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FastFreddy2

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FastFreddy2 last won the day on October 31 2020

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About FastFreddy2

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    Somewhere over a rainbow
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Does someone read this forum? Daily Mail - today. The rapidly changing face of the High Street: These 30 leading retailers went bust, changed hands, moved online or disappeared for good in 2020.
  12. Perhaps I had. I'm going to suggest that 'women of certain age' or those with physical attributes many would not find attractive (ie overweight) may well enjoy the intimacy of a small retail outlet, but I rather fancy they don't. Mrs Freddy, now two dress sizes larger than she was when we did that walk in a church, doesn't any longer do 'dress up' in a shop, and hasn't for more than ten years. Although I don't think she needs to be, she (and many like her) are embarrassed about their shape and would not try on clothing anywhere someone else could see them. Marks and Sparks used to be (30 years ago) front runners in the returns initiative. Sure others might allow returns, but M+S was a leader in allowing returns up to a month after purchase. (Asda now has 100 days.) But not every outlet did/does. 'SELECT' I suspect went to the wall because you had two weeks for returns, and got a credit note. Online returns forced them to do refunds of course. So my 'local' experience suggests the Evans customer is much happier buying online. More discreet. The one product this should not have happened to of course, shoe purchases. In a shop, it's possible to try 20 styles in a very short space of time, and assess if any will actually fit. Online shopping and returns can be delivered free, and returned free. (Well done ASOS.) But having had some recent experience of doing this, I can attest it's not without drawbacks. I currently have something like 12 pairs here 'bought' to try with a view to keeping. (Wrong side of £400 I don't mind telling you.) All but two pairs (maybe three) going back. That said, I doubt I would have been inclined to try them all in the shop - even if it were possible. I think the 12 pairs are from 4 different stores, none of which have bricks and mortar stores. If only I liked M+S shoes, easy job shopping for footwear. (Assuming the stores were open of course.)
  13. I think you might be a little out of touch with the buying public. Bricks and mortar shops for niche markets are a thing of the past. Mail order has been picking up speed and girth for more than 10 years. As I said, Top Shop can't survive on shop sales, and some of the reason it went into administration, was it's lack of online services. Basically, it wasn't up to the job. Why is someone going to go into an Evans store to buy clothing or shoes, when something at less than half the price (often a third) can either be picked up during the weekly shop (Asda/Tesco) or sent from ASOS directly to someones house for free? Aside from people basically being lazy, who has the time to go to a store for clothes shopping when it can all be done online? It's true your preference was to go to a store, but as you found even a big chain like Next doesn't carry all styles and all sizes. Using the mail option was painless, by your own admission. How many times do you think a shopper will find themselves using the same route, before that route (mail order) becomes the regular way for them to shop? You know too, parking charges and parking restrictions in most towns make personal visits to some malls is pretty onerous these days. (Avoid Reading at all costs!) From about the age of 16, I used to visit a town called St Albans, quite a famous place historically speaking. A market town with a Cathedral. VERY expensive place to live, once second only to London. It had everything except maybe a large department store, which given the look of the high street, would have been very inappropriate. I literally can't remember the last time I went there, 5-7 years perhaps? Horrible place to drive to. Difficult parking, and not cheap to park either. When I first used to visit, the footfall of the place was so high, you could have opened any shop and done well. The place was always busy/bustling. Not any longer. One of the last times I remember driving through the high street, there were empty units I think now taken over by, of all retailers, Poundland. (How the mighty fall.) A quick check for Evans in St Albans reveals the concession used to be inside BHS..... The nearest next store, Borehamwood, inside Tesco's..... Mail order for anything not sold in supermarkets or (expensive) malls, and the demise of the high street shop due to high rents and rates, is just about written in stone. Evans was always going to be a casualty as shopping habits have changed. If large internationals like Top Shop can't survive in bricks and mortar retail locations with them largely servicing a demographic with mostly disposable income, niche shops like Evans didn't and don't have a snowflake in hell's chance of survival in the high street.
  14. I suspect that many larger women (and men) are uncomfortable shopping in places where physical attributes are linked to the type of clothing or goods sold. Of course the other side of that is there are significantly more obese people around than there used to be. Maybe true of taller people I would think, though probably considerably less so. The upshot to the growth in 'oversize' customers, is that may more general outlets will have sizes that compete with Evans, and have modern styling. I have seen sizes of 20 and 22 in Asda for example. Keeping of larger sizes by online outlets who can buy smaller quantities and keep them in one place, has benefits unlike high street outlets that must buy in larger numbers to keep stocks in bricks and mortar stores. Basically, online selling of larger sizes is a more efficient and probably a more attractive way to retail them for the customer. We need to look no further than ASOS for hard evidence of this. Small wonder then, the City Chic Collective have no interest in the stores. If Top Shop can't make enough money selling to the young using high street shops, Evans had no chance with a significantly smaller customer base. And one constantly eroded by supermarket competition. High street retail moves on ..... Or in this case, moves out .....
  15. In other previous lifes, I have been a shop steward (car factory) and a staff rep (another manufacturing company). Feel free to contact me via the messaging system if you want a more personalised reply, as there is no mention to the company and its make up. (No mention of how supervisor fits into the management structure; if there is HR (unlikely these days); if this is a multi-national; etc.) Your brother appears to be suffering from a bullying supervisor. This is difficult because there is precious little to no legal definition for that. Harassment however, less difficult and doesn't require the person being harassed to make a complaint. Harassment in the workplace can be a prosecutable offence. (Racist, homophobic, and derogatory slurs based on physical or mental handicaps, being typical causes for prosecution.) Smaller companies, with smaller groups of employees are difficult ensure respect and tolerance is shown to all employees. This is especially true where managers or supervisors have no professional training for that role. There is a feeling amongst workers, that anyone can be a manager, and sadly that just isn't true. Most people have less than perfect personalities, and when those imperfections are allowed to run in a management role, it's possible for someone who otherwise seems like a decent person, to become a complete arsehole. Without knowing further detail, it sounds to me like the supervisor is trying to make your brothers life uncomfortable in the workplace, and encourage him to leave. Sadly, you must assume this is the case, and work on the expectation some effort might be used to bring this about. Your best hope in the long term, is a claim for "constructive dismissal" (if he is forced out of his job and leaves) or "unfair dismissal". This is where you might be able to claim some compensation for loss of employment. The very first thing you must do is to keep a diary of what happens, and when. Get yourself an A4 diary, and write down everything you can, about each work day. Write down facts, and outcomes. This may become the only 'hard' evidence you can use in a claim. On the upside, the supervisor will not be keeping a similar diary, so in terms of what happened and when, you will have the upper hand. There are no circumstances where you becoming incensed would be justifiable in a review situation, either with the company concerned or third party ombudsman. If you or you brother do get upset - either angry or tearful - these events must be included in your diary to reflect honesty of your reporting. It might be you have a diary for each of you if there is a need. (Again, not enough detail to indicate if this might be the case.) Remember that aggression shown to a supervisor, might well be a reason for dismissal. If the company want that, best not to play into their hands. If there are performance issues, requesting training both formally (if there is a company scheme) or informally and should be done with witnesses. If equipment used for cleaning is faulty or unreliable, the same is true. One of the biggest defences for employers in being letting staff go through poor performance, is "no one mentioned there was a problem". This is often the case when employees are swamped with work they have no chance of completing. Maybe not the case here, but managers don't know employees are 'swamped' unless it is mentioned. Again, if it is mentioned, "I need help" write it up in the diary, and the response. During these difficult times, many companies are and will continue to go to the wall. On their wind down, many individuals may be pushed out of the business in cost cutting exercise. Encouraging people to leave of their own accord is better than sacking and better than redundancies, especially if the job isn't going to go but they plan to bring someone cheaper in. Inefficiency (if there is any) is harder to hide or disguise in smaller companies. "Favourites" are also a problem there too, as there is less accountability to higher management, if indeed there is any accountability at all. If I suggest the term "fighting for his job", I am in no way suggesting you or he actually start or infer a fight might be in the offering. But these days no-one has a job for life, and even with us leaving the EU, there are still plenty of people around looking for work and likely willing to do the same work as you for less remuneration. It's important you don't provide anyone with a reason to want to dismiss you or your brother. Following on from that, I am concerned about the 'them and us' situation. Not sure why the others congregate in the supervisors office (even if there's room to social distance - which I doubt) and you three don't. I can guess why, but that itself suggests poor working relationships exist aside from anything personal. I hope you are able to interact with the factory workers and drivers in an amiable way. If there are disfavourable comments made by other workers at the company, who said what and when, must also go in the diary. This is especially true if those comments are made in front of the supervisor. This will not look good for him in an assessment situation because if he hasn't pulled up the person making the remark, he has by default, condoned the remark. In short: Do what you can to be efficient and sociable at work. Identify problems to your efficiency if there are any. Ask for training if it will make you more efficient. Any problems, voice them, but never get angry, never be insulting. Always be respectful, even if others aren't. Don't provide opportunities for criticism. Don't provide opportunities for dismissal. Keep an accurate diary of events in the workplace. Be factual. Be balanced. Don't involve opinions - facts only. P.S. Don't pick up other people's phone calls unless expressly told to do so. This invites problems mostly to do with privacy, or what looks like in this case, personal calls taken on company phone lines. (Though on a gossip level, I'd be interested to know why the supervisors girlfriends sister is phoning him at work.)
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