Pret A Manger does NOT label food in Dubai, Paris

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So, here is to “meaningful” change:

Former CEO Clive Schlee’s address to the press after the September 2018 inquest into Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death:

VIDEO via Twitter

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Clive Schlee further states in an interview repeating about “meaningful change” and blames the law! I “translated” his words here: Crocodile Tears

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It is July 2021 and Pret does NOT label food on the packaging in Dubai and Paris, and probably not anywhere else outside the UK if they don’t have labelling laws. “Natasha’s Law” is coming in October 2021 and yet when a customer dies in Dubai or Paris etc. from unlabelled allergen, Pret will blame the laws in respective countries and also low-wage workers for looking at the SHELF label.

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And Pret passes the buck WITHOUT giving the customer ANY contact details. I bet the Dubai Prets don’t have an own Twitter handle or website like USA has:

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PARIS:

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Pret also continues to MISLABEL food due to chronic under-staffing, overworked staff rush and make dangerous mistakes even in 2021. AN incomplete list, there are more complaints I didn’t add:

Link to: Vegetarians and Vegans Eat Meat at Pret

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

The Pret A Manger Effect

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Sure it’s gone downhill, but this is just now the effect of many years of exploiting staff and treating them like sh!t, as well as ignoring customers’ health and safety.

In hard times, like in this pandemic, the true face of companies is coming to light! What customer see now is what staff suffered through for decades, even long before the Bridgepoint take-over. Pret, that claimed to have “natural” food before being challenged in court and by ASA, already showed their true face when they sold 33% stake to the USA side of McDonald’s back in 2001 to get their foot into the door of the U.S. market. Once in, they divorced their marriage of convenience.

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In 2008 private equity firm Bridgepoint took over and squeezed staff even more. And since 2018, second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns, via in tax-haven Luxembourg based JAB Holdings, took over. Not to mention customer deaths and injuries Pret ignored until it became public.

Just yesterday a customer from Pret DUBAI complained to Pret that they don’t label food in Dubai, most likely because Dubai doesn’t have a food labelling law like the UK will be having from October 2021 onward with “Natasha’s Law”. So far to “we will learn from it [Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death]” and so far to “meaningful change”!

Not to mention that Pret STILL mislabel food, even days ago in July 2021, due to extreme under-staffing shops, forcing low-wage staff to rush and then make dangerous mistakes. More detail in Vegetarians and Vegans eat Meat at Pret. And the lack of cleaning due to low staff and no time or strength left to clean: Rat A Manger and Pret A Mouse.

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What we see now during hard times is a skeleton of a company that was very efficient in portraying an ethical and caring facade to the public and brainwash employees during GOOD and prosperous times. But anyone can do that! But behind that facade has always been a rotten egg that Pret worked very hard to avoid the stench coming out of through the cracks in the facade.

Staff review on Indeed from NY:
»Oh lord. Used to work for Pret a manger years ago, and I told them about the issues back then, and look at them now. … Now, they’re tying to catch up, but it might be very late for it.«

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Facebook.com/preth8ers group.

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So, “charity” and the Pret Foundation Trust and other PR stunts of course serve to try and keep the facade up and polished.

Ok, keep it up Pret! Keep it up!

Here, a lovely Saturday afternoon “film” event with what Pret employees, customers and lawsuits etc. have been showing since years. Get the popcorn out, put the kettle on, or get yourself an ice cold beer or a beautiful glass of wine. A peek behind the shiny PR[et] facade.

»Great Company in Risk of Ruin«

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»Worked into the Ground without Empathy«

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»Advise to Pret Management: Burn in Hell«

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»Pret Annihilates Humanity«

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»The Pret A Manger Love Treatment«

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»Hounded – The Sequel«

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»The Pret A Manger Anthem«

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»Smile for the “Misery” Shopper« (Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper Scheme – 1)

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»Pret Mystery Shopper Report« (Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper Scheme – 2)

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»Pret’s Coffee Subscription (Rip-Off!)«

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»The Endless Pret A Manger Lies«
(Subscription rip-off via the lack of Frappes/Smoothies)

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»Pret Air Maniac« (A Pandemic On The House!)

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»WOWING Pret Customers«

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»Pret A Manger Staff Reviews« (For the Quiet Music Lover)

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Last but not least:

»Why Pret can’t be Distanced to Julian Metcalfe«
(How to chase 3 multi-millionaire business men off Twitter!)

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In memory of all the people, customers and staff, who didn’t survive Pret A Manger.

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

Short Term Staffing Disruption at Pret A Manger

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Yeah, maybe finally staff are doing what some Burger King staff did and walked out in protest and strike!

Customers flock to Twitter and increasingly raise the issue of shops closed without notice, or with conflicting messages. I explain that there are 3 common possibilities why a shop may be closed, in no particular order, and with links to each issue:

  • Staff issues, lack of staff, staff walk out, staff are at breaking point from the exploitation.
  • Pest issues, mice, rats etc. This will especially get worse when shops continue to be under-staffed and Team Members have no time nor strength left to properly clean.
  • Virus outbreak like the one that had to close in Norwich.

Of course there can also be true technical issues like flooding, electricity black-out etc. But that would then be very clearly visible when the lights go off etc.

And on a “side note”, a list of issues where Pret is ripping off customers:

Pret will INDEED try anything to survive

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UPDATE July 2021:

So, after Pret made 3000+ staff redundant, cut their benefits, bonus and paid breaks (and then asking many again to return for less pay but more work etc., most refuse) Pret continues to exploit staff, mistreat and abuse them and then wonder why they have to close shops. In the meantime, Pret continues to neglect the very shop front-line workers who make Pret happen, by concentrating on digitizing Pret and advancing their marketing stunts.

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

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Maybe Pret staff finally are fed up enough to join a Union and walk out of Pret. Burger King staff certainly have had enough and a Pret customer finds it appropriate for Pret to take heed!

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Just a few of many customers raising issues of Pret shops closed in London, Birmingham etc.

York shop closed due to “unforeseen” circumstances:

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After I gave Brian Lickley some of the above possibilities, he started to ask more seriously later that afternoon:

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A confused customer on Linkedin 15.07.2021 about a Birmingham shop closed without notice:

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Several London shops closed and Pret now gives the staffing reason:

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Instagram today:

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This shop closure in Elephant and Castle looks like a pest issue! If customers are suddenly asked to leave a shop during opening times, especially in the morning, it most certainly is because staff spotted a mouse. The procedure then is to close the shop until there is NO trace of pest like droppings, nibbled on packaging etc.

When I worked at Pret and we spotted pest, we were instructed to lie to customers, and the most common lie is “technical issues”. But I chose not to lie to not get into conflicting messages and I just said to customers that we have to temporarily close due to “internal” issues. This way I didn’t have to lie and give mixed messages to customers while other gave another reason (as can be seen here in this Tweet), and I left it open for interpretation.

More on Pret’s pest issues: Rat A Manger & Pret A Mouse

Here the FULL email again by a Pret shops staff member who contacted me in December 2020, among many other staff, quote:

»Hi, I work for Pret right now and honestly everything you say is 100%. If I didn’t need my job so bad right now I would tell them all to go fuck themselves!

No bonus, unpaid breaks. Everyone is like a workhorse… even a 28 hour contract working 48-60 hours because not enough staff.

People are now just working their 28 hours and leaving, no one stays over anymore the people are waking up!

The exploitation is unreal! Calling people from other shops all over to help! Sweating all day, customers are rude because service is slow.

To make matters worse they add the subscription which states on their website over 18, we have kids coming as young as 8 ordering coffees smoothies and frappes!

Pret don’t care about anyone in this company, everyone is replaceable. It makes me so sick to work for them but at this moment I do not really have a choice!

Keep doing what you do! Fuck them! I really hope they sink In this pandemic! This horrible corporate cog of the biggest scandals wheel.«

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link

May be continued if more complaints come in!

To all Pret and general staff, join a union and leave a review on both Glassdoor AND Indeed, especially in your own language to help your fellow country men and women to make informed decisions.

I adopted the following song as the Pret A Manger Anthem!

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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.

Pret A Manger Customer Click-bait

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When I started to expose Pret publicly in 2018 it was hardly common knowledge how bad Pret is to staff. Many were shocked, many remained silent, some contacted me privately to inquire etc. The majority of people are silent, either because they truly don’t care, they pretend to ignore my writing or they are clueless in how to respond.

But one thing has grown and keeps growing, the statistics on my blog are through the roof!

And since about a year plus minus, some customers or people start to tweet how impressed they are with staff. This started increasingly to happen after I extensively started writing about Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper scheme, where staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact and giving a freebie almost always guarantees to get a staff member the £100 reward. If staff don’t smile, chat etc., if they don’t have time to clean etc., the whole shop lose the Mystery Shopper bonus and get fear managed.

Staff are brainwashed and bullied to present a happy facade. And since I’m exposing this publicly in great detail, many people are shocked of course, but some people start the click-bait tactic, where they give compliments on Twitter regarding cheery Pret staff in hopes I respond. And I do respond, because it’s public and others are reading. And the silent reader often then contacts me privately.

There’s a pattern with these click-bait Tweets:

Many have only few followers like under 10, which is not an issue as I have few followers and am notorious for “kicking” followers off for certain reasons including Guardian and The Times journalists. The amount of followers don’t mean anything to me, but I mention this as there’s a pattern. And of course others have many followers, but the majority I’ve some across as hostile have few followers and Tweets. It’s interesting that they seem similar also in the wording of complimenting a Pret staff with being very cheerful and kind etc.

And Pret staff ARE kind and helpful and most enjoy giving freebies, but they are brainwashed to strive for extra peanuts via Mystery Shopper rewards. I received many Mystery Shopper cash rewards after I smiled, gave freebies, chatted etc. and no-one knew that on my way home I headed for the bridge. Regular readers know my story, I won’t get into it here.

So, when I respond to click-bait Tweets with the reality of why low-wage staff smile and chat so much in extreme stress, due to Mystery Shopper fear management, they respond back with hostility that I’m just a disgruntled or bitter former employee who got fired for not doing my job etc. They start getting vile in that I wasn’t a good employee, bitter etc. etc. They’re wording is very quick to the point as if they know my story, but don’t accept the reality of how Pret is to staff. They also ignore my profile where I state that I declined 4 NDAs from Pret. Or they don’t know what an NDA is. I leave them in their ignorance.

Another common tactic also is that they don’t respond, pretending to not see or care, while in reality they post in order to get a response, not realizing that my response triggers people to contact me and inquire further.

Those who reply with hostility want to discredit people who have made firsthand experience because they can’t handle being fooled by Pret, no matter how much evidence former and current staff bring, in my case the amount of links, news/press articles, customer complaints, staff reviews, and my own story with legal written evidence. It’s a waste of time even responding to them, but it’s important to still respond for the sake of silent readers and the press.

Others are current or former Pret staff pretending to be customers.

But some customers can’t handle that someone is standing up, let alone a female, to a multi-billion “dollar” company while they suck up to a company they so desperately want to believe is either good and kiss up to, or they blatantly don’t care how staff are abused.

The other pattern is, they don’t have many Tweets, and those Tweets they have are mainly complaints to companies where they often don’t even get a reply.

They call me a “sad little life” while when you look at their social media feed, they’re actually describing themselves. There’s no substance to their posts, or at most just complaints to companies that rarely reply. Their compliments about staff seem insincere and just click-bait or seeking attention, or wanting a freebie.

It’s obvious that they posted in hopes that I respond so that they can just rant against me. I explain to them that I always follow click-bait because of silent readers.

Another pattern is that 9 out of 10 times these click-baiters are young and male. Because I state my handle clearly as “late night GIRL” (they don’t know why yet) it is mainly male “customers” or people who quickly become dismissive and hostile, but bring no further argument or depth.

Other times they get their friends together and gang up like schoolyard bullies trying to “impress” the strong kid in the school who actually has the balls to stand up against the main bully.

There are other interesting patterns, but I keep that for my book.

So, dear click-baiter, I will always follow your pretentious compliments and give you the 5 minutes you so desperately crave. But I do that for the silent reader who then contacts me via DM or my contact form in shock about what they read. So, thank you for the click-bait!

And I don’t go into much discussion with these people or explain in detail about Pret, as this would be throwing “pearl before swine”. I always write with the silent reader in mind as well as former and current Pret staff and the press. They know my DMs are always open.

And for anyone who is raising awareness on your own campaigns against be it injustices, toxic workplaces, discrimination etc. don’t give up. It ALWAYS takes YEARS for change to happen. People will call you names, try to discredit you, pretend to not care while in reality they keep writing to you and care but are too scared to out themselves. Keep going, you are making a difference.

And here for any NEW and silent reader who may wonder why Pret staff always smile so much, chat, and give freebies while being underpaid, overworked and many are depressed, some functioning alcoholics: Mystery Shopper fear management.

Staff will never tell a customer how it really is because they are drilled with fear and brainwashed to function under extreme circumstances.

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Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper report:

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Journalist Timothy Noah’s excellent article on Pret’s enforced emotional labour practices: The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger

Pret’s systemic bullying culture witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret

And many more issues I cover, but those who care will know them.

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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“Worked into the Ground without Empathy at Pret”

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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.

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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»Let this be the start of our revolution
Let this be the day that we take it all back
Let the writing on the wall be our manifesto
Let this be the day we go on the attack«

– The Dead Milkmen

A small collection of press articles, social media posts and staff reviews to an appropriate song:

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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.

There is Hope for the Hospitality Industry!

Evening Standard:

»Chefs demand Michelin-starred restaurants be stripped of their awards if staff are bullied«

“Michelin-starred restaurants should be stripped of their awards if staff are bullied, says Unichef.

The chefs’ union, which advocates for “zero tolerance of abuse in kitchens,” said that allegations of abusive behaviour towards staff was too common within the industry. … The petition comes after reports that Tom Kitchin, who runs the Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchin and gastropub Scran & Scally, was forced to suspend two senior staff over allegations of abusive behaviour towards employees.”

Link to full article.

There is one “argument” I mostly hear on social media when I point out the toxic bullying culture in Pret with links to employment review sites, social media complaints by staff AND customers who witness bullying, and my own story. Many people say, “well, this is in many other places, too, not just Pret”. And thus I am supposed to accept this. Well, no! It’s time things change and for this systemic toxic bullying culture to end and become widely unacceptable. People who give this “argument” really don’t care and care too much about Pret and the happy image Pret portrays. Some cuss me out because I just pulled down their illusions about Pret! Don’t shoot the messenger!

When people give me this argument, I point out that if the #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and many other movements would not have happened, we would be in a greater mess than we’re already in. It was accepted that sexual harassment in Hollywood and in workplaces in general is “normal”. No, it isn’t! Even domestic violence has only been criminalized in the 1990s! Before that, it was none of the neighbours or the police’s business what happened next door!

Of course there will always be crimes, sexual harassment, racism, bullying etc. But this is about pulling it out of the “norm” and into the exception that makes crimes as crimes and unacceptable in society. To learn and re-learn again what is and what is not acceptable! We all agree on certain issues like murder is wrong, period. We need to get to the place where we also believe and know that bullying is wrong. Period.

In fact, workplace bullying should be criminalized. The same with Wage theft!

Of course stripping restaurants of Michelin stars is just a demand and a draft of a first step towards luxury brands, but it can trickle “down” to lower wage and fast-food chains and the hospitality business in general, with different consequences for companies who allow and even promote bullying.

It’s not popular to say this, but I always was bothered with Gordon Ramsey. He made a fortune and became famous for bullying, shouting and humiliating the people who worked with and for him! It’s cool and trendy to tell a colleague to “fuck off” even on Television! How then do we wonder that this is so rampant in the hospitality industry.

It’s an upside down world to reward bullying. Life is too short to be treated like dirt when all you do is work freaking hard to build a life and a dream at best, or just pay your bills at worst, and in many cases for the lowest of the lowest wage! NO! Life is too short!

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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.

This is Judy Garland’s Story on Steroids!

If there ever was a modern-day golden cage, forced emotional labour, bullying, slavery, getting tranquilized, human trafficking, threats, black-mail … right in front of us, it’s Britney Spears!

I usually don’t give “outside issues” a blog post, here, but this is utterly shocking!

I’m not into Britney Spears’s music and often felt her performances were too “technical” and robotic. Now I understand why!!!!!!!!!!!

This is emotional labour and captivity to its extremes, covered up behind a golden cage.

I am horrified of what is unfolding and my respect for Britney Spears went through the roof! I firmly believe she WILL be free soon. Her fans, the media etc. are too strong now for this to just go away into hiding again! It just cannot be going on!

Britney has functioned since childhood on. She has performed, worked, paid everybody and has been a “good girl”. And then she JUST had a breakdown when she shaved her head and hit a paparazzi’s car with her umbrella! Male musicians have done MUCH much worse!

This is just Judy Garland’s story on steroids and the court system is AS corrupt! And it’s 2021! This is about human rights that are violated to its core, and there is too much money involved! And Britney said it best, that those who control her need to go to jail!

Leaked audio of Britney’s testimony last week. God bless whoever dared to record and leak this. You get your voice back, Britney! You are just now getting your voice back! Fuck ’em!

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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.

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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:

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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!

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

It Cannot Be What Can Be

It cannot be that a nobody like me exposes a big shot company like Pret A Manger. No, it can’t be. But it is what it is.

The only reason that Pret is still “celebrated” is that there are a lot of bystanders.

That’s the only reason.

Bystanders, followers and enablers who make it happen, that good or bad things happen to people in our democracy.

Mainstream media, the public & Co.

We all look for the greats.

Yet in the words of Emily Dickinson:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Eat your heart out “press”.

Eat your fucking heart out!

https://www.mindmeister.com/1194255218/my-pret-a-manger-ordeal

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

Clive Schlee is now prohibited from entering a Pret A Manger establishment

Clive Schlee, 62, was found to be intimidating members of the public and acting in a passive aggressive manner killing at least two customers.

Okay, parody aside, let’s just take a drug addict and make some unnecessary “news”:

https://www.sussexlive.co.uk/news/sussex-news/beggar-banned-pret-manger-brighton-5547461

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Lest we forget!

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

It can’t be, no it cannot be

that a low wage female worker can call out a company like Pret A Manger.

No, no, no no no … it cannot be!

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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:

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.

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.

Wage Theft in Pret A Manger

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Pret has settled twice in NY on wage theft and repaid 4000 workers. The wage theft in Pret is rampant, also in the UK. I had to chase my money countless times for years, even my last pay. In the UK workers hardly go to court because the legal system is very different and the rewards very low.

At the bottom of this page I list a host of tricks Managers use to cheat already low-wage and overworked staff out of their pay.

A 2019 staff review from New York, from an all-rounder employee doing different tasks as Pret chronically under-staffs to maximize profit:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is always-getting-sued.jpg

Link

Another review about chasing £100 payment and HQ staff playing dumb:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2018-08-13-keep-track-of-wages-100-owed-rvw21939386.jpg

Link

A fed up staff member who confronts Pret on Twitter after not getting anywhere with the phone or emails:

… and many more.

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Pret A Manger settles its second WAGE THEFT lawsuit

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pret-wage-theft.jpg

Link to article

One very detailed review touches on several issues in Pret, including sick-pay and takes a much closer look than most staff do:

Link to the review which is worth reading in full. But a few highlights, quote:

»Pret seems perfect if you throw it a quick look. Great pay, great food, great team mates, everyone’s so happy and friendly all the time… did you know that we have to? The “perfect Pret” standards state that the Pret employee is happy all the time, never drepressed. Not kidding, it’s printed in our locker. Sometimes it can be challenging maintaining a natural smile on my face for 8 hours straight. …
1. I recently had to call in sick, and it led to 2 days off work. When I logged in online on the website, it showed me someone put two different illnesses for those 2 days, and most oddly, both very wrong. I have already spoken to the managers about it, so how could they have gotten it wrong, as they wrote it down on the form in front of me? Intrigued, I looked into it a bit more (I have also realized, there is no one colleague of mine that bothered going into such depth researching). There is a very small subsection of a subsection on the website that states, in summary, you get paid, as a part-time worker, from the second day of illness, and as a full-time worker, from the third. I am part-time. I should have been paid for my second day. But what did Pret do? They put two different illnesses, so they don’t have to pay me (it counts as the first day of illness, for both days).
I have talked to some colleagues, they never got paid, no matter how long they have been working there for (the little subsection also states that if you’re more than 12 months older in the company, you’ll get wellness pay. For more information, please visit this website – followed by a broken link. That’s a lot of weird coincidences, isn’t it? …
Not everyone is like that though, there are some nice people, who don’t deserve to be associated with what I wrote. I am not discontinuing my contract with them because of these things either (mostly because I just need to make rent). I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.«

Please just read the full review, it’s very well exposed how Pret is cheating.

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Prat A Manger’s tricks and tactic to cheat staff out of their pay:

Upfront, to any Pret staff and any low-wage fastfood worker in general, ALWAYS write down the hours that you worked to compare to your payslip. I had a spreadsheet at home where I updated when I worked extra hours when and where. And I also made notes IMMEDIATELY on my phone when asked if I could work an extra hour, as I sometimes forgot to add extra hours to the spreadsheet at home.

Yes, there are genuine mistakes Managers do when they forget to add extra hours worked. But 1. it’s NOT a genuine mistake when this happens almost every week, and 2. it’s not genuine when the mistake is ALWAYS for the benefit of the Manager (bonus) and Pret! I cannot remember that any Manager accidentally overpaid me! Never! So, write down your hours and don’t let the Manager confuse or threaten you when you confront them on missing hours! Keep a clear mind and trust YOURSELF! And join a Union!

  • Extra hours not paid: The most common way Pret tricks staff out of pay is that the Manager asks a Team Member (TM) if they can work 1 hour more due to extra busyness or someone called sick. Yet, let’s be frank, shops are ALWAYS understaffed! The TM works the extra hour(s) and then the Manager “forgets” to pay the extra hour(s).

    THIS HAPPENS ESPECIALLY when you work to help out in a different shop for a day or a week! The Manager of the other shop where you help out HOPES that you 1. don’t realize that they didn’t pay the extra hour and 2. that you can’t be bothered to contact that shop as you have to look up the phone number or go to your own home shop Manager to speak to the other Manager etc.

    Only in hindsight do I understand this trick. The Manager of the other shop where you help out for a day asks one of his own Team Members to come in 1 hour later than scheduled. Then the Manager turns around and asks me if I can stay 1 hour longer (where his own TM would have worked). Then the Manager “forgets” to pay me, and thus gets an hour of free labour!

    Asking his own TM to come an hour later. Asking me to stay 1 hour longer, doesn’t pay in hopes I don’t notice, the perfect way to get free labour! This is two-fold a cheat: his own TM is cheated out of 1 hour work and with it pay which I then work for, and I am cheated out of pay after having worked that TMs hour!

    When a Manager has a Team of around 25 staff and the Manager “forgets” to pay EACH TM 1 hour per week. Do the math on how much money they save per week, per month, per year! It’s like thieves who steal credit card information, they don’t wipe out the victims bank account when they steal CC numbers. They just go shopping a little bit here and a little bit there. The victim never knows that money is being REGULARLY stolen in small numbers and thus never reports it to stop the card being used.

    Same with shop Managers, they steal 1 hour here, 2 hours there, taking hours from several staff members in hopes no-one notices. And if they notice and confront the Manager, well it’s “just” 1 hour here and there! The Manager plays stupid and staff continue to give the benefit of the doubt. I had a Manager who tried his luck with me in a very blunt way once after I was sick for ONE day. By “mistake” he clicked 3 days in the computer instead of 1 day sickness! Thus he cheated me out of 14 hours (2x 7 hours per day). More on this further below on another trick.

  • Giving little time to do the job, then demanding to stay longer and not paying for overtime: This is the Pret-wide system. Staff are given VERY little time to do their job. Especially in the kitchen staff are expected to do their “bench” (amount of sandwiches/products for the shift) in a certain time. The times are unrealistic. So, either people cheat and don’t do the products properly cutting corners, or they are manipulated and told that they didn’t work well or fast enough, therefore have to stay longer UNPAID!

    Reality is, staff work EXTREMELY hard, fast and well under immense stress. But they get lied to, pressured, bullied, manipulated, and even sweet-talked to work longer for no pay! This staff review is THE most poignant I have found so far on Pret! I often use it in blog posts and on Twitter as this is THE BEST way to describe work conditions in Pret.


I even made an own YouTube slide out of this review because no other review describes Pret A Manger in a nutshell like this person’s does!

  • Link to review on Indeed


  • Late Rotas: Rotas in Pret are supposed to be done 2 weeks in advance, but this never happens as Managers juggle the hours according to business needs. Managers KNOW they need more staff and more hours for them, but plan the rota VERY TIGHT and publish the rota in the staff room just 1 day before the new week starts. Staff can never plan ahead for their free time as Pret secretly demands staff to be on call 24/7 but pretend that rotas have to be done 2 weeks in advance. But it never happens.

    The Manager then puts me on my contracted hours on the rota, which are now 28 hours, but they know already that I will be working 40 – 60 hours as shops are purposely under-staffed to make as much money as possible and also to not waste money if the shops are quiet. I then work my usual 5 hours but will be asked every day if I can work longer! I agree because I am naive, hard working and give smiley Pret the benefit of the doubt.

    Then I forget to check my payslip the following week as I am too exhausted and also forgot to write down the extra hours. And I never realize how much on a regular basis I am being cheated out of my pay.

  • Delegating jobs close to finishing time: Another common trick is, the Manager asks you 5 minutes before your shift is finished to “quickly” do a task, like cleaning the Hot Chef baking trays or whatever other “quick” job. They know this will take at least 10 – 15 minutes, and because you don’t want to come across not being helpful, you agree. You then work around 15 minutes for free! Do this 2 or 3 times a week with new tasks the Manager comes up with, and you’re cheated out of 3 – 4 hours per month. So, Managers sit in the office checking Facebook while you work on the tills. And just before you finish your shift, the Manger or Team Leader comes out and asks if you can do this quick job, which in reality takes 15 minutes to do!

    After years of bullsh!t like this, I said to any new Manger who tried to pull that number on me, “Sorry, I have to leave for an appointment”. End of. They don’t need to know the reason for me leaving sharp at my finished time. My appointment may be to meet with a friend for the cinema or to walk a dog or to do some much needed self-care in taking my usual shower and go for a nap after an intensely stressful shift. It’s not their business why I have to leave, but I had no benefit of the doubt anymore to give away after years of BS like this!


  • Stealing from FREE Time: A systemic issue by cheating staff is to give them training material to read DURING their breaks or free time instead of training them in their PAID time during the shift! Training in Pret is appalling which I write extensively about in my open “letter” to the Prosecutor in the recent allergen trial. Staff are NOT fully trained, but instead are explained things in a rushed manner and given stuff to read during their break or at home. Pret stopped paying for breaks, so staff now have UNPAID breaks.

    But even while it was paid, Managers often want staff to “work” DURING their break. People read training material during breaks INSTEAD of resting from the intense work. I was often asked by management when I sat at a window for example, with the view to the outside tables, to keep checking the tables. When a customer left we had 1 minute to clear and clean the tables or risk losing Mystery Shopper bonus. So, I then started looking for spots to sit where I was with my back to the shop or I put my head down on my phone with my headphones on. So, even paid breaks where used to utilize staff to work or learn instead of leaving them the fuck alone to rest for 30 minutes! Exploitation on every turn in Pret!

  • Spreading out costs and pay: Back to the 14 hours my Manager didn’t pay by “mistakenly” adding 2 extra sick days. When I confronted him, he profusely apologized and then with a puppy look in his eyes asked me if he can re-pay in the coming 4 weeks and spread it out. I was new in Pret, naive and stupid, so I agreed. In reality I should have demanded the full 14 hour pay on THAT day! Pret and any company can do this. The Manager could and should have just send an urgent email to the payroll department to pay me the 14 hours THAT day! I was paid once in the same day from Pret on another issue.

    So, the Manager tries his luck and steals 5, 10 or more hours in ONE week, then when confronted he asks if he can reimburse spreading out over several weeks. This was his main goal from the get go to steal hours first, waiting to be confronted, and then wanting to spread out the pay. Spreading out costs will add to the Manager’s bonus. Two tricks the Manager tries: 1. steal a lot of hours in hopes the staff don’t realize. Then 2. when confronted, spread out the back pay in small installments to gain more bonus for the Manager.

    Any current Pret staff reading this, if you are asked if the missing pay can be added over another week(s), say NO and demand your full pay TODAY! You have no money already, you have bills piling up, and all the Manager and Pret are doing, is taking from YOU and adding to their profit and to THEIR pay!

    If your manager looks at you with their puppy eyes and asking you to spread the repay over several weeks, always have ONE number in front of your minds eye: £30,000,000!

    Clive Schlee, former CEO of Pret, received £30 MILLION on bonus alone!!! That was “just” his bonus, not to mention his annual salary! And add to that all the other executives working for Pret in Head Office and elsewhere and find a bucket to vomit into at the sheer number they earn on your backs! This IS about the rich taking from the poor and exploiting at every turn possible!

Link

  • Managers look for any way to NOT pay bonus. In their own discretion Managers can withdraw bonus when a staff member is even just 1 minute late for work. One colleague got his bonus scrapped because he turned up for work with a 3-day old beard after having had the weekend off. Pret demands that staff tell Pret BEFOREHAND if a guy wants to grow a beard! I have to find the info in the paper I still have. So, our bullying Manager just took that as an excuse to withdraw the bonus from my colleague. My colleague went bonkers and left the shop and Pret on the spot after all the other stuff the Manager was doing to us.

  • Working higher positions but not being paid for it: Most staff I spoke to this happened to them as well as to myself. When I was trained to be a Team Leader the Manager promised me a certain pay once I “graduate” to be a Team Leader. The training weeks I think was 6 weeks if I remember correct. My Manager did several things to cheat me out of my pay-rise. She kept postponing the graduation date under excuses. So, I worked as a Team Leader but didn’t receive the Team Leader pay. And then weeks later she also said that she couldn’t give me the promised pay she herself offered me (the highest rate for a Team Leader). Then when I confronted her after she kept postponing graduation and pay-rise day, I said to her that I would quit on the spot if she doesn’t graduate me and give me the promised pay she offered! I was graduated and got the promised pay rise on that day I threatened with leaving! And I meant it! I was so fed up with her lies and tricks she also did with colleagues!

    Then she and her boss, the Operations Manager (OPs) did another trick and removed the Assistant Manager from the shop, so I was doing double work and picked up where the Assistant Manager left off! That shop saved a huge chunk on monthly Assistant Manager wages and that work load then was dumped on me! Again, I was naive still and wouldn’t accept this exploitation today anymore.

    A common trick Managers do is to postpone training. The coffee maker who is in training to be a Barista with higher pay is being told that no spot is free for the training. Training only happens every few months, not every week. Because once people have completed the 2 or 3 days of training in Head Office, the shop has to give a first small pay-rise. Then a full pay-rise comes when the coffee maker “graduates” as a Barista weeks later. But training and later graduation day is being delayed to save money on the pay-rises.

    Also, shops have to PAY for the training! So, they do any- and everything to delay training. Thus, many people work in higher roles for MANY months without a pay rise!

    All the while top leadership and executives squander money on parties and flying to Dubai, Vegas, Paris … for leadership “meetings”.

  • Link

  • Last week’s pay not paid: When you leave Pret you MUST check that your LAST week is paid to you. When people start at Pret their first week of pay is paid after the second week. So after the first week, there will be NO pay. The first week’s pay is paid after the end of the second week. Pret did NOT pay me for my last week. I only realized after a year when I looked at the numbers more closely!!! The reason I didn’t notice at the time when I left and received my pay was because Pret fired me under pretense of other issues, and had to pay me 9 weeks of pay as I worked just short under 10 years in Pret.

    So, the chunk of money Pret paid made it confusing for me to notice that my last week wasn’t paid. I also was NOT sent my last payslip. I completely missed that theft because I flew back and forth between London and Germany where my dad just came out of a coma and was still in intensive care.

    Pret fired me days after my dad came out of a coma! Hence, I missed checking properly if my last week was paid. And of course it wasn’t! They think they got away with stuff and keep getting away. No they don’t and they won’t. Pret may have cheated me out of money and so many others, too. But this is your legacy Pret A Manger who always puts up the ethical and caring facade, while in reality Pret are greedy crooks, corrupt, thieves and liars!

If I missed anything in how they cheat low-wage staff out of money, just drop me a line via the contact form.

The following Unions are best for food workers:

BFAWU know the MOST about Pret from my blog and have already helped individual Pret people.

IWGB specialize in helping foreign workers and even have a former Pret staff working there.

Pret staff need to get active and stand up for your right, respect, dignity and better work conditions because the exploitation will just get worse!

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA

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Yeah, I know how it is to wake up every morning at 3:30am and go to work to start at 5am trying to catch some fish, only to find NOTHING in return, or at best chasing wages!

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA at the bottom of your cup is for your astrology reading. You know it’s the soya coffee you ordered, not chewing gum. But good try! 😉

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Link

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And maybe you want a freebie or attention at best, but here’s a freebie from me to you: This is why Pret wants you to DM them.

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The Old Man sitting on the Sea waiting and waiting and waiting for Pret to deliver …

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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:

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.

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.

Until Pret changes its exploitative working practices

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I rarely give a single blog post to a customer complaint or issue. But this one deserves a spot on its own. Thank you Dr. Eunice Goes. Nothing more to add!

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Link

Link

On Facebook. I’m triggered by the thought of the horrific work conditions, now even worse! It was always bad, but Pret squeezes even more now!

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Link

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Link to video on Twitter

Link

A little YouTube slide on the above as my blog is censored on Facebook/Instagram:

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Link to full email by a current Pret front-line shop staff.

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.


URGENT! — Please pass on! NHS data grab – Opt Out deadline 23. June 2021

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UPDATE: 08.06.2021

The data grab planned for 01. July 2021 has been postponed to 01. September 2021 after widespread outcry and the threat of a lawsuit against the Government. BUT it doesn’t say yet what the new deadline for the opt out is except “before 01. September”, so I keep the below deadline at 23rd June at the moment.

BBC: “New NHS patient data store delayed by two months.” Link

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People in ENGLAND:

The Guardian, »Your medical records are about to be given away. As GPs, we’re fighting back. GPs in England have been told to hand over all patient data to NHS Digital – potentially to be exploited for corporate profit.«

Link to Guardian article

50+ million people’s medical data are about to be grabbed for a central data base and up for sale to third party for profit companies! All your medical data, sexual issues, mental health issues, any and all personal detail you’ve shared with your GP is up for sale! This is the Tory sh!t we get again! Two years ago they already changed the rules that all of our organs can be harvested when we die. We need to opt out if we don’t want to donate our organs. I am FOR organ donation, but I’m against not being informed or asked!

The Government did this in 2014, but informed the public and gave the option to opt out. Most people opted out, so now they tried to keep it as quiet as possible and rush this through just giving us 6 weeks to 1. know about this and 2. to opt out.

And as we’ve seen how the Tories have handled the pandemic and the constant lies, they WILL sell our data for profit under the disguise of “research”! And some try to make people feel guilty if they don’t give their data for research!

IT’S YOUR MEDICAL DATA! DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU FEEL BAD FOR NOT SHARING YOUR PERSONAL MEDICAL DATA!

And sure, the Government says the data will be anonymous, yet the postcode and other sensitive detail will be added. And anonymity can be reversed. And without getting political here, but after so many lies of the Tory Government, I don’t believe a word they say. And I won’t pressured with handing out my precious data for important research! I don’t trust this Government one bit!

Here is how to opt out of the NHS central data base. Data will be collected from 01. July 2021 and many GPs will try to refuse to hand it out as the Government has been sneaky and not given the public this information and enough time!

On below page of the digital nhs website, scroll to the link “returning this form”

Download, fill in & send to GP by 23.06.

❗️This is the Type 1 opt-out of the upcoming data base❗️

This is THE MOST important document you need to download and hand to your GP!

This form NEEDS to be send/given to your GP by 23. June!

After this deadline people can still opt out, BUT whatever medical records you had before the 23. June will be shared and you cannot retract or get it deleted! So, you MUST opt out by 23. June.

Also, if you are a parent, legal guardian of children, an elderly, disabled, anyone who can’t opt out by themselves, you can opt out for them as well. People can always opt in later if they change their mind, but if you missed the 23. June deadline, you can never get the data back of up to that date, from the time you’re born!

Many watchdog groups etc. have voiced their concern that when the Government (that needs money!) sells our medical data, this can potentially sold to insurance companies. So, if you are buying travel insurance for a trip to America or elsewhere, the insurance comoany can check your medical records and refuse to sell insurance or raise the price depending if you have a healt condition already. Etc. etc. etc. The possibilities for abuse and exploitation is ENDLESS!

On below page of the digital NHS website, scroll to the link “returning this form”

Download, fill in & send to your GP by 23.06. including for your children and/or anyone that you care, like elderly person, demttia patients, people with disability, anyone you are a legal quardian for etc.

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/transparency-notice

Again,

❗️This is the Type 1 opt-out of the upcoming data base❗️

This is THE MOST important document you need to download and hand to your GP by 23. June 2021!

DON’T get confused with the “National opt out” which can be easily done online! You NEED the “Type 1” opt out and give to your GP! I emailed it AND hand it in, double secure!

Pass this info on to as many people as soon as possible! I went to my library and told them, they didn’t even know. I ask if a poster can be put into windows like they do for the settlement scheme for EU citizens.

Yahoo article:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/nhs-data-scrape-opt-out-june-23-deadline-135456270.html?guccounter=2

Keir Starmer & McDowning Street

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Link to The Independent article 2019

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When I look at this photo, I see a man who was a worker for the McLibel case. Keir Starmer worked for free. The longest running libel case in the UK.

I learnt about Keir Starmer in the mid 2000s when I stumbled across the “McLibel” case in a YouTube documentary. He represented two “little” people against the mighty McDonald’s for years as their legal aid. He did it for free.

When I started to write publicly about and against Pret A Manger, I always had this McLibel case in the back of my mind. I started to write in sheer fear but with the knowledge that if Pret was to sue me, people like Keir Starmer fought in European Court that I would have legal aid.

The McLibel Case documentary. A must-watch for anyone who thinks we little people cannot stand up against greedy giants.

It’s important to mention that Ian Hodson with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union have been hugely instrumental in the very first McDonald’s strikes in the UK. Ian stood with just a handful of people outside a McDonald’s years ago. Do not underestimate small beginnings!

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The woman to Keir Starmer’s left in above photo, I happened to have on camera in 2018 at the global fast-food strike in London. She “spoke” the megaphone and is seen here in the shot. Maybe one day Pret A Manger staff are sick and tired enough to stand up as well.

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

The Pano Christou Pret Index

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The above gentleman is Jeffrey Hyman, the original founder of Pret that Pret loves to avoid mentioning.

Here’s my prediction on Pano Christou’s career in Pret:

It is 2021, his mentor Clive Schlee has been guiding him since the sh!t hit the fan.

JAB Holdings will find a new CEO and Pano will coincidentally find another occupation.

And the staff on the front-lines hope to have a company, a CEO who truly cares (but this is fast-food, so don’t get your hopes up!).

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You’ve heard it here first.

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BUT, the above is only if anyone on top levels care.

If they don’t care, Pano Chrsitou stays on, the same old, same old goes on, and Pret remains a mini McDonald’s with a posh front.

That’s it.

P.S. Pano Christou is a little over his head, but mentor Clive Schlee is standing by. If Pano would have started at the bottom of Pret A Manger… This is Pret A Manger with a smile.

I mention all this because I keep seeing increased General Manager reviews and staff contacting me that HQ and the top leadership are “detached” from the business.

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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 Kate Brunner QC

UPFRONT: Someone has hacked into my website and has exchanged screenshots/photos with YouTube videos. I fixed it, but be aware that if something is weird or unusual, it may have been hacked! I check my pages regularly for bugs, faults etc. but if you see something weird, just drop me a line via my contact page. There should only be ONE YouTube video at the bottom of this page named “Worked into the Ground without Empathy at Pret”, but not the whole page full with the video. To any hacker, fuck off my site! I will not be stopped exposing Pret A Manger. Full stop! Waste your time elsewhere!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

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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«

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

Roberto Rodriguez – Pret A Manger Allergen Trial

As Pret got off the hook yet again in the recent allergen trial in Bristol I want to highlight something important regarding training in Pret. I can only urge journalists again to go undercover for a longer time than a week to see for themselves how the training in Pret is really done! This has been my biggest frustration in Pret! I always trained especially new Team Members and was called away from training to go to the till and serve customers!

Shops train staff on their breaks and expect them to read training material in their free time at home or on their much needed breaks! During the shifts, they were expected to only work and serve customers.

I mention this because of what was heard at Bristol Crown Court, quote from the Sky News article:

»The employee – Roberto Rodriguez – failed to check the store’s allergen guide, which would have confirmed the sandwich did contain sesame, Bristol Crown Court heard. Instead, Mr Rodriguez allegedly checked a label on the fridge and told Ms Colnaghi – incorrectly – that sesame was absent.«

And, quote: »Mr Rodriguez looking at the shelf rather than the allergen guide “amounted to an error by the server”, he added.«

Prosecution, quote: »Ms Brunner told jurors that in an account he gave to the company, Mr Rodriguez appeared to believe he was following the company’s procedures during the incident

»But 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.«

Also, quote: »The court heard Mr Rodriguez no longer worked for Pret A Manger, had left the UK, and solicitors had been unable to contact him since 2019.«

“Fully” trained?

Yes, it’s totally understandable that Roberto dived under and cannot be reached! I would have done the same because Pret made him responsible! But here’s the twist, in below interview (player at the very bottom of this page) at 1:13:22 I explain about the lack of training in Pret and that staff have to sign training records every 6 months without being properly trained. It’s a long interview I’ve had in March 2018, but skipping to 1:13:22 I highlight the lack of training and pressure to sign training records.

Staff are pressured to sign even when they’re not trained. Management of course will never openly encourage or admit this pressure, but the Team Member Trainer (TMT) with the blue belt & badge is supposed to train staff and AFTER the training the staff sign the records. But the TMT is also extremely swamped with work and is not given time to PROPERLY train staff. I have worked with many TMTs who had huge benches to do as the Manager cut hours so management and upper management get more bonus every quarter.

The TMT hardly ever was able to fulfill their job description of truly training people except how to quickly make sandwiches in the kitchen. Hence, the TMT feels the pressure to get back into the kitchen, to do their bench as kitchen staff are pressured and penalized when they don’t finish their benches at the strict time that is given. In turn the TMT pressures the staff to sign the training record of over a dozen items every 6 months without them being trained. Pret will never admit to this of course, but this is also systemic in Pret and I will try and find most of the Glassdoor and Indeed reviews on the complaint of lack of training, apart from my own experience throughout ALL of my time in Pret.

One poignant staff review is from a Manager from Edingburgh, but I can absolutely confirm that this happens in London and other locations, I speak from 10 years in Pret! This GM mentions that they are forced to cheat to bring results to the OPs who sits at home and pressures staff. HOW CAN staff be “fully” trained when shops are systematically under-staffed?!

And as I share my own experience of 10 years in Pret, for example on Linkedin, Sterling Crew, Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board who writes favourably about Pret, has blocked me and threatened me. And even other critical voices he just disses and responds that there is the “court of public opinion”. He isn’t willing to 1. democratically discuss issues with people who have different opinions; 2. he silences free speech and 3. he completely ignores my experience on the shop floor in Pret and ALL the evidence I bring. Current and former Pret staff who KNOW Pret are disregarded and looked down upon!

Here’s only one of many reviews that the public ignores:

Link

I only signed items I was trained in and refused to sign the things involving health & safety when I wasn’t trained. I also encouraged my colleagues to NOT sign anything they’re not comfortable with because if they sign while not trained, and something happens, it’s on their heads! So, it’s understandable that Roberto Rodriguez has dived under!

I had an Assistant Manager then “train” me with a horrible, angry attitude because I basically “forced” them to train me as I wouldn’t sign. And needless to say, I was never promoted. When I started at Pret, especially in my early months, I read on everything I could find regarding rules, rights, training material because Pret is VERY complex! Pret has an intranet system they call “Planet Pret”. When I read my employee manual many times I’ve read “… for more information please go to Planet Pret”. So, I did.

As I was very fast in my work and in our teams we worked effortlessly, often finishing the evening shifts at least 15 – 20 minutes before the end of our shift. I took the time to read on things on Planet Pret because I was not explained or trained. So, I trained myself and passed every knowledge on to my colleagues.

I came across a lot of information which was important to me at the time or stumbled on other issues that were just interesting, and some things that helped me years later. One such issue was when I’ve read that only the General Manager (GM) and of course the Maintenance Team were allowed to go on a high ladder to change a light bulb or something like that. Team Members, including Team Leaders were NOT allowed to get up on a high ladder for insurance reasons. We were of course allowed to use small step ladders with no more than 3 or 4 steps to stock up the highest fridge shelf etc. But not high ladders.

One day at 11am when shops are quiet after the coffee rush and before the lunch rush, I came to my shop to start my late shift. I saw a Team Member high on the high ladder fiddling something on the air conditioning on the ceiling. No-one stood by the ladder to hold it! I calmly went to him and asked him if could please come down the ladder. When he was down, I explained to him that he isn’t allowed to be on there that high as he isn’t covered under the insurance, should he fall off and injure himself and at worse become incapable to work. He’d be f****d! He was shocked to hear that and said that the GM asked him to take the air con screen off so he could clean it in the kitchen.

Needless to say, I was never the favourite of that GM. Maybe the GM didn’t know himself, as even GMs are not properly trained! But I also know that GMs at times ask TMs to do dodgy things, so when they get caught, it was the TMs fault! And the TM can never prove that the GM told him to do this or that. But because I had this piece of information I stumbled upon on Planet Pret a while before, I couldn’t just pass by and let the TM be on the ladder! And the Team Members whom I trained regarding the allergen guide behind the counter ALWAYS checked the allergen guide, or often they just passed it on to me. But they knew where to check because I TRAINED them! I am sure that if Roberto Rodriguez was trained in the allergen guide, he would have gotten the file and looked for sesame. Of course I can’t prove that, but from my 10 years in Pret, I can absolutely say that the training is appalling and I myself was often called away from training a colleague so we serve customers while the Manager and Assistant Manager sat in the office.

This is not here and there, this has been for my WHOLE 10 years in shop after shop after shop!

So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roberto Rodriguez was NOT trained properly but made the mistake to bow to pressure and sign training records. Thus, he’s stuck, he can’t honestly say that he was NOT trained because Pret holds up Roberto’s training records which he signed! And he’s also is stuck because he feels ashamed that he signed the training records without being trained. It’s a lose-lose situation for Roberto and a win-win for Pret!

I was strong enough to withstand the bullying and pressure to sign training records without being trained. And I was known for taking health and safety extremely serious, like ALWAYS having fire exits clear and fire extinguisher free of chairs blocking it etc. But most Pret staff are young foreigners, very easily fear managed and they have no idea of the potential consequences.

To Roberto Rodriguez,

should you ever read this, if you have not been trained it was NOT your fault that you didn’t know where to check for the allergen! If you have NOT been trained, the mistake you’ve made was to SIGN that you have been trained!

To all current Pret staff and staff everywhere, do NOT sign training records unless you have been FULLY trained. Full stop! You will get in trouble in subtle ways, you won’t be your Manager’s or Leader’s favourite, but in the long run you are better off! The consequences of signing something that you can not vouch for, can be horrific. You will NEVER be able to prove that you were not trained and that you bowed to pressure to sign. It will be YOUR fault!

To all allergy sufferers and their loved ones, I cannot even begin to imagine the fear and stress you go through every single day when going grocery shopping or treat yourself to a restaurant meal! Food is necessary, it’s not a luxury that you can skip. I am still extremely devastated that two customers have died, several injured and warnings ignored. I am offended that Pret didn’t even inform us. It is a great offense to me personally as a former Team Leader whose job description included health and safety that Pret did not even inform us. There wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more diligent with labelling or allergen. Absolutely nothing! This offends me, because I could have potentially been part also in endangering customers even while I took health and safety very, very seriously!

I write about the labelling mess that truly was all over the place as Ms Brunner told the jury. Please visit: Pret’s Labelling Commitment?

And I also write extensively about the week or two week seminar Pret did in the prestigious Barbican Center the year AFTER Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died, BUT this seminar was NOT about labelling or allergen!
Please visit: Pret A Manger – Kind? Honest? Generous?

And a collection of customer complaints on social media regarding mislabelling that still goes on in 2021:
Vegans and Vegetarians Eat Meat at Pret

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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.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

Pret A Manger Will INDEED Try Anything to Survive

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Link

Link

A brief bullet-point summed up list at the bottom of how Pret is ripping customers off and exploit staff. Detail in the links here. But if people have no time to read at the moment, scroll down to the bottom where the bullet points are.

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UPDATE 05.06.2021

I know that people have a hard time believing that Pret is purposely ripping customers off. Customers can die in Pret. Staff speak out about the systemic bullying in Pret. I’ve written extensively about Pret intense, micromanaging and abusive Mystery Shopper scheme that forces staff to smile and pretend to be happy during extreme stressful and underpaid work conditions. But people still WANT to believe in Pret’s “ethical” facade!

Here is another one of Pret’s scheme. When customers complain about an issue on social media, Pret asks for the customer’s address to send some goodies. Customers quickly give their data to get some cheap sweets in the post.

Now, why has Pret not offered this to all the customers who have the subscription and complained that NO shop makes the expensive frappes and smoothies on the subscription?

Easy answer, because Pret already has your data! Pret “pays” with cheap freebies to get customer data. And most people fall for it!

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Link to Tweet

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I want to add to The New York Times article “Pret will try anything to survive”, in what else Pret is trying to do to survive. Pret has recently received a £185m cash injection from their in tax-haven Luxembourg based owners JAB. And yet, even with this cash injection Pret refuse to pay rent and has at least 6 lawsuits in the U.S. on their neck:

Link

Pret also has done staff cuts and the exploitation is much worse for employees, but is also spilling over to customers.

A list of links, what is shown in the links is what Pret staff leak to me together with increased customer complaints on social media. Click on each link to see the specific issue in which Pret rips customers off and squeezes the life-blood out of low-wage staff to get as much money as possible.

UPDATE 15.06.2021 a NEW thing Pret dishes out now:

  • No plastic cups for iced drinks supposedly due to supplier issues! LOL! Pret always quotes “supplier” issues when lying. So, if customers are lucky to get an iced drink on subscription, or even, worse paying for it (while having subscription but the bogus BS of QR can’t be read bla bla), they now get it in a cheaper and SMALLER paper cup! The plastic cup is 16oz, but the paper cup is 12oz (and the flat white cup 8oz). So, people now get ripped off out of 4oz. Not much, you think?! Well, do the math! Just another way to safe money and keep ripping customers off! I wouldn’t be surprised that shops have plastic cups in the back stock room! 😉

    And Pret has now added a 14oz paper cup, but customers are still cheated out of 2oz. Doesn’t sound much you may say, but it adds up!


    Pret sold 16,500 subscriptions on the FIRST day of the launch back in September 2020! That’s £330,000 in the first day (on the 2nd month after the initial “free” month that many customers aren’t able to cancel!) without even having to deliver a product! That’s JUST the sign-up cash flow without serving a drink. Do a rough calculation of further sales and multiply this by 4oz! You get the idea.

    Also, when products or packaging disappear for a few weeks, they always return smaller or watered down under the “new improved recipe” lie. I wrote a post on Pret’s “supplier issue” excuse when Pret had no chocolate powder in shops for several weeks. One social media person accidentally spilled the truth once after colleagues kept giving the “supplier issue”: The Pret A Manger Hot Chocolate Saga
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Link

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UPDATE 02.07.2021

One Pret social media staff told a different lie before another colleague the next day went back to the “supplier issue” lie:

And then the very next day, back to the “supplier issue” lie:

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  • UPDATE 24.06.2021 Another lie when customers ask why Pret doesn’t do the complimentary butter portions for the bread. What does Covid-19 have to do with not offering complimentary butter portions? And another lie of butter portions “sold”. Sold? Since when did Pret SELL butter portions! They sell the small bread for soups or salads, but the butter always came with it for free. So many lies …


    Link

  • Cutting staff, overworking them, long queues for customers. Cutting hours, benefits, bonus etc. exploiting low-wage staff even more than they already did pre-Pandemic. This in turn endangers customers again with continuing to

  • False advertisement of “endless” or “unlimited” drinks on the coffee subscription while T&C state 5 per day. AND hardly any shop makes the (for Pret) expensive frappes and smoothies on the subscription with a list of excuses.


    Pret made an instant £330,000 in one day, the first day of the subscription without having delivered ANY service. And not only did Pret get cash, they got people’s data.

Link to article

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Link

Link

A small collection of the MANY customer complaints on social media. The slide is just from Twitter, but there is much more on FB, Insta, private DMs to me etc.

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  • Making it hard for customers to cancel the subscription, sending them in loops with all sorts of “technical” glitches. And when customers manage to cancel ON TIME and even receive a confirmation email that it was successfully cancelled, Pret still withdraws money the following month(s) from people’s bank accounts AFTER cancellation.

    Also, customers don’t receive their QR codes, they end up paying for their coffees in-store after having signed up and paid the first £20 for the subscription. And other QR codes and technical issues forcing customers into paying for coffees while having the subscription. Just a few of the almost daily inquiries:

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  • NHS freebies and employee cuts at the same time: On 18. March 2020 before the first lockdown when things with the pandemic was still new and unknown to all of us, Pret made a QUICK and clever PR move by announcing free coffees and 50% rebate on food for all NHS workers. And the very next morning 19. March 2020 CEO Pano Christou sent out an email to all shops and staff announcing cuts in hours which meant in wages. NHS workers were used twofold, as PR and a smokescreen to hide cuts to staff.


  • I was sent Christou’s email on the morning 19.03.2020 and passed it on to the press and social media (full email in above link). After a public outcry, Pret paused their plans for a while, but later started to cut hours as well as making 3000+ redundant. All the while still giving freebies to NHS workers. Low-wage Pret staff in nutshell PAID for the freebies. And only very few NHS workers stood up against this PR stunt. Most enjoyed their freebies and 50% off.

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    etc. etc. etc.

    If I’ve forgotten or am not aware of anything, please let me know via the contact form NOT Twitter or Facebook DM! I don’t get notifications of DM requests and can’t think of checking every day.

    And please support small independent businesses.

    To sum up, the list of how Pret rips off customers:

    • No expensive smoothies and frappes (except cheaper iced drinks) on the subscription with multiple excuses.
    • Iced drinks in cheaper and smaller paper cups IF people are lucky to get an iced drink. They’re getting cheated out of 2oz or 4oz.
    • Expired foods by stretching dates, which is not even legal, but it’s all about not getting caught!
    • Delay in sending the QR code under the excuse of “technical issues”, so customers who give Pret the benefit of the doubt end up PAYING for a coffee, or especially iced drink while already having paid £20 for the subscription!
    • Pret making it hard to cancel the subscription, sending people in a loop. And if people managed to cancel, Pret continues to withdraw money, at times even several months AFTER people have cancelled AND received the confirmation email of the successful cancellation.
    • Now Pret has started to also have technical issues when customer try to START a subscription. But knowing Pret, after all the complaints and my blog, this may be to appear that Pret has general technical issues, even when people try to register the subscription. A clever move!
    • False advertisement of “endless” and “unlimited” drinks on the subscription, while T&C is 5 per day with 30 minute intervals.
    • People having issues in-store that machines can’t read or recognize their QR code, ending up paying AGAIN for a coffee.
    • PR move and smokescreen by giving NHS workers free coffees and 50% rebate on food, and the next day announcing staff cuts. Pret low-wage staff paid for the NHS freebie PR stunt.
    • Cutting staff, cutting labour hours, cutting benefits, bonus, paid break etc. Overworking low-wage staff, who in turn get so exhausted and burnt out that they start snapping and being rude at customers and each other. It’s a lose-lose for customers AND staff, both who pay financially and mentally/physically for Pret’s greed. It’s a win-win for Pret.

    Dear customer and reader, if you really still think all these are just coincidences and technical hick-ups, especially after a current Pret Barista spilled the beans that they are asked to LIE to customers, well, then have a nice day in bliss, because there’s nothing people can tell you, and you need to enjoy getting ripped off while Pret accumulates billions again!

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    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.

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    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.

    Pret A Manger Food is NOT Fresh!

    Upfront: If you DM me on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram etc. please be aware that I don’t get notified! If I don’t respond within a week, try to get my attention again or contact me via my contact form. I am blacklisted on social media, shadow banned, my posts hidden at times etc. I am not notified when I receive a DM request.

    If you don’t hear from me within a week while you see that I am normally tweeting, please know I’m NOT ignoring you! Try to get my attention in a feed or so!

    Although it seems like I’m uber-active still on Pret related issues, I’m actually not anymore. I write the odd blog post and still tweet a bunch but mainly just tweet blog entries that I’ve already written. I am writing other things and am still investigating issues around my brother’s death. I haven’t checked my DMs for a long time as I wasn’t notified of the many DMs I have received since last year! I was scatter-brained and on autopilot again, having cared for my mum most of last year into this. My mum died now, I couldn’t bury her and I am just focused to keep writing. I pretend she is still alive, and that I just haven’t called in a while. And that I just can’t call her again. I hope that the whole world now understands that we ALL will die one day. I’ve spent the most bestest beautiful amazing weird painful awesome last time with my mum during the first and second lock-downs. Dementia is fucker. But time is endless. Take a moment.

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    The following blog posts are important to read:

    I mention these because I was contacted on Twitter with the following, in part, quote:
    “Pret have started keeping their food overnight and selling it the next day. Considering they’ve built their entire brand on the Freshly Made slogan it’s very misleading. They’ve also slowly started removing all the freshly prepared signs from their stores hoping no one finds out.”

    End of quote.

    I have to mention like I did in above “Stretched Dates” post, that in Pret, many Managers and Leaders have always stretched dates, especially during the Christmas period when the depot sent short-dated ingredients to get rid of stock, as the holidays approached and stock was sitting around expiring.

    I won’t bother posting all the Tweets of customers who complain to Pret with and without photos that the bread is stale, or the chicken tastes off etc. Just a few so you won’t need to take my word for it. There has always been date stretching, but since the lock-downs it’s gotten worse. Below Tweets are all from DIFFERENT shops, so this is not just the odd shop here or there, it’s throughout the board. And as a side-note, Pret received a cash injection from owners JAB recently: JAB pumps £185m into Pret via MCA-insight.com

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    A customer who seems to know that I write publicly on Pret issues posted to me on Facebook that Pret’s food isn’t freshly made. I first responded to his fair-trade question that Pret had to remove the word “natural” from signage and packaging, but my post disappeared (either got deleted by FB or hidden, I can’t find it) he responded:

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    Link to FB post. Please click on “View … more replies” to see the post.

    UPDATE: 07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

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    Now THIS is bad, because pickled cornichons and cucumbers take months to mould! This mouldy cornichon hasn’t just gone bad within days, who knows how long it has been sitting in that Pret kitchen fridge! More detail on the times when mould forms, here: Can Pickles Go Bad?

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    Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

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    Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

    Link

    Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

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    Link

    Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

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    Link

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    Stale bread:

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    Some of many staff reviews:

    Link


    Link to General Manager review regarding “cheating” to please OPs Managers pressure.

    Link

    etc. etc. etc.

    For other “gone off” foods, please visit pest infested Pret shops via
    Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice

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    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.

    How to Chase 3 Multimillionaire CEOs off Twitter

    … not imagining he’d just last a little over 1 day!

    Upfront: Don’t try this at home unless you have nothing left to lose.


    This is the short version, the full recipe is scattered throughout this website.

    You need the following:

    • A close family member or friend died, in traumatic circumstances. You learnt of the death in the worst way possible, preferably in an ice-cold impersonal email while you were alone in the morning. What would make your anger and trauma a bit worse is that your close family member or friend has already been cremated before you even knew they died.
    • You work in a company that targets you from the get go and tries to get rid of you because bereaved employees are an inconvenience to the company, especially if it’s a fast-food and low-wage employer. You have no choice but to work as you have lost the little savings you had with all the costs that came up and with no financial support whatsoever. You try to distract yourself from the emotional war-zone you were thrust into.
    • You raise grievance after grievance in utter trauma and anxiety, not realizing that the HR department is in on the bullying and is as toxic as their unlabelled allergen products.
    • After a year of unsuccessfully trying to get help with this HR department, you contact the CEO of the company, also not realizing he is the catalyst for this toxic environment. But as his camouflage is to present the firm as an ethical, happy and caring company Ronald McDonald style. So, the “pret-ense” begins (sorry, couldn’t help it!). They start paying for therapy sessions to appear supportive, but the bullying continues and turns very subtle compared to the open aggression before. The CEO is stuck with continuing to play this game to hold up the PR[et] facade. He puts the Head of HR on your case who offers you three Non Disclosure Agreements, which you decline. You decline a forth NDA after you withdraw the Tribunal claim as your dad died during the preparation for the case.
    • You can’t afford a lawyer. You break down after having lost your brother, your father, your job that wasn’t worth your time anyway. And you lost your sense of self-worth after being gaslit, manipulated and bullied by multi-millionaires. You have completely lost your marbles but not your sense for right and wrong. The adrenaline of your anger keeps you going!
    • The losses and what the company does to you is stuff for a shooting spree after having lost your marbles, but you go on an emailing spree instead. You take the patronizing name that the coward CEO labelled you with and put a “dot org” behind it, and you start writing. As this coward CEO prefers to label you his “late night girl” instead of labelling his food to save a life, you also post on social media and copy in any journalist you can find. You get reported to the social media platforms, you get censored, shadow banned, blocked, shut down by platforms. You also get cussed out, laughed at, called names by loyal customers … because the company has no balls to confront you or put right what they’ve done. Loyal customers, who hate having their illusions crushed about this company, and mainstream journalists who suck up to the company are bystanders. They’re indifferent towards fast-food workers and are NOT independent journalists. They make free advertisement for this company as their judgement is blurred at best and corrupt at worst.

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    So, here’s my “How To Card” for Pret’s #RecipeBook on how to chase 3 multi-millionaire coward CEOs off Twitter.

    1. The Clown Who Came From McDonald’s

    On 01. July 2019 in the early hours I tweeted to the press that Clive Schlee, then CEO of Pret, was “retiring”. As Schlee couldn’t be bothered to announce this himself but suffers from foot-in-mouth disease, I did him the favour to announce it for him. Schlee was congratulated to his retirement by someone on Twitter and he responded to the Tweet while neglecting to respond to a serious health and safety concern by a customer who tweeted to Schlee TWICE.

    Customer Tweets to Schlee on 29. June 2019:
    (Schlee responded AFTER I tweeted to the press forcing Pret to announce Schlee’s “retirement”)

    More on air-conditioning issues that’s been going on for years in this post: Pret A Manger Overheated Shops

    Then the Tweet congratulating Schlee to his retirement and Schlee’s response. And no, Schlee’s Twitter wasn’t busy, he wasn’t flooded with Tweets that he could have missed TWO customer Tweets from the day before:

    .

    .

    And then I thought I’d offer my services for free again and announce his retirement to the press so he doesn’t need to sweat and work so hard himself:

    .

    The press then started tweeting this “news” after first confirming with Pret’s HQ, and after that Pret and Schlee made their official announcement themselves. I also wrote blog posts about Schlee’s “retirement” that day (while he started to hide as Non-Executive Director behind the scenes) and linked to UK Managing Director turned COO Pano Christou’s Twitter handle. The COO role did not exist before the Pret scandals and JAB took over. And it doesn’t exist now. It was just a stepping stone for Christou to become CEO. As Pret read my blog, that day on 01. July 2021 Christou deleted his Twitter account and retrieved to Linkedin.

    But I had the honour that he blocked me before he ran off. I like it when these people block me because that way I can see that they’re read my Tweets/Blog! As I am blacklisted on social media and on Twitter at times shadow banned (censored, Tweets hidden) I can sometimes not tell if people got my Tweets, but when someone blocks me, I KNOW they’ve read my stuff! 😀

    Clive Schlee didn’t and Pret doesn’t block me as I’m sure they want to collect any evidence should I raise a Tribunal claim again which can be done within 3 years and which was granted to me by the first preliminary Judge, or should Pret sue me. Be my guest!

    .

    .

    On July 1st 2019 Pret’s Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account and a few weeks later another “Pano Christou” from Canada took that handle.

    .

    2. Clive Schlee – The Friendly “Ronald McDonald” of Pret A Manger

    After confronting him on Twitter and all the shadow bans that didn’t work, I continued my “late night girl” shifts. On a side note, his £1000 announcement to all staff came on the day he found out about the “dot org” I’ve put behind his patronizing label. Clive Schlee’s Twitter account was shut down in July 2020. I don’t know the exact July date, but days before the 7th July 2020 his account was still there, I checked regularly as customers kept tweeting to him with questions, unaware he isn’t the CEO anymore. He still had the CEO “label” on his account while Christou was already CEO since September 2019. Clive Schlee also prematurely let Pano Christou take over Glassdoor Reviews as CEO in July 2019 while Christou wasn’t CEO yet, after a customer pointed out on Twitter of Schlee’s poor ratings on Glassdoor.

    Yes, that’s Pret, very consistently blaming downwards and letting the lower position of COO take responsibility and play CEO on Glassdoor. 😀

    .

    30. June 2019 a day before “retirement” announcement:

    .

    12. July 2019 Pano Christou already placed on Glassdoor even while not officially CEO yet:

    .

    July 2020:

    .

    3. The Third Clown – Co-(re)-founder of Pret A Manger, founder and CEO of itsu: Julian Metcalfe who’s foot-in-mouth disease is even worse than his buddy Clive Schlee’s!

    This gives me the greatest pleasure to have chased a net worth £215million CEO off Twitter who doesn’t blink twice in wanting thousands to die so he can keep accumulating his Millions.

    I just let my YouTube slide do the explaining and bask in my Schadenfreude! Get the popcorn out, put the kettle on and enjoy! And never forget you have a VOICE to speak and see that these millionaires are just people who let their entitlement get the better of them, and in time always show their rotten core. And the only difference between you and them is that their toilet paper is just a little more expensive than yours!

    »And when your sun goes down you’ll know,
    you’re like everybody else you know.« – Whitey

    .

    .


    .

    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.

    And ANOTHER LAWSUIT against Pret A Manger

    »Pret can’t dodge biometric privacy lawsuit over employee fingerprint scans«

    »Pret A Manger must face a proposed class action over alleged unlawful collection and retention of employees’ biometric data«

    Link to Reuters article

    “The lawsuit was filed in November 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court by attorneys Keith J. Keogh and Gregg M. Barbakoff, of Keogh Law Ltd., of Chicago. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of named plaintiff Kayla Quarles, identified as a former Pret A Manger employee, who worked at one of the chain’s Chicago locations for about a year, ending in 2019.

    The lawsuit seeks to expand the action to include virtually all Pret A Manger employees who worked at its Chicago restaurants in the past five years.

    The class action asserts Pret A Manger improperly required its workers to scan their fingerprints when punching in and out of work shifts. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Pret A Manger of failing to secure written authorization from the workers before requiring such fingerprint scans, and of failing to provide workers and the public with certain notices required by the law, explaining why Pret A Manger was requiring the fingerprint scans, and what it would do with the scanned biometric identification data.”

    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.

    .
    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.

    Pret A Manger: Ready to Cheat – Eat – Repeat

    Alright.

    Here’s a labeling issue and Pret’s passive aggressiveness!

    Remember when you were a kid and your mum or dad caught you doing sh!t?

    And they reprimanded you?

    And what did you do?

    You sulked or threw a fit!

    Of course you did!

    The following is a fit that Pret A Manger threw and this is verbatim.

    I’m sure I missed a thing or two!

    And all so very “natural”! If anyone has NOT yet noticed that the word “natural” has disappeared off Pret’s signage and packaging, I explain why here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat

    And now: PLEASE READ THE LABEL! I have written it down below:

    .

    Link

    .

    TEXT:

    »Has anyone tried the new @Pret Meatless Meatball hot wrap yet? The best part of this was that it’s soy, mushroom, aubergine and courgette free«

    No, I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read the label that you posted, and it’s full of repeats.

    And wheat!

    “Wheat” which is in bold, like someone copied ingredients of the Internet looking for gluten-free ingredients!

    Hey Pret A Manger, when, when, when, I repeat, WHEN will you care for others than just for yourselves?

    The Ingredients:

    Water

    Pea Protein

    Rapeseed Oil

    Roasted Onion

    Thyme

    Shea Oil

    Garlic

    Parsley

    (so far so good)

    THICKENER:

    Methyl Celliulose

    Dried Onion

    Coconut Oil

    Pea Fibre

    Potato Starch

    Salt

    Yeast Extract

    Flavouring

    Caramelised Carrot Concentrate

    Dried Potato

    Extracts (Beetroot, Raddish, Tomato)

    Sunflower Oil

    Sugar

    Leek Powder

    Concentrated Lemon Juice

    Bay Leaf

    Sage Oil

    Kibbled Rye Wrap

    (Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin)

    The above is verbatim incl. the messed up ( ( )

    Water (again)

    Malted Rye Flakes

    Rapeseed Oil (AGAIN!)

    Humectant

    Glycerl

    Raisin Agents

    Diphosphates

    Sodium Bicarbonate

    Dried Fermented Wheat Flour

    Emulsifier

    Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids,

    Salt (AGAIN!)

    Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Wheat Starch; Flour Treatment Agent:L-Cysteine)

    Above is verbatim (Again!)

    Bell Pepper

    Red Onion

    Onion

    Cherry Tomato

    Semi-Dried Red Pepper

    Rapeseed Oil (AGAIN!!!)

    Muscovado Sugar

    Tomato Concentrate

    Red Wine Vinegar

    Sunflower Oil (AGAIN!)

    Chipotle Pepper

    Water (AGAIN!)

    Palm Oil (Oh sh!t)

    Tomato Paste

    Wheat Flour (AGAIN Again again aaaagain!!!)

    Salt (Ay-Gain!)

    Maize Starch

    Garlic (AGAIN!)

    Sugar (Yeah honey baby, again!)

    Concentrated Lemon Juice (Yawn!)

    Vinegar (NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!!)

    Dried Garlic (We love repeats!)

    Dried Herbs (YAY! Bingo! First ime!!!)

    Black Pepper (I love black pepper on hot chocolate! Beautiful 🙂 )

    THICKENER: Xanthan Gum

    Flavouring, Cayenne Pepper, Basil Flavouring, Squatty Potty (I added the last one 😉 )

    .


    .

    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.

    NEW Trial against Pret A Manger

    This trial was already announced in January 2020 by the Daily Mail and is in full swing now.

    Today’s news via the BBC: “Pret customer had severe allergic reaction, trial hears

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-56895914

    .

    Some of the other trials regarding allergy reactions:

    Pret A Manger Face Another Trial

    .

    Apology to All Whom I’ve Hurt and Offended

    Dear Reader,

    this is an attempt to apologize to anyone I have hurt with my words in writing, on social media, text, email …

    I apologized before individually. And I mean it.

    I feel like it’s a sorry excuse to blame alcohol and trauma and loss. But that is all that “drove” me to lash out in words, in writings. I have never been like this before my brother died, how I learnt of his death, the surrounding circumstances and all the sh!t that went down with Pret on top of it, with their offense at the end of Lila Warren gaslighting me.

    It is not an excuse. I cannot explain the pain, anger and the sheer feeling of being lost, falling into a bottomless pit that never stops. I was at times completely out of my mind, drunk and not drunk. I was “screaming” out in pain and I had no tools to be less loud and offensive and hurtful. I pushed people away in this pain and fear of getting hurt. I couldn’t discern who was a “good” person, and who meant harm. I used a broad-brush and went on a “shooting-spree” with emails and posts. I am still on a waiting list for therapy.

    My aiming at the “enemy” (Pret) caused a lot of collateral damage and friendly fire. I am sorry and can only say that I never meant to hurt anyone, especially those who reached out. It took me 3 years now to write Pret A Manger out of my system. I had to do it. I have no regret whatsoever having written about and to Pret. But I have many regrets having hurt anyone who is not involved with what Pret has done. To all of you, I will forever be sorry and regretful.

    Many people do not accept my apology, because I kept lashing out again, apologizing again, lashing out again, apologizing again. And I understand. I would do the same. I appreciate the consequences, and I hope I grow and learn from all the things I’ve done and all that happened. I am still coming to terms about my brother’s death and am still in communication with those who were involved in dealing with his death. My family is gone with my mum’s death last month. I couldn’t even bury her. I am glad I was able to spent the first and lock-down with her and then just before second lock-down. The first lock-down when she was still at home. I booked a flight and hotel just before second lock-down but had to cancel as the UK and then Germany announced the second lock-down and hotels shut down. For the first time in my life I can’t face anyone dying. I pretend she’s still alive because I can’t handle any more. I have to redefine life and my own “existence” again.

    I am grateful for having “met” everyone, online and off, whom I came in contact with.

    All I can ask for is forgiveness and keep blocking me.

    Thank you for all the kind and encouraging words, your patience, your honesty.

    P.

    Dear George Floyd

    I hope this day will be first day of many, many days.

    .

    .

    Screw the moon landing!

    Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton present. The old guard having lived one small step by step with Dr. Martin Luther King & many others … a small step for a man and a woman, and now a giant leap for mankind? Hopefully! Could this NOT just be a rare conviction and judgement, could this be reality for good?

    One down. How many to go? …

    .

    .

    BLM Demo in London June 2020:

    Mayor: »I’m proud Lewisham is Pret-free«

    Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan:
    »I’m proud Lewisham is a Pret-free borough.«

    .

    By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

    »Lewisham is planning to launch a yearly count of Black, Asian and minority ethnic-owned and independent businesses.

    In his speech to the council’s AGM on Wednesday, Mayor Damien Egan set out plans for the annual survey, expected to run for 20 years.

    The move aims to protect Lewisham’s independent businesses “from the increase of chain businesses coming into the borough,” and the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

    The council hopes the survey will give “a valuable insight into the diversity of business owners”.

    Mayor Egan told the AGM: “I am proud that we’re a Pret-free borough. I’m so thankful that so many of those bland and sterile high street chains that make up too much of the capital have largely passed us by. …«

    Full article from July 2020 on LondonNewsOnline.co.uk

    .


    .

    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.

    Virus outbreak closes Pret A Manger in Norwich

    Link to Article

    I’m always contacted by frustrated Pret staff about issues I write about that they can relate to on what’s happening behind the scenes. Recent complaints are that staff get fired when they call sick more often, or they have to continue to work even while having Covid symptoms (fever, coughing etc.)

    Some recent staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed where staff have the courage to speak out freely in anonymity. I marked some in the screenshot.

    Quote: »…they say they care but they really don’t as workers forced to come to work even if they show symptoms as their jobs are on the line as apparently u can’t be sick for more 7 days a year in total or face being sacked !!«

    Link

    »Unsafe against COVID«

    Link

    Quote: »… if you’re sick you basically have to still come in, to prove you’re sick or get fired.«

    Link

    etc. etc. etc.

    One recent email by a current Pret front-line shop staff about the exploitation in Pret, and how difficult it is for employees to find new work during these times. Staff feel stuck, especially those who have kids to feed. Excerpt in orange, full email in the link below:

    Full email: »Pret don’t care about anyone«

    .


    .

    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.

    Anger Management Classes for Bereaved People

    When I learnt that my brother died and was cremated already without our knowledge that he died 5 weeks before we found out, I went into a horrific state of shock and at the same time auto-pilot. I am still now 5+ years later contacting the German police and court system to get an apology and changes in the system. The president of the court in the city where my brother lived and died has semi-apologized after 2 years of me writing to the police and court. The court that appointed a person to look after the estate of my brother as they supposedly couldn’t find next of kin in an efficient country like Germany, where my mother lived at the same address for over 30 years about 50 miles from where my brother lived. And Germany having an efficient and mandatory ID system, the police couldn’t find us? If the police want to find people they will! EVERYONE is registered! The court president responded in that she finds bringing the news of someone’s passing via an email is “obscene”. But nothing more is done to tackle this issue. And I keep contacting them and now seek ways to find a lawyer to help me!

    On top of this, very soon in the early weeks of grief I was targeted and bullied at Pret, which if I wouldn’t have been through this, I would not believe this can even happen!

    For new readers, my story is scattered throughout this blog, but easiest to find on the home page or the very bottom of this page in the audio player.

    Not only does the bullying situation at Pret seem so unbelievable, I’ve never thought that 5+ years later I’d still be fighting to get adequate help via the NHS mental health service.

    My ordeal through the NHS system, into which I have paid my share for 20+ years, is a book in itself. And maybe due to age and years of trauma am I coming to the conclusion that we live in class systems that I never before realized so clearly.

    After I learnt that my brother died, was cremated and all the surrounding disturbing information and lack of answers and support, having received the news via an ice cold email that reads like a shopping list, his urn sent via postal service, something that’s supposed to be normal in Germany and other countries … I went into extreme places where I went on an emailing spree that I still struggle with today.

    All the sh!t that then happened like a Domino effect, losing friends early on, the bullying in Pret, 3 years later my father dying, now my mother having died, all the other traumas that latched itself on to the catalyst of my brother’s death … could and should have turned me to go on shooting spree 10 times over.

    I went on an emailing spree and after initial undeserved loss of support, I made sure I now DESERVE to lose support and friends.

    But the ONLY support I kept fighting for was to get help from NHS professional therapy because they are NOT friends and close to me. They are paid strangers who supposed to “know” how to navigate through the minefield of trauma and grief. Well, that’s utopia as I am still experiencing the REALITY of the lack of NHS mental health services.

    I received counselling sessions relatively fast, a few months after I got the news of my brother’s death. It was a trainee counsellor who used to be a business man turned therapist who after a few sessions started to talk about himself, which always puts on red flags for me.

    Most therapy or counselling is limited to 6 sessions under the NHS mental health system. I paid out of my own pocket to go to bereavement charities which also is limited to mostly 6 sessions, sometimes more. And now with the coronavirus deaths, any and all health systems and charities are at breaking point. But I took everything and anything the NHS offered me. If the NHS would have sent me to cooking classes, I would have gone! I was in an extreme traumatic state and like a zombie walking through an emotional war zone! The inner storm was immense, unbearable and indescribable. And when you then lose support from friends EARLY on, the trauma is magnified and hopelessness coupled with anxiety becomes your constant companion.

    I had one charity bereavement counsellor fall asleep by the clock every week as she seemed to have gone through menopause. This was one of the private sessions I paid for. She started off sitting with a poncho wrapped around her shoulders as she was freezing, and then by the clock 20 minutes into the session took off the poncho and started to sweat profusely and then nodding off as I waffled away about a dead brother and a bullying company … E.V.E.V.E.R.Y week her eye lids became heavy around 20 minutes in! I could have set my clock to it and should have left no later then after the third week. I had no problem with her going through menopause, but it was unacceptable that she didn’t do anything about it, like having a glass of ice water and a fan nearby. I wanted to go over and slap her awake!

    I waffled on and then stopped the sessions after a few weeks. It was a waste of money and time. In those days I was too polite. Now I would not accept things like this beyond 2 sessions.

    Then when I contacted the former CEO of Pret A Manger, Clive Schlee, after I tried for around a year to approach Pret’s HR to stop the bullying by an area manager not realizing at the time how much HR was involved, Pret then paid for a few sessions of private counselling to appear supportive. Yet, the bullying and targeting at work continued which is another book and my whole website is “dedicated” to this vile company that portrays itself to be ethical and caring, while having ignored multiple customer warnings that led to 2 people having died, at least one as a direct result of having ignored warnings to label their products for allergen.

    At one point the NHS sent me to three anger management group sessions during the first year of bereavement and being bullied on top of it.

    I came around in circles, started from scratch and hardly anyone touched the subject of trauma and bereavement, let alone traumatic bereavement.

    Fast forward 5+ years, my family gone, friends gone, work gone and me pushing support away completely traumatized, EXCEPT support from the NHS and charity, I raised a complaint because 2 Psychiatrists since over a year now keep working on me to avoid getting trauma therapy.

    They downplayed the bullying at Pret, they downplayed my loss, they (victim) blamed me after I successfully raised a complaint after they did NOT tell us during introductory “MBT” therapy that the main sessions will be video recorded. In a nutshell, in December 2017 and January 2018 I had assessments for therapy. I was offered TWO types of group therapy. One, a general therapy that would go for 24 months starting in the fall of 2018. The other a new form of therapy called Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) which would go for 18 months and also start in the fall of 2018.

    We looked at both and I ended up choosing MBT. The reason was because it seemed like a very structured therapy form while the general group therapy was just people meeting and talking. It lacked structure and a goal compared to MBT. What made me also choose MBT was that it was a group session once a week with two therapists AND a single therapy session once a week! So, two sessions per week for 18 months!

    I felt I’ve won the lottery after waiting for years for long-term help and counselling that was not appropriate for my traumas. Workplace bullying in itself is extremely traumatizing. And maybe one reason I survived was that I was running on “adrenaline” from the horrific loss of my brother and the search to find out what happened. What I didn’t know was that the Psychologist who held the MBT introductory group sessions with a Psychiatrist in the meetings, was in training with the Psychiatrist being the supervisor who was mostly silently observing and rarely spoke. And we in the group were like guinea pigs, as this is still a relatively new form of therapy.

    So, in the fall of 2018 twelve INTRODUCTORY group sessions started to introduce us group to this therapy. Then after the 12 weeks, there would be a few months break and then the MAIN 18 months group AND individual weekly sessions would start. In the 12 weeks introductory sessions we were NOT allowed to speak about our issues, traumas etc. Only when the 18 months weekly sessions start were we allowed to speak about personal issues. We were also advised not to speak in private outside of group sessions, supposedly to avoid having mental health issues when influencing each other with our issues. But my alarm bells always go off when I am told to not speak with others outside a setting. Later I had a hunch that they did not want us to share any doubts and influence each other should things be fishy. The 12 weeks were purely about MBT itself and how we would feel about it. That was already hard to again not speak about my brother or the Pret sh!t, but again I gave it all the benefit of the doubt, having been glad to have been “picked” for this therapy that felt like a lottery win after all the wait and ineffective or wrong forms of therapy that NEVER touched my trauma and bereavement!

    Then, after 6 weeks of the intro sessions, the Psychologist dropped a bomb half-way through the session and first asked us all to share each how we felt with this therapy so far. Basically, she was taking stock to see how we’re feeling with this. And then after we took rounds and shared each how we felt, she said in these words that I will never forget: “Something else I need to stress is that the main 18 months group and individual sessions will be video recorded.”

    It was a complete matter-of-fact sentence that she felt she had to “stress” after a year waiting and 6 weeks intro sessions! Our jaws dropped. For several reasons did a shock wave go through the room. One is, most of us had the initial assessments ONE YEAR prior and we waited a whole year until the 12 week intro sessions started. We were NEVER told this in our assessment to then be able to make informed decisions. It felt like they purposely withheld this information to get us “groomed” for this therapy where it then would be hard to decline as we already started and were 6 weeks in.

    The other thing was, they NEVER told us that we can decline, that they cannot force us to consent to recording. We were just given some vague info that the recordings would be deleted after a few weeks and that they just want to go frame by frame in what we were and were not saying etc. By withholding vital information they made us believe that we have to make a choice: either give consent to video recording or having to leave this therapy opportunity. I learnt later that I could have stayed on and decline to be video recorded! But they left us in the air about a lot of this info.

    Someone in the group made a great point. We were explained that MBT is mainly about NOT assuming what the other person is saying, but to inquire before we jump to conclusions and pre-judge a situation. And yet, one client pointed out that looking frame by frame at our video to see what we are “not” saying is exactly doing what MBT is trying to teach us not to do: judge a situation, pre-judge and making assumptions! The 2 therapists didn’t quite have an answer for that brilliant point! I only realized later that we were like guinea pigs for the psychologist to be trained! If they would have laid out ALL the info from the first assessment on, it wouldn’t have been an issue and I could have either not partaken in MBT or with the CORRECT information could have declined to be video recorded! But they withheld these pieces of information for a reason! And it seemed like, yeah, the NHS is giving us long-term 18 months group AND individual therapy per week, oh how generous!!! But they failed to mention that in exchange we should consent to be video recorded during extremely vulnerable and personal time during therapy, sharing our most personal issues!

    Nothing, absolutely NOTHING is ever for free! And if it is, they’re not telling the full information. This is FOR the NHS training, NOT for us as clients. The NHS gives us “free” therapy (which we paid already for via our taxes!), and in exchange we strip our souls naked in front of a camera! Therapy porn at its best! Forget Dr. Phil!

    The lottery win turned into a feeling of being in great debt!

    I and another guy got up and left! I raised a formal complaint with the NHS that was fully upheld! Months later I bumped into one from the group and he said that the group sessions are NOT video recorded as even just one person didn’t give consent. But individual sessions are recorded if the individual client gave permission.

    A recent Psychiatrist (I call him Dr. Gaslighter here) avoided tooth and nails to diagnose me, even though that was the agenda set forth by another Psychiatrist (I call her Dr. Devil’s Advocate here) whose email I quote below after I started raising a new formal complaint. The lead Psychiatrist over the MBT video issue (I call him Dr. Did Little here) was pissed off with me when he met with me to look at other therapy options after the video blunder. He first tried to discourage me to be put on yet another long waiting list and patronized me with one of two options: Either be on a long waiting list for therapy or volunteer in a hospital and if I had a mental crisis I could reach out to a professional there! I couldn’t believe it! I said, even if I have to wait 10 years, I would like to be put on a waiting list! He then agreed that I would be on a new waiting list for alternative options. Yet, 2 years later, I’m still waiting and just found out that he never has put me on a new waiting list! I feel penalized because I successfully raised a formal complaint with the NHS. Of course they deny that this is retaliation because I ruined Dr. Did Little’s video project!

    So, the new Psychiatrist Dr. Gaslighter found reason after reason, excuse after excuse why a diagnosis isn’t a good idea. He told me that the previous mental health team (above MBT therapists and lead therapist over this team in my area of residence) that withheld the vital information on video recording, may not give me “another chance” (in a new therapy). I told him and in a new complaint that it is not I who needs another chance from that team, but it is them who get another chance from me! The gaslighting and manipulation by professional NHS doctors is beyond believe!

    And the only positive I take away from the horrific bullying I experienced in Pret during the WORST time of my life is that I can smell horse sh!t miles away now and call it out for what it is! Gaslighting me to make me believe I don’t really have issues except how I relate to others? Yeah, good one!

    And then I came across two videos on YouTube while searching if I am crazy again for thinking that after years there’s still no adequate help, on the verge to buy the BS that maybe I am too sensitive! One video is by a client of the NHS who shares that the NHS mental health care does not exist. The other is by a Psychotherapist who is gobsmacked that the NHS REFUSES to diagnose trauma and the BS they give him. Both videos absolute worth watching. Both people share what I myself am going through since 5+ years.

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    Client: Who lost his young son and other bereavement.

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    Psychotherapist: One needs a little patience at the beginning to watch his video as he is a little “slow” in sharing, but it’s absolutely worth the 15 minutes!!!

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    He asks why the NHS refuses to diagnose trauma. I think it’s clear, innit?! It’s ALL about money of course. If trauma is the basis of a diagnosis, trauma therapy costs too much and takes too long. So, they diagnose all sorts of things, diagnosing “around the bush” and providing mainly 6 session therapies that never go to the core of the trauma and as this Psychotherapist then says that people are dying a slow death. The biggest cause of death in men in their 40s in the UK is suicide!

    And then, like in my case, they victim blame the patient why no therapy is bearing fruit. Dr. Did Little blamed me, and I was in shock at the time, but now understand that this is just another system again that only looks at the financial side of services given under a Government that has made cuts for a decade. They take my money for 20+ years and then try very hard to not deliver life saving and life changing services when needed.

    .

    Many people say to me after my ill emailing, lashing out, flipping out, pushing friends and strangers away (except NHS), often in a degrading way, “my, you have issues, you need help…” or “Have you ever considered getting help?” … And they never ask this out of true concern, and many who do not know the NHS mental health system don’t understand how difficult it is to get adequate help. So, I am again in the middle of a formal complaint after appointments were not kept or they tried to talk me out of a diagnosis, or they blamed me that this or that therapy didn’t work for me and that it seems to be MY fault. The worst thing is that they use and instrumentalize my NHS file against me in a very manipulative way, which I added to my complaint and that I don’t want any and all NHS staff to just access my file like a tabloid paper to then use against me!

    One Psychiatrist (Dr. Devil’s Advocate) with whom I am now STILL in communication as she’s trying to find the “right” therapy asked me in the first assessment in what way I was bullied at work during bereavement, I gave her the different scenarios and explained the various types of bullying, from right out being shouted at to the subtle ways that I explain in the audio interview at the very bottom of this page here. I gave her examples and shared that I’ve been through the whole pallet of bullying one can experience. And then she said, “I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment here and want to ask if you are not seeing this as too sensitive?” She really asked me if I may be too sensitive about the bullying DURING bereavement, let alone bullying on its own being a traumatic event! Another gaslighting attempt. That was over a year ago when I started mentioning that I will raise another complaint, that I believe that I suffer from PTSD that they REFUSE to even look at the possibility.

    I later responded with an email and wrote, “While you as a Psychiatrist want to play devil’s advocate, let me play Psychiatrist and give you the symptoms of PTSD and which ones fit in my situation like a glove on my hand! And only because of the new complaint now, they reluctantly admit that I have “some” trauma and what the way forward could be.

    And now, I received a new email and responded to it today. Email from the Psychiatrist aka Devil’s Advocate last week. And this Psychiatrist kept missing getting back to me when she said she would on several occasions and also took weeks to speak to a Psychologist. Quote of part of her email, some sentences I deleted for personal reasons:

    “Dear XXXXX,

    My apologies that it gets so late to write to you. I had to attend some unplanned managerial work earlier today, so my plan was disrupted.

    I asked a co-lead of our psychology and psychotherapy service to consider how to get you access therapy that will put a focus on trauma related issues as well as …. I gave her a summary of what I already discussed with you. She also accessed your notes (just enough to form her initial recommendations).

    Below is my summary of her suggestions:

    • She sees impact/consequences of trauma in your presentations.
    • She thinks pitching therapy like a journey of stages might be more helpful for you than a service for a single therapy.
    • She thinks you would benefit from skill-based therapy interventions as a first step of therapeutic journey, rather than seeking/waiting for a complex trauma work.
    • There are a few options of skill-base therapy groups starting soon and you might wish to consider joining one of them.

    So, she is suggesting for you to start some skill-base group therapy, and move on to more complex trauma work when you are ready for trauma processing with newly gained or redeveloped skills to feel more regulated.

    It is not our intention to keep you away from a trauma focussed therapy. It is good for you to start something small but helpful sooner rather than later, and you can move to your next step of therapy.

    I can obtain more details of available groups from her and pass them to you, so that you can consider and tell us your preference. Alternatively, I can arrange a meeting/call with her (with or without me), so that you can ask questions and get answers more quickly.

    I am aware that you prefer written communication, but on this occasion, I would recommend considering speaking to her. I spoke to her before I learned about your mother’s passing. She may need to know a bit more about how you are dealing with the loss (as an acute traumatic event) to recommend specific group and/or start time.

    Please let me know what you think and how you want this to move on.

    Best wishes,

    Devil’s Advocate

    .

    Sounds great you may think! But they’ve been promising me to look at trauma since over a year. And “when you are ready for trauma processing with newly gained or redeveloped skills to feel more regulated ” … To feel more “regulated” what the fudge cake does THAT mean?! Speaking in riddles, giving all the options to AGAIN avoid putting me on a waiting list for trauma therapy!

    I am being suggested to join some new group thing to learn some “skill” until I am “ready” for trauma therapy. And this means AGAIN, I will wait another year or two or more, and then they find new excuses as to why I’m not “ready” for trauma therapy! Back to square one. I’ve heard ALL the excuses in the book: NHS cuts, the Pandemic makes waiting longer as if I haven’t been waiting before the Pandemic already! Now I have to learn new skills before I’m ready. Etc. etc. etc.

    This Psychiatrist uses words that are dead give-aways they again bullsh!t me. And it took her several weeks to speak to this Psychologist while updating me every week. Words like: “pitching therapy” as if to “sell” the Psychologist team that I may really need trauma therapy. Or “rather than seeking/waiting for a complex trauma work”. Rather than seeking … and … rather than seeking “complex … work” making me fear the complexity and that it will take work! Of course any type of therapy isn’t a walk in the park. And for the NHS it certainly COSTS money! So, how should she “pitch” now to ME that I should NOT get trauma therapy!

    And keep in mind, I haven’t even STILL been diagnosed! I was only told that I “meet criteria for PTSD” and then endless “but, however, yet” … from Psychiartrist Dr. Gaslighter who was tasked by Dr. Devil’s Advocate after I started raising a new complaint to do a diagnosis. He gave reason after reason why a diagnosis isn’t a good idea!

    His BS didn’t work. So, back to Dr. Devil’s Advocate and new reasons why I am now not ready for trauma therapy. And so the NHS saga continues and is now turning into a case study on what length NHS professionals go to, to avoid getting people adequate help.

    I responded already and explained that I have had friendships and relationships for years, some dating back 20, 30 years. And when my brother died, I lost friend after friend, opportunities, work etc. Today I wrote a new response and copied in the case worker (advocate) from POhWER who is helping me with the formal complaint. After I kept waiting, taking their “reasons” and excuses for months and years, my response today in a nutshell is saying ENOUGH of the bullsh!t.

    My email, Quote:

    “If you fractured your leg in several places in complex breaks, in a terrible accident, and you go to A&E, the doctor will not tell you that the NHS isn’t properly funded, that you need to first go to Physiotherapy to learn how to walk before they do the complex work on putting the leg back together.

    You can’t relate to others because you are in so much pain, unable to walk and your doctor expects you to re-learn the skill to walk again before they put your leg into a cast or operate on the complex fracture. They may give you pain killers, but the medication just works for a while. The leg is still broken. and medication will not fix the fracture. You are supposed to learn how to walk on a broken leg before they put it in a cast or operate on the fracture.

    This is exactly what you are doing to me! You want to avoid that you have to explain (pitch) why the NHS needs to fund trauma therapy after I paid for over 20 years into the system without ever having to need anything from that system.

    So, you downplay my “complex” trauma and divert to “therapies” that won’t address my trauma. I am supposed to learn some “skill” in how I relate to others while my trauma is AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN NOT addressed and worked towards healing.

    I was sent to “anger management” sessions within months after I learnt that my brother died, was cremated and completely GONE, I was supposed to learn how to “control” my anger WHILE I was in horrific grief and being bullied at work!

    I was sent around in circles because in this country MONEY is ALWAYS more important than getting people better!

    I walk around with a fracture, in constant pain and being send around in circles, lied to, excuses given, appointments not kept etc. etc.

    I am supposed to learn skills and am supposed to buy yet another lie and excuse why my trauma can’t be addressed.”

    End of email.

    This is too direct and blunt you may say. Yes, it’s about time! And before anyone judges a mentally ill or challenged person why they don’t “seek” help with a professional, ASK first WHAT help they have received so far, if at all! And STOP comparing people and traumas with other people and traumas …


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    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:

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    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.

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    8 Steps to Avoid Sexual Assault

    In light of the horrific murder of Sarah Everard and a police officer under arrest, the police met a peaceful vigil tonight with arrests of women just holding a vigil, while not arresting one person a week ago at the Rangers game.

    Just found on Twitter:

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    Link

    Pret A Manger Staff don’t look Happy

    … because they ARE NOT happy!

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    UPFRONT: please note that in below and current Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has completely scrapped the questions on IF staff members know about allergen. After 2 customers died and only when this became public, Pret included questions to test staff on their knowledge of allergen. But while Pret keeps all the other micromanaging questions, they have stopped testing on life-saving allergen questions.

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    UPDATE May 2021:

    Staff tell me that the £100 reward and some other benefits are back now, so below is out-dated, but I leave it like it is to show customers how low-wage staff are pressured for a little more peanuts and fear management. If ONE staff member makes a mistake, the WHOLE Team lose bonus.

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    Update 12. May 2021 on a customer seeing the exploitation in Pret and made a short video:

    .

    Link

    Link

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    This is the third blog entry or YouTube slide I post on a Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper (MS) report. This 3rd report is a recent one from December 2020. Since the pandemic and all the cuts Pret has done, there is currently not even bonus being paid to staff, YET, low-wage workers are STILL expected to be acrobatic clowns tested by weekly Mystery Shoppers.

    I write extensively about the Mystery Shopper on several entries and walk the reader through a MS report on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed and included 2 YouTube slides (at the bottom) for those who don’t want to read long detailed blog entries. The reason it’s so detailed is to show how micromanaging and exploitative Pret is that at least now have cut the MS questions from 32 down to 20. But not paying bonus is even worse than the previous exploitation.

    I write this new blog entry because several customers have complained to Pret on Twitter that they don’t want to be asked again and again if they want to buy anything extra. Unfortunately customers don’t appreciate the immense stress and the target for staff to have to up-sell or lose bonus. In below screenshots from a December 2020 MS report, people can see the perfect example of a shop that lost bonus BECAUSE the Team Member (TM) did NOT up-sell the way Pret demands and the fussy Mystery Shopper expected. This particular Mystery Shopper was especially ignorant and arrogant, expecting staff to stretch in all directions.

    One of several recent customer complaints not realizing staff have no choice:

    Link

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    The following sheet is an example of a weekly rota or plan on which item to up-sell on which day and time of day. Pret staff send me all these pieces of information as my blog is the only “link” between their silent ordeal behind the scenes and the public (and press).

    .

    And part of a leaked Zoom call video I was sent and passed on to the BBC that later reported on Pret’s “job situation” when it was announced that employment cuts were coming up. In this clip I cut out from the full video, UK Managing Director Clare Clough explains the “Attachment Rate” which is where customers buy extra items when they get a coffee on a subscription service, or in this case with the “20 coffees for £20” voucher. Since the pandemic and loss of profit staff HAVE TO up-sell because that’s where the money comes in.

    For some reason the sound is off-sync. Not sure what happened there. I cut this part from the full Zoom call I was leaked to from a Pret employee, some technical glitch happened there. Apologies. But what Clare Clough says is clear.

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    The BBC article that came from this leaked video where CEO Pano Christou announced numbers, profit and the “job situation”: Pret a Manger job cut fears as sales plunge

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    It is disheartening that people do not understand how low-wage staff have to be like acrobatic clowns, kiss butt all day, smile no matter what, during bereavement, depression, illness etc. in order to get just a few extra peanuts and the shop Manager a bigger cut of the quarterly bonus. Low-wage staff don’t realize they have to go on strike to stop this exploitation and abuse by companies like Pret.

    Staff get heat from all sides: customers complain, bosses bully to get more profit, Mystery Shoppers comment on the tiniest issue which I scrutinize in detail below. And staff get more depressed, disheartened, careless. It is a wonder that not more customers have died and who knows if or how many staff have caught the virus or even died that Pret keeps under the carpet. We have forgotten that TWO customers have died in Pret and Pret got away with it. Full steam ahead, business as usual. Let the exploitation and carelessness continue.

    Recently a Pret shop in Norwich was closed due to a Covid outbreak.

    Mystery Shopper Screenshots: (I highlighted and marked in yellow or red a few things to explain the horrible expectation by multi-millionaires to squeeze the last drop out of workers to present a happy facade).

    I cannot enlarge the screenshots, so please press “Ctrl & +” to enlarge the picture and “Ctrl & ” to decrease it again (Ctrl & plus / Ctrl & minus). But I quote under each screenshot what I marked to point out the micromanagement and humiliating expectations.

    .

    Marked in yellow:

    »Until further notice, Bonus and Star
    Team awards are not payable«

    Bonus used to be £1 per hour worked. So if a TM worked 40 hours that week and the shop gets the bonus, they earn extra £40 that week.
    An individual TM can get extra £50 or 100 (even if the bonus for the whole team is lost) if the TM is extra nice and kisses butt extra hard. This is called an “Outstanding Card” (OC) £50. If the overall shop scores are perfect, the TM gets the “Super Outstanding Card” (SOC) = £100. Giving a freebie most likely gets the TM the £50 or £100 cash reward. An Outstanding Card is not literally a card, but just the name of the cash reward for smiling extra hard.
    A Star Team Award is when within a quarter a shop consistently gets outstanding cards, bonus and high scores. HQ then gives the shop a few hundred or thousands of pounds to go out to dinner or bowling or whatever. Might sound great, but the high pressure, stress and bullying environment to constantly get high scores defeats the mood to then also go out in your private time. I was always so exhausted from work and the horrible work atmosphere that I didn’t enjoy spending my private time with colleagues and the bullying boss.

    So, until further notice staff still have to act like acrobatic clowns and bend in all directions with a big non-stop smile and chatty attitude, yet currently don’t get any cash rewards until further notice. If staff want to continue getting exploited like this, there’s no hope for change!

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    If the reader wants to understand the full Pret blow a low-wage Team Member suffers through day in, day out, please read my extensive post on each step of above MS questions and the system behind this on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed. If even just ONE category is in the red, the whole shop Team lose bonus and get fear managed. If only ONE staff member makes a mistake or doesn’t kiss butt of the Mystery Shopper enough, the whole team can lose bonus if the Mystery Shopper wants to, as it happened in this MS report. Mystery Shoppers seem to enjoy the power they have, and I renamed them to “Misery Shopper”.

    .

    .

    Quote on the top left under “Outstanding Card”:

    »Was any ONE member of our team very helpful, extremely charming and/or outstanding?«

    No 😦

    This is the question about any ONE Team Member’s service, regardless if the whole Team got the bonus or not. The added 😦 emoticons are to increase the “disappointment” and stress that staff didn’t kiss butt enough. My colleague can lose us all the bonus by their “poor” service, but I individually can get the £50 Outstanding Card reward if the Mystery Shopper notices me being extra special nice kissing butt. If the shop gets the bonus and all scores are perfect, it would double my reward to £100. But again, since the pandemic not until further notice does Pret pay any bonus or rewards wile still sitting on billions. So, instead of getting cash rewards staff get brainwashed and continuously fear managed to keep performing a happy facade.

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    Mystery Shoppers have to check if staff wear masks or an exemption badge. Yet, many customers on Social Media complain about the lack of wearing masks and exemption badges. Some shops have ALL staff not wearing masks. The MS is tasked to probe into this because Managers don’t enforce mask wearing.

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    .

    I highlighted this to explain to customers that staff have 60 seconds to serve a customer and 60 seconds to hand over the hot drink from the time the customer paid. Mystery Shopper time it to the SECOND which is extremely patronizing to staff who are rushed off their feet ALL day and then customers complain that their coffee was half empty, cold, too much froth etc. and worse of all Mystery Shoppers complain about “robotic” service! The speed of service is just for ONE purpose, to get customers in and out of shops as fast as possible for fast money flow.

    Quote:
    “I was served in 32 seconds and was happy with this.”
    “I received my coffee in 36 seconds and was happy with this.”

    But later in their last comments (at the bottom) complain that, quote: “there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink“. (Idiot!)

    Pret wants fast service with a smile, but not robotic!

    Pret wants perfect products, but within seconds!

    I always told my colleagues that the best way to describe Pret A Manger’s work expectations and conditions is, that they bind the feet of staff and then demand them to run. And if they fall, they get penalized. I keep saying again and again to join a Union and strike. If McDonald’s and Amazon workers and maybe soon NHS workers can do it, Pret staff can. They just need to find the strength and courage to look beyond the brainwash and fear management. But maybe they’re not angry enough yet.

    .

    .

    Here is where the up-sell question comes and where this particular shop lost the bonus because ONE Team Member was probably too exhausted to up-sell a specific item. Quote:

    »How did the team member suggest a product to complement your purchase?«

    No product suggested (1)
    “The team member asked me if I would like anything else in a robotic manner but didn’t suggest a particular product.”

    Staff are expected for low wage, NO bonus, fear management and brainwash to bend themselves over day after day and then get reprimanded for being robotic. This is one of the worst types of abuses in the workplace that employees suffer.

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    Quote:

    »How well did your server or any member of the team end the transaction by thank you and/or giving a pleasant parting comment?«

    Parting Comment/Thank You Given (3)
    “The team member said thank you but didn’t say anything else. I felt that she could have said enjoy or have a nice day.”

    .

    These kinds of comments I have read hundreds of time in my years in Pret. Extremely patronizing, unemphatic, and the power that Mystery Shoppers enjoy to want to have a conversation with and attention of a low-wage staff member who is burnt out. Depending on the business of a particular shop, but from my experience, a Team Member EASILY serves 300 – 500 people per day. And Pret expects them to smile, chat, give eye contact, kiss butt all day every day, and now even for no extra money. If staff don’t join Unions and go on strike they will continue to be degraded like this.

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    And these are non-scoring comments by the Mystery Shopper. The yellow highlighted I have quoted in red below. Dear Reader, please tell me how you would feel reading those comments after you have sweated day in day out for low wage, now no bonus, no rewards, just humiliating comments! And please don’t make it too easy on yourself by saying that staff can just find another job! Read this email a current Pret staff sent me: Pret don’t Care About Anyone.

    Remember, the Barista or Coffee Maker has 60 seconds to get the drink ready into the customer’s hand or risk losing the WHOLE Team their bonus! This Misery Shopper was happy to be given his coffee in 36 seconds and then complains that it wasn’t well made! I wish I knew this particular MS, I would slap this Misery Shopper the report at his feet (I say “his” because the photo he took with the receipt in his hands clearly showed a male hand. Sounds like an arrogant, entitled, power-loving fathermucker!

    Only one of many customer complaints on Twitter regarding long queues and only 1 or 2 staff members behind the counter:

    and

    Link

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    etc. etc. etc.

    The MOST poignant staff review that painfully explains a day in Pret. I can underline every dot and comma of this review. I highlighted a view things and put the link underneath.

    I still don’t know how I survived this stress! And even without having become suicidal, the pure stress and anxiety feels like can kill you! But I will never ever work in these kinds of conditions again! I’d rather be poor for the rest of my life and work in silence somewhere than in this exploitation:

    Link

    Dear Reader,
    put yourself into the shoes of this particular Team Member (or any TM!) who served this Misery Shopper as the TM’s name will appear on the report.

    You worked for hours that day, your Manager shouted at you in the office for little things and threatened you with a disciplinary because you aren’t fast enough making sandwiches, while being called from the kitchen to the tills constantly to serve customers as shops are ALWAYS under-staffed. You lost a loved one recently and have no choice but to work.

    You worked already 8 days straight without a day off as there aren’t enough staff members and you feel manipulated to come to work on your day off. You feel too vulnerable to say no. You started at 5am everyday and this day until 3 or 4pm, now with unpaid breaks. So you cut your break short to not lose money and hope to get home as soon as possible.

    You went through an intense morning coffee rush, and are now (after 1pm) in the middle of the extremely busy lunchtime rush. You are sweating, tinnitus screaming in your head, trying to concentrate, holding back the tears when thinking of the loved one you just buried a few weeks ago … you serve the Misery Shopper but don’t know it. You know you won’t get bonus or anything extra and ESPECIALLY no positive feedback whatsoever from your Manager or Team Leader. In fact, you (collaborative as a Team) are told to leave your problems at home and are expected to “wear a smile like you wear your uniform” (true story, actual words by a Manager I had!) …

    And then you read comments like this after this particular Misery Shopper was “happy” that his coffee was ready in 36 seconds that he even timed on his stop-watch (phone) from burnt out low-wage staff:

    “I would recommend based on the food only as the service was just average and the coffee wasn’t well made. I didn’t think the coffee had been properly prepared, because as I got to the last half of it, there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink and I was unable to continue drinking it.”

    You leave your shift going home. You head for the bridge.

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    Former Pret A Manger staff Tweet

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    Several excerpts of Mystery Shoppers from different years and shops where staff were expected to smile, give eye contact to EVERY customer:

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    One Mystery Shopper report with most of 32 micromanaging questions from December 2019 (those questions include allergen questions):

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    A recent staff member’s email to me, excerpt in orange, full email via link:
    Pret don’t Care About Anyone

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    Further reading on the Emotional Labour practices of large companies, please go to: The Dangers of Emotional Labour (how it harms service workers’ mental health). There I’ve listed some excellent articles by journalists and former service workers who became journalists.

    .


    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.

    Pret’s Pano Christou – Rags to Riches Story

    Let’s see.

    Pano Christou has his own story in how he applied for a job at Pret 20 odd years ago and was rejected. Some time later he reapplied and was accepted. He climbed up the “ladder” and was the shadow of Clive Schlee for a few years. As Schlee’s time was coming to an end after two customers died and the new owners JAB took over, Pano as UK Managing Director briefly stepped into a new role of COO that was created as a stepping stone to become the new CEO. The role of COO didn’t exist before that and doesn’t currently exist in Pret.

    What Pano Christou is not telling people immediately is that he started in Pret as an Assistant Manager, having come from McDonald’s as a Manager. Managers from other companies always start as Assistant Managers in Pret. Never as a Team Member from the bottom and not as a shop Manager.

    What people who have never worked at Pret don’t understand is that the structure in Pret is extremely complex and micromanaging. Pret advertises that 95% of Pret Managers have started at the bottom in Pret. Funny, because a few years ago the numbers were 80-something %. And yet, it should be normal that most, if not all Managers grow from within the company.

    Pret’s career path is super complex.

    If you REALLY start at the bottom on the shop floor or kitchen, you start at a little over minimum wage, but have to work for it 3 times over and have to wait YEARS to get a pay-rise.

    It takes THREE position to even reach the Assistant Manager role that Pano Christou started with.

    Team Member (and after 10-ish days Team Member Star – ignore that one, it’s just psychology!)

    NEXT Level:

    Barista or Hot Chef or Kitchen Team Member Trainer (in my time Pret had the role of Shift Runner between 2008-ish and 2015)

    NEXT Level:

    Team Leader (either Kitchen Leader or Floor Leader)

    NEXT Level:

    And THEEEEEEENNNN when you went through those “hurdles” you might have had a chance to become an Assistant Manager (mostly of the Kitchen, sometimes of the Floor).

    Mind you, these positions, especially from Assistant Manager (AM) onward are very coveted of course! Staff get their elbows out and screw each other over for this position like in every job. Some even rise up the ranks via the bedroom. This you’ll expect in a law firm, and certainly politics and Hollywood, but a sandwich chain? Really? Alright!

    What makes the AM position so attractive is that they delegate to the Team Leaders, who really do the hard work and run the shops, bossing the Team Leaders around and blaming them for everything. The AM is the filling of the sandwich between General Manager (GM) and Team Member (TM) bossing Team Members around and yet not being responsible. The AM isn’t as responsible as the General Manager (GM) is. Perfect spot to be in. Bossing people around, yet not being responsible. Pret within the company is known for having too many “leaders” who struggle for the top position while Pret top leadership enjoy throwing crumbs to them to fight over.

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    Link

    NEXT

    After Assistant Manager comes the General Manager (GM), then Group Manager responsible for about 4 – 5 shops in an area, then Operations (Area) Manager (or OPs) of about 10 -14 shops in an area, and then you just fly so high you forget where you came from! And here’s where it’s ALL about the money.

    What is so attractive to the AM role is that this is where the money starts to flow and where people will have to “prove” if they belong to the ELITE of the top Management who reap all the harvest that the “slaves” below them labour for. And yet again, even the AM and GM still have to prove if they belong to the ELITE of the top leadership of Pret. And yet, GMs and AMs increasingly complain on Glassdoor and Indeed that their contracted hours (used to be 42.5 per week) now 35 hours p/w on the payroll, but they work at least 60 hours as unpaid overtime. GMs and AMs are as exploited as TMs are.

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    Link

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    When a staff becomes an AM, at least in my time and Pano Christou’s time, they got £500 from Pret to go shopping for business attire. Then they got £50 a month for the dry cleaning bill of their business attire, insurance, extra holidays, more quarterly bonus, SICK PAY (that’s a big one!), executive parties, a loan from Pret for annual travel which costs 10 months for a 12 month annual ticket … and a host of other benefits. This is pre-Covid of course. But I’m painting a picture of Pano Christou’s “rags to riches” (shop floor) beginnings in Pret.

    Pano did not start on minimum wage plus a few pennies and working triple for it with a Team Leader or AM down his neck. He surely wore a Pret uniform for a month plus / minus to “experience” how it is to REALLY start at the bottom.

    A £500 wardrobe and £50 a month to dry clean it, sick pay … and all the stuff they showered on you until you realized, you’d better get higher because the shop floor sucks!

    In a nutshell, Pano Christou started at position number 4 on the shop floor, NOT at the bottom!

    #1 Team Member

    #2 Barista or Hot Chef or Trainer (or in my time until 2015 Shift Runner)

    #3 Team Leader

    #4 Assistant Manager (the real benefits and money start here 🏆🏆🏆 )

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    A GM review, quote:

    »Amazing in the beginning – showered with benefits and entitlements and opportunities to advance. Terrible once you see how horribly mismanaged and micromanaged the company is. Zero care for human beings and nothing but boosting sales and company growth.«

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    Link

    And here again, yes Pret pays a little more than the competition, also because Pret has the kitchen production that are mini sandwich factories, and staff have to slave double and triple for it and don’t get a pay-rise in years! Pret has no choice to pay a little more because if they would pay McDonald’s wages NO-ONE would work at Pret as it is too micro managing, back breaking work, a bullying environment and very complex!

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    Link

    Pret is very good in making simple things very complicated! So, the little higher wage is the carrot on the stick. It’s a trap to lure people into working at Pret and then they get stuck believing and hoping that “one day” it may get better … And when the carrot has shriveled up, staff are too exhausted to recognize the bullsh!t for what it is.

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    etc. etc. etc. etc. ………

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    Pano’s “popularity” on review sites and the legacy Clive Schlee leaves behind:

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    From Rags to Riches, the Pret A Manger “Love Treatment”

    “Lovingly” handmade … (… and brainwashed)

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    Bonus: Pano Christou putting his Emotional Labour into effect to spill some numbers after the first lock-down in a leaked video I received from a Pret staff and have passed on to the BBC:

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    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.

    Pret A Manger also “Stretches” Dates

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    Today’s The Times and later Daily Mail articles on Caffè Nero stretching dates.

    The Times article: “Caffè Nero staff fiddled food date labels

    Daily Mail article: “Caffè Nero staff reveal they switch sell-by dates to make gone-off food appear fresh

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    Here’s my take on Nero and Pret stretching dates which is a huge problem. The press and mainstream media in general know my blog and story with Pret but love to ignore it. I can only implore any journalist again and again to go undercover into Pret, but not only working in the afternoon/evening, but also in the morning in the kitchen and shop for at least 4 weeks to get a good glimpse.

    Amy Sharpe from the Sunday Mirror contacted me shortly after the deaths of Pret customers became public as she found my blog. At the time I was still extremely traumatized and paranoid that Pret sent a “spy” again, so I asked Amy to go undercover into Pret and see for herself. Unfortunately she only went for a week and worked in the shop in the evenings. But new staff who work in the evening are not bothered by Managers and Team Leaders and they don’t see the cheating that’s going on. Amy did a good start, but for a thorough investigation a Journalist would need to go undercover for at least a month and work in both kitchen and shop in the mornings to experience the full Pret blow and catch cheating going on.

    Amy Sharpe’s report with my comments: “Undercover Under Pressure in Pret

    I worked at both Caffè Nero and Pret. In Nero, mostly the cakes are being “stretched” as the Sandwiches, Paninis etc. come with a date label from the factory.

    The cakes come in frozen and take about 4 hours to defrost. I often just defrosted half a cake first thing in the morning for it to be ready for the afternoon, instead of the full cake to avoid wastage. My Managers always defrosted the whole cake to safe time, but then days later “stretched” the dates. Managers mostly worked in the morning, but me working in the afternoon closing the shops had to hear the constant complaints by customers that the cakes were too dry.

    I never stretched the dates as it was not worth losing my job if caught. One afternoon before my Manager left their shift, knowing that I did not stretch the dates for their bonus, the Manger herself stretched the cake dates with the date gun (same device where products are priced with labels). When she left her shift, I took the date gun and reversed the stretch back to its original expiry date, and wasted any cakes that expired.

    Needless to say, I was never promoted.

    Same with Pret. The labelling of products works differently. Pret use “product labels”. It used to be sticky labels that were hand written, but since 2017 Pret implemented date labelling machines in kitchens (while at the time AFTER a customer died not implementing labelling for products in shops to save lives!). I write about the date labelling machines extensively on: “Pret’s Labelling Comittment?

    Either way, if handwritten or via machine, the principle is when a Team Member opens, let’s say a tub of Crayfish today 06.03.2021 and the factory expiry date is let’s say in 6 days 12.03.2021, the NEW expiry date for the opened Crayfish is 2 days from today on (today being day 1, tomorrow being day 2). So, by tomorrow the Crayfish has to be used in products to sell or has to be transferred (sold) to another Pret shop near-by that may need extra Crayfish THAT day. Or by the end of tomorrow’s business-day the Crayfish has to be wasted.

    The Staff Member writes down the Product:
    Crayfish on the label, writes down the factory expiry date (12.03.21), today’s date (06.03.21), and then the NEW expiry date once opened (07.03.21). If done by the printing machine, the machine calculates the correct date with which it’s been programmed to print. Then the Staff Member is supposed to let a Team Leader or Manager double check the correctness of the date and sign (initial). Often for lack of time the Staff Member initials the label themselves. Again, when I was on shift I told the Team to NOT used my initials to sign a product label but do it properly and let ME initial MY name as my neck would be on the line!

    The way Pret staff cheat is then when the product expires today from the NEW expiry date handwritten on the product label, but the factory date is let’s say in 2 days which cannot be fiddled with, because it’s printed on the tub or factory label, not able to be removed, the staff member then peels off the new Pret product label, writes or prints a new product label with another new date for the next 2 days. This is often repeated until the REAL factory expire date which cannot be extended.

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    SIDENOTE:

    After I published this blog post and tweeted to people incl. The Times and also The Daily Mirror, BOTH Times & Mirror hid my Tweets! No other Twitter user I tweeted to hid my Tweets about this blog entry. My website indeed is the Elephant in the room for the press who can’t handle own experience of a former Pret employee and true investigative journalism. I will post the hidden Tweets later, but check the following for now where another person can’t see my Tweet to the Times, they can only see my direct link to my Tweet, but not my Tweet within the Times feed:

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    Link

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    In 2019 a customer posted a Pret Crayfish product from a Paris Pret shop that is visibly off, and these are only some customers who post publicly, I didn’t even bother collecting Instagram, Facebook etc. One can see the gray part that shows that it’s off. Just looking at the photo made me feel sick (Ctrl & + to enlarge):

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    Yes, this is against company policy, and anyone caught is immediately fired. Here comes the hairy but(t): Pret knows how stretched staff are, OPs Manager push and pressure Managers to the extend that Managers cheat. Most Managers don’t do the stretching of dates themselves but ask the Team Leader to do it. If they want to avoid to blatantly ask the Leader or Team Member to do it, they manipulate and fear manage them so that the Leader or Staff Member do it for fear of not getting promoted or get dis-favorable treatment. Most Managers let the Leaders and Team Members do the dirty work to avoid getting fired. Needless to say that I got never promoted and was known for wasting humongous amounts of food or drinks if they were unsafe due to warm fridges, expiration etc.

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    One email that was sent by an OPs Manager to my area was because I wasted a huge amount of vegetable from a shop where I was sent to help out with their health and safety issues. It was a 5-day shop, closed on the weekends. On Friday the Team Member closing the kitchen was washing the vegetables which is normal in shops for the next morning to use. But the shelf life once washed is 2 days, meaning it would expire on the weekend. The TM came to me to initial the product label but I had to refuse. I called texted the OPs Manager that I needed to waste all the washed Veg.

    On that day all OPs Managers, Shop Manager and Assistant Managers were in the Quarter Brief. Only Team Leaders and Team Members were in shops that afternoon. As I didn’t have a cart or vehicle to transfer all the vegetabes out to surrounding shops and the Team Leaders I called were unsure if they should take some of the veg. I wasted it all. When I texted the OPs Manager, she just passed the buck back to me and just said “do the right thing”, cowardly leaving me to make a decision. So, I did! I wasted dozen kilograms of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions!

    The week following I saw an email come through by the OPs who double checked with the saftey team in HQ. The reason I kept this email was because I was in the middle of being targeted and bullied by another OPs Manager for the tiniest things. And I feared that they may target me again for wasting so much vegetable. This email I kept for my protection. Sad, but true.

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    This shop was already under scrutiny by HQ for having very poor health and safety scores, so there was no way I would even dream of risking any issues. What’s so vile is that this OPs KNEW I did right! But she was looking via approval or disapproval from HQ to penalize me AFTER she put the responsibility on me for “do the right thing”! This incident then led to 5-day shops washing their veg. early morning on Mondays which also helped to be used on Tuesday. If you did the right thing you could prove that your shop can still be successful WITHOUT cheating. I worked in shops as a Team Leader helping to bring the shops to number 1, 2 etc. in Pret’s “Premier League” being top shop out of ALL 450+ shops in the company. It IS possible with organization, work and care.

    I was not perfect, but I did the right thing and regret having given Pret years of time, skill, sweat, blood and tears, just to be bullied during bereavement etc.

    Just a few of the many staff reviews about cheating and expired foods:

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    MANAGER review:

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    Or recently 2 customer complaints from 2 different shops within 1 week of berry compote with mould:

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    Another customer complained of chicken that was off. Especially since lockdown and Pret losing money, the problem has increased:

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    Etc. etc. etc. These are only few and those customers bother to go on Social Media with.

    Some of the many staff reviews with an email by a current Pret shop staff I’ve put on YouTube as my blog is censored on Facebook and Instagram, I use YouTube and all other media to spread the word how Pret really is behind that “happy” facade:

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    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.

    80 Good Reasons to not kill Yourself

    +1 … find your voice.

    “I got 8 good reasons to stick around…” – Sinéad O’Connor

    Pret A Manger continues Bullsh!tting Customers

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    A customer today complained about being “pestered” to buy other items and Pret does the usual BS apologizing and luring into DM asking which shop this was. I explained to the customer that Pret staff HAVE TO up-sell or they lose bonus. I posted part of a recent Mystery Shopper report a Pret staff sent me where the whole shop Team lost the bonus because the Team Member did NOT up-sell except for saying “anything else”.

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    Link

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    A recent weekly up-sell rota on which item is supposed to be offered at what time of day:

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    Part of a recent Mystery Shopper report, point #15 about the mandatory upsell. In this case the whole shop Team lost the bonus because ONE Team Member (the server) did not up-sell a specific item, therefore the whole Team is penalized to peer pressure and bully that one Team Member:

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    Part of a leaked video of Pret’s HQ Zoom meeting and UK Managing Director Clare Clough explaining the “attachment rate” which is when customers buy an additional item when getting a “free” coffee on a coffee subscription. In this case it was the 20 coffee for £20. For some reason the video is out of sync:

    UK Managing Director Clare Clough explaining the “attachment rate” from a leaked Zoom meeting at Pret’s HQ, summer 2020.

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    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.

    Madjid Hamla – formerly Pret A Manger

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    There’s only one person in all my 10 years in Pret, or more precisely, in my last 3 years in Pret after I went through horrendous shock and grief, being bullied in the middle of it, who cared. Only ONE Leader who showed immense empathy and normalcy and care and respect. It was my line manager at the time, very shortly after my brother died. She was incredibly supportive, and more than that, she didn’t write anything detrimental about me after being asked to put down anything in writing against me, that some did without reason. I still think of Cat. my line manager before she went on maternity leave. When she went on maternity leave, all hell broke loose. And the rest is history.

    But I remember other people who were great, mainly Team Members, but only one OPs Manager (Operation/Area Manager) before my life went upside-down, who seemed to care. In 2008 or 2009, my first year in Pret, I worked in the Broadwick Street branch for 2 years before it became the first Veggie Pret.

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    My then OPs left Pret and we had a new OPs, but we weren’t introduced yet of course, because our Manager didn’t care to update us on anything new in Pret or the area. We were always aware that OPs Managers are just there to come into the shop, look important, fear manage a little and then return home or to the pub.

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    One afternoon I had late shift and started the cashing up around 5pm. The shop was quiet, about 3 customers max. and a customer standing by the “Langars” (fridges) starring at the selection of food for a while.

    I approached the customer and asked “Hi there, need any help deciding (on the products)”? I did that for two reasons: the customer stood at fridges for a longer time from a distance, which was unusual, and 2. I was drilled to cater to Mystery Shoppers. Out of fear I thought this might be the Mystery Shopper COUNTING the amount of food/selection in the Langar.

    When I ask if I can help, he stretched out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Madjid, I’m your new OPs Manager”.

    On the inside of me, I wiped my forehead off the sweat in fear, because we were always drilled with fear.

    You see, fear management is HUGE in Pret. It’s the game of the executives. They thrive off it.

    But I felt that Madjid was different. He didn’t seem blown up like so many of Pret’s OPs’ are.

    At the time 2008/09, Pret’s porridge came in sachets of dry porridge which the Barista had to stir in with hot milk. But it added to the Barista’s work-load and stress, especially when people asked for skimmed, soya or then full fat milk porridge. Pret then changed it to ready-cooked porridge in plastic bags that held 6 cups of skimmed milk porridge. The bags had to be reheated in water baths or in the microwave by the “Hot Chef” who’s responsible for all the hot food. (Side note: the Hot Chef has THE WORST job, the hardest job on the shop floor! And only those who care do this job, are underrated and underpaid).

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    After Madjid introduced himself, he asked me to check something about the new porridge bags. He asked how many cups are in the new porridge bags. Me being myself, I didn’t pretend to know it and just said that I don’t know. He then said, let’s go and find out and learn together. In the office, in the computer system we looked for the info.

    In hindsight I don’t know if this was Madjid testing me, but I had the impression at the time that he was genuinely looking for this information and had a humble attitude to check this. I was struck that he seemed respective and not afraid to say that he doesn’t know it all.

    I only worked in his area for about a month or two before I moved on to another area to get away from the management of that shop. But I always bragged about Madjid with my colleagues when we ranted about our then current OPs Managers who were arrogant, bossy, belittling and bullying … And I also knew/felt that Madjid respected and knew me from my work, my reputation. Well, correct me if I’m wrong, Madjid.

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    Fasting forward to January 2017. I am in the middle of multiple grievance hearings against mainly leaders, Managers, OPs Managers and higher up HR personnel. I raised these grievances based on emails after I applied for my file. I had THEIR words black on white. In one grievance appeals hearing against a People Business Partner, Madjid Hamla was appointed as the hearing Manager. But since I applied for my file I could see the email exchanges between Pret HR, Managers, OPs and Madjid who was the Head of the City.

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    When I read Madjid’s name in the invite letter I immediately protested this and he was taken out of the hearing.

    I know it’s silly to you the reader that I went on for so long about Pret’s bullshit. But I was traumatized. I was out of my mind.

    To Madjid, I remember in around 2017-ish when I was waiting in 75B for YET another grievance hearing, you walked by to leave HQ and looked at me with this cheeky smile as if to say “you’re kicking butt girl”.

    Yes, that was nice that you gave me the silent heads up, but I would have appreciated if you would have cared to make a fucking difference and for once in Pret draw the line in what I went through. You could have EASILY said to HR, to Clive etc. that Pret needs to change their approach to employees, especially those bereaved.

    I still have the question to Chris Walsh if the Assistant Manager he was telling me about who was mistreated WHILE in bereavement is the same Assistant Manager who died by suicide a few months later. Her name is Emily.

    I almost died by suicide and I am still struggling to stay alive.

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    Fasting forward to 2021 on Linkedin. Last year in 2020 I posted to Madjid on Linkedin. And to my surprise he briefly responded. Yesterday, I posted to him again, and he replied again. And THAT is a person, a leader who shows that he is not afraid. The only problem is though, he reported me to Linkedin and got my post hidden, but as usual I made screenshots.

    And as usual “leaders” at Pret or formerly having worked at Pret only think about themselves and the peer pressure to please a company who is just out to make money.

    That is why Cat. will always be THE ONLY person, the only LEADER who has the biggest balls and heart, having worked in a company that didn’t deserve her. And Pret didn’t deserve me and so, so, so many other people.

    So, thank you Madjid for having been on eye-level with me as one of the very few OPs (higher up Managers) all these years ago, but no thank you for now not respecting free-speech and getting Linked posts hidden. I hope your new job, if you have one, you certainly won’t need a job, gives you joy and whatever may add to your legacy.

    Stay safe. And Madjid? I don’t respect you anymore and any more than I respect a human being in the gutter.

    Hidden Linkedin posts / Screenshots: (Mind I say that “Ex Pret” crew … I’m glad to have given Pret Leaders the inspiration yet again).

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    Madjid’s response is a typical Pret A Manger cop-out: He left Pret in 2019, therefore he doesn’t feel responsible anymore while still posting Pret-related stuff. Good try Madjid, try again. But I understand that Madjid worked over 25 years in Pret. And that is why he is AS responsible as anyone from the executive team. Clive Schlee is still hi