I wanted to call this post “Fear Management vs Courage” but I know that when you care, you won’t need courage. You only need courage if you are afraid.
If you care, if you love people and have a passion for the truth, you won’t need to bullshit anyone around you.
I know I am a “nutcase” for many. I’ve offended many people while drunk, wrote horrible tweets etc. But not always and not when I reached out to journalists early on.
From the get go, I want people to know that Sarah Butler from the Guardian ignored my “concerns”. But she now writes on issues in Pret that I tag her in or email her about. Sarah Butler was the first journalist of a major news outlet who followed me very early on in 2018 when I started writing publicly on Pret in May 2018.
After having contacted journalists, I was excited of course that a journalist from The Gardian started to show interest. I also saw that former CEO Clive Schlee followed Butler and that she wrote very favourable of Pret, like most journos did and still do.
I DM’ed her, but never got a reply. After a few weeks, I “kicked” her off my following and from then on kicked most journalists off who started following me from The Guardian, Times, BBC etc. That’s me being stupid, still in trauma, angry etc. It is what it is.
But this post is dedicated to 2 BBC journalists.
Vivienne Nunis and Mike Powell.
Vievienne, because she is of course a great journalist, but she is a human above anything.
Mike Powell, because he is a human, and a journalist who was ok after I emailed his editor to even just utter my blog, and indirectly my story with Pret. It takes a human to do that.
There is no “human-ness” in Pret. They kill people and exploit staff with a smile.
We live in these times where journalists are silenced with a simple whisper, a simple smile, a free coffee, a facade, a fairy-tale. I am disheartened that journalists in this country are silenced and soothed by simply being silent.
It’s all about getting (y)our names out there.
Journalism is extremely competitive. Twitter is filled with “investigative” journalists who do copy & paste journalism.
I contacted hundreds, if not thousands of journalists on various platforms since 2018.
Vivienne Nunis was one of very few to respond. And she was the only person to reluctantly meet me for an interview. And whoever she interviewed of current and former Pret staff, she found reasons to not cover the bullying environment in Pret. That’s fine. It’s a risky subject to cover.
Three years later, Mike Powell, also BBC and now freelance, contacted me after I tweeted to him. But he wanted me to provide all the research while saying that my blog won’t necessarily get mentioned. I contacted the BBC ahead of publication to explain my concern. They then mentioned it. But it should go without having to raise the issue. Sources should be mention if they wish to, without having to “beg” to get mentioned.
I contacted the BBC to make clear where his upcoming story was coming from.
They “mentioned” my blog then. The Times later jumped on the story and took a sentence from my blog but without mentioning the source of my blog, quoting me verbatim but only mentioning “a blog” and never thinking I’d find the article. The journalist of course just blamed his editor. Every journalist avoids tooth and nail to name my blog while taking info from it. You have no shame, press.
I put on my media page which press articles I directly influenced and/or got the ball rolling.
Any future leaks I get from Pret staff, I want to pass on to an unknown, young, starting journalist.
And then there is Ian Hodson from the union. He sent me to a women’s activist group up North London because I was bothering him too much after he contacted me to offer “help” on Twitter.
Keep your help, Ian. Go on TV, go on LBC, go and speak to Sarah Butler from the Guardian now, after you all were too proud, too embarrassed to PUBLICLY speak out from what I survived.
Sarah Butler from the Guardian only cares about a story to her name, and now Ian Hodson.
She followed my Twitter account early on in 2018. When she started following, I DM’ed her, but of course, no response. Clive Schlee was her follower when he was still on Twitter. I made her unfollow me.
I understand that Sarah NOW immediately writes a report as soon as she’s informed. Sarah writes on issues I tag her in or email her, but she still treats me like I don’t even exist. I have had enough people in Pret and now journalists treat me with contempt.
Like other competitive journalists, don’t ever mention expret.org, hey. Mike Powell/his editor was the only one who mentioned my blog, But only after I contacted the BBC. Yet, thank you nevertheless. And I know that I MESSED UP many an opportunity.
I am a human being who survived Pret and have immense insider knowledge I put on a silver platter. But the press in this country play dead until they can use info and then not credit the source.
And regarding unions, I now understand why Pret staff start their own union or just give up, because you “established” unions never gave a sh!t. The BFWAU left the Labour party. I don’t care about politics. Feed your ego, but leave us workers alone.
We can do it on our own.
I vote for Keir Starmer. You know why?
Longevity lasts like a pickled onion in a jar vs crowds chanting your name for a moment.
Many RT all day long. Is that it? You sit in your home to RT Tweets? Really?
We workers do not know the difference between people who care and people who just want their name out there.
And Sarah Butler, go and get your story, after you “followed” me and I contacted you then. But you never responded and remained silent, because you only want a story to you name.
You journalists need to do better.
Work hard. Never stop. And keep bullshitting the public, ignoring the elephant in the room.
You are reporting while using my work, my research and ignoring my story, my experience (except Mike Powell and his editor). Vivienne Nunis put in the most work, but it went nowhere, though she is the hardest working journalist out there that I’ve had correspondence with. And it’s partly my fault that the story went nowhere because I kept flipping out in this PTSD mess. But it doesn’t need to be perfect, I am not perfect. My story is complicated and I’m a mess. That’s it. And if someone really wants to cover a story, they would. Just respect the source, the person and their story.
Vivienne did cover the leaked video that I made her aware of. But as usual my blog, my story is not mentioned, like it doesn’t exist.
Link to Tweet I copied Vivienne in after I texted her about a leaked video I was sent by staff: https://twitter.com/expretDOTorg/status/1273929407707611139
Pret quickly deleted the video after Vivienne reported on it.
Go to Africa, go to America, go to Bucharest. Go to Pret’s head office. Go to the toilet. Just go, you journalists.
Go, feed the pigeons. Sarah Butler is ready to report now.
Well done you all. Above all, stay human.
I’m sorry I “flipped out” so much. But I’m also not saying sorry anymore.
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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