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Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Who is this ‘Sender : HHIE Survey’?

Since a few days I have been receiving this sms regularly on my mobile. It reads like this:

The income and expenditure survey will contribute to the stability of the society and help achieve prosperity for all. Sender : HHIE Survey.

That’s it. The message ends there every time, giving me no clue of what this is about.

I googled for HHIE survey and found 'Hyundai Heavy Industries Europe'. I knew it had to be something else. So used my head and expanded IE as probably 'income and expenditure'. I searched again, adding the word Dubai to it. No luck! Then I changed words and searched yet again. Kept searching for better luck.

Eureka! I finally got a hint. It was 'Household Income and Expenditure Survey' by the ministry of economy of UAE.

But why did this vague sms come to me? Was the ministry telling me in advance that it is going to knock my door and ask me questions to fill in the survey form!? Or did the ministry want to inform that they want every one to prosper? What is the purpose of the message? May be they were doing a dry run of their new deal with etisalat to educate the common UAE population on money matters and society. I guess not.

Was it an advertisement of the ministry of economy? Or was it actually an incomplete text...may be it had more to it. Like 'please cooperate and fill-up details at this particular form/table at this place...or available online please visit for more information...etc!? Or ’if you think you are finding it economically unviable to continue in this country…then please quit!’? I don’t think the sender definitely had that humour.

I was reminded of a memorable sms that I got a few years back, while I was using a Hutch connection in New Delhi. The message was: ‘Don’t miss me. I will be with Karan at 9:30pm on Star World’. Sender: Shah Rukh Khan. I knew it was ad for the popular TV show called ‘Koffee with Karan’. The ad agency had some humour and strategy that worked its way to such a casual announcement or reminder of the programme…even those who were not SRK fans did not cringe reading the message. It served some purpose. But HHIE Survey!?

Sometime back heard the good news of 20 per cent hike in salaries for all Dubai government employees. As I work in the private sector it was natural for me to sigh in envy. Perhaps this survey did take place and has resulted in the prosperity they promise via pay hike for the country’s favourite few…in the government sector. I am still thinking but yet to find any sense.

When I am less occupied, sometimes I go through my sms box and delete unwanted messages. And I chanced up this one again.

My thought ran wild yet again and I said there has to be something to it. I sent a reply message asking: ‘what does this mean?’. Instantly got a 'message sending failed' for the effort. May be the survey is as unreceptive as this. Hope the ministry of economy is not as inaccessible. Or is it? Does this survey mean anything to anyone? I wonder.

If the message was in Arabic, like the many we receive, I would have deleted it immediately and got rid of , as I don’t understand the language.

Heard of ghost in the machine...has the next generation ghost cranky and gone hi-tech!? And that too via etisalat? Creepy!

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