The World is a Cruel Place, BUT

Sometimes when you’re running against the darkness, you find someone who seems to know the best path out, someone who has run that road across a terrible landscape and come out alive and better. There aren’t a lot of ways to express the depth of gratitude for the work they put in.

Even if you never come to actually know them, the fact they helped you beat the darkness makes them feel like someone on your team, like the anchor of humanity’s worst and most fucked up relay.

And when you begin to flag a little bit because it doesn’t seem like the race is ever going to end, you can look up to someone like that, someone who showed you that it’s never too late to try to outrun the lies and bullshit the darkness will tell you to get you to slow down.

And then one day you realize, it isn’t a race at all, because a race has a finish line, and this thing fucking doesn’t.

It’s just a run. A long run. Along the way, you pick up running buddies, people you admire for their toughness, people who keep you running, people you never would have expected to turn something that can be so hard into something you can enjoy.

And so when you have run so hard ahead of the darkness that every horizon looks like a sunrise, it’s almost impossible to believe that one of those people who led you out got tired.

“Wait,” you think. “They had it figured out. They showed me how to run. They showed me the sun.”

Even leaders get tired.

Over time, it might be hard to tell difference between the fatigue of running & the darkness they are running against. It might be hard to lead the way for so many people. It might, it might, it might. That’s the thing. You never know what it might.

And then they are gone.

So, what the hell are you supposed to do then? When you have finally learned how to run, how do you keep going when you lose one of the people who showed you the way? What do you do when you start to doubt “the way” is actually the way?

I guess I don’t know.

But today I guess I’d say this:

If you feel like you’re running alone, look around and you will find others running, too. They may be running differently, maybe backward, blindfolded, or in some janky way that makes them stand out against the field. Find those people and run with them for a while.

Eventually, if you just keep running, you’ll find people who are running a lot like you. Even if they don’t know you, they will understand you. And they will lead you—not to a finish line—but toward that sunlight where being tired isn’t so tiring.

And here’s something you might not expect: you might look up one day and realize someone is following you while you run. They are matching your stride and keeping your pace. They are grateful to have found YOU.

Be proud of that and use it to keep running.

It’s crushing to see one of your running buddies fall off stride and slip away. It can make you want to double back and find them. Don’t do that. It’s not how it works, or at least, it’s not how you want it to work.

Keep your stride. Steady your breath. Allow yourself to confuse the tears on your face with the sweat of your struggle.

And don’t stop or double back. Look for the other runners. They are everywhere.

We are everywhere.

(I don’t always feel great about Twitter, but the degree to which this thread resonated among friends & people I’ve never met has been very comforting and reminds me how important it can be to just admit how guy-punched something can make you feel…and how alone we *aren’t*)

And since I woke up to all kinds of inspiring messages today, I will pass this on. It’s what I remind myself when I feel like I’ve felt since hearing about Anthony Bourdain.”

— Brad Willis


Transcribed by ThreadReaderApp.com

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Pret A Manger’s Fly-tipping

When I worked at Pret, even though we had 2 different bins for “recycling”, it all went into the same waste pick-up truck.

Pret must have done a trial for recycling, but it must have not been successful as I’ve never seen this type of bin in any of the 30+ shops I worked at in 10 years.

Tweet from 2013:

.

.

Ignorance is bliss!

.

.

.

.

Today’s article in Gloucestershire Live:

.

From the article:

»The civic society described the mess that had been left on the street on the last Bank Holiday Monday as a “horrendous example of fly-tipping”.«

Further:

»“We’ve checked the rules and even one such bag of rubbish left on the street counts as fly-tipping, so that puts it into Cheltenham Borough Council’s domain as an enforcement issue.”«

»A Pret a Manger spokesman said: “At Pret, we are proud to be part of the communities where we have shops, and are disappointed to have fallen short of our own standards on this occasion. We are working with our waste management provider and team members to make sure this won’t happen again«

Well, what have we got here … (in chronological order)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

And while on the subject of waste, I have written extensively on Pret’s food waste issues. Pret claim to have a “fleet” of cars picking up food each night. Pret do have a car like this or several, but a “fleet” of cars is leaning out the window. I’ve seen a car once on my day off during the day driving by in Trafalgar Square. But in my 10 years in Pret, having worked in over 30+ shops, I’ve never even ONCE seen a car like this pick up food. Not once!

Pret rely on unpaid volunteers to pick up food. If no-one picks it up, it gets wasted in its packaging to landfill. The Pret Foundation car is window dressing more than anything. Of course they drive food to places, but there is no nightly pick-up, and it cannot be coincidence that in 10 years I’ve never seen this car pick up food from any of the 30+ shops I worked in.

Pret also SELL out-of-shelf life cooled down hot food via food app, again, supposedly for the Pret Foundation. Yet, before the pandemic hit Pret’s profits, they were STRICT for us to NOT give out hot food even for free to charity due to safety issues. I got told off by a manager once for handing out hot food when the charity volunteers arrives to pick up food. Now they sell it for cheap under the “charity” umbrella. When it comes to money, health and safety out the window! I write about this extensively in Pret’s Health & Safety Hypocrisy.

Pret always pretends to be so safety concerned, yet, don’t forget they ignored TWO customer deaths and over a dozen further allergen injuries before this became public. I speak about this on my podcast expretcast from the bottom up, Part 01 Ongoing Labelling Issues, Part 02 Ongoing … and Allergy Trial 2021. I draw especially attention to a Barbican seminar which is very important to mention.

.

.

.

A former staff member also laughs about this:

.

Another former staff:

.

Another former staff member who got fired for starting a union:

.

When customers or members of the public observe food-waste as it happens, and the below screenshots are only a fraction of what I pasted into my other post on food waste in Pret.

.

Repeated food waste ignored by Pret:

.

Bleach poured over food:

.

Paris, France:

.

.

.

.

.

.

Amy Sharpe from the Mirror went Undercover in Pret after I asked her to see for herself on issues:

.

The above are only a few, there’s much, much more on Pret A Manger Food Waste.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The Vaults – London

The Vaults graffiti place.

So, here are some pictures of mine … more to come in time.

This blog post will be updated with new pics as the graffiti changes every day.

07.05.2022

.

08.05.2022

.

more to come one day …

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger’s Mystery Shopper Scheme – AUDIO

I explain in detail about Pret’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme which I call “Misery” Shopper for a reason.

Pret’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme which I plainly call abusive:

.

The Wiki link to my blog that was deleted, which I explain in above audio.

.

.

I have run out of space/time on my free podcast and am shopping around which podcast provider is the best value before I purchase.

On the podcast I cover some other Pret issues, like the allergen situation, ongoing labelling problems etc. As I ran out of free space I post the above Mystery Shopper episode here on my blog. For Timothy Noah’s “The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger” and other articles on emotional labour, as well as several examples of Mystery Shopper reports, please see my page: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Thank you for listening.

.

.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

I Hear Voices

when I walk from the living room to the kitchen and back again. And then I realize it’s my own voice. I speak to flowers, tell them off and then apologize.

When I got into my living room today I saw the tulips hung their heads. It was still ok yesterday. How can flowers hang their heads from one day to the next??

I took the vase and started to tell off the flowers, “Why are you dying on me?! I just got you 3 days ago! Why are just giving up like that???”

I went into the kitchen wanting to take the flowers out of the vase to hang them to dry when I saw that the vase was bone dry! I have another bunch of various flowers in my living room where the water just went down half way. I didn’t realize that tulips are so thirsty!

I then started to apologize to the flowers for not checking on it when I saw the first 2 flowers hang their heads. I poured fresh water in and will see if they rise up again, but I doubt they will, those are heavy flowers.

I never thought I’d speak to flowers, rebuking them for dying and then apologizing for being the reason why they started dying.

I have 2 single tulips in a glass in the kitchen after they broke off when I put the flowers in the vase, with plenty of water. They stand “strong”. But the thought that I can’t even “care” for flowers, it’s pathetic!

I rebuked the flowers for dying and then apologized for being the reason they died.

That’s what you do when your mind goes coo-coo. When everyone around you seems to either die or move away. I had a friend 2 days ago asking me if I wanted to go out to this Jamaican Jazz place she knows. She has a friend visiting at the moment and wanted to go out with a bunch of us. I wasn’t well, having the cold, but she offered to pick me up with the car and bring me back.

But then later her car acted up, something with the oil and she decided to take the bus instead. I didn’t go because I felt weak to even go to bring the rubbish out. Those moments would have send me to the deep end since my brother died, because the amount of times people “cancel” things or people die or whatever sh!t that happens.

And I have to remind myself that I need to water myself, water my friends, water a job opportunity, water a therapy opportunity, even though I feel it doesn’t help me. Every week I want to cancel the therapy because I feel I just go there to do the therapist a favour. I can’t even talk to her. I just go through the motions. I go because I fought for this so long.

I lashed out again on Twitter after a bottle of wine, and I don’t know why I have become like this. I am sorry to everyone who reads this and you have been on the receiving end of my “episodes”.

I think talking to flowers is the better alternative.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

To friends, foes and strangers

I didn’t want to publish this, but it’s part of my life.

Always take care of those closest to you, and work your way from there.

And always remember, there are more good people in this world, they just have to wake up.

.

.

.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

expretcast Podcast

I started a podcast, but not in a professional way as I am new to this medium. I am not sure if I do more or regular episodes on issues, but I find it easier and important to voice a few things instead of writing long blog posts. I’ve written everything I could write about and feel to speak more than write, and some people don’t like to read long blog posts or for visual reasons cannot read.

I started with the subject of allergen, mislabelling, cross-contamination in Pret. I may continue on other subjects or these may be all I do, I don’t know yet. Thanks for reading/listening.

expretcast

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Staff are so “happy” they can’t contain themselves

.

.

And CEO Pano Christou is completely detached, ignoring reality, portraying a “happy” company facade to the public via the press that happily play along.

.

Glassdoor

A playlist of staff reviews; mystery shopper reports (why staff smile so much and give freebies in a highly stressful environment even when depressed and bereaved; customer complaints and boycotts; coffee subscription issues etc.:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be FATAL

A few years ago I already dissected an article where Pret’s HR Director Andrea Wareham was interviewed. “Pret’s People Management Secrets” from HR Magazine. In this interview Andrea Wareham shares a lot about the typical Pret PR bla bla. But one sentence stands out to me which is typical Pret, but also dangerous.

Quote: »Pret famously recruits for behaviours, “personality rather than skills” as Wareham puts it, and these, she adds, are “relevant in every market”.«

When I worked at Pret it always astounded me how little many shop Managers knew of the job they were hired to do. Those staff members in lower positions who had more knowledge than some shop Managers due to experience and skill, were exploited and the Manager took credit for it.

It often bothered me how the “wrong” people got promoted and those who knew how to do the job where kept low.

In an unlisted video on YouTube (why unlisted?) new CEO Pano Christou even inadvertently gives away how poor the training in Pret is. He shares how when he did stock take for the first or second time, that he stayed until 4 o’clock the next morning! And that’s exactly how it is in Pret. The training is so poor and even Managers often are clueless that especially new staff have to stay long (unpaid!) hours to figure out how things work! Before I worked at Pret, I worked in many different food places, most of my life I worked in hospitality industry, in wine bars, restaurants, a canteen, a hotel. But never did I have to stay longer hours to figure out how things are done than in Pret! It was the most frustrating thing not being trained and not being given time to train others!

If people are trained and have skills, especially since Pano Christou was a Manager at McDonald’s before he joined Pret as an Assistant Manager, there would be NO NEED to stay until 4 o’clock the next morning to know how to do a stock take and other issues!

Pano should have known the job already, or at least picked it up quicker as he had previous Management experience. Unless he kissed his way up, like so many do. In Pret people also get promoted through the bedroom, and then more than few are incapable to do the job and rely on lower ranked staff to do all the hard work!

Pret is famous for their smiley staff, but since I write about it more extensively since 2018 it has become more common knowledge that this smiley culture is driven by weekly Mystery Shoppers. I wrote a few posts about it and made some YouTube slides as my blog is heavily censored on Facebook and Instagram where it is completely blocked. Even private messages are deleted automatically by algorithm when I link to my blog as Pret must have reported me, thus FB, Insta put me on a black list. But YouTube isn’t blocked.

.

Journalist Timothy Noah wrote a brilliant article on Pret’s emotional labour (labor in US English) that Pret enforces low-wage employees to perform. “The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger“. I really recommend reading this article! And oh, how I remember the mental agony to have to smile, chat, present a happy facade, just to get a few more peanuts. And even during already traumatic bereavement I was expected to “leave my problems at home and wear a smile like I wear my uniform”! Real words of one of my Managers after we lost bonus for not smiling! Low-wage staff have to act like emotional prostitutes and acrobatic clowns to make Pret look good and as a happy place!

Noah wrote this article in 2013, a year after the first public “scandal” hit Pret when Andrej Stopa was fired for having started a trade union. Noah was one of the first, if not THE first journalist to take a closer look at Pret and write critical about the company when no-one dared to write critically. In fact, most journalists, even to this day write ecstatic positive articles about Pret.

Noah points out what former CEO Clive Schlee said about staff touching each other, quote: »”The first thing I look at,” Chief Executive Clive Schlee told The Telegraph last March, “is whether staff are touching each other . . . I can almost predict sales on body language alone.”«

Pret’s previous Mystery Shopper requirements even was that Pret aims to “attend to EACH customer’s NEEDS” … and aims to “connect with EVERY customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks”. The weekly Mystery Shopper is then tasked to comment on how low-wage staff smile etc. and give points accordingly.

Excerpts of the old Mystery Shopper reports before Pret changed the wording but kept the expectations via Managers:

Since I write extensively about Pret’s Mystery Shopper scheme which has surprised many customers who assumed that staff give freebies out of “random acts of kindness”, while in reality staff are almost guaranteed to receive the £100 reward when giving a freebie to the Mystery Shopper, or the MS at least witnessing this “generosity”!

And Clive Schlee to me served like the Ronald McDonald of Pret. He was the friendly clown that was approachable to customers and staff alike, while in reality putting a rigorous Mystery Shopper scheme in place and manipulating staff with brainwashing slogans, and expecting touch to portray a wholesome and happy company … all to increase sales.

And yet, we all wonder how on earth can TWO customers die in Pret, a third customer narrowly surviving and at least nine more injured due to unlabelled allergen in the food. Pret IGNORED the multiple warnings to label their food, even after customers have died and got injured, Pret kept smiling and went full steam ahead doing business as usual. Pret only started slowly to implement product labelling AFTER customer deaths became public! I worked at Pret when 2 customers died and we weren’t even informed of this. Not even a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling and allergen. Nothing! The emphasis was ALWAYS to drop every task, run on till, smile, serve customers fast and present a happy facade. Personality is more important in Pret than skill!

Link

If you don’t know what you’re doing and just “look” the part, but neglect life saving issues, you shouldn’t be hired or run a business! Smiling and having a bubbly personality is a plus, but without skills it’s useless for the health and safety of staff and customers alike! Clive Schlee, the Ronald McDonald of Pret has proven time and again how clueless he was:

Alicia Turrell deleted her Twitter account, so this link is gone. But to zoom in on what former CEO Clive Schlee responded to an open letter, shows how he lacked skills and knowledge on how to approach the lack of labelling that several customers pointed out, including a lawsuit BEFORE the first customer died.

Schlee’s patronizing, appalling and plain clueless response:

»Dear Alicia,
I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to board my flight and I have been reading your discursive open letter to Pret. I must say you have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.
You also make your point about allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are suggesting we treat allergens more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?
With best wishes
Clive«

I am not a fan of Wetherspoons or any food/drink chain at that, and at least their staff have started standing up with Unions. But I heard an interview of founder and CEO Tim Martin recently on Desert Island Discs from 2017. He said something that positively surprised me and maybe because pub business is a different animal from cafe/restaurant business in customer service to some extend, but he mentioned something on how staff present themselves.

Then presenter Kirsty Young asks Martin at around 26 minutes in the interview, quote: »And when you are chatting, as you are doing every week to managers and deputy managers and bar staff, do you ever say to them, “never ever say this to the customer?«

Martin replies: »No. And I also tell them, “you don’t have to smile either”.«

Kirsty Young: »You tell them they DON’T have to smile?«

Martin: »They don’t have to smile, no! We don’t go out of our way to tell them to be nice, because I think that puts too much pressure on people. I think when you go to a pub you get a beer, someone’s natural personality will emerge better if they are not under too much pressure, which of course they are under tremendous pressure anyway. Some of our best bar staff are quite grumpy

I cut out that part from the above program:

.

Or in the closing words of Timothy Noah’s superb article on Pret’s emotional labour enforcement: »Now that I know Pret’s slender blonde doesn’t love me, I prefer the human contact at a D.C. lunch counter called C.F. Folks. The food is infinitely better. But I also like that the service is slower, the staff is older and grumpier, and the prevailing emotion is “Get over yourself.” Try touching someone at C.F. Folks, and you just might get slugged.«

Another brilliant article on emotional labour I have listed in “The Dangers of Emotional Labour” is by Sophie McBain “How Emotional Labour Harms us All“.

I say it again, recruiting for (fake or even true) cheerful personality rather than skill can be fatal!

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Open Letter to a Prosecutor

Re-posting this:

Dear Kate Brunner QC,

below are some hints that Pret did not train us staff well and that former CEO Clive Schlee had no clue on what to do. I write from 10 years of front-line shop experience in Pret, most of which I was a Team Leader responsible for running shops. Sure, people think I have a vendetta against Pret and that’s why what I extensively write shouldn’t be taken seriously. That is people’s prerogative to decide. I just write.

Am I out of my mind? Sure. Am I angry? Of course. Are my social media rants off? Yes, at times, after I had one too many drinks in order to cope with trauma. But I know what I’m talking about first hand when it comes to Pret!

What I have been through is stuff for a shooting spree, but I went on a writing spree, and people can block me, look down on me, call me insane and all kinds of names, anything and everything. But I know what I have experienced and so many others I mention in my blog. So, people can continue to block me, report me, get my social media channels shut down. Be my guest.

And upfront, English is not my mother-tongue, so my grammar is a mess!

In the trial in Bristol it was said, quote from Sky News: »Food safety expert Dr Belinda Stuart-Moonlight told jurors Mr Rodriguez was fully trained and had acted outside of Pret A Manger’s allergen procedures.«

Well, Belinda Stuart-Moonlight is a food safety expert, but I and my former colleagues are Pret A Manger experts! And no-one wants to listen to low-wage front-line shop workers! But I’m going to say it anyway!

From my 10 years in Pret plus witnessing my colleagues in over dozen shops, I can verify that Pret’s training is extremely poor! For me it didn’t exist! If I was trained, I was given stuff to read during my break. If I was trained by a line manager, they were in such hurry, impatient and often clueless themselves. At times I myself wrote emails to HQ departments on issues to get the info directly from them because my Managers either didn’t know, or didn’t want to train me. The only reason that I was knowledgeable was because I made the effort to get information AND much of the information I knew came from previous employment in the hospitality industry, but not from Pret.

In an unlisted video on YouTube new CEO Pano Christou even inadvertently gives away how poor the training in Pret is. He shares how when he did stock take for the first or second time, that he stayed until 4 o’clock the next morning! And that’s exactly how it is in Pret. The training is so poor and even Managers often are clueless that especially new staff have to stay long (unpaid!) hours to figure out how things work! Before I worked at Pret, I worked in many different food places, most of my life I worked in hospitality industry, in wine bars, restaurants, a canteen, a hotel. But never did I have to stay longer hours to figure out how things are done than in Pret! It was the most frustrating thing not being trained and not being given time to train others!

If people are trained there IS NO NEED to stay until 4 o’clock the next morning to know how to do a stock take and other issues!!!

Pano here doesn’t realize that he’s giving away how poor the training in Pret is! Also, as a side note, WHY is the above video “unlisted” where people can only find it if they have direct link to it! Shouldn’t Pret be proud about a new CEO etc.??? Pret also prides themselves in hiring employees according to their personality!

So, Pret is full of smiley, chatty, bouncing people, but few have SKILL that a business needs to actually do the job. And those who have skills are exploited by the smiley bouncing folk who take the credit for the work skilled people do! Former CEO Clive Schlee himself was like the Ronald McDonald of Pret. He was the clown who’s main job seemed to have been to sit at the facade of Pret fooling the public on how wonderful and caring Pret is. He made himself available as this “transparent” and approachable CEO that everyone loved!

In the meantime, customers die, staff are bullied to work like machines to increase profit etc. etc. etc.

Hiring according to personality rather than skill can be fatal!

One of my passions has always been training and informing people. Even customers would comment that I had a lot of knowledge and why I wasn’t a Manager. My colleagues, many who are from other countries, always came to me when they had questions, because 1. I had a lot of knowledge on issues, partly because I worked in the catering industry most of my life even before Pret. And 2. I took my time to give them any and all info they wanted and needed as far as I knew it. But during the shifts I was always called away from training my colleagues to serve customers. Shop Managers always want the tills manned due to chronic under-staffing to increase profit and their bonuses.

My first year of being a “shift runner” running shops, I didn’t have the First Aid course. My Manager forgot or couldn’t be bothered to put me on the First Aid course which is mandatory when running shifts. I didn’t know it either until another Manager pointed it out when I changed shops. Other times I was asked to cut corners by Management, which I declined. Most of the time we were pressured to sign the yearly training records WITHOUT being trained or re-trained etc. etc.

If you were to walk into a Pret today and ask any member of staff if they are well trained, they will tell you yes! But they will tell you this out of fear! Pret staff are fear- and micromanaged via weekly Mystery Shoppers. Mystery Shoppers can also be regular customers. When I was bullied DURING bereavement in Pret, customers NEVER knew what I went through because I never told anyone except some colleagues. I remained professional and was riddled with anxiety. I’d never dare to tell a customer how it really is. I pretended to be happy, because that was our job, and Mystery Shoppers were tasked to probe and then comment on our smile and chatty attitude including eye contact … or lack thereof. My Teams would have lost bonus if I’d spill the beans and it happened to be the Mystery Shopper I’d talked to.

Pret: “We aim to connect with every customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks. Rate the engagement level of the person who served you at the till.”

Mystery Shopper: “I was not greeted at all at the till or given a smile. The only conversation was what was necessary for the transaction. To be welcoming, the team member could have greeted me and smiled and be engaged and positive, the team member could have given me a friendly remark or made small talk.”

So, I buried my brother weeks before, couldn’t smile or chat, my Manager who knew about my bereavement, wouldn’t even allow me to work in the kitchen for a few days where I wouldn’t need to smile or chat. I wasn’t placed into the kitchen because I wasn’t fast enough in making sandwiches as I wasn’t used to the kitchen. And then we got comments like this from Mystery Shoppers. Do you think we would tell customers that we were not trained properly or that we are bullied? I smiled most of the time, went home after work and headed for the bridge.

But if you knew a Team Member outside of Pret, especially those who left Pret, you would hear the real story. I could give you names of current and former staff who spoke to journalists and spilled the beans on the reality, one of which is lack of training. I won’t give you their names of course, but there is a lot of communication happening behind the scenes between staff and me, between staff and journalists, and staff leaving anonymous reviews on Glassdoor, Indeed, Twitter, Facebook etc.

.


.

EDIT:

I want to add something I just shared with others on another platform. The reason I took health and safety, allergen, labelling, liquid spillage on the floor etc. so serious and always was on my colleagues’ case when they slacked about dangerous H&S issues, was not because Pret took it so serious or trained me well. It was because I myself made a mistake in another company before I worked at Pret. A customer ordered a SOYA frappe and stressed to me that it NEEDS to be soya as they have a dairy intolerance! I assured the customer that I will make it a soya. Due to the hectic stressful shift, I completely forgot to LEAVE OUT the dairy powder that is added to thicken the frappes & milk shakes. The customer left.

Half an hour later they returned with a rash on their throat! They asked me if the frappe was soya, I absolutely assured them it was, but then in shock remembered that I added the dairy powder. I was young and new to that company, never having had any training or experience with allergen. I admitted that I forgot to leave the powder out. Good thing the customer explained that it wasn’t life-threatening and they said “It’s ok, I just get a rash”. I reimbursed them and profusely apologized. The customer could have contacted HQ, but I’ve never heard anything from my Manager or HQ.

And because I had a VISUAL of their rash it gave me such a shock and wake-up call! I’ve NEVER EVER made that mistake again and MY MISTAKE accompanied me to Pret. And THAT IS WHY I was so uber careful and trained my teams and was on their cases about labelling, the allergen guide, spillage on the floor etc. It wasn’t because Pret trained me so well! In fact my colleagues and even some Managers and Leaders would make fun of me because I was so diligent with anything related to health and safety!

I used to be extremely annoying to my colleagues when it came to the fire exits! When rubbish bags piled up, or even a broom leaned against the exit doors, I would remind them again to please leave the door clear at ALL times! I said I don’t even want to see a dust corn in front of the emergency exit door! I lived in the USA for a few years and the constant news on mass shootings or a mad man going into a kindergarten stabbing little kids! I explained that a mad person could walk into the shop and start stabbing people, the exit doors need to be cleared all the freaking time! I explained that we always think this could never happen to us, or in London! That’s the WRONG thinking.

This soya-dairy experience was a scare that I will never forget, and this was MY fault! And I’m beyond grateful that the customer at the other company “just” had an intolerance, not a life-threatening allergy!

But Pret? From my experience, they were lapse! Any former colleague would tell you that I got on my colleagues’ nerves when it came to health and safety and the allergen guide, BECAUSE I myself made a horrible mistake in the other company. But it was a ONE-OFF mistake that I never repeated, no matter how busy it was!!! In fact, as I was a Team Leader having to multi-task, I listened out to my colleagues when I heard them order a soya frappe, I interrupted my customer service, no matter if I thought it may have been the Mystery Shopper, to inform my new colleague and their customer that there is DAIRY powder added, just for their information. At times the customer was ok, because they just liked Soya, other times they declined the frappe as they couldn’t have dairy, and then ordered another drink. I trained and re-trained my colleagues to ALWAYS mention that we add dairy powder when they ordered a plant-based frappe.

In Pret we couldn’t leave the dairy powder out like I could in the other company, because the dairy powder is already attached to the ice-cubes in the individually portioned blue bags. We couldn’t take it out as we sometimes didn’t have a separate only ice-cube machine. If we had a separate ice-cube machine, we could then just make a soya iced drink which wasn’t thick, but at least without the powder.

.


.

Former CEO Clive Schlee himself inadvertently admitted that staff need more training and that Pret needed to take allergen more serious. As Schlee suffers from foot-in-mouth disease he responded to an open letter by an allergy sufferer back in 2015.

I made the following screenshot at the time when Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death became public. Alicia Turrell posted Schlee’s response to her open letter to Pret on Twitter. She closed her Twitter account now and her Tweets are gone, but I still have the screenshot. Alicia Grace Turrell is an actress and I’m sure it won’t be hard to find her and contact her for her own experience with Pret’s response. The Tweet is from 2018:

.

.

Clive Schlee’s typical patronizing response transcribed for easier read. It’s dripping of his typical sweet-talk, “sliming” Alicia with his compliments, making sure he mentions that he, as the CEO himself, writes to her. Yet, he’s clueless on what to do, admitting that Pret did not take allergen seriously and that staff needed (better) training.

»Dear Alicia,
I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to board my flight and I have been reading your discursive open letter to Pret. I must say you have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.
You also make your point about allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are suggesting we treat allergens more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?
With best wishes
Clive«

End of quote.

There is NO mention that staff are “fully” trained! In fact Schlee admits that he can’t argue with Alicia’s “fair points” and that he isn’t “exactly sure how to respond”! How can a CEO of an international food chain not be sure how to respond?! And Alicia Turrell wrote to Pret NOT to Clive Schlee, but Schlee in his typical self-assured way thought he’d impress a customer by responding HIMSELF. And Alicia Turrell was supposed to be smitten that the top chief himself replied. Well, she wasn’t! She was appalled at his response!

This correspondence was in 2015. And here is how Clive Schlee and Pret started to take allergen more seriously, and we staff received more training:

ZERO! NOTHING! NADA! NULL!

In 2016 a man in New York sued Pret after he had a reaction also to unlabelled sesame. Pret won. When the man learnt of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death, he was devastated as he hoped his lawsuit would be a wake-up call for Pret.

AllergicLiving.com article

In 2016 Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died. I worked between 2008 and end of December 2017 in Pret as a Team Leader. Part of my job description was Health and Safety. And I took that very seriously. But not only were we NOT informed of Natasha’s death (and later Celia Marsh), but there wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling and allergen. Nothing!

Natasha’s mum tells of her shock about Pret’s lack of action:

From YouTube at about 0:20

Pret went full steam ahead doing business as usual!

I write extensively about the lack of action, the lack of training and the relentless pressure and pace in which low-wage staff have to work. If they don’t work fast, they get fear managed with disciplinary and the threat of job loss. And working fast, rushing, being exhausted and depressed, they make unnecessary mistakes and continue to mislabel even now in 2021.

.

.

I also write extensively about Pret having hired the prestigious and expensive Barbican Venue in the spring of 2017 (after Natasha’s death and the NY lawsuit) to do a one (or two week) seminar. Pret hired the Barbican to do a seminar on customer service for all Leaders and Managers to take back to their Teams to train them. I can’t remember if it was two weeks, but it was certainly one week all day every working day. This seminar was all about how to lure customers in and kiss butt to increase profit, and to gain and retain customers. There was NO mention whatsoever on allergen and labelling. Nothing whatsoever! It wasn’t even mentioned that a customer has died. That’s how Pret “fully” trains staff after a customer has died! Irony off!

This seminar was AFTER the open letter from Alicia Turrell, AFTER the man in New York sued Pret and most tragically AFTER Natasha died.

Pret could and should have put on the emergency brakes and reshuffle the theme of the seminar and could have easily spent the money on allergen experts to teach us on allergen.

Pret also started to implement labelling machines for expiry dates for the kitchen in 2017, back of house, BUT NOT machines for allergen labelling for shops and customers, front of house.

One reason I believe also why Pret wasn’t keen on doing ingredient labelling on the packaging is because Pret claimed that their food is “natural”. But after ASA and a lawsuit challenged Pret (there’s a new lawsuit on this now again in NY), Pret took the word “natural” off their signage and packaging. Pret’s food was found to contain the “nasty” chemicals that Pret claimed wasn’t there, including GMOs and Glyphosate for which the mighty Monsanto, now under Bayer, have been sued by thousands of people in the U.S., having to pay billions of dollars in compensation.

.

.

Link

Again, I am writing as a former front-line shop employee with 10 years experience, most of which was as a Team Leader. Sure, I have a “vendetta” against Pret after what I survived. But I am deeply offended that Pret didn’t even tell us about customers having died. I learnt like everybody else via the press after the inquest into Natasha’s death. And I’m further offended that Pret didn’t put on the brakes and had urgency about labelling and allergen, training and re-training us! I and my colleagues continued to be the next potential “Roberto Rodriguez” where our words and actions could have endangered more customers and the blame would have been on us. And like Natasha’s father Nadim said that the food labelling laws “played Russian Roulette” with his daughter’s life.

Pret that boast themselves to be front runners and trail blazers in issues, ignored multiple warnings and subjected us staff to partake in the Russian Roulette. And I can absolutely understand Roberto Rodriguez having dived under and not letting solicitors find him. He was blamed, but my argument is, was he really fully trained or did he just sign the training records out of pressure? Roberto is in a pickle: he can’t admit that he wasn’t fully trained if he signed the training records without having been trained. It’s a lose-lose for staff.

I took Health and Safety extremely seriously, and I was known to take it very serious. I got on my colleagues’ nerves as I was always on their cases, including Managers, to keep fire exits clear, to keep fire extinguishers clear for easy access, to immediately take the yellow “caution wet floor” sign when there was a spillage on the floor while we were getting the mop, FIRST put the caution sign down on top of the spillage and THEN get the mop etc.

My colleagues were always annoyed with me being on their cases, as well as telling them to NOT stretch dates of expired foods etc. etc. etc. To then learn that customers have died and been injured and NOT being informed and NOT being trained or re-trained more thoroughly is so offensive to me. Pret is micromanaging and EASILY penalize staff on even the smallest issues. And yet, they failed US as staff more than we could have ever failed them!

Clare Clough, now UK Managing Director, was tasked to face the press on Pret’s lack of action, via Twitter:
https://twitter.com/ITVTonight/status/1068123662556061696

Part of the interview from November 2018:

Ranvir Singh, ITV: “How can people trust Pret when you still don’t have full allergy labelling on every item in all your stores?”

Clare Clough: “Pret takes this incredibly seriously. We immediately put allergy alert stickers on to all of our products, so that customers would have on every single product they bought from Pret, information on how to easily find the allergen information that they needed.”

Ranvir Singh: “Immediately when?”

Clare Clough: “Following the inquest.”

Ranvir Singh: “Right, so two years after Natasha’s death. … Which doesn’t sound very immediate to me.”

Clare Clough even goes on to say:

“We were already adding allergen information to the shelves where people choose the products, when we were first made aware of Natasha’s death.”

Repeat: “We were already adding allergen information to the shelves where people choose the products, when we were first made aware of Natasha’s death.”

And YET, Roberto Rodriguez LOOKED at the labelling on the shelves to see if sesame was included in 2017 and did NOT see sesame, and thus unbeknownst to him misinformed customer Isobel Colnaghi, who then suffered an allergic reaction also to sesame, narrowly surviving!

So, either Clare Clough wasn’t truthful and product labels on the fridges were not labelled, or she didn’t know that Pret did NOT label, or Pret labelled some products and missed other products like the item that Isobel Colnaghi chose.

Pret is cleared now, and the blame is stuck on Roberto Rodriguez. A low-wage foreign worker, who has to live with the blame of a customer’s allergy reaction that would have almost been the third fatal reaction to a Pret product.

Link to Tweet from 2018

.

A list of my blog posts about the ongoing mislabelling, chronic under-staffing, staff reviews on lack of training, high pressure, bullying, unpaid over time, fast pace environment etc. etc.

Mislabelling: Vegetarians and Vegans Eat Meat at Pret

My detailed report on HOW MESSY and chaotic Pret’s labelling system was before they started labelling in 2019: Pret’s Labelling Commitment?

Lack of training in Pret and how staff are pressured to sign training records without being trained (I also explain this in my below audio player interview from 2018 at about 1:13:00): Roberto Rodriguez – Pret Allergen Trial

Pret hiring the Barbican for customer service training in 2017, but not for allergen or labelling: Be Kind, Honest, Generous – Pret’s Seminar on Customer Service

Pret’s Bullying Culture and High Pace: Caught in the Act at Pret

Undercover in Pret, Wrong allergy labels and wasted food: Undercover Under Pressure in Pret

»Worked Into the Ground without Empathy at Pret«

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret’s Ukraine Employee PR Stunt

УКРАЇНЦІ, НЕ працюйте на мережу кафе Pret A Manger!

УКРАИНЦЫ, НЕ работайте на сеть ресторанов Pret A Manger!

I will say this loud and clear, even if I make inadvertent advertising here: Pret’s £50K donation to Ukraine is peanuts and a joke after the CEO and other execs pocket millions on bonus alone and cut staff wages etc. Some shops make £50K a day, many in 2 or 3 days. It’s PENNIES for Pret!

Pret waste no time to make a big PR announcement of their “charity” to regain favour, as many customers boycott Pret due to the wage cuts, stale food, subscription scam etc. After 4 years writing on Pret, I am proud to read more and more customers who see it as NORMAL that Pret is not what they claim to be. This was different 4 years ago where most where shocked to hear what I write or didn’t believe me. I get less blocked these days!

So, now Pret jump VERY quickly at the UK government refugee scheme by announcing another PR stunt to employ Ukrainian refugees. Here it is again, 1. for PR to get customers in who fall for this, thinking Pret is so wonderful, and 2. Pret want cheap labour.

Pret A Manger was built on the backs of Eastern Europeans who work like machines! I worked with many from Romania, Poland, Lithuania etc. Without these workers Pret could NOT have expanded so fast from the mid 2000s until Brexit.

I just post some of the comments here from customers and Pret staff, some who laugh about Pret’s claim to want to offer “emotional” and financial support.

When I worked 7 years in Pret my brother died, and Pret were in a hurry to get rid of me! Another former staff of 9 years talks about similar experience on Instagram.

I can only implore the reader to not fall for Pret’s PR stunt. They need workers! They will take a few refugees and treat them really, really well putting them in easy, quieter shops (if there is such a thing as an “easy” and quiet shop).

Then they will “parade” them one day in how they saved their day! Others who are thrust in fear and bow quicker will be put in kitchens and work their butts off for minimum-wage …

Don’t be fooled that Pret care! They jump at this opportunity as Brexit has made it harder to get workers and Pret is desperate for European staff, so they “fast track” them now. Many staff have left and keep leaving and I just hope that Ukrainians don’t take any bullsh!t, especially after what they’re suffering now. When you lost everything, especially loved ones, you are super vulnerable! And Pret KNOW how to use that! If you don’t believe me I have all the paper work as proof. That’s why Pret don’t sue me, it would open a can of worms for them!

Former staff on Twitter, I asked in that feed what “legacy” work Pret is talking about!

.

I know Pret very well and how they BS people, on Instagram Ukrainian people ask how they can apply, and the social media staff say that they can contact the bogus Pret Foundation trust that serves as a smokescreen to hide bad practices. On Facebook the social media team tell people to keep an eye on social media.

In other words: Pret have NO clue what to do because this is only a PR stunt with no intention to help. These mixed messages are typical for Pret, because different social media staff give different info depending on their shift. They’re not on one page because there is no plan.

Pret have NO intention whatsoever to help. It’s just their typical marketing stunt.

On Instagram Pret pass the buck to email the Pret Foundation that most likely will not respond:

.

On Facebook Pret admits to not have a plan and lures people to keep checking Pret’s social media, and no update will come, because there is no plan to help:

To highlight the comments as the screenshots are small.

mehrdadology writes, quote: “Am an unemployed british citizen and pret rejected my application twice for no reason! who is going to help people like me!”

I explained to mehrdadology that Pret don’t want British workers as they may ask for higher pay and they know their rights. Pret prefer even people who speak very little English, put them in the kitchen where they can’t talk due to the loud music and fast-paced work. They don’t speak English and therefore don’t know where to ask for help when they run into trouble.

The other comment, “Stop profiting from real tragedy cocksuckers”

.

.

Some can only laugh at Pret’s claim to care:

.

A customer who complains that standards are low, dirty shops etc. That’s what you get when you under-staff and exploit staff so much that they just leave.

.

.

Yes, Pret ARE a ruthless company to work for. And the second comment I highlighted “8 years …” is a hint that Pret didn’t care about Crimea in 2014.

.

.

A former staff of 9 years:

.

.

.

Linkedin:

.

Facebook:

.

etc. etc. etc.

And just a small collection of the MANY staff reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, Twitter, Facebook etc. This staff member’s advise to management is: “Burn in hell”. And an email from a staff member I received and quote here:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

How Pret make Profit from the Coffee Subscription

Several customers, including a The Times journalist, have ask how Pret can make a profit from their “generous” subscription offer.

.

Link

And another recent question on reddit:

.

I explain in detail, click on the picture to read on reddit or on the link underneath:

Link

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The Pret A Manger Furnace

Customers continue to raise the issue of under-staffed shops with queues out the door. Exhausted staff who slave for minimum-wage while Pret made a big PR announcement to be raising pay to £10 (from April on) while having cut pay during the pandemic, cut benefits and paid breaks. Workers are worse off while Pret do their usual “charity” PR stunts again.

And before anyone compares and comes with the “argument” that you don’t get your breaks paid, try to work on your feet for 8, 10, 12+ hours straight every day under intense stress, noise, heat, tinnitus, angry leader, bullying manager, mystery shopper commenting that you didn’t smile, frustrated customers who complain that their coffee took 2 minutes etc. etc. etc. Try working in that environment, all while HAVING to smile or not get mystery shopper bonus. Staff should get their breaks paid again and more than a flipping living wage. I write extensively about Pret’s micromanaging, strict and plainly abusive mystery shopper scheme here: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Pret silenced a staff member’s strike announcement which rallied a lot of support from customers via the media. Let me rewind to 2020.

At the start of the pandemic, just before first lock-down, Pret did a nasty PR stunt again. Pret announced on 18. March 2020 to give free coffees and 50% rebate for NHS staff, which of course turned into a big media event with countless customers complimenting Pret on their “generosity” and ethical attitude. Well …

The very next morning on 19. March 2020 I received a desperate message from a staff member unbeknown to me, that CEO Pano Christou has sent an email to all shops early morning on 19. March to announce cuts to staff.

Pret used NHS staff for PR and as a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff. I was sent the CEO’s email by another staff member and published it here: Plea to NHS Employees.

In a nutshell, low-wage front-line Pret workers paid for the NHS freebies. Companies like Pret always take it from the lowest to do their marketing scheme for the public. I passed this on to the press immediately and went on a social media spree to inform as many NHS workers as I could find.

Only 1 NHS staff was outraged as far as I could find. I’m sure there are more. But most NHS workers loved the freebies, with nor care about Pret staff.

.

Link

In the following months Pret fired 3000 staff, cut hours, cut pay, cut benefits and stopped paid breaks while executives worked safely from home or socially distanced in air conditioned head office. And they continued to received a juice bonus package. If not, Pret would have “proudly” announced that executive pay and bonuses were cut, as Pret is always FAST to make huge PR announcements.

The same with donating £50.000 to Ukraine which is peanuts for Pret. Many shops make £50K in two days, some even in one day! In contrast to that, former CEO Clive Schlee received £30 MILLION on bonus for himself alone. We can only speculate how much all the other executives and share holders pocket, even during the pandemic!

I explain WHY and WHEN Pret always make big “charity” announcements including the interesting timing of Pret’s £1000 announcements to all staff back in 2018: Pret’s Charity Projects.

.

Link to Daily Mail report.

They then made the cuts permanent which caused a huge public outcry via the media. One brave staff member made the strike announcement but was quickly silenced because Pret played a trick on them. I explain here: Pret Staff Announce Strike.

Two tweets from only today from 2 different shops within an hour from each other. And Pret always ask customers to DM with more info claiming to be “so concerned to read this” as if Pret isn’t aware of the stress THEY cause from head office. Especially on weekends shops have maximum 3 staff, if they’re lucky 4. I worked like this in different Pret shops, and that before the pandemic. But now it’s much much worse. So, Pret ask for DM to lure customer data for future marketing.

More customer complaints and staff reviews in below YouTube slides including some stern words from Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha.

I use YouTube because not everyone wants to read long blog posts and because Facebook/Instagram completely censored/blocked my website after Pret and die-hard Pret fans reported me. But they can’t block YouTube!

This customer tweet hits the nail on the head!

Link

Link

Link

Link

Long queues and customers started to boycott:

.

Staff reviews and Nadia Sawahla’s words after Pret made temporary pay-cuts permanent:

.

Some of many staff reviews from before the pandemic:

.

The MOST poignant staff review from a kitchen worker who also had to jump in serving customers. There is no better worded review I have ever come across regarding work at Pret:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

French-run London bakery accuses Pret A Manger of ‘bullying’ over demand for name change

Yep, sounds just like Pret!

Evening Standard: French-run London bakery accuses Pret of ‘bullying’ over demand for name change

.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

I was Team Leader Responsible for Health & Safety but Pret did NOT tell us of Allergen Deaths

Please click on above Spotify logo to listen to a converted voice version of below text.

I want to link to several posts I wrote from a behind the scenes perspective having worked at Pret A Manger when two customers died. The first fatality was 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from unlabelled sesame in a baguette. The second customer was mother of 5 Celia Marsh who died of dairy traces in a vegan wrap.

It is still not clear whose responsibility Celia Marsh’s death was, if the non-dairy yogurt supplier or Pret.

I know from experience that it is super easy to hastily grab the wrong products in Pret as shops have always been under-staffed to maximize profit, and many are foreign workers who can take the wrong ingredient in a hurry. Staff are penalized if they don’t reach a certain percentage in the speed of assembling sandwiches.

I want to keep this short here and only link to the posts with certain issues I have experienced first hand. I continue to highlight that under-staffing shops is dangerous. And Pret continue to do so to maximize profit, even before the pandemic. Burnt-out staff are bound to make dangerous mistakes.

Some people say that I have a “vendetta” against Pret after what I survived as staff, and that’s why I write on all sorts of issues. My response to this is, it takes immense wrong doing for someone to speak out extensively and “whistle-blow” on wrong doing. If I was “just” a disgruntled former employee, I would have never started a blog. This is not about being disgruntled, this is about my own survival from this company and why Pret remain dangerous to people’s health.

I need to stress that I was a Team Leader of the shop floor responsible for a host of things like running the shops (opening or closing), ordering stock, counting money at the end of the day, checking temperature of cooling equipment, looking after the staff, striving that we had high scores in Mystery Shopper visits etc. etc.

A Team Leader in Pret is really like a mini-manager! they do EVERYTHING except hiring and firing. They are the true managers who run the shops. Same with kitchen Team Leaders, they run the kitchens.

But one of the responsibilities and job description of Team Leaders is health and safety. I myself took that extremely serious as I had many years experience in the hospitality industry in three countries.

I was known by colleagues to get on their nerves when I saw spillage on the floor and I stressed to first grab the yellow caution sign before getting the mop. Or the emergency exits even having the slightest item blocking it. Or the emergency calling cord that’s hanging to the floor in toilets and was tangled up. I always untangled it and re-trained everyone to keep checking that the chord is always loosely hanging on the floor easy to pull should someone be lying on the floor etc. etc.

This was not my managers training me to keep an eye on, this from my experience outside of Pret where I was TRULY trained!

I stress the Team Leader health & safety responsibility because Pret is extremely strict with many issues, but also with a lot of unimportant issues. But Pret did not only NOT tell us, especially Team Leaders, that not one, but two customers died and several got injured, there wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more cautious with labelling and allergen. Absolutely nothing! I am still very angry about this because Pret left us basically in the Wild West that if something happened, it’s our fault because they basically didn’t break the law at the time.

A list of issues I expand on in great detail:

Be Honest, Kind, Generous – Seminar on Customer Service. I start with a seminar that Pret did at the Barbican in spring 2017, a year AFTER Natasha died. But the seminar was NOT about allergen or labelling, it was about how to lure customers further to keep coming back spending money.

Vegans and Vegetarians Eat MEat at Pret with many photos by customers. Pret shops still mislabel products even in 2022 due to under-staffed, stressed out workers having to rush. Picture in the heading is a pot of mayonnaise sold as Bircher muesli. A stressed, rushed staff took the MAYONNAISE bucket instead of the dairy yogurt bucket. EASILY done!

A staff could have grabbed the dairy yogurt instead of the non-dairy yogurt for the vegan wrap that Celia Marsh died from.

Link

Pret’s labelling Committment? How staff easily mistake products due to under-staffing and rushing.

Pret do not label food in Dubai and Paris in 2021 and maybe other countries where there are insufficient labelling laws. Customers complain to Pret on social media with photos. Most likely there are no laws like the UK law “Natasha’s Law” since October 2021. Should a customer die in Dubai or Paris, Pret will again blame the local laws.

Pret Hygiene Rating 2/5. Many customers complain on filthy shops and London City Airport has scored 2 out of 5 in a December 2021 EHO visit on pest and hygiene issues. Again, under-staffed shops where staff are pushed to work fast to get products out but have no time to clean. Pret has never paid overtime while giving staff purposely very little time to do the job, then forcing them to work for free. Many staff walked out of Pret now.

Photos and videos of flies, maggots, rat droppings etc. in Pret food, as well as mice and ants running around including on food etc. Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot via YouTube:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Fans & Media HOLD YOUR HORSES!

Pret’s in shambles alright. But above picture by @Ruffbinta on Twitter, where Storm Eunice knocked at Pret’s door a little too hard, is a good metaphor how Pret is a shadow of their past PR glory. Though, they’re still able to fool the public with a smiley front.

So, relax! Pret won’t go bust! Take a deeeeep breath and have some soothing camomile tea on the house. You’re just being fooled again. This is just their usual way to use the media to make people believe Pret’s crocodile tears!

In Germany they have a saying, “In der Not frisst der Teufel Fliegen”. Loosely translated, “In times of crisis, the devil eats flies”.

In other words, in unprecedented times we do things we’d NEVER EVER thought we’d do in “normal” times. We would even eat flies if it keeps us alive.

The problem here though is, Pret is NOT in trouble! They are doing the USUAL thing of using the media to keep luring customers in.

I explain this in the “Tränendüse” post from 2020 when CEO Pano Christou did a clever PR stunt using The Guardian.

.

.

Every link I post below shows evidence of how Pret keeps tricking the public.

Pret is desperate for customers. And what BETTER way to get customers in than saying, “We are about to close down if you don’t come and wait for 15 minutes to be served by our understaffed minumim-wage workers while we refuse to pay taxes and are busy counting our money … Hey boo, come on, buy our fertilizer.”

.

Link to @Karatee’s photo.

All the customers who not only boycott Pret, but vowed to never set foot inside Pret again (for lowering wages, coffee subscription issues, poor quality coffee and food, customer allergen deaths and injuries etc.), Pret wants to get back by squeezing their tears into a throw-away cup in hopes people return in droves.

Pret is back 93% pre-pandemic levels, but hey, someone needs to foot the bill for the loans Pret took out and all the lawsuits they’re hit with, including the recent settlement for FINGERPRINTING staff in Illinois agreeing to pay 800 staff a combined $677,000 (after lawyers take their share around $500 per staff)!

.

LawStreetMedia.com

And at least 6 further lawsuits in the million for unpaid rents in the USA.

Give Pret 6-12 months, if not less, and they’re soaring again higher than before.

And most importantly, they still sleep well at nights.

Telegraph: “Pret scrambles to delay loan payments over ‘going concern’ warning – Coffee chain has until June to repay £66.7m after pandemic borrowing”

.

Link to Telegraph article.

UPDATE: 19.02.2022

The comment section shows a lot of insight into private equity. Some people aren’t fooled by this.

Quote from Hercule Smith: “This is a non story. The PE sharks are just running their business in their normal fashion: drowning in debt to negate tax (until just before they want to refloat it, when debt will just marginally reduce). They’ll drop in more equity when they have no choice, unless they spot a chance to dump the debt via a pre-pack or similar.”

Another quote: “How do you issue a warning and say you are continuing to expand?”

Bingo! As the above person already explained about the private equity sharks, Pret received £100 million from shareholders to open 200 more shops within 3 years. This will now be doubled to £200 million. Pret also received £185 million from owners JAB Holdings in tax-haven Luxembourg as well as the support from the government during furlough etc. There is NO plan to pay debt!

.

Another person wrote what I also thought yesterday, quote: “If they are struggling to pay £60m this year how on earth would they pay £600m next. As for trading at 93% od pre pandemic level I find that hard to believe.”

Exactly! Especially also with all the lawsuits and settlements, Pret have no urgency to pay any debt. I also find it hard to believe that Pret made 50 million coffees on the subscription. They claim 50 million cups on Instagram and Facebook but NOT on Twitter because more people would call Pret out on Twitter than IG & FB> And the press is more active on Twitter but not elsewhere.

Here one customer calling Pret out on their BS on IG which I posted on Twitter:

.

Link to IG

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The Love-Bombing from Pret A Manger Low-Wage Staff

I have written already extensively on Pret A Manger’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme including slides on YouTube. Someone last winter linked to my blog from Wikipedia, after I wrote a lot about my experience in Pret with the Mystery Shopper scheme and I kept mentioning Timothy Noah’s excellent article, “The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger“. But the Wiki editor deleted the link again. I don’t know who put my blog on Wiki or why it was then removed.

.

.

But after 2018, after the customer deaths became known, Wikipedia updated a lot of information they didn’t have before, like the first Pret being opened in 1983 by Jeffrey Hyman NOT in 1986 etc. Pret keep it away from the public that Jeffrey Hyman was the first to open Pret and have now even put signs on Pret shops with a simple “London 1986”.

A friend of Jeffrey Hyman alleged on Twitter that Pret employed someone to keep deleting Hyman’s info off Wikipedia!

Link

A lot of info has been taken from my blog as usual, while Wiki remains out-dated on Pret issues. But that’s for another post.

I want to highlight again Pret’s humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme, but instead of a long blog post (don’t bank on it!), I want to link to my page with certain posts and YouTube slides I’ve already published. I use YouTube and keep adding to a playlist on a variety of issues, as Facebook and Instagram completely blocked my website after Pret must have reported me. But they can’t block YouTube! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›

The press now KNOW about Pret’s emotional labour scheme but don’t want to elaborate on it as they always like to avoid having to mention my blog from where they got the initial info from. So, I keep updating customers who are still fooled that minimum-wage workers seem happy in an unforgiving stressful, noisy, hot, straining work environment.

Many customers are grateful to learn of this, some other customers cuss me out or communicate in other passive aggressive ways that they don’t want to know about this. They are p!ssed off because I destroy their illusions that staff actually smile for bonus and £100 cash rewards and NOT because they are in love with the customer or are happy working at Pret!

.

.

Many middle-aged people are especially annoyed when they learn of the Mystery Shopper requirements, because they love to flirt with low-wage staff (for free coffee or just because they can). Some even LOVE it that staff are exploited this way and seem to get a kick out of it. Others have expressed their “reliance” of being “emotionally” cared for by poorly paid staff, who are exploited to meet the emotional needs of customers so that these customers return again and again to spend more money.

Customers become “reliant” on the emotional attention of low-wage staff as if workers are psychologists or emotional “prostitutes”. Customers have become conditioned to get their emotional fix from hospitality workers and workers have become accustomed to sell emotions on top of food in order to top up their low pay. I still cringe at this having had to distort my feelings for extra cash and to not get fear managed when a Mystery Shopper commented that I didn’t smile, even when I was sick. Staff are not paid the first 2 – 3 days sick leave, depending on their age, even when they have a sick note.

I had to constantly make a decision if to stay home to get well but lose money, or go to work sick and risk that my Team didn’t get the bonus because I coughed!

Mystery Shopper excerpt when I coughed and therefore couldn’t smile:

.

Mystery Shopper comment: “Team members should smile at customers and may not work when ill, as team member was coughing whilst serving me and was therefore not feeling cheerful enough to smile that day.”

I was reprimanded in the office later by my boss after this report came in. I also didn’t “feel cheerful” enough to smile after I buried my brother and Pret bullied me to keep performing emotional labour and refused to place me in the kitchen. I literally begged managers to please put me in the kitchen for a day or week where I didn’t need to smile. But they often refused because I was too slow in the kitchen but very fast and efficient in the shop.

I had to suppress my grief and keep smiling. After my shift I often headed for the bridge. Well Pret, I survived to tell my story!

Important to note as well that Pret staff have 60 seconds (sometimes Pret changes it to 90 seconds) to serve a customer, also to get the coffee ready into customer’s hands, and on top of that staff are demanded to stroke people’s emotions on the go!

If a staff or the Barista takes longer than 60-90 seconds, they risk also not getting Mystery Shopper bonus as Mystery Shoppers time them to the second while expecting PERFECT coffees, smiles, chatting, eye contact …

.

.

.

.

Link to article.

UPDATE: On my podcast I talk in detail how the Pret mystery shopper scheme works. As WordPress also censor me and now don’t allow embeds, just click on the link or copy paste into a new window: https://anchor.fm/expretdotorg/episodes/Pret-A-Mangers-Strict-Mystery-Shopper-Scheme-e1ho40a

Or check Spotify:

Many more customer comments via the below YouTube l slides.

I received many Mystery Shopper “outstanding cards” (£50 cash reward) and “super outstanding cards” (£100 rewards when the scores were perfect) and many customer compliments for my service. But inside I was burnt out and later suicidal after my brother died. Pret continued to demand that I smile. I was reprimanded by management, including an area Manager after the Mystery Shopper commented that I didn’t smile.

The Mystery Shopper didn’t know that I just buried my brother, but Pret knew. It didn’t matter. No mercy.

Since I publicly write on this, highlighting certain sentences from the Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has changed the wording to avoid criticism.

Excerpt of previous Pret Mystery Shopper questions which Pret has now changed to more general questions:

.

Quote, I highlight/bold a few things:

Pret: “We aim to connect with every customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks. Rate the engagement level of the person who served you at the till.”

Mystery Shopper: “I was not greeted at the till or given a smile. The only conversation was what was necessary for the transaction. To be welcoming, the team member could have greeted me and smiled and be engaged and positive, the team member could have given me a friendly remark or made small talk.”

Little but important side note, an individual Pret staff serves an average of 300-500 customers per 8 – 10 hour shift depending on the busyness of the shop and their position. Hot Chefs, Baristas, Kitchen Staff of course serve less people as they have their job roles cut out for them. Pret demands that staff bend backwards like acrobatic clowns and what I call as “emotional prostitutes” to draw customers in emotionally to spend more money.

Further:

Quote:

Pret: “We aim to be attentive to each customer’s needs. Rate the engagement level of the whole team in this shop during your visit.”

Mystery Shopper: “The team members were focused on their jobs but were not welcoming customers. This could be improved by the team members smiling at customers when they entered the shop, and making a friendly remark or small talk, where possible.”

Where possible? Maybe it wasn’t possible because Team Members were FOCUSED on their JOBS for which they were paid for. Bonus is at the discretion of Mystery Shoppers and Managers. it’s a bonus, not a required wage! Yet, in this they are bullied and fear managed THE MOST!

It’s a lose-lose for staff. They are focused on their jobs for which they were hired and paid to fulfill, and if they wouldn’t be doing their jobs, they would be penalized for not cleaning, stocking up etc. And customers love to flock to Twitter to complain that their tables weren’t wiped or there is no sugar stocked up. All the while Mystery Shoppers are demanded to probe if staff smile while bending backwards being FOCUSED on their jobs!

If they do their jobs, they are reprimanded for not smiling. If they smile and chat but then don’t have time to stock up or clean or a bit of toilet paper is on the floor etc., they are reprimanded for not doing their jobs. It does not matter AT ALL how well they work, how much they do, they are always penalized and bullied in a nutshell.

Only one of many such reviews, quote from Glassdoor review “Stressful“:

»Constantly understaffed and expected to clean the entire store and multitask like crazy because there is no one else to do it
Sometimes really hard to get the bonus because you work so hard to make the entire store presentable, clean and neat but if the mystery shopper comes during the busy lunch period when you are understaffed and have to stay on till and cannot leave it and tidy the shop floor and they then don’t give you the bonus because there was ‘toilet paper on the floor in the toilet that could have been tidied’. Or if there is a long queue until the door they complain that they were not served within a minute and a half of joining the queue which is ridiculous.«

So, now many shops have locked the toilets with “out-of-order” sign on it since months.

They go left, they’re penalized for not turning right. They turn right, they’re penalized for not turning left. They run, they’re penalized for not stopping. They stand still, they’re penalized for not moving … You get the picture! I know what I’m talking about, I survived this bullsh!t abuse!

If you, dear reader, really want to see the micromanagement and humiliation in how ONE staff made a silly mistake, resulting in the whole team not getting bonus, read THIS, especially at the bottom of the page!

But be warned, your illusions are going to really get fucked up!

And to further destroy illusions of Pret’s “generosity”, when a staff member gives a freebie, that is almost a guarantee to get the £100 cash reward from the Mystery Shopper. An example of this is at the very bottom YouTube player.

I am not a fan of chains and neither of Wetherspoons, but boss Tim Martin in his interview with Kirsty Young on Desert Island discs years ago, said something that pleasantly surprised me. I’ve put an excerpt of the interview on Soundcloud, click play:

.

Pret boasts about recruiting staff for their personality rather than their skill. This sounds lovely doesn’t it! Yet, so many especially in leadership are clueless on how to do their jobs. But as long as they are like bouncing bunnies fulfilling customers’ emotional fixes, that’s all that Pret cares about.

Two customer deaths and 20+ allergen injuries has not taught Pret a lesson that SKILL is life saving, with or without a smile. I write about this in: Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal, where I dissect HR Director Andrea Wareham’s interview on this.

Again, please also read Timothy Noah’s brilliant article from a customer and journalist point of view! And you may say, why don’t staff just get another job? Well, this question is for psychology and experienced service workers to answer in how fear management, brainwashing and inexperience with exploitation in low-wage jobs work.

And if you as a customer would ask any Pret staff if they’re happy working there, of course they will say YES with a BIG smile, because they fear you could be the Mystery Shopper! Even regular customers can be Mystery Shoppers and staff ALWAYS anticipate them walking into the shop at anytime.

I renamed the Mystery Shopper to “Misery” Shopper also because these are often people who ENJOY their power to withdraw or give bonus. I once signed up on a Mystery Shopper Forum where secret shoppers mingled and exchanged experiences of their jobs.

I explained to them our ordeal and how excruciating it is to have to love-bomb customers to get extra cash EVEN when we are bereaved, depressed, ill etc. Nine out of ten Mystery Shoppers on that forum were merciless and said that it is our jobs to smile no matter what. They absolutely enjoyed the power they had over minimum-wage staff. That’s why I dedicated my blog post on Timothy Noah’s article naming him a “hero” in my book! As a journalist he dared to take a more critical look at Pret back in 2013 when no journalist dared to critique Pret.

A thorough and extensive list on Pret’s emotional labour demands via weekly Mystery Shoppers can be found here, with links to Mystery Shopper reports, my own experience, YouTube and journalists reports: The Dangers of Emotional Labour.

Here I want to briefly highlight a few things again. I will now abbreviate Mystery Shopper to MS.

Since I write about Pret’s MS scheme, Pret has put some info into shops to quickly counter any critique and “admit” they do MS requirements, but they fail to explain how micromanaging and humiliating it is. Again, for thorough detail, see above “Dangers of Emotional Labour” page to the links.

After a strike announcement was made in August 2021, Pret quickly reinstated the hourly staff bonus from 50p to £1 starting in September 2021. Now Pret announced that the bonus will be £1.25 from April on when the government raises the minimum wage, forcing Pret to pay a few pennies more to LOOK generous.

I explain in detail why reinstating the bonus is a TRICK: Pret Staff Consider Strike.

In short:

Shop/kitchen hourly paid staff SOLELY rely on their weekly bonus via the weekly Mystery Shopper visits AND shop Managers moods.

Until April 2022 a staff member can earn an extra £1 per hour IF the MS is happy enough to give it. If a staff member works let’s say 60 hours that week, he/she will get £60 bonus that week if the MS is happy to give it. From April 2022 it will be £1.25 p/h. But even if the MS awards the bonus, the shop Managers have the discretion to NOT give the bonus for ANY silly reason. I explain in detail in above “Strike” post.

I and colleagues have been threatened by management that our bonus will be cut for any and all silly reason I explain in detail. Thus, Pret is using the bonus system to penalize staff and save money. Some staff have left reviews on Glassdoor and/or Indeed explaining that the bonus is used as a “weapon” or that achieving MS bonus has become extremely hard due to understaffed shops. Teams have lost bonus because there was a little toilet paper on the floor in the toilet, regardless if the shops are understaffed.

THAT IS WHY many shops have just CLOSED the toilets with an “out-of-order” sign on the door, as they don’t have staff to keep it clean and thus not get bonus.

It’s a lose-lose for shops! It does NOT matter how much they bend backwards and forwards, Pret penalize and bully them via the strict and unreasonable Mystery Shopper scheme. In hindsight after what I have survived in Pret, I really really believe that Pret executives and head office including HR literally ENJOY treating staff like this. Leadership that abuse their power over minimum-wage staff.

Managers also coerce young inexperienced Team Members to have sex in exchange for promotion. Sure, you may say, that’s a hefty allegation, but what world do you live in where your illusions get the better of you? Abuse in low-wage jobs is rife EVERYWHERE in the world. You know that! It was often an open secret what Manager got into their position via the bedroom! Sad for a sandwich shop! You expect that in law firms and politics or the music industry, but a sandwich chain? Really sad.

.

Link to review on Glassdoor.

Or Luton Airport management:

.

Link to review on Indeed.

Quote: “… Only sad thing was the whole sleep with a manager to get to where you want. Sadly it was the case for who was my assistant manager and main manager at the time. A lot of staff were very angry at this happening but that was not for me to dwell on. I looked past it.”

People have sex in the staff room because the shop offices have hidden cameras after Managers would have sex in the offices.

Shop Managers, Assistant Managers, Area Managers and above get their bonuses quarterly. But their bonus relies on a host of things like shop profits, waste management, labour costs, health and safety scores etc. But the biggest chunk in management bonus comes from the Mystery Shopper scores.

So, while shop/kitchen hourly paid staff solely rely on Mystery Shoppers and Managers to get their bonus, Managers and higher ups have more chances to get their bonuses. Thus, penalizing front-line, low-wage employees is much easier than Managers. This way they can control staff better while cashing in on the top levels.

Anyway, for anyone who loves to live in the real world and doesn’t mind to get their illusions destroyed, I wrote an encyclopedia on Pret’s “Misery” Shopper scheme with tons of examples and MS reports detailing the point and cash reward requirements.

So, next time a minimum-wage worker is love-bombing you, you won’t need to toss and turn at night thinking they’re in love with you. They just want to top up their crumbs that millionaire executives throw at them.

Smile For The Misery Shopper:

.

After my writing on this, Pret changed the wording, but the demands remain as brutal as ever:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Sourcing New Lies (UPDATE Mar. 2022)

As Pret is raising the coffee subscription price from £20 to £25 a month, some customers announced cancelling their sub (good luck!). Some mention that they continue to NOT get any smoothies/frappes, even now in winter, no chai latte available etc. Pret of course continue to use excuses while in reality don’t want to serve any expensive items, including the complimentary cream on the sub. I write about this extensively in Pret A Manger keep adding excuses for not serving items

Also, Pret played a very clever tactical game. They raised the prices of food and other items these last few weeks, so customers quickly got the coffee subscription in hopes to safe money on raised coffee prices. Pret waited a few weeks so more customers subscribed, then now raise the sub prices. And it is common knowledge now that Pret make is hard to unsubscribe! And even when people succeed to cancel the sub, Pret continue to withdraw money from accounts. More on this below.

Between June and September 2021 Pret came up with yet another lie after multiple complaints kept coming in about lack of smoothies and frappes. Pret held people for fools, and most fell for it.

The lie was that they’re “sourcing improved equipment” but that this will take “a little while to deploy to every shop”. What Pret is NOT telling customers is that the GENERAL term of “equipment” are NOT ice machines or blenders, but the Cimbali coffee machines. Pret again leave it up to customers to interpret new improved “equipment”.

Customers keep speaking about ICE MACHINES and BLENDERS, NOT coffee machines! Pret wants to give COFFEES on the subscription NOT expensive iced drinks and chai latte etc. So a general term of “equipment” should fool the public.

Grass has grown over this and complaints continue now in WINTER 2022 Februrary that hardly any customer can find a smoothie or frappe where the demand is VERY low in the cold weather. Pret still refuse to serve it to safe money and continue to rip customers off via the subscription.

June Tweet:

.

Link

The last of this generic copy & paste lie came in September 2021:

Link

It’s now February 2022.

Companies who work with Pret usually make huge announcement of equipment roll-outs. Coffee machine company Cimbali and others announced on all social media platforms that Pret has purchased new coffee machine equipment.

Interesting that there is NO announcement of ice machine or other equipment for iced drinks. 😉 The faster coffee machines are there of course to do MORE coffee for the subscription! But no iced drinks are offered. Also, what do faster more efficient coffee machines do when there is hardly any staff to man them!

.

Link

So, the Pret social media staff spoke a half-truth. Pret DID roll out new “equipment”, but for coffee beans, not for ice machines or blenders, and neither for more staff to work to get the queues down.

And when complaints flood in about where the equipment is, Pret will claim that they meant the coffee machines. Thus the customer is the one looking stupid again.

UPDATE 24.03. 2022

A new lie has emerged which is so funny I almost peed myself laughing! A shop supposedly got a new blender but with only ONE jug. Well, that is impossible because in Pret we were ALWAYS required to have at least TWO separate jugs for dairy and a separate jug for non-dairy (smoothies). We even got stressed to use the appropriate lids. The dairy jug had its own lids and the smoothie jug has its own lid, EVEN when they were washed, we were required to use appropriate lid for each jug.

And Instagram is also on fire with new complaints regarding no iced drinks served.

Link

.


.

Another lie Pret gives which is also laughable. In the summer Pret claims that due to HIGH demand, they quickly run out of iced drinks (even at 7am in the morning 😉 ). Now the lie is, in winter due to LACK of demand … 😀

I worked at Pret as a Team Leader, like a mini-manager, responsible for ordering stock every day. I worked for 10 years in 30+ shops, we NEVER EVER EVER ran out of iced drinks in WINTER! Not even in the summer. We were always instructed to have plenty in stock, which we did! It was EXTREMELY rare, even in the summer that we ran out of ONE item, then we offered another iced drink. And especially in Winter, there is NO way shops don’t order enough or ran out! Complete Bullsh!t and lies! So, Pret continue to hold customers for fools.

Tweets from just today:

.

Link

Pret raise the subscription price while offering sh!t service and VERY limited products. Even the BBC report from December 2021 of 5000 customer complaints doesn’t seem to change that. Only a HEAVY fine and the masses voting with their feet will get Pret’s attention.

BBC: “Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal”

Link

Pret won’t waste any time to source new lies to every customer.

NHS nurse Tweet:

Link

Pret is indirectly pinning customers against low-wage staff, saying £1.50 from the subscription increase will go to the staff pay-rise. So, customers get mad at staff, while in reality, Pret is greedy, using the crisis to fill their pockets again. The pay-rise to £10 which will come in April, and is NOT in effect now, is a joke anyway because Pret keeps all the benefits cut, staff are still worse off.

Also, Pret is hit with numerous lawsuits ringing up into the millions, especially in the USA. A recent class action Pret has settled on fingerprinting low-wage front-line shop staff for clocking in and out. Pret agreed to pay 800 staff a combined $677.000. Everyone will get approx. $500 after the legal Teams take their slice.

And who better to foot the legal bills than customers!

More here: Pret’s Lawsuits and Settlements

Dan Price, founder and CEO of credit card processing company Gravity Payments who lowered his million dollar wage to $70K a year and raised all his staff wages to $70K, made a good statement:

Link

UPDATE 07.02.2022

After getting challenged on their “supplier issue” excuse (Pret read my blog) as well with chai latte since almost a year as well as matcha latte, cream etc. (all expensive items for the subscription) they now use a broad, general excuse of “operational difficulties as a result of the pandemic”. A one-size-fits-all approach that cannot be traced for truth. Clever Pret. But still, customers aren’t stupid and remain unhappy. Many silently vote with their feet.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2022-02-06-from-supplier-issues-now-to-operational-issues.jpg

Link

Pret A Manger’s Shady Practices, especially with the subscription and the difficulty to cancel the sub with Pret continuing to withdraw money AFTER people cancelled:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Prick A Manger — Pret A Manger’s Phallic Baguette

Okay, okay, I know what you think! What dirty mind do you have! But bare with me. Pun intended!

As customer complaints continue of Pret’s price hike, one customer pointed out how the baguettes have shrunk while prices have risen.

.

Link

I want to point out something else here with Pret’s advertisements.

For one, Pret only use slim FEMALE hands in their advertising and mainly CAUCASIAN female hands. And the way the hands are holding a baguette or wrap has even other customers stunned.

Of course Pret will say it’s up to the customer in how to interpret Pret’s communications. When I worked at Pret and we had our training days in Head Office to become Team Leaders, we spoke about the calories in products. We were informed that the Posh Cheddar baguette had the highest calories, but that it is up to customers to decide what and how much to consume.

In other words, we say it’s healthy, while it’s loaded with salt, fats, chemicals, but you dear customer decide if you want to stuff yourself with out food. So, don’t complain later! This also happened in the lawsuit regarding Pret’s “natural” claim. Pret tried to get the lawsuit tossed out saying that paraphrased, customers should know that Pret’s food isn’t natural. I write on this in detail here at the bottom of the post: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat.

I will just put a few screenshots here, but people can check themselves what kind of ads Pret do, only using female, mainly white hands.

One customer pointed out on Instagram about the length of the baguette advertised that Pret enlarged. I worked at Pret for 10 years and NEVER seen this size baguette:

.

.

The same ad on Facebook where a customer “omg’d” on it:

.

Link

.

Or an ad of a wrap:

Link

Also, a little side note, Pret is often cleverly using customer photos for their online ads. At times customers are “lucky” to get a month of free coffees for making free advertising or provide photos, other times customers have to ask for something. In reality, ads usually go for thousands of pounds especially when in print forever. But many are willing to give it freely to a multi-billion pound company making money off people’s photos and printed words.

And the monthly free coffees are of course via the subscription service that people have to sign up for! Win-win for Pret all the way! Coffees for Pret are extremely cheap. It costs Pret nearly nothing. One cup, including cup, lid, milk, labour etc. doesn’t cost more than 30-35p. Do the math on the profit margin and people easily selling out for cheap items in return for precious data (for marketing and to bind people to the brand) including intellectual property.

.

.

Here, a customer is bold enough to ask for something for allowing Pret to use their photo, and yet after 3 weeks still hasn’t heard or received anything, while Pret collects data (home address, email) for future marketing:

.

.

.

I also pointed out to Pret during Christmas time 2018 how unprofessional and CHEAP it is to use in-house staff for ads, when one photo showed quite poor, actually missing, manicure. Pret then deleted the Tweet, photo-shopped the picture and re-uploaded 11 days later. Now they seem to have gotten a better photographer, but it’s clear that the advertising people in Pret seem to be male.

Deleted Tweet from 10. Dec. 2018 which made me lose appetite:

.

.

New Tweet from 21. Dec. 2018, photo-shopped and cropped whatever couldn’t get fixed 😀

Link

Even when zooming in on a 2021 ad for a wrap, the fingers are also look “rough” as if Pret used a kitchen staff for a free photo shoot.

.

.

Why am I making such a fuss about it apart from being put off by poor manicure for food ads? Because Pret DEMANDS front-line, low paid shop staff to be PERFECT while under intense, unreasonable stress, and then in their highly paid marketing and digital departments at Head Office not delivering themselves!

Apart from that, I want to point out that Pret 9.9 out of 10 times use Caucasian, female hands and leave it up for interpretation what customers see in the photos.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Lawsuits & Settlements

Below are just a few of the recent or repeated lawsuits Pret has faced and/or settled. Some lawsuits have disappeared off the news, and it may be because the plaintiffs settle out of court and signed an NDA, like the former staff lawsuit on racism. The case completely disappeared off the news.

Many customers on social media complain that Pret has raised prices to 20-24%.

Apart from getting more money of course, it is to cater to the owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns. Also serving shareholders and Pret executives, it may be that because Pret is facing settlement payments, who better to foot the bill than customers.

In the USA people sue very quick, while in the UK, even after customers died, hardly anyone is suing, and when they do, Pret keeps winning. The legal systems in the USA and the UK can’t be further apart.

.

A staff member in the USA mentioned the constant lawsuits against Pret:

.

There are ongoing lawsuits, at least six against Pret in the USA for unpaid rents. And even though Pret got help from the Government for employee costs during Covid, has received a cash injection from owners JAB Holdings of £185 million, have been awarded £100 million from shareholders etc. These are what Pret received. Another £87 million Pret is trying to get from the banks.

Altogether Pret received Government help and privately £285 million plus trying to get another £87 million. All the while refusing to pay bills and many customers feel cheated on the subscription service, hardly getting the items they’ve been told they’d get.

BBC report: Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal and many other issues that customers AND staff raise with Pret or the press.

The money Pret received, they don’t use to pay their rents and debt, they use it to open 200 more shops. Pret lowered wages, benefits, paid breaks of already stretched and burnt out front-line workers, then raised the wage to £10 after a lot of public pressure and a strike announcement. But the raise is still UNDER the living wage and Pret just made a big PR announcement about it! Staff are still worse off than already before.

Pret raise prices, refuse to pay the bills etc. etc. And now customers and staff foot the bill under the inflation umbrella.

Article: Pret A Manger facing millions in Lawsuits for unpaid rents.

.

.

A few recent lawsuits, some that have been settled, others that are still ongoing or settled and plaintiffs can’t speak about it.

One of the most troubling ones, and where Pret is showing their TYPICAL naughty streak is the fingerprinting of employees in Illinois. The $677,000 settlement is really peanuts, because 800 current/former staff will get around $500+ each AFTER legal aid took their share.

Link: Pret A Manger Fingerprinting Class Action Suit Reaches Settlement

.

While I’m with staff lawsuits, Pret had to repay TWICE 4000 staff for “shaving off” (rounding down), cheating staff out of pay. I write about this here: Wage Theft in Pret

.

And another former staff lawsuit regarding racism in several NYC shops. This is the lawsuit that has disappeared of the public and press, unless I’m not searching right. Link: Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism with a link to the full court document.

.

I can’t find any more info on this lawsuit and its outcome. I suspect that it was settled and the plaintiff Ms. Battle may have signed an NDA. Hence, we won’t hear of it anymore in the public. But it’s just my guess.

Regarding Allergen Lawsuits – So far Pret has won them ALL, unless something got settled out of court and so is not in the public knowledge.

Pret has set aside £10 million for allergen lawsuits and keep winning cases, even after two customers have died and 20+ allergen injuries Pret ignored until it all blew up in the media. Pret won because they didn’t break any law. and YET, Pret still don’t label in Paris and Dubai according to customers there. The UK now has “Natasha’s Law”, so it is LAW to label food. And which ever country outside the UK that does not have labelling laws, Pret just goes ahead and DON’T label! So far to the “meaningful change” Pret promised in 2018 when the deaths and injuries were revealed.

More here: Pret do NOT label food in Dubai, Paris

.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2021-07-15-unlabelled-food-dubai1-marked.jpg

.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2021-07-15-unlabelled-food-dubai2-marked.jpg

.

Instead of setting ONLY aside £10 million for lawsuit settlements, Pret should continue to invest in LABELLING also outside of the UK. In the UK “Natasha’s Law” is now in effect since October 2021, but Pret AGAIN will blame laws in other countries should another customer die or get injured.

Pret set aside £10 million for food allergy scandal costs

And other lawsuits that are older or settled out of court.

One important lawsuit and challenge by the Advertising Standards Authority is on Pret’s “Natural” claim. Many people either haven’t noticed yet, or don’t know why Pret removed the word “natural” off all their signage and packaging. I explain here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat

etc. etc. etc.

And to wrap it up, Pret’s year in review 2021:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Example of Mob Bullying

Below I explain that I was reported to Twitter (screenshot below) because I wrote a blog post OUTSIDE of Twitter. I can see now that my Twitter account has been shadow banned (restricted, censored).

What Laura Elliott who rallied followers to report me, doesn’t realize is, that this happens all the time and is called “shadow banning”. It is a regular occurrence on Twitter. Many Twitter accounts are shadow banned constantly for speaking out after someone, who doesn’t like free speech, reports them. Some of course broke some rules. But restricting accounts/shadow banning is super normal on social media, especially on accounts that are whistleblowers or call out wrong doing in general (my Pret issues etc.).

In the first year when I blogged and tweeted about Pret, and CEO Clive Schlee was still on Twitter, I got shadow banned every other day! Now they stopped reporting as it is useless to silence free speech.

With the Laura Elliott situation, after Twitter initially didn’t find that I broke any rules, Laura deleted her Tweets (evidence), made her account private so that she can’t get reported and seemingly she and her followers continued to report me. And then Twitter just went ahead to shadow ban me to just have peace. 😀

.


.

UPDATE: Twitter again reversed their decision of the shadow ban, which I explain in a Tweet (scrolling up).

Their generic mail:

.

And since then the bully brigade plays Wordle to swamp tiny bully’s Twitter feed. Little do they know …

But of course they will continue to try to shut me down. A little message to tiny bullies, it doesn’t matter, even if you succeed, you will be known for your actions.

.


.

I encourage Laura to continue to rally her yes-people to keep reporting me. It makes no difference whatsoever. Even if my account gets suspended. It makes NO difference.

Laura Elliott aka @TinyWriterLaura has rallied to bullying and grossly lied about me which I explain in my first blog post (below).

I have come up against a multi-billion pound company that I’m writing about. If she really feels so “harassed” because of disability like they claim, she is free to go to court and take all her followers with her as witnesses. She can then have the chance to tell court about her disability and where she felt that I harassed her.

I don’t know what happened to her, why she is so angry. But I am not interested in someone who rallies a mob to bully. I write about my own traumas very openly here, it’s very easy to see. I don’t make vague claims without explaining or evidence.

I have ONE regret, that I gave this bully too much space on my blog, but it is important to write this to show how “mob bullying” and gaslighting can be spotted. It takes tiny, insecure, cowardly people to gather a mob against someone, explained below.


.

I already expanded on a very long blog post on the mob bullying I experienced on Twitter two days ago. I want to highlight an article that is much more poignant than I could ever write (I tend to write long texts!). But the article is EXACTLY what I wrote about in my experience.

Someone wants to be in the right, and when they can’t be in the right they elicit their followers (a mob), and in my case to report me to Twitter to get shut down. I say it again, I don’t care if I’m shut down, it’s just online stuff, Twitter goes rampant with quickly shadow banning or suspending accounts. It means nothing! I will always continue to write and speak out, no matter how much anyone wants to silence me.

People go against freedom of speech and freedom of expression while themselves publicly targeting others or simply speak their minds.

And I just had a thought pop up; I’ve lost everything, my family, the closest ones and the most important things in my life I have lost. And if you’ve lost everything, anything else you may “lose” doesn’t matter.

If you lose everything, you can’t lose anything! I may use that as a quote somewhere. And you can’t lose your voice! Be it in writing, speaking, using music, art etc. You can’t lose your voice. So, keep speaking, writing, blogging, singing, painting … keep speaking.

I wrote extensively about my experience with a disability journalist Laura Elliot, @TinyWriterLaura who rallied followers to report me to Twitter. They then proceeded to claim she is harassed as a “disabled” person.

I won’t repeat everything here to keep it short, but the details and screenshots are in this post: A Classical Gaslighting Scenario by the Book.

I came across a quote that puts it in a nutshell in much less words than I am able to write, but this is EXACTLY what’s going on.

Quote: “One reason for mob bullying is to get the target to perform the desired behavior….which is to leave. If the target leaves, the mob feels empowered and turns their attention on to someone else”

“… and turns their attention to someone else.”

Link to quote on Twitter.

They make themselves the victims, claiming they are being harassed and sought out. And whoever doesn’t agree with them is “evil”, called names, shut down. And many people just go away in silence. But not me! I will be not be bullied, they can report every day if they want, I’m not scared or intimidated by tiny characters who gather a mob because they can’t stand on their own! I survived too much, especially in Pret to be taken for a ride by cowards like this.

This is also what I wrote in above blog post about this being visible from this “mob” when someone doesn’t agree with them, they are labelled evil and other names. I posted an example of this by another person who called Laura out on this:

People who bully and want others to “bow to their whims” are generally very insecure. That’s why they call for followers to gather and report or whatever they scheme against one person or a small group of people.

They attack and then claim to be harassed. Disability is used etc.

When they succeed, they pat each other’s back “well done, good on you for not letting others harass you”… kind-of-talk. They claim to be harassed on their disability etc. There have also been open lies and from what I experienced in Pret and was able to proof it via grievance hearings, the leader and the mob are pathological liars. They literally come up with stuff. I also mention this in my long post with screenshots of Laura’s deleted Tweets.

I really feel sorry for them, because in the long-run they will run into problems where they get so entangled, they can’t see reality from imagination anymore.

I want to avoid writing another hugely long post and just link to an excellent article on this, with a quote that I experienced two days ago: “Mobbing typically starts with one individual, a leader of sorts, who then solicits secondary individuals to assist …”

Boom! Classic again.

An even PUBLIC call was made to followers to report me to Twitter to get shut down. Someone tagged me in after I was blocked, hence not followed any more Tweets. And others DMd/mailed me. Her account has been privatized after Tweets have been deleted. Basically evidence has been deleted. But I have all the screenshots before they got deleted.

Being tagged in and private messaged by people I never engaged with. Maybe this was done to get me back involved into the “conversation”, as I was already done.

.

.

Shadow banning (censorship) happens very frequently on Twitter. And when I’m shadow banned, that doesn’t matter. Many accounts on social media are shadow banned when one tiny person reports. It has become very normal. It is a good sign because it shows when people are speaking out and “rocking the boat”.

Great article on “mob bullying”: Steps to Prevent Mobbing

Also, I want to recommend an amazing 3-part series on systemic workplace bullying that ITV put on in December 2019. The full episodes I link here to YouTube.

There are so many “mob bullying” scenarios that also shows pathological lying, targeting, sabotaging etc. which is different from what I described above. But it’s a really good drama series on how targeted mob bullying works. In this case the LEADER is bullied by his team because the company is making people redundant and the group is after the Team Leader’s position.

The actors, ALL of them are not only scarily good in portraying this, but I was so glad that they did a series on this, as workplace bullying is hardly covered in film, TV and theater. I hope they do a squeal or more on this subject, as workplace bullying is a pandemic on its own!

Trigger warning: If you’ve survived bullying of any kind, and especially workplace bullying, there are several things that can trigger or distress you! I myself was only triggered in the sense that I cried through almost all 3 parts of it, as I recognized so many things. But I was also still fresh in bereavement after my dad died. It was a mix of things. So, please be careful and just bookmark for later view when having breaks.

ITV’s “Sticks and Stones

Part 1 YouTube

Part 2 YouTube

Part 3 YouTube

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

A Classical Gaslighting Scenario by the Book

I don’t really want to give these people a platform on my blog, but I find this important as a kind of “case study” of how gaslighting works.

It all started here:

Link

I tagged people in who clicked “like” on a Tweet. Something I do all the time. Some people appreciate being informed, other people get p!ssed off about it, others start following me after I tagged them in, others block me, others support me etc. etc. etc. I concentrated on the Tweet about Pret staff not wearing masks, not on the Tweet that was RT’d. Jeffrey Taylor later said he muted me (I’m not blocked as I’m notified of his Tweets where responded in the feed).

This woman at first started to want to mediate that I and the initial poster agreed. When I further explained what I’m writing about, she said “bye”. I then explained that this is such typical “cancel culture” attitude where people immediately leave a conversation because they can’t seem to have a normal argument or even disagreement.

This seemed to have been a “fight or flight” situation. She first wanted to exit the conversation (flight). I gave my opinion about “cancel culture” because these days it seems a challenging task to have a discussion when you don’t agree with something. And then she went into fight-mode.

By all means do what you want to do, leave, block etc. But equally everyone has the right to voice their opinions without being accused and insulted thereafter. But it turned very quickly into accusations and insults. When accusations and insults didn’t work, it turned into a classical gaslighting scenario.

I’m not going to post all the screenshots here, the “conversation” can just be followed via the above link. I just post a few classical examples of ganging up and gaslighting.

I was accused of aggression, which took half a dozen Tweets of me asking for clarification before she finally explained. Then another person entered the feed who wasn’t even tagged in, and started off with insults right off the bat.

Link

From then on there was this “struggle” of the two of them for me to stop tweeting while they kept tweeting in a fast pace, or demand for me to admit I made a mistake or whatever they demanded.

Now the first person has 7000+ followers, but who comes to her “rescue”? A person who hurls insults from the get go. It’s with what kind of attitude/people you surround yourself with, that is what speaks louder than anything.

They then went ahead and in a super fast pace tweeting at me trying to force me to stop. At the end THEY stopped, and pretended to mute me while still tweeting at me. If people are that bothered they usually block. End of. But they kept going and going and going while demanding me to stop.

I have to admit I had a little chuckle as well, they were tweeting so much at a fast pace that I couldn’t keep up “screen-shotting” all, nevertheless responding to individual Tweets. I responded in-between asking to please SLOW DOWN and give me a chance to grab everything and respond:

Link

Now I know how Ricky Gervais feels when he gets insulted and he just responds with sarcasm! 😀

After insulting me didn’t work, the gaslighting went into full gear, quote:

“I’m trying to advocate for Laura here because you wouldn’t listen to her, so I hoped that you’d listen to me. Literally the only thing I care about is that you’ve done wrong by Laura and won’t admit that or apologize for it.”

Link

So, they wanted me to “listen” after FIRST telling me to “shut the f*ck up” and calling me the C-word. Yeah, that’s a great way to advocate for someone to “listen”!

Further, quote:

“outside of this you could be a lovely person, a great activist, but the way you’ve acted to Laura and the red flags in your speech along the way have just made it hard for me to empathize with you in this”

Link

Little recap, first I’m a “c***” who should “shut the f*** up” and move on, then I may be a lovely person if I just do as they say. But because I don’t “obey” their demands to not voice my opinion on a public platform, they turn this into, paraphrased, ‘if you do what we say, we will find you lovely and your activism worthwhile‘.

All the while they CHOOSE to tweet at me in a Formular 1 pace from all sides (probably in hopes I’d get overwhelmed?), demanding me to stop. They act like I forced them to respond, and they worked hard for me to stop, while nobody was forcing them to respond. After that ALSO didn’t work, they turned to, paraphrased, ‘you’re sick, dangerous, harassing … and in need professional help‘ …

Classic! 😀

All the while calling me names, accusing me of aggression etc. while I never said one bad word to them. I am demanded to apologize while being called a c*** and should shut the f*** up! No apology from them, instead further accusations, insults and discriminating language.

Link

Now, I have “cussed” people out in the past, but while I was drunk in trauma. I apologized for it, often deleted, and other times left it in as a reminder to myself etc. It’s not something I’m proud of and I did this when drunk and it’s an issue I have worked on since all the sh!t hit the fan. I love what Adele said recently in an interview, that she does not have access to her Twitter account because of the risk of her tweeting when she drank something. She trusts someone who has the password and she tweets occasionally. But for people to show such toxicity while NOT drunk shows a lot about them.

I also have been able to start to heal BECAUSE of support from people who don’t accuse me of things EVEN though they have ALL the reason to accuse me after I cussed them out while drunk. You know who you are, and you will be mentioned in my book credits! But I don’t gang up on a person who raises an issue where I might then get so hyped up because I was tagged in.

I have been tagged in to subjects that have nothing to do with Pret. At times I engaged in the conversation, other times I moved on because I did not know the subject well enough to be able to contribute. End of. But I don’t get upset and then hurl insults at the person who tagged me in to an issue they care enough about to want to tag people in on a PUBLIC platform.

The first person who started accusing me of aggression and other things, is a “disability journalist”. I mentioned this to her later after she became very discriminating (“you’re disgusting … you need professional help…” etc.)

When I pointed this out to her, she then turned it into another gaslighting issue that I supposedly knew she was disabled and tagged her in regardless. I corrected her that, 1. I did not look at her profile when I tagged her in because she “liked” a Tweet about Pret. I looked at her profile many Tweets after the initial tagging in. And 2. her profile says that she is a “disability journo”, not that she is disabled.

And despite that, what does any disability have to do with anything here? I tagged her and others in on an information regarding Pret, not HER disability! And this is where the issue lies: disability is used to play victim while behaving in a hostile way. Laura Elliott hands out criticism with the help of others, but doesn’t like to accept criticism, and then turns it into a disability issue. Not being specific, not explaining anything, just a barrage of insults and accusations.

The second person who flew into the feed to the rescue, and after cussing me out from the get go, had a moment of self-reflection on her own feed which is commendable. But they were assured by the disability journo that they did nothing wrong.

Link

If someone would commend me for using abusive and insulting language, I would run far, far away from that person! This is not the type of character I would want around in my life! I had a former Pret staff once join into a conversation where I was insulted and he defended me, but he hurled insults at the other person. I quickly stopped it and asked my friend to not speak in such language to them. It’s ok to come to the “rescue” so-to-speak, but there is no need for hating on people, even if they hate on me.

It’s like that Michelle Obama moment where she said “When they go low, we go high”. Again, I have cussed people out before, but I was drunk and then apologized and will never be proud of it. But I don’t gang up on people to kiss butt of someone who throws a fit because she was tagged in. And it’s the people you surround yourself with that either reflects who you are yourself OR if you have a good character, your character gets poisoned.

So, RM_King here had a precious moment of self-reflection, but let the insecure, toxic bully steer them away from potential U-Turn and with it growth in character.

The journo then claimed she muted me (2:37pm). But between 2:49pm and 3:17pm for another half an hour kept tweeting EIGHT more Tweets at me, calling me “unhinged” after I finally called her unhinged first. I have all those screenshots with the time line. She kept twisting and turning issues, accusing, getting help from someone else who started insulting me etc. etc. etc. ALL because I tagged her in. Who’s unhinged, aggressive, insulting and in need of professional help here?

When people are incapable of arguing in a civil manner, they twist and turn it into the other person being sick, in need of help etc.

(Off-topic, reminds me of what they did and continue to try doing to Britney Spears. I’m closely following Britney’s ordeal which is one big horror show. Get someone, lock them up claiming they’re mentally ill and a danger to self and others, and then milking them of millions! Classical.)

Link

Then finally she said that I am “thoroughly” muted! Excuse me, but you either mute someone or you don’t, there is no partial or thorough mute. And if you mute someone, you don’t keep tweeting 8 more posts to them. And, people often ANNOUNCE that they mute someone when they have no more civil arguments left, while in reality still reading and moving the conversation into private DMs. That’s all reasonable, just don’t accuse or insult people while you yourself are having issues, revealing your deranged attitude! Makes you look stupid, erratic and unreasonable. I felt bullied today, but because of what I survived at Pret, I am proud that this did not affect me emotionally like it would have been a while ago. So, I should really thank Pret! Full circle!

.


.

Brief UPDATE and side-note: What also strikes me very clearly is that @TinyWriterLaura seems to be a very dominant person, always wanting to be right and gathering “yes-people” around her. This is when @RM_King then comes in, trying to please Laura, sucking up to her and then being told by Laura that RM_King did nothing wrong once RM_King has a moment of self-reflection. Laura has now finally blocked me after I tagged her in when I posted this blog post. Of course I could still see her Tweets when logged out after people sent me her Tweets.

If people look at her Tweets, she’s having a lot of issues and people respond to her strongly. Link to another person being bugged by Laura, scrolling up. Laura then again enters into a string of Tweets to the person. Enjoy @KaymakliBlu! 😀 Laura strikes me as a typical insecure bully by the book! And bullies like to surround themselves with other insecure people who poison themselves by defending the bully and even when having a moment of self-reflection, it gets drowned out and so they become more callous. I feel sorry for them to be honest!

.


.

But also to say, I’ve had some interesting interactions with people who claim to be some kind of disability advocate, or once even a guy who was a Samaritan and cussed me out because he was part of a Tweet where I responded to someone else who responded to him. Again, I just responded to a Tweet with no insults or any negative thing except to tweet reality on how Pret is. And boom, world-war three broke out. It’s the people who often proclaim to work with disability, mental health and other health issues, who are the ones who come after me like I just stepped on their toe.

And @RM_King, you’ve been quite an “@rsehole”, and I don’t mind an apology for your insults, but I guess that will never come. But thank you for providing material for a case study of a classical example of gaslighting.

UPDATE 21.01.2022

I thought I was done with that woman, but no, some people have tweeted at me and emailed me on further issues she is doing. She called for others to report me to Twitter. That’s fine, report if you want. That report from Twitter came back as not confirming that I broke any rules. But even if, it doesn’t matter, but what DOES matter is that Laura right out LIES in another Tweet to her followers.

.

.

Not only is she desperate to get help, dragging others in because she doesn’t seem to be able to stand on her own, but 1. She seems to have become obsessed now and keeps dragging people in, 2. THE following can get her in court for defamation! And I am now seeking legal advise.

I loosely followed the case where Jack Monroe has successfully sued Katie Hopkins for defamation. This has cost Hopkins over £300.000 ordered by the court to pay. Hopkins had to sell one of her houses.

What did Tiny Laura lie about? In red (apart from the first sentence):

Link

She blatantly lies saying, I would seek out/find “anti-mask” accounts to “share” with them. I’m intrigued to see in my Tweets and replies where I “found” and “shared” with anti-maskers. This woman is everything she accused me of. Absolutely everything. One of the most toxicity I’ve ever come across.

And the following lie has me now consider to involve legal aid:

.

I tagged some people in who “liked” her post where she lied without anyone researching if what she said is actually true. I tagged people in as she blocked me, to ask Laura for evidence. I have RARELY seen such weird, twisted and blatant lie about anyone or anything! Now, of course they all pretend that I’m harassing them, which is exactly what seems to be the plan Laura had with tweeting these. And I am now looking into legal aid for defamation which is in writing.

What strikes me the most is that she and many people say either on their profiles or somewhere in Tweets that they have disabilities. I saw this AFTER some of them insulted me, just to be clear. And you would think that people with disabilities, or any people who are often at the fringes of society, overlooked, discriminated against etc. that they of ALL people would be kind, understanding, asking where someone is coming from etc.

But here I have experienced such a toxic, aggressive, twisting narrative and plainly DISCRIMINATING group of people under someone who seems like the leader of the pack!

What the heck is up with that???!!! Someone please enlighten me! I have been through EXTREME trauma since my brother died and what happened in Pret. As a result I suffer PTSD and other issues. I am THE LAST person who would call a person with similar trauma or any disabilities a “c***”, an idiot, or rally other people against them! Yes, as I said above, I have cussed people out, but that was 1. while I was drunk and later apologized and 2. I always did that to “strong” people or people who have enough power to “crush” me, but don’t. Because it takes STRONG people to have self-control and empathy.

I gained respect for a moment for RM_King when they had a moment of self reflection. And it is important to see how the gaslighting continues and how it works. One clear sign is to make the villain the victim and the victim the villain. And this is also a typical tactic, people use their disability status to claim being harassed. Laura is portrayed as the poor poor person who has been so wronged, while there is so much evidence on how toxic and insulting she behaves.

She asked for help from yes-men/yes-people who quickly encourage her that she did nothing wrong. I am so glad I don’t have people like this in my life, but instead people who’d tell me when I’m off-course. But people who say yes and amen to everything someone does or says, are not people anyone would want in their lives, unless they ARE toxic and have an agenda. They immediately “cancel” anyone who doesn’t agree with them and then play victim. CLASSICAL! They act in a mob against even one voice who challenges them.

It’s also a classical example of bullying and lying to get empathy and a response to then claim “harassment”. I wasn’t paying any attention until someone informed me. I find this interesting for case studies. Because of what I survived in Pret, I can recognize this better than I did when I was undergoing the bullying in Pret. I, too am disabled, but I rarely hang this on my sleeve. I don’t force people to treat me in a way only I want to because I’m disabled. I stand on my own without gathering a mob. And that is always worth it in the long-run. I wouldn’t be able to write a blog about Pret if I was lying or being unreasonable. I provide evidence of issues, while bullies hide behind lies and others.

So, Laura succeeded in getting followers involved and it is again a very good example of gaslighting, ganging up in bullying behaviour as a group. She is a journalist and could EASILY write her own blog post or article on her experience. But she gathers an amount of people so they report because she doesn’t know how argue or agree to disagree. The first report didn’t work, so they try again. They claim I harass them while calling me “idiot”, and they keep responding while they could just simply block. They CHOOSE to respond playing victim to try and get more responses from me, claiming I harass them. 😀

After what I survived in Pret and all that I lost, there is NO amount of people and grouping to bully me into silence or to fear or into anything! Gaslighting and twisting things is such a YUK thing, it makes you feel dirty in your soul afterwards! But I will not be bullied into their narrative.

Further UPDATE: I tweeted the following to the press as well as other hashtags. When people search for her name, especially in connection to my handle, they will find these. And if she tries or succeeds to get my Twitter cancelled or minimized, not too worry, it still gets out there. I’ve lost so much in the few short years that losing any online thing means nothing. I was bullied into silence before, that won’t ever happen again!

And I asked again for people to not contact me with more of her lies. Thank you to those who did, as I was done with her. But I will now let the police look into this, so please report her to Twitter and/or the police, but don’t send me further Tweets of her toxicity.

First of several Tweets to the press and others:

By the way, my blog stats are through the roof! Thank you!

UPDATE: 22.01.2022

I think I understand a little now what also is the issue, this group of people under the “leadership” of her come across very “militant”. It’s about mask vs. anti-mask, vax vs. anti-vax etc. And ANYONE who doesn’t agree with them, or another subject is added will experience hell and brimstone! 😀

But it made for good case study! And I can only implore anyone who reads this from the Laura brigade, if you agree with me or not, that’s not my concern, but surround yourself with people who are not boot-lickers and butt kissers! I am VERY selective whom I let into my life, and part of the character trait of those I have in my life are people who don’t always agree with me. People that I TRUST, who have the right motives at heart and have the love, care and insight to give me critique on my blind spots, NOT insults and cancel culture. I don’t have ONE yes-person in my life, not one. I have no room for them. I don’t trust them. A yes-person’s “nice” words make my stomach turn!

I’m not a believer in God or the Bible, but one Bible verse always stood out to me: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6

If I have yes-men in my life, they will tell me ALL the time how great I am and never at fault towards others. A true friend will critique in a caring, not an insulting way. Yes-men insult others on behalf of the one they lick the boot of. And WHEN they say nice things (“you could be a lovely person ‘but’…”), it’s stinks to heaven!

UPDATE: A brilliant article on “mob bullying” which is exactly what happened here. One quote I came across: “‘One reason for mob bullying is to get the target to perform the desired behavior….which is to leave. If the target leaves, the mob feels empowered and turns their attention on to someone else'”

Another one from below article: “Mobbing typically starts with one individual, a leader of sorts, who then solicits secondary individuals to assist …”

From: Steps to Prevent Mobbing…It’s a Public Health Issue

They put into better words than I’m able to that this is not about the target, in this case myself, but the bully themself and their issues. Everything I’ve been accused of is what this person portrays. And once you’ve been through traumatic bullying experience, in my case in Pret you not on;y 1. recognize this much earlier, but 2. you don’t this in as you know yourself. They can try and shut me down, it doesn’t matter, it’s just online stuff, I go on and keep writing and speaking out.

People with a mob bullying mentality are also pathological liars, they delete their Tweets to delete evidence, but will sooner or later reap what they sow. And it’s good to keep highlighting how bullying and gaslighting works. The above article points those out very poignantly.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger: »From the outside, it seems funny, on the inside, it’s a nightmare company«

I rarely check on staff reviews anymore like I used to, but sometimes a review jumps out, maybe almost for its “poetry”.

I wanted to call this blog post “Business Plan in Reversal” because the following review by a Barista sounds almost like a proposal or ad.

I want to put the whole review here verbatim but spread out for its creativity. I don’t want to highlight any specific issue like I usually do, because the WHOLE review would need to be underlined.

From Glassdoor. The title, to be frank of Pret not being the same anymore, well Pret has NEVER been good or fair, they just were able to fool everyone better during good/non-crisis times! And former CEO Clive Schlee was better in sweet-talking while Pano Christou puts his head in the sand and goes into hiding, pleasing ONLY the owners, shareholders and himself.

»Not the same company anymore

Pros
Free crap food and coffees if you care

Cons
A toxic environment that doesn’t stimulate growth.

From the outside, it seems funny, on the inside, it’s a nightmare company based on favouritism.

Its culture and values? Only mere advertisements.

Its promotions? Crap marketing strategies.

Its products? Coffees, frappes, food and beverages are ridiculously cheap for them and 4 times more expensive for people that pay their major expenses with health. Without considering that the majority of the staff in their shops don’t care about hygiene and food standards.

Its staff? Bossy frustrated slaves to the company that tries to take advantage of any person they hire.

They strive to mask the truth from people, that the only thing they care about is money. That is why they have wages to the limit, cutting on staff and driving those who work to quit.

Pret is not a company that cares for its employees anymore, nor for the people. In my experience, from 2019, I have worked over a year at Pret and in the end, I didn’t even receive the payment for the holidays accrued.

If you are looking for a well-paid job that makes you feel satisfied with what you do, then this is not a company for you. In my opinion, any other job would be better than Pret. I don’t recommend it at all.

Advice to Management

You should reconsider a few things if you want to save this company from failure.«

Link to review.

.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

When Life is too Hard that you keep up your Guard … Pret A Manger

Let’s have some FUN!

Yes, I can be light hearted and join some “fun” from time to time. But I can’t keep it just at a wishy-washy la la land situation. Fun here can be interpreted as wished!

A few “fun” things I tried to fling into the atmosphere from serious issues regarding Pret A Manger.

The Molly Goodfellow Pret Thread

Pret Poets Society

PRostitution in PRet

What does an Angel of Light look like?

The Pret A Manger Anthem

Former Pret CEO Clive Schlee is now Prohibited from entering a Pret

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA

How to Chase 3 Multi-millionaire Businessmen off Twitter

The Pret Love Treatment

Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot

Pret A Merde

Pret A Migraine

WOWing Pret Customers (Area managers sometimes give a staff member £10 or £20 when they see staff “wowing” at work incl. wowing customers. This is to manipulate other staff to do more. I still wow customers 😉 )

Happy Being-Awkward Day

Escape From Pret – The Inedible True Story

Pret’s Bang-Bang Rip-off Wrap

Pret’s Diverse and Reliable Soup Rota

Organic Coffins Natural Fools – Pret has a new fool

An IMAGINARY but Honest Interview with Pret

Pret Foundation Trust and Pret’s FALLEN STARS Program!

The Day Clive Schlee had a Bright Idee (The £1000 Announcement)

Pret set aside £10.

Pret and “Broken Window Syndrome”

The 12 Days of Christmas … uhm, the 12 ways of Pret’s Mess!

Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendars 2019, 2020, 2021

.

.

.

UNRELATED-ish TO PRET:

Ruin a Band Name by Removing 1 Letter

Ruin a Band Name with 1 Letter (removing OR adding OR exchanging a letter)

Ruin a Company with 1 CEO

Writing Challenges and Fun Stuff

Nothing more to come, because I’m done.

©2022 expret.org

.


.

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 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 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: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

.


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger MISINFORMED the Press?

I received an email by a current Pret staff last night. This staff has given a “fake” email that doesn’t work, so I can’t respond to it. Some staff write with their true name and email, others with pseudonym but still a real email, and others want to completely be anonymous, which is fine. But if any current Pret staff read this, could you confirm if this is true or not? The full email verbatim, quote:

.

.

Comment: »Hey! I am a Pret employee and I have been reading on the news that Pret will increase our salaries and benefits. This is true. However all the news I’ve read doesn’t make clear that those changes will be in place only from April!!
Even The Times says that this is our second pay increase in four months which is not true.
I believe those newspapers were misinformed on purpose.
It is ridiculous to announce a pay rise two months and half in advance!!!«

End of quote.

If this is true that Pret misinformed the press, then it truly is merely a PR stunt to lure workers in and make Pret look good again in the public eye because many customers boycott Pret after staff wages were cut to minimum-wage. And Pret is desperate for staff! The press played messenger again, like I mention in below post in my take on the pay-rise and why this is a joke: Pret’s new PR Stunt – payrise in Pennies.


UPDATE 30. April 2022:

I want to elaborate on some numbers in regards to pay.

  • CEO Pano Christou 2020 pay: £300,000 (more than UK Prime Minister) Source: The Times April 2022. Source: The Times.
  • UK PM pay: £161,401 Source: Politics.co.uk.
  • USA President pay 2021: $378,333 (2022 conversion rate £300,897). Source: Yahoo news.

Now, it’s interesting that CEO Pano Christou spilled the beans on his 2020 pay, but NOT on his 2021 and 2022 annual wage, let alone how many millions on bonus he got. Former CEO Clive Schlee pocketed £30 million on bonus alone. Source: Daily Mail.

.

.

I think Pano doesn’t give details on his 2021 and 2022 pay because Pano, Pret, former CEO Clive Schlee etc. are always QUICK to make charity or any “good-doing” announcements for the public. Pano, Pret cut staff hours and then wages during the pandemic. They did that in a very nasty way. I write about this extensively on To NHS Staff.

But in a nutshell, on 18. March 2020, just before first lock-down, Pret made a typical PR announcement to be giving free coffees and 50% rebate on food to NHS workers. The public and press went ballistic with praise as usual. The very next morning on 19. March 2020 I wake up to a DM from a Pret staff, whom I don’t know, that Pano has just sent a mass email to all shops and HQ to announce cuts to hours and with it pay. This is the very next day, early in the morning (probably sent late on 18. March 2020) Pano announced cuts to staff hours.

I was later contacted by other staff who sent me his email which I posted in above blog post which I addressed “To NHS Staff”. Pret did their usual nasty thing, doing PR announcements and even worse, using NHS staff as a smokescreen to hide cuts to own staff. I say it again what I said about this before, low-wage Pret staff basically paid for the NHS freebies and this PR stunt.

In above NHS blog post I posted a few customer comments on this. But this NHS worker was one of the very few who spoke out on behalf of Pret workers, most NHS staff enjoyed the freebies and didn’t give a toss who actually paid for it. It’s the same with all the free coffees, Pret don’t pay for it, they raise coffee prices to cover the cost. Same with the “free” plant-based milks, the week that Pret made vegan milks “free” was the same week they raised the coffee prices. You ALWAYS pay, one way or another, and most customers fall for it. The TImes made that clear as well: “Milking it: Pret a Manger’s dairy lovers pay for vegan surcharge“.

But to take from already low paid employees to give as a PR stunt to NHS staff takes a special breed of business people. Many call this “normal” business, no there’s nothing normal about that. In our society we’ve just been brainwashed to believe this is normal and good.

That’s why I emphasis some rare gems who speak out, like this NHS worker:

.

Link

Link

After cutting contracted 35 hours to maximum 28 hours and managers contracted hours from 42.5 to 35 hours, Pret then also later made pay-cuts. Pret “asked” staff to TEMPORARILY get less pay, as if they had a choice. Many were fired, those who didn’t want to sign the new contract were let go. And then in 2021 Pret announced the pay-cuts to remain permanent. Staff were now on less contracted hours, while still working overtime for free, a very common thing in Pret, and also had their pay decreased to the national minimum pay of £8.91.

If Pano would have also taken a pay-cut during the pandemic, he would have announced his 2021 and 2022 pay to boast about his “charity“. But he only revealed his 2020 pay.

When the public got wind of the pay-cut, many customers on social media started to call Pret out and many not just boycott Pret, but vowed to never set foot inside Pret again. Hello independents became the mantra. Even “celebrities” like Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha started speaking out. Mrs. Sawalha has over 500K followers on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret UK and Pret USA combined. Her words alone has lost Pret a lot of customers and staff turnover remains high.

Pret silenced a staff strike announcement in 2021 with a trick after The Guardan reported on the strike announcement. I explain hat trick Pret used, here: Pret Staff consider Strike.

Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret and some of the many staff reviews can be found in below YouTube video.

Back to some numbers:

UK minimum wage for over 22 year olds before April 2022 was £8.91, less for under 22 and even less for under 18 year olds.

UK minimum wage for over 22 year olds since April 2022 now is £9.50, less for under 22 and even less under 18 year olds. Needless to say that Pret love to employ under-aged workers and older experienced staff have to make up in unpaid overtime for the lack of skill and work experience young people come with.

In early 2022 when Pret learnt about the government minimum wage increase coming in April 2022, Pret made their typical PR announcement again on their website, not on Twitter because I and many others call them out on their bullsh!t on Twitter. Pret had the audacity to announce that they are having the highest payrise in their 36 year history to £10 and more. Source: Pret.com
But Pret did not mention that this will come in April 2022 and Pret lied again, it’s not £10 an hour, it’s £9.75 as found on job recruiting sites. Link on Twitter from 7. April 2022 AFTER the government raised the minimum wage to £9.50 and Pret claimed to have the biggest pay-rise to over £10.

Here the potential worker even has limited public transport:
.

Link

.
Pret have always paid a few pennies more, up to 25p, than the competition to appear generous and lure low-wage workers in. But staff have to work double and triple for it, and don’t get a payrise or promotion in many years. Even when staff go into a new higher role like barista, team leader etc. shop managers procrastinate the training, procrastinate the promotion, and with it procrastinate the higher pay.

MANY many staff members work in higher positions without the higher pay. I myself have been tricked by a manager who delayed my “graduation” to not pay me. She also broke a promise to give me the highest pay. When I confronted her and announced I’d be leaving if she doesn’t keep her promise, which she made with an old school handshake, she immediately promoted me and increased my pay to the promised highest rate. But then, she and her boss, the operations manager (OPs) transferred our kitchen assistant manager to another shop and we had no assistant manager anymore, and my work load increased. They basically retaliated by giving me part of the assistant manager’s job.

Pret staff over 22 years old starting pay £9.75 LINK

Pret is heavily into wage theft. I had to chase unpaid hours for years in every single shop I worked in. It was “normal” for me to have my separate spreadsheet, noting down how many hours I worked and how much I was paid. It is very normal for shop managers to take an hour here, and hour there, 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there from many staff members. It all adds up at the end.

Pret settled class action lawsuits TWICE in New York having had to repay 4000 workes combined almost $1 million each time. I write on this in Pret A Manger Wage Theft.


It is also very common that Pret does not pay the last week pay when staff leave. They did that to me, but I only noticed months after I left Pret because of the payout I received when Pret fired me, I didn’t notice that the last week is missing, also as my dad died at the time etc. My mind was occupied again from yet another blow. Some former staff mention the missing pay issues on review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.

Link to Glassdoor review.

Little side note, there’s a reason why Pret and even CEO Pano Christou have such low ratings. Former CEO Clive Schlee already left with a “legacy” and even before he “retired” in September 2019, he let Pano Christou already take over Glassdoor representation in July 2019 to avoid further “landslide” ratings.

When Schlee’s “retirement” was announced in June 2019 (while he remained in the background as Non-Executive Director until mid 2021, a customer on Twitter pointed out the poor ratings and reviews on Glassdoor.

.

Link

.

And days before Pano took over on Glassdoor:

Schlee’s “retirement” was in September 2019.

Since mid July 2019, typical Pret “leadership”, blame downwards, let lower ranks take over in critical times:

.

So, if £9.75 or even if £10 is the highest pay-rise in 36 years, then it shows you how ridiculous and stingy Pret are, yet they are so used that the public falls for their bullsh!t, and employees are brainwashed and fear managed to look for better alternatives.

Journalists should go to Pret shops and ask staff directly. They may not get an answer as staff are instructed to refer journalists to Pret and not speak with them. But staff are frustrated and some may speak to the press nevertheless.

And here again a reminder on the public outcry last year after a strike was announced and Pret cutting pay to minimum-wage. Customers not only boycott, but many vowed to never set foot inside Pret again!

Two YouTube slides/videos within a playlist. I use YouTube because Facebook and Instagram have completely blocked my website after Pret must have reported me. So, I’m “forced” to reach out on other platforms. Just let the player continue after the first slide with all the customer boycotts, to the next video that will start automatically with Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret. Nadia basically highlighted – I paraphrase – how staff have carried Pret through the pandemic and as a thank you Pret cut pay down to minimum, as well as cutting benefits etc.

And Nadia Sawalha having half a million followers on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret UK & Pret USA have combined, Pret surely is desperate to do a PR stunt to fool the public AND potential employees again with the help of mainstream media:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret’s new PR stunt: Raising Wages in PENNIES calling it “Biggest” Ever Raise in 36 Years

Here we are again, Pret with the help of mainstream media doing their usual PR stunt. Headlines saying that Pret raises wages the second time in months … or this being the biggest ever raise in Pret’s 36 year history … or calling it a pay “boost” … etc.

And upfront as a little side-note, it is telling that Pret made this announcement on their website and NOT anywhere on social media, but let the press announce it. Pret has recently deleted former staff comments and made commenting on their “We’re hiring” posts unavailable. So, they don’t make staff announcements anymore on social media, but use the press for it as Pret wouldn’t be able to keep up with deleting all those staff comments! Why? Here’s why with screenshots of deleted staff comments: Pret “Last Minute” Staff Shortages?

Calling 50p or even 90p etc. the “biggest ever” raise in 36 years is very telling how 1. greedy Pret is and 2. how easily fooled the public is with the help of mainstream media! And even Unions fall for this, assuming “victory” where there is none! Pret only always raised pay a few pennies when the government raised the minimum-wage. On their own, Pret did not raise wages, that’s why they may be calling these peanuts the biggest ever in 36 years. Quite a joke!

With the rising costs of food, utility bills etc. Pret staff are not only NOT better off than before, they’re WORSE off! Pret already made pay cuts during the pandemic down to minimum-wage, as well as cutting benefits, paid breaks and other perks. Raising the pay back to a little over minimum-wage is where staff were before, yet workers are still worse off then before! No more paid breaks. Staff rebates down from 50% to 25%. And other perks and benefits that remain cut.

And before you office workers complain that you don’t get your breaks paid, you should work just 1 hour in any Pret shop! You will run out within minutes, kissing the pavement!

So, what’s this new Pret hype all about that most fall for again?

A pay rise in pennies that’s a little over minimum-wage, like they had before Pret cut wages to minimum. Yet, wages are still under the Living Wage and Pret keeps the “temporary” benefits cut and other perks they cut during the pandemic, while putting more work on staff who work for 3 people each!

The bonus from £1 to £1.25 is also a joke because bonus is at the discretion of extremely strict, micromanaging weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop management. Bonus can be refused for any and all reasons, no matter how small! Staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed have mentioned that the bonus is used as a “weapon“.

Or another review where shops are extremely under-staffed and workers have NO CHANCE to do everything as they have no staff, and the Mystery Shopper cuts the bonus because there was a little toilet paper on the floor in the toilet! Quote from Glassdoor review “Stressful“:

»Constantly understaffed and expected to clean the entire store and multitask like crazy because there is no one else to do it
Sometimes really hard to get the bonus because you work so hard to make the entire store presentable, clean and neat but if the mystery shopper comes during the busy lunch period when you are understaffed and have to stay on till and cannot leave it and tidy the shop floor and they then don’t give you the bonus because there was ‘toilet paper on the floor in the toilet that could have been tidied’. Or if there is a long queue until the door they complain that they were not served within a minute and a half of joining the queue which is ridiculous.«

And these are just 2 of the many reviews on Mystery Shopper bonus issues. And from my own experience, I and my colleagues have been threatened with not getting bonus for the silliest reasons. Current Pret staff who recently wrote to me said that their shops hardly get bonus anymore due to the utter chaos and mess in their under-staffed shops! I know from experience that it was already hard before the pandemic, but I don’t even want to think how staff suffer now, physically, mentally and financially. All the while Pret boast again, having a laugh on the cost of their hard-working employees.

I write about the extremely strict, micromanaging and humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme where ONE staff did not ask a SPECIFIC question, resulting in the whole shop team to not get bonus.

If you don’t read anything I write, PLEASE READ the following Mystery Shopper report via the link, and tell me if reinstating and even raising the bonus isn’t a PR trick by Pret: Pret Staff don’t look Happy.

But not only a little toilet paper on the floor is the issue now, many customers complain about dirty shops. London City Airport has received a hygiene rating of 2 in December after an EHO visit. Detail here.

.

.

The bonus system is a tool to manipulate and fear manage staff. Low-wage shop and kitchen staff ONLY rely on the bonus via the weekly Mystery Shoppers AND shop managers random mood swings.

Shop and area Managers (OPs – Operations Managers) get their bonuses quarterly and their bonuses rely on a host of things like shop profits, waste management, labour costs etc., and the biggest chunk is the Mystery Shopper scores. But shop/kitchen staff only get or lose bonus from Mystery Shopper visits and Managers’ moods.

Hence, Pret reinstating the bonus back in September 2021 after a staff member announced a strike action because Pret cut bonus from £1 to 50p, is a TRICK. I explain in detail here: Pret Staff Consider Strike Action.

The psychology is simple: Pret cut wages to minimum-wage DURING the most dangerous times in recent world history. Pret also cut benefits and other perks. Then Pret raises the wage again to a little over minimum-wage the way it was BEFORE, while keeping benefits cut and staff doing much more work. And thus, they continue to sell ice-cubes to Eskimos in winter time.

And unfortunately staff, most of the public and the press fell for it! Even Unions celebrate! Shame on y’all!

Link

Pret did NOT raise the wages now in pennies because of the strike announcement back in August 2021.

Pret now raised a few pennies as psychology for low-wage workers and the public because many Pret staff walked out, shops closed (also due to rent issues and lawsuits on unpaid rents etc.), many customers announced boycotts and some vowed to never set foot inside Pret again, Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret, bad press etc.

All these led to Pret playing another trick by raising the wages a few pennies above minimum wage, but still under the Living Wage.

And all y’all are fooled again! Shame!

And as a visual reminder again, former CEO Clive Schlee pocketing £30million in BONUS for himself alone! Do a rough calculation how much pay PLUS bonus current CEO Pano Christou, all the other execs and the shareholders get! And then tell me again that the pay “boost” and investment of £9.2million for 8000 front-line staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on wage cuts risking their lives, is generous!

Link

Pret’s owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns, must have given the green light to Pano Christou to throw a few crumbs at workers to appease the public and burnt-out staff. Front-line workers are so burnt out, they have no strength to even look for a better job. Morale is low, hope is gone, so a few pennies are supposed to fool them again! And it will.

»You can’t run a business on goodwill when the goodwill dries up.«
– Pret Staff Review on Glassdoor.

And remember the NHS smokescreen in March 2020 just before first lock-down? Here’s a reminder!

On 18. March 2020 Pret VERY quickly acted to the possibilities of a lock-down and announced free coffees and 50% rebates on food for NHS workers. The press and the public went ballistic with praise.

The very next morning on 19. March 2020, I wake up to a Twitter DM by a Pret staff who in despair wrote that shops have just received an email by CEO Pano Christou in the morning, announcing cuts to staff hours, and with it to pay. Other Pret staff started to send me the CEO email from that morning which I then published on my blog, as my website is the “channel” so-to-speak between Pret staff and the public/press.

I tweeted this to the press and all over, and Pret retracted for a few months until grass grew over it, but then started making cuts left right and center. But only to front-line Pret staff.

NHS workers were used twofold, 1. as a PR stunt for the public as well as NHS staff, and 2. as a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff. I write about the timing of this announcement and posted the full CEO email to shops here: To NHS Employees.

It is safe to say that millionaire Pret execs, who safely worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned head office, TOOK from their low-wage front-line workers to pay for the NHS freebie PR stunt. And you all applauded!

And here is how Pret continually get caught doing Wage Theft.

Also, if anyone wants to take a peek behind the scenes on WHY Pret always makes BIG and noisy “charity” announcements: Pret’s Charity Projects.

So, dear mainstream media, you can continue to ignore my writings, my own experience and firsthand knowledge of Pret. You can continue to support this gaslighting system that claims to not be able to afford at the LEAST a living wage and PROPER benefits, to keep on enriching entitled prats who s*it on those who made them rich! You can continue to ignore Pret staff experiences and keep their voices silenced. You can continue to suck up to Pret because it’s not YOU who has to feed children on slave wages, after getting burnt out day-in, day-out until there’s nothing left to even find hope that this short life can be good for hard-working, honest people, who are stepped upon because their work is called “low-skill” to justify poverty wages …!

.

.

.

.

.

That’s why very few people make it on my blog and YouTube posts, who are not as easily served up with Pret’s PR bullcrap!

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Hygiene Rating

I’ve been writing on Pret’s hygiene and pest issues since I started my blog from own experience as well as what customers post on social media.

I’ve tweeted @foodgov on Twitter many times regarding pest issues, stale/expired food etc. I am surprised though that Pret at an airport did so poorly.

When I worked at Pret, an internal health and safety staff from head office made an unannounced visit to a Pret shop, and when this shop did poorly they call it a “black visit”. This means that shop had multiple issues of poor hygiene, expired foods, pest etc.

When this happens, Pret then names and shames that shop throughout the whole company for the rest of us to shudder in fear to do better. I never liked this calling out of shops, managers and staff, for the main reason that Pret do NOT give shops enough staff or PAID time to do things properly. Managers have not been trained properly on pest issues until a shop was shut down by an EHO at around 2011-ish. THEN only did Pret get a professional pest control company on board whereas before only had internal staff to deal with it.

I write about this in below link “Rat A Manger …” where I worked in a mice infested shop and we BEGGED head office for us to close the shop over the weekend to get on top of this! But no, nothing was done until an EHO closed down a shop after finding pest issues. Then Pret started firing and penalizing Managers who weren’t trained in the first place!

Plus, staff have always been overworked, even before the pandemic. Pret schedules staff rotas so tightly that staff have no chance whatsoever to finish all the tasks, especially the cleaning in the time given. Pret pretends that staff aren’t working hard enough, while in reality they work their @rses off! Managers then manipulate and fear manage staff to work overtime for free!

But because I was/am very organized by nature, I often managed to finish tasks with my colleagues on time, even early. And after this constant aim to manipulate us to work even harder for free, I drew the line and clocked off by the minute and as a Team Leader let my colleagues go home at the DOT of our scheduled finish time.

Whatever task couldn’t be completed, we left undone, as long as we did the most important things first, like cleaning, health and safety checks and repairs etc. Anything unimportant we left for the end, finished it, or we didn’t finish it and went home. Enough was enough! As long as we worked hard and did our utmost best, I refused to be threatened or manipulated to do even more for free. My Managers had no choice but respect this, because most of the time we DID finish everything and they KNEW my and my colleagues’ work ethics. They had NOTHING to get us with, even though they tried!

So, my question to regular customers is: You witness shops being so immensely busy, overcrowded, understaffed, two people behind the counter if they’re lucky, one person on the coffee, queue to the door, day in day out! And now during the pandemic and much more staff shortages, staff sick, staff walking out … shops close unannounced and without explanation or with dodgy “technical issues” notices.

Do you think that the food you eat is really FRESH?

Do you think that minimum-wage burnt out staff have time nor care to wash their hands in-between products (vegetable to meat products, allergen, gluten-free etc.)? Especially now during the pandemic in even more understaffed shops?

Do you really think that Pret has high quality products after being fed these slogans for decades?

.

London City Airport’s hygiene rating is just the tip of the iceberg!

And if an airport shop can rate so poorly, a shop that is within a shopping unit on a property run by third parties, not independently as a shop on its own on the high street, are you kidding yourself that all the other shops are doing better?

.

.

When I walk by a business that has a rating of 4, I always ask myself “What was the ONE point they lost the rating for?” I am not a competitive person in sports, or creative things etc. I do my thing, and when people are better or more successful in whatever they do, that’s great. I don’t care about that. Everyone has talents, makes effort, does hard work. But when it comes to hygiene ratings, I expect 5 out of 5 and won’t enter the business with a rating of 4! When it comes to hygiene and health & safety, I have zero tolerance to the slightest issue that is easily preventable!

The first thing I do when entering a restaurant, I go to the toilet, partly to wash my hands before eating, but also to see how the toilets are. I have walked out of businesses before even sitting down at a table, just by the looks of the toilets. End of.

.

Link to part of the report which in this case was pest issue.

Quote:

»Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene« Improvement necessary. End of quote.

Usually when pest issues are found, the EHO who did the visit closes the shop until it is free of any pest. When an internal Pret HQ health and safety staff had a “black visit”, the shop has 4 weeks to improve. Often the shop Manager, even Assistant Managers and Team Leaders will be moved to other shops or send on “holiday” or get fired, depending on the situation and/or how close/friendly the Manager is to the OPs/area Manager. It’s all about making friends in Pret unfortunately. I was never good at making friends. I just wanted to do my job and go home.

Back in 2015 six+ months after my brother died and an area Manager targeted me for months on end with the help of other Managers, I was sent to a shop that had a “black visit” to help fix the mess. I was known for my strict hygiene and safety record, doing things by the book. But it was my darkest time in 2015 and 2016, with my brother’s death and the intense bullying issues that started shortly after I lost my brother.

Other Team Leaders and an Assistant Manager from other shops were also sent to that shop, as the whole shop leadership team was sent on holiday or fired. We had 4 weeks to fix the shop. What I didn’t know at the time is that I was sent there to FAIL! And I did fail in a few things, which was NORMAL because that shop was a f@cking mess and we were in front of a mountain of issues trying to figure out where to start!

All eyes were on that shop! Everyday “important” people from head office visited, health and safety staff came by, the pressure to improve daily was very high. And frankly, it was very unfair on us who came from other shops to fix a mess we didn’t create! They had no mercy! This area Manager who targeted me to get rid of me used the SMALLEST issue to get me a written warning etc. with the help of another area Manager and Managers.

Last year I called out another area Manager on Linkedin and Twitter who helped her to target me. This area Manager who’s shop had the black visit (she doesn’t work at Pret anymore after 20+ years, but still interacts with Pret on Linkedin), helped target me and then had the audacity to “like” my pinned Tweet about former CEO Clive Schlee. I asked her many times, for months to unlike my Tweet as I did not want her on my time line.

She was a SENIOR OPs Manager with 18+ years experience at the time. She could have EASILY supported me instead of supporting the bully-area Manager to target me. I still did my job exceptionally well, even during traumatic bereavement. I was KNOWN for my work. I was TOLD and confirmed via Mystery Shopper reports etc.

She could have stepped in, having seen my track record at work. But she helped the bully instead to get me a “note of concern”, a first step in the direction of a disciplinary and then dismissal. The smallest things I made a mistake in I was targeted with, penalized and threatened. All during the darkest time in bereavement! It was an emotional war zone I found myself in! How I survived this, I do not know! At the time “ignorance was bliss” and I kept giving Pret the benefit of the doubt, until the evidence mounted! I saw with my own eyes after applying for my file, how Pret with HR and Managers SCHEMED against me! It was there, in black and white on paper!

Bereaved, ill, even disabled staff have no room in busy Pret shops. Time is money, and whoever crumbles under the weight of personal tragedy will be sieved out fast.

If Pret would have supported me from day one, like they boast about their Pret Foundation Trust to be helping vulnerable people, I would be writing a completely different blog now!

And the little help they did provide was ONLY after I contacted former CEO Clive Schlee in WRITING, so as to cover their tracks! But the bullying continued, it just shifted in more subtle ways.

Pret’s Foundation Trust charity project is PR and a smoke screen. Longtime staff have no chance when they become bereaved or ill! They need to go ASAP!

I even suggested to Pret in writing to put me under someone in the Pret Foundation Trust until I recuperated, another OPs Manager I worked with briefly, also suggested this to Pret, also in writing! But Pret refused!

So, this experienced area Manager helping the bully and then liking my pinned Tweet? Really?? Nah!

She ignored my request to “unlike” the Tweet again and again! Only when I requested this again under current CEO Pano Christou’s Linkedin mention, did she unlike it, then blocked me and then LIED publicly to never have liked it. Well, thanks for confirming what a toxic b**** you are!

Typical Pret leadership!

She then lied publicly on Linkedin after I asked again for her to “unlike” under a post that mentions former CEO Clive Schlee and current CEO Pano Christou. I then got booted out of that feed and my post got hidden/deleted by Linkedin after someone reported me. That’s why I take screenshots. But this is VERY typical Pret A Manger leadership, they like stuff in secret while pretending to be with/for Pret in the open.

.

Really?!

.

But regarding Pret’s hygiene and pest issues, and the 2 rating in City Airport, dear customer, you see the tip of the iceberg here!

.

My post on pest issues in Pret: Rat A Manger & Pret A Maggot

My post on expired NON-fresh food: Pret Food is NOT Fresh

YouTube video and slide for those who don’t want to read long blog posts:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Racial Profiling in Pret A Manger

My second post of the year is for a lady who has raised the issue of racial profiling in a Pret shop in Manhatten, NY. She contacted Pret, and after a few times did get a response, but then keeps getting ignored again since months.

Of course, at this point it’s an allegation, but no-one who makes up stories would pursue this for months. And from experience having worked at Pret, I know for a fact that there is racism in Pret, also toward staff. I mention this because some come with the bullcrap “argument” that these are only allegations and no proof. I can only implore journalists again to go undercover into Pret and see for themselves!

I send her a link to CEO Pano Christou’s Linkedin post on Facebook, she posted on Linkedin as well now (see below). But so far no response again.

.

Link

Pano Christou closed his Twitter account on 01. July 2019 after I tweeted to the press about Clive Schlee’s “retirement” and also mentioned Pano’s Twitter account. He then promptly deleted it and now “hides” on Linkedin where people tell each other sweet little nothings all day, and how awesome Pano is, while Pret shops lie in shambles!

Journalists read my blog, so I offered her to put her concerns on my blog. Her message to Pano on Linkedin which they still leave in, usually they delete critical posts:

.

Link

For larger print, quote:

»On August 30, 2021 I was racially profiled in one of your locations in Manhattan New York 47th & 6th street. I went through the proper channels and emailed customer service. As of this date December 23,2021 I have not gotten a phone call or any type of gesture apologizing. I have been in contact with someone but nothing has been done. I emailed them yesterday and my email came back blocked so I use two other emails address and they came back blocked. The first Rep was Elle Reference #10091595. I don’t want to discuss in details what happened on the platform but if I have to I will. You can check into this matter and get back with me ASAP.«

And having worked at Pret for 10 years and visited Pret’s London Head Offices many times, I rarely saw Black, Indian/Asian staff working there. Most are Caucasian British, German, French with very few exceptions. The same with OPs/area and shop managers.

UPDATE

February 2022

Pret’s response via Facebook (Shanee sent this to me). Pret AGAIN claims to have some technical difficulty, pretending they didn’t get the message.

I ask again like I did in my other post about Pret’s ongoing “technical issues” while having received a “digital technology leaders award”:

Pret A ‘Manager’ Received Digital Technology Award (for screwing up their digital technology so much!). In the post I linked to some of the many customer complaints that they can’t use their subscription and Pret claiming “technical issues”.

Question: How can a multi-billion £$ company have THAT MANY technical issues for so long?

Anwser: they don’t have technical issues, they’re just lying again!

Pret’s response on Facebook while continuing to ignore the complaint onracial profiling AGAIN. Shanee has the her emails as proof she sent it:

“Hi Shanee, We’re sorry to hear that your original message has not yet been resolved. We’ve asked our team to see if they’ve received your emails so they can get back to you as soon as possible. We’re also currently working to resolve a tech issue that sends an “undeliverable” message even when the emails are delivered. This is likely what happened when you tried to email our team this week.”

.


.

Also, a Twitter feed of a customer experiencing racism in a Pret shop:

Link

Another feed on Twitter, also going into detail:

Link

A radio station in Washington DC where Pret also has shops:

Link

An article in The Voice about racism in Pret:

Link

A former staff sued Pret on racism in NY. It may be that the lawsuit was settled, as there are no more news about it.

Link

UPDATE 11.01.2022 Pret USA

Link to Instagram post

Former Pret staff after Pret made their PR stunt BLM message and always make big noisy charity announcement:

.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Healthy New Year 2022

I want to start off the year on a positive note with a super encouraging tweet by a musician I only know since recently, Mike Bee.

Link

What encourages me so much in this is that he, that SOMEONE recognizes that this has been a “lonely” road, and that in fact ONE person can have an impact!

So, please NEVER underestimate YOUR voice, no matter how silently you whisper at first!

Check out his music, very soothing:

.

And while I’m at it, another musician I literally just discovered yesterday, the last day of 2021. A year cannot end and start better than with new discoveries!

John Murry of Mississippi, but residing in beautiful music country Ireland. Also, check out his amazing covers of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World”, and the classic Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted” and have some hankies ready! …

UPDATE 06.01.2022

After purchasing John Murry’s last album and one song jumping out at me, I find that John Murry has plagiarized Mark Heard’s song “Nod Over Coffe” as his version of “Yer Lil Black Book”.

I’ve listened to Mark Heard since 1991-ish / 92. Unfortunately discovered his music shortly after he died through some of my favourite artists at the time doing a tribute to him. His catalogue is out of this world. Having died at age 40, he made 16 albums and collaborated, was a writer to writers like no other.

Up until 06. Jan. 2022, John Murry’s album was a new favourite. But not crediting to Heard is unacceptable. I will not post here what Murry’s excuses were he wrote me in DMs. But it’s telling that he took “Nod Over Coffee” and put the lyrics in the tumbler, swirled it around and out came a product he portrays as “art”.

And of course, if Murry would have clearly stated that this is a cover of Heard’s “Nod Over Coffee”, but that he’s put his own spin on it, way to go! I even love this cover. But now I will take a closer look at all the other songs.

I hear Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Joy Division … and that’s all valid and ok. We all are influenced and sound like so-and-so a bit. No problem. But FREAKING GIVE CREDIT!!!

Please scroll up in the following Tweet feed. I’m sorry, I made a mistake!

My Tweets to him, please scroll up. I deleted some Tweets as I was angry and don’t want to unnecessarily offend Murry:

Songs below, but I also put the two lyrics next to each other on a PDF file and uploaded it, external link.

Seeing the lyrics next to each other, it’s safe to say that about 80-90% of the lyrics and a lot of the rhythm/melody is taken straight from Mark Heard’s “Nod Over Coffee”. Heard’s title even appears in Murry’s body of text towards the end! That’s when I woke up after thinking “I know this song, I know this song … where did I hear this song???…”

When you click on the – minus to decrease the page, a pop-up window will come up which is advertising, just click it away and ignore. Then click – minus or plus again how you need it.

Mark Heard “Nod Over Coffee” VS John Murry “Yer Little Black Book”

Discogs.com link

John Murry’s 2021 version WITHOUT giving credit to Mark Heard:

Acoustic/live:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQMm2NjvR5c

I even love this cover! But if he won’t give credit to Mark Heard, I don’t want any of his music! It’s a principle.

Mark Heard’s original from 1991 just before he died, my favourite of his:

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger 2021 Year in Review

.

.

.

.

1312 – Pret A Manger

From the day I started writing on my Pret A Manger ordeal to the day the BBC, via journalist Mike Powell, put my writings on the map, 1312 days have passed.

Thank you BBC.

Thank you Mike Powell. Thank you Vivienne Nunis. Mostly for your patience. And for believing (in) me.

Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal


.

730,000 rounded down, because in selfish capitalistic worlds you round down … Time is money, and we don’t have time to be generous! Lose leap years, hold your numbers very tight! Mathematics don’t lie. In a nutshell, estimated 730,000-ish days from the first Christmas. Happy Christmas y’all! Life comes to an end, but until then we’ll live it. Every second of every day.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

»The most Toxic work culture I have ever experienced«

When I started writing about Pret publicly in May 2018, I never knew about Glassdoor and Indeed. I was too occupied with work and the traumas I went through, that I never realized that there were employment review websites out there.

I started to research on Pret and then came across Glassdoor and Indeed. It was like a new world opened up to me. I was so naive and like a kid in a sweet-shop, I discovered all these reviews about Pret that sounded so similar to my experience.

I then went to town and started collecting reviews. I put a chosen review that spoke to me on my blog every day and called it “Quote of the Day“. I obsessed over those reviews and scanned through the whole of Glassdoor and Indeed, as well as YouTube, Twitter etc.

Yes, I know! Whatever you think of my loony mind, it’s okay with me! I know what I survived!

These days I don’t check reviews so much anymore because I’m tired and I think I made my point now!

But a new review by Senior Leadership came that deserves its own blog post. I don’t know what “senior leadership” means, if its a shop General Manager, OPs Manager or someone in head office. It’s someone who’s either been in Pret leadership for a long time, or is in a high position. But these words ring painfully true and I love the way the person wrote it. Simple, short and sharp!

Quote:

»Awful, non-collaborative leadership that are never on the same page. Huge toxic blame culture. People are expendable… expected to work around the clock for the business but then in return were treated inhumanely when covid hit. Pret doesn’t care for it’s employees at all – it only cares about it’s externally facing reputation. Many of us that left, after having our morals and ethics compromised during lockdown have experienced PTSD.«

Advice to Management
»You can’t run a business on goodwill when the goodwill dries up.«

PHEW!

The advice to management would have been a quote of the day I’d chosen. And this is exactly what CEO Pano Christou’s problem is. He has his head in the sand and is stuck in the past. He runs Pret the old way and thinks that sweet-talk and brainwash will continue to float the ship, while not realizing that the ship has run into an iceberg and is slowly tilting!

This review is one of those reviews that has me in tears! Please be safe, value yourself, aim for a better job that you deserve. Life is short.

Link to review on Glassdoor.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Once you get it you die!

I understand now why no journalist wants to report on my story. Every journalist wants to put THEIR name under your story! I am too much in control of my own story. It is always and will always be about people wanting THEIR name under a story. I is always and will always be about money, self-interest, ones own skin.

Your friends will leave you when you lose the floor underneath your feet. You employer will move heaven and hell to get rid of you once you have loss or illness in your family.

This world will spit you out once you are of no use to them.

Britney Spears said it best in her now deleted Instagram post:

Stay safe y’all.

.


.

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.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger keep adding Excuses for not serving items

The ongoing issues in Pret with EXPENSIVE items Pret don’t serve under the supplier issue lie.

So, how do Pret make money, save money, and get as much money as possible?

If you think that it is a coincidence that Pret keep having supplier issues, then why do Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Costa etc. even small independent cafes/restaurant have all the items that Pret claims are not available? Pret rides on the supplier chain issue and don’t give any EXPENSIVE item or complimentary extras. The pandemic forced Pret to show their TRUE face!

Interestingly, Pret NEVER have supplier issues on coffee, cow’s milk and bread, all the main products, but ALWAYS on expensive items like: chai latte, matcha latte, hot chocolate powder, frappe, smoothies (always broken ice machines or blenders or no ice!), plant based milks, and now cream! Complaints started also that shops don’t do a strong espresso shot or syrup when buying with the coffee subscription.

UPDATE: 23.12.2021 on Facebook:

Also as a side note, but IMPORTANT to note that Pret do NOT serve full extra shots, but HALF shots! I write extensively about this in Pret A Manger’s “Strong” Espresso Shot and why Pret call it “strong” and not “double”.

If a shop truly runs out of milk or coffee, then it’s due to management having miscalculated and didn’t order enough or in rare cases there can be delivery issues. But that’s rare. When I worked at Pret as a shop Team Leader, responsible to order stock, I once miscalculated and we ran out of milk. This is extremely rare. I grabbed a colleague and we went to Tesco down the road to buy milk. Pret allows that as long as the milk is organic, or whatever Pret advertises.

Of course, there are occasional delivery issues, but we had to move heaven and earth to get the missing stock in from another Pret shop or supermarket. Pret has no mercy on shops running out of even 1 item! But now, it’s a daily occurrence since the pandemic started. And supply chain delays come in handy for Pret to dupe customers. Wouldn’t it be funny if the supply chain REALLY don’t deliver coffee beans, milk and bread? 😉

Customer complaints since 2020 when Pret started the subscription, no iced drinks, or then iced drinks were served in SMALLER paper cup sizes, again due to “supplier issues” Pret claimed. Pret had NO issues getting the NEW 14oz paper cups while having supplier issues on their more expensive 16oz plastic cups for iced drinks. Do a rough calculation how many people are cheated out of 2oz per iced drink IF they’re lucky to get one on the subscription. The plastic cups are back now, but if I’m not mistaken, have also shrunk in size.

How do Tesco say? “Every little helps”! It all adds up in numbers!

Check the dates of the Tweets, especially towards the end of the slide. This is STILL going on now in December 2021:

.

Clever thieves don’t do a big heist, they steal little by little but MANY people. People who had their credit card details stolen didn’t realize for months that a consistent amount of money was stolen, because the amount was small, but it went on for months. A steady income for thieves.

A customer realized this as well recently:

Pret stopped the complimentary butter portions for the soup bread. Customers also started to complain that Pret don’t do the little compote and seed pots for the porridge. And the honey sizes in the little pots has also decreased to smaller squeezable honey.

.

.

.

Of course it’s at the discretion of a business to offer or refuse complimentary items. But I’m painting a picture here in how Pret is pinching at every turn while sitting on millions and making profit again. Little by little things are removed and people get used to it after initial outcry. And of course it helps for staff to not have to prepare all the little pots for porridge which is very time consuming, but to decrease sizes and stop complimentary items altogether is the typical business thing to cut costs.

And with the cream they ADVERTISE for their Christmas drinks, now they give more reasons to try and prevent exposure. And I keep telling people to contact ASA as well as consumer rights groups, and fill in the complaint form for false advertisement Pret keep doing. It just takes 2 minutes to fill in.

ASA Form: Make a complaint.

.

Link

.

Day 20? Month #6! No cream since at least June 2021:

.

Sorry 8 months!

.

Sorry, 12 months! You get the picture!

.

.

How can a company the size of Pret have “supplier issues” for 6+ months on specific items?! Since I write extensively about Pret’s “supplier issue” and Pret read my blog, the updated version now covers a broad range of reasons, quote: “ongoing shipping issues, delayed 3rd party deliveries or smaller quantity deliveries”.

And this way customers as well as consumer rights group cannot trace back if that is true, because more people/businesses are blamed.

But again, Pret NEVER has issues with coffee beans, cow’s milk and bread, the holy trinity of Pret’s business.

Also, Pret now SELL expired food they give to “charity” via food app TooGoodToGo (TGTG). Pret sell food under their “charity” umbrella and try to get money at every turn. Pret even now sell hot (cooled down) expired food via TGTG that Pret before wouldn’t even give for free due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Also, soups get frozen now, NOT fresh as Pret claim. It was never freshly “made” anyway as soups are cooked in factories! I write about frozen soups in Pret Food is NOT Fresh.

The Mushroom Risotto soup is usually a favourite of Pret’s soups by many customers.

.

When I worked at Pret, I know for a fact that the soup for example is heated at least twice, often 3 – 4+ times! By the time it is given or now sold after its 2 hour hot shelf life, the customer then heats it up AGAIN for a third or more time!

Soup is cooked in the factory and delivered in plastic bags holding 6 cups per bag. First thing in the morning the Hot Chef then places soup bags into the water bath (marinator) or later heats it up in the microwave. This is then the second time soups are heated. If a bag of soup is still in the water bath at the end of the day, it HAS TO be wasted! But many cheat under the pressure from stressed Managers. They let the bags cool down and then put it back into the fridge and heat up the next day. Third time heated up! Etc.

Of course this is not allowed, but many do it! My Managers always hated me because I wasted it! Yet, even with the waste, I still managed to help shops be successful. You absolutely CAN do things properly without cheating, but due to understaffed shops, staff feel the intense pressure and keep heated products as well as “stretch” dates of expiry dates!

Pret now making money for “charity” where before they wouldn’t give high risk products like hot food for FREE! When it comes to money, health and safety out the door! When I called Pret & TGTG out on it on Twitter, TGTG_UK promptly blocked me! Thank you confirming that you don’t appreciate the truth! I can still respond to people who tag you in TGTG_UK, you know that, right?

.

I write extensively about this in Pret’s Health & Safety Hypocrisy.

.

.

.

.

.

.

etc. etc. etc.

UPDATE 29.12.2021