With the permission of a Pret staff member who contacted me, I want to post the following email. I cut out a lot of specific detail to protect the person’s identity and checked back with them for permission. So, there’s a lot of dots and stars, but the main message is clear. I receive a lot of private messages, but this one, like the other email I posted, shows a lot of detail. The only text that I added is in italics. Thank you to the person for your trust.
I came across your blog just before applying for a job at Pret, but stupidly looked over what you were saying as I was growing desperate to work … I’m writing to you … and I wish I’d taken your warnings before applying.
Firstly, I was clear that I was looking for **** hours and was heavily pressured/tricked by team leaders into working around **** (more hours) with full availability all week despite me saying I couldn’t, which means I am essentially full time. They are immensely understaffed so I have received very little training (I was hired as **** and still don’t know how to make half of the ****) while being thrown into working at least three people’s jobs, all while being threatened with the mystery shopper.
Honestly, I feel like I’m drowning … I would never want to be the kind of person who gives up on things just because they’re challenging, but …. I spend most … times … crying, I don’t have enough time to eat. … I haven’t been shown where to get certain items and have to keep asking, it’s absolutely humiliating. Communication between managers and the team is abysmal. You are absolutely right when you write about younger TMs being manipulated by staff. …
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, it’s massively appreciated.«
Pret Employee 2021
As I always advise everyone who contacts me, here again for any new reader, join a Union, even if you have no problems at work currently. The best Union for food workers is the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) that know most about Pret from my blog and communications. https://www.bfawu.org
Another good Union is the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). They specialize in supporting foreign workers who don’t know their rights. https://iwgb.org.uk
Also, leave an anonymous review on BOTH Glassdoor AND Indeed, even in your own language to help people from your country make informed decisions. I always emphasize to leave a review on BOTH sites, as some people just find one or the other but not both. And last time I checked as I am German, there a FOUR reviews in German on Pret Berlin on Indeed, but not 1 Berlin review on Glassdoor. It might have changed, I don’t know as I checked months ago, but take advantage of every site out there and leave a review on each site especially in your own language.
For some other staff reviews and complaints:
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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