I want to address something without having to publicly out people, as I am being met with bullsh!t lately and have no time for this.
I am being contacted by all kinds of people, by customers, journalists, former and current Pret staff etc. I appreciate the encouragement, the support (also for other Pret staff) and the interest. I also appreciate critical feedback, suggestions and so on.
I also want to apologize again and again for lashing out at people, especially good people who try to help. I have explained this on my blog and social media many times, that I am working on stopping to drink, which leads to verbally (writing) lashing out in anger and paranoia. I’m not proud of it, I sabotage myself like this, and I am still trying to find therapy and overcome the trauma and losses I still suffer. That is MY fault, MY responsibility and MY problem, not yours!
But what I don’t appreciate is when people want to tell me what I should write about or how I should construct my social media profile etc. And then when I don’t do what they want, they sulk and gaslight or ghost me.
I want to make this very clear, I am very open for critique, for suggestions, for ideas, for correction. I welcome ideas. I have been told by several Pret staff that my blog is to cluttered, too wordy, too complex. And I completely agree with that, and try to cut down on the sheer volume. I also welcome when people give ideas or critique, and would ask to point me into the direction of services or people who can help me shape my website better or make it simpler. Critique is good and welcomed, giving solutions and where I can get help is even better. And believe me, if I had the funds I’d hire a proper web developer as well as editor to do me a shiny, easily readable website. But I’ve done all this solely on my own, without know-how, support, financial help. And for this, I’ve done a hell of a job! But I do appreciate critique and suggestions.
My url expret.org came to be because a web developer explained to me that it would make more sense then my previous main url LateNightGirl.org, as people initially won’t understand the meaning, while an url with the word “pret” in it makes more sense! I am super happy to change my approach or layout or whatever suggestions may help and make sense to me.
But I am not willing to take any bullsh!t from people who try to boss me around, telling me what subjects I should write about or what emoticons to use on my Twitter profile etc. And then they sulk and play hurt puppy when I don’t “follow” their wishes! And then after initial support, when I tag people in they ask me to not tag them in anymore because they are sulking and are having a pity party because I don’t do what they want!
I asked this before, if you don’t want me to tag you in, please block me, because this is the easiest way to not get tagged in, as I tag people at times accidentally in time, having forgotten their Twitter handle after a long time etc. I don’t care about numbers and followings, I don’t care when people block me! I am not on Twitter to be friends. I am on social media for the sole purpose to expose Pret A Manger after what I survived!
Sure, it would help if I had more followers, more RTs etc. And I shoot myself in my own foot by offending people. I’m learning to be more “diplomatic” in my approach and am not proud of how I behave at times fueled by alcohol. I spent 10 years in Pret being forced to smile, pretend a happy facade or get fear managed and penalized. I do not have any smile or happiness left UNLESS I feel like it! And unfortunately I went into the other extreme and am trying to level it out again!
At the same time, I do not put weight on clicks, likes, followings etc. as these go as easily as they came. My handicap here is that I am so used to fight “giants” on my own, being betrayed, lied to, fear managed, and the worst to lose family/friends/job/money … that “compliments” or the amount of following/clicks/likes have no meaning to me! This is also one reason I push people away because I’m fucking scared everyone dies around me or what I’ve built up will be taken away again. I know how quickly we can lose people and things for no reason that I don’t put weight on amount, volume or numbers.
And those I address here, you know who you are! And I will not stoop low again to out anyone unnecessarily. But I will also say again, if you claim to be a journalist or anything you tell me, but you are not willing to get your butt off the cushion, and campaign for subjects you are keen to get public, then do not tell me what I should do! And also do not claim to be someone that you are not! It doesn’t help, it’s not honest and I always worry if what people tell me is actually true! Also, if you claim to be someone you are not, you will always have to look over your shoulder to not get caught! It takes more energy and goes no-where.
I have different Twitter accounts because I am shadow banned (censored) at times where Twitter hides my tweets and account. But people know it’s me, and it’s not illegal to have different accounts. Twitter even allows for accounts to merge. But I don’t claim to be someone that I’m not!
Many people on Twitter and other social media platforms know me! They know my name, my face after we’ve met in real life or on Zoom, they have my number etc. And that includes some journalists. Pret certainly know me and know who is behind my blog and social media handles. The reason I write anonymously in public is anxiety after what Pret has put me through. Especially after being bullied by a GROUP of “professionals”, Managers, under HR etc. during bereavement! And the worse thing that Pret has done via Lila Warren that still has me paranoid that Pret sends a “spy” again, which I describe in detail here: Questions to Lila Tighilt Warren.
This is one reason I lash out while drunk when GOOD people contact me, and I make the poor decision to drink and fall into paranoia that these good people are “spies” to “get me”. I get troll and disgusting mail/DMs at times which comes with the territory of being on social media. And being female seems to be another reason for some people to try and patronize me. So, if someone then claims to be someone they are not, you are not doing yourself a favour by getting in contact with me. I’m not having it!
And people may not believe this, but I’m actually a very private person who usually doesn’t spill my guts all over the place. This has just been a necessary stretch for me to not only expose Pret and what happened to me, but to distract myself from ruminating too much on loss and grief. Between 2015 and 2018 my blog was solely about my brother’s death. Then I turned my website around into campaigning and telling my story with Pret.
And before you assume that I didn’t get mental health help or legal aid, ASK first what I’ve been through and do your homework on my story before making assumptions and judgements!
I have been to hell and back more than once and I was never too proud to ask for help! I don’t just write a blog the size of this website on a subject to just kill time! You don’t write a blog that I do without having been through hell! I have suffered to the point of suicide and still am just surviving! I pay money for my blog, I don’t get any money, I don’t even take donations! I could easily put a donation PayPal button on my blog and start asking for money! But I don’t want to do that. No-one can accuse me of monetizing anything, even though I deserve to be fuck!ng rich after the immense work I’ve put into my website!
I EARNED my blog! I EARNED my experience and horror with what Pret has put me through! I made MANY mistakes, hurt and offended MANY people. I have lost everybody and everything except the roof over my head! But I EARNED what I write about, I suffered through this, I keep suffering and pay the consequences for anything I say, do or write that hurts people or myself!
So, if YOU want to expose an issue, wrong doing or even just do a fun thing to cheer people up, then please do that. But do not tell me what I should or should not do, and then want to “punish” me through manipulation, gaslighting, ghosting etc. I have zero tolerance for bullsh!t like this. And if you claim to be a BBC, Times, Telegraph or any big name reporter, and I find out that you’re not, I will out you publicly!
And I say it again to any person who is hurt because of Pret or ANY person/group: BE YOURSELF! Don’t be someone that you are not! Be as open or as anonymous as you want to be, but be yourself. OWN your story! You EARNED it! You suffered through it! It’s YOUR story!
I didn’t chase three multi-millionaire businessmen off Twitter without having a story to tell that has almost destroyed my life and that scares them!
Do as little or as much as you can and want to do. Start a blog, or a YouTube channel, or a podcast, or a band, or political party, or a Union, paint a picture, sing a song, cook a meal, talk about mental health or healthy food, rescue animals, pick up waste to recycle … whatever you want to raise awareness of, go for it! However small or big it may be. Go for it! Don’t ever underestimate ONE voice! Don’t let people tell you that you don’t have enough followers or clicks and likes to make an impact! It means nothing in the long run if it doesn’t change a thing or if it doesn’t give you some sort of satisfaction or peace or whatever.
I KNOW the fear, anxiety, paranoia of getting hurt. It took me YEARS to stand up and lose fear! I am not scared of Pret. I spent years being scared of these coward millionaires who sh!t on hard working people! Ten years of being fear managed, exploited, taken for granted and then even bullied during the worst time of my life, I have no fake smile left anymore! And I have no tolerance for fear management, manipulation or any other crap that tries to hold me down. Those days are over!
So, if you don’t want to be tagged in, please just block me because I am not on social media to make friends. My sole purpose is to write about Pret and my experience. My true social – and friendship circle is in real life, not on social media.
And my apologies again for having lashed out at anyone! I’m working on it every day. I’ve come a long way, and have a long way to go.
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.
Please also see the MEDIA page for more.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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