The Chase

I did a happy ending version of my depressing 99 word entry I submitted yesterday.

Have to start somewhere with the “fun bit” @ calmkate 😉

The challenge:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

 

The Chase

 

 

working-template-for-ff-challenges44CHASE

 

In the stillness, a sudden noise from the horns of a train erupted in the tunnel, followed by a blinding light. Out came the man running for his life. About 20 meters into the tunnel he had second thoughts that were immediately confirmed by an oncoming train chasing the man back out of the tunnel.
But his case was gone already, while his life was found again. Exhausted, he sat by the side of the tracks, feeling the guilt of almost having involved an innocent train driver into an involuntary act. New hope and the chase for life began.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

 

Quote of the Day #34 – Pret A Unhappy + extra Quote on the House!

 

“You are of course right, hiring happy people is only a part of the solution. If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently).”

boss-and-lazy-clerk1
My response: I lost my brother and in my bereavement was NOT asked “gently” what’s up, and even though I have and had a proven track record how good I was at my job, I was bullied, targeted, tricked and trapped by line managers and their bosses with the “blessing” of Pret’s HR dept. during bereavement to get me out. I was ultimately fired while my father was in intensive care, just out of a coma.

My constantly approaching Pret and HR since May 2015 until fired in Dec 2017 with suggestions and ideas on how to support bereaved employees as well as improving work conditions fell on stony ground. I turned into ill behaviour and even then was tricked and trapped. In hindsight I understand now what happened to me. But at the time I was so naive thinking they just don’t get me or are too clumsy. Nopes, this was and is systemic to maximize profits and get rid of anyone who seems an inconvenience to them. Anyone who does not fall into (their) line, needs to be pushed out.

I have survived to tell my story as “gently” as possible, collecting and compiling all these reviews from other sites and am waiting which PR stunt, trick and trap or whatever Pret will come up with, to talk themselves out of this one! Silence works, too. Will see. I’m not going anywhere @ Pret, and I will never be silent again.

 

Quote of the Day “on the house”:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Anne Lamott

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

The Case

Okay, this is my first challenge I am participating in with the kind encouragement of fellow blogger calmkate via her own 99 words entry. I hope I got it right.

The challenge:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

 

 

working-template-for-ff-challenges44

 

My 99 word entry:

The Case

————————————————————————

This is the case of a man who walks the tracks, burdened with a bundle that life over time has loaded on his shoulders. He loves the stillness and the protective feel of the walls. He carries his suitcase and the load on his shoulders as he reaches the threshold of a tunnel, not the light at the end of the tunnel, but the darkness at the end of his life. He leaves his case on the tracks as he doesn’t need it anymore and walks into the tunnel. This is the case of a man who once lived.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

The Cost of Systemic Workplace Bullying – 2

 

As I tend to not want to waste time as life is short and no-one is guaranteed another second on this earth, I went straight into the ultimate cost of systemic workplace bullying in my first post, the cost of life. Death by suicide.

In this second post I want to highlight a precursor to suicide: mental health, mental illness in all its forms.

What bullying does to mental health and how I am experiencing it in my struggle to recover is very simple.

 

pexels-photo-278303

 

Systemic bullying sends a distorted and twisted message to the mind.

In a nutshell, if you are in a room with 10 people and 1 person is treating you disrespectfully or attacks you, while 9 people treat you kindly and respectfully, you think to yourself ‘What’s wrong with that person?’

If you are in a room with ten people and 1 person is treating you respectfully and kind, while 9 people treat you with contempt, disrespectfully, attack or exclude you, you think to yourself ‘What’s wrong with me?’

That is what systemic bullying does to the mind and mental health.

Systemic bullying from a group is like democracy gone wrong!

It is not always the majority that is right! It is the majority that is set up of individuals who have their own set of “values”. They have little to no values and principles that are universal and that robs them of courage, blinding them to opportunities to make a positive, and sometimes even life-saving difference.

 

pexels-photo-568021

 

One of my favourite poems by Emily Dickinson, which I interpret in my own way and a favourite poem in general, always reminds me to chose my crowd carefully:

 

The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone — 

 --- Emily Dickinson

 

I choose my society based on the values that I have. And if a majority chooses to bully an individual or a certain people group, then there is something wrong at the foundation of the values and principles of that majority.

If a company does not have a clear zero tolerance on workplace bullying, than I question the foundation on which this company builds their “values” on.

Mental illness is the cost of systemic bullying and is the precursor to suicide.

Is this really the legacy and the cost a company is willing to have on their record, as I believe things will always come to light sooner or later, unless it is dealt with from the root at top levels.

 

Bullying at work

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #33 – Red A Manager

 

fist-blow-power-wrestling-163431

 

 

Quote of the Day:

“Please have the staff send feedback more often about working within the company. Especially about the managers that come externally, as most of the time, their personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

Good suggestion, but unfortunately this would be a waste of energy and time because this type of management is calculated and wanted in Pret BECAUSE of business. Take it from me, I wrote my fingers into a carpal tunnel and spoke my tongue into a swollen slab, with bringing suggestion after suggestion to just hit a brick wall of indifference and stubbornness. The slogans and messages that “Pret is a family” like the CEO said straight after Brexit happened, is just PR to try and keep a work”force” in place that is in reality not a family of course, but like the military where they have to function like machines. Whoever doesn’t survive or is too “weak” will be discarded.

The “family” talk had me fooled for years as well breaking my head trying to understand why Pret is not doing anything about the poor management in shops. Ha Ha, Pret IS behind this poor management. “Good for business” is the only goal in Pret, as I came to wake up more and more after thinking for too long that they are just clumsy or incapable.

Military pexels-photo-279991

Last year when I still worked in Pret I was on my lunch break during a shift in my shop one afternoon, when a Manager In Training (MIT) joined me for lunch who just came back from his training day in HQ. He was looking at his training manual at the part of the “The Four Insights Discovery Colour Energies” that Pret teaches and implements for their managers and which is briefly touched on in Team Leader training courses as well.

Remember, the red, yellow, green, blue in personality and management styles? The MIT casually looked at this page while eating and we started chatting when I asked him how the training is going and if it was good, anything interesting he learned etc. We just had some small talk. I always ask people how it’s going whatever they are doing at that point as I love learning about them.

When I saw the page with the colours, I asked him what he discovered his main colour is. He explained what his colour is and I was perplexed, because he said that his colour is red. I responded surprised and said that I thought his colour was more like a mix of green and yellow, because he was quite caring, fun to be around with, although he was somewhat hectic and clumsy as he was new to Pret coming from a different business. But when I responded surprised at his colour he then said something that had me not only in tears, but the scales from my eyes fell off and it all made sense.

Me responding that his colour may be more green or yellow, not at all red, he said, “No, no, they (the trainers in HQ) told us to kill the green because we are a business”, that red is better for business.

These were the literal, exact words he repeated from his training!

Kill the green because we are a business!

I almost had my food stuck in my throat when he said that. He knew my story of mistreatment during bereavement a little bit, and I just teared up right in front of him and said to him, that “this attitude they are teaching you to ‘kill’ the green literally almost killed me!”

He just starred at me in silence as if the penny dropped since knowing my story. He just went quiet as if having second thoughts on his “choice” of colour. I don’t know where he is now, if he made it to be a manager, I’m sure he did, but I hope these few minutes of a conversation had him rethink his approach and not doubt his colour or personality, nor let anyone tell him how to twist himself into a “colour” that he is not, a colour that hurts people including himself.

This is why this review I posted a few days ago makes so much sense and my years of experience in a raging red hot environment that gotten me ill and almost dead!

Well done to my fellow former team leader colleague for leaving early!

2018-07-31 Quote #33 Pret A Red

Former Team Leader

Taken from a list of Pret Staff Complaints collected from Employment Review websites.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

What does an Angel of Light look like?

 

Stick Man Angel of Light

 

White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Caucasian Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Male Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Isaiah 14:16 Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Blonde Male Caucasian Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Angel of Light

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – Present poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

I just fell in love with a song!

 

I am not in tune at all with the German music scene as I used to be, and I am really weary with the pseudo gangster rap bull-crap in Germany, which unfortunately serves as a money making machine like everywhere else. I love hip hop and rap with its fast paced poetry especially in Grime, but I love it when it’s original and authentic, not the cliché stuff that is so huge in Germany.

And then a musician comes along with explosive positivism that grabs me by the heart. I just discovered this guy on my favourite talk-show on German TV, and I am smitten with German music again!

Art, music, meaning and to top it, an important but simple message!

I just did a quick and loose translation of a very simple and purposely clumsy brilliant text.

This song and the video just made my day and brought me hope that life is good, regardless. I know that there is nothing new under the sun, but when you rediscover glimpses of life again, it is like a new day where the sky is blue and the grass is green.

Before I lose this sense again in this emotional roller-coaster of fear and hopelessness, I post this song and text because it deserves a massive mention even or especially outside of Germany.

bosse-2016

Everything is Now

I have learned to enjoy life

to water my friends like flowers

I have learned to keep the fire going

to not lose the spark

I have learned that first impression is deceiving

and that it can be good to miss ones turn

I have learned that even in misery

the sun still rises regardless of the darkness

And then a brilliant idea begins to kindle

like a fresh breeze, a new day

then a brilliant idea starts to kindle

and it brings light where it is dark

And everything is now

it is everything, everything now

Life is short

too short for a long face

and little by little laughing returns

and the joy, and the pelvic thrust, and happiness

I have learned that there are many stupid people

who pass on hate that creates borders

I have learned that the courage that you give

will be the love that you’ll receive

I have noticed that I desire nevermore

to get further, to be cooler I don’t need no more

I have learned to celebrate

and appreciate what I have

And then a brilliant idea begins to kindle

like a fresh breeze, a new day

then a brilliant idea starts to kindle

and it brings light where it was dark

And everything is now

it is everything, everything now

Life is short

too short for a long face

and little by little life comes back

and the joy and the pelvic thrust, and happiness

And what you dream you’ve got to do

all the great, marvelous things

to do it all, to fulfill it all

what you dream you’ve got to do

all the best things, super things

just do it, just go for it

….

Fresh off-the-press song debut on my favourite talk-show.

Original:

Alle ist jetzt

Ich hab gelernt das Leben zu genießen
Meine Freunde wie Blumen zu gießen
Ich hab gelernt das Feuer zu schür’n
Den Zauber nicht zu verlieren
Ich hab gelernt der erste Blick täuscht
Und dass es gut ist, wenn man sich verläuft
Ich hab gelernt auch wenn’s mies ist
Geht die Sonne trotzdem auf

Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Wie frischer Wind, ein neuer Tag
Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Und die macht hell wo dunkel war

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und Stück für Stück kommt das Lachen zurück
Und die Freude und der Hüftschwung und das Glück

Ich hab gelernt es gibt viele dumme Menschen
Die ihren Hass weitergeben, so entstehen Grenzen
Ich hab gelernt den Mut den man gibt
Ist Liebe die man kriegt
Ich hab gemerkt ich will kein Nimmermehr
Weiter, geiler brauch ich nicht mehr
Ich hab gelernt zu feiern
Und zu schätzen was ich hab

Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Wie frischer Wind, ein neuer Tag
Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Und die macht hell wo dunkel war

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und Stück für Stück kommt das Lachen zurück
Und die Freude und der Hüftschwung und das Glück

Und was du träumst das musst du machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alle machen, alle machen
Was du träumst das musst du machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Einfach machen, einfach machen

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und das was du träumst musst du machen, einfach machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alles ist jetzt
Alles ist jetzt

Und das was du träumst musst du machen, einfach machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alles ist jetzt

From

 

Translation ©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Closure

 

When you lose someone to death, especially if it is a significant or premature, untimely death, and a death with unclear causes not investigated thoroughly, you will never get closure. You will have to learn to live with this loss and go through a hell you never imagined existed. You cannot speak to the person who died and say one last time Good-bye – or – I love you – or – Sorry I didn’t answer your last email, check your mail please, I sent you my response now – or – What happened to you that you just died like that? – or – Could I have done something? Did I miss something? – or – Will I see you again? – or – I’ll be fine, just look after yourself ………..

There is no closure. The door of grief will remain open for the rest of your life, it will cease in intensity with time, but it will never close. The shock and trauma that hits you out of no-where like a wrecking ball, and the can of worms it opens where existential fears, unanswered questions, foundational doubts of life and purpose, and every nightmare scenario crawl out and haunt you. Or as a German saying describes it better that when unforeseen events or tragedy hits you, a “rat’s tail” of events and complications will be attached to it, that you cannot get rid of.

 

Rat shutterstock_490066927_rat

 

It’s not just grief you’re dealing with, it becomes much more complicated as the floor underneath you is ripped away, the friends you thought you have disappear, the beliefs you built your life upon become like sand running through your fingers, your mind turns into a mine field where every thought becomes an explosive danger of anger, fear, self-doubt, and the desire to explode out of this life and join the one(s) you lost.

You just have to live through it, as someone I can’t remember who, once said that, “If you’re going through hell, keep going” the light at the end of the tunnel will appear eventually, just keep going through it, keep walking, don’t stop, don’t give up…

But this kind of closure of loss of life and the dark grief it brings is not what I am talking about. The kind of closure I sought since my ordeal started, was to get closure for having additional “heat” being poured on me while I was already in hell! The heat of systemic workplace bullying and the aim to get rid of me early in my trauma, even though I worked extremely well and even during the scorching heat of grief. I gave my sweat, blood and tears to a company who returned my labour with scorn, distance, coldness, scheming, blaming, excuses, additional burdens that almost crushed me beyond repair.

I was just a number, a dirty paper cup that needed to get discarded when it started to “leak” its grief and pain, while still working flawlessly in many areas, helping to bring results to shop after shop after shop. I had no value, was of no use, an inconvenience, a burden, a nuisance, a piece of trash that needed to get thrown on a pile of other useless cups that served their purpose.

 

Rubbish Paper Cups2

 

It became even further complicated as the tactics were very clever to avoid responsibility. In my fog of grief I even apologized for many things that I didn’t need to apologize for! But this served them well where they often turned the situation around making me feel like I was the problem, like I was the one who created the problem, while it was ridiculously the opposite! When you are in shock and trauma, you cannot see as clear and cannot see the hand in front of you, like if you were crawling with your car through the thickest fog in winter, expecting to hit a car in front of you or being hit from behind just trying desperately to get out of this mess.

The closure I would have wished for, but know it is wishful thinking, is the closure where Pret A Manger would have the backbone to apologize, not just for their “insensitivity” as the CEO put it, because he did apologize AFTER I apologized first for my traumatic rants that I started after repeatedly approaching HR for months, to make suggestions in how to support me and people like me who are bereaved. His apology that was sandwiched into patronizing sentences. A typical Pret sandwich of belittling and patronizing.

I would have wished for an apology for repeatedly being put under suppressive management to get me under control, so I become quiet again like I was before, obedient and following a toxic leadership style that silences people through fear management.

 

Rat pexels-photo-617440

 

An apology for the systemic bullying and suppressive culture in shop after shop, no matter if the staff is already suffering from personal loss or any tragedy.

An apology for the refusal to be open to all the suggestions and resources available that I made the effort to seek out and bring forward, to no avail. Pret A Manger = Ready to Eat! It was all there, right in front of them, presented like on a Pret silver platter, suggestion after suggestion, link after link after resources after ideas… a waste of time and energy.

An apology for offending me, not only by offering settlement agreements if I resign and be silent about my ordeal, but having a laugh by offering peanuts while I lost all my savings after my brother died, and trying to take advantage of my financial strain. Offering peanuts as if I was a person who can be bribed with, what for Pret are pennies. No, thank you! I am not for sale nor do I prostitute my values to anyone, no matter what amount is offered.

An apology for the greatest perverted act in all of this, the sick audacity of having tasked a Development Manger who lost her brother similar to how I lost mine to sanction me. Not to put us into contact to support each other in our common grief, which would have been a massive help and step forward; but instead using her to give me a disciplinary for my electronic messaging and her allowing her dignity to be stepped upon like that!

And if this wasn’t enough, an apology for her then entering into secret electronic messaging, traumatizing me more as this “support” was fake and the hopes of someone understanding my bereavement was taken away again. How toxic, disrespectful and perverse can it get?! What else is Pret capable of?!

An apology for then dismissing me in my trauma and ill behaviour that was further fueled by the Development Manager’s secret conduct with the blessing of HR and her being excused and protected in her conduct.

An apology for the scheming and plannings of the HR department with certain key people involved since my informal approach of HR in May 2015.

An apology for stepping on my dignity, having become ill and the hopelessness and anxieties if I ever get my mental health back.

An apology for the CEO belittling me calling me his “late night girl” to the Director of HR, minimizing my ill emailing for which I got dismissed two months later!

An apology for dismissing me while my father was in intensive care just woken from a coma, thrusting me into a new hell I am going through.

An apology for the silence at my outcry in the hopes that the brilliant PR will make this go away.

I want an apology for having been robbed of the time to grieve my brother.

I want Pret A Manger to apologize for robbing me of time to come to terms.

I want the CEO to not skip out silently, but take responsibility!

There is no closure until dealt with in true integrity and a hard look at the core and foundation of Pret A Manger. If true values are not lived and visible, if slogans only serve as phrases to lull in the public and staff to present a shiny facade, the foundation will crumble eventually.

With loss to death there is no closure, but with events that happen while alive, there can be closure.

Until then, there will be no closure.

 

Late Night Girl2

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

When I nailed my Voice to the Air

was when their voice
became silent

But

I don’t believe in silence”
Because, tonight —
however I try — I cannot get downstairs
without waking my daughter
I do not believe in silence.

because of the Worboys enquiry,
because of the one hundred-plus women he raped —
because of the policeman defending the findings
unable to utter the word —
‘this (herrrrm) crime, this (ahem)
assault, this category (cough)
category of offence’ —
I do not believe in silence

because of the stairs and the banister’s crack;
the sound of the lock
and my hand on the door — the fifty-tone creak —
the magnificent echo of light-switch and click —
I do not believe in silence.

Because of Neda — and everyone’s sister —
and the man who said `Don’t be afraid’;
for the sake of my daughter, because of the burka,
because of the patter of rain;
because of two hundred thousand years of human history,
thirty-seven of them my own —
I do not believe in silence

for the sake of my arms, the wrists especially.
With respect to my legs
and my belly and chest
and the comfort long due to my throat

Because of nightclubs at one a.m.
and shouts in the street and feet in pursuit
and shops that don’t shut;

because of sirens and the dealers downstairs;
because of Levi and Akhmatova;
because of the blue-lipped prisoner;
the itch and the scratch of my pen;

I believe in the word.
I believe in the scrabble of claws
on uncarpeted floors.
I believe in my daughter’s complaints.
I believe in the violin, the E-string,
the see-sawing bow; the cello
straining its throat.

I believe in the heart and its beat
and its beep and the dance of the trace
on the screen, I believe in the volume
of colour turned up, and my blood
which was always too loud.

Because of the nights, and the sweats,
and the same rowdy thoughts;
because that one afternoon
when I nailed my own voice to the air
and because there was nobody listening and through it all
birdsong
and the sound of cars passing —

I do not believe in silence.
— Clare Shaw

 

Because of all the mistreatment

and bullying hard working people

especially those

who already suffer in bereavement

I do not believe in silence

Dear Pret,
I want to say to your leadership that your silence will not serve as a distraction to avoid being made responsible for your actions.
I do not believe in silence any longer.

 

silhouette-3265766__340

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

The Cost of Systemic Workplace Bullying

 

There are always numbers floating around in the news on the economical costs for work-related illnesses caused by stress and bullying. Those numbers go into the millions and billions each year. But I want to stay away from quoting any numbers, as I don’t know for sure how high the financial cost for this is or where the media gets these statistics from. And handling abstract numbers like this doesn’t really magnify the cause and true human cost behind it. I can speak only from my experience first hand and also from my observation and conversations on how colleagues are/were treated. The cost I am concentrating on, apart from mental illness and personal financial loss, is the cost of life itself.

Workplace bullying costs lives, and on that no amount or number is adequate enough to cover the costs as a life lost cannot be recovered. Once life is gone, it is gone. Health can be regained, financial loss can be won again, but once life is gone, that’s it, point of no return. Keep your numbers, keep counting your money, and keep hiding the consequences of workplace bullying under the carpet.

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My aim is not just to raise awareness of workplace bullying, as so many do already, and to find ways to stop it as best as I can in my sphere of influence, and make companies rethink their approach and value their employees and understand true leadership. My aim is to really take a closer look at a system in this day and age that is epidemic worldwide in this globalization we find ourselves in where huge companies imitate and apply what made other companies rich or what is so commonly called “successful”.

If I look at the conflicts in the world, the big ones and the small ones, wars, unrest, uprisings, legal battles, cyber attacks, workplace inequality etc. etc. It all has a common thread running through its core: class war and the struggle for dominance. Ian Hodson, a person who represents true leadership, points this out in one of his speeches. And to me, having worked with too many poor “leaders” that I don’t even want to call leaders and just put them in “quotation marks” for the poor management they display, the problem with greed is that it is never satisfied as it is a bottomless pit where no amount is ever enough, like Mahatma Gandhi so poetically and poignantly said that “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” And paradoxically or amazingly, whichever way you want to look at it, he “landed” not only on stamps but on money as well! I wonder how many top executives, bankers, CEOs and anyone who makes their wealth on the backs of regular working people while being responsible for the misery of many an employee, will have their image imprinted on money or a stamp! Hardly any to none.

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The majority of people just want to live a normal, content life, work hard, pay their bills, raise their kids and see them thrive. They don’t cause any trouble, are reliable at work, care about their surroundings, but they find themselves in situations like I have found myself in and have collected here, unnecessary bulls**t that regular hard working, decent people with integrity have to deal with on a daily basis. Lives that are hurt and even destroyed by incompetence and carelessness of the top. I just about survived having come out on the other side bruised and damaged internally to speak about it. And if this happened to me even during the darkest time of my life, how many people have a similar story happen to them, but they crumbled under the mental strain and aren’t so lucky to happen to have a passion in writing and speaking out.

Because people everywhere and throughout history selfishly tend to just think from 12 to noon, not looking at the long-term effects and only in the long-run seeing the costs and consequences of bullying, but by then being way over the hill far away and gone from the consequences of their deeds. They pressure the very people who make this greedy wealth happen for them, they prefer to turn the blind eye repeatedly until they indeed become blinded to the difference of right and wrong. They twist and turn, cheat and lie so much they start to believe their own lies. They will by then have become so skilled in selling this lie to the next generation of “leaders”, who don’t have a clue what leadership means, even at its simple base of the definition. They mistake leadership with tyranny and loading it over the very workforce they should be taking care of by valuing and furthering them, if they don’t want these employees to one day turn around and bite them back in the butt! Fear management, prolonged fear in general leads to anger, and repeated mistreatment will not go “unpunished” in the long-run.

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The next generation of “leaders” will have taken up on the corrupt ways they learned and were subjected under, they continue to move in and even grow this toxic culture in the workplace and everywhere at that. It is a swim or drown situation of deciding to either become this kind of “leadership” to escape being at the receiving end of unjust treatment or stay under oppression and when the time comes, leave. Survival of the fittest at its best. This is of course in politics, schools, at home, everywhere, the struggle to dominate to not be dominated, but this is especially rampant in today’s multi-national companies that elbow their way through the high-streets with a smile and good PR.

And yes, I have received some support after almost a year of approaching the HR dept. being sent to into all directions and the support I then received came only after I contacted Pret’s CEO. A lot of the “support” was also for Pret-ense, but the core problem remained: suppressive leadership, bullying, exclusion, being shouted at, threats of job loss, tricked and trapped, not being given vital information needed to do the job, even weeks before I was dismissed with my dad in intensive care my last line manager did not invite me to the leadership Christmas dinner, it never ended. And then ultimately having been tricked and trapped again being dismissed while my dad just came out of a coma! This is Pret “doing the right thing naturally“.

It is so common with slogans like this that when an organization advertises something like this, it is a dead giveaway that it is the opposite. I had a complacent line manager once telling me what a hard worker he is, I laughed to myself thinking that, oh well, if he was such a hard worker he would be too busy working hard bringing the results than speaking about it!

So, what is the cost of workplace bullying? I survived to say that it has almost cost my life! And this is taking lives of many people everywhere in the world who didn’t have the strength to come full circle to talk about it. For anyone who survived or went through or even didn’t survive workplace bullying and unfair dismissals, and for their loved ones I speak out.

 

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What to me is very disheartening but does not come as a surprise is, that Pret’s leadership hasn’t even gotten the courage to respond to my public outcry yet. They have the “courage” to stress, suppress and mistreat staff, even while going through bereavement! But they can’t stand up to my public outcry. When they are contacted by customers about my blog, they sweet talk their way out of it as usual. Sure, they were probably instructed by their legal team to remain silent and let me rant and rave, and hopefully make mistakes which they can then use against me. Go ahead, I’m not going anywhere.

And it certainly is difficult and a sheer embarrassment for them as the top leadership has gotten involved. In Pret the common tactic to “motivate” their managers and shop teams to do better when they fail, is to name and shame them in front of the whole company. When a shop fails in a certain way like Health & Safety check-ups for example, all the shops are emailed with the poor results of that shop and where they failed, really shaming the manager. It’s a simple tactic to scare all shops to overwork for good results so Pret can show-off what a wonderful company they are. Of course they also brag on shops that bring amazing numbers and results, but it is also a tactic to make shops jealous so-to-speak, again to work even harder in this stressful environment. But I prefer a hidden agenda in praise anytime, to naming those who fail. And yet, here is Pret’s leadership being caught out failing their staff, and this is my turn to name their failings in the hopes they will improve in how they treat their staff, as this has almost cost my life and is hurting people who make Pret’s growth happen. What a shame:

  • The CEO belittling me as his “late night girl” in front of the Director of HR due to my ill late night emails which I extensively explain in my blog what happened to me; him minimizing my conduct that I tried so hard to overcome, and which to my surprise didn’t only happen to me in a workplace!
  • The Head of HR & Recruitment wanting me to stroke his ego by telling him on a scale of 1 to 10 how it was for me meeting with him, while I really needed to meet with my line managers who were at a loss… Uhm, sorry I still can’t answered that weird and self-serving question. The Head of HR missed my almost year long effort to bring suggestions on how to improve and support bereaved employees before I then finally contacted the CEO for help (stupid mistake as they were just having a laugh!)
  • Most managers who were out of their league in how to deal with me while I always gave them help and suggestions what would help me, but their refusal just made this mess worse.
  • OPs managers who were like a flag in the wind back and forth, stuck and stumbling between pleasing HR and having gotten to know me, not as this crazy person everyone was told about, but as someone who actually has a lot to share and bring to the table, even while being lost in grief and trauma… Well, they snooze, they lose!
  • A Development Manager having been used to give me a disciplinary for my emailing because she supposedly lost her brother very similarly to how I lost mine. But then her unallowed entering into solely electronic communication with me which with all the other emails gotten me dismissed while my dad was in intensive care, just out of a coma! Using her and her allowing for her tragedy to be used like this was a clever plan but the most disrespectful thing they have done, hoping to get to me via this “friendly fire” by stepping on bereaved people’s dignity like this. But this crossed a line and it only backfired.

This shows how incompetent and careless they are, and I cannot stop concluding how incredibly arrogant the conduct of an elite group is, that are at the top of a company. A company that was made big by regular working people, of which many of them have degrees and education from their home countries, but happen to not speak English as best yet, ending up working in Pret. Professionals with PhD’s whose degrees are not accepted in the UK and who are forced to study further to get the adequate degree as they cannot find work in their home country with what they specialize in. I worked with a colleague who back in his small Brazilian town was the secretary to the town’s mayor! I worked with a lady, also from a small Brazilian town having been a bank manager at the local bank there. I worked with talented IT people and artists, with a lawyer from Spain who has her degree in law etc. etc. These people were often patronized and treated like complete idiots, just because they didn’t speak English very well having the managers assume they can just discriminate highly intelligent and educated people who are forced to make sandwiches and coffee for some of the most snobbiest customers, just because their English isn’t quite there yet.

But back to my ordeal, what Pret did by using the Development Manager, and her allowing this was then the main push for me to go public while licking my wounds and after burying my dad, almost needing to be buried myself.

The heart of Pret gotten involved and messed up bigger than anyone on the shop floor could ever mess up. They have presented themselves as a “leadership” with their conduct and style that is trickled down, and reflected on the shop floor with shop after shop having extremely poor management with countless complaints about this.

Here is a company that is next to nothing when it comes to PR and how they present this nice facade to the public, while people internally are suffering. Yes, there are many good things in place like helping the homeless get back into work (while making other employees homeless by unfair dismissals!), the apprenticeship scheme (young people are cheaper in labour and easily fooled not having had enough experience in life yet, not knowing their rights), giving left over food each night to charities etc. And I don’t want to question the motif behind those schemes while still acknowledging that this makes excellent PR.

But the trouble with PR(et) always is that it is only one-sided. And in time the truth always comes to light. It always takes just one person to kick-start a true view of the company and stand up with the message, that this time they picked on the wrong person and especially at the wrong time! When a company as wealthy, sophisticated and rich in resources like Pret crosses a line by not even stopping to mistreat an employee who has been thrust into bereavement and trauma, and this company trying so hard to get rid of this “inconvenient” employee, even though this employee is still working extremely well under traumatic circumstances, helping the company succeed, it just shows how indifferent and plainly arrogant a company like this is for believing itself invincible.

I have been told by several people that I make them grow, well I hate to be the one making a now multi-billion company grow up!

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So, Pret will continue their PR and will find tricks and traps again in their own way how to get back at me for speaking out. And who knows what leadership changes will come in place after the JAB takeover as some people in HQ have already been made redundant. And silence might just be their tactic in the hopes this will just go away in time. No, it won’t! Important people are picking up on it, and it is time.

And this is the important thing that more and more people have become aware of how it really looks behind the scenes, and hopefully this will help that not more employees become ill and suicidal. My aim is NOT to hurt anyone, but to help that not more people are getting hurt! In the “return-to-work” interview sheet for employees who were off sick and returned to work, there is one question regarding the symptoms of the illness, one question that asks if the employee has anxiety issues related to work. There is a reason why this is asked as the main “motivating” factor in Pret is fear management and pressure resulting in bullying the very people they need to be treating well, but fail to.
I have had countless threats to my job security in my almost 10 years in Pret. I was an extremely good Team Leader and employee, I don’t say this to float my boat, because I am crap in other things, but I know how good I was at my job and received many many compliments from my teams and customers. And yet I was often in sheer fear to lose my job for no valid reason! And when this even intensified during bereavement and trauma where they still continued in this tactic, they crossed a line.

When I have a good moment I write more creatively and with a good pinch of humour and sarcasm I write things like my “IMAGINARY but Honest Interview with Pret A Manger” to highlight the ridiculousness of their efforts to hide the work conditions and staff treatment. It is my way of having a laugh at Pret for a change after them having a laugh about me becoming ill after trauma in bereavement and bullying at work.

What happened to me and all the Staff Complaints I have compiled unto one page just shows how unprofessional and indifferent Pret is. In time more people will come out and tell their stories. I know Pret is working hard in the background on some things. I am sure as they are many and as a huge company they should be able to handle ONE person. I for my part have sent a clear message as direct and also as creative as possible, that has drawn the line where after all I have been through, giving Pret the benefit of the doubt again and again, I have decided for good to not drink anyone’s dirty water no more! The CEO is not following his own advise to deal with issues fast. I’m still waiting, and so are others.

With a Pret A Manger smile!

Strong woman smudge smiley

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the CEO. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post. I also tell my story for the first time verbally in this >>> podcast interview based in California. Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

©2018/2019 expret.org

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Quote of the Day #32 – Pret A Nothing

 

Quote of the Day (I leave the spelling as it is):

 

didn’t learn nothing as i have things to give to that shop as i came with lots of experience and skills.
the management at the moment is below the requirement due to careless and not trying to find solutions and not giving to the right people .
i just want to pass on the work place culture as its ridiculous ender the new managers.

 

Gottcha! I came with lots of knowledge and skills as well, but was swamp out with insecure managers. I had a life outside of Pret to get upset about it, until my brother died, then they crossed a line.

 

 

Assertive Leadership

 

 

2018-07-28 Quote #32

 

Team Member

 

From Pret Staff Complaints

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

You gotta do what gotta do!

 

Hm, the “Late Night Girl” thing is taking on another meaning now, but that’s not my intention! It’s just a little bit too hot for a dress-up!

Just taking a break from my “activism” in this scorching heat with some music. Love me some Janis Joplin!

 

 

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»Summertime« Janis Joplin

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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To the liar and the trickster

 

to the cheater and the faker,

to the power hungry hater,

to the bully and discriminator:

“I ain’t gonna drink your dirty water no more!”
– LNG


Buddy and Julie Miller »Dirty Water«

Buddy Julie3

One of my favourite songs co-written by my all time favourite artist, singer-songwriter, poet and humane being, Julie Miller, whose songs have pulled me out of dark pits many times! I saw her in concert a few times in the 90s and had a brief encounter with her backstage at a London gig, which was a lovely little highlight.

Julie has been scarce for health-related reasons for many years now, but is still active in writing songs with and for her husband Buddy Miller, whose unmistakable guitar riffs is a unique signature in Julie’s songs and who calls her one of his favourite writers. She is a rare kick-butt artist with a huge heart and voice, whom too few know in the music and art world. I hope she plays live once more and to be able to see her in a gig again.

I think I’ll make “Dirty Water” my theme song for my 10 years Pret A Manger experience. It has certainly become my anti-PR or my PRotest song regarding slick slogans and sweet-talk.

 

Well I don’t need you hangin’ round my door
Trying to drag me back down to the shore
And I ain’t gonna drink your dirty water no more

Well I got wet from my head down to my legs
And I drank dirty water down to the dregs
But I won’t do it again I don’t care who begs

Dirty water now what’s that for
Dirty water I ain’t drinking no more

You’ve got a lie underneath your tongue where it can’t be seen
And you wanna put the truth on a guillotine
But you might as well put out a fire with gasoline

Well you can serve up dirty water from a golden cup
You can try to lock up the truth but the door won’t shut
Cause the truth just keeps coming out like blood from a cut

Well it sparkles and it shines but it’s just a trick
So you wash it down with a kiss just to get a kick
But that dirty water is about to make me sick

You can try to sweeten dirty water up with grenadine
But I can still read you just like a magazine
And I ain’t gonna drink no more till the water runs clean

Baby you got the kind of love that I can’t afford
And I don’t have a taste for what’s in that glass you poured
No I ain’t gonna drink that dirty water no more

— Buddy & Julie Miller

 

 

Buddy Julie
Buddy and Julie Miller

 

 

Buddy Julie No Depression cover

“If you should go so far

that you cannot get back

you may not remember

but my heart will not lose track”

— Julie Miller

 

 

 

Brilliant cover by John Mayall

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #31 – Pret A Joke

 

Quote of the Day:

You have a limited time to do your job everyday but this time limit is a joke.
You have thousand of standards to respect, but it’s impossible to finish on time if you follow all of them. So everyday you need to decide if you are going to finish on time or if you want to follow all the standards. …

Sometimes I felt scared to go to the toilet and waste my time.
The managers were not organized, a lot of times, they give me the next rota just the day before the week starts.

 

 

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I want to add to that as this is calculated to pressure people to reach the maximum productivity. And the rota not being on display the day before the new week starts, even though the rota is supposed to be on display two weeks in advance, is another of the many incapabilities, lack of training and carelessness in Pret.

Regarding the calculated pressure, it is that if Pret for example is happy for people to reach let’s say 75% of productivity, they will tell the TMs that they HAVE TO reach 90% productivity, that way they will reach 70 – 80%.

If Pret wants TMs to reach let’s say 90%, they will tell TMs to go over the top to 110%, that way they will reach 80 – 90%.

 

It’s a simple psychological business trick.

 

But Pret expects 150% and teams get burned out, frustrated and alienated to make the top leadership millions. Disgusting.

I have always explained how Pret is treating staff, it is like Pret’s top leadership binds the feet of their workforce and then tells them to run! And while the staff stumbles around, struggling, suffering, the top leadership is having a laugh in elaborate parties, massive bonuses, and high-fiving each other in their indulgences.

To me after 10 years, the bullying and discrimination I was put through, not to mention the work conditions and “joke” expectations as stated above, it more and more seems like the top leadership of Pret A Manger enjoys torturing their employees, while doing the PR thing of calling them, their “woooonderfuuullll hard working people” bla bla bla.

@ Pret, CEO, senior leadership, you are really laughing to the bank, aren’t you?!

Let’s cash that cheque!

 

 

2018-07-29 Quote #33

 

Kitchen TM, Scotland

 

 

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Quote of the Day #30 – Pret A Robot

 

Robot Thumbs DOWN

 

 

Quote of the Day:

“Overworked environment –

People are treated inhuman way in terms of sickness and work load. Employees are being treated more like robots than human beings so all the company values presented in academy are just crap. Whats more they promote you for more advanced roles without paying you for that. So you become a barista or a hot chef and they delay sending you for a training to save money.

 

Yes, this happened to me, too, that my sickness wasn’t taken serious. One manager didn’t believe that I was sick. I was especially questioned during bereavement and trauma. I mentioned this to HR but they just wanted me to raise grievances. So I did, but to no avail. I don’t even want to go into that, I wrote about it elsewhere already, too upsetting.

The delay in pay happened to me also, even though I went through the training courses already. I still had to chase my pay-rise for the new role, as well as chase the pay of team members doing key roles, when they came to me as their team leader to complain after being too scared to speak to the manager.

I got myself into trouble again and again for speaking up for my teams, but it didn’t matter, I couldn’t stand them being ripped off time and time again, especially after seeing them working so blinking hard, and the managers trying to get away with it. Needless to say that I was never considered for promotion. But I didn’t give a f***udge-cake s***ugar-pie!

The amount of excuses and stories managers came up with is a book in itself. This was really damaging for the confidence and trust towards management and superiors in general, which at least I am struggling with now, as this conduct from managers is so rampant and common.

I don’t know if there is any realization of the emotional and mental damage caused by repeated dishonest conduct of leadership, especially when they are aggressive, or if that doesn’t work, then being manipulative. I used to give managers the benefit of the doubt for years, thinking they are just stressed, forgetful, or at worst incapable. But after years of this in shop after shop, this seemed more like a trend especially when managers became angry after being confronted with missing pay. But this they will deny with all the sweet-talk in place, as this is what makes Pret what it is, simply “PR”et!

What’s so clever but sad is, that all staff have to sign a gazillion of rules to be blamed at the end of the day, so Pret will never take responsibility for the behaviour of most of its managers. But if the majority of managers behave so poorly I always look further, for “the fish stinks from its head” as the saying goes. But in today’s society, the head just blames downwards and plays innocent. And thus it is hard for anyone, let alone a new generation of leaders to have truly respectable role-models. It’s a very bleak outlook where people don’t understand what leadership really means. Depressing thought to have to look hard for true leadership and hardly be able to find it. Very disheartening.

And yet some hopeful things are there, the many many conversations I had with my teams who were as disheartened about the terrible management approach, and them trying to figure out why this is so common. Those people hardly were promoted either, they simply cared too much for others to be behaving like this. My hat goes off to those of my ex-colleagues who didn’t accept this “norm” of poor leadership I don’t even want to call “leadership”. If they are still in Pret or not, they will find their rightful place in the workplace in time. But there are more true leaders at the “bottom” of the food chain who are suppressed, but cream always rises to the top. And what is another characteristic is, that cream stays at the top and will in time have true respect and feedback of its leadership character, as they will be able to stand when the storms rage.

 

 

2018-07-26 Quote Pret #30

Former Team Member Trainer (TMT), London.

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

You’re NEVER too Small to make a Difference!

 

… just don’t stay alone for too long!

 

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+

 

We_Can_Do_It ANTS

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This is a video tutorial on how true Human Resources in form of Unions organize the little folk to take on the big guns:

Pay attention to the chain they’re creating at the end. Slow motion further in the video.

 

Don’t eat while you watch this!

(The one the red arrow is pointing at, that’s me! lol)

 

Little folk like this lady has her own union in student activists and a lot of the world behind her! You go girl!

2018-07-25 Elin Ersson Student Activist2

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Don’t mess with a Heart that Cares

 

Kindhearted kick-butt lady.

2nd Quote of the Day:
»I’m doing what I can to save a person’s life … I’m trying to change my country’s rules …So, the security is coming, I don’t know what they gonna do with me, but whatever!« — Elin Ersson

 

2018-07-25 Elin Ersson Student Activist2

 

 

 

 

 

Click anywhere on this video to start:

 

 

 

 

“A Swedish student activist has stopped the deportation of a man to Afghanistan after she mounted a protest onboard a plane. Elin Ersson refused to sit down until the man was removed from the flight. Visibly upset, and facing anger from fellow passengers, she said: ‘I am not going to sit down until the person is off the plane.'”

From The Guardian’s YouTube video

Amazing how the lame attempt of a man trying to stop this hero lady from standing up, just serves as a “case study” for cowardliness.

1:08 Man to Elin Ersson: “I don’t care what you think … I don’t care… What about all those children that you, YOU are frightening!”

Emphasizing “YOU”. LOL!!! The only “courage” this man had is to rip off Elin’s phone out of her hands! My my, how will he explain his actions to his family and friends!

The man thought he’d off pull the trick using children on a young woman with guts and heart.

Always using children to try and shut down an uncomfortable mirror held up to the face of indifference. What cowardliness! Well, he bit his teeth out on a strong woman! Good on you Elin Ersson for defying cowardliness!

What’s so beautiful as well is, that Elin is not letting go and wants to exit at the back where the man who they wanted to deport is supposed to exit the plane. She says she wants to see him get off the plane!

Amazing determination as a staff member is trying to bull**** Elin when he aims to deter her from exiting at the same door the man will exit.

Staff member from 2:20, quote: “… Both you and that person (that person?) will leave the flight, okay?”

Elin: “Okay, can I go at the back to see him go down? Can I go out that side [where the man is exiting, not the opposite side where she can’t see him leave the plane]?”

If I understand it right the staff member wants her to leave at the “opposite” exit away from the view of the man exiting the plane, as the staff member is supposedly waiting to see what the procedure is. Ha Ha!

Elin persists: “I want to see him go out, can I go back [back exit]?”

Staff member stalling and trying to appeal to reason: “I understand what you want to do, but the important thing is the rules, right?” [Yeah right!]

Elin doesn’t let go: “Can I go out on that side and go down on that side [not the opposite exit as suggested by the staff member]?”

Staff member mumbling…

The Nobel Peace Prize should be taken a good look at again.

A Jewish saying from the film “Schindler’s List” that is debated where exactly this is written, but it fits Elin’s deed perfectly:

“He who saves a single life, saves the world entire.”

Hopefully they look at their plans for this man’s deportation again carefully.

Elin’s Facebook account is either deleted or on private mode. Hope she is okay and the news that she is supposedly facing jail just a media stunt! But you’re never too small or outnumbered to make a difference! You can stand alone if there is no one to back you up, but eventually they will back you up like a Turkish passenger Elin is pointing out and a football team at the back of the plane!

FULL VIDEO:

Weird, I don’t know why this video is dragged vertically so long here, but just click on the above link “FULL VIDEO” to see the normal sized version on YouTube.

»I’m doing what I can to save a person’s life … I’m trying to change my country’s rules …So, the security is coming, I don’t know what they gonna do with me, but whatever!« — Elin Ersson

 

“You always know the mark of a coward. A coward hides behind freedom. A brave person stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.” — Henry Rollins

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #29 – Pret A M*ffin

 

Quote of the Day: “now the company is just about the profit also it is run like mafia organisation where it is about who you know, the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear, the way the company is going it will not last long.

Advice to Management: Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”

 

 

under-the-table2

 

2018-07-24 Quote Pret A Worst #28

 

Former Assistant Manager, London.

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #28 – Pret A Hell

“Hellhole”

“Crazy work hours
0 respect for employees
Too much stress, let’s face it pret, you’re a sandwich shop
Not that good wages anymore, everyone around you is raising the hourly wages, 10p is not enough
Communication sucks
Crazy standards impossible to follow
0 motivation for staff, if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore
Employees are the blood of the company, not customers, not ingredients, not the shops, TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!!

Advice to Management: Just Rethink your whole policies, they sucks, get down from that high horse you’re on”

 

 

It’s not “just” a sandwich place, it is about thousands and thousands of Pounds of bonus for OPs and GMs, and millions for the CEO and top level leadership. OPs managers flying out to Dubai, Las Vegas etc. or sitting in pubs at lunch time while you make their wealth happen breaking your back being bullied. I know, I’ve been there, I was bullied during bereavement and then tricked & trapped by the HR department *irony on* “doing the right thing naturally. *irony off* 

 

 

pexels-photo-767387

 

Quote of the Day:

“Hellhole …

Too much stress …

Crazy standards impossible to follow …

if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore …

TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!!

get down from that high horse you’re on”

 

Nothing more to add !

 

2018-07-23 Quote #27 Pret Hellhole

 

13. June 2018 review of then current employee

 

 

Substantial list of Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites and YouTube.

Concise list of chosen “Quotes of the Day” taken from the Staff Complaints to highlight the common thread of the problem in all of Pret in different countries, cities and years.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #27 – Pret A Manager-Ex

 

RebeccaLewis_Oct2013_you-finger-point

 

Quote of the Day: Review was posted 4 years after Bridgepoint bought Pret:

 

“I am an ex GM [General Manager] … I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs [Team Members] to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.”

 

One of the extremely rare GMs to have done this with the Team in mind. Respect!

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

Source, scrolling to the 23 July 2012 at 12:53 comment.

 

Also, another Ex-Manager’s review, responding to my comment further below the first Ex-GMs comment:

 

2018-06-07 My comment plus Ex GM

Source, 07. June 2018 comment

 

 

The “certain venture capitalist firm” this first Ex-GM is talking about is Bridgepoint, that set the immense target since the 2008 purchase of increasing shop openings by 15% a year, and were set to make a seven times return on their investment in 2018. The tweet links to the Financial Times piece, but signup is required to read the full article.

I joined Pret in 2008 just when Bridgepoint purchased Pret, so I have no “before” experience like this Ex-GM has. All I know from Pret is that it has always been harsh and unnecessarily stressful, but never did I expect to be bullied even during bereavement!

It is “deal hungry” JAB’s turn now to take the baton from Bridgepoint and squeeze even more life out of the staff as their investment went through the roof! Good luck Pret employees! I hope the £1000 carrot helps you crank up the PR(et) machine again!

 

Featured on Quotes of the Day and the comprehensive but not exhaustive list of Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #26 – Pret A Push

 

I didn’t feel comfortable with the people I was working with, didn’t enjoy working there staff was rude didn’t want to help when I asked, Little training was just pushed at the deep end as soon as I started the job

 

Sad Smiley

 

2018-07-19 Quote #23 Little Training

Former Team Member

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Dying to a Common Veil

 

Since my brother died there is now a “before” and “after” his death. Before his death, apart from having had a normal life (whatever “normal” means, probably anything that is known and accepted by a majority as well as being familiar to us), I had a job, friends, projects, beliefs, dreams, flaws, hopes, bills, problems, ideas, family, a sense of security and belonging … I also had this subconscious assumption that things that are out of my league, be it emotional or physical, only happen to other people.

 

05 Thomas CouchBett Urlaub CROP

Yes, Thomas, make your faces. You beat me on this one!

 

Whatever we dread, that may be out of our league is different for everyone, and yet certain things are very common. I could not handle what others are able to handle, and others may not be able to cope with what I have to cope with. But whatever that monster for everyone is, we subconsciously assume that this would not, cannot, and will not happen to us. Not in our wildest dreams.

I have been to many funerals in my life, my first funeral was when I was about 10 or 11 when my paternal grandmother died. It was surreal to me of course, because I cannot remember my parents having explained to us kids why she died. But I remember having had this strong logical acceptance that this was normal, that when “people” get old, they die. That was that. No questions asked.

Apart from that, I didn’t grow up with my grandparents, neither the parents of my mother nor the parents of my father, as we lived in another state from relatives and both sets of grandparents did not approve of my parents getting married as both families had different religious denominations. At the post-war times, and certainly before that, in the 1950s / 60s and further there was this strong division and identity in the two major Christian denominations of Catholics and Protestants. And even though I was raised in the Atheist “belief” that there is no God, my grandparents on both sides just went through the religious notion, without really living any values of faith, as long as they had some kind of belonging to an institutionalized organization that brought structure, tradition and routine into everyone’s lives. It was still a no-go then for a Catholic to marry a Protestant and vice versa. So, I had no close relationship to my grandparents and their passing was “just” what happens to old people.

But my parents were true rebels ahead of their time, which when growing up frustrated me, but in hindsight I am proud of them defying stale traditions and daring to take a different route. But as a kid I felt left out because all my school friends went through their communion or confirmation, which only meant they got lots of money and presents! On our birth-certificates and passports in the section where it states our religion / denomination, it simply says: None. So, we kids hardly had contact with both our sets of grandparents, except for that last “point of contact” at funerals. Sad, but true.

My paternal grandfather died a few years later when I was around 13. Again logical. He was old, he lived his life, he died. And then when I was 15 a friend from school died when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. That was my first shock encounter of premature death, but again, he wasn’t that close of a friend, even though we hung out with a group of friends on the day he lost his life. He died shortly before midnight on the eve of his 15th birthday on the operating table in A&E.

I remember the next day when we heard the news from our teachers in every classroom, my brother and I later at home were wondering if our friend would still have the hairspray in his hair, as he always wore hairspray as the only boy we knew. It must have been our shock reaction that was pondering that once someone dies and his soul “disappears”, whatever they are wearing, hairspray, perfume… disappears, too. The scent and the glue of life on the body just disintegrating immediately when the soul and spirit leaves the body. It was our shock reaction because we were with him and other friends just hours before the accident and his death. The whole school, it seemed, came to the funeral, again very surreal, but I was able to keep his death at a distance again, hiding myself in the crowd of funeral guests and the group of friends.

And then another shock of an ex-boyfriend who died of suicide. I haven’t had contact with him for 10+ years, and apart from us having been teenagers in our clumsy way of being boyfriend / girlfriend as kids, I had a lot of distance to him by the time he died and the effect of his death and circumstances I was able to cope with.

In the years to follow several more deaths happened of acquaintances, maternal grandparents, an uncle I’ve never met, friends of friends, most of old age or cancer. Funerals that became part of life, a routine, a courtesy to attend. It was all a reality that was kept at a distance from my fenced-in security. I moved on and matured from the simple accepted reality that people die when they are old to a new reality and acceptance, that people die when they are young, too. Okay, but being the “realist” that I am, I had to come up with a new coping mechanism that was to reassure me, that this still does not apply to me personally. My reality, my illusion, my subconscious fear and desire was kept behind a veil that blinded me until the scales where ripped from my eyes.

And I know I am not the only person who is covered and blinded by that veil. In these last painful years I had to come to realize firsthand how cruel it is to have been falsely protected and plainly lied to in this society we live in, that holds the truth and reality away from us. The founders of The Good Grief Project Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris, parents of Joshua who died aged 22 while traveling in Vietnam, faced this brutal reality head on! They make beautiful and relevant films out of their grief, and in support of other bereaved parents. They recently toured with their documentary, “A Love That Never Dies” the UK cinemas in the summer of 2018. In the Q&A of the London screening I was privileged to be in the viewing audience in May 2018, Jimmy Edmonds commented that in Victorian times it was very normal in conversations to speak about death and dying, but it was absolute taboo to speak and mention anything about sex. And today it is the complete opposite!

No wonder we drift away like emotional corpses ourselves when a premature or any kind of death occurs in our lives. The death of my brother was not straight forward and has no clear answers, lots and lots of speculations, opinions and mostly questions which made it even more unbearable and traumatic. Not to mention HOW the news of his death was delivered.

But the reality that death IS part of life and that it happens to all of us, at any time and most brutally it happens to those we most hold dear. It happens for any and no reason, in gracious age and traumatic ways and unfair premature ages with little or no explanation. It happens to the best of people, and not “just” to those who we think deserve it. None of us is safe from any circumstances, time, expected, unexpected, acceptable and unacceptable forms of death.

 

14 TK crop

 

None of us is guaranteed that we will have an opportunity to say “Good bye”, to say for one last time, or even for the first time, “I love you” or “Thank you for having been my friend” or “Remember when we were kids and stole the cherries from the neighbours tree and ripped our pants on the fence running away when the neighbour chased us?” or “Yes, I promise I will take care of your kids” or “We will arrange the funeral and the music exactly how you wish”…

We are robbed of the reality and chance to deal with death in a normal way from an early age, which then catapults us deeper and much worse into trauma when death actual hits us out of nowhere, unprepared and incapable to deal with this reality. We are not prepared out of false comfort and political correctness to keep our lives thriving, young, healthy, successful, smiley. Just don’t bother us with this eternal reality. And then to face our own mortality is another ballgame altogether.

This is why it is so important and timely that people like Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris are courageously and openly presenting this reality in such a beautiful and creative way.

There is a way to take the veil off and die to a false “life” that doesn’t last. A veil that aims to blind and falsely protect us from the reality we all face, and look at death in a healthy and authentic way. Since we can’t avoid it, why postpone preparing for it and with it leave the bereaved person behind, traumatized and alone and in our grief drown in hopelessness and paralyzing fear?

This video by The Good Grief Project is a very personal and also beautiful portrayal of a family and friends in how they deal with the unexpected and premature death of their loved one, Joshua. They conducted and arranged the funeral by themselves and even built the coffin themselves. It is not a gloomy or depressing video documenting grief and saying good bye. It is a very personal and gracious way in how a funeral can also have a rightful place in celebrating a life while saying good bye.

I still have to find my own way to celebrate my brother, as his death, the learning of the news and the funeral was a chaos, with an indifferent police not having bothered to find the cause of death nor thoroughly look for next of kin, but being very efficient in cremating my brother before reaching us! No chance, no choice for us to decide what we want to do with his body. And the process of getting his urn and conducting his funeral was a fogged up occasion of autopilot and disorganization. I felt then and still feel that I did not give him the funeral he deserved. It was the first funeral of a “significant” death and the first I had to help organize. And no matter how many funerals I was part of before, I was utterly lost in how to do this while also trying to protect and hold up my mother. And not to mention after that the postponing and complication of my grief due to work-related bullying and mistreatment on top of my loss! I survived just about to now write about it.

At times I watch this video below and know that I can accept how it went for my brother, as I did the best I could under the circumstances and time frame. In Germany it is against the law to have and keep the ashes and urn of a loved one. Urns are kept by the council and only released to the funeral conductor, but at the funeral I just grabbed my brother’s urn out of the hands of the funeral director and carried whatever was left of him in my arms to his grave. I had to let go, not being allowed for health and safety reasons to lower his urn into the dug-out hole myself. That last part the funeral director had to do. And I have my own celebration for my big brother in my heart and have no choice to leave it like it is.

That’s why creative people like The Good Grief Project is such a breath of fresh air and a great inspiration to me and many others.

 

2017-01-31 Th Kerzen3

 

Please watch this video below and don’t be afraid of it. As painful as this is even to observe or witness, this is a very hopeful project Jimmy and Jane have started out of their own grief, helping countless others who are faced with a sudden or even expected death. As paradox as it sounds, but their project is a celebration of life.

Thank you for reading and thank you for watching the memory and celebration of a beautiful young man by his family.

 

Remembering Josh (Longer version of “Beyond Goodbye”)

 

In memory of my big brother, Thomas (1969 – 2014) – and – my Father (1939 – 2018).

 

Thomas+Frau_GoghsWorkshop1_SMUDGED

 

 

1971-07-14 WK PK2 crop

 

 

animated-candle-gif-29

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #25 – Pret A Bad

 

It used to be a very good company, but since they started growing it been changing a lot. Poor Management, no opportunities to expand your knowledge. A shame that such a big company is becoming so bad day by day.

 

A leader influences and inspires the uninspired.

A boss threatens and bullies the uninspired.

— Ty Howard

 

2018-07-21 Quote #25 Bad Management

Former Team Leader

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

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©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day #24 – Rude A Manager

 

I had a terrible experience on my training week there. Managment and some members of staff were extremely rude and patronising, was often a lot of eye rolling and sighs and that you shouldn’t be wasting there time, when you actually need there help as there suppose to be training you. Would not recommend working there at all.

 

2018-07-20 Quote #24 Patronizing

Former Shop TM

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #23 – Pret A Smile

 

Fake Smile Robin Williams

 

Just like a Pret A Manger Smile.

There is always a story behind a smile, and oftentimes it’s not what we expect.

 

Several different reviews regarding the forced “Happiness” and smiles that Pret A Manger demands from its low-paid (under the living wage) workers.

There are several article on the “emotional labour” forced on employees to maximize profit. I did a separate blog entry on >>> Emotional Labour. I was bullied during already traumatic bereavement which I share extensively on this blog and a recent interview, also mentioning the Mystery Shopper rules to get extra money or be threatened with job security. Interview found at the bottom of this page.

 

Several reviews regarding the forced happiness under fear management.

“extremely rude co workers, unprofessional management, not properly trained however expected to know what you’re doing and smile while doing it

Minimum salary for everyday smiling … We have to be smiling a being polite to a bunch of unpolite people.”

This job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you. … you are required to have the widest fake smile on earth

 

The Mystery Shopper’s task is to feedback if staff smile, give eye contact, make conversation, and all that in an intensely stressful work environment for 6, 8, 10+ hours straight ALL THE TIME, EVERY DAY. No matter if sick, coughing, bereaved, depressed… No mercy. If staff don’t smile, aren’t overly friendly, they risk losing the bonus for ALL the team which has the purpose for peer-pressure and creates a bullying environment, not to mention the boss whose potential big bonus is lost, as Mystery Shopper results and points count towards the biggest chunk of manager’s bonus. And the customers are fooled thinking Pret staff are so happy!

The Pret A Manger Staff Union (PAMSU) has posted a song from YouTube and pleads to end the Mystery Shopper. By the way, I retweeted his tweet but it is NOT visible on his tweet as Twitter shadow bans me and secretly cuts off connections between my and PAMSU accounts. To no avail, because PAMSU knows my website. My response tweet is before the ban, but my RT was after the last ban (29. – 31.12.2018) on 02.01.2019, and still it doesn’t show on his tweet, but on mine.

 

2018-05-09 pamsu endthemysteryshopper

Link

 

Different Mystery Shoppers Excerpts:

 

MS eye contact

Quote: “The staff member who served me made good eye contact and greeted me with a friendly smile while remaining focused and efficient…”

 

Mystery Shopper poor comments

Quote: “I was not greeted at the till or given a smile. The only conversation was what was necessary for the transaction. To be welcoming, the team member could have greeted me and smiled and be engage[d] and positive…”

 

2014-12-01 MS cough

Quote: “Team members should smile at customers and may not work when ill, as team member was coughing whilst serving me and was therefore not feeling cheerful to smile that day.”

I didn’t feel cheerful to smile as well after the telling off from my line manager afterwards. You got told off in the office because you didn’t smile, and while the boss is telling you off (who by the way does not smile themselves, just as a side-note!) and then the non-smiling boss orders you to smile! You go out extremely humiliated, discouraged, with low motivation, and yet forced to smile if you don’t want to find yourself penalized or losing your job.

 

Speed in Seconds

Task to serve within 1 minute ALWAYS with a smile, eye contact and conversation.

 

I was smiling for customer service days after I carried the urn of my big brother in my arms to his grave. I smiled and smiled and smiled and died while smiling, and when I didn’t smile, I got told off while my boss knew about my brother.

I was complimented countless times by customers and received good reports from Mystery Shopper, and after my shift went to the bridge … How I survived this, especially during extreme trauma under fear managemet, I can only attribute this to being on autopilot and so fogged up in my mind that I just moved on like a robot trying to come to terms and breaking down later at home. And I didn’t want to put any more grief on my mother.

You need to be a machine to qualify for a Pret A Manger smile or all you’re left with is mental illness. But if you want to be a human and keep your sanity, work somewhere else. Maybe even make your own lunch from home, would save you over £1000 a year if you usually eat out every day.

The Pret staff get pressure and trouble from ALL sides. From the line managers, from customers, from Mystery Shoppers AND from Twitter/FB users who have an expectation as if they just entered the Ritz, even naming low-paid, hardworking, exhausted staff members publicly! But because people have kids to feed they put up with a lot of abuse.

 

UPDATED: January 2019

 

2018-10-24 Re No Smile

Link

 

2018-12-31 Customer calling staff name for rude service2

Link

 

A plea to customers at Pret and at any business, if you are served by a sales assistant, waiter, customer service representative and they don’t always smile, even while giving professional service, please pause for a moment before you quickly jump to conclusions or complain to the boss or head office. Maybe even ask that staff member how their day is going or complement them on their service. You never know what that will do for them. Yes, they are paid to do a job, but they are human beings for crying out loud! Most of my customers didn’t care and I’m sure they have their own story and turmoil.

But the trend today is to force staff to smile to maximize profit, no matter how high the emotional and mental cost of staff. Because I almost lost my life and approached Pret A Manger internally for three years hitting a brick wall, that is why I write so bluntly and openly. People suffer to the point of suicide, and we need a change.

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

Open Letter to the Mystery Shopper.

 

02 Annahilates Humanity12

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Amy Sharpe from The Sunday Mirror went undercover after reading my blog and she touches briefly on the intense stress staff are under:

>> Undercover Under Pressure in Pret

 

For the first time I share my story verbally in one go in this interview. Underneath the interview section are selected reviews from current and former Pret Staff.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #22 – Pret A HaRsh

 

 

aggressive_leader_by_night_wolf122-d56onnm

HR problems, employee is treated really badly, due to the constant lack of people, current employees are forced to do the duties of so called ‘specialist’ position, yet they are paid inappropriately to the responsibilities.

Former Team Member, London

I worked many times as a Team Leader doing Manager’s work while the managers were on holiday and did not get what they call a “Step Up Pay”. I didn’t even receive a thank you for doing well these two weeks while the boss was away. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Pret in a nutshell.

2018-07-18 #22 HR problems

Compiled Pret Staff Complaints from outside Employment Review websites

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #21 – Pret A Slave

 

Quote of the Day: “Stressful and dominating. People will dominate you until you feel like resigning the job. Supervisors/Team Leaders treat you like a slave.”

 

Bullying Boss

 

 

2018-07-17 Quote #21 Treated like slave

Team Member Review

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Ian Hodson and the BFAWU

 

BFAWU2

 

This gentleman deserves a spot in my hero section. Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers Food And Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). Fighting for employee’s rights, particularly fast food workers. He has this spot as a great supporter, but also as a representation for all Union Leaders and Members, and those who struggle for better work and living conditions no matter where in the world.

I am still new to the whole idea of unions because I never needed it or was in any kind of trouble until I worked in Pret A Manger. I was often under the impression that Unions seem just a little too “aggressive”, or using poor workers’ stories to advance their own political agenda. But I stand corrected and want to apologize for that thought! I never ever had problems with my bosses in other companies, and I worked in 3 countries, Germany, the USA, and here in the UK, mostly in the catering industry since I was 16 years old, and that is a while ago!

And maybe it is the trend of our times that in fast-food and other workplaces discrimination, bullying tactics and fear management is on the rise, and more and more an acceptable form of controlling employees for the greedy elite few at the top of the “food chain”. I don’t know, but my story is so way out there, a Hollywood script could not have come up with this. I was too naive and plainly stupid to have “fought” on my own, not wanting to involve help because I always play with open and fair cards, assuming when I do the right thing, fairly and with integrity I would be treated fairly. Oh boy! Did I have to learn a lesson, and learn it the hard way! Welcome to reality! I survived to write about it myself.

If you work or know someone who works in a fast food place or anywhere at that, join this or any union! Take it from me, I wasn’t so smart and had to learn the hard way, never imagining that my life will get so out of sync. I am still suffering as I write this and am receiving long-term mental health services. But I am taking my life and sanity back! And I will be loud and unmistakably clear!

The BFAWU was instrumental in the historic McStrike movement in the UK, supporting McDonald’s employees to stand up for the first time ever in the UK’s fast-food industry. I hope the McD workers forgive me, but I have been boycotting McDonald’s for decades now especially because of how the employees are treated, apart from not liking the food, but employees are the ones making it happen. I boycott McD for life, but their workers have my support anytime. Massive respect for standing up against a giant like this.

 

Dear Ian Hodson,

thank you!!!

 

 

BFAWU

 

One of the many Union heroes of our time: Ian Hodson

 

 

Worth watching this full speech:

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #20 – Bad A Manager

 

Quote of the Day: “Bad management and not taking care about people … do not give power to irresponsible people”

Sorry to break it like this, but as Pret is expanding fast, they have no choice to take any- and everyone who wants to step up as they will need more and more “leaders” like this, I’m afraid. Good luck!

 

overbearing

2018-07-15 Quote #20 Irresponsible Leaders

Team Leader Review

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Leaving my Chains all behind

 

It is not an organization that will help you, it is people who care for the simple stuff.

 

The Collection

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Monkey Business

IMG_20180710_174435

 

A Team Leader (TL) and a Development Manager (DM) are stranded on a large island far out in the ocean. The island is inhabited by monkeys. The DM lives deep in the jungle and has learned to arrange herself with the monkeys. The TL has built her hut close to the water and provides the monkeys with fish to eat. The DM and the TL speak the same language that the monkeys don’t understand. DM and TL don’t know each other and that there is someone on this island who speaks the same language. Only the monkeys know about them.

The TL by the water is stomping on the island too much, she is too noisy because no-one understands her language and pain. She is constantly placed under monkeys who give her a hard time on top of her ordeal. The monkeys scheme and plan on how to get rid of TL, as she refuses to be like them and conform to being a monkey. TL’s bereavement is an inconvenience, or as one higher monkey complained twice in writing that TL’s situation (bereavement) was “imposed” on him. Imagine a leader complaining that a physically disabled person, or a person of another skin tone or religion or sexual orientation… is “imposed” on him. Phew! Would the monkeys go coconuts and there’d be trouble in the jungle! But all TL just wants to do is to fish and go back to her hut to come to terms and grieve in peace, after the unclear cause of death of her brother far away from the island.

But deep in the jungle there is a group called Monkey Resources (MR), and after many tricks and traps and substantiating grievance hearings a little bit here and a little bit there, to make it look like they care and to not get in trouble with the gorillas (law), MR has the ultimate brilliant foolproof idea! Never underestimate a monkey, they are clever feisty little things!

TL just won’t stop to raise issues of discrimination and unfairness by the monkeys, not realizing that MR is in the monkey business. Stupid TL! TL is alone in her struggle and keeps approaching MR for help and to raise issues of bad treatment during bereavement. TL is protecting the other Team Members from her turmoil and puts on a brave face not wanting to burden her team and not wanting to involve anyone as they would be intimidated by fear management of the monkeys anyway.

Unfortunately her approach which was informal and peaceful in the beginning turned into painful and ill approach in time, fueled by post traumatic issues and helplessness. The monkeys tried everything, from bullying and targeting, fear management, counseling after TL sent a message to King Kong of the island, trying to pay her out peanuts if she leaves the island… Nothing worked, because the immediate monkeys that were over TL kept mistreating her, often very subtle if open mistreatment was caught out. It never stopped. TL was too exhausted in grief to find another island and couldn’t afford to take a longer break away, as fishing wasn’t the most lucrative work for her. She kept being hysterical in her grief and pain. The ocean itself was hard to cross and the countless tears added to that ocean.

 

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But monkeys have sleeves, too, where they hide their Ace. And DM was that Ace in place. They approached DM who has arranged herself well with the monkeys, and tasked her to go down to the beach where the rebel TL is rocking the boat too much. Actually she wasn’t going down to the beach, TL had to go deep into the jungle to meet DM.

When TL met DM to get a sanction for stomping the ground too much, DM started speaking the language TL understood, and silly TL started to believe that the monkeys really care now! Wow, there is a person on this island who speaks my language??!!!

What TL did not know was that DM wasn’t supposed to speak the same language (officially). DM was supposed to speak in secret with TL to calm her down. But TL kept getting confused why DM was so secretive, giving mixed messages and coming across manipulative, as DM happens to also be a Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner, able to use those tools very well. Until six months later after MR started to investigate why TL has started to stomp the ground again, that’s when DM finally admitted to TL that she wasn’t “technically” allowed to speak the same language with TL. Aaahh! Now you’re talking! Now TL understood why she was often so confused and frustrated, even lashing out in anger when drunk in the hut!

This and TL’s father submitted into intensive care in a coma, seeing him so ill, thrust TL in a new ill behaviour rocking the boat so much. Losing the hut on the beach, TL was thrown from the island of Pret A Monkey into the ocean while TL’s father was in hospital, by that time just out of the coma across the ocean far away. TL “swam” over the ocean to her father, made peace with him for whatever was outstanding, stood by his side as best as possible. TL’s dad has died now and TL is still swimming in the ocean, but out of reach of the monkeys. At least.

TL is swimming in a pool of loss. Being introduced to a person who speaks the same language just to be given a sanction by that person, is inconceivable. And it is scary what else the monkeys are capable of.

 

Dear Director of HR,

I am sorry to be writing a third open letter to you and so bluntly, but once you have read the first two letters, you most probably won’t be going back to them after I edited some things I forgot to mention. So, I write a third letter, and it can be seen as a bottle post I have thrown into the ocean, in the hopes this reaches you well.

It is still very painful for me what your HR department under the Head of HR has done to me and how they have dealt with my trauma from the beginning. I made the mistake to stay too long and try too hard to change work conditions internally. I know you have taken some things on board, even used some of my suggestions and ideas, thank you for that. But you take the credit for it while I suffered and remained under difficult management. I know I was loud, I did everything wrong I could have done wrong. I was in a lot of pain.

All I needed was management who were confident, skilled, and plain normal while remaining respectful. At the end I found such a manager, or rather he found me! I even worked with him a few days, helping him out in his shop, or actually he was more helping me to get in more hours since my hours at my shop were radically cut to zero during the Christmas period, and me having to find a shop to get hours. And I felt for the first time in a very long time really valued and respected at work. This manager is not “Pret-entious”, he is as organic as they come. Even just having met him a few times, it was clear in my gut that he is an honest soul, respecting his staff. But again, it wasn’t meant to be! Another higher manager (OPs) snatched me away from this great GM into this OPs’ new area because of the way I work, raising the standard and with it the success of every shop I worked in.

But that aside, what was the most painful and disrespectful thing the HR department has done to me, that absolutely crossed the line, was to use the development manager who has a very similar loss than I have. But instead of putting us in contact to support each other in our common bereavement, she was used to sanction me. I’d like to explain why I called this in my second note to you “perverse”. And again, I’m sorry to be using such a strong word, but this is the only word I can find for this. And I will continue to search for a better word to redefine how I feel. Certainly a Tribunal Judge found better words to describe the HR process of hearings when he called it “fundamentally flawed” (page 9 top). That was 8 years ago, and I can confirm that it still is this way today. And something that is “fundamentally” flawed will not change so quick, as the foundation always takes the longest to build and rebuild.

Only since recently have I learned and realised that what your HR department has done to me, especially via “DM”, was gaslighting me. That’s why this felt so, and why I can only describe this as perverse.

I know you are busy in the background with what legal action you can take against my public outcry once that email confirmation from the Employment Tribunal has been received. And you certainly will give me a bad reference for any future employment. That is your prerogative. My prerogative is, that after I almost lost my life, certainly my mental health and job, having given so much to Pret in my 10 years even during the most excruciating bereavement while being mistreated, I will use whatever freedom I have to speak about my ordeal after having tried for three years to speak with you internally. I always played with open cards which was to my disadvantage. And I have certainly done everything wrong with all the terrible emailing to Pret and others. I will always be ashamed for this and I cannot describe the pain and trauma I was in, and still am in. I have found that I am not the only “crazy” person out there in the ocean of mental illness. And I continue to play with open cards, no matter what unfair and dishonest tricks anyone throws at me. I am willing to lose even more, but I will not stop to speak up.

How HR has dealt with my situation and ultimately how they dealt with my bereavement as explained in the metaphor above, is so painful to me, as if someone died again. This was too much and crossed a line that was better not crossed. It may sound funny to you, but I have been much more patient with Pret, than you with me. I was alone and made that mistake to put myself into the shoes of a multi million pound company, a company the same judge above calls “highly sophisticated” and shouldn’t be making errors like they have.

Being introduced to “DM” just to get a sanction from her for my emailing, who then entered into solely “electronic” communication with me, where in reality we were not allowed to openly speak with each other even though we have similar loss. The disciplinary which became not valid because of our contact and me subsequently getting dismissed for emailing, while she is safe and protected in her job. This support being taken away again, is like having to bury a person again. Do you know what emotional torture this is?

It is like holding a glass of fresh, cold water in front of a person who just crawled through a torching desert, just to take that glass away again and thrust that person back into the desert! It is unspeakably painful, and the only way I go on is to speak about it, no matter what you do against me. I am intrigued about the next tricks I am being served with after my public outcry here.

I never claimed that I’m “doing the right thing naturally”. That is your claim.

In the meantime keep reading staff complaints >>> worldwide.

Kind regards,

Late Night Girl

Late Night Girl2

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day – Pret A Machine #19

Quote:

“Horrible training, too many lies”

Cons: Training sucks, people are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you, will never recommend this company. Bottom line as a British company they treat employees as machines, they don’t care about how they feel, expect too much for too little. Horrible environment.

Advice to Management: Treat people with respect and appreciate their hard work. Stop using your British mentality when it comes to deal with people. You’re people are horrible at this.”

 

Robot sad crop

 

Quote of the Day from NYC: “Training sucks, people are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you, will never recommend this company. Treat people with respect and appreciate their hard work. Bottom line as a British company they treat employees as machines, they don’t care about how they feel, expect too much for too little. Horrible environment.”

 

2018-07-15 Quote #19 Horrible Too many Lies

NYC Pret Staff Review

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – Present poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

I have a Scream

and I can’t be silent.

I just can’t quite articulate it as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, but I cannot hold it in!

I experienced and witnessed modern day slavery with a smile. A Pret A Manger smile that is!

It is burning in my gut, waiting to be popped out into this world, not prematurely, but overdue.

10 years ago I started in sandwich factory. Not the kind you may think of, but a much slicker and more clever factory. Many little factories that promise fun in Jeans, initially with a cap (they scrapped since) and a clean white shirt, and always fresh ingredients with your heart on a platter, ready to be eaten…

I screamed on the inside many times. But I held it in, because I had a life, relationships, friends, hobbies, passions, bills to pay, just plain life while being fooled on the job.

And then my brother called it a day. That is a scream I wish to unscream!

But instead of being supported, included, protected in this most of human experiences of grief, I was bullied and chased like a rabbit in a fox hunt.

I am tired to write more as I wrote so much on this on my blog. But in a nutshell, I went bonkers…

He who has ears, just listen, would you? If you have eyes, just open them. If you have arms, embrace. And if you have a heart, don’t turn away in complacency and false security.

Please wake up!

Pret A Manger is just like any other fast food chain, with one difference; they are the epitome of the first two letters of their brand: PR et.

Whatever sounds, looks, tastes and feels good must be good. Right?

Nope.

We dream and have nightmares, we love and we hate the guts of our fellow man when they question us.

The foundation and inspiration of all demonstrations was never topped again since an eloquent speech to a million+, a gathering not even “trumped” one bit since this man entered the scene in peace, with words we won’t forget.

Sir, you are missed, and we pass on the baton, not for blacks or whites, rich or poor, but for human beings.

Thank you.

king-martin-luther

THE speech

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. **We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”** We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”1

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Naughty Naughty Times!

So, here I am wanting to read a little bit of an article on Times.co.uk when I find myself forced AGAIN to have to sign up with my email in order to be able to read the rest of the story.

So far so good. Well not really, but I just go with their flow.

I try to sign up using my “junk” email which I use to sign up for stuff where I then receive unwanted junk mail. Since it’s not my main email address, I am not bothered as I never check that junk email address anyway, apart from verifying the (in)voluntary forced subscription.

As my eagle eyes often spot things before I click or miss to click on something, I find Times.co.uk doing something really really naughty! And I wonder how long The Times UK will get away with this one under the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

They certainly tick all the right boxes to qualify themselves for trouble!

 

Quality-assessment-must-be-more-than-a-tick-box-process

 

 

Here’s the naughty bit:

NaughtyTimes_crop

 

First box:

“We’ll send you information on products and services from The Times and The Sunday Times that you may be interested in. If you would prefer not to receive these then click here. ”

The little word “not” is here.

 

Second box:

“We would like to send you exclusive promotions, competitions, and content from selected partners. If you would like to receive these then please click here.”

The little word “not” is NOT here.

Taking these little things apart again, sorry I have to!

This is really cheeky, as they know that the reader often is either in a hurry, or rather impatient, to get to the “desired” product via being forced to sign up, and/or as our brain works in structures, we assume the first is similar or the same to the second.

So, for example, I tick the first box to which they ask me to tick (without saying “please” btw 😉 ), if I do NOT want to receive information on The Times products etc.

By the time I see the second box I would automatically click it, not realizing that I give consent to third parties because I “assume” that they ask the same to click if I do “not” want to receive infos etc. Companies use this psychology in how our brains work brilliantly! But it reeeeaaaallllyyyy TICKS ME OFF!!!

Of course in the first box they WILL send info unless I tick the box. In the second box they WOULD LIKE TO and ask me to “please” tick the box if I like to receive the junk mail.

Logical is, if I wish to not receive any information on products from the Times UK, why would I wish to receive content from third parties!

So, when signing up I ALWAYS slow down and read EVERY dot and comma carefully, and tick or abstain from ticking a box.

 

NaughtyTimes_crop2

 

Quality-assessment-must-be-more-than-a-tick-box-process2

And today I flicked it!

 

I regret not having kept a screenshot I made years ago, and sent it as a warning tip to my friends after I tried for the longest time to find the un-tick button for a travel insurance Ryan Air tried to force on me. Now, it is common knowledge that they are notorious for these stunts on their website. But that travel insurance thing really topped it. Even after years I haven’t found anything coming close to their audacity in using the trick described below.

I am no fan of Ryan Air and always felt bad to use their service as their staff is not making enough to live on and they even have to pay for their own uniform, unless that has been changed since the last time I saw an appalling documentary on their staff treatment. I only use Ryan Air as an “emergency” air line when I have to fly within a day’s notice for family emergencies etc. as no other airline offers a next day deal should I have to fly out fast. In normal circumstances I use other airlines even if I pay much more, but I pay for a better service and feel more secure and don’t feel like I am in a sale that’s on where people dive into cheap products and being pestered for raffles (sorry Ryan Air!). But most importantly the airline staff have to live as well, and I rather invest in that than get a cheap flight with all the downsides in connection with “cheap” services.

One of those bookings had me really angry at the tricks they use. I found a flight and saw that the travel insurance was automatically selected, so I wanted to deselect it, and by the life of me I could not find where to un-tick (or as the Americans say “uncheck”) a box. I clicked on everything I could click on. I went on Internet search where I typed the question “how to deselect Ryan Air insurance” and found some tips, but they were already outdated and Ryan Air found new ways to force products unto customers, knowing many customers are in a hurry to book that cheap flight before someone else takes the seat and fills the plane.

So I came to my end of patience and was about to cancel that flight altogether as I hate being forced to buy a product I don’t want to buy! When I then finally clicked on one last thing I ignored all this time and could not believe Ryan Air’s bold and disrespectful impertinence!

I clicked on a scroll-down menu of the list of countries which I was supposed to choose from for the insurance to cover me in that country, should I have WISHED to purchase Ryan Air’s insurance in the first place! I never clicked on it, kept ignoring it as I did NOT want travel insurance and therefor didn’t see the need to select a country! Daah! And these clever buggers know that psychology and that time is pressing the customer to then compromise and purchase a product they don’t want to buy! So, I slowly scrolled down the alphabetical list of countries. When I reached the letter “D”, I could not believe my eyes, under “D” the option appeared: “Don’t want insurance”! I clicked it and like out of nowhere I deselected the travel insurance! Tadaaaa!!!

Needless to say that Ryan Air will remain only my emergency choice of airlines, unless I become filthy rich to be able to pay a sick amount of money for a next or same day flight!

And The Times UK, tztztz, naughty, too. I have to say that I signed up for the Times, but ended up not finishing to read the article. I lost my appetite to read it, and instead wrote my own little rant here tweaking a jpg image and flicking away The Times UK that has ticked me off!

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day #18 – Pret A MissingPay

Scrabble WTF

 

Full Quote: (Highlights by me)

 

Doesn’t Recommend

Pros: I have arrived in the UK to study last fall, and so far it’s the best paid job I had (if you count the mystery sh bonus). Everything is extremelly clean, and the food is indeed as they say, fresh and healthy. The paid 30 mins break with free lunch is also a great nice perk. You also get 50% off on all Pret food, anywhere.

 

Cons: Pret seems perfect if you throw it a quick look. Great pay, great food, great team mates, everyone’s so happy and friendly all the time… did you know that we have to? The “perfect Pret” standards state that the Pret employee is happy all the time, never drepressed. Not kidding, it’s printed in our locker. Sometimes it can be challenging maintaining a natural smile on my face for 8 hours straight.

Now, I should mention I’m only two months old in this job, so my views are limited. However, I have noticed some things that I can assure you they are true.

Pret will do anything not to pay you. They will bend the law and the contract in any way they can, and there is nothing you can do about it (unless smile).

1. I recently had to call in sick, and it led to 2 days off work. When I logged in online on the website, it showed me someone put two different illnesses for those 2 days, and most oddly, both very wrong. I have already spoken to the managers about it, so how could they have gotten it wrong, as they wrote it down on the form in front of me?

Intrigued, I looked into it a bit more (I have also realized, there is no one colleague of mine that bothered going into such depth researching). There is a very small subsection of a subsection on the website that states, in summary, you get paid, as a part-time worker, from the second day of illness, and as a full-time worker, from the third. I am part-time. I should have been paid for my second day. But what did Pret do? They put two different illnesses, so they don’t have to pay me (it counts as the first day of illness, for both days).

I have talked to some colleagues, they never got paid, no matter how long they have been working there for (the little subsection also states that if you’re more than 12 months older in the company, you’ll get wellness pay. For more information, please visit this website – followed by a broken link. That’s a lot of weird coincidences, isn’t it?

2. Holiday pay. I’m new, and as most things around here at Pret, holiday pay was never explained to me. At the beginning of March, a noted was posted in the locker, that you have to apply 6 weeks before the date for the holiday. After this, I quickly found out the holiday year ends on the 31st of March… in less than 4 weeks after the note appeared. How funny – this note now denied anyone in my huge team to get holiday for the remaining time, and if you don’t use the days you get, they are erased on the 31st, and you never get paid for them.

Funnily enough, I am extremely behind with uni work, and exams are fast approaching. Why am I behind, if my contract is only part-time? Mostly because for my entire employment, I hve worked many extra shifts, after my manager insisted – sometimes confirmed me for a shift during lecture time without even asking me before. Yesterday I got up at 4.30 to start my 6 am shift. After 8 hours, I was asked to stay 2 more, because the shop is, as always, not able to cope with the number of clients. After barely being able to get back home, I found my requested holiday was denied (there’s also no alarm for that, if you want to check if it’s still pending or denied, you have to constantly check).

I want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE. If you show up 1 minute late ready to work, you lose the mystery sh bonus. The 50% discount on all food? Been here for 2 months and still haven’t received my card for it, althought legally I am entitled to it from day 1. I was also told by the actually trainer that the managers hate it when you use the discount, so I should be careful using it (if I ever get it, that is). I once asked the manager if I can quickly go to the toilet, when the shop was quite empty – she stared in shock at me for a few long seconds before agreeing.

Not everyone is like that though, there are some nice people, who don’t deserve to be associated with what I wrote. I am not discontinuing my contract with them because of these things either (mostly because I just need to make rent). I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.”

 

Quote of the Day:

I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.

Your voice is heard! You are smart in doing this anonymous, I will get into trouble soon, once a certain confirmation from the Tribunal has been received. But I have lost everything and am still suffering, there is nothing Pret can do to me anymore, no matter what they try! And my time of trying to help them improve is over. It is my turn to give Pret a note of concern, a disciplinary and “dismissing” them for their conduct. I survived but almost didn’t make it. So, I too, believe in using my voice!

 

Pennies pexels-photo

 

This typical management behaviour, where management is “foolish” enough to bend the rules to achieve more targets and bonus taking the already small wages and peanuts from hardworking staff, which the upper management then benefit from because it adds up in numbers. And if the lower management gets caught, they are in trouble IF CAUGHT. In the meantime everyone closes their eyes, except the Team Members who suffer the loss.
This reviewer was more lucky than I in having had their manager sit down and go through the “return to work interview” sheet WITH them. I oftentimes was handed the sheet of paper having to fill it in myself, even after I returned from a three-months sick leave where I was in bereavement, depression and panic attack. My then line manager didn’t believe that I was so unwell and said that I returned to work on the day when my sick leave would turn long term, implying that I was planning this.

I remember sitting there in silent shock that this management behaviour was just not stopping. I remember telling this boss that I thought that I was already on long term sick leave, that I assumed that long term is anything after 4 or 6 weeks. In hindsight I should not have even defended myself, but just looked for a way to raise the issue of this incapable and uncaring manager.

I even tried for the manager to do the “return to work interview” properly but was too exhausted and depressed to pursue this further. Everything is done in such a way that the staff and management are always at fault if they are caught as they have to sign a gazillion rules to be made responsible, no matter how poor and non-existent the training is.

I have had countless times where hours I worked were missing, with one line manager one CHRISTMAS EVE when I worked a short day, had the audacity to tell me that he supposedly missed the deadline to pay the wages as it was Christmas Eve on a Thursday where the pay is send to HQ. He told me he missed the deadline time even though another leader double checked my hours with me and was about to send my hours for pay to HQ when the line manager walked in and must have stopped her.

He then had the audacity to ask me to remind him the following Monday (Christmas Bank-holiday!) to pay me. I passed this on to an HR advisor who was dealing with my situation already, and because I was already in the middle of a grievance hearing against the line managers who kept rebuking me in front of my team where I broke down, I didn’t have the strength to pursue this and was clouded up in grief anyway. But I still have all those payslips where I made notes on where 1 or 2 and even more hours were missing to show it to line mangers.

So yes, I have had countless missing pays, missing holiday pays etc. and had to investigate many times for my team when they came to me with the complaint that the line manager didn’t pay them correctly. I checked my pay slips for 10 years and often managed to get my pay, but I am sure at times it also slipped me. This is such a “normal” occurrence in Pret with wages not being correctly paid. In Australia they now criminalized “wage theft”. It’s time the UK follows suit. I am not alleging wage theft at Pret A Manger, but having to chase my and my team members missing hours for 10 years speaks its own language.

Wage theft to be a crime in Victoria

 

2018-07-14 The Good and the bad re Sickpay FULL

LINK

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day #17 – Pret A Shame

 

Quote of the day: “The training should be more about encouraging people than shouting and shaming them. … it has been the most stressful job I have had in a couple of years.”

dollar sign_only_poic

Dear Pret Leadership,

why are you doing this to your staff?

You need more money?!

I have a few pennies in my purse

I have some water to quench your thirst

I have more patience to help your patients

who are left behind after the grind

on a psychiatric ward

What about those who want to end their life

while you continue to thrive

in your millions and billions

and whatever …illions that are left

to strive

for what?

I survived.

Are you enjoying yourself?

I hope so.

Life is short

Be kind to yourself and to those who make it happen

for you.

©Late Night Girl

Quote Pret #12 Tough Job

Link

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Open Letter to James Hoffmann

Dear James Hoffmann,

first of all, thank you for responding to my comment on your video, unfortunately my comments and your response are hidden from the public, and I re-checked via different browsers and devises, my initial comments are not there, but it’s not important anymore. Please forgive me that I made a screenshot and am publishing it here. I do so because I suffered greatly, became ill and almost lost my life.

You seem a sensible person trying to look at business news objectively. And if I was looking from the outside in myself without my inside experience, I would even like your take on this. The problem though is, you as most people looking in from the outside seem very easily blinded by the brilliant PR that Pret is so good in.

I’d like to post your thoughts on the JAB purchase of Pret A Manger here and respond with my experience and real “insights”, having worked in Pret for close to 10 years helping with their success. I also tried to improve work conditions internally to no avail, while becoming out-of-sync after my brother died and being mistreated on top of it, making many mistakes and sliding into ill behaviour. But having spent 10 years of my life working for Pret is my biggest regret with my future unclear and my mental health in shambles.

There are many good things in Pret, but the bottom line is that the senior leadership and HR are far removed from the painful reality on the shop floor. And yet, they do know very very well how brutal it is, that’s why most staff (mainly British) are aiming for jobs in HQ, away from the “front lines” of the business. Yes, they do what they call “Buddy Days” where once a year a staff member from HQ works in a Pret shop and kitchen for a day, BUT when they do, the management and teams in the shops are well behaved like this is their dream job. When the “buddy” is gone, it’s back to business as usual. I’ve always disliked this hypocrisy. And also with the HQ staff coming in at 8 or 9am, often being late and starting their “shift” with breakfast. Whereas if I would have been the manager, I would have explained to them to start their shift at 5am sharp, or whichever time a particular shop starts the shift as this varies from shop to shop. But they would have needed to be ready in uniform on the dot! If they would have been late, I would have send them home or have a serious talk, just like shop leaders do with a new person, no mercy! Welcome to reality in a Pret shop! Now, enter the “fun”.

But unfortunately as a Team Leader the only thing I was able to do, was asking the HQ staff to do the dirty work of changing the bins, checking the toilets for cleanliness, smiling at customers non-stop, having the shop in an immaculate state at all times, stop using their mobile phones on the shop floor and putting it in the locker like the rest of the team was required to, get their fingernails dirty and cracked, and their feet hurt with their backs “broken”… I’m sure they hated my gut, but I loved and cared for my team who worked their hearts out oftentimes in pain and sometimes in tears. So, an HQ staff surely can pass a few hours a year doing just that.

Stress

I typed up a transcript on your thoughts: JAB Holdings Buys Pret A Manger and included it here word for word. Please bear with any mistakes as I am not a professional in typing transcripts, I type with 2 fingers only.

Transcript – I highlighted a few things which I am commenting on at the bottom of this open letter:

“What I wanna try today is something a little bit different, a short, sweet response to a piece of news in our industry.

Today I want to talk about JAB buying Pret A Manger, which is both interesting and incredibly, incredibly boring.

What makes it interesting? They (JAB) paid or is going to pay £1.5 Billion for Pret A Manger, which is a lot for a business that makes “only” a £100 Million in profit a year. They’re paying 15 times that, it’s a 15x multiple. Which implies there’s gonna be really, really fantastic growth coming.

Now, Pret kind of have about 500 locations, most of which are in the UK, most of which, most of that profit is actually in London. And while they’ve expanded in the U.S., that hasn’t gone quite as well as you’d think.

So, if they struggle to expand, well, why is there this huge potential?

Pret makes about £880,000,000 a year as a business, and if you work this out, this is kind of interesting: Each Pret location on average makes £1.75 million a year. Now, for the kind of business they have, where they sell questionable coffee and sad little triangles, called sandwiches, that seems like an enormous amount of money! Considering what they sell is not particularly expensive.

And this is the thing that’s interesting, this is the thing where we don’t give Pret enough credit and enough attention. Yeah, I don’t really like the product in terms of its coffee, for sure! But, they’re all about speed! Pret values their customers’ time. Perhaps in a way not many businesses do. They have a publicly stated goal of serving you within 60 seconds of you walking in the door. And I think they do a pretty good job of getting there.

And that is hugely important to an enormous number of people. That’s how they’re able to process as many people as they do. Sure, they have a lot of people on anyone time, but they’re still making good profit, they’re still making 11-12% each year in terms of Net profit. So, their business model is pretty sound. But they value people’s time.

And if you have a coffee shop and you’re looking at this deal and you’re thinking, how is that happening? Why would you buy this business? It’s because the model is actually pretty interesting. In the world of specialty we haven’t really, really valued our customers’ time. We’ve been very product focused. And as a result, I think we haven’t valued people’s time adequately. We’ve made people wait, often wait just far too long for what they’re ultimately getting. And in doing so, I think we’ve excluded a large number of people, who either value their time very highly or just aren’t willing to invest that kind of time that we ask of them. And I think if we took a little bit of that from Pret, it would allow us to access a much larger community of people who’d be interested in what we’re doing.

And right now one of the biggest challenges specialty faces is growing its audience. Right now the audience isn’t really growing but the number of Cafes is. We’re all competing for the same customers instead of finding new customers. And I think embracing a little bit of what makes Pret so incredibly valuable, a multi-billion pound company, embracing, valuing our customers’ time, will be extremely worthwhile.

So, that is a little bit of business talk for today…”

END of transcript.

——————————————————————————

Here is the screenshot of my comment and your response which I can only see when I am logged into my YouTube channel:

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply1

Close-up:

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply1a

I also pointed you to another comment further below your video from a YouTuber called RPQ who left this comment in the beginning of July 2018:

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply2

My response to your thoughts from the transcript:

“What makes it interesting? They (JAB) paid or is going to pay £1.5 Billion for Pret A Manger, which is a lot for a business that makes “only” a £100 Million in profit a year. They’re paying 15 times that, it’s a 15x multiple. Which implies there’s gonna be really, really fantastic growth coming.”

Yes, it means that the shop and kitchen staff will be squeezed even worse now than they already are. They made and will make this growth happen at a high personal price with their mental and physical health. I have a roaring tinnitus myself still and can only reduce it by seeking quiet places. And the price I paid with my mental health you have already read on my blog here. I have no illusion anymore and know that my way to recovery will be a very long one. And just in case I won’t make it, you and many more people now will not be able to say that you didn’t know what and who made this “fantastic growth” happen!

Quote: “And this is the thing that’s interesting, this is the thing where we don’t give Pret enough credit and enough attention. Yeah, I don’t really like the product in terms of its coffee, for sure! But, they’re all about speed! Pret values their customers’ time. Perhaps in a way not many businesses do. They have a publicly stated goal of serving you within 60 seconds of you walking in the door. And I think they do a pretty good job of getting there.”

I want to give credit to my countless ex-colleagues with whom I worked shoulder to shoulder, day-in day-out, in an intensely stressful, bullying, discriminating and ungrateful work environment, all my colleagues and myself who made this success and the wealth of the few at the top happen.

Pret does not value customers’ time, Pret, as most businesses, value customers’ pockets! And it is disheartening that you and most people seem blinded by the age-old reality in business, that time is money, and the quicker you get customers in and out the store, the more money flow is happening … faster! But who makes that happen? Who pays the price? If a company has NO regard for the health and value of their staff who are human beings but driven like machines, valuable humans as much as their customers are, than I question the motif of their business.

Sure Pret pays a little more, gives more holiday, puts on elaborate parties etc. and now even giving £1000 incentive to retain and gain staff, but if Pret wouldn’t give more incentives and benefits they would hardly have anyone working for them, as the job is WAY too stressful and harsh. Even if you are bereaved, you are not safe and are tricked and trapped as you have learned my story. I used to be an enthusiastic person, working highly motivated, and I am not an old person, but I feel like I am in my 70s, ready to call it a day. My old self is gone after my brother died with the added turmoil in Pret.

Quote: “And that is hugely important to an enormous number of people. That’s how they’re able to process as many people as they do. Sure, they have a lot of people on anyone time, but they’re still making good profit, they’re still making 11-12% each year in terms of Net profit. So, their business model is pretty sound. But they value people’s time.”

Again, they value people’s money, and time IS money, as you word it perfectly: “they’re able to PROCESS as many people as they do…” Why do I have to think of cattle being lead to mass slaughter when I read the word “process”?!

Quote: “Sure, they have a lot of people on anyone time, but they’re still making good profit”

No, they don’t have “a lot of people” at anyone time, 10 years of working understaffed to maximize profits has had me never ever wanting to work fast again, not to mention not being able to work currently. You may ask, why did you stay so long? Simple, I had a life outside of Pret where I had friends and projects I was passionate about. I was healthy, strong and able to mostly leave the stress at work. My life and personal projects were overriding the stress from work. And in a nutshell I and many people are like frogs that are sitting in a pot of warm water by being lulled in by good PR and where Pret’s CEO calls the company “family”. The PR is the warm water and very slowly the heat is turned up where we don’t realize that we are being cooked alive! I certainly am well over cooked, chewy and tasteless like rubber now. And just like a used and stained Pret paper cup that is of no use anymore, I landed on a pile of rubbish! When my brother died and I was mistreated on top of it, tricked and trapped by HR, they crossed a line, and I was turning ill.

Rubbish Paper Cups2

Quote: “In the world of specialty we haven’t really, really valued our customers’ time. We’ve been very product focused. And as a result, I think we haven’t valued people’s time adequately.

Okay, here is the challenge and my plea: please could you STOP only valuing customers’ pockets and being product focus, and start valuing the staff who make all the products and who are the ones serving customers? Employees who are left behind in this cut throat greedy multi-millionaire business!

Someone please stop this modern-day slavery and stop closing your eyes to what is REALLY behind successful businesses. As a rule of thumb: if it sound too good to be true… it isn’t! Someone, somewhere is always paying the price for this business model you so admire, and it is the majority who pay for the rewards of the few on the top. And if the few only reap the rewards that the many make happen, ask yourself if you really want this kind of business model. If you are on the side of greed, this indeed is very good for you. If you are on the side of most human beings, seeking a fair share in life by contributing with an honest hard working job, this indeed is too good to be true and the cost, the bill will come later. And we all know who’s paying for it.

Quote: “And in doing so, I think we’ve excluded a large number of people, who either value their time very highly or just aren’t willing to invest that kind of time that we ask of them.”

Well, you exclude an even larger number of people who are the staff making this happen, oftentimes at their physical and mental costs.

Quote: “And right now one of the biggest challenges specialty faces is growing its audience. Right now the audience isn’t really growing but the number of Cafes is.”

Yes, unfortunately every business wants a slice of the cake, and the crumbs are dished up by those who break their backs to make that cake.

The biggest challenge is to find a way to stop the greedy ways of the few and to really make their workforce part of the success and with it really leave behind a legacy that shows that businesses can indeed go the right way. As Gandhi so poignantly said: “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

I can only say that when Pret fired me in my ill conduct out of trauma, with their HR tricks while my dad was in intensive care, just out of a coma, Pret fired me right into activism. My dad has died now and I would have preferred to write a blog on how amazing the company I worked for has treated me in my bereavement and trauma.

Mr. Hoffmann, could you look deeper, please, on what really is behind a successful business model?

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,

 

———-

Edit, 22.07.2018: I can imagine that either you have been contacted by Pret or you contacted Pret for an explanation. I can tell you how Pret responds. Pret responds by sweet talking their way out of this and victimizing me into the corner of mental illness (which happened to me while working in Pret during mistreatment in bereavement).

They will lull you in with numbers and their annual staff questionnaire and awards, which is a flawed system because shops cheat by Pret-ending (pardon my word-game, couldn’t help it) to be team members, partaking in the questionnaire answering questions positive. I have declined doing the questionnaire and yet my shop’s result was a 100% participation, even though I didn’t participate in this voluntary questionnaire.

They will have advised you to not respond in the hopes this goes away.

If you or the public want to be lulled in by good PR that is your prerogative. But you and the public won’t be able to say in the future that you didn’t know about the tactics and work conditions in Pret.

I still suffer and at times hold on to mere life not trying to give up, and many others struggle, no matter how sweet the words of Pret’s leadership and HR will be trying to talk their way out of this.

Bullying, and especially bullying bereaved employees is unacceptable and dangerous to people’s lives. I will never be silent again.

Thank you for reading.

————-

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

Quote of the Day #16 – Poor A Manger

 

Facebooks-Dislike-Button-Could-Get-a-Big-Thumbs-Down-Itself

 

I leave the quote as is without correcting the spelling just to leave it in their own words.

 

“Poor and terrible management.”

i was really looking forward to start my new job back in april this year, my first manger was ok then i had a new one start and my rotas were never correct and on many occasions i went to work to be told i wasnt working, ive just gone back to work after a holiday and after two occasions of phoning to be told i wasnt working i went into work to be told by the manger i had been sacked for not attending !!!! really disappointed and angry with the way ive been treated

Yes, if you were a customer being treated poorly you would get a massive apology and a voucher from Pret after complaining to them. The manager would get into trouble who in turn will put the team member into trouble. Sorry that you were “only” a staff member with no value to them.

And yes, I’ve been there, too. My rota was on a certain schedule, I came in at 5am just to be told that I’m either off that day or due to start at 11am as the manager just changed the rota without first of all asking me and secondly not being bothered informing me of the rota change.

You make plans for the afternoon as you assume you start at 5am just to have to struggle with the manager to get your initial 5am shift back as you made plans for the day/week.

This is typical behaviour from managers who then pressure you to cancel your private plans or look for another shop or job. It is deeply ingrained in management who are incapable and do what they want. Very poor.

 

2018-07-11 Quote Pret #16

Team Member, Crawley

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day – Brexit #1

IMG_20180710_174709

 

»Arnaud Desjardins, Publisher and Father

French, Resident in the UK since 1997

“I feel betrayed and the object of political

manipulations – not a human being – not

a citizen. Fu*k nationalism.”«

 

IMG_20180710_174720

 

IMG_20180710_174736

 

IMG_20180710_174800

At The Vaults Waterloo, London 10 July 2018

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #15 – Pret Annihilate Humanity

 

Breaking up the review into sections (bold high-lights by me), the whole of this review needs to be highlighted because it is more than true! As usual I leave any mistakes in to keep it in their own words.

Before you read the below review, please sit down, take a deep breath and make sure you are not eating anything that might get stuck in your throat.

 

alcohol-hangover-event-death-52507

 

»This job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you.«

 

You start work at 4:30 in the morning when its dark and you finish at 16:30 when its dark again in the winter and you spend your whole day in the kitchen without windows where its very very cold, 4-5 degree and you are required to wear the short sleeved uniform because they are always under staffed and you might have to run on till at any point of the day.

There is painfully loud music in the kitchen so that you dont talk with the others because this is slowing you down and you have a timer that beeps every so minutes and you have to race and assemble sandwiches as fast as you can which is like a game at first but it becomes very stressful with time and you are always late, always behind and if you somehow manage to finish for the time set the next day they give you more stuff to make in the same time. Its all about productivity.

I spend 6 months racing all day and barely spoke 3-5 words a day on my shifts if I’m not on till where you are required to have the widest fake smile on earth, highly pitched voice and again be as fast as possible, its all a race. Everywhere its very noisy and very busy and you are always behind and the stress builds up so much that me and many of my colleagues had to take pills for sleep because you hear the noise in your head when you get home after work and we had this random mental break downs where you are crying on your lunch break without any real reason, its just tears coming out of your eyes and you cant stop.

The giant corporation is making wealth from squeezing every drop of “productivity” from the employees and when people break and quit there are always more desperate poor students or immigrants willing to take their position. People work there no more than 3-6 months but there are people that are ok with being on autopilot all day and can deal with the lack of any thoughts in their head day after day after day.

There is no place for thoughts, just reflexes. You do the same stuff over and over and over as fast as possible every day and when you get home you either drink or you you act drunk because when someone asks you something you cant answer. You just stand there like a vegetable and try not to shake, humming and trying to suppress the chaotic noise in your head.

 

BINGO!!! Every dot and comma of this review is 150% spot on!!

 

So, understandably that Pret is now desperate for staff, giving £1000 to each employee as Brexit is advancing fast. £1K that would take 10 years of service to receive, they now throw out at all employees even new staff (which is peanuts for Pret) to gain and retain staff.

Lucky Pret, they fired me 5 months short of my 10 years’ service while my father was in intensive care, just out of a coma. But lucky me I survived to talk about my ordeal!
The above will only get worse with the new take over by JAB based in tax haven Luxembourg! At current and new Pret staff, take the money and run! Good luck!

 

pexels-photo-271171

 

Quote of the Day:

LINK >>> “You will lose everything that makes you human.” !!!

 

2018-07-12 Quote Pret #17

A long list of Pret Staff Complaints with Links to Employment Review Websites

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #14 – Define A Manager

 

Quote of the Day: Smile while.

emoji-happy-thumbs-upSIDE Down

Quote Pret #10 Poor

 

I’d like to pick this one apart:

 

“I worked at Pret A Manger part-time (Less than a year)”

Well done for leaving early.

 

“Pros: None that I can think of.”

 

There must be one thing, just one?

 

“Cons: Too many. Lack of defined management, finger-pointing, politics and poor organisation. Honestly, does anyone working at Pret ever look happy?

Yes. I looked happy. I’ve achieved the impossible! I looked happy after my brother died. I looked so happy it made me (thr)ill(ed) beyond safety.

 

“Advice to Management: Spend a shift with employees.”

They do! It’s called ‘Buddy Day’ where an employee from head office spends one day annually in a Pret branch.

The problem is, they come in at 8 or 9am, often being late. The first thing they do is have breakfast, while the “foot-soldiers” in the kitchen and on the shop floor are producing the breakfast they think they’ve earned already, just by showing up.

When I was a Team Leader I made those HQ people change the bins, take out the rubbish and get their fingernails cracked! Sorry HQ, but you entered my world, you’d better be ready to leave it like I am on a daily basis.

If I would have been a manager, I would have demanded for them to start at 5am sharp, or whatever time the first person came in, as this differs from shop to shop. They would have been ready in full uniform to be shouted at and demanded to show some passion and interest early in the freaking morning! They would have been ready to be shouted at and accepted by a manipulated worn out team!

But hey, I decided to not be part of the management team. I aimed to be a leader, not a manager.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day – McLibel

 

A spot on quote: “Most so called anti-social behaviour is actually people fighting over the crumbs that are thrown from the table. The real people who are behaving anti-social, are those who control all the resources and deprive other people of what should be shared amongst us all.”

— Helen Steel (at about 1:12:50)

That is what I always told my teams when I worked in Pret A Manger, when team members were frustrated at the stress and pressure from the managers and customers where they started to rebuke each other. I would stop them and tell them that we are working in a highly intense and stressful environment, and that we are doing extremely well. I told them that it is head office who come up with unrealistic rules to drive us to do more and more and more …. to breaking point while we in the team eat each other up. We should rebuke the top leadership at HQ for putting this on us, not giving each other more stress.

It was moments like these when I saw the team relax again, even apologizing to each other and keep going…

Now my advise would be to not just keep working, but stand up against this “anti-social” behaviour from the top down.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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When a Business gets it Right! Social-Bite

 

 

Nothing more to add to that!

 

VillageForHomeless

Scottish café chain built a village for the homeless

Social-Bite.co.uk

 

There’s hope amongst all the greed in the world.

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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The McLibel Case

 

“A long time ago there was a company that made lots of money selling bits of meat between two bits of bread.

Many people were employed to put the meat between the bread and many animals were killed to be the meat.

A friendly clown persuaded children to love the company.

Some decades passed and all was well. The company became very, very rich. Richer even than many countries.

And then some people wrote in their newspapers that eating lots of the meat and bread could make people ill. Other people said on television that too many trees had been cut down and that the workers were unhappy.

This made the company very angry.

The company looked around the world and saw that in England there existed a special law that could stop people saying things the company didn’t like.

And make them say sorry.”

 

The Guardian newspaper apologized.

Other Newspapers apologized.

Channel 4 apologized.

Daily Mirror apologized.

Daily Mail apologized.

Bromley and Hayes News Shopper apologized.

BBC Radio Sheffield apologized.

Granada Television apologized.

The Cumberland News apologized.

TimeOut apologized.

Sunderland and Washington Times apologized.

Linda McCartney apologized.

Lowestoft Journal apologized.

Spitting Image apologized.

Best magazine apologized.

GreenScore apologized.

Green Capitalist apologized.

Hatfield polytechnic apologized.

Turning Up The Heat apologized.

Chiltern apologized.

Morning Star apologized.

Here’s Health apologized.

Morning Star apologized.

filmkraft apologized.

Chiltern Radio apologized.

Casio College apologized.

Today apologized.

Manx Independent apologized.

Slow Observer apologized.

Islington Community Housing apologized.

Wales on Sunday apologized.

Of the Greens apologized.

New Leaf Tea Shop apologized.

Kingston on Thames polytechnic apologized.

The Sun apologized.

BBC apologized.

Somerset Country Gazette apologized.

Bournemouth Advertiser apologized.

 

McLibel Not sorry

(Intro of documentary video below)

 

This case has always inspired me. I saw this first about 10 years ago and admired the tenacity and principles of two “small” people not bowing to a Goliath.

In a nutshell, two activists where sued by McDonald’s (the American side who found a loophole in UK’s legal system) for libel because they were handing out leaflets regarding the food, staff treatment, animal cruelty etc.

Their activism was covered by several news media organizations, Newspapers and TV news channels. McD got “upset” and all the media people apologized… except these two simple “little” giants Helen Steel and David Morris.

 

mcdonalds_wideweb__430x315

 

Fasting forward 5+ years, they half won the case against McD upon appeals and went further to the European Court winning their case that it isn’t fair that when regular people are sued by a multi-million dollar company with all their big shot lawyers, for the regular people not being able to get free legal representative. Any criminal has the right for free legal aid, but regular folk who are completely outnumbered and outsourced by a Goliath should be able to have the same rights. And they won that case!

They deserve a spot in my Hero section. Helen Steel, David Morris, Keir Starmer and all the volunteers and supporters who chipped in to support their case, which in reality Steel and Morris fought for all of us regular people!

It is really worth watching this almost 1.5 hour documentary. If you are on the right side of justice and empathy for hard working people, this will inspire you to even just support people who don’t have the power or means to fend for themselves.

 

Full McLibel Documentary

Website of the Documentary

McSpotlight

 

A spot on quote: “Most so called anti-social behaviour is actually people fighting over the crumbs that are thrown from the table. The real people who are behaving anti-social, are those who control all the resources and deprive other people of what should be shared amongst us all.”

— Helen Steel (at about 1:12:50)

 

 

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Quote of the Day #13 – Regret A Manger

 

Quote of the day:You have to complete countless duties (especially when closing) in very very short period of time and I got shouted at if I didn’t make it (for example: clean and mop the floor, bins, wash trays, clean toilet and chemical room all in HALF AN HOUR – still has to be perfectly clean)

AND

Bonus that you are getting could’ve be taken away for many stupid reasons so don’t be fooled into thinking that if you are qualified team member you are safe !

Yep! I made it a point as a Team Leader to HELP my team!

 

2018-07-06 Quote #13 1

2018-07-06 Quote #13 2

Team Member, London

 

I had many clashes with my line managers over time when my boss would have a go at me as the responsible manager on duty (MOD) during the previous shift, why something wasn’t cleaned or done properly. This is a typical Pret tactic where the general manager (GM) is pressuring the Team Leader, for the TL in turn to pressure the Team Members (TMs). Very hierarchical management style.

At times I was stressed and frustrated, but then I decided to not pressure my team but first of all help them finish the immense amounts of duties within a short time.

And the second thing I did was to put the pressure back on my line managers by demanding for the team to either get more PAID time or an extra TM to help finish the tasks.

At times I succeeded because first of all I had the shops in an immaculate state which the GMs were always impressed about. Secondly I coached my teams that when they cannot finish in time, we go home sharp at the time our pay finishes. No more staying longer without pay especially when it was already 10PM and most TMs had spouses and kids waiting at home!

I have no issues with staying longer at times even unpaid, but this should be the exception to the rule and not the regular occurrence as it is in Pret.

My number one priority at work was that the job gets done, but in a sensible time and expectation. Once I saw my team work their heart out with me helping them, yet still  we could not finish in time, my second priority then was their family and life! Time’s up, we gave it all we’ve got, we go home now! Let the boss throw a fit the next day, bring it on!

I knew my team, I saw how hard they and I worked, I refused to sit on my butt in the office but always supported them, and yet we still weren’t able to finish, because the tactic from the top was to give them so much work in so little time, pretending they don’t work hard enough so that they work overtime unpaid.

But not on my shift! I saw my teams, and when they worked so back breaking hard I told them that when the time is up where the GM refuses to pay them overtime, we stop and go home and that I as the TL will take responsibility and explain to the boss the next day. And I did get “whacked” countless times, but I refused to bow to this bullying intimidation tactics.

It is clear that I did not make friends with my bosses, but I didn’t care for making friends with corrupt and lazy managers. Those are not in my circle of friends. So, needless to say any career path for me never existed. But I slept well at nights and I had the respect and backing from my team. That was good enough for me. And what doesn’t kill you really only makes you stronger.

When I was calm and helped them I never had issues with my team. When I was hectic and frustrated, and especially during grief and trauma it reflected on the team, and I worked hard for them not to see my pain and sometimes sheer angst. But I didn’t always succeed. I couldn’t always hide my grief and depression. But I felt their backing and support when they just did their jobs and letting me do mine.

The only thing I miss at Pret is my teams! We worked flawlessly together and the greatest compliment they gave me was when they asked me for advise or entrusted me with problems they had, or asked me if I could lend them some money until next payday etc.

The trust and respect from a team is priceless, it cannot be forced by bullying and mistreatment or bribes. Maybe I am too sentimental and too old school, but I really believe in the musketeer-ish way of “one for all and all for one”.

In today’s society and certainly in Pret it sadly is more a “me for me and only for you if you help me advance” mentality. No, that’s not for me.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #12 – PR[et] A Manipulative

 

This is a review regarding Pret’s HQ from a former IT ANALYST!

 

Quote of the day: “Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

 

2017-12-19 IT Analyst HQ

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

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Quote of the Day #11 – Pret A Squeeze

 

Some jobs are not for the faint of heart. But a job that is just in a coffee & sandwich place, sucking the life out of you because most managers are insecure, selfish, greedy, power-hungry, being placed into management positions they don’t belong in (yet). Managers who are not trained in people and leadership skills; managers who misunderstand leadership, mistaking it for being taskmasters, assuming they own the staff; managers with their agenda to cover up their own inadequacies and insecurities by suppressing and bullying staff, these managers in the long-run gain no respect.

They are mislead by upper management who fool them that their so-called “hard work” got them into management positions, while in reality it was their willingness to bow to any and all of the expectations that whatever is needed, whatever the cost, they do anything to advance up the ladder, no matter if right or wrong. Their blind obedience to wrong doing and a corrupt system gets them up the carrier ladder fast. It is easy to climb up fast, the real challenge is to keep it up “up there”.

It took me years in my naivety and giving people the benefit of the doubt to understand this, where I always asked myself frustrated why there are too many managers being harsh or indifferent, complacent, unfair… The fish stinks from its head, if the majority of “leaders” are like this, it always comes from the top, enabled and welcomed by a system put in place that takes advantage of good people for the sake of gain. Like Gandhi said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

I have experienced myself and seen managers mistreat me and staff for prolonged times, and myself and others complaining and raising grievances, but to no avail. It makes perfect sense then that even bereavement at the workplace is an inconvenience, I survived to speak about it. And yet, the moment that manager does something that might hurt the company, that the company doesn’t approve of, they very quickly find whatever even smallest thing against that manager to fire them.

A corrupt system will produce and welcome corrupt management, because this kind of system needs those kind of managers to do their bidding. If you are a person of integrity and principles, you won’t make it far in a corrupt system, unless you wiggle your way through, quietly not creating any waves. But is that integrity? How goes the saying,

 

edmundburke1-2x

 

While it is good to wiggle your way through the mine field of elbows and a cut throat mentality with tricks and traps on many a corner, it might even be smart to rise to the top and then be able to change things. This is in no way to attempt a comparison, but a simple example of Oskar Schindler, business man and member of the Nazi party, who cleverly and courageously used his position to save over a thousand Jews, by pretending he needed them for production in his factory. He just found and created jobs for them.

This is an extreme example, but every principle starts small. To just watch how employees are mistreated, held low, bullied, driven and pushed to work until breaking point, has nothing to do with integrity, but has rather more to do with cowardliness. And it worries and scares me that when governments become oppressive, it will be far easier to go along and “obey orders” in a suppressing government, when our principles are already compromised and not even present in the day-to-day workplace!

Yes, I’m being very blunt again, but I have to, because I almost lost my life while many good people just watched and kept their heads down.

 

So, what is the quote of the day?

 

Quote #11

Team Members reviews

 

WARNING: Not for the faint of heart. Watch with caution!

But this is how it felt, you worked to the point of exhaustion and fatigue WHILE being bereaved and traumatized, and it was NEVER good enough!

Overbearing managers SUCK!

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #10 – Kiss A Bum

 

Quote: “Managers treat you poorly, they are racist and discriminating. If you want to get [a] promotion you have to sleep with someone and kiss manager’s bum.”

That is true, I know people who sadly went down that route, it’s an open secret. They eventually have put hidden cameras into the offices in the shops, not only because of potential theft, but because managers were getting “too close” in the office with a team member after a trading day, giving them some “personalized training” for promotion!

This is a Sandwich chain for crying out loud, not a law firm, a political party or the music and film industry. Yet, people lower themselves so much to think they have to do this. Even in the film industry or a law firm I wouldn’t go down that route, but you will understand my point! What people are willing to do, to get into leadership positions is very sad. And this they then pass on to their teams, who become like them if they don’t have strong principles and values on their own. Vicious circle, very, very sad.

 

Quote #10 4July18

A former Manager’s review

 

 

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McStrike & Pret A Grève

… or what would be the French term for “strike”. Pret employees most likely won’t strike because they are being bribed now with £1000 while still experiencing extremely stressful work situations on a daily basis.

I have been boycotting McDonald’s for years, in fact I only ate there two, no more than three times and only because friends wanted to go. I just joined for my friend’s sake, but I always regretted it to have wasted my money there. Apart from the terrible food which shouldn’t be called “food”, the main reason I refuse to go to McD’s (for life) has always been the way they treat their staff. I can forgive a bad dish once in a while, but I cannot accept how poorly staff are treated and it is always something I pay attention to when I am eating out in a restaurant. How is the supervisor or owner of the restaurant treating their staff.

FastFoodStrikes_Clown

In Germany a few years back there was a huge scandal on staff mistreatment at Lidl, where Lidl would spy on their staff with hidden cameras, bullied them, unfairly sacked or pressured them. Many news and undercover reports brought this to light. I boycotted Lidl for over a year in London, even though London’s Lidl didn’t seem affected by this. But since the news reports things have improved in Lidl and I started to shop there again.

It is relatively new and about time that fast-food workers go on strike, with Unions across the globe taking a closer look at the giants who exploit employees on every corner. I have no words except that even while Pret gives a little more here and there to staff, the experience is the same, apart from the bullying, I always felt devalued, patronized, discriminated and was held low. I was more the outspoken type of employee, so it was very clear that I was to be held low and would never grow through the ranks, nor did I want to.

I showed interest to see what my line managers would say, and it was always very patronizing, one OPs said to me as I was known for having highly organized teams and shops, saying, “Just make sure the shop looks immaculate.” That was when I knew I would not be going far in Pret. But even if I had the chance, I still could not have done it, as to grow up the ladder as a manager you would have to cut hours and take as much as possible from staff who are the backbone of the business. I can never do that.

And it is the same everywhere. Even when a company starts off well, the temptation of the potential of sick amounts of money is just too grave to resist getting corrupted. Very sad. But I sleep well at nights, and will never be remembered for a dishonest person taking advantage of people. I will be known for all the ill behaviour and craziness from my trauma, but not for being corrupt and discriminating. And that is enough for me.

 

Fast-Food-Strike-PlannedPLUS-Pret

 

And like these employees who went down the right route of raising grievances, doing everything according to procedure, they were ignored. I was tricked and trapped by the HR dept. It’s just the same story, just masked differently.

 

First UK McStrike

 

The only way are Unions. If you are not in a Union yet, join one, without it you have no chance. I had to learn this the hard way. Big corporations do not understand fair-play, open cards and integrity, they laugh at it. Take it from me, in my illness I received the nickname “late night girl” from Pret’s CEO who just had a laugh about my illness.

 

 

Ian Hodson, President of Baker’s Food Allied Workers Union

 

Andrej Stopa – Pret A Manger Staff Union

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #9 – Corrupt A Manager

 

Sheryl Sandberg quote

(COO Facebook)

 

“Worst company to work for

I worked at Pret A Manger full-time (More than 10 years)

Pros: Pret was the best company 10 years ago, they were more about the people and it was best place to work

 

Cons: now the company is just about the profit also it is run like mafia organisation where it is about who you know, the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear, the way the company is going it will not last long.

 

Advice to Management: Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”

 

 

Quote of the Day: “the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear, the way the company is going it will not last long. … be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”

 

 

Quote Pret #09aa

Assistant manager review, London

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Quote of the Day #8 – Pret A Blackmail

 

Pros Here’s my list of pros during my long tenure at Pret A Manger: Co-workers, Customers, Free Food, Compensation, Mystery shopper bonus, and 2 galas Yearly!……..The C.E.O and his partners has always been Pleasant to me.

Cons: In Spite of the wonderful Pros of this company, Your subjected to emotional blackmail and serious labor issues with Most shops being run by Unprofessional and Bias Managerial staff backed by a corrupted HR Dept.

Advice to Management: The Core Values you instill in your Employees are Virtuous , And is the the secret to your success!…..On the Contrary, I strongly suggest a Labor Union!, so employees that are treated unfair have a platform for their voice to be heard without resentment or the sinuous backlash from your Inadequate Managerial staff & Flout HR Dept.!!!! who support them.”

 

Quote of the Day: “On the Contrary, I strongly suggest a Labor Union!, so employees that are treated unfair have a platform for their voice to be heard without resentment or the sinuous backlash from your Inadequate Managerial staff & Flout HR Dept.!!!! who support them.”

 

It is true that the CEO is pleasant to people, speaking informally, courteously etc. But what use is this when the majority of “leaders” and line managers are rude, disrespectful, discriminatory and bullying towards the teams they have been entrusted with. And this on a daily basis. “Leaders” who are no leaders at all. When I was a team leader I never saw the shop and the team as my property! I didn’t own them. I was entrusted with a team and a job and didn’t take that lightly. Maybe I’m just too old school, but I do believe that a leader is what is says in the word, they “lead”. They lead by example which unfortunately includes bad example. And the team member that they lead learn from this and want to climb up the leadership ladder very quick to escape from the bad leadership. Then they become leaders themselves following the bad example and just choose the easy road by loading it over their team. Very very sad.

Hardly anyone understands what true leadership means. That the Captain of the ship jumps ship as the last person, not the first! A true leader does not blame downwards, but takes responsibility, and like a Captain steers the ship away from danger and safely to its destination. A bad leader will crumble as soon as a little wind blows, not to mention a storm.

If the CEO of Pret, or of any company at that, closes his eyes to mistreatment like I have experienced to the point of becoming suicidal and what many others have shared, then what is really behind this “pleasantness”? In fact if a CEO does not change this system that he has the power to change and set the tone, than I really question the “niceness” and pleasantness of this CEO.

The CEO of Pret is very in-tuned with what is happening on the shop floor and in HQ. He is not like the “Undercover Boss” in the TV show who goes “down” to the workers undercover to see and learn where the problems are and how he can change it. Pret’s CEO regularly visits shops, speaks with the team members, and maybe that is his job, to lull the staff, making them believe that Pret is so wonderful and caring for them. Then he leaves the shops again, and the turmoil continues. He knows exactly what is going on but does not change the atmosphere and the terrible behaviour of his line managers.

That is why I am so outspoken because he isn’t sitting in a high-rise building, locked away in an office all day, holding meetings and being out of touch. Pret’s CEO is very aware of how his managers behave. He is not able to say that he doesn’t know what’s going on at the “front-lines” of the business. He knows very well and is with this even enabling and encouraging poor management and repeated mistreatment. And as the reviewer mentioned, which in my 10 years in Pret, I have also experienced that this is happening in most shops! These are not isolated incidences or black sheep, this is a system. There are exceptions where there are good managers, but they don’t hold out long as they are not “cut throat” business people, they refuse to mistreat their staff for more profit. Employees suffer. As the saying goes that “the fish stinks from its head” and many managers confirm this, of course privately. Don’t worry current GM, I wont tell on you!

It used to extremely annoy me when I saw my line manager’s hypocrisy when senior leaders walked in the door, how nice the managers suddenly were, and then when the “big guns” left again, the poor management went back to their business as usual. The majority of team members I’ve worked with have no respect for their line managers. They just have kids to feed and bills to pay, so they just keep their heads down and dare not speak up except anonymously.

To me the bottom line is, if there are multiple issues with line managers, one has to follow the thread right up to the very top and ask some questions. As a CEO, being nice and pleasant to staff is to me just a very good mask to facade the deeper problems people experience on a daily basis. It is a very clever strategy to get staff on the side of the CEO and with it the company. It is like the “good cop / bad cop” situation. The CEO is the good cop, and the line manager is the bad cop, but both cops have one goal: get as much money in as possible no matter of the cost of staff’s mental health. Just run with it. And the middle man, HR, is cleaning up the mess.

The nice CEO of Pret A Manger gave me the nickname I am writing under: Late Night Girl, after my ill emailing to Pret and others late at night. To be having a laugh about my trauma and mental illness while I had a disciplinary for it. A disciplinary which I received from a Development Manager, who supposedly lost her brother similarly to me, but then entered into (unallowed but cleverly planned) personal contact. This confused and distressed me further and increased my ill behaviour. I was subsequently unfairly dismissed three days after Christmas 2017 while my father was in intensive care, just having woken out from his three week coma.

This is how pleasant the CEO of Pret A Manger and his (quoting the reviewer) “corrupt” HR department are.

I certainly feel like a throw-away cup dumped into the bin among all the other “useless” cups that are an inconvenient for them, sick and broken. After giving their service and help this business thrive, they are of no use anymore. Pret, you don’t deserve the caliber of people who work for you, you take them for granted, they are nothing to you.

Pret and CEO, you have more than let me down. You are letting your staff down, those who give of their time, skills and energy, those who make your business happen, you let them down.

But dear Pret, what you don’t realize is, I am in the recycling process. And like a rough diamond that has been through the fire and is being painfully but carefully polished, I hate to think of it in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent, but “I’ll be back!” … on track and speak of my ordeal for the rest of my life, and help some people along the way!

 

Recycle Cups

 

 

Quote #8 2July18

NYC Review

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

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Maasai Cricket Warriors

 

The world needs more men to stand up against violence towards women, girls and boys.

These Heroes are doing just that!

 

Maasai Cricket Warriors

 

Preview:

 

Full documentary:

Maasai Cricket Warriors playing for their Sisters!

Review

 

“Sport is often used as a way to engage people and spread health or education messages.” — Maasai Cricket Warriors

 


 

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©2017 – Present expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Joan of Baez

Don’t underestimate a petite voice with a great appetite for justice!

Joan Baez is not just one my favourite artists (alright, she’s on many people’s playlist!), but she knows a prison cell from the inside for all the right reasons!

A true hero in art and humanity.

 

Sarajevo 1993

 

joan-baez-beacon-2016

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

Workplace Bullying Costs Lives

 

not only money!

 

Regarding my trauma and Pret Staff Complaints.

 

The following is the best video lesson on workplace bullying out there, at least that I know of.

If you can spare 12 mins to watch this, it may help detect workplace bullying (and any bullying at that) earlier, as this is often very subtle. And please pass this on, it may even make a person who bullies or those who witness it rethink their actions.

One quote from the video: “Bullying is a form of violence.”

… costs lives

At around 4:55 min, quote: “… Employers just get more creative avoiding the issue, forcing targets down formal grievance procedures, rather than taking the matter in hand. Organizations committed to stamping out bullying are proactive, they don’t make the injured party drive the process.” This is exactly what I went through, being diverted to raise grievance after grievance in a toxic environment that I had no chance to tackle the problem. In my anger and being sarcastic to cope with this I wrote my own “how to’s” on grievance hearings and how to conduct them fairly and truly impartial.

If you feel bullied or if you witness someone being bullied, please get help. Do not be silent, don’t look away, and don’t take part in the bullying. Don’t be intimidated by being enticed to join the bullies, even if this means you will get yourself into trouble. You won’t stay in trouble forever and in the long-run you will gain true friends, true supporters and will be able to sleep at night. When people play with unfair cards and you join an unfair game, you will be dealt with unfair cards in time to come by the same people you supported.

Or take it the other way around: when you stand by and support a vulnerable person who’s being mistreated, one day that vulnerable person may become strong again, maybe even influential. And maybe your paths cross again, imagine how this person who has become strong again and maybe even influential, may remember you. I for myself remember those who helped me more than those who mistreated me. We should never forget that life is an up and down. People will not always be at the top or at the bottom. Life is not a straight line but a journey through valleys, mountains, on water, through the desert, in an oasis…

The last thing I would want to have is an encounter with a person who used to be vulnerable, was bullied during their darkest time and I just stood there watching or even worse being part of a mob. I would not want to meet that person again, especially when they regained their strength back. I am not talking about revenge or bitterness, I am talking about missed opportunities to make a positive impact in someone’s life.

Stand by the one who is being bullied and then you are already two. Maybe a third person joins you and the target, and then you would be three… and before you know it you have outgrown the mob and brought to light what is actually happening. Point the light on it, raise the volume up, but don’t look away!

As the narrator of this video says right at the beginning, “[bullying] thrives in silence”, as does all wrong doing!

In my worst time, two days before the first anniversary of my brother’s death I was bullied so extensively that I still can’t understand how I went through this. I still suffer and am paranoid that people are “out to get me”.

Whatever you do to get help, do NOT stay alone! Take it from me, you will have no chance, no matter how right you are or how the facts and evidence is on your side, a “mob” of people, especially people in high positions who have the power and resources will back each other, lie, continue to bully in more subtle ways. Keep gathering evidence, even if just writing events and conversations down in a journal. But do not stay alone!

I wasted three years during an already extremely traumatizing time of bereavement, being bullied and trying to change the work environment, playing with open cards, naively giving them the benefit of the doubt, and in my trauma even blamed myself. And they conveniently turned it around transforming me from the victim to the villain at times.

I became very angry and ill, not dealing well with this nightmare. I lashed out, helplessly, cried out for help, started to drink which is another building site I’m working on, raised grievance after grievance that where conducted in a flawed way, was tricked and trapped again and again.

I will eventually turn my “rants” into a softer tone again, but for now this is how I write because I almost lost my life.

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