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Pret A Manger – How Companies Force Emotional Labor on Low Paid Workers

 

Fake Smile Robin Williams

 

 

Pret Uniform2

The Pret A Smile Uniform Cupboard.

Take your pick Team Member, any of those will do.

 

04 MS

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

Mystery Shopper: “I was not greeted at the till or given a smile …”

 

1. On average a Team Member does between 300 – 500 transactions per day, depending on how busy it is and if working in the rush times. 300 transactions are NOT 300 people, 1 transaction can be serving 3 people. So, on average a TM communicates at least with 500 – 800+ PERSONS, plus colleagues, line managers etc. The exhaustion staff members go through, not to mention depression is something the public doesn’t want to know about. I was complemented many times by the Mystery Shopper and customers for my friendly service, attentiveness, professionalism… but they did not know that several times I left my shift headed for the bridge.

2. If the TM is successful and the MS is happy with the overall atmosphere and requirements of the shop, the whole team receives the bonus. If the TM messes up, doesn’t smile or whatever the MS may not be happy with, the whole team loses bonus, and the TM will find themself in the office being told off, at times manipulated with fear management, threatened with a disciplinary and/or job loss… Even during bereavement, I was summoned to the office and my non-smiling was one part of a list of (small) things I was targeted with.

 

 

Emotional Labour Labor

Link

“… in The New Republic, Timothy Noah observes that the sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger aggressively monitors its employees’ displays of enthusiasm. If any worker at any particular store seems insufficiently pleased to see their customers, he and all of his coworkers could suffer the consequences. Pret CEO Clive Schlee even monitors whether his employees are making enough affectionate physical contact with each other.” Link

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

Link

 

 

“I was served after 15 seconds …”

“Team members should smile at customers and may not work when ill …”

“Your smile is part of your uniform. You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform!”

 

Ctrl +

 

MS Mystery 15 seconds to Mars

4 our of 5 points even while being served in 15 seconds. Sorry dear Misery Shopper, that the team didn’t serve you in 1.5 seconds to get 100%.

 

MS Mystery Shopper VAT eat in take away

 

MS Mystery Shopper Team Member should smile cough

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

1. Team Members are not paid the first 2 – 3 days, depending on age, when sick, having to make constant decisions if to stay home and lose income, or if they are fit enough to work while ill.

2. After this comment I found myself in the office being told off by the manager. No question of “how are you”…

3. I couldn’t smile at times after I buried my brother and my manager again had no mercy. And when I smiled and the MS gave excellent comments, there was NO recognition from the managers.

4. Pret A Manger, stop this emotional abuse and exploitation for your millions.

 

MS Mystery Shopper Miserable

“I felt miserable when I walked in to begin with. I looked at the staff on the tills and they all looked very unhappy and not cheerful at all. To improve, the staff members could be smiling and interacting with each other to liven up the atmosphere.”

After this comment, the never-smiling, moody, shouting manager told the team in the kitchen after this MS report: “Your smile is part of your uniform. You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform!”

 

MS Mystery Shopper Detail

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

MS: “There was a staff member who was replenishing stock and another tidying away after customers left promptly. Before sitting down at a table the member checked my table and chair to see if they were cleaned properly.”

 

04 MS

Pret: “We aim to serve our customers within 1 minute of joining the queue. Were you served in a reasonable time, bearing in mind how busy the shop was and the number of open tills?”
MS: “I was served in less than a minute.”

Pret: “We aim to serve our customers their hot drink within 1 minute of payment. Did you receive your hot drink order within a reasonable time, bearing in mind how busy the shop was?”
MS: “I was served my hot drink almost instantly.”

1. The “reasonable” time is unrealistic, staff get so pressured and used to work on autopilot that they ALWAYS rush and panic for every second they may lose to finish any job, especially customer service.

 

Not Outstanding

 

If any team member, including leaders and managers would have been “outstanding” by giving a free coffee for example or making lots of conversation (kissing butt) that person can receive an extra £100, even if the bonus was lost. And if the score/points were perfect, that person can earn double, £200. That at least was when I was still in Pret in December 2017.

2018-07-04 Outstanding Card

Link

 

 

The Mystery Shopper results count towards the biggest chunk of managers’ quarterly bonuses, therefore the Mystery Shopper requirements are the biggest in terms of pressure, a manipulating tool for fear management and mental strain.

 

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

 

 

End MS

Link

 

Emotional Labour Emotional Abuse

 


 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 expret.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Mind Map of my Pret A Manger Ordeal

 

 

Courtesy of

 

>>> MindMeister.com

 

 

This link My Pret A Manger Ordeal is a simple and easier overview to link straight to some of the most important blog entries, summarizing my trauma with Pret A Manger. There is much more writing on my website / blog, but the links on the map are the main articles to narrow down, pointing to the main writings of my trauma with Pret.

On the “map”:

  • click on the – minus top left to decrease and get an overview of the map
  • click on the dots to expand or close menu.
  • click on the -> arrow on a particular title to link straight to the article
  • hold the mouse clicked, “grabbing” it to move map around as you would with Google map

 


 

P.S. Twitter “shadow banned” some of my Tweets, please google what shadow banning means. I responded to Twitter’s right out lie about it, and even then can’t find my Tweet when logged out, and one example of many where Twitter shadow banned my Tweets Regarding the first Pret customer death.

 

2018-12-23 my twittel star re to shadow ban lie1

 

 

 

2018-12-23 my twittel star re to shadow ban lie2

Twittel Twittel Little Star…

 

 

2018-09-30 Pret death tweet shadowban1

My Tweet visible when I’m logged in

 

 

2018-09-30 Pret death tweet shadowban2

 

My Tweet hidden when logged out, completely different feed even though same URL

This same URL is: https://twitter.com/Pret/status/1045671338260787201

ending with: 1045671338260787201 but when logged in I see my tweets, when logged out ALL my tweets are gone / hidden from everyone else, making me think everything is ok. I assume my tweets are tweeted, my likes are done etc. but only I see it. My followers are NOT notified of new tweets or DMs and can only see my tweets, what I write in DMs when they go straight to my Twitter feed or their DM inbox which most won’t as they are not notified while I am shadow banned … It’s a secret censorship Twitter denies doing on behalf of those with money and power.

 

I will do an extra blog entry in detail on what exactly shadow banning is with my own Tweet examples, and that many people are affected on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc.

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org
Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Undercover Under Pressure in Pret

 

Amy Sharpe from the Sunday Mirror contacted me on Facebook after I declined another Mirror Journalist’s request for an interview.

I declined her request as well, as I wasn’t ready for the press, and as I am still paranoid to be tricked and trapped like Pret did with the Development Manager I write extensively about in “The Perversion of a Toxic HR Department“. My experience in Pret is very complex and sounds like straight from a twisted Hollywood script, but I have it all in writing and confront Pret openly on Twitter, which in turn have them shadow-ban me. But I urged her to go undercover to see for herself and not just take my word for it, just like James Bloodworth did in Amazon. And she did.

As I commented on Sathnam Sanghera’s Times article, I’d like to give my two cents also to Amy Sharpe’s undercover article. Both articles from very different perspectives as one from a customer and business point of view, the other from behind the scenes for a few days. But both are equally important and revealing how business works with the main goal of profit in mind.

I have to say that when I saw the undercover reporting yesterday morning (28.11.2018) linked on Twitter, after Amy has been very silent about going “under”, and rightly so, I teared up. I cried when I read her name on the report because not just did she follow my suggestion taking my ordeal serious, but someone from the outside saw what I and many others experience(d), but the public doesn’t want to know about unless it is the press poking into an organization.

It sadly takes deaths becoming public to show how negligent a company, in this case Pret, really is. I’ve been writing openly about my experience with Pret since May 2018 after my father died in March and I started to come to terms again of another loss… still recuperating from my Pret trauma that has “postponed” my grief for my brother. Regular readers know the story.

Some people criticize The Sunday Mirror’s report as being part of a witch hunt, but I don’t think that. The public is so used to be lulled in by a nice and shiny facade, free coffees and cookies. Customers are so used to the smiles of staff where no-one knows what really is behind it. I mentioned this in a Tweet response to a customer who without any thought or empathy complained to Pret about a barista, even naming him, for not smiling and rushing the service:

 

2018-10-24 Re No Smile

Link

NOTE: When you click on above link you will NOT see my Tweet response because I was ShadowBanned at the time, meaning no-one could see my Tweets, Likes, RT’s except they went straight unto my Twitter feed. At times they make them visible again, other times they remain hidden. It’s Pret reporting me to Twitter to hide my posts while I can still see everything I do while logged in as if nothing happened. It’s a very nasty thing Twitter does but denies doing. I will write an extra blog entry on Shadowbanning, but there is a brief 15min undercover report on this on YouTube by James O’Keefe.

 

But Amy Sharpe’s undercover article to me is like someone understanding this and finally confirming my and the team’s ordeal. Some points I want to highlight as I don’t use the full article, just what I want to confirm and expand upon a little from what this journalist has experienced and witnessed. The article will be in black and my comments in grey. I added the bold to the text to highlight some issues.

 

 


Article:
A manager reacts in horror as I point out the mistake (of an Almond Croissant with a Jam Croissant label).
“Oh my god!” he cries as he switches labels on two trays of croissants – one containing jam, the other almonds.

This is the typical PANIC reaction of a manager who either didn’t take the time or is too disorganized to do the MBWA (Managing By Walking Around) to check that everything is in its proper place, health & safety checks and so on. This could easily be improved by investing to have plenty of staff, instead of cutting staff to save money, so that the Manager On Duty (MOD) can concentrate on checking everything daily as well as throughout the day. It’s a very simple organizational issue. Very, very simple.

 

 


Article:
In the wake of two allergy deaths, he adds: “It’s really dangerous, especially with everything that’s been going on.”

And yet, no-one steps on the brakes to put immediate, and what CEO Clive Schlee calls, “meaningful” changes in place. The problem with the word “meaningful” to me here is, it sounds too wishy-washy, “poetically” correct but shows no urgency, even though “it’s really dangerous”. The appropriate word should have been to implement “immediate” changes! As Natasha’s parents are in shock over Pret’s procrastination, ITV’s November report:

 

 

 


Article:
I am standing behind the counter in Pret a Manger … The pace is so relentless, the demands so constantcustomers want serving super-quick – that I find myself under constant pressure. I sense that other staff feel the strain too.

Ms. Sharpe does not give the time of day she was behind the counter, but mentioned having to dash to the toastie machine, so this may have been lunch time. But the strain can especially be felt when a Team Member does the morning shift from 5 or 6am till 2 or 3pm going through two intense rushes: breakfast and lunch. When I worked in Pret I made a decision to not meet with a friend or have an appointment straight after my morning shift having come out of lunch time. I was always like having come out of a tumbler, being shaken for hours and still on electricity. My friends commented on this, so I tried to get home first to clean up and rest and calm down before joining any events.

One staff review paints this very bluntly. This is why I wished Amy Sharpe would have also covered a week in the kitchen to really get the full Pret “blow”: “This job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you.

Many kitchens I have seen with very small working areas for the Hot Chef in particular. Someone leaked a photo to Twitter.

Customer areas are increased to get as many customers / money in as possible; staff areas are decreased. This then creates multiple problems, not only on the mental strain of staff but customers lives as mistakes happen quickly as with labelling I collected in another post “Vegetarians Get Meat Products“:

 

2018-11-11 Tiny HFC area

 

 

Or a shop where I worked where there was only ONE multitask room: office, staff changing room with lockers, fridges, freezers, stock room, hot chef soup prep area, chemical room for cleaning materials etc and to top it all, illegally the rubbish room next to the food prep area! This shop was the worst shop I’ve worked in. This photo is from 2015 and after years like this, Pret was forced to expand the work space to separate the rubbish for health and safety reasons. This room was medium size and approx. 15 square meters max. A total nightmare.

 

Spitalfields Waste MultitaskOffice_6Sep15

 

 


Article:
I am at a central London branch, where 10 staff vie for space, muttering apologies as we collide and stretch across one another to grab pastries and bags.
I shout orders to a barista while dashing to a beeping toastie machine to retrieve a baguette.
I make green teas and filter coffees while my other drinks orders are prepared. It’s stressful and confusing and the queue makes it even more so.
All the while, staff must be alert to the issue of allergens.

Yep. And as one customer on Twitter pointed out the chaos and stress on the staff and customers alike. I had to console Team Members many times over the years who held their tears back or just cried in the staff room after being shouted at by the manager. Another review: “Better salary than McDonalds or Costa as long as you keep your fake smile up. Staff with more experience cuts corners on Sanitary rules because otherwise it is impossible to finish your batch on time.
– The coffee calling system is broken. During busy times it is nearly impossible to keep up with the orders without hating everyone around you. A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period.”
I also shed many tears on my way home in the bus, especially during grief of course, but after a terribly depressing shift this was a common thing to let the tears finally flow.

 

 

2018-10-20 Staff cry

Link

 


 

UPDATE Jan. 2019

I found a photo of the coffee area and it shows how cramped and small the work area is. And the barista/coffee makers are required to get PERFECT coffees out within 1 minute that the Mystery Shopper times to the second! It doesn’t get any more dehumanizing and mentally straining than this. I don’t know how I managed, but we worked a lot in mental and physical pain. Under the coffee machine where the silver jugs are, this working area is so small baristas switch on autopilot and just keep going. Hence, lots of stress, shouting and customers going to Twitter with complaints of half cups of coffees that are made so fast to satisfy the Mystery Shopper, the manager and the long queue.

 

2019-01-16 small coffee area

Link by @terry_mcparlane Twitter

 


 

It is rare that a customer speaks out like this and it’s sad that most customers don’t care how stressful it is behind the counter. They see it, at times even commented about it to me, but they just want their coffees fast. Pret has spoiled them where they would be perfectly happy to wait 5-10 minutes in Starbucks, Pret made the service so fast to get the money circulation into the shops fast. Pret staff are expected to whip out PERFECT coffees within ONE minute and are timed to the SECOND by Mystery Shoppers, while customers think that staff is just happy working under intense pressure. They don’t realize what’s behind that happy facade!

 

Excerpt:

Speed in Seconds

1 minute aim to serve and another 1 minute to have a perfect hot drink ready, checked by the MS to the second:

“I was served very quickly, after 15 seconds, very quick service.”

“I received my hot drink very quick, after 30 seconds, quick service.”

And then customers run to Twitter with pictures of half full cappuccinos, missing cream, lukewarm coffees…! There’s nothing more dehumanizing at a workplace that I have experienced. And should anyone suffer from boredom, do an experiment and just read through some Pret Tweets a few minutes each day for a week, with the same sweet-talk response from Pret veering customers away from public Tweets to private DM.

Some complaints are legitimate when a customer already spoke to the manager, and yet Pret has a DM button, but customers feel the public needs to be aware of their dilemma in Pret shops. I know, I know I respond a lot to some Tweets, and maybe it is because for 10 years I had to bite my tongue towards rude customers, I take the opportunity now to give my opinion. And Pret doesn’t block me as they collect my Tweets in case for court and certainly to learn some tips, as I have showered them with suggestions for improvement while I worked there. Be my guest, Pret.

 

 


Article:
Staff now repeat orders to customers to avoid any mistakes. Allergen enquiries are referred to the duty manager, who will show a list of ingredients.

Which is good to repeat, but the pace is still kept high with all sorts of demands, especially for the “Misery” Shopper: always smile, eye contact, make some small-talk, serve within 1 minute, stand on your head, dance on one feet, bend your back, twist your brain, know all the answers, kiss their butts … and all this with a big fake Pret A Smile to keep a low-paid job! In other words you either develop superhuman abilities or mental illness. The pace is the same, the demand is higher, and life is still at risk including the lives of staff who suffer depression, mental ill health and at times become suicidal. But the public “just” wakes up once customer lives are affected. Forget the “slaves“.

 

 

A positive Mystery Shopper visit, excerpt:

MS eye contact

“The staff member who served me made good eye contact and greeted me with a friendly smile. While remaining focused and efficient, she also took time to engage in a few words of conversation, which added a personal element to the exchange – enhancing the welcoming atmosphere of this store.”

 

 

A negative Mystery Shopper visit, excerpt:

Mystery Shopper poor comments

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

 

— or —

 

MS_Cough

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

I wish I could have told this MS that staff are not paid sick leave for the first 2 and 3 days depending on age. So one had to decide if to stay home sick and lose income, or go to work unwell and get a telling off from the manager like I did because I coughed when I happened to serve the MS.

I wonder if Amy Sharpe served the Mystery Shopper and how she would have felt reading a negative comment on her service while feeling the experience of the “overstretched staff” and it being “stressful and confusing and the queue makes it even more so.”

I even wished sometimes customers would just join us for a few hours, especially those who quickly complain about everything.

Just few of the countless Tweets, just from this week:

This customer had good service for THREE years, then one negative experience and the world has come to an end. I linked her to Amy Sharpe’s report to bring some perspective for her feeling so unwanted. But I deleted the Tweet again as I write too many Tweets and always like to de-clutter my Twitter feeds:

 

2018-11-28 Bad Service after 3 years

Link

 

“Every time…”

2018-11-28 Wrong Coffee

Link

 

 

2018-11-28 No steamed milk

Link

 

 

“Oh no!…”

2018-11-29 Gingerbread Latte

Link

 

etc. etc.

So, companies like Pret have created a “nation” of complainers where the British were usually patient and polite, they now cry like babies whose bottoms haven’t been wiped in a while! And the money keeps coming in while Pret responds with “Oh no…” and “Oh gosh, are you okay?…” sweet-talk to keep the babies happy and the money rolling!

 

I responded, but since deleted as well to this baby who had no issues to call hard working people the “C” word because he was in the “teething” period having his day ruined by a hard avocado. Pret’s typical cut’n’paste response, apologizing while he is offensive, and as if they really contact each shop all day long for repeated hard avocados:

 

PretBehaviour01a

 

 

 

 


Article:
The mantra, I am told repeatedly, is “NEVER guess”.
But from what I witness, the speed at which staff often have to work could put these commendable new standards at risk.
On my second shift I find an orange juice two weeks out of date on the shelves.
The shocked team leader tells me: “You don’t need to tell anyone, otherwise we’re f****d. It is really bad… I’ll throw it away.”
One barista tells me the cramped service area is a “nightmare”.
He says: “If I’m next to you, you have to shout. If you don’t shout I can make a mistake. A person can grab the wrong coffee. Make mistakes and the customer gets mad. You’ve got to focus, stay calm.”
With soybeans and dairy prominent on the menu – and among the 14 allergens kitchens must legally declare – this admission is worrying.
On my last shift, stickers are introduced to distinguish between soya, coconut and regular milks. But one barista serves a coffee without a sticker – and a manager barks: “Where is the sticker?”
The £8.25-an-hour shifts are tough and I collapse into bed exhausted after eight hours on my feet, lifting boxes, mopping and dragging tables around.

Nothing more to add except this Link

 

 


Article:
Some staff do 12-hour shifts or work at other branches to earn more. To add to the intensity, employees are battling the cold due to its station location. I wear extra layers to stay warm – there are only two Pret fleeces to go round, so we share.

Nothing more to add except that some staff even do 60-70 hour weeks assigned by the manager! I had to speak out about this as Team Members were exhausted, at times became sick from the amount of work, but were too scared to speak with the GM. Again, I did not make friends with my bosses. But neither did I care!

 

 


Article:
When the bustle dies down I clean the shop but a colleague urges me to skip certain tasks.
“You’re supposed to sweep and mop every day but don’t do that or you’ll never leave on time,” he says.

This unfortunately is common in most shops that staff are so swamped with work they are not able to finish in time and are NOT paid for overtime. I fought for this with my managers in every shop. I would say to my teams who did their best and me as the Team Leader helping them, that if they can’t finish I will mark this on the cleaning rota with an explanation, instead of just ticking off the jobs as done like most do to keep the appearance that jobs were completed. I’d then take responsibility when the boss summons me in the office the next day. I let the team go on the dot when our shift finished at 9 or 10pm or whatever closing and cleaning time the branch had.

 

2018-08-18 #50 Pret A Not Worth

Coffee Specialist, London April 2018

 

Most Team Members have families with kids at home, not seeing their children all day as they are in school, and later the parent is working when they go to bed. So I made it a point to let them go when the shift finished. I was very organized and made sure that the important jobs, health & safety was taken care of and prioritized these. I structured my teams in this way and left the unimportant jobs unfinished if we didn’t have time or enough staff.

In the early times in Pret I would work and work, finish in time and also worked overtime unpaid. But then the time came where I drew a line. It is okay here and there to finish a little late, but it was the norm in Pret and it seemed a very calculated one as Teams worked extra for no pay every day. I struggled with my managers and communicated that if we have to stay longer to finish the job, I will pay them the extra time through the system as was part of my job. If my bosses didn’t want that, then I told my team to finish on the dot and we go home. Full stop.

This of course didn’t make me friends with my bosses, but neither did I care! My friends are not these kind of people who exploit workers for their own bonuses. One Pret staff reviews this as a common practice for managers to give them a job to do 15 minutes before the Team Member would have finished the shift. But the job would take 30 – 60 minutes to complete. I experienced this many times as well and was made to feel bad if I needed or wanted to leave. It took me some time to stand up against this. Pret staff in the UK should do what their colleagues in the U.S. did, a class action suit for not being paid overtime.

 

Full article of the Sunday Mirror

 

I have to be honest that I wished Amy Sharpe would have worked longer, a month or so like James Bloodworth did in Amazon. It would have been good for Ms Sharpe to cover the early shifts and weekends as well, including working in the kitchen, as each time and job has its own challenges. But I’m not complaining. She covered 1 or 2 weeks (?) really really well, while I have 10 years of “material” to share that almost literally killed me having survived bullying during bereavement.

So, I have to be patient and acknowledge the brilliant work by this journalist having been willing to do this, as well as Sathnam Sanghera’s article. And many more people will tell their story in time away from the typical PR that Pret does so well. I keep confronting Pret on a staff suicide in 2017 and who knows how many more are under the carpet when they could hide two customer deaths for two years and the other for 10 months! I know my approach and direct confrontation is full on, but I almost lost my life after having worked with integrity, honesty, very hard and with passion for my teams. I cannot be silent after having wasted 10 years of my life in Pret with the knowledge that staff continue to suffer behind the facade. And if any reader wonders if I went to court, I explain here.

Thank you for your time in reading this. And thank you to anyone in the press to have taken a closer look. Thank you to Amy Sharpe. Ironic and delighted to be calling a reporter a now former colleague of mine! Well done Amy!

Life is short, please be kind to yourselves and others.

poetrasblok.com

 


 

UPDATE: 14.12.2018 A rare observation from a customer regarding forced friendliness.

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 


 

UPDATE February 2019, my posts on Why do Pret Staff continue under Harshness

 

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2018/2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Questions to Pret A Manger

 

Since Twitter is limited in the amount of words that can be used and on Facebook Pret tends to delete my comments, I’d just like to expand my questions here and just link to it.

I used to get told off and “corrected” from line managers in front of colleagues, one GM in particular would repeatedly do this, to which I kept asking to please give me feedback in person not in front of my team. This particular GM would say that he “feed-backs” me in front of the team for their benefit, so that they learn from my mistakes. Apart from this being complete nonsense, incapable management and plain wrong, I understood his bullying mentality and insecurity.

And I am sure Pret is not keen on answering my questions, certainly not directly, I’d like to take this “example” be it poor as it is, and do the same thing. For the sake of the public, so they learn from your mistakes, I’d like to ask you publicly again a few questions.

After I was bullied during bereavement in all its forms, shouted at, excluded from leader’s meetings as well as a leaders Christmas dinner (when my dad just woke from his coma and I returned to work and was put on late shifts to cover for them to have their dinner), information withheld that I needed in order to do my job, held low in jobs where I could not grow and thrive, hours cut to zero during Christmas time even though I was on a 35 hour contract needing money to visit my dad again, hours not paid that I had to chase, the patronizing approach from Clive Schlee, CEO who labelled me his “late night girl”, the lies and dodgy grievance hearings, after all this bullying under the guidance of HR and the Head of HR & Recruitment, after all this mistreatment you tasked one of your Development Managers to sanction me supposedly because of my emailing, for which your CEO labelled me his “late night girl” two months before you dismissed me.

Your Development Manager, who also is a Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner (as several of your leaders are) and in 2017 studied to become a Psychotherapist, was put on my case because she had a brother who died in his flat and was not discovered after days later, just like my brother died and was in his flat for days before his corpse was found.

She was put into contact with me, not so we could support each other in our common grief, but so that I would be able to receive the disciplinary as I would be more receptive since we have the same loss. This which I already put forward to your Director of HR, I called “perversion” for lack of a better word. I had to learn later that this was gaslight in its most primitive form.

Your Development Manger, who is governed under this therapy body, then entered into personal communication with me right from the next day onward which was secret, even though you all knew about it of course. This confused me further. Not only did she enter into unallowed contact, but she solely communicated with me via text messages and email, for which she sanctioned me in the first place!

Fasting forward a few months, I of course got dismissed (with my dad in intensive care just out of a coma) while she is safe in her job as she served HR well. She even at times sounded like the Head of HR, saying things only the Head of HR knew and vice versa.

Now my question is, as I am not sure anymore what to believe because there were so many lies from you from the top down, did she really have a brother who died very similar to how my brother died and the delay in her learning about his passing, like in my case as well?

If she did have a brother and all she told me about him and the situation, why did you step on her dignity by using her against me, instead of for me and her being able to have open, not in secret, support in our grief. Her brother (supposedly) died 2 months before my brother died, in his flat, alone, for days undiscovered… like a twin story. And yet your core value of “doing the right thing naturally” … NATURALLY … I still have to let that word melt on my tongue… is such a disgrace and arrogance I have rarely come across.

If she did not have a brother and made up this story to really fuel the gaslight, than she is a bad person.

But if she did have a brother and everything she told me was like it was, than she is even worse than a bad person, because she should and could have declined the task of sanctioning me to protect her as well as my dignity.

I certainly would have declined and offered instead to be available for support and open contact with respect and integrity.

What this also particularly bad is how manipulative she was. Right from the start of our secret contact she wanted to meet me to interview me for an assignment she was writing for university as she was studying to be a Psychotherapist. She was writing an essay on anger and wanted my input as I was very angry with everything surrounding my brother’s death and being bullied on top of it.

I declined being interviewed as I didn’t know her, no matter how similar our losses were, but I also didn’t want to feel like a guinea pig for someone’s projects and from the get go I was confused about her role. A friend even warned me that Pret may be using her to “spy” on me to see how best to fire me. But I was so blinded from grief and all that happened at work that I fell for this trap that sounded too good to be true that someone with such an identical loss could be even in the same company.

She later declined showing me her essay as I was interested what her take on anger was. Her reasons for not showing it to me was supposedly because she wanted to protect the volunteers who participated in the interviews. And yet, an essay or book is usually written with changed names and even if the first names were real, I wouldn’t know anyone anyway. So, from all the lies and manipulations I reckon she used my story anyway against my permission.

My aim since May 2015, when I approached HR informally to make suggestions on how to support bereaved staff not only put a target on my back. I would enter further and further into troubled waters from superiors in the years to come, but Pret’s non-existent bereavement support program involves using one bereaved employee against another in the most disgraceful way! Perhaps they bribed the Development Manager either with immunity if any future disciplinary against her would come up, or she got that promotion she had an eye on for some time, as she worked in Pret’s HQ since over 15 years. She certainly got the personal protection from the Head of HR who would manipulate and tweak my situation on several occasions, leaving me like a lamb up for slaughter under incapable management. Only she knows why she not only allowed HR to use her, and even went further to take advantage of my story in her university studies.

 

And that is what makes Pret, Pret:

 

 

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

 

… and HR takes this to even more lofty heights:

 

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

PR, slogans, lies, dishonesty, tricks and traps, disrespect of dignity, lack of integrity behind a facade…

So, those are my questions regarding the Development Manager, did she really have a brother whose story in death was so similar to my brother’s, and if so why did you step on her and my dignity as well as her allowing this.

As you know you got away with it from reaching court as I cannot deal with this mentally without a lawyer and having buried my dad in March. I finally completely broke down. But I can write and ask and expose and share…

 

The other question that keeps burning in my heart which I already addressed you while working in Pret, was the incident one of your People Business Partners told me in an appeals hearing where I raised a grievance against another PBP, which of course was a waste of time, but at least I gave it my best. The PBP in the hearing told me about an assistant manager who was bereaved and mistreated on top of this at work and raised grievances, just like I was. He had the audacity to not only compare me with her, but judging her as well as me to be bitter, because we raised grievances.

I later emailed him as I was speechless in the hearing when he told me this, and wrote that she is not bitter, but in a lot of pain as I could relate to that. I deeply regret not having tried to get in contact with her to support her. But you know, Pret, I was so traumatized, not ready to give any help or assistance to anyone, I was so lost myself, whereas you have all the money, resource and manpower including your Development Manager who is a therapist… I had no strength nor mental capacity to help.

And my question again that I raised before, is this AM the same AM who a few months later ended her life in suicide?

 

 

2018-09-16 Re Emily to Pret

 

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

 

 

Dear Pret, you take former homeless staff hiking, at times your CEO is taking them to his home in Austria and this serves your PR very well as one of your former IT Analyst’s reviewed your Head Office. And yet you put people on the streets through unfair dismissals. I certainly also could have ended up on the streets and was on my way downhill. You drive hardworking staff to suicidal thoughts maybe even successfully, you bully them during bereavement and then try to get rid of them with all kinds of tricks and traps under the umbrella of “doing the right thing… naturally”.

My public outcry, no matter how creative I write to try to heal, my ordeal with your company remains traumatic and it will never go away, no matter what you try next. And having a former team leader colleague of mine whom I used to highly respect and work well together, for him to call and then text me a few weeks ago, after not having heard from him for three years doesn’t work. He lied during an investigation in favour of a line manager who bullied me. He never expected that I’d read his lies later on after I applied for my file. I immediately told him to not contact me again. Your trick-box should have been exhausted by now.

I know you are collecting and waiting for me to do the “right” wrong thing for you to take action and certainly keep my public outcry should this reach court, and I wholeheartedly tell you that I neither care nor am afraid of you. Your systemic disregard for decent and hardworking people with integrity, your lack of compassion for people who give their sweat, blood and tears so that you can count your millions, your PR that gotten more cracks in its facade after your appalling dealings with two deaths becoming public… your carelessness will not be hidden forever, no matter how many hikes you take and use former homeless people for PR and step on even their dignity.

These questions remain, and the truth will always come to light… how many more have died, be it customers from allergen reactions or staff by suicide, some even after having left Pret so that no connections can be made. And how many more keep suffering, slide into depression and suicidal thoughts, as the true staff reviews reveal on the same lines of mistreatment again and again?

The truth will always come out, no matter how long it takes.

Kind regards,

Clive Schlee’s Late Night Girl

 

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2018 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The Great Pret-ender

 

There’s a clown whose job it is to keep everyone happy and buying stuff.

 

“I’m very conscious about how hard our staff work – how cheerful they are and how motivated they are when buttering the bread – all that is very important and you simply can’t afford to alienate your staff. Under no circumstances will we risk that – we haven’t cut any of our bonuses.”

Link

 

 

PAMSU Clive Alienate Staff

Link

 

 

ronald-mcdonald-you-re-fired-meme

 

 

2018-10-13 Clive Schlee Clown Tweet

Link

 

 

“I’m very conscious about how hard our staff work” 

Or

I am very aware that “our” staff work their butt off for nothing while being bullied.

 

“how cheerful they are and how motivated they are when buttering the bread”

 

Brutal Nightmare

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR crop2

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

 

 


 

For an overview of important blog entries regarding Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger and “Broken Windows” Syndrome

 

This article is what I meant many times when I wrote that I am shocked but not surprised on how Pret dealt with two customer deaths, a third nearly fatal, several hospitalized and multiple ignored warnings of customers. Having worked in Pret and almost having lost my life as I was bullied during already traumatic bereavement, this only shows how non-caring Pret is. To the public, this is new, as Pret has its PR in place with an approachable CEO and smiles all around. Pret invests a lot in keeping the facade polished while behind the scenes is a very different story.

And as cracks appeared in the facade, more marketing, using former homeless people for PR, efficient Tweets and free items give-away, that is paid for by increasing the prices. There is no such thing as “free” in Pret. Someone has to pay for all the freebies, and it’s not Pret.

One clear realization also on other companies whose skeletons fall out of the closet, with Pret there certainly is a more in the closet, quote from article: “This isn’t just a matter of bad luck.”

 

Worthwhile article:

Pret a Manger and “broken windows” syndrome

 

Broken Window Syndrome

Photo: Choilocif

 


 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Everyday

 

I wait for a phone call

Everyday

I wait for a catastrophe

An email

 

I cleared my house

I paid my bills

I wait for death

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

 

Long List of Pret A Manger Staff Complaints

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

 

 

Horrible Company Pret

 

 

2019-02-09 Response to Homeless House Tweet2

 

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

 

A customer in Chicago commenting on a deceased Pret staff and Pret itself:

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

Link

 

A rare observation and acknowledgement of the forced happiness/friendliness of staff:

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

#EndTheMysteryShopper

 



If you want to skip this long intro, scroll down until the red writing, and below it click on any of the many staff complaints I linked from outside Employment Review websites, YouTube, Twitter etc.

 


 

When customers who are so impressed with Pret because they only see the outside, the facade through the PR[et] machine, they ask Pret about these complaints and then are too easily sweet-talked into believing that this is just an unfortunate exception. But the truth will always come to the surface, no matter how long it takes.

I have chosen to do this public because I suffered so much and almost lost my life. I do this publicly for my own protection.

I wasted close to 10 years of my life in Pret! It is my biggest regret.

One major reason, but not the only one why there are so many complaints: Bridgepoint Capital. With the new JAB takeover, it will get even worse unless Pret radically changes their approach to the work conditions, and a £1000 fix won’t do it in the long-run, it is just an incentive to lure new workers in and retain current staff.

In the end, when nothing worked to make me resign because my grief was in the way of Pret’s business and my suggestions to improve work conditions was an inconvenience. When nothing worked (bullying, threats, file notes…) Pret used a Development Manager from HQ who also is a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner, both that can be very dangerous tools in manipulating people, and they used it well. This development manager supposedly lost her brother similarly to how I lost mine and that way they used her to get to me, stepping on her as well as my dignity.

On a side note, she is governed under this therapy body who have a commitment right on their front page that I have not seen on other therapy sites: “Our accredited Register status helps to ensure the safety and protection of the public.” I find this  odd, as if they have therapists who are not working for the safety and protection of the public. This Development Manager who is also a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner certainly is not adhering to safety and protection.

I became suicidal and ill. I was tricked and trapped again and again by management and HR, and my ill emailing out of trauma, having started to drink, I was fired while my father was in intensive care just out of a coma. I declined 4 settlement offers not signing anything and survived to speak of the ordeal I went through. This is Pret “doing the right thing naturally” as their HR department, and Pret in general claims.

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

 

Complaints from current and former staff members and managers, you can “blindly” click on ANY link below at RANDOM and it will read the SAME in a nutshell, at different times/years, from different positions: Discrimination, horrible, biased and incapable management, overworked, not paid for overtime, favouritism shown to own country-men etc…. Pret has extremely good PR in place and is sweet-talking their way out of this or post their “good deeds” online to cover up what really goes on behind the scenes, when customers contact Pret regarding these Staff Complaints.

 


 

 

>>> Pret’s appalling statement on Modern Slavery. <<<

 

 


 

 

The first person ever to stand up publicly against Pret’s terrible work-conditions was Andrej Stopa. I am the second, and in time more people will stand up.

 

 

 

In my own way to cope with this be it sarcastically or with humour to get away from the seriousness and pain, I take a complaint from below’s list and put them daily as “Quotes of the Day” on my blog and collect them HERE, to stress the point how toxic Pret’s work environment is, and how it is hurting people hidden behind the shiny PR(et) facade.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything, but there may be fake reviews! And also the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out. Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews. In my 10 years in Pret I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 were decent, fair and caring, not to mention hard working. The majority I worked with are immature, discriminating, bullying, insecure, complacent and oftentimes incapable due to lack of training.

True reviews will always continue be written on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

 

One quote from a former barista in Pret NYC mentions that every shop they have worked in, it is the same story re: bad management, favouritism etc. And it really is, also in London, UK: “I worked in 4 different shops and the song and dance was the same in each one.”

Another review also from NY: “Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company …” And I can verify this even in London, and I have worked with more than a dozen managers! Only 2 of them were exceptional and good, but it is the sad exception even now in 2018 as my experience and the below reviews show.

On the subject of missing pay and overtime not being paid as I have experienced as well in 10 years countless times that I had to chase missing pay from managers. This was draining and a job in itself.

Pret staff in the UK and elsewhere should do the same as Pret staff in the USA have done, go to court to reclaim missing pay: Pret A Manger settles overtime wage claims of 4000 employees!

You can click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay, discrimination etc.

 

I did not correct any mistakes in the below reviews to keep it in their own words.


 

Start of the long list of
staff complaints / reviews

 

Get ready to lick so many a***es to advance
Dear Lord, protect me from ever need to work for Pret a Manger ever again. Amen.
For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans.

 


 

01. Nov. 2018 NY “horrible managementmanagement is disrespectful, they fire people when they are having rough times in life even if they talk to a manager about it , i was penalized for calling out for a funeral.

 


 

30. Oct. 2018 NY “Go back to the UK, PretI have never worked in such a toxic, unprofessional corporate environment. Employees relocating from UK were given preferential treatment, better salaries for equal experience

 


 

“Horrible place they shout at you all the time for any little mistake. … push you to be more and more quickly treat you like a robot not a human being … Dumb and bossy staff members….” Review from 27. June 2018

 


 

NEW February 2019 on Facebook:

#68 Pret A Money Hungry Regarding doing charity for the homeless: “The help they do is just for public to bring more customers in. Behind is chaos.

#69 Pret Abuse of Team MembersTeam members are abused by work in terms of quantity of work and responsibilities”

 


 

NEW: 22. Jan. 2019 Manchester: “need to hire different managers, ones that respect staff. the ones there now, shout at staff, don’t understands there circumstances or disabilities

 


Review on YouTube towards the bottom beginning of July 2018 from RPQ who now changed the name to Branzinotito, quote:
“I used to work for Pret. What a truly brutal nightmare is was. Horrible company.”

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply2

Same comment, new name:

2018-07-24 RPQ now Branzinotito comment on James Hoffmann video

 


 

 

I am an ex GM. I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.” (Full review in the picture below.)

 

The “certain venture capitalist firm” this Ex-GM is talking about is Bridgepoint who set the immense target since the 2008 purchase of increasing shops by 15% per year and were set to make a seven times return on their investment in 2018. It is “deal hungry” JAB’s turn now to take the baton from Bridgepoint and squeeze even further the life out of staff. Good luck Pret employees!

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 


 

 

Terrible experience one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had … lots of stress … under payed … long hours/ short brakes … terrible management … really unflexible schedule.”

 


 

 

My initial comments to James Hoffmann’s video and his response, which are still not released but only visible when I am logged in to my YT account. I wrote an Open Letter to James Hoffmann because my comments weren’t visible, otherwise I wouldn’t have written one. He still hasn’t responded and just briefly recognized it via Twitter, as I have a hunch that he might have contacted or has been contacted by Pret who may have sweet-talked their way out of this again, as “PR”et is very efficient for the outside facade:

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply1a

 

 


 

 

Unfairly dismissed Worker was unfairly dismissed, became homeless, lost his relationship, slept in his car for a few weeks. 

 

Unfairly dismissed Flawed HR Hearings and Appeal’s Hearings.

 

Dismissed for starting a Union.

 


 

 

A review regarding Pret’s Head Office from a former IT ANALYST!

Quote: “Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

 


 

 

A review from a former Purchasing Director in Pret NYC.

One of the oddest work experiences. Worked their during a transition period – so company going in one direction and then the opposite.

2017-02-28 NYC ODD A Manger

 


 

 

Quote Pret #20 Terrible Company

Quote: “Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company…”

This, dear New York Employee, is because like you already mentioned that there is no training in leadership and employee relations. I have had over a dozen managers, and even more managers I’ve worked with when I helped out in other branches for a few days. In my 10 years in Pret there were only 2 of them that had people and leadership skills, one of which is this wonderful person, who’s also proven that a manager can be nice, hard working and still be really successful, as she was often at the top (#1, 2 etc.) out of all the shops.
Also, Pret pays a little more than the competition and gives incentives, more holiday, bits and pieces here and there, because if they won’t give more they would have no one wanting to work in Pret as Pret is just way too stressful and hard work. To me, the hard work was not so much the issue, the issue was the UNNECESSARY bullshit = bullying and discrimination. And for Pret to dare bully me while I was going through extreme trauma with the loss of my brother and all the tricks and traps I could not clearly see until later, you bet I will speak about this openly no matter what they come up with next.

 


 

 

A former Manager’s review:

“I am an ex GM [General Manager] … I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs [Team Members] to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.”

12 Blogger dot comCROP

Source, scrolling down to the comments.

 


 

 

James Ashword video comment by Hailey Hyein Lee

From YouTube ca. February 2018

 


 

 

Perat A Manger London video comment by Budai Andrea

— and —

Perat A Manger London video comment by justineyouloulou

— and —

Perat A Manger London video comment by Logic 2000

From YouTube 2008 this was before Pret became increasingly and intensely bullying But it has always been difficult, but since the 2008 Bridgepoint takeover, it became more systemic bullying as Pret was tasked and pressured to open more and more shops fast on almost every corner in London at least. I won’t point out who, but in the video is one person I later worked with, who became a GM later (I worked with them when they were AM) and is one of the rare people/GMs being good to their TMs.

 


 

 

The idea of proper training is also rediculousMost people are taken in under promises (including being a front of house or kitchen person but then dumped where they are needed and not where they were promised) but find that often by day 2 or 3 are thrown on a bench on their own in the kitchen and nagged at due to not being fast enough and expected to reach TM* productivity levels within the first few weeks with hardly any proper training.”

Throughout all my time in Pret I have mentioned the lack of training again and again and again and did my utmost best to train my teams even though many of my managers tried to stop me because I was investing time in my teams, but managers wanted me and teams to just be busy on the tills and in the kitchen… Training hardly exists in Pret. Development Managers are just doing their 9-5, Mon – Fri job, not being bothered if what they train is even implemented in the shops! There is a huge chasm between HQ and shops, no matter how much “PR”et is trying to convince otherwise!

 


 

 

“I’ve learned a Lot!…” “Cons: In Spite of the wonderful Pros of this company, Your subjected to emotional blackmail and serious labor issues with Most shops being run by Unprofessional and Bias Managerial staff backed by a corrupted HR Dept. Advice to Management: The Core Values you instill in your Employees are Virtuous , And is the the secret to your success!…..On the Contrary, I strongly suggest a Labor Union! so employees that are treated unfair have a platform for their voice to be heard without resentment or the sinuous backlash from your Inadequate Managerial staff & Flout HR Dept.!!!! who support them.”


 

Pret A Manger Logo “If you want to work in a happy enviroment without being bullied then whatever you do DON’T work for Pret”Being made to feel incompetent. Worked into the ground without empathy. Managers treat staff like idiots. The image of the happy enviroment is a joke. It would be good for the BBC or Dispatches to go under cover and work in a shop for a week to show the world what really goes on behind the scenes.” – Welcome to the Club and my website! You are not even safe when you grief the loss of a brother!


 

“fire the HR staff”

and replace them with more educating indiviuals and ones that dont discriminate … Nothing but aggravation and a discriminating HR” <– (This review is as recent as 12. June 2018! I have my own extensive experience with the Pret HR dept. as the Head of HR said that I “Exhausted the HR department”. Sorry about that @ Head of HR, but as a Tribunal Judge already ruled that your hearings are “fundamentally flawed” I can more than verify this after raising grievance after grievance that were NOT conducted fairly and impartially).


 

First review 4 months before this review underneath. 

“Interesting comments. My husband now works for pret and is being treated so badly by his area manager. I am astounded that they can get away with it. It seemed like such a nice place to work but it’s like some kind of sect… ”

My response: they get away with it because it is systemic and they are trained to treat staff like this, for more and more profit.

— 4 months later: —

“Further to my previous comment [scrolling up above this review] about my husband having problems with his area manager. They stitched him up good and proper and fired him…this was done in such a way that they found a couple of things to hang him on which wouldn’t normally result in him being sacked. They clearly did all of this because he was going to put in a grievance against his area manager for bullying (he was talked out of this and thought it had all smoothed over) and then wham! The company disgusts me – how they could treat an employee with a wife and 2 small children like that I don’t know. The management of this company are pure evil.”

 


 

 

Response to above review:

“Regarding the area manager, yeah they just sit on their fat bums all day, and email on their phones or look at stupid graphs. End of the day its about increasing sales, meeting targets and reducing labour. They will always cover there own backs first, to watch there bonuses, and not care about the workers.

Alot of managers i have met, are complete arrogant snobs, that know nothing about even running a store, yet alone trying to explain things to you, they sit on there high throne, and blah blah blah things.”

 

pexels-photo-262218

 

“Please get the bullies out” “Forced to work without pay, … bullying tactics used by Heads, unfair salaries, descrimination …


 

“I want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE!” … “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.


 

Pret doesn’t care about workers. The most important is business, profits. That’s why they cut working hours and made you work harder.”

 


 

“Hellhole … you treat people like they’re useless and worthlessget down from that high horse you’re on”

 


 

“Poor … Lack of defined management, finger-pointing, politics and poor organisation.”

Poorly trained management Too much dependency on skillful employees.”

“Squandered opportunities” “Poor management, broken promises, stressful work environment.”

“”rude behaviour at the workplace (kitchen manager shouting at everybody)”

“Pure Misery … kitchen staff is treated like slavesThe upper management is a bunch of heartless

“Overworked and Aweful Managers everyone complains how much they hate this job”

“If you want to follow the company standards, you need to have enough labor. Do not kill your employees.”

“Workers are slave Very bad management. They treat you like a slave. You have zero value for them. They don’t recognize your effort

extremely rude co workers, unprofessional management, not properly trained however expected to know what you’re doing and smile while doing it.

Would not recommend … Managers do not care about they team. Never get 2 days off in a row. Practice favoritism”

“Hell job for minimum salary.”

Bad management who talk to staff rudely, and yet don’t do their jobs properly

“even when you are having a bad day you must smile” Not just on a bad day, even during traumatic bereavement!

do not give power to irresponsible people

“Stressful and dominating … Supervisors/Team Leaders treat you like a slave”

“It’s a trap” “listen to your employees. Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

“Head Office” “People are taken into account only if it makes a good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.

“Manager- horrible upper management, unrealistic goals, promotions based on politics.”Favoritism with managementNo integrityA lot of show and dance for support center and president/ceo.

“The brainwash is real”The coffee calling system is broken. During busy times it is nearly impossible to keep up with the orders without hating everyone around you. managers/team leaders are not properly trained when it comes to simple communication. Especially towards female staff members. A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period. Advice to Management: Get some proper training regarding real people skills.” (Absolutely true!)

“Bad jobs for sometimes good people” “Advice to Management: Good luck with Brexit!” … (Well, that’s why this is happening: Pret is giving £1000 to each employee now)

“… Team Leader … Every shop has less people than required as this affects shops profitability” True about the Mystery Shopper! But even if you do well with the Misery Shopper (yes MISERY Shopper!) as I did again and again for years, I never gotten rewarded other than the usual bonus, even during bereavement doing really well, no mention. But the moment a few points are lost, hell breaks loose!

“Managementhas no clue how to manage people

“Very demanding … Nothing you do there is appreciated “… Horrible atmosphere and you feel too much pressure all the time. Advice to Management: Please treat employees as humans not as robots! It seems like you enjoy making people unhappy.

“Not kitchen, food factory” “Not everybody has to be a leader who works long enough for Pret and shouts loud enough. Management should assess the personality, the leadership skills and the interpersonal skills before making someone a leader.” 

“Horrible training, too many lies” “Training sucks, people are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you, will never recommend this company. Bottom line as a British company they treat employees as machines, they don’t care about how they feel, expect too much for too little. Horrible environment. Advice to Management: Treat people with respect and appreciate their hard work. Stop using your British mentality when it comes to deal with people. You’re people are horrible at this.

 

Robot sad crop

 

“Toxic, low class, unprofessional culture … upper management and hr are fully aware of but ignore. … Terrible management training program” really unprofessional and have very low management skills.

“Advice to Management: Treat people like human beings“”

“Worst place..” “Advice to Management: Absolutely less stress and please cut the roles because looks to work like slaves. Terrible experience.”

“Worst first day experience” “Pros: Nothing at all….. Not even a 0.0005 star. …Lies about family team vibes… They don’t recruit you for your work ethic…”

“Slavery hasn’t been abolished!”

“Most of the managers are really difficult, they forgot where they come from”, please treat the people as human beings, We know the profit and your career are important but you don’t have to be rude.”

“Worst company to work for”managers are always working with fear … Advice to Management: Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.” (And I thought I was tough with my critique!)

Very hard work … No support and respect from Manager

“The worst job I’ve had in London” “the good payment is not enough for getting worse my health (my back and my heart). l am with anxiety all the time, working in a tiny kitchen in a HORRIBLE atmosphere!!” (Yes, I was bullied during bereavement and tricked and trapped via HR, high five!)

I have asked for several transfers to other shops due to management. Either a manager was extremely “lazy”, un-supportive, but gave the team a hard time when things didn’t go well, or another manager was like a tyrant, constantly threatening the team & individuals with & giving file notes for the smallest things. Ops Managers either aren’t aware of it, mostly being concerned with mystery shopper results for their own bonuses or not bothering about how the team is “motivated”.”

 

“You are of course right, hiring happy people is only a part of the solution. If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently).”

My response: I lost my brother and in my bereavement was NOT asked “gently” what’s up, I was bullied, targeted, tricked and trapped by Pret’s HR dept. to get me out and ultimately fired while my father was in intensive care, just out of a coma. So, here I am again having survived to tell my story as “gently” as possible collecting all these reviews from other sites.

 

pexels-photo-278303

 

Pret A M*ffin “…team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear … listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt

Pret A Robot “People are treated inhuman way in terms of sickness and work load. Employees are being treated more like robots than human beings

Pret A JokeYou have a limited time to do your job everyday but this time limit is a joke. they give me the next rota just the day before the week starts.

Pret A Nothingdidn’t learn nothing as i have things to give to that shop as i came with lots of experience and skills.

Red A Manager “their [managers] personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

Pret A Unhappy If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently)”

Trap A Manger “It’s a trap! … Huge stress. Never stops.Shouting all around. … Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

Pret A Unpaid “Very unfair company”

Pret A ScreamOne of the things that I absolutely hated about working at pret, was the fact that management wanted you to act like you were having fun and smile at all times.

Pret A Managerthe staff are great the guys who do the real work. The management suck

Pret A No RespetarLos managers son penosos“, “un horror!!” “desastrosa” and “todo… no tiempo libre, no respeto..”

“When the job takes over your life”

“Too much pressure and managers with poor interpersonal skills. … Advise to Management: Respect your team…”

“Brainwashed sandwich making”

“Fun but stressful, not worht it”

“… hot chef…” (Hot Chef in Pret shops is the hardest job!)

“Too Much Pressure”

“Really working at Pret” (“Advice to Management: quit”)

“Team Leader”

“Sometimes long shifts due to lack of people. Advise to management: take care of workers.”

“too much work. Poor leadership

“Minimum Salary for everyday smiling”

My response: Yes, even smiling while going through trauma, dare you not smile when you just lost a loved one!

 

emoji-happy-thumbs-upSIDE Down

 

“Good but not perfect”management should do their jobs

“Never ever!” I hate all manager…”

NOTE: I don’t agree with the racism here! But the trend of complaints about management and leadership should be clear.

“Hot Chef Advice to Management: Be human. It’s not your own business.”

My response: That’s what I said once to a line manager who told us leaders that if we don’t like it in “his” shop to f*** off, I replied that he is also only employed by Pret, he does not own “his” shop!

“Brain wash, Control, Never stop…” “Cons: Aggressive and mortify management, brainwashing, mobbing, after working hours NON PAID, if you don’t finish YOUR DUTIES you stay after the working hours non paid… Advice to Management: Respect people that work hard! Don’t exploit them!”

“Assistant Manager Respect yourself don’t let managers to overload you.”

My response: easily said when they immediately threaten with Note of Concerns, disciplinary and job security!

“…also has a motto: FIFO or Fit In or Fu*k Off. I always got the impression that Pret was actually a free-thinking company…but perhaps they are becoming too large too and need to do the conforming thing.

 

silhouette-2480321__340

 

“high rated company”

“Pret A Manger Reality”

“Good jobs for good people” (“Look after your people and figures will look after themselves.”) Amen!!

“Will be leaving soon”

“Overworked environment”

“Not much training” True! I had to train myself most of the time.

“It was fine” “… lots of micromanaging”

“Favouratism”

“Barista” another

“Team Member”

“Cliquey environment…”

“Good jobs for idiots”

“Bad experience” “Treat your employees with respect. Be polite .”

“TMT”

“Not for British”

“Cool”

“Not for me” “Advise to Management: Don’t be so brainwashed and scared.”

“Not the best place to work”

“Good jobs for part time” “lazy managers high demanding ops”

“Overworked, High expectations, No recognition” “Manager at my shop treated everyone really poorly. Expect you to stay longer to complete your job for free when not enough time is given. Constantly missing hours from extra shifts taken. Have to ask every week to see if they have repaid those hours and in some cases takes months to chase back.”

“I regret working there (don’t go)” “Team Leader who was working with me during the weekends (I was a part timer) was very rude to me , calling me stupid etc. … And I also ”love” how the company itself tries so hard to create this friendly enviroment for the employers by putting these sweet posters around etc. etc. when in reality it is very miserable and stressfull place to work for ! … People working in your company are not robots with smiles on their faces 24/7 !!!”

“Diverse place”

“place for foreigners young people”

“Good progression tree…” “Management bonuses are profit driven so hours are cut often… I would recommend joining a union”

“Team Leader” “Listen to your team” Absolutely!

Pret a Manger “leader use to shout people.”

“Very average”

“Barista-role part time … There are no appointed qualified trainers there like you promise beforehand, why say it then?”

“Horrible Experience”

“Some of the management are rude or never show up … They always make mistakes like ‘adjust the rota’ resulting in me not being able to work …”

“Disappointing”

“Barista” another one

“My Experience” “Put same manager know how to organize the team and what you have to do”

“Team Member” “Managers are pain”

“very bad team” “manager was very bad he was all day on face book in his office”

“Less than 1 year…”

“No sick pay…”

“Disappointed” another

“Not a good company to work for…”

“Good first job … as foreigner” “Often happen to work “unpaid” overtime to finish daily duties … Limited progression career if you’re not in the state of grace of the Head of your working Area … In many cases I’ve weighed up a big incompetence and lack of skills between Team Leader and Assistant Manager’s position.”

“too much expectations” “management is a joke. numbers are more important than people”

“Eh” “The management is terrible.”

“Demanding. Can be fun” “High demands not in line with pay, lack of support, inconsistent training, stressful/poor work life balance”

“horrible management, super biased” “super biased managers most of the girls in my store are from the same place even the assistant manager and FOH so they tend to group together against people they don’t like even if they don’t know them. … make sure the store isn’t just a bunch of biased friends that if you aren’t part of their group they’ll make your life hell”

“Horrible experience” “Lack of communication b/t managers and staff. – Immature workers – Slave-like environment – Biased behavior – Too strict on simple task. Advice to Management: Work on communication and stop treating co-workers like robots.”

“Team Member” “my location had a rude manager who cleaned up her act after I tried relocating. There is no HR, just a recruitment team who will give you phone numbers to where you wanna go. Overworked for sure; management expects perfection for their weekly shopper. You’ll be running from the basement to the first floor, between tons of customers, and up to the second … ”

 

————————————————————————————————-

 

The one thing that did frustrate me and ultimately caused me to leave was the way it dealt with the enthusiasm troughs. In fairness to Pret, I left 8 years ago; so this may have improved since but in my experience the company was not good at dealing with people’s frustrations. There was a strong message for people who were frustrated with something and couldn’t get it resolved – leave! I saw a number of people become shunned and passed over if they had feedback which wasn’t entirely positive. Often people left disgruntled having started out as the desirable happy employees. I suppose in someways it was a useful self selection process – when I became frustrated with a few things and felt threatened that my feedback would fall on highly judgemental ears I knew it was time to leave – leaving the happy people behind me. ”

My response to this review: This person left in 2008 out of frustration, I started in Pret in 2008 and can only say in all fairness to Pret, that it gotten worse.

 

————————————————————————————————-

 

unskilled managers, racism, bad pay, they take advantage of staff”

“Great company, but will take advantage” “Rude young team members and too many managers in 1 store. Advice to Management: Cut back on all the chiefs we need more indians” – My speech for 10 years!

“Come to your shop at weekends from time to time to see how it’s look like when it’s understaffed”

“Team Member” “Multiple Supervisor – Confusing Leadership … Lack of leadership … Add some structure & look for ways to encourage workers to work hard and have fun without risking their jobs”

“General Manager” “Very racist upper management. They make you work 60 hours per week and they don’t pay you for it (just basic salary). They don’t appreciate your work no matter how good you are. Tendency to promote british managers than american ones. Advice to Management: Open your mind towards american managers. stop racism that is happening to workers. Get involved with the employees and don’t let the operational managers act as they own the people.”

“Takes advantage of your kindness”

“cashier / hot chef” “Some managers are very anal! The customer is more important then workers. Advice to Management: Listen to your employers suggestions!!” – (I think they meant “employees”)

“Advice to Management: Be kinder to your employees they are not slaves.”

“The management plays favorites more often than not”

“Great things preacherd, not always practiced” ” If you are a Pret Person, quirky, and in with the right crowd, you’re golden. If not….good luck. Pompous and thinks too highly of itself.”

“Pret Graveyard shift” “Terrible hours and poor management and training some people…”

“over worked” “hours are constantly changing … team members are constantly training themselfs”

“management talks to you with little respect.”

“Pressure is crazy especially if you work in the kitchen. … Paperwork is excessive at times. Advice to Management: Reward those who work hard for you and give them a raise. Catch them doing the right thing and praise, and dont just discipline the bad”

“team member” “stressful environment, too many people trying to overpower others. Advice to Management: think like a team member and your key roles to understand success of the team”

“just terrible”Discriminatory management. Unprofessional atmosphere … Abusive staff. Don’t just promote the people that you like, promote the people that are the most qualified.”

“working at pret”Lack of accountability … poor management.” (Absolutely!!!)

“Long hours, unrealistic expectations…”Unrealistic targets, little support, long hours. Advice to Management: Stop changing everything all the time with poor execution

“Terrible experience…” “Cons: Pretty much everything is a con: -lots of stress -under payed -long hours/ short brakes -terrible management -really unflexible schedule.”

“Spoiled, selfish upper management…” “upper management thinks they are better than everyone else. They spend (waste) lots of money on dinners for themselves and “leadership conferences” that are really just excuses to party in Orlando or Vegas. “Business” trips to Boston and Chicago are really expensed vacations for their families. The Brits have taken over NYC. Pret has brought over many managers and leaders form the UK and ‘beheaded’ many of the US employees who built the brand to make room for them. Advice to Management:get over yourselves.”

I will shorten the comments now as this is never ending… Links can just be clicked and read….

Horrible,OverWorked For The Pay,Bad Management And Bad Treatment Felt Like A Slave. Fix Your Attitude care about your employees dont over do the staff be reasonable be fair try everybody equally and so on such a bad experience.”

DISCRIMINATION of [in] PRET A MANGER!!!!!!!!!!?”

Retrain management

Horible management

They expect perfection

Politics

They hire if you don’t know the language
(That’s true, because that way you won’ t be able to complain or know your rights).

Horrible management … expecting perfection

Biased management

Listen to your employees, some have great potential that needs to be channeled not blocked

Heavy workload, borderline demeaning, discrimination.

Hard hard working culture, to much pressure to be working 100% every sec.

Careless

most of your employees don’t look forward to working there because you are staring them down every second

Poor senior leadership due to lack of experience and diversity. Promotion and staff recognition based on personal favourites

Management is very incompetent. It is clear they have little to know training and have absolutely no training or experience in employee relations

Interior is very clumsy, depressing sometime.

 

Other review site “Indeed”

Avoid working there

Terrible

Unorganized management

Good benefits, poor management

You will lose everything that makes you human

Very little positive feedback

Rude lower management

Could be more human

Kitchen managers tend to pressure employees excessively

You get to know many different people but nobody really stands for the job.

Very stressful

Everything revolves around achieving the weekly bonus

Poor and terribel mangement

to meet MS standards you have to cheat, ops manager should spend some time with team members (No, they are too busy sitting in the pub during lunch time rush and flying to Dubai to party “their” hard work)

Forced happiness (even during traumatic bereavement!)

When they don’t need you, they make so many displinary needed for you left the job.

Bad Management

I assume this is a complaint with the 1 star 😉

Very disappointed … they never praised me

What the head office ask to us is more than 100% perfomance.

The culture overall was a very rude tone

unfortunate tradition on keeping a dynasty of friends in power while others that don’t make it into the friendly circle will perish.

manager was very rude to another member of staff in front of the rest of us which was very unprofessional

The management of the company seems to have no principle based.

Pret is now too productive and cost minimising company. Labour cost is the key, then customer satisfaction.

many Shop Manager they were very rude and unprofessional

Good company but bad management … You have thousand of standards to respect, but it’s impossible to finish on time NO, when the majority of managers are bad management, then it is a bad company! “The fish stinks from its head” as the saying goes.

Apply there, work for few months and run away a soon as you can.Managment and somemembers of staff were extremely rude and patronising, was often a lot of eye rolling and sighs (Bullying environment)

Crazy management , promoting people from their homeland only . overworking staffs

Harsh Environment. HR problems, employee is treated really badly

I felt like I was being patronised the entire time I was there.

Excessive control. Stress.

Little training was just pushed at the deep end as soon as I started the job

Micromanagement, too many rules

Not fun at all due to management approach

Robots

Fake people, cheat

for every shop the job was done by, let say 20 people. now it is done by 10

Managers treats you like poorly. they are racist and discriminating. if you want to get promotion you have to sleep with someone and kiss manager bum.

Management is trying to squeeze you like a lemon, there is no time to catch a breath, no weekends off, not even 2 days off together.

 

———————————————————————–

 

My own review with a former Senior Manager’s response to my review.

 

———————————————————————–

 

….. and so on.

 


 

In an Imaginary but Honest Interview with Pret I made up the acronym of what Pret stands for: PRET is a four letter F-Word spelled F E A R which stands for: Fire Early At Request. Or one can say Fret.

@Pret, at any company, please treat your people right, as a team leader I have shown you that when you treat your team right, you will still be successful and the money comes in and the team feels truly respected. You don’t want people like me who raise the standard while still treating the team good. I was too loud for you, and yet, if you would have protected me in the darkest time instead of continuing to put me under suppressive management, I would be writing a completely different blog now.

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,

 

I take back what I wrote at the end of this “video” that Pret has a “good” heart after what I’ve been through and the customers’ deaths, but I leave the “video” as a reminder of Pret’s “legacy” with what I went through and the above list of staff complaints.

 

 

 


 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

I Survived

 

red balloons.jpg

 

 

I’m not living, but I survived.

A love song to life, relationships, family, lessons, gains, losses, giving up, falling down, rising up …

Life …

 

Link Song translation ©2018 poetrasblok.com

 

 

 

03NENA-facebookJumbo

 

 

 

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

Pret A Manger’s Emotional Labour is Emotional Abuse

 

Emotional Labour Emotional Abuse

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

Link

 

 

“I was served after 15 seconds …”

“Team members should smile at customers and may not work when ill …”

“Your smile is part of your uniform. You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform!”

 

 

emotional-labour-labor.jpg

Link

 

“… in The New Republic, Timothy Noah observes that the sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger aggressively monitors its employees’ displays of enthusiasm. If any worker at any particular store seems insufficiently pleased to see their customers, he and all of his coworkers could suffer the consequences. Pret CEO Clive Schlee even monitors whether his employees are making enough affectionate physical contact with each other.” Link

 

 

Ctrl +

 

MS Mystery 15 seconds to Mars

4 our of 5 points even while being served in 15 seconds. Sorry dear Misery Shopper, that the team didn’t serve you in 1.5 seconds to get 100%.

 

 

MS Mystery Shopper VAT eat in take away

 

MS Mystery Shopper Team Member should smile cough

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

1. Team Member are not paid the first 2 – 3 days, depending on age, when sick, having to make constant decisions if to stay home and lose income, or if they are fit enough to work while ill.

2. After this comment I found myself in the office being told off by the manager. No question of “how are you”…

3. I couldn’t smile at times after I buried my brother and my manager again had no mercy. And when I smiled and the MS made excellent comments, there was NO recognition from the managers.

4. Pret A Manger, stop this emotional abuse and exploitation for your millions.

 

 

MS Mystery Shopper Miserable

“I felt miserable when I walked in to begin with. I looked at the staff on the tills and they all looked very unhappy and not cheerful at all. To improve, the staff members could be smiling and interacting with each other to liven up the atmosphere.”

After this comment, the never-smiling, moody, shouting manager told the team in the kitchen after this MS report: “Your smile is part of your uniform. You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform!”

 

 

MS Mystery Shopper Detail

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

MS: “There was a staff member who was replenishing stock and another tidying away after customers left promptly. Before sitting down at a table the member checked my tale and chair to see if they were cleaned properly.”

 

 

04 MS

Pret: “We aim to serve our customers within 1 minute of joining the queue. Were you served in a reasonable time, bearing in mind how busy the shop was and the number of open tills?”
MS: “I was served in less than a minute.”

Pret: “We aim to serve our customers their hot drink within 1 minute of payment. Did you receive your hot drink order within a reasonable time, bearing in mind how busy the shop was?”
MS: “I was served my hot drink almost instantly.”

1. The “reasonable” time is unrealistic, staff get so pressured and used to work on autopilot that they ALWAYS rush and panic for every second they may lose to finish any job, especially customer service.

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.”
MS: “I was not greeted at the till or given a smile …”

1. On average a Team Member does between 300 – 500 transactions per day, depending on how busy it is and if working in the rush times. 300 transactions are NOT 300 people, 1 transaction can be serving 3 people. So, on average a TM communicates at least with 500 – 800+ PERSONS, plus colleagues, line managers etc. The exhaustion staff members go through, not to mention depression is something the public doesn’t want to know about. I was complemented many times by the Mystery Shopper and customers for my friendly service, attentiveness, professionalism… but they did not know that several times I left my shift headed for the bridge.

2. If the TM is successful and the MS is happy with the overall atmosphere and requirements of the shop, the whole team receives the bonus. If the TM messes up, doesn’t smile or whatever the MS may not be happy with, the whole team loses bonus, and the TM will find themself in the office being told off, at times manipulated with fear management, threatened with a disciplinary and/or ob loss… Even during bereavement, I was summoned to the office and my non-smiling was one part of a list of (small) things I was targeted with.

 

Not Outstanding

 

If any team member, including leaders and managers would have been “outstanding” by giving a free coffee for example or making lots of conversation (kissing butt) that person can receive an extra £100, even if the bonus was lost. And if the score/points were perfect, that person can earn double, £200. That at least was when I was still in Pret in December 2017.

2018-07-04 Outstanding Card

Link

 

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

 

 

End MS

Link

 

Emotional Labour Emotional Abuse

 


 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Anger Subsides

 

and strangers abide

by one rule

 

Emotional Intelligence

over greed

@ Pret A Manger, maybe one day you really really live up to your slogans.

Because otherwise it just bites you in the butt.

 

 

For an overview to the most important blog entries regarding Pret A Manger, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The arrow next to each heading will lead directly to the post. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day 69 – Pret Abuse of Team Members

 

One current Pret employee who found the courage to speak out on the Pret post for the House for the Homeless project. This now has put a target on his back with HR having an eye on him, and I won’t be surprised if he will get an invite for a disciplinary hearing, or an “informal” meeting to intimidate him. But as Pret is reading my blog, they will find something small to hang on him to dismiss him. Don’t look over your shoulder, put your head up, look ahead, and join a Union.

 

Quote of the day:

 

“There’s one thing to say. Pret has to look after their own people because whatever [is] going on behind the scenes it’s pretty bad. I repeat myself; Team members are abused by work in terms of quantity of work and responsibilities… Unfair management for sure… I truly understand fear of speaking for people that work in Pret because they need a job…”

 

Nothing more to add, except: Respect for speaking out! Good luck, and don’t let Pret intimidate you into silence, Ciovica! Join a union ASAP! >>> @bfawu1 or @NSSN_NE or @__PAMSU__ ‏among many others …

 

2019-02-09 Response to Homeless House Tweet2

 

Link to Facebook comment The link will load a few seconds and needs to settle before this direct comment appears. This comment from yesterday’s was after the initial comment on the Pret house for the homeless Facebook post that I used for yesterday’s “Quote of the Day”: Pret A Money Hungry

 

2019-02-08 Response to Homeless House Tweet0

Link, again needs to load before the comment appears.

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger’s “House of the Rising Stars” & “Shops of the Falling Stars”

 

Some free PR for Pret again with my and other former as well as current Pret employee’s thoughts on the house for the homeless project.

As Pret became aware of my blog in the night from 28th to 29th May 2018 and read my blog, and CEO Clive Schlee always likes to get input from staff and the public on ideas, I posted a blog entry in July 2018 on the cafe chain Social Bite’s project of building a village for homeless people. Of course this may have not been the catalyst for starting a Pret house, but I know how Pret/Clive take ideas and take the credit for it. Clive made the £1000 announcement for all staff in the early hours of 29th May 2018 when he and Pret became aware of my blog. I know how the CEO reacts fast when reputation and profit are at stake, I have seen this many times in his reactions and emails. And I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that this was five years in the making. ONE house started with the help of a multi-million pound company taking FIVE years to plan?????!! … while an unknown coffee chain can build a VILLAGE within two years of planning! I leave the origins for the idea of the house for the homeless parked here.

 

Today was the DAY. The Launch of the Social Bite Village. 2 Years in the making! 11 purpose built 2 bedroom houses and…

Posted by Social Bite on Thursday, May 17, 2018

 

@ Clive Schlee, remember the Permanent Residency application I told you about for the foreign workers when Brexit was voted for? Or you seeing me and my team’s organization of shops and then implemented throughout the company, with pictures of immaculate langars on every shop wall? Or the Mystery Shopper ideas I brought via OPs SN? Or IN THE EVENING when the Grenfell Tower fire happened, you had a meeting and decided to give £100,000 to the Evening Standard foundation for the victims ON THAT NIGHT … I still have the emails. Or my post in August 2018 on “Suicide Sanctuary” and a house for the suicidal… It is good to find ideas and implement, but I know Pret as an organization that only implements support if it helps the business and PR. I’m not the only one having experienced this.

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

 

You can decide very quickly if you want to, and then it supposedly takes you 5 years to plan ONE house for the homeless? Really?? Too much bad press in 2018, hey?

This is why I am so critical, not of the house for the homeless, but of the motive behind it. This is very easy for Pret to do, and I wonder why it has taken so long? And why so few “Rising Stars” came through the programme in 10 years?

Only few people on Facebook and Twitter look further than just from 12 to noon and ask Pret why so few. A Facebook comment on the Rising Stars programme in December 2018:

why only 450 in 10yrs out of 12k staff

 

… because it only takes few to fool the public with a marketing scheme to divert from deeper issues …

 

Link (to read need to be logged into FB)

why only 450 in 10yrs out of 12k staff

 

And on Twitter:

 

2019-01-02 re rising stars too few2

Link

The answer to why Pret puts them into one shop I write about in my Open Letter to the PFT.

In the end of the year annual report in 2016 the CEO mentioned 20.000 employees, now it’s 12K? Where did 8.000 staff members go in 2 years?! But out of this amount of employees, only 450+ “Rising Stars” came through the programme. Pretty low for a company that prides itself in ethical issues and charity. But it only takes a few people for marketing and the public swallows it blindly.

I also commented regarding the house on Head of the PFT Nicki Fisher’s tweet, but within minutes was “shadow banned” again. Twitter is secretly censoring and hiding Tweets from the public as Pret is a paying customer, wanting to avoid bad press and the truth reaching the public.

As Pret had a lot of bad press last year where a few scandals that came to light that where nicely tucked away in the dark, the house for the homeless, or as I rescission it “The House of the Rising Stars” which Pret will again steal from me, but you read it here first, is a much needed boost for Pret’s typical marketing strategy. No, I am not being negative, I just know how dishonest and toxic Pret is, even using a Development Manager from HQ who lost her brother who died alone in his flat, like my brother died alone in his flat. But Pret used her to sanction me for traumatic emailing, and NOT for mutual support. She then entered into private emailing and text messages which was part of me being unfairly dismissed while my dad was in hospital, just out of a coma. This perversion and disrespect for bereaved in their dignity let’s me question Pret’s “charity”. I cover this extensively among other blog entries in “The Perversion of a Toxic HR Department“.

To make this clear, I commend this project and even if I believe this to be a PR stunt, it’s still good to have something in place, even if it’s to polish the shiny Pret facade again that has gotten a lot of cracks lately.

But I want to give my thoughts on why a lot of this is hypocrisy, a cover up of the reality of work conditions behind the facade, and my concerns on how Pret is from the start going about it.

My regular readers know my traumatic story with Pret, but for new readers, please visit the “Mind Map” I’ve created that leads to important blog entries for an initial overview as my blog has grown and won’t be easy to find ones way around the maze of writings.

On this Mind Map click on the little arrow next to a title to get to that blog entry: “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger

I wrote a transcript from the video Pret posted on facebook with comments from a current Pret employee being critical, as staff are not treated as Pret likes to portray to the public.

 

Transcript in black with my comments in grey:

Resident Mattia: “I was homeless for two weeks. Not because I’m homeless, you are not homeless you are different than me. We have the same right, we need to have the same opportunity.”

This seems common with the Rising Stars who seemed to have been homeless for a short period, as well as most being quite young, not like many homeless people are who are also addicted to drugs and/or alcohol to be able to cope on the streets for long periods of time. I often think of this homeless man Steve, who’s striking photo was taken before he died. His story, a common thread through homelessness, when he lost his son and couldn’t cope. He became ill and died alone in hospital.

 

Homeless Man Soho Steve

Photo by @SirWilliamD

 

I understand that Pret wants to reach those from the streets that are still “easier” to recover, than those who through a longer period have mental health issues, addictions, illnesses and won’t easily get back on their feet with employment. That’s fair if Pret chooses this to get their investment back faster, by especially young people with a short history of homelessness, compared to those who bring a lot of “baggage” on a long way to recovery. But then communicate this, because the public has a visual of those sitting in their 40s and 50s with ripped and dirty clothes, drunk in a business entry at night. That’s what bugs me about this marketing again, to “play” with psychology knowing that the public view homelessness as what they see on the streets in long-term homelessness and addictions.

Now, I don’t minimize even ONE day on the streets, as I have my own experience of having been out a few nights years ago when I was in-between jobs, accommodation, even countries. I don’t minimize Mattia’s two weeks or someone’s ONE night on the streets. What I am raising is the image people have of homelessness and the hopelessness attached to it. And Pret is incredibly good in playing on words and psychology of assumptions. “Natural” food … nope! “Lovingly made in this kitchen” … nope! Customer deaths hidden under the carpet … nope! Staff overtime wages not paid and hoping to get away with it … nope! …

 

Nicki Fisher, Head of PFT: “So, the goal and the purpose of the Pret Foundation is to alleviate poverty, in particular homelessness and hunger.”

Here’s where I put on the brakes and interrupt the sentence before Ms Fisher even gets started. To alleviate poverty while having employees in shops on poverty wages and stressed to breaking point? One former homeless person working with the homeless points this out bluntly:

 

2019-02-08 Response to Homeless House Tweet

Link

and another person adding to this:

 

2019-02-09 Response to former homeless tweet

 

Both Tweets also being critical of @wlm_uk, and if it’s true what they say, than of course Pret chooses this kind of charity for business purposes.

 

NF: “We’ve done that in a number of ways. So, giving (uhm, and throwing) food away at the end of the day, giving financial support to different charities, and through employment via our Rising Stars programme. And now, hopefully through the new Pret house, where we’re going to be giving accommodation to people on the streets who are on our employment programme.

I keep on saying that if I was a former homeless person I would be offended in labels like being called a “Rising Star”. CEO Clive Schlee is known for putting his foot in his mouth speaking too fast before he thinks. Labelling me his “late night girl” minimizing my trauma in emailing, and then having me fired two months after he called me this, with my dad just out of a coma. On autopilot, still blaming myself for my brother’s death and having been a burden to a multi-million/now billion pound company, trying to regain life. I chose that label for my website and social media to “throw” it back at him. The refusal for a non-bullying policy and support for the bereaved is just Pret. A People Business Partners admitted that Pret needs to improve on this after I raised the issue in a grievance appeal’s hearing after having been bullied by superiors:

 

2015-10-22 Chris &amp; Laura re SUPPORT

(Email between HR advisor and PBP about my suggestion and plea for support. But in hindsight this email looks like a pretense to cover their backs. This PBP later in another hearing changed his mind saying that in hindsight he could have been wrong. Pret kept playing games.)

 

But instead of this, I was continuously bullied, shouted at, and if shouting didn’t work, then excluded from meetings even a Christmas Dinner (!!), information withheld etc. All under Clive Schlee’s and HR’s watchful eye.

 

Mattia: “They give me my place safe, my privacy.”

NF: “Never done anything like this before, and that’s why our partnership with West London Mission Is really important.”

Jude, Director of Operations WLM: “We have a long history of supporting homeless people and working in the sector, working with Pret in partnership. Start working with the Rising Stars supporting their journey through the Pret programme. We’re all really excited about it as you can imagine.”

Yes, I can imagine as the money donations from Pret is flowing …

 

Mattias: “They’ve given me a lot, and they gave me an opportunity to start my life.”

I’d like to show Mattias and the other residents what the majority of Pret’s employees are “given” while he is used for PR. How easy it is to take a handful of vulnerable people, shower them with materials, trips and accommodation and then just let them do the marketing for Pret. In meantime regular staff in shops suffer.

Yesterday’s Facebook comment on the House for the Homeless by a shop staff member:

2019-02-08 Facebook good post

 

and today:

2019-02-09 Response to Homeless House Tweet2

Link to Facebook comment need to load a few second to see the comment, also need to be logged into FB.

 

This staff member has now got a target on his back from HR for speaking out publicly. But I underline his every word! And that is why Pret’s house to me is slap in the face of the workforce that are stressed, overworked, underpaid, dropped and let down by Pret’s senior leadership for the sake of profit and repaying the investors. Frankly, throwing their sheep to the wolves!

Dear Clive Schlee, how does this make you feel pocketing £30 million that your hardworking people you were entrusted with brought you? A house for the “Rising Stars” won’t fix the repeated crying out from all the other staff members. The carpet has become very crooked and easy to stumble over.

I am certain that there is not ONE Pret employee who doesn’t like the homeless house project. And I am certain that the workforce in Pret is pulling together in support of homeless people getting accommodation and jobs with Pret’s help. But letting your workers down by driving them to the ground with intense stress and low pay, and then compensate your bad conscience by taking vulnerable people off the streets on a hike, giving them accommodation and low paid jobs, doesn’t cut it, sir. 

The public and certainly your staff is not that ignorant! Employees just give you the benefit of the doubt too much, like I did and almost lost my life.

I’m sure Mattias will not be aware of my website, but for the sake of the public and staff, here is the contrast and why the above staff member is pleading and why I am calling out your hypocrisy and diversion of issues.

Pret Reality for many:

 

Pret A Marley shot the Sheriff

Link Former assistant manager went from the kitchen to the streets.

 

 

“Depression. Anxiety. Dread to go to work”

2018-10-02 Modern Day Slavery

Link

 

 

Horrible Company Pret

YouTube further down the comments.

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

Link

 

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Link

 

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

Link

 

 

2018-07-12 Quote Pret #17

Link

 

2018-07-23 Quote #27 Pret Hellhole

Link

 

 

2019-02-01 #66 YouTube under free cookie video

Link

 

2017 A customer comment in Chicago on a deceased Pret Staff, Dante and Pret in general: “I knew Dante. He was an extremely nice person. That being said, Pret is a horrible company to work for.”

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

 

 

and many more along those lines.

 

 

Mystery Shopper report:

04 MS

 

 

2018-01-07 I Hate Pret Facebook Page2

Facebook.com/preth8ers

 

 

FallenStars

@__PAMSU__

 

 


 

 

My Open Letter to the Pret Foundation Trust

 

 


 

 

Illusion

 

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

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Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret Poets Society 2.0

 

Once I was a Team Leader
a customer feeder
a mental health pleader
for better work conditions

Then I became a help needer
a broken-hearted bleeder
fighting against the greeder
for better work conditions

But now I am just a reader
writing against the cheaters
in-between the tweeters
for better work conditions

©2018 PoetrasBlok.com

 

 

Clive Deer in the Headlights

 

Clive Schlee, I am glad that you are not my captain anymore!

 

I decided to do a second blog post as “Pret Poets Society 2.0”, my way to creatively tell the public how harsh working conditions are in Pret where regular staff are pushed and stressed beyond their limits. Pret is excellent in PR and doing charity work to present itself as this great company to the public. But my and many others’ experience is very different behind the scenes. The Mafia does charity work, donating huge amounts to get support. No, I’m not saying Pret is a Mafia organization, even though one review called it like this, but I am pointing out that it is super easy for a multi-billion pound company to do charity work, it’s like flipping a penny in a beggars cup, while behind the facade staff are treated like slaves.

Many reviews below call out the “Modern-day slavery work environment” while public believes staff are so happy, not knowing it’s because of the Mystery Shopper incentive to earn extra £200 if the MS nominates for being extra nice, or they are fear managed when losing the MS requirements. More on this in the blog entry “Why do Pret Staff continue under Harshness?

 

Below I listed Staff Reviews / Complaints in categories of their job roles, staring with the Team Members all the way up to Head Office and office reviews.

For a detailed job description on each role please check the first “Pret Poets Society” post. In this second post I want to just go straight into the reviews.

 

 

2018-10-15 No pay for 4 weeks1

Link

 

One of the very rare customer comments on behalf of TMs:

 

Pret Staff Cry

 

Link

 

This is the hierarchic order to rise up:

  • Starting as TM
  • then HFC, Barista or TMT (or any other new job role Pret comes up with)
  • then as FL or KL
  • then as AMF or AMK
  • and finally on shop level as the GM.
  • Beyond this and outside of the shop it goes into area management levels / Operations Manager (OPs).

 

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

Scrolling to the 23 July 2012 at 12:53 comment, 4 years after Bridgepoint purchased Pret and set the high target of 15% p/a to open all over the place in London specifically.

 

 


 

The Reviews / Complaints

Leaving all mistakes in the reviews to keep it in their own words
and starting with the most recent reviews.

In each job role I highlight a few reviews that really hit the nail on the head.

 


 

 

TM/TM* or unspecified and mixed job roles

 

 

30. Oct. 2018 NYCGo back to the UK, PretI have never worked in such a toxic, unprofessional corporate environment. Employees relocating from UK were given preferential treatment, better salaries for equal experience, HR was mostly a joke, ‘leaders’ displayed zero initiative in mentorship of their teams…

 

 

July 2018 Review on YouTube towards the bottom from Branzinotito: 

Horrible Company Pret

 

08. Feb. 2019 Facebook comment on Pret’s House for the Homeless and PR. Need to be logged in to read, but here’s a screenshot:

2019-02-08 Facebook good post

 

 

January 2019 From YouTube: “Horrible place to be , pret a manger looks brilliant to the outsider but poor workers are inslaved … they work hard and they always on edge and being told to be fake and be extra nice and sweet

23. Jan. 2019 Office: “Poor management resulting in poor decisions. Office culture is working really really long hours. No work life balance whatsoever and constant office politics.”

27. June 2018 LondonI have worked there just 2 weeks and left. Horrible place they shout at you all the time for any little mistake.

25. June 2018 LondonBad management and not taking care about peopledo not give power to irresponsible people

13. June 2018Hellhole – … you treat people like they’re useless and worthless … get down from that high horse you’re on.”

21. May 2018 LondonPeople will dominate you until you feel like resigning the job.
Supervisors/Team Leaders treat you like a slave.”

15. May 2018you are not seen as human – even when you are having a bad day you must smile – fake atmosphere They treat you like a smiling robot slave that has no life outside of pret. People have come in for a coffee and a sandwich, not a 5 star Michelin restaurant experience, if thats what your going for pay your staff better.”

18. Apr. 2018 “lack of good organisation – management is a joke – numbers are more important than people”

13. Mar. 2018The management is terrible. Thassit.”

21. Jan. 2018 LondonWe have to be smiling a being polite to a bunch of unpolite people. At least give us the London Minimum Wage”

19. Jan, 2018 “too much work, poor leadership

12. Jan. 2018 LondonNever ever! I like Pret just because of people – colleges and because of free food, on the other hand most of the customers was rude and absolutely not thankful for service. I hate all managers,what work for Pret

03. Jan. 2018 Cheltenham, England “Management should do their job and not less”

23. Dec. 2017high rated company – low salary, too much pressure”

10. Dec. 2017super biased managers most of the girls in my store are from the same place even the assistant manager and FOH so they tend to group together against people they don’t like… horrible training and won’t listen to employees – Advise to Management: make sure the store isn’t just a bunch of biased friends that if you aren’t part of their group they’ll make your life hell

25. Oct. 2017 London “Will be leaving soon – Always messing up pay
– If you’re even 2mins late, ITS A BIG ISSUE! (& you will miss out on weekly bonus)
Expect too much from you (work you like a slave)
– Everyone speaks their own languages
Be more understand to staff needs
– Train managers regularly (especially with confidentiality)
– Employ more staff”

18. Oct. 2017 London “Overworked environment – Cons: Many of them. People are treated inhuman way in terms of sickness and work load. Employees are being treated more like robots than human beings so all the company values presented in academy are just crap. Whats more they promote you for more advanced roles without paying you for that. So you become a barista or a hot chef and they delay sending you for a training to save money.
tart treating people like people.”

10. Oct. 2017 London “rude behaviour at the workplace (kitchen manager shouting at everybody) … The training should be more about encouraging people than about shouting and shaming them.”

06. Oct. 2017 NYC “Lack of communication b/t managers and staff.
– Immature workers
Slave-like environment
– Biased behavior
– Too strict on simple task
Work on communication and stop treating co-workers like robots.”

03. Oct. 2017 NYC “my location had a rude manager who cleaned up her act after I tried relocating. There is no HR, just a recruitment team who will give you phone numbers to where you wanna go. Overworked for sure; management expects perfection for their weekly (Mystery) shopper.
Welcome your employees, request a bigger staff
Also, managers shouldn’t be rude. If someone knocks on your door, answer politely and return the courtesy. Don’t leave your new team member working extra hours since the schedule wasn’t fully explained to them.”

11. Sep. 2017 “Not kitchen, food factory – Sometimes the leaders forget that the team members are persons, not machines. Some leaders are lacking politeness, consistency and character. Not everybody has to be a leader who works long enough for Pret and shouts loud enough. Management should assess the personality, the leadership skills and the interpersonal skills before making someone a leader.”

11. Sep. 2017 NYC “Squandered opportunities – Poor management, broken promises, stressful work environment.”

06. Sep. 2017 Birmingham, England “Not sticking to contracted hours- giving you more when it suits them and giving u less when it suits them
Not sticking to actual job roles
You are a full time cleaner part time what you actually applied for
putting rotas up literally days before
changing rotas without informing you
had me working as a barista for two years would not give me training so they do not have to pay me correctly
Advise to Management: quit

28. Aug. 2017 “extremely rude co workers, unprofessional management, not properly trained however expected to know what you’re doing and smile while doing it.”

14. Aug. 2017 Edinburghmanagement have no clue how to manage people. train management team to reduce turnover.”

02. Aug. 2017 LondonSlavery for non British people. Good luck with Brexit!”

23. July 2017 “The environment was very stressful as you’d imagine, however it always felt like you’re doing something wrong, even when you are trying your hardest. I didn’t feel I received enough training and when I asked for some more training I was told there’s no time at the moment for that, which made it even more difficult for me to be a better employee.
Working in a high demand environment like Pret can be difficult, this on it’s own will motivate the workers, there’s no need for added stress and pressure from the management.”

22. July 2017 LondonStrong favouritism – Only comfortable place to work if you belong to certain races – Should practice fair treatment to all staff… team leaders who all happened to be from the same country they came from… Team leaders act like they owe the shop and do and eat whatever they like and telling team member a list of food that not included in staff free food – Management should swap team leaders and managers to other branches

22. July 2017 London “Boring, lots of micromanaging, fairly low pay

15. Juni 2017 NYCVery bad management. They treat you like a slave. You have zero value for them. They don’t recognize your effort. They thread us and show the door if we don’t work very fast. I wonder what kind of manager training they give that manager treats people like crap.” (Little side note from me: There is no to little training, even an OPs who was one of the rare nice OPs, confirmed this once to me when I asked the OPs, as I tried desperately to understand why management in Pret is so appalling throughout the board!)

29. May 2017 “Bad experience – Manager was rude, short tempered and enjoyed shouting at employees. Treat your employees with respect. Be polite .”

28. May 2017 “Cliquey environment… Horrible staff, didn’t care about anyone who wasn’t from the same cultural background and extremely dismissive management who were rude and unhelpful. ”

27. May 2017 “Bad managers… Learning to communicate politely is important.”

23. May 2016 NYC

Pros: Hmmmm hard one. I would say free food. If it wasn’t for the 20 word min I wouldn’t have said anything else
Cons: Multiple Supervisor – Confusing Leadership
Lack of leadership

Add some structure & look for ways to encourage workers to work hard and have fun without risking their jobs

07. May 2017 London “Management doesn’t listen or care. High staff turnover. You get paid very little for what you are expected to do. Invest more in team building and ensure proper training. Have proper career advancevent opportunities.”

25. Apr. 2017Not for British people or young people. Very strict at some stores. Big divide between team leaders/managers and team members. Managers just want their massive bonus will work too like a slave. Relax it’s coffee and sandwichs”

(No it’s not coffee and sandwiches, it’s massive bonuses and huge profits)


 

17. Apr. 2017unskilled managers, racism, bad pay, they take advantage of staff

21. Mar. 2017 Londonlazy managers high demanding ops – Advise to management: take good care of the team”

10. Mar. 2017 LondonDon’t be so brainwashed and scared

10. Mar 2017 “Stress at work … poor management … Stress people less”

04. Feb. 2017Highly defensive personalities amongst management and very difficult to collaborate in order to improve and develop. I would advise more training for people in positions of responsibility.”

12. Jan. 2017strict hierarchy, …team leaders are bossing and frustrated – take it easy”

10. Oct. 2016 LondonIt’s a Trap – Huge stress. Never stops. Brute customers… Shouting all around. listen to your employees. Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

10. Oct. 2016Stressful. It’s like a china factory. They ring a bell to tell you when they want you to clean or to go to the till, leader use to shout people.”

29. Sep. 2016Poorly trained management. Too much dependency on skillful employees.”

26. Sep. 2016 LondonWorst first day experience – Pros: Nothing at all….. Not even a 0.0005 star – Cons: Management don’t speak one bit of English – Staff in the kitchen don’t speak English – It’s really hard to communicate – Lies about family team vibes – They don’t recruit you for your work ethic – Ethnic and racial issues (if you don’t believe me go to few stores ask who’s a white or black British in the team)
Hire British people
Practice English at work rather than using your language
And stop listening to your fella country boys or girls of their stupid feed back…

09. Sep. 2016 “Our manager sets up the rota. The only full-time person that is allowed to have a day off on weekends is her, that’s it. Very, very unfair. Weekend is the worst period of the week when we have loads of customers and complaints that we have to deal with.

01. Sep. 2016 “If youre young and look young (im 17) they will be difficult with youre last payment
They always make mistakes like ‘adjust the rota’ resulting in me not being able to work
They dont tell you what you’re entitled to food wise
Some of the management are rude or never show up
The team leaders make younger employees do the worst jobs

09. Aug. 2016 “There are no appointed qualified trainers there like you promise beforehand, why say it then? You just have to learn as you go from your colleagues”

23. Mar. 2016Years – Takes advantage of your kindness

07. Mar. 2016 UKI just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truthI want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE.

03. Jan. 2016 USASlave work, they ask for a lot of work for a little bit of pay… food isn’t actually natural Be kinder to your employees they are not slaves

22. Dec. 2015 LondonThe other team members are really nice and welcomingManagers are a pain

11. Nov. 2015 Londonthey need slaves for work and they are very bad – manager was very bad he was all day on face book in his office

16. Oct. 2015 “Bad management who talk to staff rudely, and yet don’t do their jobs properly”

04. Dec. 2015 LondonBrainwash, Control, Never stop, Last time shift – Aggressive and mortify management, brainwashing, mobbing, after working hours NON PAID, if you don’t finish YOUR DUTIES you stay after the working hours non paid… Respect people that work hard! Don’t exploit them!

15. Oct. 2015 NYC “Great Things Preached, Not Always Practiced – Relies too heavily on UK influence, and has difficulty adjusting to American tastes and culture. If you are a Pret Person, quirky, and in with the right crowd, you’re golden. If not….good luck. Pompous and thinks too highly of itself.”

11. Oct. 2015 NYC “Sandwich artist – Terrible hours and poor management and training some people are complete jerks to the new people the expect you to know how everything is made in less than a week of starting the job” (Sandwich “artist”? Pret’s American slogans… LOL)

01. Sep. 2015 London “the good payment is not enough for getting worse my health (my back and my heart). l am with anxiety all the time, working in a tiny kitchen in a HORRIBLE atmosphere!!”

26. July 2015 London “Nothing you do there is appreciated… Horrible atmosphere and you feel too much pressure all the time. Please treat employees as humans not as robots! It seems like you enjoy making people unhappy.”

23. June 2015 Part-timer: “management talks to you with little respect.”

20. June 2015 NYC “Pressure is crazy especially if you work in the kitchen. Sometimes they want you to do more then your job description. Paperwork is excessive at times. Reward those who work hard for you and give them a raise. Catch them doing the right thing and praise, and dont just discipline the bad”

28. May 2015 “stressful environment, too many people trying to overpower others – think like a team member and your key roles to understand success of the team and the shop to be successful, or fail in profits and likeability

24. Mar. 2015 LondonIf you want to work in a happy enviroment without being bullied then whatever you do DON’T work for Pret Early hours – Being bullied – Total disregard for health and safety – Being made to feel incompetentWorked into the ground without empathy

18. Mar. 2015 “Lack of accountability … Poor management

04. Mar. 2015Hell job for minimum salary.”

26. Dec. 2014Terrible experience one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had – Pretty much everything is a con -lots of stress -under payed -long hours/ short brakes –terrible management -really unflexible schedule

25. Dec. 2015 “Long hours, unrealistic expectations, high pay – Unrealistic targets, little support, long hours – Stop changing everything all the time with poor execution

07. Jan. 2015 NYCSpoiled, selfish upper management has ruined it for the rest. They spend (waste) lots of money on dinners for themselves and “leadership conferences” that are really just excuses to party in Orlando or Vegas. “Business” trips to Boston and Chicago are really expensed vacations for their families. The Brits have taken over NYC. Pret has brought over many managers and leaders form the UK and ‘beheaded’ many of the US employees who built the brand to make room for them.
get over yourselves.”

26. Dec. 2014Terrible experience one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had –Cons: Pretty much everything is a con -lots of stress -under payed -long hours/ short brakes -terrible management -really unflexible schedule”

 

15. Dec. 2014 London “Team Leader who was working with me during the weekends was very rude to me, calling me stupid … There is a a HUGE pressure on having a BUZZ in the shop, which made me feel like a clown and also in my opinion made very fake atmosphere in the shop.

03. Dec. 2014Manager at my shop treated everyone really poorly. Expect you to stay longer to complete your job for free when not enough time is given. Constantly missing hours from extra shifts taken. Have to ask every week to see if they have repaid those hours and in some cases takes months to chase back.”

11. Nov. 2014 NYCHorrible,OverWorked For The Pay,Bad Management And Bad Treatment Felt Like A Slave

31. Oct. 2014 London “not a good culture. every manager dictates his values to the team.”

13. Oct. 2014 LondonAbuse of power most part of the timesIncorrect wadges, my management doesn’t know what is a calculator or how to read a rota correctly – Pret does rules for itself but it doesn’t mean that you have the right to don’t follow the ones made from doctors or the state, management in my shop has a lack of professionalism.

11. Oct. 2014 “There’s too much pressure.They overwork their staff with little compensation.Any bad move and you lose the bonus, and the work in the kitchen is incredibly difficult and they stay past their schedule but they don’t get anything for it.Pret used to be about having a happy staff and happy costumers, now it’s just about the money. They keep feeding people this image of “happiness, good times, best place in the world!!” that when you really start working there you become very surprised and disappointed.I quit my job just after 3 weeks because I was feeling physically sick and they gave me insane shifts to do without my permission.
If you see that people are overworked and they can’t keep up with the standards, hire more staff!And there are too many irrational rules to follow.When the staff says that something is “unfair” or “impossible to do” don’t just say “that’s how things work at Pret”.”

31. Aug. 2014 NYCthe management dont really care about employees and all the things they have to do to make them happy
they are always on your back about things that is usually their fault
benefits suck..take about half your paycheck
follow way too many standards
get retrained

01. Aug. 2014 London “Too much pressure… Often happen to work “unpaid” overtime to finish daily duties… In many cases I’ve weighed up a big incompetence and lack of skills between Team Leader and Assistant Manager’s position

30. July 2013Brainwashed sandwich makingThe company is trying to brainwash you, they expect you to give up your life and be ready for Pret 24/7; they want to use you.
There are a lot of favouritism, which leads to promoting incompetent people to more senior roles.
The salary system is completely unfair; people who work for the company for 5,6,7,etc. years get the same salary as a someone who just started a few months ago.
The management expects you to do the workload of 2 or 3 people, including doing their job sometimes.
It’s not the NASA, just a sandwich shop, where human beings work, not robots.”

07. July 2014 NYC “long shifts, a lots of heavy lifting and horrible managment

24. Apr. 2014Great perks that come with a price – They expect perfection
– High stress levels when understaffed … – Very little to no leniency on rules”

18. Dec. 2013They will hire you even if you do not know the language Your thoughts are worthless, you are there to keep up with the work. If you want to promote you better be ready to not have a personal life years…..55hours a week to show you are worthy.”
(NOTE: Hiring people who don’t know English is so they won’t know their rights nor where to complain to)

08. Oct. 2013 NYCPret was a stressful and busy job that seeks perfection and expects you to actually be perfect

22. Sep. 2013

Good place to work…at first

 

29. March 2013 NYC “Heavy workload, borderline demeaning, discrimination. Maybe a bit more respect towards your employees?”

02. Oct. 2012 “hard hard working culture, to much pressure to be working 100% every sec. make it easy”

20. Apr. 2012 LondonThe moral is terrible and … being overworked. The idea of proper training is also rediculousMost people are taken in under promises (including being a front of house or kitchen person but then dumped where they are needed and not where they were promised) but find that often by day 2 or 3 are thrown on a bench on their own in the kitchen and nagged at due to not being fast enough

16. Aug. 2011Carelessunderstaffed. and unfair decisions made by management. most of your employees don’t look forward to working there because you are staring them down every second. they make one little mistake that doesn’t affect the restaurant what so ever and act like it’s the biggest deal ever. happy employees make happy customers.”

21. July 2011Pret doesn’t care about workers. The most important is business, profits. That’s why they cut working hours and made you work harder.”

19. July 2011 NYCManagement is very incompetent. It is clear they have little to know training and have absolutely no training or experience in employee relations or even customer relations for that matter. Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you.” (The full review says everything!)

04. July 2011Poor senior leadership due to lack of experience … Promotion and staff recognition based on personal favourites rather than competence and experience. Quite clicky. Favouritism at the top has to stop and start to recognise talent at middle management. Like the social hierarchy, this sphere of the staff population seems to be the ones who get screwed over the most, often talented individuals are overlooked for promotion.”

 


 

20. Apr. 2011 A woman’s review on her husband who worked in Pret:

“Interesting comments. My husband now works for pret and is being treated so badly by his area manager. I am astounded that they can get away with it. It seemed like such a nice place to work but it’s like some kind of sect… ”

My response: they get away with it because it is systemic and they are trained to treat staff like this, for more and more profit.

— 4 months later: —

“Further to my previous comment  about my husband having problems with his area manager. They stitched him up good and proper and fired him…this was done in such a way that they found a couple of things to hang him on which wouldn’t normally result in him being sacked. They clearly did all of this because he was going to put in a grievance against his area manager for bullying (he was talked out of this and thought it had all smoothed over) and then wham! The company disgusts me – how they could treat an employee with a wife and 2 small children like that I don’t know. The management of this company are pure evil.”

Response to above review:

“Regarding the area manager, yeah they just sit on their fat bums all day, and email on their phones or look at stupid graphs. End of the day its about increasing sales, meeting targets and reducing labour. They will always cover there own backs first, to watch there bonuses, and not care about the workers.

A lot of managers i have met, are complete arrogant snobs, that know nothing about even running a store, yet alone trying to explain things to you, they sit on there high throne, and blah blah blah things.”

08. Jan 2011 “DISCRIMINATION in PRET A MANGER!!!!!!!!!!?”

 


 

2008 Review that shows it has always been like this in Pret!  

05. Sep. 2008 “I’m an ex-Pret employee so have direct experience of this engagement. I can vouch for the truth in Sam’s comments. The happy people philosophy was one I always adopted when recruiting new people and it made a difference to the way that we worked.
The one thing that did frustrate me and ultimately caused me to leave was the way it dealt with the enthusiasm troughs. the company was not good at dealing with people’s frustrations. There was a strong message for people who were frustrated with something and couldn’t get it resolved – leave! I saw a number of people become shunned and passed over if they had feedback which wasn’t entirely positive. Often people left disgruntled having started out as the desirable happy employees. I suppose in someways it was a useful self selection process – when I became frustrated with a few things and felt threatened that my feedback would fall on highly judgemental ears I knew it was time to leave – leaving the happy people behind me. ”

NOTE: My response to this review, the person left in 2008 out of frustration, I started in Pret in May 2008 and can only say in all fairness to Pret, that it’s gotten worse.


 

2017 A customer comment in Chicago on a deceased Pret Staff, Dante and Pret in general:

“I knew Dante. He was an extremely nice person. That being said, Pret is a horrible company to work for.”

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

 

 




 

Hot Food Chef (HFC)

 

11. Mar. 2018 London “Hot Chef – setting up the hot food production, dealing with sales and wastage as well as taking many responsabilities. Pressure and plenty of targets.”

21. Jan. 2018 London “Really hard work with Really bad management, it’s same in all shops, people think that a job there is a challenge making bad to the other colegue. Hot chef position has lots of stress, pressure – Be human. It’s not your own business.” (Bingo!)

31. Oct. 2016 LondonWorst place – The team is nice, some team leaders are stupid and rude…! Management lives in another world. Absolutely less stress and please cut the roles because looks to work like slaves. Terrible experience.”

22. Feb. 2016 NYCSome managers are very anal! Listen to your employers suggestions!!”

 




 

Barista / Coffee Maker

30. Jan. 2019 “Busy and stressful environment whit no support from management. Forget about contracted hours! You will be doing overtime most of the time, as there is a lack of staff nearly in every Pret

01. Nov. 2018 NYC “horrible management – management is disrespectful, they fire people when they are having rough times in life even if they talk to a manager about it , i was penalized for calling out for a funeral.

12. June 2018 NYCNothing but aggravation and a discriminating HRfire the HR staff you have now and replace them with more educating indiviuals and ones that dont discriminate”

22. May 2018 Royal Tunbridge Wells, EnglandPoor – Lack of defined management, finger-pointing, politics and poor organisation. ”

Feb. 2018 London (scrolling down)

James Ashword video comment by Hailey Hyein Lee

 

Same Video:
Perat A Manger London video comment by Budai Andrea

 

Same Video:
Perat A Manger London video comment by Logic 2000

 

05. Dec. 2017 LondonDear Lord, protect me from ever need to work for Pret a Manger ever again. Amen. For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans.

12. July 2017 “Over worked and Aweful Mangers – *everyone complains how much they hate this job *managers dont care about standards (manager was too lazy … (he’s mostly in his office so he gets paid to sit and do nothing because he has his leaders do majority of his work)

12. July 2017 “If you want to follow the company standards, you need to have enough labor. Do not kill your employees.”

24. June 2017 LondonPoor management, really short breaks, work longer hours, not equal distribution of tasks for cleaning/closing shop.”

19. Dec. 2016 Edinburgh “Would not recommend … Managers do not care about they team. Never get 2 days off in a row. Practice favoritism”

13. Mar. 2016 “Hard work all the time and high pressure – More people-orientated management needed in the shop”

16. Nov. 2015 NYC “Act a little more like management and a little less like the employees. I worked in 4 different shops and the song and dance was the same in each one.”

16. Nov. 2015 NYCThe management plays favorites more often than not. Also, if you are overweight, older, or unattractive you can forget about even getting past the interview stage (exception often made for relatives of said favorites or management). Key roles and shift leaders must have open availability, which makes it impossible to have other employment. Overtime isn’t allowed often, and managers often send employees home early if it looks like that 40 hour mark will be passed.
Act a little more like management and a little less like the employees. I worked in 4 different shops and the song and dance was the same in each one.”

29. Sep. 2015 LondonThe Brainwash is real. Better salary than McDonalds or Costa as long as you keep your fake smile up. – Staff with more experience cuts corners on Sanitary rules because otherwise it is impossible to finish your batch on time.
– The coffee calling system is broken. During busy times it is nearly impossible to keep up with the orders without hating everyone around you. managers/team leaders are not properly trained when it comes to simple communication. … (A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period). Get some proper training regarding real people skills.

12. May 2015 Chicago, ILjust terribleDiscriminatory management
Unprofessional atmosphere
Osha standards not met
Very Low pay
Abusive staff
Don’t just promote the people that you like, promote the people that are the most qualified.”

 




 

Team Member Trainer (TMT)

 

20. June 2018 LondonNot for sensitive peopleVery stressfull environment (especially at back of house) Come to your shop at weekends from time to time to see how it’s look like when it’s understaffed

13. Apr. 2018 London “Fun, but stressful and not worth itUnattainable goals
Very short breaks / irregular – Poor management and under-trained
Pret A Manger has cut down on staff so theres more a lot more of things to do and not enough staff to do everything, so employees are being worked harder.
Management do not have sympathy or care for employees. Managers only focus on their goals and tasks.

27. Apr. 2017Work like robot, disorganisation… Listen more to your employees’ needs”

08. Sep. 2016 “Lots of pressure, and work colleagues shouting at you. Starting the shift at 5am. I haven’t got paid. There’re too many opportunities in London so don’t end up working here. They should take care a bit more of their employers.”

20. May 2016 LondonClear talking is just marketing: if they have a bad opinion about you, forget any clear feedback.
A lot of pressure. The workload can be very challenging especially compared with the wage.
With a bossy manager your life might become really hard and sickening.
The coffee calling system is messy during busy hours, I stopped thinking to step up as a barista because of that.
I do not give any advice to management, they are always right of course.”

20. Jan. 2016 London “Put same manager know how to organize the team and what you have to do”

01. Feb. 2015 London “This company pays better than most other coffee and sandwich chains, but it expects you to do a lot in return. You are supposed to be happy and smile at all times.”

12. June 2013 Washington, DC “Listen to your employees, some have great potential that needs to be channeled not blocked

07. Dec. 2010 “Very hard work – No support and respect from Manager

 




 

Floor Leader (FL) / Kitchen Leader (KL)

 

06. Feb. 2018 London “- huge pressure especially on the higher positions
working overhours without being paid, no breaks (happened to me only while working on the Team Leader position)
lack of recognition from your own manager elimitates the opportunity of growth (basically only your own manager can push you up on the career ladder and the reasons for promotions really often seems to be based on personal preferences)”
Definetely have a deeper insght into the progression situation within the shops. You lose lts of amazing people just because they stay unrecognized due to personal preferences of manager.

29. Nov. 2017 LondonLook after your people and figures will look after themselves.

17. Oct. 2017 London “Every shop has less people than required as this affects shops profitability. …managers that come externally, as most of the time, their personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

14. Oct. 2017Slavery hasn’t been abolished. Early starts, rude staff. kitchen leaders are disrespectful. Improve how staff are treated.”

31. Jan. 2017Cut back on all the chiefs we need more indians

13. Nov. 2016 LondonManagement bonuses are profit driven so hours are cut often The £1 bonus is often used as a threat to keep people in line
I would recommend joining a union
Team Members deserve london living wage from a company that has the means to supply it.”

02. Nov. 2016Promotion can be down to who you know not what you know.”

06. Aug. 2016 LondonMost of the managers are really difficult, they forgot where they come from, please treat the people as human beings, We know the profit and your career are important but you don’t have to be rude.”

19. Mar. 2016 “Bad management – Rotas never placed in advance – Treat people like human beings”

08. Sep 2015 NYC Shift Leader: “hours are constantly changing
pay doesn’t match time sheet
a lot of call outs
team members are constantly training themselfs
train team members longer make sure they are avail to handle the rush”

15. Nov. 2014 NYC Shift Runner: “Your subjected to emotional blackmail and serious labor issues with Most shops being run by Unprofessional and Bias Managerial staff backed by a corrupted HR Dept. I strongly suggest a Labor Union!, so employees that are treated unfair have a platform for their voice to be heard without resentment or the sinuous backlash from your Inadequate Managerial staff & Flout HR Dept.!!!! who support them.”

27. June 2013 Kingston upon Thames, England “Tends to get very stressfull during busy periods with lots of pressure from the management … sometimes late payment of the over time, working 8days in a row according the rota, calls to come to work on your day off … it would be great if employees wont be treated only as a work force that helps make money” (Side-note, this Team Leader sounds like one of the hard working ones who cares a lot and is always called and overworked.)

 




 

Assistant Manager Floor or Kitchen
(AMF / AMK)

 

20. Dec. 2017 LondonAvoid working thereToo much pressure working there , company expects you to do all your job within the time you are schedule but it is impossible , you will end up working hours for free, no work life balance at all , they have he mistery shipper but it is all a fake thing you can not control , the standards are so high the only thing it will drive is you stress everyday . Don’t work there . Cons: Extra hours not paid”

02. Aug. 2017 Manchester, EnglandRespect yourself don’t let managers to overload you.”

26. May 2017 NYCPure Misery – The kitchen staff is treated like slaves. They are expected to do the impossible. The upper management is a bunch of heartless, evil British monsters that take credit for all the positives and assign blame for all the negatives. Quit your jobs and go back to England and stay there.”

11. Dec. 2013 NYC “Promotions bases on politics, inconsistency In polices , long hours”

09. Oct 2012 London “Too much pressure and managers with poor interpersonal skills. Respect your team, be patient and keep cool under pressure. Be fair to your team members.”

19. Nov. 2014 LondonWorst company to work forPret was the best company 10 years ago, they were more about the people and it was beat place to work. now the company is just about the profit also it is run like mafia organisation where it is about who you know, the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear, the way the company is going it will not last long.
Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”

 




 

General Manager (GM)

 

07. Juny 2018 A former Senior Manager’s response to my review:

 

GM response to LNG

 

 

03. Feb. 2018High demands not in line with pay, lack of support, inconsistent training, stressful/poor work life balance

11. Mar. 2017Pret A Manger Reality – Long hours, inexperience Operation Managers.
Companhy values have been lost along do way, bonus scheme not very fair.
Pay raises no fair either,
You don’t get reward for results and work ethic, just if you have a close relationship with your Operation Manager, you are the new hot of the month.
Listen to your people more closely, massive turnover on Pret Managers at the moment and everyone just ignoring the reality, huge unhappiness amoung the managers.

Create and fair and competitive process for development.

Opportunity Network for Pret employees, just another flawless (meant flawed) tool at pret, most of the vacancies have people already for them, they want to create an illusion you can develop yourself.

Focus on team members it’s essential, but managers dictated the success on your shops, and drive passion to the team.

HR doesn’t protect the managers.

PIP, pret Partners only people, whom have friends already in, not related if you can contribute to the company, just based on relationships.”

(NOTE: HR doesn’t protect anyone unless it suits Pret’s business.)


 

15. Nov. 2016 NYCToxic, low class, unprofessional culture – Racist, non-inclusive environment that upper management and hr are fully aware of but ignore.” (NOTE: worth reading this review in full!

25. May 2016 USA  “Very racist upper management. They make you work 60 hours per week and they don’t pay you for it (just basic salary). They don’t appreciate your work no matter how good you are. Tendency to promote british managers than american ones.
Advise to Management: Open your mind towards american managers. stop racism that is happening to workers. Get involved with the employees and don’t let the operational managers act as they own the people.”

31. Oct. 2015 NYCHorrible training, too many lies. Training sucks, people are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you, will never recommend this company. Bottom line as a British company they treat employees as machines, they don’t care about how they feel, expect too much for too little. Horrible environment. Treat people with respect and appreciate their hard work. Stop using your British mentality when it comes to deal with people. You’re people are horrible at this.”

20. Apr. 2015 Chicago, IL “Manager- horrible upper management, unrealistic goals, promotions based on politics. Favoritism with managementHiring is based on looks – All push with no supportNo integrity  – A lot of show and dance for support center and president/ceo Your employees will respect you if you offer genuine support. It is all about what your shop looks like when the CEO is in town. Stop favoriting managers, no one respects you for it.”

01. Feb. 2014 “Great company in risk of ruin! Please get the bullies out and revive Pret to its former glory. Used to be the most amazing company to work for, a job to be proud of. Now your people work in fear…..its time to listen!

23. July 2012 “I am an ex GM (10 years service) I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.”

 




 

HQ London or Offices in other Countries

 

19. Dec. 2017 London Former IT Analyst: “Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes a good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

28. Feb. 2017 NYC Former Purchasing Director: “One of the oddest work experiences. Worked their during a transition period – so company going in one direction and then the opposite.

 

Facebook Group started in 2011 by former employee, which is hard to find as Facebook on behalf of Pret hides any bad press (censoring).

2018-01-07 I Hate Pret Facebook Page2

 

 


 

 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day 68 – Pret A Money Hungry

 

A brand new “review” from a Facebook post of a Pret staff. The comment was under Pret’s announcement of the Homeless House.

Quote of the Day regarding the charity work Pret does:

The help they do is just for public to bring more customers in. Behind is chaos.

Nothing more to add to this one.

 

2019-02-08 Facebook good post

Link to Facebook comment

 

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger aims to Silence Truth on Workplace-bullying Practices

 

Pret aims ti silence

 

Two tweets late on 08.02.2019 to Nicki Fisher, Director of the Pret Foundation Trust had my account be shadow banned again.

That’s no a problem, because my writings are still tweeted from other accounts.

I am just raising awareness that Pret is trying to hide the truth of how it is behind their facade.

This is a brand new example of the two Tweets that got my account censored and banned again where my Tweets from that account is not visible to the public, while still visible in my “Tweets and Replies”.

I made screenshots in case Tweets are completely deleted at some point.

This is Nicki Fisher’s Tweet I responded to. You may or may not see at the bottom “View more Tweets”, but if you click on it, there’s nothing for any viewer. And yet, there is…

Initial Tweet by Pret’s Nicki Fisher: (some free PR for Pret 😉 )

 

2019-02-09 Nicki Fisher Tweet

Link

 

When you scroll down you cannot find @LateNightGirlMe Tweets, maybe only the Tweet by @ND43470490.There may or may not be “Show more Tweets” to click on it.

Direct link to my first Tweet from @LateNightGirlMe that got hidden minutes after I tweeted and was then shadow banned, probably from Nicki Fisher reporting my Tweet to Twitter to censor / hide it to avoid bad press:

1st now hidden Tweet but still there in my “Tweets & Replies”:

 

2019-02-09 My Hidden Tweet to Nikki PFT1

Link The 3:49 PM time is American, it was shortly before or midnight to 09.02.2019

 

2nd now hidden Tweet:

 

2019-02-09 My Hidden Tweet to Nikki PFT2

Link

 

On this 2nd Tweet I am referring and linking to a Tweet from that day, is from a former homeless person who works with homeless now and sees through the bull-crap Pret is doing:

 

2019-02-08 Former Homeless Tweet re homeless house Pret

Link

 

This blog entry is to show how Pret tries to hide how staff are treated from the public.

 

@ Nicki Fisher and Pret in general, if you are reading this, you can report me to Twitter every day, my Tweets reach people via other Tweets. My blog is busy as ever, people reading about the true Pret behind the facade.

I have become a campaigner and I will never stop speaking out against your systemic workplace bullying. Your pretense in charity while not protecting bereaved employees who are working for you for many years, and what you have done via your Development Manager LiWa, who lost her brother like I did, but you used her not to support me, but to sanction me. And than she crossed boundaries as well, because that all she knows in Pret.

You can pay hush money to people, report me to Twitter all day long. This will not go away, until you address this with courage and be the leader and “doing the right thing” that you boast to be and do.

 

Pret aims ti silence

 

If you are a new reader to my blog, please visit the following link to a blog entry to read of other staff’s reviews and complaints with Pret: Selected Reviews of current and former Pret Staff.

 

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

The Best thing that happened to Pret A Manger

 

… is CEO Clive Schlee in terms of PR, marketing and presenting a well polished facade. But the CEO is not the best thing that happened to staff. Him being approachable and friendly is acting while staff suffer and are being fooled. I am a former Pret employee of 10 years and have survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement under Pret’s leadership.

No matter how many customers died, a third nearly fatal allergy reaction, several hospitalized and multiple ignored warnings: Daddy will fix every mess with an approachable smile.

I know, because  Clive Schlee labelled me his “late night girl” and I survived his “friendliness” to publicly speak about my ordeal and many other staff complaints I collected onto one page: Selected Quotes and long List of Reviews and comments on the web.

How easy it is to take a few former homeless people who are vulnerable and easy to be manipulated, taking them to Schlee’s PRivate PRoperty in Austria for a hike, or going to Stone Hedge and now giving them accommodation and a low paid job, separating them from regular shops, as quoting Schlee they don’t want to keep them “too exposed” being slow to “integrate” them into regular shops.

In the meantime regular shops are harsh places with poorly trained bullying managers who are tasked to reach high target and profit, so that Mr. Schlee can pocket his £30 Million. So, what does he compensate this poor treatment of staff with?

Yep, good deeds via charity.

I posted several blog entries on the facade that Clive Schlee like the Ronald McDonald Clown does for McDonald’s, Clive does for Pret. Clive is the good cop, shop management are the bad cops, but all have one goal, squeeze as much “productivity” out of staff to maximize profit. And in all this throw in some good works and lots of free coffees for customers (that are paid by raised prices) and the public is hypnotized and lulled in to sleep.

With all things in life where we want to believe a facade and are shocked beyond believe when the quiet neighbour next door who was always so involved in the community turns out to not be what everyone around him believed. The truth always comes to light about a company, person, system, ideology…

 

Illusion

 

Some blog posts I wrote regarding Clive Schlee:

 

Cry Me A River – Translating Crocodile TearsClive Schlee not acting on customer deaths until this became public.

The “Fallen Stars” of Pret – Regular staff have a different story behind the scenes. Yes, there are good shops and good managers as well, but I worked in over a dozen shops and have only worked with 2 maximum 3 managers who were good and “normal”. The majority is terrible management.

Pret Poets Society Explaining the different job roles in Pret shops and reviews from those.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Another writing to Clive Schlee

 

… and some other indirect posts on the overall atmosphere behind the Pret facade.

 

2018-01-07 I Hate Pret Facebook Page2

Facebook group since 2011 that Facebook hides on behalf of paying companies like Pret

 

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

Former Pret staff who was fired for starting a Union

 

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Former IT Analyst having worked in HQ

 

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

Former Corporate Employee NYC

 

 

2018-10-15 Staff complain in Twitter not paid HR

Link

 

 

Brutal Nightmare

YouTube comment towards the bottom

 

 

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

A comment from a customer in Chicago who knew a deceased Pret employee

 

 

etc. etc. etc.

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger’s Typical Marketing Strategy

 

I may not be a Guardian or Times writer, where the public easily believes the Press and find it hard to believe a report on appalling work environment a person’s inside knowledge shares publicly. I write as an insider of Pret A Manger having worked on the front lines of a stressful and discriminating workplace. I have survived workplace bullying even during bereavement which I write extensively about on my blog and Social Media. I experienced Pret as dishonest, bullying and excellent in hiding this behind a PR facade, like neighbours who hide abused and smiling children behind a beautiful house and when the truth comes out, everyone is shocked. Really? No, I’m not comparing Pret to the Turpin or other abusive families, what I am pointing out is the age old trap, where people fall for a facade and PR. I just use an EXTREME example to “hit” that home, because behind the “happiness and smiles in Pret is the Mystery Shopper and a £200 incentive if staff are extra nice. And if Mystery Shopper results are bad, staff are “motivated” through fear management. Sorry, dear customer to burst you bubble on the happiness illusion in Pret.

Customers see how stressful it is in Pret, but have been so conditioned an dplainly spoiled where they are happy to wait in Starbucks for up to 15 minutes, but complain in Pret when the coffee isn’t ready in 30 seconds! Pret produced this for high profit, and just very few say something, most customers want their coffees fast and don’t care to look closer let alone mention something!

 

Rarely do customers point out the stress, chaos and upset they observe. Most just want their coffees and off they go:

 

2018-10-20 Staff cry

Link

 

 

And then, a breath of fresh air!

VillageForHomeless

A village built for the homeless by cafe chain Social Bite

 

It is super easy for a multi-billion pound company to do some charity work, like I would flip a penny in a beggars cup which doesn’t cost me anything. And thus Pret, lulling the public in again with good deeds, while behind the scenes it is very different. All the free coffees and product give-away, which is very good customer service of course, absolutely, but who’s paying for these freebies? No, it’s not Pret. It’s customers paying it forward by other paying customers as Pret keeps raising the coffee and product prices. Among other bills prices are raised to pay for all the freebies while staff are underpaid and overworked. The few pennies more that Pret pays staff compared to the competition, is because Pret has no choice as the job is so horrendously harsh and stressful, no one would stay for the minimum wage. But for a team leader who has responsibilities almost like a manager to get £9.30 an hour is an insult! It’s better to work for less pay and in turn less stress.

 

2018-12-31 re free coffee marketing

Link … and increased coffee prices are paying for the “free” coffees and free advertisement customers then give on Twitter! 😀

 

The News reports on Pret supporting a house for the homeless and patronizingly labelling former homeless people “Rising Stars”, is another typical “initiative” that looks to me like the usual diversion Pret likes to do from the allergen deaths, not acting on labelling until customer deaths became public. This should send alarm bells through the public who is easily put to sleep with freebies and PR. Other crisis of the company that the public is being informed are:

  • Pesticides in “natural” food
  • 4000 Pret staff in the U.S. gone to court for unpaid overtime and the illegal practices Pret used. Pret Staff in the UK also are not paid overtime and have to constantly chase their wages. I had to do this all the time as managers tend to “forget” to pay the correct hours worked… I collected those complaints from many staff reviews on “Quotes of the Day” selected staff complaints. Countries like New Zealand as of recent years criminalized “wage theft”. The UK is way behind this issue that is rampant.
  • The Class Action Suit regarding deceptive packaging and customers still feeling misled on it days ago with many complaints and photos on Twitter.
  • Many Staff Complaints that I collected onto one page linked to other review websites, YouTube, Twitter etc.
  • My own story that sounds like out of a twisted Hollywood movie, except that I have all the written evidence, and Pret’s only reaction is to report me and let Twitter hide my public posts.

And other issues.

 

Pret keeps reporting me to Twitter, Facebook etc. to let them censor me by hiding my Tweets from the public. This secret censoring is called “shadow banning” and the public for most part is unaware this exist, many don’t even realize they are shadow banned. Facebook even deletes PRIVATE messages where I link in the message to my blog here. Check Twitter hashtags #ShadowBan #ShadowBanning #StopShadowBanning #TwitterCensorship etc. Also, google James O’Keefe undercover journalist who infiltrated Twitter with hidden cameras on the issue of shadow banning.

And as Pret reads my blog, the £1000 announcement for all staff came on 29. May 2018, the night when Pret and the CEO Clive Schlee became aware of my blog. They also learn as I have given Clive Schlee himself several tips on things he then implemented and took the credit for.

There are companies that have done for many years what Pret does now. A coffee chain Social Bite that built a VILLAGE for homeless people. Or the Timpson shoe repair & key cutting company, a family business since 1865 goes into prisons since many years recruiting ex-convicts. They even train prisoners while in prison, so that when they come out they go straight into Timpson employment without being “in between” in danger to re-offend or fall through the cracks.

Timpson aims to employ 20% of ex-prisoners. Many ex-offenders are in high positions including finance, as they are more reliable being appreciative having gotten another chance. Timpson is also the company that has as one of its slogans: “Great service by great people”…. Pret has their slogan “Good jobs for good people”. And sure, companies always “steal” ideas as the market is competitive. But I always love when people come up with true ideas like Social Bite to really help and make a lasting impact, not just for PR and own gain while Pret’s CEO pockets £30 million for himself. A house for the homeless is nothing for him to do. It’s my penny in a beggars cup. And Pret staff behind the scenes suffer.

 

 

And yes, it’s good to have a house for the homeless and do all these good things. And it is better to do those things even if this is used for PR, but I want to keep pointing out how harsh it is behind the scenes in Pret, so much so to the point of people becoming suicidal, depressed, disheartened as I had close calls at the bridge.

 

2018-10-13 Clive Schlee Clown Tweet

Link

 

One comment on Facebook by a current Pret staff also points this out that Pret does this to gain customers while behind the scenes it’s “chaos”:

2019-02-08 Facebook good post

Link to Facebook comment. The link needs to settle a bit before it becomes visible.

 

And some criticism from a former homeless person who works with the homeless and has immense knowledge on housing issues etc.

 

2019-02-08 Former Homeless Tweet re homeless house Pret

Link

 

And a response from another person on this charity that Pret has teamed up with. With “HB” the person means “Housing Benefit”, rent that is paid by social services for people without a job:

 

2019-02-09 Response to former homeless tweet

Link

 

One of many blunt reviews by a former IT Analyst having worked in London’s Head Office regarding Pret’s PR, mentioning how Pret uses people for marketing and PR:

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Link

 

Some other direct reviews where people find more courage to speak out anonymous to protect themselves:

 

Horrible Company Pret

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

 

 

Many Staff Reviews on how staff are treated like “slaves” that I posted as Pret A Slave.

 

A rare observation and acknowledgement of the forced happiness/friendliness of staff:

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

#EndTheMysteryShopper

 

And the undercover report that was sparked by my blog: Undercover Under Pressure.

 

 

My Open Letter To The Pret Foundation Trust and how Pret use vulnerable people for PR, while not giving people with mental health issues a job beyond the trial period despite them being 100% and EVERY product picture perfect. And Pret treating regular staff with unbelievable harshness. I survived to publicly speak about my and others’ ordeal. 

 

 

If you want to restore or protect your reputation or keep maintaining a nice public image to get lots of customer support (= £££), what do you do? You go out and look for the most vulnerable and placate everywhere your good deeds. Even the Mafia does that, and they do that very well.

And then there are others who don’t do so much shouting about their good deeds as they want to help and not just polish their facade. A Village for the homeless built by Social Bite that I posted in July 2018, and I am always happy to help Pret with ideas. And in the meantime I continue to tell the public how it is behind the scenes, including confronting Pret on a suicide of an assistant manager in 2017, and what Pret has done to me and many others.

Pret can continue to be silent and let Twitter etc. shadow ban me. It always gets more clicks on my blog when I’m shadow banned. Thank you.

 

UPDATE:

A Tweet today from a former homeless person on the press release, who looks beyond the PR of Pret as they know how it is and the political correct issues they face as they work with the homeless as well:

 

2019-02-08 Response to Homeless House Tweet.jpg

Link to 2 consecutive Tweets ONE & TWO by former homeless @Homeless_Info that are semi-hidden where one has to click on “Show More”.

 

 

For an overview of my Pret Ordeal click on the arrows of this “Mind map“.

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Why do Pret A Manger Staff continue under Harshness

 

I want to address something that I have been part of and influenced under, which many people from the “outside” have asked about, or cannot understand without having been under this kind of work environment.

If you are a new reader to my blog, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”, an overview to my experience as a former employee of Pret A Manger and what I’ve survived under Pret’s leadership including CEO, HR, HQ staff. My story sounds like out of a twisted Hollywood script, but I have written evidence and my open confrontation of Pret on Twitter, Facebook etc. is met with Pret reporting me and letting social media platforms “shadow ban” my accounts. Shadow banning is secret censorship Twitter denies doing, where my Tweets and comments are hidden from the public at times. But I keep writing as I almost lost my life in this toxic work environment.

 

2018-12-23 my twittel star re to shadow ban lie1

 

 

My response to this lie:

 

2018-12-23 my twittel star re to shadow ban lie2

Link

 

 

Regular readers know my story, but as a brief introduction:

I worked for almost 10 years in Pret on the shop floor, for the most part as a Team Leader (Front of House Leader, also called Floor Leader – FL). The kitchens have their own team leadership, Kitchen Leader (KL) responsible for running the kitchen teams and production. FLs are responsible for running the shops. All leaders responsibilities, apart from looking after the teams, is like being a mini-manager. The Leaders are actually the ones who do the real work, where the General Managers (GMs) are often sitting in the office, getting paid for shouting at teams, not being trained properly in people- and leadership skills.

Leaders look after health & safety, do the ordering, waste management, look after customers, work on “busting the queues”, make sure the Mystery Shopper requirements are met, organize the teams and many other responsibilities. In all their hard work they are being underpaid, overworked and always blamed. Many bear under this to rise on the career ladder to become just another complacent manager getting paid for sitting in the office and being off most weekends.

After 7 years in Pret my brother died, which my family and I didn’t know for 5 weeks that he was dead and already cremated! I am still putting the puzzle pieces together, investigating myself what happened, what is fact, what is fiction, why everything was handled so apathetically and carelessly by the police, what legal options I have not able to afford legal aid. The only “consolation” I was given by the police was, that once they rule out fowl play, they are not interested in the cause of death anymore and hand the case back to the coroner. Too much paper work frankly. Of course, would it have been one of their own, they would go to town to investigate AND find relatives before completely “destroying” my brother’s remains! No chance of getting an autopsy even after burial.

I went into a mental war zone that I am still moving in, even though much calmer now, but in my mind I am in a grey wasteland.

What made it even worse, and to this day I cannot believe I went through this, was that I had not only no support from Pret, but was bullied and targeted by superiors under the watchful eye of HR. Some support started after I contacted the CEO having tried for almost a year to raise issues of bullying with HR, unbeknown to me at the time that this put a target on my back. Yes, this sounds unbelievable, and if anyone doubts this, I have plenty of written evidence and confront Pret including the CEO Clive Schlee, mainly on Twitter openly.

Clive Schlee patronized me, having a laugh by calling me his “late night girl” which I explain on my blog. But now they neither respond, nor do anything except letting Twitter and Facebook secretly censor me (shadow ban) by hiding my posts from the public and even isolating my account from supporters where I don’t get notified at times of their Tweets.

I also want to point out the fact that Pret did not act on numerous customer warnings regarding allergen labelling, even after TWO customers died, a third nearly fatal and several hospitalized over time, that should send alarm bells through the public.

But this is another blog entry on how the public is lulled in with slogans, sweet-talk, free coffees (that are funded by prices being increased) and an approachable CEO with a smiley facade. I question even if he really is behind all “his” tweets as he told us once that he has trusted people who answer mails for him when his work load gets too much. And as I have emails from the CEO and know how he writes, I doubt he’s behind all his tweets. But that’s not important and I leave it as speculation.

So, the main issues I want to point to can be found as I linked above to the overview: “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger

Also, to start I want to link again to the Pret Staff Reviews & Complaints and Selected Quotes from that long list that I collected from Employment Review sites, YouTube, Twitter and other websites.

 


 

I started in Pret in 2008 just when Bridgepoint purchased Pret and started to squeeze the life out of staff, with high targets to open on every corner. One recent article by The Times briefly scratches on this, “Pret was the best thing since sliced bread but private equity ruined it”.
Quote: “To my surprise, I also find myself feeling bothered by the sheer number of Pret outlets in London. … It’s obvious what the owners are trying to do. As one veteran private equity investor put it recently: “We buy a business, work out how many restaurants you can get away with in an area until it’s become saturated, then try to convince a new buyer that there is plenty more runway”.

I remember noticing the increase of Pret shops from around 2009-ish on. I cannot compare to pre-2008 but heard that it used to be a little easier, and certainly with much more staff, even though still harsh and fast paced. But all I knew was from 2008 onward. From the beginning I felt the stress, but as I am a hard worker having worked in the food business almost all my life, I just put it down to just being a very busy work environment. Yet, I always told my teams where Pret was their first job, that Pret is very different to all the other companies I worked in three countries over the years.

I had a life, I had friends, projects, all the usual things one enjoys. I managed to not take the stress home too much, although was complaining to friends a lot. And here is where a lot of people also make the mistake, I often narrowed it down to me being very efficient, passionate about everything I do, and thinking I just expect too much. With expecting too much, I mean that to me very normal things like: integrity, honesty, hard work, communication, training etc. was a given. And in my previous employment I either did not experience any bull-crap or I was completely ignorant of it. I don’t know. All I know is I never had issues at work.

I expect a lot from myself and often thought that my expectations were too high. So, I stood back and made the mistake to come under intense stress and harshness. I always understood that leadership has in its word and meaning “lead”. We all lead by example, no matter if good or bad example. But in Pret I and colleagues were always perplex about the lack of integrity of managers, the lack of efficiency and care. But you go on, do your job, go home and have a life.

I used to visit 3, 4 and at times 5 events per week. I am a sucker for live gigs and music in general. I visited over 100+ concerts, theater productions, museums, art events in 5+ years. I traveled, especially visiting family in Germany and friends in the U.S. where I used to live. I was extremely active in my personal life. I published a book of German texts, worked on projects for other artists, enjoyed dinners and cinema with friends. And even while Pret was stressful, I managed often to shrug off the harsh management, complaining to friends, but getting on with my personal passions.

And then my brother died.

What happened then, I would have never ever imagined could happen. I knew Pret was a tough place to work in, but I am no stranger to hard work and just got on with it. Again, I had the wrong expectation to assume Pret would support me as a longtime staff member, or as an employee, no matter how long my service. I write extensively about the bullying I went through while already traumatically bereaved and in shock.

During the main issues of being targeted I applied for my employee file as I tried to understand why the harshness even during bereavement kept happening. One of the emails by a People Business Partner, who responded to a mail from an HR advisor who was the note taker of the first grievance appeal’s hearing against a bullying line manager. I said in the hearing that there is no support and the HR advisor passed this on. Later in another grievance hearing this PBP changed his mind after I pointed out his email. He then said that maybe in hindsight he made a mistake.

It was a complete fog and confusion. In hindsight a lot of this was “gaslighting”, making me think that I was the problem, making me think that I was not bullied, even with all the written evidence I presented, they pretended I was not bullied. In another Tribunal where the Judge ruled unfair dismissal, the Judge also concluded that Pret’s grievance and then appeals hearings were “fundamentally flawed” at the top of page 10 with the check marks. I also went through flawed hearing after flawed hearing which I cover in other posts. And the PBP saying that in Hindsight he made a mistake had me speechless and in a Twilight Zone.

The email regarding my pointing out the lack of support:

 

2015-10-22 Chris &amp; Laura re SUPPORT

 

So, him changing his mind later in a hearing after I pointed out his email, was just another typical way of Pret leadership playing games. But I just crumbled again and again.

My system just switched into autopilot, while working extremely well and making the mistake to approach Pret’s HR with suggestions on how to better support bereaved staff. Little did I know that by doing so, I put a target on my back. Only now do I understand why so few people approach HR as Prince William points out after some research they have done, that only 2% of employees approach HR regarding mental health issues. After my trauma with Pret I understand why so few try to raise awareness and/or make suggestions to HR.

I wrote it somewhere before that I still would approach any HR department again, but this time not alone and not without a note-taker, as Pret “lost” an important document which I applied for in my file. Their note-taker took notes that would have proven that I had no support. But because I never experienced anything remotely of a hell I experienced in Pret, I always approached leadership alone, knowing I act with integrity, came with open hands, but I had to learn my lesson hard.

This is why I write so bluntly and intensely now and have a zero tolerance on bullshit!

But during that time, I blamed myself for having been bullied, I blamed myself for being a burden. I even apologized for a nervous breakdown I had in the office during a team brief after being shouted at in front of my team, two days before the first anniversary of my bother’s death. I put it down to my own grief and what psychologists call, “sibling survivor guilt” having survived my brother. I always knew how well I worked, and it is not cocky when I say that I was one of the best team leaders. I know how well I work and I know all the feedback from my teams, customers and Mystery Shoppers. But when you work under insecure management who pretend that your work is never good enough to pull you down on their level, it’s a constant struggle to figure out what’s going on, why are you not promoted, but held low etc.

I am not a psychologist, but I know that human beings are prone to come under a cloud of suppression and get used to it because they have pure intentions and blame themselves. This is being taken advantage of. One Pret Assistant Manager review highlights the lack of self-respect here very clearly:

“Respect yourself don’t let managers overload you” Link

But Team Members and especially Team Leaders have no choice, because they are manipulated and often subtly to even openly threatened with their job security. Or a very common tactic is to give them unfavourable shifts where the manager knows that a TM either cannot work, or does not like certain shifts. I was given the minimum contracted hours after I lost my savings when my brother died. My boss knew that and rarely gave me more hours to work, even though I asked many times. There is so much manipulating control going on and bullying has many facets from right out shouting at staff, excluding them, withholding important information, transferring them to difficult shops setting them up for failure etc.

I went through it all during bereavement and only in hindsight can I see how much this was a plan under HR in hopes I resign. But I didn’t. I even declined 4 settlement offers if I resign and never speak about my ordeal, 3 offers while still working in Pret and the 4th via Acas when I filed a Tribunal claim, but withdrew because my dad just died in the middle of preparing for the case. I collapsed and knew without legal aid I could not mentally see through a complex court case.

Not having signed my rights away, I buried my dad, went under for a couple of months, and then decided to go public.

Another Assistant Manager’s review (I leave the mistakes to keep it in their own words):

“Avoid working there – Too much pressure working there, company expects you to do all your job within the time you are schedule but it is impossible , you will end up working hours for free, no work life balance at all , they have he mistery shipper but it is all a fake thing you can not control , the standards are so high the only thing it will drive is you stress everyday. Don’t work there. Link

 

The Mystery Shopper, or as I have renamed it the “Misery” Shopper, is the driving force behind the expected happiness. When I left Pret in Dec. 2017 the reward for an individual staff member for being extra nice when the Mystery Shopper witnessed their special service is £200 tax-free. Even if the team loses the bonus, an individual Team Member can still earn up to £100 on top of their wages. With the bonus and perfect scores = £200 when the Mystery Shopper nominates them for their “outstanding” service. This is why staff are constantly smiling, chatting and giving free items in the hopes the MS is around witnessing this or even better, be the recipient of this extra kissing butt.

 

2018-07-04 Outstanding Card

 

 

And customers are so impressed with the constant “happiness” of staff not realizing that staff have financial incentives, especially when giving free items away in hopes the MS is present receiving or witnessing this generosity.

Financial incentives when successful, and fear managed and micro managed when not.

 

A Tweet from the former Pret employee who was fired for having started a Union:

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

Link

 

Different Mystery Shopper excerpts. Pressing Ctrl & + enlarges pictures for easier read, and Ctrl & – to decrease size again.

 

04 MS

 

 

05 MS

 

 

I was told off in the office after the Mystery Shopper comment on me having coughed as I had a slight cold:

 

MS_Cough

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

I wish I could have told this MS that staff are not paid sick leave for the first 2 and 3 days depending on their age. So you had to decide if to stay home sick and lose income, or go to work unwell and get a telling off from the manager as I did because I coughed when I happened to serve the MS. When we were sick we were never even asked by our bosses how we were! Nada! And when we happen to serve the MS and cough, not even then, just put downs constantly as managers rely on the MS points which count towards the biggest chunk of their quarterly bonus.

 

Yes, the extra cash is a good reward and gives great customer service. But firstly, not all are motivated by financial incentives, especially while being stressed and pushed on a daily basis. And secondly the flip-side of this is, that when staff don’t smile and the Mystery Shopper comments on it, or customers flock to Twitter with complaints, staff find themselves in the office or other back room, away from customers and get told off. And then they are commanded to smile. I mentioned it in another blog post that the most ridiculous telling off I and my team received after losing bonus as no-one smiled, was where our non-smiling and moody boss said, “Your smile is part of your uniform. You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform…”

He also said that we need to leave our problems at home etc. I was in the middle of a grievance appeal’s process due to my former line manager openly bullying me, and still coming to terms about my brother’s death. I will not get into this particular shop further, but teams are getting conditioned to this type of “emotional and mental abuse”, and yes, I call this abuse!

The press called this “emotional labour”. Quote:

“… in The New Republic, Timothy Noah observes that the sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger aggressively monitors its employees’ displays of enthusiasm. If any worker at any particular store seems insufficiently pleased to see their customers, he and all of his coworkers could suffer the consequences. Pret CEO Clive Schlee even monitors whether his employees are making enough affectionate physical contact with each other.” Link

 

This pressure not only from Mystery Shoppers and Managers but also from cutsomers who quickly run to Twitter and publicly at times even naming staff members, not thinking for one minute that Team Members are human beings who might be going through a hell they don’t see! I smiled, gave freebies, was complemented on my service by customers, and after my shift went for the bridge.

 

3 years of good service, then ONE incidence and this lady blackmails Pret with losing her business. This then is fed back to the manager who pressures the TM or even the whole team:

2018-11-28 Bad Service after 3 years

Link

I decided today to respond with a .gif handing her a handkerchief. Something I was never able to do while in Pret.

 

2019-02-04 Response to Nov tweet on bad service with gif

Link

 

CryMeARiver

 

 

I responded to some of these Tweeters on why they call out hard working staff’s names publicly, not even bothering how intense working on the front lines in Pret is:

 

2018-10-24 Re No Smile

Link

 

 

2018-12-31 Customer calling staff name for rude service2

Link

 

 

A customer who has no boundaries to call hard-working people the C-Word and Pret even apologizing, kissing butt for profit:

 

PretBehaviour01a

 

etc. etc. …

 

Horrible Company Pret

YouTube further down the comments.

 

Fear management, manipulation, exploiting vulnerabilities and good will of staff etc.

I  often ask people if they really believe or even bother to care if Pret staff can smile, show a happiness, friendliness and being polite for 6, 8, 10+ hours EVERY day in a fast paced, intensely loud and stressful work environment.

 

So, why do staff subject themselves to this and continue for years?

The answer is not simple but manifold:

  • For one, most are foreign workers who are glad to have found a job after leaving their debt-ridden country behind. They have kids to feed in hopes they will have it better one day.
  • Often people think that with time it will get better and certainly once you climb up the career ladder. At least I was under this illusion as I’ve never had problems in other companies and kept giving Pret the benefit of the doubt time and time again.
  • Many staff members have the ability to just keep their heads down, play the game and unfortunately many play it on account of hardworking people.
  • Other times it’s just simply assuming this is just the way it is, and they just get on with it, not realizing how damaging it becomes for their mental health in time.

 

I found an interesting Tweet yesterday that shows that even investigative journalists who are under life threatening situations come under this:

 

2019-02-04 Getting used to Harassment2

Link

 

I used to ask like many people do why battered woman who are beaten and abused by their husbands/boyfriends stay so long in a toxic and violent relationship, often for decades before breaking out.

After what I have been through during already traumatic bereavement, I don’t ask that question anymore. I for one became extremely vulnerable, I was emotionally broken on the ground so-to-speak. I was in a fog of shock and grief, still functioning on autopilot, trying also to distract myself, exhausting myself physically to cover this excruciating pain of loss and unanswered questions. I was often literally begging my bosses and HR for help, I became ill with emailing, irrational. I started to have panic attacks, the first ever which happened in my sleep! I woke with or from a panic attack thinking I had a heart attack.

I even tried to find another job, had a trial day, but either I overdid my work or I didn’t sell myself well, or both. I was lost in where to turn, couldn’t take off unpaid leave as I had no financial means, having lost my savings after my brother died, running errands, traveling between Germany and London etc. A friend of mine understood when I gave up hope and thought I could never find another job, she said to me that it makes sense that I stayed with Pret as this is the “devil that I know” compared to the devil that I did not know in a new company.

Many battered women partly take a long time to leave their violent “partners” as this is what they come accustomed to.

How I survived my Pret ordeal having had several close calls at the bridge, I don’t know. Partly it may have been the intense anger I had because of how my brother’s death not only happened, but was dealt with, and certainly I didn’t want to put more grief on my mum. Added to that how Pret had nothing more to do then try and get rid of an inconvenient employee, whose only “crime” was that they became bereaved, while having been a very good asset to the company for several years.

Welcome to Pret that uses former homeless people for PR.

I had many conversations throughout the years with colleagues who felt stuck, scared to know if they can even find another job. And make no mistake about the low paid workers in Pret, many of them have degrees from their countries. I worked with a woman from Finland who had PhD in some technical work which I forgot. I worked with a Spanish woman who was a fully educated lawyer. One colleague from Brazil who was the secretary of the mayor of the small town he lived in. Another Brazilian lady was a bank manager in her town. Many artists, IT people, musicians, I worked with a trained pianist, I myself self-published a book from scratch by myself, financed it, organized it etc. etc.

For most, their degrees are not accepted in the UK, they would have to study some extra semesters. Others lack the language and just work to improve their English to get a start in the UK. Sure, Pret pays a little more, give a few more perks, throw parties etc. But the work they expect is like working for 2 or 3 people to get their Investors their money back plus profit! Labour is cut in most shops to maximize profit and with it managers’ bonuses. CEO Clive Schlee pockets £30 million from the JAB take-over and whatever sums of money all the top leadership get thrown at. All on the backs of low-paid workers needing to feed their kids and pay the bills.

A Barista review just from last week 30.01.2019 highlighted this:

2019-02-02 Pret A Lack of Staff

Link

 

Staff get used to this as this seems the norm and no-one is standing up. And if people do stand up, like Andrej Stopa who was fired for starting a Union, or like I did internally and now from the outside, staff remain intimidated and hopeless. Fear is a huge thing in Pret, and it’s so subtle how one can get sucked in without knowing it, until you are so paralyzed. You’re almost brainwashed by the slogans and harshness. Rarely do people have longevity in raising these unacceptable issues. The only option they find, apart from resigning or getting dismissed, is to give anonymous reviews on Indeed, Glassdoor, Twitter etc.

in 2011 someone even started a Facebook group “I Hate Pret A Manger” which is hard to find even when looking for it, as FB is also shadow banning. But I stumbled on it by coincidence just recently.

 

2018-01-07 I Hate Pret Facebook Page2

 

I have been contacted by current staff with the plea to not out them, and I never would. But I urge every staff member, even in other companies to join a Union. Take it from me, I had to learn the hard way, but that is why I am now so outspoken and not intimidated anymore, no matter what tricks and traps Pret comes up with. For fastfood workers I can only recommend the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) that has been instrumental in the first ever McDonald’s strikes in the UK that started in the U.S. years ago. Everybody knows how poor work conditions in McDonald’s are. But Pret has been successfully lulling in the public and controlled staff, so people often don’t believe how it is behind the facade when this is pointed out. I don’t blame them. All I ask, if something looks too good to be true, take a closer look.

And the £1000 that Clive announced on 29. May 2018, well Pret became aware of my blog on the night from 28th to 29th of May 2018. I know how Pret’s CEO reacts fast when reputation is at risk! And in October staff were still waiting and forbidden to further tweet or get a disciplinary with the risk of getting dismissed. Well, I’m delighted to have been instrumental for all staff to get an extra £1000 which they usually would have to wait 10 years to receive!

I couldn’t help but spill the beans on that Twitter feed, but most of my Tweets are of course hidden!

 

2018-09-16 my response to £1000 29May announcement

 

 

2018-09-30 1000

 

 

 

2018-10-01 £1000

Link

 

If you have read this long blog entry, and indeed some other of my writings, it means you care (apart from Pret that also read my blog ;-] ). But those of my readers who care, I do not take it lightly that people give of their time to subjects that are easily avoided by most people. It is always hard to have ones “bubble burst”. We want to believe a shiny facade, in this case Pret’s facade, that they have so carefully presented over many years.

 

Illusion

 

All I ask is to look closer. Ask questions and give ear when you hear critique or something that surprises you, as we all were knocked over by Pret having been silent about two customer deaths and not done anything until it became public. And most importantly, don’t victim blame the staff who came and come under this harshness. It’s so easy to judge from the outside that they should just get another job! Don’t judge when people cannot find their way out or become hopeless. It needs a lot of support like a Union, friends, professional helplines to get a healthy perspective of what is acceptable behaviour towards decent and hardworking people. It goes faster than one thinks to slip under a workplace bullying environment, especially when it is systemic as it is so rampant today. Amazon for example is one of the worst, and YouTube is full of undercover reporting within Amazon warehouses and drivers.

Yes, many Pret customers also go on Twitter recommending Team Members by name who give great service. But it is even better to speak to the Team Member themselves, because I was told over the years by some of my customers if I received some goodies as they wrote to HQ or Twitter about my service. And most managers don’t even care to tell their staff when a good report is given on Twitter, especially if that Manager doesn’t like the Team Member. Reach out directly, or even in the presence of the manager. Pret does not have time by the amount of daily Tweets to pass on every message, even though they always say they do.

One card with a £20 note inside kept me going when I was in my darkest time in a shop with a bullying manager. The customer who only knew me a few days did not know what hell was raging inside me with my grief and the turmoil in Pret. If he would have gone to Twitter naming me and how he appreciated my service, I would have never gotten this message, as the manager of the store targeted me. But him giving me this card, even if without the money, it meant the world to me and I broke in the office later after closing time because I had moments I was ready to quit and go over the edge… And even though it’s very sad to me that this card kept me going like a glass of fresh water in the desert, but people do not understand how staff feel, in depression, even suicidal.

 

Pret Reality for many:

 

“Depression. Anxiety. Dread to go to work”

2018-10-02 Modern Day Slavery

Link

 

And this is my campaign to say that every person deserves to be treated with respect and their dignity protected.

Thank you for reading.

 

I wish I got some contact details from the customer who gave me this card that kept me going to let him know how many times this card reminded me that people care. I read it after closing time in the office and just sobbed.

 

pk-customer-card-aug-2015-aldgateeast_smudged.jpg

 

 

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

PRET A Manger Staff Complaints – Quotes of the Day (UPDATED Feb. 2019)

 

Horrible Company Pret

 

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

 

 

2019-02-09 Response to Homeless House Tweet2

 

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

 

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

 

 

PAMSU Dismantle MS

 

 

A rare observation and acknowledgement of the forced happiness/friendliness of staff:

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

#EndTheMysteryShopper

 

 


 

If you prefer to skip this into, just scroll down to the red heading Selected Quotes that link to reviews I want to highlight.

 


 

UPDATE: Nov. 2018

Undercover reporter in Pret sparked by my blog.

 


 

NOTE from the start: I myself did approx. 300 – 500 transactions per day depending what shift I was on and how busy the shop was in general. This means I served not 300 – 500 individual people, but more than that. ONE transaction can be 1 customer or a group of people ordering and paying together. Even with one transaction serving a group, you speak with several people about their order etc. So, on average I spoke individually with no less than 500 – 800+ people a day, plus colleagues, bosses, answering the phone etc. Multiple that by how many more are in a team… and one gets the idea of customer flow in a shop, it’s like a train station. I still have some of the reports of the summaries and a chronic beeping and roaring tinnitus…

It depended on how many hours per day I worked and what my job was for the day. If on coffee, I mostly listened to orders but didn’t speak as much directly with customers. Same in the kitchen. But with all the amount of customer interaction, Pret’s brutal expectation for profit is that staff members connect with EVERY customer, smile, eye contact, small conversation. If they fail, they are summoned into the office or anywhere away from customers, are told off, at times threatened with their job security, send out and ordered to smile by a non-smiling manager. I will add an extra blog entry on the mental and emotional strain and what I also experienced, the mental abuse by superiors when the Mystery Shopper report wasn’t as positive (= less bonus for the managers). Pret doesn’t even stop when staff become bereaved as I had to experience so traumatically.

The press called this “emotional labour”. Quote:

“… in The New Republic, Timothy Noah observes that the sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger aggressively monitors its employees’ displays of enthusiasm. If any worker at any particular store seems insufficiently pleased to see their customers, he and all of his coworkers could suffer the consequences. Pret CEO Clive Schlee even monitors whether his employees are making enough affectionate physical contact with each other.” Link

I can absolutely verify the aggressiveness of this. I still don’t know how I survived.

 

Further below I listed selected reviews as “Quotes” from the long list of Pret Staff Complaints. These are EXACT quotes linked from various Employment Review websites, YouTube, Twitter etc. as well as my own story regarding Pret A Manger on my Blog here. I left any mistake in the reviews to keep it in their own words. These selected reviews I chose from the many in the above link because I can underline those as I have experienced Pret similar (and even worse).

When customers who are so impressed with Pret because they only see the outside, the facade through the PR(et) machine, when they ask Pret about these complaints, they are too easily sweet-talked into believing that this is just an unfortunate exception. But the truth will always come to the surface, no matter how long it takes.

 

Bullying Boss

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management, training and work environment, all issues that is really appalling in Pret and the numerous reviews speak about. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything, but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their HR dept. work, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone writes these reviews.

And since I compiled these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent working  PR(et) machine. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same from different years, even days ago and different countries, in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

There are also a lot of complaints regarding being overworked for extra time but not being paid for it. I can verify this as I had to chase my missing hours for years! Pret Staff in the UK and elsewhere should do what over 4000 Pret staff did in the U.S. with a class action suit regarding missing pay.

This review from a former London TM from 13. Aug. 2018 makes this very clear. I called this “Quote of the Day” entry the “Wage Watchers” Program in Pret.

 


 

UPDATE end of Nov. 2018: An undercover investigation sparked by my blog. Amy Sharpe from the Sunday Mirror went undercover in Pret after reading my experience and my suggestion to go undercover to see for herself. She “only” worked a few days in the shop, not the kitchen, and can’t do an in-depth cover like my 10 years in Pret and the below reviews. But it is a good start that scratches the surface on how it is behind the scenes. My comments on her findings in my blog post:
Undercover Under Pressure in Pret

 


 

Selected Quotes:

 

#01 Pray A Manger “Get ready to lick so many a**ses to advance”

#02 Cry A MangerThe Brainwash is real… A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period.

#03 Pret A Mess “Always messing up pay”

#04 Threat A Manger “Very bad management. They treat you like a slave. You have zero value for them. … They threa[t] us and show the door if we don’t work very fast.”

#05 Pret A FearPlease get the bullies out.Now your people work in fear.”

#06 Pret A MistakeHorrible place they shout at you all the time for any little mistake.”

#07 Pret A Bullied “The image of the happy environment is a joke.”

#08 Pret A Blackmail “Your subjected to emotional blackmail and serious labor issues”

#09 Corrupt A Manager “Worst company to work for … the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear.”

#10 Kiss A Bum “Managers treat you poorly, they are racist and discriminating. If you want to get promotion you have to sleep with someone and kiss manager’s bum.”

#11 Pret A SqueezeManagement is trying to squeeze you like a lemon …. no weekends off, not even 2 days off together.

#12 PR(et) A ManipulativeManipulative and exploitative approach to employeesGenuinely fake and dishonest company.” (Former IT Analyst’s review on Pret’s Head Office)

#13 Regret A Manger “I regret working there.”

#14 Define A Manager “Lack of defined management, finger-pointing, politics and poor organisation.”

#15 Pret Annihilates HumanityThis job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you.”

#16 Poor A MangerPoor and terrible management.”

#17 Pret A Shame “The training should be more about encouraging people than shouting and shaming them.”

#18 Pret A Missing PayI want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE.”

#19 Pret A MachineHorrible training, too many liespeople are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you … they treat employees as machines … Horrible environment.”

#20 Bad A Manager “Bad management and not taking care about people … do not give power to irresponsible people

#21 Pret A Slave Stressful and dominatingLeaders treat you like slaves.

#22 Pret A HaRshHR problems, employee is treated really badly…”

#23 Pret A Smileyou are required to have the widest fake smile on earth

#24 Rude A Manager “Management and some members of staff were extremely rude and patronising”

#25 Pret A Bad “A shame that such a big company is becoming so bad day by day.”

#26 Pret A PushLittle training was just pushed at the deep end as soon as I started the job

 

continued below…

 

Robot sad crop

 

#27 Pret A Manager-Ex: “I am an ex GM. I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.”

#28 Pret A Hell:if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore … TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!! get down from that high horse you’re on”

#29 Pret A M*ffin “…team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear … now the company is just about the profit also it is run like mafia organisation where it is about who you know … get rid of some top management who are so corrupt

#30 Pret A Robot “People are treated inhuman way in terms of sickness and work load. Employees are being treated more like robots than human beings

#31 Pret A JokeYou have a limited time to do your job everyday but this time limit is a joke. they give me the next rota just the day before the week starts.

#32 Pret A Nothingdidn’t learn nothing as i have things to give to that shop as i came with lots of experience and skills.

#33 Red A Manager “their [managers] personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

#34 Pret A Unhappy + Extra Quote on the House! If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently)”

#35 Trap A Manger “It’s a trap! … Huge stress. Never stops.Shouting all around. … Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

#36 Pret A UnpaidVery unfair company

#37 Pret A ScreamOne of the things that I absolutely hated about working at pret, was the fact that management wanted you to act like you were having fun and smile at all times.

#38 Pret A Managerthe staff are great the guys who do the real work. The management suck” (review by a manager)

#39 Pret A No RespetarLos managers son penosos“, “un horror!!” “desastrosa” and “todo… no tiempo libre, no respeto..”

#40 Odd A Manger “company going in one direction and then the opposite” (review from a former Purchasing Director, NYC)

#41 Pret A Scam “This job is a scam you work hours and hours and it never matches your check

 

continued below…

 

Depression pexels-photo-262075

 

#42 Pret A Shadyreally shady company. They worked us off the clock and would be quick to transfer even there best workers over favoritism

#43 Pret A Blame “overworking envornment , discriminating HR , unprofessional managers

#44 Pret A Bos(s)ton “No person deserves to be traumatized or stressed to death by work. Current laws do not address interpersonal cruelty at work.”

#45 Pret A Powerkidwhichever is your mental state, you have to be happy and smile…you can also suddenly be under the powerkid that is mainly rude,… setting up your rota to damage your personal life just for fun, or shouting at you in front of the others

#46 Pret Abusive StaffDiscriminatory management Unprofessional atmosphere Abusive staff”

#47 Squeeze A LemonManagement is trying to squeeze you like a lemon

#48 Pret A Mouthful “The positions are hardly worth it for the pay you get. Better off being a team member if you don’t see Pret as a long term career prospect.”

#49 Pret A Cutting StaffPoor management and under-trained … Pret A Manger has cut down on staff so theres more a lot more of things to do and not enough staff to do everything, so employees are being worked harder. Management do not have sympathy or care for employees

#50 Pret A Not WorthNot Worth The Stress … Either stop cutting hours or stop giving teams a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete.”

#51 Pret A Brainwash “There are a lot of favouritism, which leads to promoting incompetent people to more senior roles.”

#52 Pret A Mental AbuseHostile work environmentmental and verbal abuse physical violence in the workplace

#53 Pret A HorribleExtremely stressful managers dont know anything and drama every day. People need to know how to take responsibility there. I wouldn’t work there.”

#54 Wage Watchers Progam at PretKeep track of your own wages – left with more than £100 owed to me which I had to claim back! … I was made to feel like I was in the wrong and spoken to rudely.

#55 Pret A ExploitationYou should probably consider buying industrial machines to make sandwiches instead of focusing on exploitation East-European employees.

 

continued below…

 

Pret Uniform2

The Pret A Manger Staff Uniform Cupboard for a perfect smile all day long.

 

#56 Pret A MaskTeam member should smile at customers and may not work when ill, as team member was coughing whilst serving me and was therefore not feeling cheerful enough to smile that day”

Dear Misery Shopper, Team Members are not paid the first 2-3 days when off sick. If you’d pay staff sick leave, they will stay home and cough!

“request people to show a ‘fake’ happiness”“you are required to have the widest fake smile on earth”

 

#57 Pret A Shout “…all they seem to do is try to create robots that operate at 100mph and have no personality … I’d sacrifice a paid break and a free lunch for a decent environment to work in where I’m not shouted at daily, and made to feel sub human.”

#58 Pret A CondescendingInsure management respects the workers and don’t be condescending on them, please don’t act over controlling in respect to ensuring we work like robots

#59 Pret A Anger “”!!!! … !!!!! … !!!!!!!! … !!!””

#60 Pret A Modern-day SlaveryWhen you follow [the points and rules] they then moan that you are to slow and need to hurry

#61 Pret A Slave’s CompanyIf someone can’t finish job on time has to stay longer, for free. Common practise is to give someone job to do, just a couple of minutes before end of shift and after telling that “you couldn’t finish on time, because you are to slow.

 

continued below…

 

ball-and-chain-2624325__340

 

#62 Pret A NoxiousGo back to the UK, Pret I have never worked in such a toxic, unprofessional corporate environment. Employees relocating from UK were given preferential treatment, better salaries for equal experience

#63 Penalize A Funeral “management is disrespectful, they fire people when they are having rough times in life even if they talk to manager about it , i was penalized for calling out for a funeral

#64 Pret A Manchesterneed to hire different managers, ones that respect staff. the ones there now, shout at staff, don’t understands there circumstances or disabilities

#65 Pret A Politics “Poor management resulting in poor decisions. Office culture is working really really long hours. No work life balance whatsoever and constant office politics”

#66 Pret A Scared “…been given a letter saying that u have not been performing and from that time u will be on risk to be fired

#67 Pret A Lacking Staff “Busy and stressful environment whit no support from management. – Forget about contracted hours! You will be doing overtime most of the time, as there is a lack of staff nearly in every Pret.”

#68 Pret A Money Hungry Regarding doing charity for the homeless: “The help they do is just for public to bring more customers in. Behind is chaos.

#69 Pret Abuse of Team MembersTeam members are abused by work in terms of quantity of work and responsibilities”

 

 

Comprehensive Pret A Manger Staff Complaints– compiled from Employment Review websites, YouTube, Twitter etc.

 

Undercover Report sparked by my blog.

 

 

cry-1682140_960_720

 

From only few of these complaints and my own experience, which has almost cost me my life, working in a toxic, unfulfilling, non-rewarding and right out dangerous work environment that gives no room for people being vulnerable in bereavement or mental health issues, behind the scenes it is a very different story to what Pret presents at the front. The annual questionnaire Pret does to ask staff of their experience is flawed as some managers manipulate those, I know of one manager who has been dismissed for manipulating (doing the questionnaire online on behalf of those who did not want to participate), another has been caught by staff, but none has raised the issue.

I have raised a grievance as my shop had a 100% participation in the questionnaire, even though I did not participate in it. The hearing was not investigated properly, and only vague assumptions have been made by HR, but no thorough investigation took place, which would have been easy to be made as I was one of 4 Team Leaders, the external company who held the questionnaire could have been contacted with the shop number that was assigned to my shop to see how many Team Leaders participated and could have scrutinized the wording, as I am very particular in my wording.

So, these anonymous complaints that I gathered will repeat itself on the same lines as linked here. The shiny facade will sooner later crumble, and hopefully things will be truly changed and not just PR and slogans presented. But I doubt it, as money is just corrupting people too much.

I am proud to say that the unions in the UK and the U.S. (with further being informed) are now aware of and having an eye on Pret A Manger that has gotten away with so much mistreatment of their hard working people for so many years. The time will come that even Pret will lose its facade, just as companies like McDonald already did so many years ago. My work is done!

I almost lost my life and am struggling to find my way back to living a normal, anxiety-free life again.

 

 

Brain Plaster anxiety-1535743__340

 

 

 

A customer in Chicago commenting on a deceased Pret staff and Pret itself:

“I knew Dante. He was an extremely nice person. That being said, Pret is a horrible company to work for.”

 

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

 

Link

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger” overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2018/2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

A Word to Pret A Manger Staff

 

Word to Pret Employees

 

 

2018-10-21 #61 Slaves Company

 

Former TM review from 18. Oct. 2018

Pret workers should do what colleagues did in the U.S. taking Pret to court:

Pret settles overtime wage claim (NY)

 

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

Link

 

 

2018-10-15 Staff complain in Twitter not paid HR

Link

 

 

Brutal Nightmare

YouTube comment towards the bottom

 

 

A customer comment on a deceased Pret employee, Dante and Pret in general (Chicago): “I knew Dante. He was an extremely nice person. That being said, Pret is a horrible company to work for.”

 

Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

Link

 

 

2018-11-25 Amy Sharpe Undercover in Pret

Link on Amy Sharpe’s Undercover report on “hugely overstretched staff”, wasted food among other issues.

 


 

UPDATE 09.02.2019 Facebook comment on Pret’s house for the homeless by current Pret staff regarding work conditions:

 

2019-02-09 Response to Homeless House Tweet2

Link will load a few seconds and needs to settle before this direct comment appears.

2019-02-08 Response to Homeless House Tweet0

Link, again needs to load before the comment appears.

 

 

And many more on Selected Pret Staff Reviews from the long but not exhaustive list of Staff reviews and complaints collected from review sites, YouTube, Twitter etc.

 


 

My Advise to current Pret Staff:

 

If you are a current Pret Employee, especially in the shop and / or kitchen, I advise you to not waste your time trying to change work conditions, nor “fight” bullying, non-caring managers and dishonest HR internally, but join a Union ASAP!

 

>>> @bfawu1 or @NSSN_NE or @__PAMSU__ ‏ or many others …

 


 

Before I worked in Pret I never had any problems with a company or bosses. Of course I had the usual stresses any job brings, especially the food industry, and a boss here and there would get on our nerves from time to time, but nothing like the hell and trauma I survived in Pret! Nothing came even close! I never ever imagined to be bullied during already traumatic bereavement! Never! My story is like out of a twisted Hollywood Film and sometimes people don’t believe me. That’s fine, I have all the written evidence, have declined 4 settlement offers if I resign and never speak about my ordeal nor go to court. I do not sign my rights away, especially not the offensive peanuts Pret offered!

And all Pret does on Twitter and Facebook regarding my public confronting them, is to report me to Twitter to “shadow ban” me so that my followers are not notified about any new tweets and the public won’t see my tweets as Twitter on behalf of Pret (£$€) hides my tweets.

But because I never experienced anything even remotely bad in a company before, that’s why I made the mistake to give Pret the benefit of the doubt one too many times while clouded in grief and trauma, as this was a first. I was trying to figure out why this was happening to me. In my darkest time during bereavement, when I was so traumatized I couldn’t see left from right and just went on autopilot, I was even bullied on top of this! From my experience with this company, Pret A Manger, and especially their toxic HR department, I can only urge you to join a Union! Keep on writing reviews on Employment Review and other websites, but safe yourself unnecessary pain and time, and join a Union.

In fact any employee should be a member of a Union. Period.

For Pret workers and food workers in general, I can highly recommend the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union. The BFAWU was instrumental in the first ever McDonald’s workers’ strikes (McStrike) in the UK that already took place in the USA, but in the UK they are a vital force in organizing workers who suffer financially, physically and mentally.

My story is spread over this website, but to get to the most important blog entries for an overview, please visit this “Mind Map” I created to link to key blog entries. There you can choose the posts that most interest you to know about by clicking on the arrow linking back to this website / blog again.

Understand, that when you join a Union and Pret knows about it, that they will find anything against you to get rid of you. Andrej who founded the Pret A Manger Staff Union (PAMSU) was fired under the “pret-ense” of allegedly having made homophobic remarks 10 months prior to getting dismissed.

Andrej confronting Pret on the real reason of dismissal.

 

 

Pret A Manger Staff Union on Twitter

BFAWU on Twitter

 

So, join a Union and speak out, but understand that once Pret knows that you joined any Union, your days in Pret are numbered. But you won’t be alone. I cannot recommend the BFAWU enough and wish I knew this Union when I was in the middle of my Pret ordeal.

President of the BFAWU, Ian Hodson’s much needed words for employees and employers alike:

 

 

 

Worldwide food workers’ strikes on 04.10.2018

 

John McDonnell’s message to exploitative employers:

“We are coming for you!”

 

 

Word to Pret Employees

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day 67 – #Pret A Lacking Staff

 

This latest review from 30. Jan. 2019 is what I wrote about in my other blog entry where I suspect fake reviews that are written for Pret. These fake looking reviews all share how short they are, no precise detail, very vague, “fun” appears a lot and identical reviews in short succession to fill up the latest / top spots.

But the real reviews will always keep coming, so I’m not bothered.

And this barista review shares very clearly how understaffed most Pret shops are. Cutting staff to maximize profit. And then customers flock to Twitter armed with photos of appalling coffees, half empty cups etc. Customers don’t realize that staff have 1 minute to serve or risk losing the Mystery Shopper bonus.

I write about this extensively in “Pret A Manger Reviews” and on a YouTube comment on how Pret staff are “Motivated” with fear “Pret A Scared“.

 

Quote of the day:

 

2019-02-02 Pret A Lack of Staff

 

 

2019-02-02 Pret A Lack of Staff

Link

 

 

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day 66 – #Pret A Scared

 

angst-807726__340

 

 

Quote of the Day: (Bold highlights by me) from YouTube, currently at the top of the comments:

Horrible place to be , pret a manger looks brilliant to the outsider but poor workers are inslaved … they work hard and they always on edge and being told to be fake and be extra nice and sweet and if someone is just him/her self he will be taking into the office and will be warned and told off and been given a letter saying that u have not been performing and from that time u will be on risk to be fired or put in the kitchen to work even harder and be threatened! Poor staff are sooo scared that they do what they are being told out of worry to lose job , so if you get free item not because of the staff member is being generous but that’s because of her manager and area manager. Who says to give about 2 to 3 items free on that day and since you are at least showing her that she is still a human she will give it to you rather than a rude heartless customer

 

This is what I wrote in several Tweets and on my blog that staff are threatened, and depending how insecure they are even get a letter pressuring them to perform better or risk being dismissed. I remember vividly when a new Team Member received a “File Note”, now called “Note of Concern” because our shop lost the Mystery Shopper because he didn’t smile. This Note of Concern was a typical tool of fear management.

Depending on the staff member, some did “only” receive a telling of, others this kind of “letter” or even further a disciplinary which is a secure step towards dismissal. The more intimidated a staff member is, the more these tactics are used. And that is why Clive Schlee, CEO is “careful to integrate former homeless people into regular shops, saying that they would be “too exposed”.

I am exposing WHY this concern is, because Clive Schlee KNOWS his managers as they are trained to work in fear management. A former homeless person being subjected to this management style would not serve PR very well as they are in danger to be catapulted back to the streets as they couldn’t handle this manipulative and harsh approach.

Hence, Pret puts what they patronizingly call the “Rising Stars” into one shop, including former homeless manager, thus showing to the public how lovely Pret is, while Team Members in regular shops have their “stars fall” in fear management, dismissals, resignations etc.

The above highlighted quote also is what I meant when I wrote my Open Letter to the Pret Foundation Trust:

Above quote: “…been given a letter saying that u have not been performing and from that time u will be on risk to be fired or put in the kitchen to work even harder and be threatened!”

 

Pret plays the game for the public by giving people with mental health issues a three months trial, but after the trial period are not taking them on even though, in this case Sergio from the Brixton Mosaic Clubhouse mental health place, gave 100% excellence and EVERY item picture perfect. He was just too slow and wasn’t even taken into the shop front were he wouldn’t need to be that fast.

If Sergio would have stayed on, he would have eventually needed to be pressured, but that would have gone sour as he would have clearly felt the discrimination. Thus, he was treated nice for 3 months, not taken on and he did exactly what Pret wanted: he spoke well of his experience, not realizing how he was used for PR.

 

My Open Letter to the Pret Foundation Trust explaining exactly the game Pret is playing.

 

 

Also, staff are drilled to be friendly, smiley, happy at all times no matter how they really feel as I have survived being bullied even during bereavement. The weekly Mystery Shopper probed if staff smile, give eye contact, make small talk, serve hot drinks within 1 minute etc. etc. etc. Staff switch into autopilot, and I still don’t know how I survived this. I was hard on myself, the added “sibling survival guilt” didn’t help to productively deal with this fear management.

 

Mystery Shopper excerpts on the forced friendliness and 1 minute service demand:

Please press Ctrl & + to enlarge picture for easier read, and Ctrl & – to decrease size again.

 

04 MS

 

05 MS

 

Also, the second Tweet of former Pret employee who was dismissed for having started a Union, scratching on the Mystery Shopper with the hashtag #EndTheMysteryShopper

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

 

 

If Mystery Shopper comments aren’t as favourable and points are lost, and worse even, bonus is lost, TMs find themselves individually in the office or in the kitchen as a group, away from customers, being told off and warned. And then they are being send out commanded to smile.

I will do an extra blog entry on the Mystery Shopper. But the main point with the MS is that the whole team can gain bonus on a list of things the MS is tasks to look out for like variety amount in products selection, cleanliness, atmosphere and especially the service. If one Team Member (TM) messes up the service, the whole team loses bonus incl. and especially the manager. This is done for peer pressure. But if everything is more or less good, the team gets the bonus which is £1 per hour they’ve worked the week f the MS visit. So, if a person worked 40 hours that week, they get an extra £40 on their wages.

This can be increased if an individual TM is extra nice or does something extraordinary and the MS happens to witness this. The TM doesn’t need to serve the MS to get what they call an “Outstanding Card” (OC) which is not a card, but a name for an additional bonus the TM gets. When I left Pret in December 2018 the extra reward was increased to £200. So if the MS is either served by or witnesses an outstanding service by a TM, the MS can decide to give this OC and that TM receives an additional £100. If the points are perfect, that extra bonus for that individual TM is doubled to £200. And that is why customers are so impressed with the non-stop friendliness, because they don’t realize like the person in the YouTube video getting a free cookie every time, that TMs often suspect a customer to be the Mystery Shopper and hope to get that extra cash when being extra nice.

There is a daily budget on how many free items staff are expected to give away. This is what the below person comments on below on their complaint under the YouTube video. And then customers wonder why the price for coffee has been increased twice within a short time. Part for this is that someone has to pay for all the freebies, and it isn’t Pret.

If bonus is lost, managers get extremely angry as the Mystery Shopper reports count the most towards quarterly management and area management bonuses. The money grows the higher the management, the more the bonus.

Needless to say what turmoil and depression some develop being “commanded” to smile, make small talk etc. And customers are so impressed, assuming staff are so happy working for Pret. Again, how I survived this even during traumatic bereavement, I don’t know. Maybe anger kept me going, pressing forward in a complete fogged up mental state.

 

Today’s quote, a YouTube comment from early January 2019 or late December 2018. This comment shows what Pret purposely did NOT do with Sergio for the sake of PResenting a nice facade and why the CEO said that they are “careful to integrate” former homeless people into regular shops as they would be “too exposed”:

 

2019-02-01 #66 YouTube under free cookie video

Link

 

 

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger Misleading Packaging

 

… and Pret’s deleted Tweet on a new bogus reason for hidden “air” behind the cardboard packaging.

 

I have listed a few customer complaints on Pret’s misleading, and what some call “deceptive” packaging in “Class Action vs. Pret For Deceptive Packaging” and the different versions from Pret why this happens.

One of the last and most ridiculous reasons Pret gave has been deleted after Pret read that blog entry.

In this blog entry I just want to give a visual throughout the years, briefly touching on the lawsuit and again the deleted Tweet at the end. These complaints are only the ones customers care to show on Twitter.

 

A list on mostly cold Salad Wraps and a few Hot Wraps. Plus Pret’s mostly repetitive responses with some change of versions later.

In chronological order:

 

2012-08-20 wrap air

20. Aug. 2012

 

 

 

2014-06-21 wrap air no response fr pret

21. June 2014 (No response from Pret)

 

 

 

2015-04-14 no hummus wrap

14. Apr. 2015

 

 

 

2015-04-15 hummus wrap air pret response

15. Apr. 2015

 

 

 

2016-06-25 wrap air now doesnt look right

25. June 2016

 

 

2016-08-17 wrap air pret response

17. Aug. 2016

 

 

2016-10-12 wrap air usa plus pret response

12. Oct. 2016 USA

 

 

2017-02-15 wrap air plus pret response

15. Feb. 2017

 

 

2017 march aug

March / Aug 2017

 

 

05. May 2017 Little Ingredient (lots of complaints on Twitter on this)

 

 

 

2017-07-11 air wrap

11. July 2017

 

 

2017-08-07 shrimp wrap shrink wrap

07. Aug. 2017 Another really bad one, that’s more a Thai “Shrink” Wrap!

 

 

2017 humour

A little humour on the house!

 

 

 

 

2017-08-21 wrap air news no pret response

21. Aug. 2017 USA

 

 

 

2017-10-10 wrap air 2 for price of 1

10. Oct. 2017 TWO for the price of ONE!!

Misleading Packaging AND hardly any ingredients!

 

 

 

2018-01-17 wrap air no pret response

17. Jan 2018 (no response from Pret)

 

 

2018-02-06 wrap air disguised pret response

06. Feb. 2018

 

 

 

2018-02-23 wrap doesnt look right at all

23. Feb. 2018

 

 

2018-05-22 wrap air stingy incl pret response

22. May 2018 Pret admits the wrap is a “little stingy”

 

 

2016-10-06 wrap air no response from pret

06. Oct. 2018 (no response from Pret)

 

 

 

2018-10-10 wrap air usa plus pret response

10. Oct. 2018 USA

 

 

 

2018-10-16 hot wrap

16. Oct. 2018 Hot Wrap

 

 

 

Here is where the “… it looks like it has been wrapped too tightly” version starts:

 

 

 

2018-10-24 wrapped too tightly

24. Oct. 2018

 

 

 

2018-10-29 usa wrap full tweet feed

29. Oct. 2018 USA

 

 

 

2018-11-06 hot wrap

06. Nov. 2018 Hot Wrap

 

 

 

2018-11-12 ongoing wrap issue

12. Nov. 2018 Little Duck more Spinach, badly wrapped … ongoing Tweets

 

 

 

2018-11-13 hot wrap

13. Nov. 2018 Hot Wrap

 

 

 

2018-11-17-wrap-air.jpg

17. November 2018 This is the worst so far! And no response from Pret.

 

 

2018-12-07 wrap

07. Dec. 2018

 

 

 

2019-01-12 duck wrap

12. Jan. 2018 Little Duck, lots of Greens

 

 

 

New reason for “air” wrap which was later deleted!

 

 

2019-01-13 another wrap misleading package before delete

13. Jan. 2019 Pret’s NEW reason for packaging “deception” which was later deleted! (After my other blog entry “Class Action vs Pret” and Pret visiting especially on the 14. Jan. 2019).

 

 

Tweet gone!

2019-01-27 pret deleted tweet re packaging

 

 

 

2019-01-14 wrap

14. Jan. 2019

 

 

 

2019-01-14 flatbread

14. Jan. 2019 Flatbread living up to its name: FLAT

 

 

 

2019-01-25 no hoison in duck wrap

25.01.2019 No Hoison in expensive Hoison Duck Wrap

 

 

2019-01-25 bang chicken wrap no chicken

25.01.2019 Bang Bang Chicken Flop

 

 

 

 

2019-01-25 spicy chicken wrap stingy

25.01.2019 Spicy Chicken Flop

 

 

2019-02-13 Wrap air

12.02.2019 Bigger in Japan!

 

 

One solution would be for staff to just “spread” the wrap to fill the package!

2018-11-12 spread out long wrap air

12. Nov. 2018

 

 

etc …

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved.

 

Quote of the Day 65 – #Pret A Politics

 

A review from a current employee on Pret’s office management from 23. Jan. 2019. Some people continue to work in Pret and it seems like they’re crying out via Employment Review sites. And as many current and former Pret staff know my website, they know I will add any of those kinds of reviews as Pret is checking my website. Yes, they are, I’m not gonna tell the reader how I know. But thank you Pret for stopping by again! I hope you find some useful things, not to better cover up what you do and sweep under the carpet again, but to truly change how staff are treated behind the facade. It may even save a life! Thank you.

 

 

pixabay_office-2463928__340

 

 

Quote:

“Great brand, poor management”

“Poor management resulting in poor decisions. Office culture is working really really long hours. No work life balance whatsoever and constant office politics.

Spend more time speaking to the teams and find out what’s going on.”

 

So, this current employee loves the brand, even has a positive outlook for Pret, and remains an employee, but does not improve of the CEO Clive Schlee. I have to mention here that Pret’s HQ has always been an open space office, even the CEO sits at a desk not hidden away in a closed office. And he speaks to people. This looks good and transparent. So, there is exposure, and the office and people are visible, but even in an open space office you can still play your games and have your pretenses.

And like I mentioned in the Manchester Quote in yesterday’s blog entry that the CEO himself explained in an interview posted on YouTube, that he “really knows his people”. And again, that’s why he has no excuse how the atmosphere in Pret is, be it the harsh, stressful and bullying work environment in shops, or the politics and favouritism in HQ, as well as the offices in other countries. One angry reviewer exploded in late October 2018 about the discrimination of staff in the USA: Go back to the UK, Pret I have never worked in such a toxic, unprofessional corporate environment. Employees relocating from UK were given preferential treatment, better salaries for equal experience…”

And also, true reviews will keep coming in until Pret really becomes what they claim to be as supposedly such a caring and great company. I recently wrote about suspected fake reviews (Oh, oh I sound like Mr. Twitter Champ now!). But I analyzed some reviews that look fake in “Pret A Manger Reviews“.

 

Today’s “Quote of the Day” review:

 

2019-01-23 office politics poor management

Link

 

people

 

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 

 

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day 64 – #Pret A Manchester

 

 

invisible disability tweet fr @murilyn123

Link

 

This new review from 22. Jan. 2019 gets my attention because of the discrimination I have experienced after having become bereaved, and through the bullying from superiors via HR mentally very unwell. I was shouted at, suppressed, even as a responsible leader for shifts and teams excluded from meetings (even a Christmas dinner in 2017 after I just returned from Germany when my father woke from his coma). I was laughed at, one manager said to me after I was “dumped” into his shop due to the open bullying by another line manager, I was told by my new boss that he “doesn’t want the area to feel sorry” for him anymore … etc. etc. etc.

I cover this in “Discrimination: Physical vs. Mental“. Because I was in the middle of a grievance appeal’s hearing where the grievance that was raised by an HR advisor on behalf of me, was entirely rejected, even though witness statements of the previous line manager shouting at me, and me breaking down, and him sending me out to the shop floor in a broken down state. I was like in a mental war-zone, stumbling through a mine field being “shot” at from all angles while trying to find out what happened to my brother.  Regular readers know the story that is spread throughout this website and will turn into a chronological book.

But this new review from a Manchester Pret shop needs to be highlighted and posted.

Quote (I leave any mistakes in to keep it in their own words, bold added by me):

 

Further:

“bad management. rota’s only done 1 week at a time

need to hire different managers, ones that respect staff. the ones there now, shout at staff, don’t understands there cicumstances or disabilities

 

I wish I could tell that person that Pret’s management is like this across the board and that the top leadership, CEO, HR etc. know exactly what’s going on, but they are in a bubble up in HQ and flying out to Dubai, Las Vegas, Austria for their parties, and using former homeless people for PR.

Many employees, especially on the shop floor and kitchens assume that the top leadership are not aware of how managers are, they don’t understand yet that the fish stinks from its head. I used to give Pret the benefit of the doubt too much, while deep down knowing and understanding the principles of leadership and how it trickles down from the top, that leaders LEAD by example, including bad example!

That is why the CEO Clive Schlee does his smiley front, compensates the harsh work environment by using former homeless people, visits shops regularly etc. He has no excuse whatsoever to claim that he doesn’t know what’s going on. He always puts his foot in his mouth and clearly showing that he knows his people, quote from an interview on YouTube, from 0:38 onward:

“… overall it conveys a message that the Pret A Manger boss REALLY knows his people, and knows who they are, and not just what they do.”

Yes, he does! And HR know their people, too, that’s why they continued to place me under poor and suppressive management EVEN during the stressful grievance hearings and traumatic bereavement, in the hopes I’d resign. But even 4 settlements didn’t do it, so they eventually fired me. And I survived to publicly write about this toxic company.

 

2019-01-22 manchester manager sacking disabilities

Link

 

 

Featured in “Quotes of the Day” selected Pret reviews and long list of “Pret Staff Complaints“.

 

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

#ShadowBanned – #Censored Re: Pret A Manger

 

prison_censored_business-2804446__340

 

 

I decided to do an extra blog entry about the issues of “shadow banning” on Twitter and other social media platforms. Many people are shadow banned / censored and don’t even know about it. Too bad for Pret A Manger, because I planned to phase out my Pret “rants” to a great degree but then these shadow bans are like a reminder that I am not doing anything wrong, and the public needs to know how it is behind the PR[et] facade that I survived.

As the whole subject of shadow banning is still relatively new to me this blog entry will evolve and change, as I gather more information adding to this post. Every change I will start with: UPDATE and then the date with it as I don’t have the strength to do it all today. But really want to start on this to draw people’s attention to this issue that is so rampant on various social media services. I am  a “regular customer” to shadow banning and should get a loyalty card! I am being banned everytime I post a very direct tweet regarding some dishonest Pret statement or my knowledge from how it is behind the scenes.

I get banned especially when I write about the Mystery Shopper and how staff are drilled to be smiley, happy and friendly ALL day in a highly intense, fast-paced and stressful work environment. And no-one stops to think for a moment how this can be, except very few people. Staff are pressured to serve each customer within 1 minute etc. Customers go on Twitter to commend shop staff, which is great, but they don’t know what really is behind this “happiness” while team members work under fear management, depression, low pay and so on.

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 

Former Pret employee who was fired for starting a Union, second tweet about the Mystery Shopper with the hashtag #EndTheMysteryShopper:

 

2018-05-09 pamsu endthemysteryshopper

Link

 

Collection of staff reviews on the fake and forced smiles, happiness, friendliness that is probed weekly by Mystery Shoppers:

 

Fake Smile Robin Williams

Link

 

 

What is shadow banning? Brief Wikipedia intro:

Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting[1]) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.

By making a user’s contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favour user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site.[1][2]

 

What I don’t like with this definition, though is that the author of this Wiki entry calls the shadow banned user “problematic” as if to say they are a problem or trouble makers, while some may be, but many raise awareness. And while I don’t agree with certain political ideologies, as long as they don’t call to arms or promote violence or discrimination, freedom of speech should be protected and respected. The option to block individual users is always there. And funny enough, in Pret’s case, neither Pret nor its CEO block me! The reason for this is partly because their mentality has always been to collect anything they can use against people in case of a court case. And no joke, the CEO also has learned a few things that I suggested while I still worked in Pret and has taken the credit for it.

Pret is also regularly asking customers for input. But while this seems noble to involve customers in bringing their ideas, I pointed out somewhere else that it is very naive when Pret asked the public for recipe ideas that many people are happy to give recipes away without first having patented it. Thus Pret is making millions on the naiveté of customers! 😀

And I am not blocked so that Pret stays informed about my writings on them. Be my guest Pret A Manipulator!

 

 

 

Twitter lying about not shadow banning:

Quote: “We do not shadow ban, you are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile).”

In the same sentence they say they don’t and do shadow ban!

 

 

My own explanation:

First of all, many other social media platforms shadow ban and to my shock Facebook even deletes links to my blog in PRIVATE messages!! This goes too far and I am looking into options how to approach this, as a normal mail they often ignore. Twitter has ignored my contacting them regarding my notifications of my second account having been completely wiped out!

 

facebook deleted messages re link

This link was just a link to my blog. I was able to do this many times before, but since recently, especially since I am aware of shadow banning, FB deleted many of my Facebook posts and some mails. But it doesn’t help, my message is still getting out. But deleting PRIVATE messages goes too far. I’m not a terrorist to be needing such censorship.

Also, I started another Facebook account with a brand new hotmail email address. But Facebook’s bot must have connected the new account to my LateNightGirl “campaign” and when I logged into my NEW and so far unused hotmail account connected with the new FB account, hotmail prompted me to enter my phone number as I supposedly sent a lot of emails. But I haven’t even sent ONE email as the account was a few days old and only in use for FB. So, FB must have informed Microsoft and they all are criss-crossing information! Unbelievable! You are made to be the villain while you raise awareness on toxic companies. Amazing.

Also on my second Twitter account I am since yesterday always prompted to verify with the phone number I signed up with. Usually when this happens it is because I sign in from another computer (different IP address) and Twitter gives the last two digits of my phone number. But since yesterday it seems that Twitter tries to confuse me to see if I have another phone number as it does not give me any digits:

 

2019-01-22 twitter phone verification without number

 

Other Tweeters complain that from their several thousand of followers, hundreds disappeared without any reason. This is the tip of the iceberg that has been going on for years with the majority of people not even knowing this is happening.

But in my own explanation, shadow banning is like you are sitting behind a mirrored glass in a police investigation room, you can see people, hear them talking, but they don’t see or hear you. I found a perfect GIF to describe this:

 

HitPaper

 

So, basically the bottom line is that you tweet your heart out, click “like”, Retweet (RT), follow, comment etc. but your followers don’t get notified. People can only see your tweets when they go directly to your “Tweets & Replies”. But who does that except a new person coming across some tweets and is curious what you write about. It would never cross the minds of your followers to go to your Tweets directly, for what, they know they get notified when you tweet, “like” something, not knowing you are banned and behind this wall. Also, others are not notified when I send a direct message (DM) and vice versa. Other times I and they are notified, but I am not notified of new “likes” and responses to my Tweets… partly shadow banned and seems at random. Whoever is doing this just seems to have a laugh deciding one day to ban my likes, other times my DM etc.

Fellow blogger, Niki Flow put it in brilliant words, quote:

“This shadow-banning is nothing more than a loophole around freedom of speech and an abuse of power to silence people whose opinions differ from whatever engineer institutes this ban. Even more chilling, this banning is almost certainly being purchased and used to whitewash reputations and cover corruption.”

From her own blog entry in her comments section: Week 3 Goals

Please check out her wonderful blog and support her, she’s a great inspiration and support to me.

So, on the bans, before I was told that I was shadow banned, I’d notice that my Tweets weren’t visible when I was logged out after having clicked on some Twitter links from my blog for example. I didn’t see my response Tweets to a post on Twitter, I only saw them while logged in. This feels like you’re going mad!! Niki Flow also rightly pointed out that this should be made illegal.

 

 

Some good links:

 

 

 

At 1:22 mins the woman is saying: “We’re trying to down rank it… we’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up.”

“Lovely” people these big companies are!

 

 

 

  • more to come…

 

 

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s hearing in Congress. This part is regarding shadow banning Democrats more than Republicans. The funny thing on Twitter is when I read the below hashtags that ALL sides are shadow banned! So, Trump supporters complain about Trump’s tweets being banned, Democrats complain they are being banned and it really seems like the above hidden camera investigation, where one of the Twitter staff says that he bans when he feels offended from a Trump content for example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT support Trump, but the way they censor is completely at their own discretion. Now this is the real serious stuff on China, Russia, political parties etc.

Jack Dorsey’s hearing:

 

 

 

 

Tester: www.ShadowBan.eu

This tester is outdated and needs to be reworked. I had conversations with one of the developers and they are aware and are working on an updated version as Twitter is a few steps ahead of this. I was happy to point out a few things on my own shadow bans which they didn’t even know was happening. So, this helps them develop a better program.

I see it in this way now, being shadow banned is more of an honour than a penalty for me. For one, I’m not alone, this happens to so many people if you take a look at the below hashtags on Twitter. And most importantly my Tweets, posts, writings are having an impact. As I am telling my story, not lying, having all the written evidence, and confront Pret and the CEO directly on Twitter, all they do via Twitter is to try and silence me. Well, thank you Pret for admitting that you have a lot to hide.

I also must say that this whole thing, writing my heart out and being shadow banned, has greatly relaxed me. Where I would normally get really anxious, nervous, angry and hectic in the past, especially during the darkest times in trauma, I am now just “chilled” and think, oh well, another ban. Yawn!

And I keep writing in a much more relaxed way. There comes a time when nothing matters anymore.

Please pass on the issue of shadow banning to everyone you know as this is still too hidden. It doesn’t need to be this blog entry, can be only the undercover hidden camera investigation on YouTube, Wiki etc. But please pass this issue on.

Thank you for reading, keep checking periodically as I’ll update with any new issues, as well as precise examples of my own bans with Screenshots, links etc. I will indicate any updates in the subject line with the date I added new info.

Have a wonderful ban-free time, and should you be banned, put your head up and keep speaking out as long as it is for information and the best and well-being of people and animals!!

 

 

Hashtags:

#ShadowBan
#ShadowBanned
#ShadowBanning
#NotToShadowban
#StopShadowBanning
#ShadowbanIsBullying
#ShadowBanningIsBullying
#Censorship
#FreeSpeech
#TwitterCensorship
etc.

 

 

prison_censored_business-2804446__340

 

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger Food Waste (UPDATED Feb. 2019)

 

As customers again keep going to Twitter with photos, videos and comments about seeing bags of food waste from Pret, instead of this being donated to those in need I want to explain why this is happening more than people realize and Pret wants to admit. I speak from 10 years as former Pret staff throwing countless bin bags of food away!

 

2019-01-10 video of binned food2

Twitter pic from @dwphilbrick video from NY

 

2018-11-25 Amy Sharpe Undercover in Pret

@amylsharpe >>> Undercover Report I suggested to Amy to go undercover to not just take my word for it.

 

amy sharpe waste bag

The Sunday Mirror photo. The most bags like this I remember wasting into the rubbish room at one time was 3 (THREE) bags in one night! Also, because some waste companies pick up rubbish in the morning, bags like this are stored in the rubbish room over night adding to the risk of pest, mice etc. being drawn in, especially over the weekend when there is no rubbish pick-up in some stores depending on the waste company, council etc.

Quote from Amy’s report: “At the end of the shift I apply allergen stickers to leftover sarnies, salads and pots. These are given to the homeless as part of the commendable Pret Foundation scheme. But there are never enough stickers and a bagful of perfectly edible food is binned each day.” (I underlined).

 

UPDATE:

A pretty bleak and stern warning to Pret concerning donating food to the wrong place, as huge amounts are binned every day and donating to wrong places is not helping people to be self-sufficient. Worth watching the video in the Tweet:

 

2019-01-27 Wasted Food Binned wrong place donated to

Link to video message for Pret. This also shows how production is set too high, staff are stressed with doing too many products for the bin! But as long as businesses like Pret make their millions (CEO pockets £30 million for himself alone!) this waste issue will continue.

 

In recent years Pret has been one of the trailblazers in giving left-over food each night to charity and people in need. But Pret is not the only one, they are just at the forefront “PR-ing” about it loudly. In the 1990’s I volunteered for a charity and once a week we were one of the places that Boots gave left-over sandwiches to us for distribution. Our day was Wednesday from the charities in the area (Notting Hill). This was in the mid 90s, 7 years after Pret started business in 1983 in Hampstead, was shut and restarted in 1986 in Victoria.

In my 10 years in Pret I don’t even want to think back on the amount of bin bags of food we had to throw away. In the beginning the reason for this waste was that at times charity did not pick it up or some shops did not have a Friday pick-up for example. Of course this could have been avoided by having teams go out to bring the food to places or call other neighbouring areas, as each area has their charities appointed for each shop. Some shops have 2, 3 or more charities who have their delegated day for the pick-up, like my charity had Wednesdays in the 90s with Boots.

But sending out the closing team sounds good on paper, but Pret staff are so swamped with work and exhausted by the end of the day to even bother bringing food out. And staff are not paid over-time while they are being over-worked, understaffed, given so many tasked to do. I was one of the few team leaders who was very organized and helped my teams instead of sitting in the office as leaders like to do. So, we often managed to finish on-time. But still then, we were extremely exhausted to do anything extra “on the house” after 9 or 10pm, while our bosses didn’t care if we worked longer unpaid. Managers in every shop like to cut hours to maximize profit and management bonuses. This in turn puts a humongous strain on staff and they are too exhausted and stop caring.

One Pret employee puts this in clear words: “Advice to Management – Either stop cutting hours or stop giving teams a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete.

 

2018-08-18 #50 Pret A Not Worth

Link

 

UPDATE:

Another from a barista just days ago on 30.01.2019:

 

2019-02-02 Pret A Lack of Staff

Link

 

Yes, I can relate very much to these reviews! It always seemed like managers enjoyed burdening down staff, while they sat in the office or left early to go home, not to mention not working on weekends. And the next day when tasks were not done, because team members were swamped unnecessarily with work, understaffed, exhausted, managers held their sermon in the office, telling off mainly the team leader and the team at times as well. It was a lose-lose situation and the point came that I had enough of this and sent my teams home on the dot of when our shift was supposed to finish. After having given overtime many times without pay I drew the line and suffered the consequences of not being the manager’s favourite.

But I didn’t care. My priority was the team’s welfare who most of them have families at home and with the shift finishing at 9 or 10pm they often hardly saw their kids. I made sure the most important tasked like health and safety, cleaning etc. was done, and other not vital issues I left undone. This at times helped because some managers then gave us an extra team member or allowed me to pay my team the extra time, because my managers knew how I worked, that my teams were not lazy, but gave their best every time.

And labelling food for charity started in 2015 or 2016, I can’t remember, but this added to the work load while not getting extra staff to finish all the work load Pret demands. So, with the labelling issue for charity I had to decide to keep to the very end. If we managed to finish important tasked we labeled the food. Many times we didn’t even have enough labels printed, or couldn’t find on the computer where the labels were for printing, or other organizational issues we had no time to solve. If we couldn’t label, I was instructed to throw the food out, even when charities came by and demanded the food! I had to refuse, apologize and explain how swamped we were with tasks but low on staff and not paid overtime. I only managed to give the persons picking up the food, if they wanted to eat something then and there where they had access to the allergen information in the shop.

In the beginning of labelling we would give unlabelled food to charity, but some charities would then complain to Pret HQ that the products weren’t labelled or partly labelled when we ran out of time or labels. Other charities got angry with us for NOT giving out unlabelled food. It was a constant struggle between the fronts. So, I made the decision that if my boss said to not give food out, they have to take it up with management. Little did I know WHY this was so important to label, as we were not informed of the two customers having died from unlabelled allergen hidden in products. There wasn’t even as much as a hint to be more vigilant with the labelling, except to not give food out to charity unlabelled. That was all, but no explanation as to why because there wasn’t any labelling for customers. It didn’t make sense at the time until when the deaths became public.

 

2018-06-21 pret food labels for charity

Charity allergen labelling posted on Twitter

 

But to work overtime a few minutes here and there without pay was not the issue for me, especially when emergencies happened like flooding, power-cut, accidents etc. And it was no issue for my teams either. If this was the exception it’s perfectly fine, but in Pret this was the rule and I had to draw the line. If an employer doesn’t care for their workforce, the workforce will not care for the company. Exceptions are always okay, but not exploitation and constant issues like this. And the above review is spot on as I experienced this for 10 years in shop after shop and was one of the very few to draw the line as my teams were always happy when I ran the shift as they knew they’d finish in time!

The lawsuit of 4000 Pret workers in the USA shows this as well: “Pret A Manger Settles Overtime Wage Claim” and the long list of Pret Staff Complaints I collected from various sites unto one page linking to each review. And Selected Quotes that really brings the stressful environment home which I experienced shop after shop with the last 3 years traumatically in bereavement. It is no understatement when I write on my Twitter name that I survived Pret. And I want to point to a charity here again that was incredibly helpful when I went to the bridge on several occasions after work: The Listening Place & on Twitter @TLPCharity‏. Chasing rabbits for a moment, but I need to mention them!

I cannot recommend them enough to people struggling with suicidal thoughts and hopelessness. I volunteered in various charities over the years in three countries and have seen a lot including not recommendable charities with questionable practices. And since my brother died I have been on the receiving end of help from counseling charities for bereavement, therapists etc. But the Listening Place was the most determined and patient to see me through this hellish dark time of wanting to end my life. And even though I go through that valley at times still, I know where I would need to get help, and just that assurance alone helps, without needing to contact them. I’ve never experienced such kindness, determination and patience from a charity.

So, if you know people who struggle with suicidal thoughts or you yourself do, and live in or close to London, give them a go and pass them on. There is absolutely no judgmental attitude whatsoever and they won’t call the police on people if you make specific threats to end your life then and there. But they accompany you to hospital. I was one of their first “clients” when they just started this charity, and we developed the sessions together with them changing initial things asking for my feedback after sessions on what is most helpful and what not. The Samaritans’ service (two of them) started The Listening Place, is vital and life saving, but it didn’t help me as every time I called the helpline there was another volunteer on the line, and I had to retell my story all over again.

The Listening Place initially started as giving 6 sessions, but then developed that I could come for longer as I was going through extreme trauma and went from counselling to counselling service, private and with the NHS, even being refused into hospital TWICE even though I was suicidal! So, they extended my sessions to indefinite and in the video I am glad this is now the norm probably from a case by case situation! I cover them a bit in another blog entry.

Incredibly humble and caring charity. They received a well deserved award last year “Small Charity BIG Impact Award”, and I can absolutely underline the impact they have! I think often of them and when I have a job again I plan to become a regular donor. It’s worth watching the 8 minute piece. The CEO, Sarah Anderson in the beginning is an absolute treasure, genuine and not giving up on people.

 

 


 

But back to the issue of food being wasted each night, it is a bigger problem than Pret wants to admit. The only way for this to be minimized is for staff to be paid overtime or have enough team members on the shop floor who are TRULY trained, not just on paper, covering for all the tasks Pret expects.

 

 

A list of customer complaints, some with photos and video and some Updates on recent Tweets:

 

2018-03-05 breakfast baguettes out of time binned

Link

This issue Pret responds by claiming: “this is very concerning to hear as we donate our unsold cold food to the homeless throughout the UK. Can you DM us with which shop this was in and some more information on whether it was hot or cold food?”

First of all the constant repeat to get customers away from the public eye into private DM with the question of which shop while Pret knows EVERY shop does that. And to ask if this was hot or cold, Pret knows very well that “egg rolls from the COUNTER” are cold products! But this “pret”-ense (sorry, can’t help it!) of not knowing is bogus, because Pret sets the time for these breakfast baguettes in the morning as for 2 hours of shelf-life.

These baguettes are marked on the back from the time they are made in the kitchen to the time staff have to waste them as the quality decreases and the baguette becomes soggy when not refrigerated. If the OPs manager happens to come by, they often check the time of the product and the team leader responsible for the shift gets in trouble if the items are still on sale while the time has passed the expiration “hour”.

In my 10 years we were never ever instructed to keep them until the evening for charity. Never! They are supposed to be thrown without packaging into the green food waste bin behind the counter or in the kitchen. But again, because team members are so busy and stressed, they just chuck it in the regular bin. I managed many times to waste it into the food waste bin, but even while I worked very fast, I didn’t always manage and at times also threw it into the regular bins. It is just plainly impossible to follow the ridiculous amount of demands Pret sets, especially when managers also cut staff to maximize profit and with it their bonus. It’s always and forever just about money for management! Full stop!

 

2018-03-01 food in customer bins

Link from 2016

 

2016-01-19 food waste text

Link

 

2019-01-25 Liverpool Food Waste

Link

 

 

The next Tweet is a terrible example of how staff stop caring and even sabotaging innocent people in need. I have not witnessed this in any of my shops that teams poured bleach on food to make it uneatable, but I have heard countless stories of how staff sabotage the business because the managers did not care for their teams. I heard from a former manager that when he was Team Member, he saw at times how teams threw whole new packs of cakes and other food items in the bins during the morning delivery checks, to sabotage the managers bonuses: high waste (unaccounted items) = less bonus.

I personally have witnessed staff throwing Pret brochures away, that give employees steps and values to follow. But because many managers are the worst examples in portraying any values, and teams realize that if the top leadership does not care, it trickles down to lower management. Managers pressured with targets, overwhelmed, not well trained, and the worst being complacent; teams become disheartened and at times throw these booklets away with an angry smirk and whatever else they do in anger or to sabotage managers’ bonuses.

But to destroy food by pouring bleach on it is quite horrendous! But it should give the public some insight in how frustrated staff are. I keep linking to a selection of the Staff Complaints I collected to highlight this, as well as my own trauma with Pret.

 

2019-01-19 bags of food text

Link

 

Retweeted from same feed:

 

2019-01-19 bags of food text rt

 

 

 

2016-01-28 food waste bin bags

Pic from @5awaga 28. Jan 2016 USA

 

The above are only a few of the photos customers bother to go on Twitter to complain. The problem is much larger as I wasted I don’t know how much food in 10 years, not to mention how food is wasted in the kitchens! The main problem is over-production where staff are stressed, pushed and bullied to produce huge amounts in little time… and a lot of it for the bin! And CEO Clive Schlee pockets £30 million after the JAB purchase. So, yes, Pret is desperate to uphold an image of “charity”. But so many issues are way out of balance. Not to mention how customer deaths and ignored warnings were dealt with until this became public… not to mention how staff are really treated behind the scenes and forced to smile for an extra £200 or if the Mystery Shopper comments that staff didn’t smile, fear management is used and the threat of job loss…

 

2018-10-21 #61 Slaves Company

Former TM review from 18. Oct. 2018

 

I keep saying all the time that if something looks to good to be true (from the outside) who will take a closer look? I write from inside knowledge… but most people don’t want to know how it really is. It’s far easier to be lulled in with brilliant marketing and a smiley facade, added with fast Tweets and customer service. Amy Sharpe’s undercover report was a good start, but she worked only in the evening closing shift. It would be great for someone to work undercover in Pret for at 1 month in the kitchen from 5am on. That is where the Pret blow is felt.

 


 

As my blog has grown into a maze of writings, I created a “Mind Map”, an overview to the most important blog entries for the reader not to get cluttered with posts. To understand the main issues that I have survived, please visit My Ordeal with Pret A Manger overview, click on the arrow next to each heading that you choose which will lead directly to posts back onto this blog. Thank you for reading.

 

©2019 LateNightGirl.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger Reviews (UPDATE 02. Feb. 2019)

 

pret reviews sign

 

 

NOTE upfront, in some of the Tweet screenshots I post below one can see that in some I have responded, but when you click to see the Tweet, my Tweet is gone. It is still there when I am logged IN, but while logged out no one can see it. It’s Twitters shadowbanning again on Pret’s behalf. My Main Twitter is @LateNightGirlMe which gets regularly shadowbanned. But traffic is flowing, so I’m not concerned.

 

As I wrote before that some reviews look fake and as insiders know that big companies use PR companies, as well as ask loyal employees to leave positive feedback mixed with a little bit of bearable negative. The latest series of feedback look a little fishy, dear Pret. Make an effort! I write this also because colleagues have lied in grievance investigation hearings in favour of my bullying superiors. The Development Manager who was tasked to sanction me has lied about not having had private contact with me. HR on several occasions have not been correct, having used questionable resources to get rid of me etc. etc.

One specific review was written days ago on the 1 minute demand for staff to serve customers and coffees.

Example:

Customers flock to Twitter with photos of half empty cappuccinos, wrong teas, luke-warm drinks. One of my several Tweet responses to this rip-off was on 11. Jan. 2019. I point out regarding the pressure teams have via the Mystery Shopper, to serve customers within 1 minute, to hand over the hot drinks within 1 minute etc. or the whole team loses bonus. This seemed to have been “answered” in a new review on 14. Jan. 2019

Mystery Shopper here counted to the second how fast the coffee came out and YET, only giving 4 out of 5 points which frustrates the managers and OPs managers as the points count towards managers bonuses. The Mystery Shopper is the largest chunk of managers bonuses, that’s why the pressure is the highest and teams are extra kissing customer butts for 1. the Mystery Shopper, and 2. fear of the angry manager when points and/or bonus are lost. A colleague once received a “file note” (first step towards a disciplinary) because we lost bonus where he didn’t smile. So, he lost bonus, got peer pressure as the whole team lost bonus and on top of that got a triple penalty by being given a file note for added pressure and fear management.

Mystery Shopper snippet:

Speed in Seconds

As the picture is too small for the print I quote what the MS here commented:

Pret: We aim to serve our customers within 1 minute of joining the queue. Where you served in a reasonable time, bearing in mind how busy the shop was and the number of open tills?
MS: “I was served quickly, after 15 seconds, very quick service.”

Pret: We aim to serve out customers their hot drink within 1 minute of payment. Did you receive your hot drink order within a reasonable time? (Pret demands 1 minute and then turns it into a “reasonable” time) 
MS: “I received my hot drink very quick, after 30 seconds, quick service.” (yet, still gives 4 out of 5 points. Maybe 5 seconds would be better for a perfect coffee, dear MS?)

 

So, the quick service means quick customer and money flow.

 

Mystery Shopper poor comments

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

So, after comments like this the team member is summoned into the office and receive a sermon from the manager. The most ridiculous telling off we combined as a team have ever received from our boss, was after we lost bonus because the MS commented that the shop felt “miserable”. It was a very straining shop, very busy, harsh boss who never smiled or even said good morning. All this reflected on the team. The manager summoned most of us during the quiet period into the kitchen and said: “Your smile is part of your uniform! You are expected to wear a smile like you wear your uniform…”

Some more bla bla and then he said to us with most of us having our eyes to the ground like little rebuked puppies, he said something like, “if anyone has anything to say to that (losing the bonus = not smiling) speak now, you can’t come later, as I won’t speak about this later…” etc. I said to him something like, “are you sure, because I would want to say something to you, but not openly here (as he was my boss, didn’t want to embarrass him)”.

He insisted and said, “No, speak now, later is no opportunity.” I then said, “But So-and-so, you never smile when you serve customers.” … He quickly said to let his boss tell him that, and I apologized having to hold back a chuckle! But since then he made an effort and at times even smiled!

 

One of my several Tweets regarding 1 minute expectation, 11. January:

2019-01-11 my ms 1 min

 

 

New review on 14. Jan. 2019 (It’s all so much fun!)

 

2019-01-14 barista looks fake

Link

 

This review tries to clear up something and explains that staff have 1 minute to serve ONE customer, but this is not true. Yes, 1 minute per customer on paper. But when you have between 3 to 5 Team Members working behind the counter in the morning coffee rush, including the barista and a coffee maker, with a customer queue to the door of about 20 – 30 customers lining up it is completely bonkers.

Most stores have a minimum of 7 – 10 tills, but in the coffee rush 3 manning the ti