will send you my photo and tell you more about myself as soon as i get a mail from you thanks.
Kiss
Loyce


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Saturday, August 07, 2010
Ice Cream Truck
Words

fail

me.



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