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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 29 May 2013 (Wednesday) 15:51
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Have wedding guests ever ruined your pics?

 
Flores
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Jun 12, 2013 14:30 |  #46

awad wrote in post #16007801 (external link)
QUOTED IMAGE

had this guy at one of our weddings in may. luckily i was able to grab a few before he reached in with this fisheye. great.

croping that in tight would actually be a cool shot... :)




  
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Jun 12, 2013 23:07 |  #47

smorter wrote in post #16023604 (external link)
I'm sure you're a very nice guy, but you're so vehemently against the premise of what I have to say that it's impossible to have a constructive discussion with you. Your eagerness to condemn without considering the potential merits of opposing views (notwithstanding any gross generalisation factors) makes you blind to even the possibility that your former colleagues could do anything wrong.

"Oh but surely they had good reason to do.........."

No.

There is absolutely zero value in me saying anything further because you'll just zealously deconstruct and come up with some meaningless retort for every single line I write.

Just look at your responses - they are quote fests where you have literally tried to pick apart and analyse my entire post.

You're battling my opinion with over zealous rhetoric.

I'm sorry that I have offended you because you have clearly taken this personally

...I'm so sorry I can't see the merits in calling waiting staff names and blasting people because you didn't get a free meal. You want constructive discussion? When you post stuff like this:

However, there is NO situation I can think of where the waiter's need to deliver a crappy plate of food or to clear a dirty plate outweighs the need for the photographer to photograph the wedding. No situation.

It would be very easy to respond to this strawman with ad-hominens: in fact I was surely tempted, but I didn't. Go back and read what I wrote and I think my response was constructive. I'm all for a constructive conversation. But you've ignored every point I've made. You are clinging to your "opinions" that were formed by IMHO a complete misread on what happened to you a year ago. If you don't want the benefit of fresh eyes then its your loss, not mine.

And it ironic that you accuse me of spouting over zealous rhetoric when you were responsible for this post:

Respect is a two way street.

Waiters haven't got a clue - I don't know how many times they've cleared my plate before I've had a chance to eat. Nothing makes my blood boil more than slogging like a dog for hours, sweating so much that the camera strap starts running colour onto my white shirt, finally getting back to my table to grab a bit to eat, only to find the damn waiter has taken my unfinished plate.

Respect goes two ways - obviously they didn't mean to starve me, but the complete lack of understanding of how a photographer works doesn't show their co-vendors any respect or mutual cooperation.

Some of you may have noticed I always come in and defend Uncle Bobs whenever there's an Uncle Bob Hunting post in this forum - that hopefully shows that I'm not just some photographer who thinks he has some god given entitlement to work unobstructed on the wedding day. Hell I even have broken lenses and ripped clothes etc. in attempts to "be obscure" and a fly on the wall (long story...). But waiters are a different story. My hatred for waiters, or more specifically, head waiters who should know better, stems from one particular nightmare I had at a Wedding late last year.

I apologise for the excessive detail and whinge fest but at least you know I'm telling the truth with this excessive detail:

The Reception started at 7pm, with guests arriving from 6:30pm. Being an Asian couple, they wanted photos every every single guest, so I stayed in the lobby with them from 6:15pm photographing every single guest (over 200) who came through those doors. It was 8pm by the time I was done.

In all their infinite wisdom, the waiters decided to serve the Vendor table at 6:30pm, as the guests were arriving, so that they could be finished eating by the time the actual reception started . The food at the vendor table was shared plates.

So obviously by the time I got in there at 8pm, the Videographers, Band, MC, and god knows who else, had demolished the food to about a spoonful of cold fried rice and 1 prawn.

Being fully exhausted and hungry 12 hours into a 16 hour wedding, I was looking forward to a good feed, only to find I had a spoonful of cold fried rice to eat. Thanks.

They must have thought they were doing the photographers (2 of us) a favour, by serving us as guests were arriving. Utter stupidity, but an honest error. (For those who don't understand why it's a bad idea to serve Photographers before the guests, it's because:
- Photographers need to photograph during the guest arrivals
- It looks unprofessional stuffing one's face in a pristine eating area as guests arrive
- Photographers can't photograph during mains anyway, who here likes photos of themselves with food half in their mouth?

My ordeal was not over.

During the Mains I noticed that a lot of the guests had already left, so I asked a waiter if I could get one of the spare mains. It was already past 9:00pm by then and a lot of the guests had gone.

Idiot waiter #1 didn't get back to me. After 30min of politely waiting, I chased her up, and she told me that she would check (seemingly oblivious that I had asked her 30min ago)

Another 30min went by and she didn't get back to me. I moved onto Idiot Waiter #2.

Again, Idiot Waiter #2 didn't get back to me after 30min of politely waiting. I chased him up. This one at least apologised and checked promptly again, only to come back to me that the "food had run out"

WTF. Where did that spare food go? The crap that had not been served to the people who left early? Why not tell me that 2 hours earlier instead of wasting my time and making me starve for another 2 hours? Mind you, it was now 11:00pm and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

So I had had another 2 hours wasted by lying idiots, so I basically went to the back and gave the "head waiter" a blast, only for him to tell me that I should be blaming the caterers not him. Twat.

Whatever. I don't think I had ever been more angry at a wedding before. It's all about respect - I bend over backwards trying to avoid being a nuisance and a distraction. I study the other vendors carefully, the band, the MC, the videographers, the waiters and accommodate them all.

But despite all that, they aren't professional enough to avoid jerking one of their fellow vendors around.

Where was the respect there?

On reflection, 80% of waiters I've come across are professional and courteous. So I feel bad lumping them into the Waiter Hatred I'm spewing. But as with many things, the actions of a few tarnish the good work of thousands.

If we filtered out the rhetoric from your post: and you've told a story of how you missed out on the vendor meal and you later asked for but didn't receive a free meal. So you yelled at someone.

If you want to have a more enjoyable time at weddings you need to rethink your attitude to the people you work with. Stop thinking of them as idiots.

The guys that you are slagging off are working every bit as hard as you are to accomplish the identical goals as you. Not only that: but the guys you are slagging off are working their asses off for chump change. There is no easier target than low hanging fruit. If you quit slagging them off you will no longer have to put up with, as you put it, my "over zealous rhetoric."


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J600DPhoto
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Jun 12, 2013 23:36 |  #48

Smorter, the thread title caught my eye and I enjoyed the images shared inside of it. After digesting the entirety, I must admit you come off like a self righteous "diva" photographer.
FWIW, if you were working my wedding and you were disrespecting any other vendors, you'd be leaving early.

No clue who or how you are in your life or profession, but as a spectator in this thread and judging you by your own written word, you've painted yourself quite poorly and unprofessional.

My opinion is nothing, however, it may be worth noting since you feel like you're being nitpicked.


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Jun 12, 2013 23:44 |  #49

Feedback noted and I respect your right to your opinion. I don't believe I do act that poorly in real life, but nevertheless it is something to be vigilant about.


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Jun 12, 2013 23:48 |  #50

Like I said, I have no horse in this race. When it comes down to it, we are all imperfect and should strive for betterment.

Enjoy yourself, anyway, life is short and under valued. I wish you success, continued or new found.


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Jun 12, 2013 23:54 |  #51

banquetbear wrote in post #16026122 (external link)
If we filtered out the rhetoric from your post: and you've told a story of how you missed out on the vendor meal and you later asked for but didn't receive a free meal. So you yelled at someone.

Actually I was just using colourful descriptors, the story is better summarised as:
1. Waiters wasted 2 hours of my time in which I could have sent someone to go get Maccas for me (but instead they misled me with the allure of potentially getting a meal on the spot without disrupting coverage)
2. I gave some feedback to the Waiters

As if any self respecting Wedding Photographer would "yell" at anyone else on a Wedding day.

banquetbear wrote in post #16026122 (external link)
It would be very easy to respond to this strawman with ad-hominens: in fact I was surely tempted, but I didn't. Go back and read what I wrote and I think my response was constructive. I'm all for a constructive conversation. But you've ignored every point I've made.

I'm sorry I really did try to understand but I don't know what strawberrymans or ad-homogeneities are :(

I'm just a simple photographer.


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Jun 12, 2013 23:59 |  #52

banquetbear wrote in post #16023347 (external link)
Typical kitchen conversation:

CHEF: "I need a headcount on meals!"

SUPERVISOR: "100 pax on the floor Chef, but only 90 staying for main course."

CHEF: "How many staff?"

SUPERVISOR: "6, including me."

CHEF: "Thanks. Now F$%K off."

Those spare meals? There aren't any. They weren't cooked. The call to not cook those spare meals would have been made an hour before you put your hand up asking for one.

Now this is a strawberryman.

So you're telling me that not a single guest left (out of 200+) between the cooking of meals and service of meals? Are meals cooked in 1 second? Or is it conceivable that at least some guests left between when the cook had those conversations with the waiters?


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cdifoto
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Jun 13, 2013 01:30 |  #53

smorter wrote in post #16026246 (external link)
Now this is a strawberryman.

So you're telling me that not a single guest left (out of 200+) between the cooking of meals and service of meals? Are meals cooked in 1 second? Or is it conceivable that at least some guests left between when the cook had those conversations with the waiters?

It's incredibly absurd to assume someone...anyone...has left and there is a meal for you as a result. They could have made a sandwich for you but they were under no obligation to, especially if they perceived you were being a jerk to them. Plus, kitchens are hot, hectic, and stressful. They could have forgotten about you.

You should probably redirect your anger at your clients for not including you in the count. Maybe you were an ass to them too.


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banquetbear
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Jun 13, 2013 02:34 |  #54

smorter wrote in post #16026246 (external link)
Now this is a strawberryman.

So you're telling me that not a single guest left (out of 200+) between the cooking of meals and service of meals? Are meals cooked in 1 second? Or is it conceivable that at least some guests left between when the cook had those conversations with the waiters?

...welcome to the world of all the things you don't know go on behind the scenes.

For starters: the chef doesn't communicate with the waiters: there are clear lines of command. The waiters communicate with the head waiter/supervisor/mana​ger (we will just call them the supervisor to make it clear.) and the supervisor talks to the chef. So how does dinner service typically work?

These are NZ standard routines, Australia does a few things slightly differently. There are two types of plated dinner: no-choice plated and choice plated. The caterer works off the guaranteed number: this is the number the guest has agreed will be attending and is the number of meals that will be prepared for, along with a percentage of spare meals "just in case." Vegetarian meals and special dietary requirements are also "pre-ordered", and the vegetarian meal is often dairy free and lactose free to make it easier to be served to people with different requirements.

On the night of the event the supervisor allocates sections to each waiter: typically between 2 and 5 tables of ten per waiter. On a set no-choice plated the waiters get a head count and report it: on a set choice-menu they will take the order of each person and then gives it to the supervisor, who writes it all up on a whiteboard. Out of all the elements of service this is the most stressful. The kitchen need the numbers, the supervisor can't see whats happening on the floor, and sometimes staff take forever to get back in with the orders. The next phase of service doesn't happen until those numbers come in. Choice plated meals are infinitely more complicated than non-choice plated: and in Australia they often have an "alternate drop", the chef simply prepares equal quantities of "Beef and Chicken" and people get whatever goes in front of them.

CHEF: "I need a headcount on meals!"

SUPERVISOR: "100 pax on the floor Chef, but only 90 staying for main course."

CHEF: "How many staff?"

SUPERVISOR: "6, including me."

CHEF: "Thanks. Now F$%K off."

I didn't make that up. That is a typical conversation. Including the F word. Chef wants numbers and times: thats all the "kitchen machine" needs to function. Once it gets the numbers the machine starts working. Start throwing new numbers at the machine and the machine stops working properly. They don't need any other detail. The machine is a hot, sweaty, and testy environment. There is very little unnecessary chatter.

Here is a not very exciting video of behind the scenes on a banquet line. (external link) Chef takes the number I mentioned, adds on the front of house staff figure, adds on the back of house staff figure, then adds on a percentage of extra meals to be safe, and starts preparing that amount of meals. (Giving staff meals from the line is not a universal practice, I've only mentioned it here for the sake of an example.)

So the meals get fired down the line, like the video I've linked to. As everyone gets a meal, the supervisor gets a report back on how many meals are left: "CHEF: TWO TABLES LEFT, 12 COVERS." Chef prepares 12 more meals, then waits to see that all meals have been served. The supervisor checks every table to make sure everyone has a meal. They return to the kitchen: offer a thumbs up, and the chef throws the remaining unplated meals back into the sham and sends it to the staff room.

At this stage you are looking around the room and you see the empty seats, and assume there are spare meals. You ask a waiter if it is possible for you to get a meal. Now the waiter has been allocated a section: there responsibilities are to that section: their brains are wired to look after their section. After delivery of main course their section has not had a waiter in it for maybe twenty minutes? (Well, not if I was in charge of the dinner of course, I run my dinners a bit differently) So the waiter is now running around topping up wines and exchanging meals and fighting fires and the photographer asks them politely for a spare meal. Now the waiter has to prioritize. There is no excuse for forgetting about you. But hey: she forgot about you. So you asked again.

Remember that chain of command I told you about? The waiter can't simply go out the back and grab you a meal. She can't ask the chef if you can give you a meal. She goes to the supervisor and tells him that you have asked for a meal. If the supervisor is busy (and busy can mean everything from sorting out a flood in the kitchen to escorting drunk guests out the door) you aren't going to be a priority. So you flag down another waiter.

The second waiter reports the situation, and also reports that you have already asked for a meal and hadn't had a response. In the supervisors mental task list you get escalated. You need to be dealt to. Now what does the supervisor know? There was a vendor meal earlier in the day. He doesn't know you didn't eat from it. So you want an extra meal. Who's going to pay for it? So he goes and asks the client. The client says no: don't serve him. The supervisor goes "crap." Thinks to himself, okay, I'll serve him in the kitchen, no harm, no foul, as long as the client doesn't see him eating all will be good. Walks out to the staff room and the sham is surrounded by the security team munching away on the meals. "Crap." How many meals are left? Just enough to feed the supervisor and his team. "Crap."

Now is this what happened to you? I wouldn't have a clue. All you remember is your interactions with a couple of waiters. You didn't see what happened behind the scenes: the running around trying to sort something out for a contractor that they have no obligation to feed but they try to anyway. And you thanked them with a lecture.

But the above has happened to me almost exactly. Banquets are an intricate chaotic dance: a literal chain that threatens to break apart at any minute if any of the links were to weaken. Its not a zero sum game. Just because you see empty seats doesn't mean there is a meal sitting around somewhere for that empty seat. That meal got swallowed up in the storm that is a typical night. What I described above was essentially what happened on the night the DJ abused me for treating him "like the help" when I gave him my staff meal and served him out the back.

When I was on the floor managing an event my brain was constantly at work as things were constantly threatening to blow apart. Its controlled chaos. You guys never see it. You see the illusion. It was the most satisfying time of my life which is why I enjoyed writing this so much. But it was also incredibly stressful and after fifteen years working at the highest levels it was time for a change. Compared to running a dinner photography for me is easy. Checklist my gear. Get there bright and early. Exposure, composition, trust my gut, direct them at formals, offer outstanding service, capture candid moments. Thats pretty much my formula. Much less potential for failure. Problems easily fixed if you are prepared.

So long story short and I'll be polite as possible: you don't really understand what is going on in that kitchen. As I mentioned before: its not a zero sum game. I hope I answered your question: if you require further clarification please feel free to ask.


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Jun 13, 2013 03:23 |  #55

cdifoto wrote in post #16026411 (external link)
It's incredibly absurd to assume someone...anyone...has left and there is a meal for you as a result. They could have made a sandwich for you but they were under no obligation to, especially if they perceived you were being a jerk to them. Plus, kitchens are hot, hectic, and stressful. They could have forgotten about you.

You should probably redirect your anger at your clients for not including you in the count. Maybe you were an ass to them too.

Nowhere in this thread have I disparaged or criticised any other poster - my comments were entirely directed at faceless, unknown waiters at Weddings I've photographed at.

And yet you're happy and content to label me a "jerk" and an "ass" based on my own stories that I'm telling. It's quite saddening.

Who's the real "ass"?

FWIW I was contracted a plated meal which never came. So yes, there was an obligation. Before you rush to defend the people in my story, the venue was so unprofessional that they had their venue photographer come in during the middle of my coverage, and start photographing guests and then printing those photos and selling them to the guests - right under my nose - without the consent of the couple. I don't sell prints so I don't care - but to have some dork come in and take crappy direct flash photos, and then SELL them to guests on the spot...even I was sickened at how this money grab reflected on both the couple and myself.

So don't lecture me about professionalism and defend them like they are holier than thou professionals.

P.S. Thanks for your DPP upload, it's come in useful many times. Other than that I have lost respect for you, someone whom I previously admired for your candour and common sense.


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Jun 13, 2013 03:38 |  #56

smorter wrote in post #16026526 (external link)
FWIW I was contracted a plated meal which never came.

...then when you didn't get a plated meal you needed to go to your client and get them to sort it out. Of course if you were included in the head count: why on earth were you contemplating sending someone to McDonalds to get you food? Why would you expect to get fed twice?


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Jun 13, 2013 03:42 |  #57

banquetbear wrote in post #16026490 (external link)
So long story short and I'll be polite as possible: you don't really understand what is going on in that kitchen. As I mentioned before: its not a zero sum game. I hope I answered your question: if you require further clarification please feel free to ask.

I'm sorry but I'm lost reading your life story about how you have:
- worked for the President
- served the Queen
- seen someone die in a kitchen
- managed a team of XXXX people
- Worked for many rockstars and celebrities

The message I get is that you project your own professionalism onto everyone in your former industry, and you cannot take even a single bad word against them. Your mind cannot even perceive or consider the remote possibility that they were in fact incompetent or unprofessional

I have a background in the armed forces, but I don't jump into any thread where the military is being bagged defending them like they are Medal winning heroes. There are absolute heroes in the military but there are also some who did not deserve to wear the Uniform. If someone started bagging soldiers as trigger happy lunatics based on their personal experience, who am I to go in and direct personal insults at their credibility without knowing the exact situation? I can defend the military as a whole, and what we stand for, but I would take the poster's personal account at face value (especially given he has 4000+ posts and has been around for a while), and offer perhaps plausible tactical reasons why the soldiers acted as they did. But I will be there condemning them if their behaviour warranted it.

I would never attack the poster as you have done so zealously, calling me "arrogant", "rubbish", "show some respect" in your very first posting.


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Jun 13, 2013 03:49 |  #58

banquetbear wrote in post #16026534 (external link)
...then when you didn't get a plated meal you needed to go to your client and get them to sort it out. Of course if you were included in the head count: why on earth were you contemplating sending someone to McDonalds to get you food? Why would you expect to get fed twice?

And this sums up why I should not even be arguing with you - because you don't understand the mindset of a Wedding Photographer.

NO Wedding Photographer I know is selfish enough to disrupt a client's special day, and add yet another stress to their already busy day, over a missing meal.

I would never dream to make myself a liability to my client...even if it comes at the cost of my meal. And in any case, you've missed the point - it's not the $20 meal that matters, it's the uselessness of the Waiters in jerking me around when I could have just got my assistant to go to McDonalds for me and saved everyone stress.

Your mindset is selfish - you view the day as revolving around process, and procedure, and a regimented order that makes life easy for waiters. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way, and whilst on one hand you preach to me about the need to respect other vendors, by writing that above statement, you yourself do not have a clue what servicing a Bride and Groom is all about.

I would never have the audacity to go bother the Bride and Groom over a stupid missing meal. They entrust me to photograph their precious moments - who am I to bother the with such trivial rubbish.

Feeding me is the venue's job.

Based on that statement, clearly you would put your needs above the couples - so don't lecture me about professionalism.


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Jun 13, 2013 03:58 |  #59

smorter wrote in post #16026538 (external link)
I'm sorry but I'm lost reading your life story about how you have:
- worked for the President
- served the Queen
- seen someone die in a kitchen
- managed a team of XXXX people
- Worked for many rockstars and celebrities

The message I get is that you project your own professionalism onto everyone in your former industry, and you cannot take even a single bad word against them. Your mind cannot even perceive or consider the remote possibility that they were in fact incompetent or unprofessional

I have a background in the armed forces, but I don't jump into any thread where the military is being bagged defending them like they are Medal winning heroes. There are absolute heroes in the military but there are also some who did not deserve to wear the Uniform. If someone started bagging soldiers as trigger happy lunatics based on their personal experience, who am I to go in and direct personal insults at their credibility without knowing the exact situation? I can defend the military as a whole, and what we stand for, but I would take the poster's personal account at face value (especially given he has 4000+ posts and has been around for a while), and offer perhaps plausible tactical reasons why the soldiers acted as they did. But I will be there condemning them if their behaviour warranted it.

I would never attack the poster as you have done so zealously, calling me "arrogant", "rubbish", "show some respect" in your very first posting.

Here was my very first posting:

...and as a former waiter do you know who really used to annoy me? Bloody Photographers. Back in the film days they always wanted me to turn the lights up and ruin the ambience of the room. And they are always running late: do you know how hard it is to hold a steak medium rare in an alto sham for any length of time?

Waiters and photographers in the eyes of the client are exactly the same thing: people who have been paid to do a job for them. Sometimes waiters will get in the shot of the photographer or the videographer. And sometimes photographers have no situational awareness and place their gear in front of fire exits or they lack the common courtesy to tell the venue that he's gonna need another hour to get through his shot list. I can off the top of my head think of three very good reasons why the waiter would have chosen that particular time to go through that particular door to get that particular plate: and all of them have to do with offering your client the service he was being paid to do.

Nope. I didn't call you "arrogant". Didn't use the word "rubbish". Didn't say "show some respect." Did you mean my second posting? Because...

Its this kind of arrogant attitude that gives photographers a bad name.

I didn't call you arrogant. I said the attitude in your post was arrogant. Here was the post:

you wrote:
What waiters don't understand is that the couple don't even have time to eat at weddings, nobody gives a rats bum if the food is 5 minutes late. Half the guests don't even touch the dessert. People are there for the couple, and the event, not the food.

The attitude, in that post, was arrogant.

Did I say rubbish in my second post? Yep. it was in response to this:

you wrote:
- Needing 1 hour more for photos: puh-lease - who cares if the waiters have to wait 1 hour, that's what they're paid to do - to be there. And food getting cold is no excuse as the guests still arrive at the same time, so the dinner goes ahead at the same time.

Everything about that post was rubbish. I then took the time to explain to you why its rubbish. I DIDN'T CALL YOU RUBBISH.

Did I say "show some respect?" Nope. I said:

Have some respect for the people you work with and then maybe you will find they start respecting you.

Again: this was not an attack on you. I choose my word carefully. I don't claim that my industry is perfect. But I'm not the one who is calling all waiters stupid. Take some ownership of your words.


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Jun 13, 2013 04:04 |  #60

banquetbear wrote in post #16026552 (external link)
Everything about that post was rubbish. I then took the time to explain to you why its rubbish. I DIDN'T CALL YOU RUBBISH.

Here's an analogy:

"Everything about that post was pedophilic. I then took the time to explain to you why its pedophilic. I DIDN'T CALL YOU A PEDOPHILE."

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Gee, thanks.


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