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.
Former Team Member Trainer (TMT), London.
Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. 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.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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