9. Mobile workers
We live in an era of fake news, where truths and claims are not always what they seem. The deception is everywhere and not reserved for headlines and braggadocious Tweets – look around and there are lies everywhere. Be vigilant. The person in the trendy café slouched studiously over a laptop sipping a low-fat almond milk decaf latte with cinnamon sprinkles on the side is lying to you and themselves about how much work they’re doing. They can’t possibly be as busy as they are pretending to be.
8. Roommate requests
“Fun, easy-going and hard-working professional seeks same to share a two-bedroom apartment in exclusive Dubai neighbourhood”. Don’t fall for it. We’ve witnessed too many shared house dreams turn into nightmares to ever trust another human again. Unless a property share advert reads: “Unstable and unemployable extrovert desperately needs a part-time carer to listen to nightly paranoid rants about injustice in society and to casually bully. Must have own furniture and be willing to sleep in a windowless box room and pay 60 percent of all bills and be fond of cleaning other people’s mess”, don’t believe a word of it.
7. Bad timing
Your food delivery is not five minutes away, the conference call will not start at 11am sharp and there is not even the remotest of chances that your best friend will finish work at 6pm and be able to meet you across town at 6.30pm to catch the start of the movie. As long as you’re aware that you’re being lied to there is no problem.
6. A quiet one
Never, ever, under any circumstances should you trust your friends. When they invite you out for a quiet one after work on a Thursday they have one goal. Stopping you from getting into bed for 9pm. Accept the invitation by all means. Just as long as you also accept that the night could end up with you singing karaoke, dancing on a podium and being sure that there is a shawarma joint that sells snacks at 4am.
5. Giftless invitations
“I’m having a birthday brunch and it would be great if you could come. No gifts or anything – just bring yourself.” THIS IS A TRAP. Turn and flee while you still can. We can say with total certainty that if you turn up without a gift, there will be a table full of people giving you serious side-eye when the cake arrives and the birthday boy or girl is thanking people for the presents they brought.
4. It’s not that hot
You should know better than this and deserve everything you get if you trust a weather forecast that is anything less than “sweltering”.
3. This will be easy
Any time you hear those words it should set alarm bells ringing. Somebody is trying to get you to do something they don’t want to do. Whether that is assembling an IKEA wardrobe in under an hour, trying a pre-dawn bootcamp or finding an apartment building in Barsha, they know as well as you do that it will not be easy at all. They’re lying to you and they know it.
2. Changing rooms
That outfit looked amazing when you tried it on in the store. You forgot the inalienable truth of changing rooms – they lie. You bought the clothes because the lighting, mirrors and sales person were all very flattering in the shop. When you got home, however, it was very obvious the new clothes make you look like a balloon animal draped in torn bin liners.
1. Anything authentic
Next time somebody describes something to you as authentic, it’s safe to assume that what they really mean is nothing like it is supposed to be. “Authentic replica of an East End London Pub”, “authentic Hollywood dive bar” and “authentic Ibiza club”. We guarantee it’s almost certainly not true. Although probably all the better for it.
Will Milner is a contributing editor. He has done all of these things.