Cry Me A River – Translating Crocodile Tears


drip by drip, drop by dot and blabber…

The performance worthy of an Oscar, that took two years of research and practice.




So touching!





In 2015 Clive Schlee was CLUELESS what to do and patronizing as usual. Only ONE of several customer complaints and warnings before AND even after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death: 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_3



In 2016, which no one in the UK media seemed to have noticed nor researched, a man in New York sued Pret quote: “after he a went into anaphylactic shock. He alleges that the restaurant staff served him food containing sesame after assuring him the food was free of the allergen.

—> Pret a Manger hit with lawsuit

The Verdict  (he lost!)

I tweeted about this HERE and mention that from the witness account in the verdict document the supplier of the wrap that contains sesame did NOT need to include sesame in the ingredient as in the U.S. it isn’t law, but in Canada it has to be included. So, the supplier acted responsibly and added it anyway even though by law he did NOT need to, but he included it in case the product was purchased from outside the USA, like Canada for example. Yet, Pret could not be bothered and after this lawsuit and then even after Natasha’s death still did NOTHING!

Witness statement from the supplier from the verdict document, Page 5 (FDA = Food and Drugs Administration):
“We list and perhaps by FDA regulations, we are asked to list or call out any of the ingredients that could be classified as an allergin [sic]. Wheat and soy are classified as allergins in the U.S. In Canada sesame would be included as we really don’t know wh~re stores are, so we put what might be outside this country or at least the border country.”

So, the supplier has sesame included, even though by U.S. law he didn’t need to. And Pret did not list, even though they had the info from the supplier ingredient list on the product.

Sweet-talk of the decade:





The Translation
Of the CEO’s Oscar-worthy performance


Clive Schlee: “I went to the Inquest…”

As if he had a choice!


CS: “and I saw the impact that Natasha’s death had on the family.”

He went, saw and came to the conclusion after two years since Natasha died, that her premature death, which happened on his watch, destroyed a family!


CS: “And it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”




And the Pret Academy Award in a leading role, for the performance that took two years to perfect goes to…


CS: “So, on a personal level I’m devastated.”

Is he, now? After two years ignoring repeated warnings before and even after Natasha’s death.


CS: “But”



CS: “… the coroner”

Oh, the coroner, huh?!


CS: “the coroner asked for a change in the law…”

The coroner blames the law, now? Didn’t the coroner say that Pret’s labelling was inadequate? And further in this “REPORT TO PREVENT FUTURE DEATHS”, quote:
»Regulation 5 allows for food outlets to avoid full food labelling requirements whether they prepare a small number of items in local shops or in the case of Pret, over 200 million items for sale by preparing these items in “local kitchens”. These items prepared in “local kitchens” are in fact “assembled” in large parts from items made in factory style outlets to Pret specifications. I was left with the impression that the “local kitchens” were in fact a device to evade the spirit of the regulation.«

Yes, that about sounds like the Pret I know! And I’m glad someone finally sees that Pret products are not freshly “made” but “assembled” from ready products out of factories into many tiny “factories” sold as “lovingly made in Pret kitchens” bla.



CS: … “the family asked for a change in the law.”

Wow! Dragging the family on his side while Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said this in response: …He’s not acting fast enough. (Well, he’s ‘acting’ alright) “I would say to anyone with serious allergies or is concerned about allergies … don’t buy a sandwich or go to Pret A Manger, because they’re still holding your life at risk right now!” — Nadim Ednan-Laperouse


So much about “preventing future deaths”!


CS: “And I’m now making changes in PRET that will make that change in the law happen more quickly.”

I must say Clive Schlee has got some balls or deeply lacks the sense of responsibility, to still be in the blaming game Pret-ending to be a “leader” who brings the change after being clueless on what to do!


2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_3



CS: … “Probably – probably better.”

Yes, I would stutter, too if I was him!





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.




Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of,, and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
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19 thoughts on “Cry Me A River – Translating Crocodile Tears

    1. Niki, she’s not the only customer who died from a Pret product.

      I also keep confronting on a staff suicide fro last year.

      I am devastated about these customer deaths, but knowing Pret for 10 yrs, I’m not surprised at the terrible response and typical blaming.

      Starbucks’ CEO earlier this year closed 8000 stores in the U.S. to train staff regarding racism after the incidence, but in Pret customers die and nothing is done for two years until it becomes public.

      Very typically Pret leadership. Devastating.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Niki! Very kind. I want to eventually move away from my “rantings” and get back to positive things and life and passions I had before. But I needed to write, open the curtain of a PR facade as I almost lost my life.

        But Pret is not worth that much time anymore, but it is important to speak out, if I did it the right way or not like people at times critique, I am not concerned about. I am concerned about people’s life and health, customer AND staff alike.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Keep writing from your heart, no matter where it guides you. This always rings out truest. May your words be heard by those who most need to hear it. You write beautifully, and this is a gift. There are all sorts of currency in the world. I learned this from Nipun Mehta ( You never know who will need to read exactly what you have written and how it might stir them to action. I believe the pen is not only mightier than the sword but powerful enough to topple even the most terrible tyrants, whether they are government heads or callous CEO’s. History gives us so many examples of people whose words have changed the world – Plato, Newton, Dostoyevsky, Ann Frank, Einstein, Toni Morrison, so many. These people were all driven to pour out their hearts through their pen. Ah, and there you go. I am too. =) I just really appreciate anyone who does more than say, “Oh what a shame” and then changes the subject. We can all do something, even if it is something small. Today on Twitter I was dumbfounded to find that 25 complete “strangers” (friends I have yet to get to know right?) retweeted my son’s missing poster. I was so touched. I don’t understand Twitter but wanted to thank each one individually, and as I visited every single page, I saw we really are kindred spirits. None us have the entire answer, but we all have part of it. What you are doing really matters. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead) Thank you for all you do. ♥.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Beautiful words, Niki, thank you. I know even ONE person can make a big difference. With my writings though, I want to slow down as I want my life back to positive things like I used to. But the “problem” is, I don’t suffer from writer’s block!! I keep getting ideas, a lot I haven’t even publicized here, but it’s hard to pinpoint and summarize.

        Thanks you for your courage and encouragement!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, just ♥ ONE ♥ and I applaud you for following not just your heart but the light. Everything tilted when my son disappeared. It wasn’t until I began forcing myself to focus on the light (gratitude, joy, beauty) that I could get a grip on the fear. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block either. My block is following all the way through to the end.
        Fear of success? I finally published one book but never advertised. I think my mindset is, “What if I do my best and I still suck?” I know we can improve always.. I really don’t know what it is. I guess I don’t want Kirk and Spock talking about my novels on a bus in derisive terms when — a few hundred years from now — they finally take the voyage home. ^^ ♥.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. With English being my second language, I had to look up the word “litany” and think I may understand what you mean. Always glad to learn new words and phrases.

      Yes, I struggle daily not to completely fall into pessimism and hopelessness where it seems like the whole world has just gone greedy and careless, like a kind of “World War 3” of greed and survival of the fittest and richest!

      And then I stumble via a radio app where I downloaded podcasts, one of which is the Desert Island Discs where well known people from all areas are interviewed on which songs influenced them and which ONE song they would take on a desert island with them.

      One interview was with a British organic farmer, Guy Singh-Watson who started his business by scratch growing organic vegetables and delivering it with a wheelbarrow to his friends.

      30 years later his business grew into a multi-million pound company. But what does (this) Guy do?

      He sells his business not to venture capitalists whom he calls “bastards”, but to his employees, making his staff the owners of his company!

      I cannot describe the goosebumps-level on my skin when I first heard about this and still am thinking about it. It’s BUSINESS people like this who restore my faith in humanity again!

      In the review website that I keep copying Pret complaints, Guy has a 100% recommendation as CEO. I wonder why! 😀

      Riverford’s CEO does his own rants on YouTube and it’s very very refreshing and organic indeed!

      “To sell my business, this thing that I created … to sell it to one of those bastards (venture capitalists), would feel like selling one of my children into prostitution!” – Guy Singh-Watson

      Just up my alley!!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, thanks for that, I too am enthralled with this Guy Singh-Watson, nice to read about him. I’m also stunned that you say English is your second language, I would never have known, you write well – probably better than many who claim English as their first language.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks Paul, coming from you, I’m very honoured. I love writing, but am crap in other things, as we all have our gifts and downsides.

        I just noticed that the Riverford YT video is not visible when I read this page on my phone. It’s here when I view via computer. Wonder why. Hope the video is visible to everyone. If not just put into YT search “Guy Singh-Watson; Can business be a force for good?”

        I often mention “Hope” when I see amazing people/organisations like this, and Guy even mentions HOPE… He certainly speaks my language, no matter if first or second language 😀

        I love their motto on Twitter: “Proper farmers with mud on our boots”


        Liked by 1 person

      3. P.S. I really think this Guy is up for a knighthood one of these days! Sir Guy Singh-Watson for his contribution not only to organic farming, but British produce and employee-owned company… but I think he won’t care. Yet, hoprefully many companies follow suit!

        I am “meditating” on his rants daily now! 😀


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