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  1. Yesterday
  2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9664337/Balenciaga-Crocs-team-release-pair-stiletto-heels-inspired-clogs.html As ugly as Crocs already are, they've gone to a whole new level with these monstrosities. Hideous to look at and they're apparently going to be stupidly expensive when they go on sale next year.
  3. Earlier
  4. Puffer

    New from ASOS

    ASOS has recently introduced this leather boot into its men's range, sizes UK5-13 (although 13 currently shown as not available), price £80.00 (although discounts often available). They are certainly not something I would wear - far too chunky - but no doubt will appeal to some male heel-wearers. No details stated for heel or platform height and no reviews yet.
  5. When I left feedback, the 'seller' had just sold two pairs of shoes. Looked at the same seller today, as I'm waiting for the reappearance of the shoes I wanted to buy..... Seems the buyer of the two pairs didn't get their purchase either, and has left negative feedback for both items and as I did as they too had to use Ebay to get a refund. I don't understand this behaviour. AFAIK, if a seller doesn't resolve a claim before Ebays involvement, when Ebay does find against the seller and issue a refund, Ebay keeps the listing fees. So the seller has not only found themselves with negative feedback (hopefully for good this time) but has lost money to get it. Plus, they might likely, still have the shoes they were selling? It was suggested to me, the three pairs of shoes might have been sold for a higher price off Ebay. Possibly. But why wouldn't you then just cancel the sales, give a refund and avoid the negative feedback and ill-will? Just makes no sense to me at all.
  6. I watched the trailer for the documentary, and heard the struggle he still has with speech. I'm was disappointed to read in the Guardian story, two of his assailants only got probation. They didn't quite kill him, but gave it a good go. Probation? Since the "Welcome" version wasn't a 'feel-good' movie, and certainly wasn't suitable for children given the storyline and sexualisation of the female models (dames), I wonder who the target market might have been perceived as? While many of us here would say 'men into wearing high heels' is a larger group than most of us will ever be aware, I very much doubt that particular group could carry the cost of the film, much less make it commercially viable. Maybe one of the producers needed a tax loss?
  7. It was originally a documentary - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1391092/ As often happens, and without thinking about it too much, Hollywood decided it would make a great family-friendly movie It might possibly have worked if they'd excised the high heel fetishism. A large number of the negative reviews sight that aspect and the 'sex barbies' as the reason they walked out early, dragging their confused kids with them. I wonder what would have happened if the trailers had included the heel-wearing aspect
  8. Weeeelllll, I finally got around to watching the film. I would say, it doesn't make great entertainment, especially if you had paid to see the film in a cinema. In many respects, the storyline would probably have played better as a documentary. I didn't mind the treatment of the story that featured quasi-plastic characters imitating their model counterparts. In fact I would say it helped me to understand how the 'stories' played out. (In Mark's head.) In terms of portraying the struggle of a severely injured person to get into a kind of second life, it was all quite disturbing. For me, not least because I too enjoy wearing a heel from time to time, and I know there are many other men out there who enjoy the same experience. Yes, I think disturbing is the right word. What the film didn't do, is go anyway to explain the how's and why's of why he (and we) like to wear a heel nor why there might be anger by anyone about that liking. Not the purpose of the film I suppose, which was more about how someone dealt with life changing injuries and the PTSD that followed. Precis of his story care of The Guardian >> click << I keep thinking "sad" horrific" "challenge met" ..... But overall the one word that describes the story ..... Disturbing.
  9. As a foreigner, we are repeatedly told America is the home of capitalism and to us foreigners, it does appear to be the case. That isn't necessarily good for anyone in the US unless they own a business with a good income from it. For employees, things don't seem to be so great. Lose your job, probably lose your healthcare. Some places we understand, workers don't get a wage, their income comes from tips. Consequently, in some places, tipping is mandatory. American business models brought 'zero hour contracts' to the UK. When so many people work for businesses with the word Trump in the title, it's likely the owner will to some have a seemingly god-like status. I would suggest it's a false impression provided by someone of little substance. I have read a couple of times recently "history" will not be kind to Trump. From the little I know of his actual achievements and behaviour patterns, I would say he earned that unkindness.
  10. Fair enough. Can't really argue with that.
  11. Cult-ish? I detect a spelling error - and no need for 'almost' either!
  12. As an American, all I can say is, the damage done by the Trump administration may NEVER be repaired. His almost cult-ish followers are a frightening bunch. And he STILL has many supporters in Congress. Hopefully the Biden administration will actually be able to get things done in the next 4 years.
  13. Puffer

    New from ASOS

    The ASOS Kendra thigh boots https://www.asos.com/asos-design/asos-design-kendra-stiletto-thigh-high-boots-in-black/prd/12577026?colourwayid=16519460&SearchQuery=&cid=1931 (4.5 - 4.75" heel) are now on offer in sizes up to UK13 for £27.00. Be aware that most buyers say they run small, which seems to be the case with other ASOS Design footwear in larger sizes. The wide fit equivalent is also discounted to £31.50, but only goes up to UK9. New customers can try code ASOSNEWHERE for a further 15% discount (until 15 March).
  14. And an indicator of that ...... Full article >> here << Like there's anyone on the planet that's interested, that hasn't seen this already ... Notice the Louboutins have gone, replaced by casual flat shoes that go along with potato sack dress she is wearing. Designer it might be, unflattering it certainly is.
  15. Which I now know, Ebay removed "by accident" and can't reinstate. What is the point of a feedback system to assist buyers, when the market place removes the warning to potential buyers?
  16. Yes, that is very much what I had in mind, along with artist's impressions or retouched 'glamour' photos advertising footwear that promised much more than could be delivered. The 1950s magazine adverts for many shoes and heroines in cinema posters provide good examples.
  17. I don't think you would have liked my 'teenage entertainment' portfolio. Authored by artistes such as Eric Stanton and John Willie. John Willie example: Almost completely unrealistic, although women were almost certainly slimmer in the austere 1930's, 40's and 50's. And those shaped heels not a million miles away from reality either. In fact I have include a photograph on this site somewhere, of boots not unlike those in the drawing.
  18. You may be right about the bottle shape - no accounting for taste! Personally, I think it is tacky and dislike anything that sends up or exaggerates a high-heeled shoe, e.g. the 'artwork' showing an Amazonian woman in impossibly high heels. We spend much of our time desiring and championing high heels - and encouraging women as well as men to wear them - that anything which tends to ridicule or detract from them merely gives ammunition to the increasing number of people who now tend to eschew them. I rather like the image of Louboutin kicking himself - particularly if wearing a pair of his Hot Chicks!
  19. This perfume was reported recently, to be the most popular at this time (Early 2021.) Having had a few sniffs of it myself, I have found it pleasant, but not worth the price by some margin. I strongly suspect the real reason for the "popularity" is the design of the bottle the perfume is sold in. I bet Louboutin is kicking himself over it.
  20. I will wholly agree, online shopping doesn't suit everyone, and in some cases is the least desirable option. Sadly, the world is changing. Rents and rates have become exorbitant, especially when a town council is involved. Retail 'parks' or malls are becoming the norm for at least two reasons I can think of. For the retailer, potentially less expensive without what seems to be spiralling rents and rates in council run high street venues. Out of town parks or malls do not attract premium rates, nor premium rents. For the consumer, shopping in a covered space amongst a wide variety of retailers is much more comfortable than trudging around uncovered streets. Gone are the days of people getting wet while shopping, being an acceptable part of (say) food shopping. No longer. There is obviously a breaking point where footfall and sales don't support rent, rates, and staff costs - before profits are even considered. When House of Fraser, Debenhams, Mothercare and so many others can't make a profit in a bricks and mortar environment, it might not be because there is no demand for them, but there just isn't enough income to pay all the running costs which seems to ramp up every year too. I have priced up the cost of setting up a shop several times, and once, with two prospective business partners, priced up retail properties in Brighton. The costs of getting to the point of opening a shop, were frightening. I've a pal who opened a bar, and to get the front doors opened: £80k. Rent and rates to go on top. For thousands of years, 'retail' has been centralised in a town or village centre, so shoppers only went to the one location. Travel was difficult and time consuming. We now can travel easily and cheaply. Our tendency is to shop in bigger venues, because they have greater choice, and greater choice too, for food and refreshment. I suspect that these have had their best times too. INTU, a group that owns several large malls went into administration last June, two months into the first lockdown. Doubtless, others will follow. These management groups depend on rents to finance their business, and with shops closed - no rents. (And some of those shops may never open again either.) Conversely, someone starting in online retail (done that) is easy and very very cheap. Start-up costs are negligible beyond stock purchase, and if you can get a 30 day credit account with your supplier ..... You may never need to use your own money either. The times they are a changing, and I would agree, not necessarily for the consumer.
  21. For the avoidance of doubt, my career (and therefore the experiences recounted above) has been a white-collar one, spent in professional practice, manufacturing industry, small-scale retail/wholesale, financial services (in that order). I ended up, after my second redundancy, as a self-employed technical consultant for some 10 years before retiring. I cannot therefore speak in any detail about blue-collar 'manufacturing' activity as I was never a manager of such workers, apart from sharing in some very hands-on activity in the retail business (of which I was a part-owner). I will add only that ongoing training is (or should be) very important to all professional and technical people, as otherwise they cannot keep up to date with developments in their field. Indeed, 'continuous professional development' (the title varies) is invariably obligatory to retain a professional qualification, as I well know. Some of my time as both an employee and a consultant was spent in training others and in writing or editing technical matter for publication.
  22. I think it makes a difference. It would be churlish for me to suggest unskilled/semi-skilled or trades people have a completely different outlook, but there are marked differences. My take on a management role is that you strive to make yourself redundant in the general running of things. Training is important, to ensure those doing the work understand the demands, resources and tools needed and how to make them available to meet the challenge of the demands. Highly skilled, technical and professionals should not need training if they are paid to be in the positions they occupy. "Management" roles in those environs, is to do with managing resources from project to project as dictated by either the business or its owner. In the world of manual employees, which there is a significantly greater number, training and the lack of it is a serious problem. Both for the employee (who is usually rated by their performance in a job they have inadequate training for) and the employer who might waste time recruiting more than one person until someone who happens to arrive fully trained, is able to keep their position in the business. When everyone in the team is adequately trained, even in that environment a manager should not spend much time managing (interfering) in what would otherwise be a well run ship. In my experience, "managers" who repeatedly get 'involved' with workers, are people with little self-confidence which shows up in their work life.
  23. I still think that it is too easy to be black and white here. Yes, lockdowns aside, shopping in bricks-and-mortar shops is in decline for the good (or regrettable) reasons already stated. Many people do not have much of a choice because the right shops, if they exist at all, are not within easy reach. And this is quite apart from the greater choice and probable cost-saving of doing business with an establishment that is not conveniently local, unless one is lucky. Perhaps, as suggested, the 'online' trend is indeed reversing slightly because younger people no longer feel it is as 'cool' to do so? And other (mostly older) people - particularly those less computer-savvy or distrustful of online transactions - would return to the High Street if they could, mobility etc permitting. Both these categories also traditionally enjoy (or would like to enjoy) the socialising aspect that can come with a shopping trip and include refeshments, some sight-seeing or a cinema visit etc. Indeed, which activity drives the other - visiting London primarily to see the Tower or Buckingham Palace, or going to Oxford Street? I guess that, in the middle, there are the typically cash-rich, time-poor working people who find armchair shopping increasingly advantageous and whose socialising is largely at home, especially when children and babysitters are a limiting factor. My wife has sensitive eyesight and dislikes in-store shopping of any kind as she often finds the lighting uncomfortable. But, although she does buy all sorts of things online, she says she much prefers to buy things like clothes and shoes in-store, where she can see the colour, style and quality for herself - and of course try everything for size and fit. The same applies to much of the material and wool etc that she uses for her prolific sewing and knitting activity, where in-store browsing and careful selection can be critical. She recognises that her local choices are declining and wishes that the situation was otherwise - and I very much doubt that she is a lone voice in this wilderness. Maybe views here are tinged with the nature of our 'specialist' requirements. Male shopping for female footwear, at least, is not so easy or anonymous when done in-store - and online outlets for this are a boon. But that is but one constraint.
  24. I cannot say that I have ever been in a job where there was obvious, sustained and unchecked bullying. Indeed, I can think of very few situations where I have witnessed, or experienced, anything more than a relatively mild element of irregular and unjustified harassment or criticism; perhaps I have been lucky. But what I have often experienced is the so-called 'manager' (or someone given at least a supervisory or commanding position) who was barely capable and was regularly 'carried' by his or her staff. That is particularly true of those who have essentially man-management responsibilities over a raft of skilled (often very skilled) technical or professional people. A major sub-set of this group is the person who is judged (and in turn judges) by the length of time spent at a desk, rather than the volume or quality of the work actually done; such people are often over-promoted on perceived merit and 'dedication'. As a professional who was primarily carrying out technical work, I progressed from being the underling through to senior management without having (or needing) significant 'empire-building' man-management responsibilities - but (I hope) with awareness of the need to both lead by example and get the best from my colleagues. But there were always a few exalted beings above me who could demonstrate how not to behave and the limitations of their own expertise in our work. I well recall a situation in which I ran a self-contained section of a business that was nominally answerable to a manager elsewhere in what had become our parent company following an acquisition. He was a couple of years younger than me but we got on well enough and there was never any real disharmony. My work was largely technical and my qualifications, knowledge and ability in that regard were greater than his, which he recognised and rarely challenged. However, he liked to impose his authority and what he perceived as the Group philosophy from time to time and to spend (waste) his budget on a few fancies, usually of a dubious marketing nature. On one occasion, his idea for promoting a new product seemed to me to be ill-founded and unlikely to be cost-effective and I challenged his plans. Determined to have his way, his response was 'Well, it's my train set!' to which I felt obliged to reply 'When you have a little more maturity, you will recognise it as a model railway' - meaning that this was not something to be played with but treated as serious adult activity. He had the good grace to laugh but went ahead anyway (with my supporting best-efforts); the project was not a success and time and money was wasted. On another occasion, he failed to spot a serious (and fairly obvious) technical flaw in a proposed product variant, although accepted this when I explained it. Somewhat contrite, he said 'You must think I'm a complete c**t'. The only truthful answer I could give was to say 'Oh no, I'm sure there's a bit missing' - which (perhaps fortunately) went over his head. As you might guess, my position (and therefore my job) disappeared when a Group merger in turn merged my company's activity into the parallel activity managed by matey. So, he got complete control but it wasn't long before most of the combined activity was progressively dismantled or lost to competitors - and he moved on to greater things in the wider Group (as I already had elsewhere). Happy days - but since when did politics make for a successful and profitable business?
  25. Seems odd the supervisor would complain if your brother is supposed to answer the phone? I'll wait for your PM. Here's a thing though...... Everybody complains about the workplace and the people in it, often the supervision/managers. It might be part of "us", in that it's part of our nature and how we read things going on around us. Do we prefer living with the situation, or would we actually do something about it if given the chance? My experience suggests people mostly are inclined to suffer and vent. Which of course, changes nothing. I once worked for a fella who was fairly entrenched in the company. I was brought in to do a specific job, and (of course) I like to think I did it well. But this fella was a real pig to everyone (bar me) possibly because he was an a-hole first and a manager second. Not sure how long I lasted, I think under three months having proved I could do the job (and learned faster than expected) showing I could predict manufacturing requirements better than the sales or operations directors, but just couldn't work for this animal of a manager. I left, just as I went on holiday for a week. By the time I got back I regretted leaving, but the job had gone. Some years later, I rang the fella I was supposed to be replacing to ask if he would give me a reference for a job in a similar line - obviously in another company. He was happy to. He asked me if I'd heard what happened to the bully/animal manager? I responded 'no'. Seems everyone knew why I left, including the ops director (his boss). They weren't overly happy they'd got a trained replacement, only for them (me) to leave because of an unpleasant (unprofessional) manager. They gave the bully my job. He'd been in the company close to two years at that time. He just couldn't do it. Manufacturing planning isn't for everyone, and it certainly wasn't for him. After a production meeting where his ineptitude at his new role showed itself once again, he was given 10 minutes to clear his desk. (Boy, did I thank Karma for the visit.) Losing that job did put a dink in my self-confidence for a short while, but, you get back on the horse. My point really, is that sometimes self-sacrifice is necessary not just for you, but for the greater good. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was told about a situation where employees were being bullied by one manager, and three of her next tier supervisors. It was all there. Individuals getting ganged up on, favourites getting recommended for raises. I can't know this sort of stuff goes on without doing something about if the opportunity arises, and I'm not adverse to making an opportunity. In this instance, I made sure the top-banana got hold of a whistleblowing letter from me. I spoke to two people after that, one of whom told me they would ensure the matter was dealt with. The ringleader was let go the first chance the company had to get rid. The second left (seeing the writing on the wall). The third joined the ranks, and the fourth still has a job. The difference now, the last one in the group with supervisory powers is kept on a very short leash and EVERYONE in management knows about her. If there are any more redundancies, she will be first out the door - and she probably knows that too. In a highly competitive environment, bullying and harassment is probably a fact of life. ("If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".) But companies are aware of the power of social media, and the damage it can do to reputations. If I had a FB page back in the 1990's and told the story above about the fella I worked for, he likely would have been hauled up in front of his boss and been read the riot act or just fired. Same is true of my whistleblowing story, although others might have gone if the sources were known. (To this day, no-one involved is aware of what I did, nor anyone from the company who was involved with the letter and phone calls.) The take away from this is: Do nothing, and nothing changes. So something and things have to change. The challenge with the 'do something' option, is doing the right thing.
  26. That's an interesting point. I wonder if loans, credit cards and other financial support (parents) encourage spending? I have noticed, more and more online outlets are offering finance to help stimulate sales. "Buy now pay later." Or in my mind; buy now, pay twice as much later. With finance incredibly cheap at the moment, I wonder whether being seen to 'splash the cash' (someone elses cash) is an ingredient? Part of what I used to enjoy (and still the case actually) was/is the social aspect of walking around shops where it might be possible to meet friends and family out doing the same. One of the things I noticed when I looked at recent photo's of St Albans, was a large coffee shop/bar at the top of the high street , with tables and chairs outside. Something slightly Mediterranean going on where people with disposable income get to go out to a commercial hub and indulge in social activity too. I've seen it all over coastal Spain, but right next to a busy road with buses passing every couple of minutes? I suppose a social hub is a social hub, wherever it is.
  27. At the moment there is not always any one in the office. There is a phone on my brother;s work bench so that he can take messages from customers when no one answers the phone in the office. He has been told to answer the phone. The supvisor has two nephews also working in the factory. He does seem to get afew phone calls from family members. Why they cant ring him at breaktime on his own phone I dont know. I pm you the rest
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