Saturday, 4 August 2012

First day

The first day of "work" started disastrously by having to wait half an hour, for a taxi that had already been to pick me up once before. Still the excuse I am given is "I didn't know where the site was". Suspicious much? Supported by the fact that upon arrival I was met by the news, all but one of the other girls were equally as late. Not only that but they were all given the same lame excuse. The only girl on time being Margaret as she gave up waiting and made her own way there. I honestly don't blame her as she was supposed to be picked up by the same taxi as myself, from this I have the knowledge that it only arrived there at 10:25 am. Work was supposed to start at 10:00 am. This raises the question, how could she, along with all of the girls have possibly made it to the factory on time? The first of many, not so subtle, dramatised set ups.
When all of the girls had arrived we were made to line up against the wall like the Primary children Miss Madine assumes us to be. While Leanne takes the opportunity to have a good laugh at the girls' expense, simply because they have a can of Red Bull, and some of their style choices aren't what she deems appropriate for a first day of work. Firstly, I would like to question the humorous aspects of drinking a can of Red Bull early in the morning. I know many teenagers, Travellers and Gorjers a-like that drink it as a pick me up, it is an energy so therefore it is serving its purpose. Secondly, I would like to point out that each and every girl received a phone call from the film crew, requesting them to dress their best for their first day of work. Only the girls that hadn't been in a place of work before listened to their vague dress code. I for one thought it pretty cruel of them, it is uncomfortable enough feeling out of place, on your first day of work without the dreaded feeling of being overdressed.
Once the floor had been set up into the crews' liking, we were positioned, repositioned, and then repositioned again. The staff took turns introducing themselves and what they do before Thelma took her turn to step up. One of the first things to leave her lips was none of the colleges in the area will let us take up a course or attend the college because "...you are Travellers and no one trusts you...". Clearly a lovely nugget of inaccurate gold to pass on to your newly hired "apprentices". She then went on to remind us of the rules and various other information. Immediately taking this opportunity to alienate me by saying I am the most "experienced" and most "educated", being neither subtle or phrasing it softly. As if that wasn't enough she carried on by announcing I would be working on corsets with Yan-Lee. Soon after which she just dismissed the other girls by reason of she hadn't given any thought yet as to which area they would be working in.
Lunchtime arrived and it was clear that Leanne wanted nothing to do with us and didn't want any of the other staff interacting with us either, so she plotted for them all to eat in her design room, with clear disregard for Thelma's rules. Thelma gave merely one attempt to reestablish her authority over her own rule-breaking employees but it was clear she had no control over them, in the coming weeks it became apparent as to why.
Thelma Madine was barely ever at the factory, when she was there she would hide out in the kitchen or the office and not let any of the girls near her unless the cameras were there at the ready. During my ten weeks there I saw Thelma on a sewing machine once for all of five minutes. This was to show Victoria how to do a straight stitch on a piece of scrap material.In fact I was told straight from the horses mouth after I put a zip into a pencil skirt "I can't even put zips in". I didn't learn a thing from her, I was actually put to work on the customers' wedding dresses within a few weeks. The few things I did learn on the "course" I learnt from Thelma's unappreciated workers: Yan-Lee, Stacey, Doll, and Marta. All of whom are of other nationalities, and I got along with them better than most of the other people in that factory where as I didn't see one ounce of respect from Thelma towards them. I would love to know how from this it is Gypsies & Travellers that are "racist" to people that "can't speak English".

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this blog, I have been watching the programme and become increasingly uncomfortable with it. You are not only a talented dressmaker but also an extremely articulate and persuasive writer. I was rooting for you from the first episode and it sounds as though the outcome is very much Thelma's loss, rather than yours. I'm glad you are getting so much internet support; it shows that people can see - even before they are aware of this blog - what is really going on. Your blog has only served to clarify matters.

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    1. No problem :) and thank you so much >.< i hope it does calrify matters, you have no idea how much lol xx

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  2. Hi Bridget, I couldn't agree with Moss more as I was also rooting for you. I watched the programme and was horrified with the way you were treated. I could also tell that things were not as they seemed on the programme. Thanks for posting this on your blog as although I was sure you would be fine after the lat episode you were it, it is nice to hear from you. Good on you Bridget, you came across lovely, self assured and a nice girl :- ). Regards, Teresa xx

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    1. Thank you so much and it's great to hear your response :) xx

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  3. hey Bridget, well done for speaking out about the show. on the show your beauty, intellect, maturity was so apparent. i wish the best of luck in the future in what ever you chose to do

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    1. hey, thank you for your kind comments :) and i wish you luck to ^.^ xx

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  4. Hi Bridget,I am a traveller Man and parent of 2 little Gals,and I would be proud if they turn out like you and have the respect you have for yourself and your true Romany English Family,you didn't dress like a din and show yourself up,I hope and prey we are related somewhere,Best wishes for the future.....

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    1. hey glenn, i am so happy that you think that! im in shock though lol and you never know we might be knowin travellers hahaha best wishes to you to :) xx

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  5. I was pulling from you from the start and was sad to see you leave. You have so much potential, I hope you do go back to college and continue bettering yourself.

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    1. thank you :) and i hope i do to haha :D xx

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  6. Your portrayed yourself Fabulously! I'm so so glad that you have left that show behind with your dignity intact! More than i can say for Thelma, who's priority's are in the wrong place!....
    Anyone with a brain can see this whole show is about her trying to look good to the gypsy folk who pay for her fabulous house/life would you have guessed!
    And the only reason she had that Margaret stay at her house was to show every one what a big lavish house she has! 'look at me, look at me, Im better than all of you' is what she should have said!
    You will go far in life Bridget, Also your an Amazing writer!
    Good luck to you.
    Tan xx

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    1. thank you so much and i'm so glad you have seen right through that terrible show! :D thanks again, good luck to you to :) xx

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  7. bridget i can go to thelmas shop to have work experience as part of my collage course but i do not want to go now because of the things she said about you i really admired thelma but the way she has been calling you names it is very imature and cruel your only a young girl she should know better .you are a lovely girl and you were terribly bullied and i hate bullys when margaret said that you thought you were better than them they were jelouse of you i hope you do very well for yourself

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    1. i won't tell you not to go because it's your career and your own path to choose but i'm deffinately sure that you could find a much better and much more rewarding place to go than there. Thank you for your lovely comments btw :) i wish you luck in your future, let me know how your course goes <3 xx

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  8. bridget im thinking of starting a blog of my own, i dont know anyone who does a blog and wondred if you could give me afew tips on how to get started and show me what sites i could do it in. could you email me Lilmisstaniss@live.co.uk

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    1. i'm really new to it to, i just used blog spot because people recommended it to me but if i think of anything i'll be sure to e-mail you :) xx

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  9. Really interesting to read your blog and hear it from your perspective, especially as it is hard to get the picture from watching 6 months squashed into 6 or so hour long shows. Best of luck in the future!

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