Link 25. July 2018
I link to a blog entry at the bottom on WHY staff smile ALL THE TIME come rain come shine!
I worked twice in shops with 40 degrees heat for weeks and months raising the issue. I was told if I speak to HQ my career is over. The manager who told me this and didn’t know how to make this issue urgent left Pret soon after. But we begged customers to speak to Pret on our behalf.
Below is a list of only a few customer Tweets, not everyone comments publicly. But this problem with inadequate little air cons in every Pret shop persists. Staff are surrounded by hot machines, body heat, beaming lights from above, ovens, toastie machines, hot plates where the croissants are on, large windows where the sun beams in … And the staff are still expected to do Emotional Labour, smile and pretend to be cheery so they don’t lose the Mystery Shopper bonus when they visit once a week.
I was often very disheartened that the weekly Mystery Shopper didn’t even mention the heat.
I worked at Pret for 10 years and this is an endless problem Pret knows about, but doesn’t fix unless customers go online, or staff persist. Staff became sick, one even with pneumonia because of the morning delivery check going inside the walk-in fridge back and forth between 30 degrees heat and then 3-5 degrees cold. That’s when I drew the line and asked for a transferal, not realizing many shops have this issue.
My traumatic story with Pret in the audio player interview at the bottom of this page.
I will say it loud and clear again to any new reader who does not know my and other staff story and blog: Pret A Manger does NOT care for their low-paid workers! They do NOT care!!!
Please take the time and really listen and look! Pret has been very successful with presenting an image of an “ethical” company! But having ignored customer warnings on allergen labels EVEN after two customers died, should ring massive alarm bells! But the public is lulled in again and want to believe the Pret fairy tale.
And Pret responds often with “oh dear” … “oh gosh” … “oh no” … “we are concerned to hear this” … bullshit, fooling the public as if this was a one-off. I really appreciate the anger and concern customers show for staff who suffer in this hell, while the millionaire senior leaders and Twitter staff sit in air-conditioned Head Office! Thank you for speaking up on behalf of low-paid workers!
3 of the most recent customer Tweets from days ago on the air conditioning problems in Pret. I didn’t go further beyond 2016, and even found one from 2013 … But this is forever going on!
1st Tweet — & — 2nd Tweet where Clive Schlee took a day to even respond, while on the day of the complaint he responded to another Tweet of someone wishing him farewell for his retirement (before the press got wind of it when I tweeted the press)! But the CEO was not concerned about the AC issue, even after 2 customer tweets!
Second customer Tweet 03. July, and Pret has NOT responded yet (06. July)!
Third customer 05. July, and again NO response from Pret at the time of me writing this blog entry:
19. June 2019 Bath
UPDATE: 17. July 2018 NY, USA
07. July 2018 Hammersmith
23. July 2018 Luton – No answer from Pret
Also 23. July 2018 Queen St.
24. July 2018 Strand
This Tweet is from the first Tweet above from the 25. July 2018. Two more from the 25th underneath:
25. July 2018 Queen St again
25. July 2018 Whitehall. Pret here lets Teams have extra break instead of putting on the BRAKES to stop the work in these hellish conditions!
26. July 2018 Euston. Pret slimey and patronizing response they always do when someone with an official Twitter account tweets: “Oh they’re all stars aren’t they?”
26. July 2018 again More London
27. July 2018 Milton Keynes
This customer’s concern is brilliant.
I want to post the whole feed as she does not let go!
Well done and thank you @kerriewils!
07. Aug. 2018 Pret’s “oh no” BS …
DON’T be disappointed, this is NORMAL in Pret!!!
10. Aug. 2018 South Ken. This is August, and the Pret Twitter staff is taking the mick!
10. Dec. 2017 Someone registered a Twitter account especially to raise this issue. COld in winter, hot in summer.
06. Aug. 2017 Tower Hill
01. June 2017 Westfield – Since AGES…
I love this follow-up Tweet, and yet it’s very sad that Pret only listens to customers and let staff boil in hell! I can say again to any reader, please believe me when I say that Pret does NOT care for staff except when it is for PR or when they get caught!
13. Sep. 2016 Adwych / 182 Strand. This is one of the two shops I worked in where the AC was broken for MONTHS. That was in 2011!!!
2013 And the staff still woring FAST as Pret demand the 1 minute time of service via the Mystery Shopper!
… and so on …
These days Pret keeps the doors closed, but ONLY because of the Extinction Rebellion revolution. Pret only goes with pressure from the masses and what is “trend”. If staff suffer in the heat, doesn’t matter to them. The reason why Pret usually like the doors open, winter and summer is so that the shops don’t look closed from the outside, meaning customers walk by oblivious that it’s open. And it’s true, I walked by shops that seemed to be closed, because the door was closed and it looked darker inside. So, to avoid losing money, Pret likes to keep the door open, except lately since the waste of energy and environmental activists being on Pret’s case. But concerned for staff? Don’t believe a bit of it!
So, thank you to all customers and maybe next time, start a mass petition for Pret to act FAST!! Because this is an ongoing issue and Pret has the public fooled and staff feel stuck, because they are not paid sick days the first two days!
Employees remain professional because they have to in case the Mystery Shopper comes and all the Team loses the bonus. I write about this in “How Emotional Labour Harms us all” and “The Truth behind the Pret A Manger Smile” and why staff really keep smiling even during the most excruciating heat and work conditions.
Staff speak out, even if only anonymous on review websites (below).
Slideshow can be paused
The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in → Pret Staff Complaints
Link: >>> Two Pret Staff have DIED recently
One is said to be a suicide. It’s not the first suicide in Pret.
I survived. If I would have gone over the edge, to my current knowledge, mine would be #3 and it would be in connection to Pret!
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 Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and 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.
I also tell my story for the first time verbally in this >>> podcast interview based in California, and wrote an article in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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