I shared this already here, but can never stop sharing this.
Workplace bullying is epidemic today, especially since companies are growing so large and fast the emphasis is on maximizing profits as much as possible on the “backs” of employees.
Due to what to me is simple greed and the unquenchable hunger for power to control people, there is lack of training in people- and leadership skills, no clear zero tolerance on discrimination and bullying, no real principle to value people and truly equip and encourage them to thrive in their work.
I feel like this is a modern day type of slavery where masses of employees are under the control of few people who have but one thing in mind: maximize profit and obtain power over people. It sounds like a bad conspiracy film, but I have experienced this as it is systemic and destructive.
My story reflects easily in all these staff complaints! I can verify those countless reviews. Even during bereavement I wasn’t safe. I became ill, doing crazy things like emailing non-stop for which I was laughed at, the CEO calling me his “late night girl” minimizing this illness and having a laugh where I was then fired while my dad was in intensive care, just out of a coma! I turned this illness now into my blog and want to shed a light behind the shiny facade of the PR(et) machine. Before turning so crazy with the emailing, I approached HR in May 2015 at the beginning of my loss, unbeknown to me that by informally approaching HR to bring suggestions on how to support the bereaved employee, I put a target on my back and entered a 3 year ordeal I never thought could happen. I have almost lost my life, and that is why I can never be silent.
“Please get the bullies out… Now your people work in fear…..its time to listen!”
“Worst company to work for … managers are always working with fear … be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”
“the WORST job I have had in London … l am with anxiety all the time, working in a tiny kitchen in a HORRIBLE atmosphere!!”
“Stressful. It’s like a china factory. … leader use to shout people.”
“Horrible place they shout at you all the time for any little mistake.”
etc. etc. etc. Comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of staff complaints here.
I am often called a “tough cookie”, holding out and hanging on in difficult situations, but when I was bullied even during bereavement which postponed my grief for my brother, it crossed a line so much that should not have been crossed.
I regret having wasted 10 years of my life in a company, even trying to help them during the darkest time WHILE being so mistreated and turning ill. I also regret having made this video, trying to reach out to a multi-million pound company who doesn’t care. I still care, I care for all my former colleagues who are still there suffering, not being able to find another job, having to feed their kids and pay the bills.
I hope one day this company will have a change of heart and put their money where their PR(et) mouth is, stop the sweet-talk and really do what they Pret-end to be doing. Sometimes it needs a complete change in the leadership, a leadership that has a clear zero tolerance of bullying in place. But I feel hopeless that this will happen, because too much money is involved and once people “lick blood” and get the taste of running with the big boys, it is like an addiction of wealth how the fantastic comedian Sarah Silverman has put it so well. People like Bill Gates and his wife have been distributing their wealth to projects for the poorest of the poor for some time now. They also encourage other million-billionaires to join their venture, and many do. I salute those people. Nothing against rich people, be rich, make as much money as you can, BUT DO NOT mistreat those who make this wealth for you!
I regret having made this video, but I will leave it up in the hopes that some big gun will soften their heart for those workers who helped them to their wealth in the first place. When I made this video, I was preparing and ready to end my life. But you are not worth it Pret! You never even deserved my labour, skill, time and integrity. I lost 10 years of my life working in Pret. It is my biggest regret in life.
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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