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Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger

 

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01 Go back to UK

Review by a Corporate, NY

 


 

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This is the REALITY of Pret A Manger behind the facade. The clean facade of freebies, the forced smiles (tested by Mystery Shoppers), the “ethical” front of Pret that got away with 2 customer deaths, a third allergy reaction nearly fatal (new lawsuit in November 2020), several injured, multiple warnings ignored etc. Seeking independent investigation into staff suicides.

UPDATE: A Christmas Eve review from a Team Leader.

2019-12-24 FL review NEVER go to Pret

Link (More reviews further below in this blog post)


 

2018 Chaotic hellhole ambience

 

A VERY common bullying incident from a Manager towards a Team Member. But this time it didn’t happen behind the facade in the kitchen, office or staff room, hidden away from customers, this time it happened in front of customers. The “ethical profile” of Pret is a facade the public still believes, because the bullying is usually happening behind the scenes, away from customers’ eyes. And then, when the Manager or Leader has finished bullying the staff member, the intimidated and humiliated Team Member then is send out to the shop floor, and expected to smile for Mystery Shopper bonus and fool customers with a fake happiness. And as many are from other countries, young, have children to feed or Uni tuition to pay, they feel stuck, too exhausted to find a new job and not knowing where to turn to.

2019-12-11 Trapped marked

Link

Fear of leaving

Link (Excerpt of Manager review)

And when the bullying is happening on the shop floor, shops are so noisy with loud music, shouting of staff to make and get coffee orders, talking, busyness. Customers are occupied on their phones or laptops, distracted with talking, eating etc. So, when it happens in the shop, people don’t even notice.

Even when I was bullied during bereavement under the watchful eye of HR, I NEVER told a customer or colleague. I was complimented by customers and received rewards from Mystery Shoppers for my service, smile, giving freebies etc. And after my shift at times I headed for the bridge and still don’t know how I survived. But none of my colleagues and customers knew my inner state and turmoil. I explain in detail at the very bottom YouTube slide about what weekly Mystery Shoppers test staff on, or via this link: “Smile for the Misery Shopper“.

This creates a host of mental health issues under Emotional Labour, that staff are forced to perform. What @Katecordon witnessed here and confronted Pret in below Tweet, is so familiar to me, and this would be a situation where I as a Team Leader then had to console the Team Member crying in the staff room and at times speak to the Manager. Only ONE time when I spoke to the Manager why they shouted at the TM, this Manager apologized to the TM. But this was only one Manager out of many who did not apologize and rather bullied me then as well for speaking out. But I didn’t care!

The Team Member in below customer Tweet made a very simple, innocent, normal mistake. No big deal. And by the way, the TM made that mistake because she was most likely NOT trained in the first place! The Manager must have stood nearby witnessing this mistake. To correct the mistake the TM then did give the 10% discount, but explained at the same time that she made a mistake and gave the 10% as a one-off. PERFECT customer service!!! In fact, a Mystery Shopper would have probably given the TM an “outstanding card”, meaning the extra £100 reward, or even £200 if the overall scores were perfect. Mystery Shoppers many times gave the reward, even when a mistake happened, but they rewarded the staff member due to how they handled the mistake.

The same is by law, when a price tag gives an old cheaper price even though the price has increased, the business is obligated to charge that old cheaper price, even if the till system is updated with the new expensive price. But this TM probably doesn’t know the law on this and did instinctively the right thing because she cares! The TM here did a perfect, correct and kind customer service, but was bullied by the Manager for making a simple mistake and then giving the 10% discount as a good will gesture, which is commendable! And this Manager is particularly offensive by talking down on the customer as well: “It’s company policy, love“. Very, very, very, very common bullying incident in Pret! Bullying and fear management by the book.

The reason this Manager makes a huge issue out of the 10% discount wrongly given as a student discount, is that Pret only does regular discounts in some places like malls or train stations (but not all malls or stations), where the other companies and train station staff within that station or mall get a 10% discount showing their staff badge. So, this Manager would have to do half a minute of paper work to explain for the financial file why the 10% was given in this Manchester airport, that doesn’t give student discounts. Managers hate to do little paper work issues like this as they want their financial records to look perfect. I got in trouble many times for doing it the proper way in recording mistakes, because Managers didn’t like mistakes in their financial files and rather stress staff to not make these mistakes. And at one time I’ve had enough and told one Manager that if a financial file is perfect without any mistakes, this would ring alarm bells with me if I was a financial auditor. But that’s another story. And honest mistakes that are effectively recorded can be traced back in the system and explained. Again, no big deal.

And also by the way, this Manager most likely continued the bullying later in the office, as bullying Pret managers and leaders can’t let go and continue later on, especially when caught out by customers and they “lost face” in front of the TM they just bullied. So, they try to “establish” authority and continue behind closed doors. I hope that young lady finds quick support! And if this Manager is disciplined by Pret, then only because he got caught by a customer who called him out publicly, like he did with his Team Member. If the TM alone would have complained to HR, nothing would have happened.

This shows as well in the very first review from the new LAX Pret shop that was opened in the summer 2019. I could not have put it into better words how this bullying environment thrives in Pret worldwide. I love American reviews, because they find amazing words!:

LAX

Link

Caught in the act!

A customer witnessed very common and regular bullying:

2019-10-28 Bullying manager seen by customer2

 

Full text:

2019-10-28 Bullying manager seen by customer3

Link to Tweet

 

A little reality check and crash course of Pret’s “ethical” profile. What staff dare to say in anonymity, away from the fear management. Clive Schlee “retired” with quite a legacy!

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

 

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

Glassdoor scores on Pret and its leadership. I wrote a new blog post as well on >>>  Pret’s new CEO Pano Christou, and Clive Schlee remaining in the background as a non-executive Director, while on his Twitter account he still presents himself as the CEO of Pret! I explain in above blog why Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account. Clive Schlee let Pano Christou take over on Glassdoor already in July 2019, even though Schlee’s retirement was set for September 2019. This typical passing the buck downwards is to avoid further negative scoring. And yet, still not taking responsibility.

2019-09-18 Customer witnessed bullying

Link

2019-05-05 Rude aggressive manager

Link

2020-01-02 NEW bullying GM shite

Link

2013 Pret manager smile at customer snap at staff

Link

2020-02-29 Humiliating Manager Pret USA

Link Feb. 2020

2018 Bullying staff killing customers

Link

UPDATE Feb. 2020

2020-02-10 Customer Complains about Manager rude

Link

2020-01-24 GMs steal hours HQ ordered

Link

Pret settles $1m

Link

NOTE:
Pret settled TWO lawsuits in NY having had to pay 4000 workers back after illegally having “shaved off” (rounded down) their pay. But in the UK no-one goes to court, even though the same problem of unpaid hours is systemic throughout the company, as I have experienced countless times myself. One review below shows the hopelessness on the feeling that staff can’t do anything about this.

And only after getting caught and a public outcry and boycotts for not wanting to pay 500 (!) young summer recruits. Do the math on how much money that is. And getting young folk in, who don’t know their rights and are brainwashed easier. Pret always tries and changes direction when caught and boycotted.

2017 Pay apprentices

The Guardian Link

A little reminder that Clive Schlee pocketed £30 Million on bonus alone when JAB Holdings bought Pret! Link to article.

Clive £30 million

Daily Mail

Only a few of the many reviews and complaints:

100 times Stephen Hawkins Staff Tweet missing Pay

 

£100 owed

Link to FULL review and how HQ played dumb!

 

2016-03-17 Pret will do anything not to pay - RVW9823882

Link to FULL review WORTH READING! One quote from above review on the hopelessness, compared to U.S. staff who filed class-action suit against Pret twice: “Sometimes it can be challenging maintaining a natural smile on my face for 8 hours straight. … Pret will do anything not to pay you. They will bend the law and the contract in any way they can, and there is nothing you can do about it (unless smile).”

Because the legal system is different here…no pro-bono lawyer likes to take this on as I’ve experienced, because when you win, the payout is so low, lawyers don’t want to pick this up for their 33% peanuts from a low reward in the UK legal system. Too much work for little reward.

 

2017 Always messing up pay

Link

etc. etc. etc. …

Several reviews on Pret’s shiny London Head Office
from current and former employees at the time of reviewing on Indeed and Glassdoor. Again, these are reviews on Pret’s HEAD OFFICE in Victoria, London where the CEO and other Senior Leadership also have their desks in the open plan offices where I saw them many times working on laptops etc.

Also, some reviews from office / corporates in New York.

HQ Bullies

Link People don’t seem to get promoted unless you are a bully or belittle your team members. The place is toxic.

Another one from January 2019

2019-01-23 Great Brand Poor Management - RVW24352473 marked

Link “… working really really long hours. No work life balance whatsoever”.

2017 review on HQ from an IT Analyst on Glassdoor:

It Analyst HQ Head Office Review

Link  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.”


 

UPDATE 05. January 2020 NEW HQ review (customer service team) on homophobia, manipulative HR dealings etc.

2020-01-05 HQ Customer Service Team review

Link

 

Las Vegas

Link “Pret has brought over many managers and leaders from the UK and ‘beheaded’ many of the US employees who built the brand…”

This is really upsetting, because I remember when I asked my managers over the years where such-an-such an OPs Manager or General Manager is, I often heard that they where sent to New York, as the American Managers can’t handle the work / can’t manage properly. I remember being confused about this, because I lived in Florida for almost 6 years and traveled to different cities over the years, visiting friends. I stayed 3 months on the West Coast, visited North Dakota, the East Coast, the deep South, often for several months. I have many American friends. Americans are one of THE hardest working people. They are inventive, passionate, disciplined, fun, helpful etc. I was confused, but then thought that I know how complex and micromanaging Pret is, so I didn’t think any more of it. But now I realize, reading all the American reviews that what I was told was bullcrap!

Reading the above review and all the other reviews from the U.S., the main thing the American reviews have in common is: favoritism and racism. And it’s really upsetting, because I know the American mentality vs. the British.

UPDATE: Feb. 2020 from Washington DC – Fired due to pregnancy!

Probational period is 3 months, so they quickly fired her and she can’t take it up in court.

2020-02-10 DC - Fired due to pregnancy

Link

Another new review:

2020-02-09 Bullying management

Link I can verify that. I worked in over a dozen Pret shops over the years, and EVERY manager seems to take it personal when you move on. I only moved shop due to management. The reason was always management. They don’t look at you anymore, seem offended when you move on, and yet, they can’t give you a positive word while you work there and then wonder why you leave! And the language barrier is big. You do feel left out very quick when the majority are from a certain country, and you work with them for 8+ hours without understanding a word all day. You feel left out, not understanding their language. And this is not meant racist at all. It’s just a courtesy and inclusiveness to speak English.

Bullying from the top down: A review by a Team Leader who runs the kitchen and the shop! OPs (area manager) bullying the manager who cries in the office. This OPs sounds particularly nasty, and reminds me of an OPs that I had before my brother died and I was still strong holding out under this kind of “leadership”! It’s also a recent review from 03. October 2019 (this is Chicago, but this happens in other countries/cities as well):

OPs yell Managers cry

Link My typical work day consist of Ops Manager yelling and cursing at my manager.Managers cry in their offices because of how stressed they are.Managers are secretly looking for new jobs right now to get out of Pret.

 

17 Odd

Review by former purchasing Director, NY

 

01 Go back to UK

Review by a Corporate, NY

 

2017-05-26 Pure Misery

Link “This place is what hell must be like.”

This is probably THE ANGRIEST review I have come across, and even by an Assistant Manager!

 

01 Brutal Nightmare

YouTube

 

2011 I Hate Pret Fuck Pret

“I hate Pret” group on facebook.com/preth8ers

A customer in Chicago in 2017, commenting about a Pret staff who died, and then making a general comment on Pret:

2017 Chicago Pret horrible company to work for2

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

 

2018-10-02 Anxiety Depression Dread

Link Depression…

 

2019-04-10 Depression review

Link Depression…

Dept Labor

Link “This job should be reported to the department of labor”.
Pret settled 2 lawsuits in New York, re-paying 4000 workers. In the UK hardly anyone sues because the legal system is different, low rewards that no lawyer wants to pick up. In the U.S. one reviewer on Indeed recently wrote that Pret is always getting sued.

0 Sued

2019-06-11 Corporate hell on earth - RVW27190460

Link “This company is everything that is wrong with the world. … Corporate hell on earth.”

 

A former Manager 4 years after Bridgepoint purchased Pret:

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 

2011-07-19 Admin Closer NY - Title

Link Review from NY 2011, but this is throughout the company and still today, quote: “Management 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. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company itself. … Even though Pret A Manger emphasizes that they are a “people first” type of company, the reality of it is is that they are solely concerned with sales and view their employees as faceless and a dime a dozen.
You’re not God. Take a continuing ed course in management, employee relations, and labor rights. This should be a requirement before even obtaining the position.”

I can only underline above (and ALL) reviews, and yet know that Pret does NOT care about labour rights etc.

 

2015 PAMSU likes to see evidence of good jobs

Link

UPDATE: 25.11.2019

A new review from a Team Leader also with 10 years experience:

2019-11-26 leeches Indeed TL review

Link I gave this review an extra blog entry because it deserves an extra mention: >>> Pret A Manger in a Nutshell

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness3

 

Times

The Times article and photo

 

Amy

Undercover report by Amy Sharpe, Sunday Mirror photo on “staff who are hugely over-stretched”.

 

2018-06-13 Hellhole - RVW21022161

Link  “… get down from that high horse you’re on”

 

2015 People Cry

Link “A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period”

 

0 Terrible Hiring Useless people cry

23. Oct. 2019 “I have work in different shops and they are all very similar, it is a toxic environment, Never in my life I have seen so many different coworkers cry in the job. Give more training to your managers, and hire better people, don’t allow them to abuse the staff, it is appalling.”

The next review from recently is a very typical scenario of abusive fear-management by Managers. Scaring low-wage workers that they’re “playing with lives” while the top Senior Leadership got away with TWO customer deaths, Clive Schlee sneaking out quietly, remaining in the background as a non-executive Director, while having ignored customer warnings (link to article), not acting until the deaths became public:

Brainwash

Link

»This job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you.

You will lose everything that makes you human.«

Annihilate Humanity 45

Link I spend 6 months racing all day and barely spoke 3-5 words a day on my shifts if I’m not on till where you are required to have the widest fake smile on earth…”

 

Pret Abuse


UPDATE: 31.10.2019

A brand new review by a current General Manager that absolutely breaks my heart! One of many along the lines of no work-life balance, due to under-staffed shops and not paid for overtime.

2019-10-31 GM - Slavery - RVW30135565

Link “I am about to lose my family as I am never there. I leave to work at 4 am and get home 7 at night. My children looking at me like a I am a stranger. It’s not a life. … Bullying, long hours, shortage of staff, – it’s a proper Modern day slavery”

I think this is the most heart-breaking review I’ve ever seen by any staff member, let alone a Manager. I hope they find a way! I actually cried when I read this.

Another recent Manager review from Chicago tells a similar story, quote: “With the wrong management, the shops begin to break down and brings inner conflict. Pay could be better, especially for seasoned employees. Management gets overworked to save on labor costs. Don’t expect to see much of home as a manager.” Link

 

Another GM from London in August 2019:

2019-08-10 GM 5am to 8pm

Link A little side note, GMs go to quarterly meetings where the CEO and top leadership are present as well, so GMs know Senior Leaders more than the regular staff. Some GMs disapprove of the CEO – at the time it still was Clive Schlee. But I find it interesting that this GM has NO opinion of the CEO, as if this GM doesn’t care to even mention their like/dislike.

And another GM on Indeed from Glasgow, Scotland:
Amazing in the beginning – showered with benefits and entitlements and opportunities to advance. Terrible once you see how horribly mismanaged and micromanaged the company is. Zero care for human beings and nothing but boosting sales and company growth.

2019-10-11 GM - Horrible

Link

A little reminder again that Clive Schlee pocketed £30 Million on bonus alone when JAB Holdings bought Pret! Link to article.

 


 

UPDATE: 10. November 2019
Brand new Manager review on Indeed worth reading!

2019-11-10 GM Horrible

Link Quote:Managers are forced to cheat on results and break standards just so that the area manager looks good on paper, though he stays at home most of the days whilst the shops collapse.
Yes, but this has always been like this. OPs Managers sit in the pub at lunch time when shops are horrendously busy. OPs Managers fly out to Dubai, Paris or in the U.S. to Vegas, Orlando etc. as mentioned above, to party and blow the hard earned money the shops bring in. Many times I didn’t see my OPs Manager for at least THREE MONTHS at a time, and when they came in, they bossed us around and played scary fear management for a few minutes, before disappearing again for months! The only thing I saw regularly was EMAILS and pressuring us on numbers and Mystery Shopper results!

Quote: Since 2018 there is so much pressure in getting the standards right however I’ve seen kitchens running on two people on night shifts and even one on day shift (where four people are required per shift) as area management does want figures to be right on paper- this could cause enormous issues if something went wrong i.e. allergens.” 

Quote: People are over stretched and tired since the pressure to achieve selection in stores is high but not enough labour in.

Quote:
“We as managers aim to make our teams happy and safe however the over stretching on labour just made us cover the gaps over and over not realising the biggest gap was within us unable to have a normal life or humanity due to the amount of hours being psychologically forced into work.”

Quote:
“I have met great people and higher management in this company but there is an unacceptable level of fear culture up here in Edinburgh, where people believe they won’t actually be okay if they quit their job if unhappy. It’s 2019 and if your employer raises you to be scared to develop elsewhere then it’s not a good employer.”

Nothing more to add!

 

And the gift that keeps on giving, a NEW MANAGER review on Glassdoor 16. Nov. 2019

GM Horrible - not as they present it

Link “Those willing to step on others make it to the top. Talk the talk but actually don’t live by the values they preach.”


 

This review is one of my absolute favourites, and brings some humour into all this!

Also, pay attention to the YES vs NO votes on all these reviews.

2017-12-15 Lick asses Prayer

Link

I could go on and on and on, and add countless more along those lines of above reviews, but my posts tend to get too long. I just post one more which is the shortest review I have come across. It doesn’t take many words to describe Pret A Manger. This is even from a Team Leader. Well, it’s simply Pret:

2019-09-16 CoWOrkers bomb Company trash

Link

 

Above comments and articles are only a fraction of a long list of staff reviews and complaints. For an extensive, yet not exhaustive list please visit: Pret Staff Complaints (list needs to be updated, I stopped in August 2019) with a few collected in below slideshow.

Finally, some very wise words I came across once on Twitter, but I know Pret will not heed (they read my blog) because they are stuck in this profit-driven business and always find ways to sweet-talk their way out of responsibility:

 

»It’s amazing to me how many business leaders separate their employees from their customers/patrons. Your employees are your core target audience to put word-of-mouth out about your organization.«@minmilyjung on Twitter

 

Any employee reading this, especially in Pret and the service industry:

Join a Union and leave reviews on Glassdoor, Indeed and other platforms.

The following Unions cover the food industry:

The BFAWU are the best informed about Pret and have helped Pret staff already. The BFAWU have been instrumental on the first ever McDonald’s strikes in the UK. Also another vital and very active Union that specialize in helping foreign workers is IWGB.

BFAWU1IWGBMcStrike (UK)  — GMB UnionUniteFast Food Forward (USA)

The BFAWU and IWGB are very active with McDonald’s strikes and are the best informed about Pret A Manger.

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints

Staff review: “Bad managemet, always being ‘hounded’.”

 

Staff review: “Worked into the ground without empathy.”

 

Smile for the Mystery Shopper. I renamed: “Misery Shopper”!

 

I continue to ask for independent investigation into Pret staff suicides.

NOTE: When on Glassdoor, one has to register and be signed in to read reviews. Glassdoor has changed its selection of reviews. On Pret A Manger reviews, Glassdoor is now sieving out Managers and Leaders reviews on the front page.
To see ALL the recent reviews on Glassdoor, click where it says “Popular” and select “Most recent” or “Lowest Rating” AND Clear All “Full-time, Part-time”. Also, Glassdoor demands logins now, where you can only see ONE review without being registered and logged in. The reason why the amount of reviews change from 683 to 697 may be that Glassdoor withholds some reviews. But I’m not sure how that works. On Indeed at the Location feature, scroll up to select “All” and it will automatically list all cities/countries in chronological order starting with the newest.

Indeed now even started handpicking reviews as “the most useful review selected by Indeed”, which shows that these review sites are not neutral, as they only select the positive ones, no matter how “rotten” the company may be or how many experienced staff have voted their agreement with the (negative) review:

2019-12-10 Indeed selects featured reviews now

DEFAULT view:

2019-11-22 Glassdoor Default

 

Click on Sort: “Most recent” and “Clear All”

2019-11-22 Glassdoor Clear Moste Recent

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1.
“Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Counselling with Lila Warren (WARNING)

 

Lila Warren, David Carter, Clive Schlee

Lila Warren (the lady with a typical Pret A Manger smile) the Development Manager at Pret A Manger for more than 15 years, and branched out into her dream role as a Therapist. She’s a Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Psychotherapist.

But in Pret, she was happy to be used as bereaved person to gaslight me. And she played her role well.

She either is a really good liar, or she really had a brother named Zain, who was dead in his flat for 10 days, like my brother was dead in his flat for 6 days. (Full story in below audio player).

I don’t know what this woman went through in her life to have gone down to such abyss!

I wish her well, but I will always tell people to avoid her “therapy”.

I raised a complaint with the National Hypnotherapy Society she is subscribed to and that equally have such big smiles on their front page, but they remained silent in the hopes I let go. And I did let go, because I had no strength left.

But I can only say, stay away from the National Hypnotherapy Society (Twitter) and from Lila Tighilt Warren.

Stay away from David Carter, who in my time was the Head of HR and is now promoted to UK People Director which is just another facade word for Human Resources. He is not for people, he is for money, protecting a bully company.

Stay away from Nick Davis, People Business Partner who came from Wetherspoon and who was THE main enabler in HR of the Area Manager who bullied and targeted me, using several managers and colleagues against me.

david carter nick davis

LinkedIn

Stay away from these smiley, nice looking folk who are toxic behind their facade.

Stay away from Clive Schlee, who uses vulnerable people for PR.

HQ IT Analyst

London HQ review Glassdoor

 

Las Vegas

New York review on senior leadership Glassdoor

 

Stay away from Pret A Manger that kill people and get away with it, as well as target and bully bereaved employees. Staff suicides still need to be investigated.

Lila Warren, I forgive you of course, but don’t ever cross my path, I will call you out on the rooftops “sweetheart”!

What happened to me can be summed up in the following I found on Twitter. And it took the senior leadership of Pret, HR and HQ to “work” me out of the company in such a perverse way:

Bullying Summed Up Nutshell.jpg

Link

I do move on while I expose this toxic company!

Now “retired” CEO Clive Schlee, who couldn’t label food to save lives, labelled me his “late night girl”. He quickly passed the buck on Glassdoor to his predecessor Pano Christou, who came from McDonald’s management when he started at Pret. Schlee let Christou take over on Glassdoor mid July 2019, even though Schlee retires in September 2019 and remains in the background as a non-executive Director like he is in itsu.

Never take responsibility Mr. Schlee, hey? Always pass the buck!

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

 

Glassdoor results

UPDATE

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

 

Lila Warren BACP

BACP profile

 

Lila Warren Hypnotherapy Society

National Hypnotherapy Society profile

 

Staff speak out mainly in anonymity:

Arrow

Arrow

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

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

Most Comprehensive Website on Pret A Manger

 

… from a former Pret employee having survived systemic workplace bullying and gaslighting under Pret’s HR, CEO Clive Schlee and a Development Manager from HQ, who’s also an NLP Practitioner and Hypnotherapist under the National Hypnotherapy Society. On a side note, many Pret leaders from HQ and Operation Managers are NLP practitioners. It seems Pret encourages them to the NLP course, and if one researches on Neuro-linguistic Programming, it is or can be a tool to manipulate people.

As my website has become quite large with various writings from behind the scenes, I decided to create an Index to the most important issues regarding Pret A Manger, that portray themself as this ethical and caring company.

I am still in disbelief myself on what I went through, and writing about it helped me survive and come back to my senses, and expose Pret A Manger! I declined 4 settlement offers from Pret if I am silent about my ordeal and never go to court. I explain in full in my interview at the bottom of most pages here or as the first feature of the below index.

The very fact that Pret did NOTHING after TWO customer deaths, a third nearly fatal, several hospitalized, and numerous warnings ignored, should ring massive alarm bells! But the public remains lulled in, especially in the UK whereas in the U.S. it would hail a storm of lawsuits! The German Reimann family behind JAB, the new owners of Pret, work very hard to divert issues opening in various countries in a whirlwind, more charity work etc.

I write so boldly and loud because I almost lost my life, having been targeted and bullied during already traumatic bereavement. I had several close calls at the bridge and am very proud that I made it through to expose this company!

If this is the only thing I do, having survived this toxic company that hides behind the shiny PR[et] facade and fake smiles, I will do it as thoroughly and detailed as I did when I worked for Pret! I wasted 10 years of my life in this company and explain in my interview how I went through this. This is not about a dis-grunted former employee, this is more. This is about a company that portrays itself to the public as this ethical company and lures in customers as well as employees, exploiting staff for profit. This is just a usual business out for profit as any company is, but the public has been lulled in for years about Pret A Manger and it is human nature to want to believe a fairy-tale…

I confront Pret on a suicide of an assistant manager in 2017 of whom I learned prior to her death. I almost went over the edge, Pret hid TWO customer deaths until it became public, how many suicides of current or former staff happened no-one knows about.  I was recently leaked an email that Director of HR Andrea Wareham sent to all Pret shops informing them that two Pret staff have died in two different UK shops. One of them I was told was a suicide, the other person’s death is unclear to the persons who leaked the email. The press is informed and in my 10 years in Pret having had access to Pret emails as I was a team leader, I have never seen an email regarding staff deaths.

Pret must have learned from the customer deaths they never even told us  about and also my situation that the truth will always come out.

It is my biggest regret having wasted my time, skill, effort and care for Pret A Manger.

If people don’t believe my story, I have evidence and confront Pret openly on Twitter, Facebook etc. Again, I explain in my interview why Pret is not responding. All I can say to everyone regarding the nice facade of Pret or any company is:

If something looks too good to be true, take a closer look!

The below Index takes openness to read, as many people want to believe the fairy-tale that is Pret A Manger. Only the Unions, Activists and some from the Press know better and look closer.

 

Illusion

 

I start the index with my own story in an interview and continue with general issues, categorizing as best as I can. Any reader and writer, please be aware of the work I’ve put into this website before you just cope & paste and mind the copyright. I have other websites as back-ups. I am open for any interview and article feature, as well as questions.

Any new writings in the future that I may add, I will indicate as UPDATE or NEW.

 

Index:

Links open in a new window / tab

 

INTERVIEW

For the first time I share my story with Pret verbally in an interview on a podcast based in California. Interview with The Adam Paradox: (The interview can be played while scrolling through this page and is featured on my website at the bottom of most pages)

 


 

ARTICLE

An article I wrote that is featured in the monthly Scottish Left Review May/June 2019 edition (pages 21-22), or as a direct link via my blog:
On the Frontline: Crushed by Corporate Capitalist Culture

 


 

PRESS

Journalist Amy Sharpe from the Sunday Mirror went undercover into Pret after reading my blog, and having suggested to her to go undercover. I added my thoughts to her report in “Undercover Under Pressure

 


 

UPDATE May 2019

LINK >>> TWO recent Pret staff deaths

I was leaked an email that HR Director Andrea Wareham sent to all Pret shops mid/end of May that TWO Pret staff have died within a month. One staff I was told was a suicide, the other TM the “leakers” don’t have the info. It’s not the first suicide in Pret!

 


 

£1000 FOR ALL STAFF
(£800 after tax)

Timing of Clive Schlee’s £1000 announcement (after he became aware of my Blog)

 


 

PRET STAFF REVIEWS & COMPLAINTS

On the below slideshow I added just a selection of staff reviews and comments to save long blog entries. These are from review websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, but also from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other websites where people commented on the work environment in Pret.

Just some examples, before the Slideshow, from former Pret employees in NYC, London etc.:

Pure Misery Go back to England - RVW15228294

 

Go back to UK

Link

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

Four years after Bridgepoint took over Pret and tasked to open on every corner in London specifically. Scrolling to the 23 July 2012 at 12:53 comment.

 

2019-03-07 Modern Slavery

Link

 

Las Vegas

Link

 

IT Analyst HQ

Link

 

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

June/July 2019 overall figures on Glassdoor

 

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in —> Pret Staff Complaints

 

NEW

I’m branching out to YouTube, as not everyone likes to read long blog posts. I cover mainly staff issues currently:

 

 


 

CEO CLIVE SCHLEE RETIREMENT
NEW CEO PANO CHRISTOU

NEW 01. July 2019: Announcement of early “retirement” of Clive Schlee supposedly in September, but new CEO Pano Christou is already featured on Glassdoor, probably to avoid further negative voting for Schlee.

A list of articles I wrote on Clive Schlee: “Clive Schlee – Late Night Girl Articles

Article on Pano Christou, new CEO officially from September 2019.

 

2019-07-22 43 staff - 0 Pano

July 2019 New CEO, new start on Glassdoor

 


 

UPDATE October 2019

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

 


 

CUSTOMER OBSERVATIONS
on Stressful Work conditions

The Pain of Working at Pret A Manger

Pret Staff work in overheated shops. Customer complaints on behalf of employees regarding excruciating work conditions in 35-40ºC+ heat for prolonged time, weeks and months.

 


 

FORCED SMILES & HAPPINESS
for Mystery Shopper bonus, extra cash and fear management

How Companies Force Emotional Labor on Low-Wage Workers

The Truth Behind the Pret A Manger Smile via cash incentives and fear management

How Emotional Labour Harms us all – my comments on an article in the NewStatesman

 

Pret Uniform2

 


 

PRET’S MARKETING with Charity
and Former Homeless People

Open Letter to the Pret Foundation Trust

 


 

ALLERGEN DEATHS
and Pret’s procrastination

Ongoing Issues – Hospitalization, mislabelling, cross-contamination, understaffed …

Vegetarians eat Ham and Meat products – more ongoing issues

Pret’s Labelling Commitment?

Allergen Label Warnings Pret ignored before and even after customer deaths

 


 

VARIOUS LAWSUITS
(that I’m aware of, there are more, but depending how public they are)

A recent staff review from New York mentions that Pret is constantly being sued. In the UK the legal system isn’t as helpful:

Worst

Link

USA: Two Wage Lawsuits settled that Pret employees filed, re-paying 4000 workers (middle section of page).

USA: Deceptive Packaging Class Action settled. But the misleading packaging still continues.

Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat Lawsuits vs. Pret on the “Natural” Food claim while Glyphosate was found in food. Change of signage, packaging and Website.

USA: 2016 “sesame reaction” Lawsuit and Pret doing ZERO
At the bottom of the page: A New York customer suffered an anaphylactic shock from unlabelled sesame in a Pret Wrap. He lost the case, yet Pret still did nothing to label food even after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from the same unlabelled allergen in the same year of 2016.

USA March 2019 Court PDF Document of new lawsuit regarding Pret’s “Natural” claim. List of chemicals from page 10 onward.

No Lawsuit, but ongoing complaints regarding the watery Chicken Broccoli and Brown Rice soup

NEW Slideshow: Pret A Manger Bang Bang Rip-Off Wrap

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FREE COFFEES MARKETING

And why Pret doesn’t do a Loyalty Card System

 


 

EXTERNAL PRESS ARTICLES

Pret A Manger and “broken windows” syndrome

My Comments on Sathnam Sanghera’s article in The Times: “Pret was the best thing since sliced bread but private equity ruined it”

Man invoices Pret A Manger and EAT. for time spent waiting in shops

The Guradian article: “The brilliant Pret a Manger marketing con we want to fall for

 

… more to come

 

Robot sad crop

 

10 Chicago Pret horrible company to work for

A customer’s comment in Chicago regarding a deceased Pret employee and Pret in general.

 


 

Lastly, THE Best description of SYSTEMIC Workplace Bullying and what I have gone through under Pret’s senior leadership and HR, is summed up in this text I found on Twitter.

I have spent over a year writing my hands into a carpal tunnel (not really, just using a metaphor!) on what I’ve been through in Pret A Manger. I described how systemic and toxic Pret’s bullying is behind the smiley facade!

I can wrap up my whole experience and website in this one text:

 

Describtion Systemic Bullying

From Twitter @scwb_now

 

Further Staff Reviews, one which states that they felt always being “hounded”. I based more reviews in a YouTube slide on this statement:

 

“Worked into the ground without empathy”

 

Smile for the Mystery Shopper – Forced to do emotional labour for cash incentives and fear management (I re-named as the “Misery” Shopper for a reason!)

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

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

Pret A Manger – How Companies Force Emotional Labour on Low Wage Workers

 

Fake Smile Robin Williams

 

 

Pret Uniform2

The Pret A Smile Uniform Cupboard.

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

 

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

 

A Mystery Shopper tweet:

2017 A Mystery Shopper tweeted

Link

 

Customer Tweets:

2015 About Mystery Shopper

Link

 

2013 Mystery Shopper Group Incentive

Link

The psychology of “group incentive” is actually peer pressure and what a recent reviewer called “blame culture” which I totally underline. I spent a lot of time building my team member UP when they messed up the Mystery Shopper after our manager put them DOWN, because putting down is counter productive and leads to mental health problems. If I had buckets of the tears that were flowing after the harsh telling off when the Mystery Shopper wasn’t happy …

 

2018 Emotional Labour Labor Quota Smiles2

Link

 

A Pret employee’s review on the Mystery Shopper pressure:

2019-04-16 Mystery Shopper Blame Culture

Link

Or the “happy family” trap and the pressure on ONE person who loses the bonus for the whole team turning the team against that one person. Again, I had to many times step in-between the 1 person to protect them from the group and the bullying mentality Pret encourages.

Another of the many reviews along those lines:

2019-04-09 Mysterys Shopper Trap Happy Family

Link

 

Part of Mystery Shopper Reports

 

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 …”

Line Manager to the person having served the MS: “I need to see you in the office!”

 

Pret A Manger Reality behind the Smile:

1. On average a Team Member does between 300 – 500 transactions per day. Some less, some more if they work a regular 6 – 8+ hours shift (many work 12 hour shifts!), and depending on how busy it is and if working in the rush times. 300 transactions are NOT 300 individual people! 1 transaction can be serving 3 people for example. 1 transaction is ONE sale/payment that goes through the till/system, no matter how many people. It can be a group of tourists, families, colleagues who order together and often pay together, but each person will be spoken to about the order that they place. So, on average a TM communicates with 500 – 800+ PERSONS, plus colleagues, line managers etc. PER DAY/shift. 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.

Customer observation:

2018-10-20 Staff cry

Link

 

2019-03-22 Customer Noticing busyness Pret1

Link

 

2019-03-22 customer kings cross emma observation stress

Link

 

2013 Customer being treated nice by manager then snap at staff

Link (It makes the employee feel even weirder not to mention shamed and humiliated crying in the staff room later!)

 

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.

One of many such staff reviews, quote:

“Better salary than McDonalds or Costa as long as you keep your fake smile up … (A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period) … if you have seen the film “Compliance” then you know what type of person you will become if you stay there for longer.”

2015-09-29 Staff cry

Link

 

Emotional Labour Labor

Link

Quote from above article:

“… 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 verify that. Being summoned to the office myself or consoling a crying team member in the staff room who just received a file note (now called “note of concern”), after coming from the office where the manager used fear management on them for not having smiled while serving the Mystery Shopper. The team member then was sent out from the office to the shop and demanded to smile. Clive Schlee himself sent me to the till when he visited a shop I worked at. He visited after I contacted him for help when HR kept sending me away when I was bullied by managers during bereavement. Clive visited me at that time as my case panicked him (fear of Tribunal cases). After he introduced himself at a quiet period between the morning and lunch rush, I was in tears as I felt relieved to finally get help (fooled at the time!). He saw about 3 customers queuing at the till and sent me back to the till while I was in tears! Full story in my interview at the bottom of this page.

Any person and customer who quickly complains that staff should look for another job if they can’t smile for service should get a reality check and stop being so calloused towards low-paid workers! I survived, I almost ended my life and confront Pret on Twitter. Guess why they don’t respond or block me! I spill the beans in my interview at the bottom of this page or the home page.

 

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 & + to enlarge:

MS Mystery 15 seconds to Mars

4 out 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, EVEN if they have a sick note from day 1. This forces them 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.

 

2017 Mystery Shopper sick pay

Link

The £45 Mystery Shopper bonus she’s talking about is that she would have worked 45 hours that week. Each hour is £1 bonus, as Pret cuts the weekly bonus even when staff are sick for 1 day that week. And the rest £55 she means is the hours she lost for that 1 day. And Pret only responds to her Tweet because it’s public. In reality Pret has nothing and doesn’t care if staff are sick.

A recent Tweet to the CEO by a frustrated Team Member:

2019-06-05 TM bonus cut sick mystery shopper

Link

 

I worked while sick many times and served the Mystery Shopper, had to cough, received this below report and had a telling off in the office later from the manager:

06 Other MS cough

Quote:

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

I also didn’t feel cheerful to smile after I buried my brother, who died 5 weeks before we found out and they cremated him before finding us.

And I couldn’t smile while being bullied during bereavement from several managers under HR’s watchful eye, with CEO Clive Schlee later labelling me his “late night girl” because I became ill with late night emailing in trauma after work. (The full story in the interview at the bottom of this page).

 

 

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.

 

So, after you smiled for 8+ hours, maybe in the middle of serving the “Misery” Shopper, gave a free coffee and whatever acrobatic you did, the Mystery Shopper then in their OWN DISCRETION can reward a team member if they even go FURTHER than they already do… It’s like bending backwards, forwards, smiling left, right and center, kissing butt all day and the Mystery Shopper is still not happy:

 

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 £50, even if the bonus was lost. And if the score/points were perfect, that person can earn double, £100.

 

2018-07-04 Outstanding Card

Link

 

2018-01-23 Outstanding Card

Link The reason why she got the Outstanding Card and with it the extra £50, or £100 if the shop had perfect scores, is the white writing on the red background.

Note: She lost the bonus for the whole team at a time before, and even said she “redeemed” herself this time. She fluffed it up, and they all lost the bonus. Sad.

 

2018-01-25 OC

 

A Mystery Shopper tweet:

2017 A Mystery Shopper tweeted

Link

 

Customer Tweets:

2015 About Mystery Shopper

Link

 

2013 Mystery Shopper Group Incentive

Link

And the psychology of “group incentive” is actually peer pressure and what a recent reviewers called “blame culture” which I totally underline. I spend a lot of time building my team member UP when they messed up the Mystery Shopper after our manager put them DOWN, because putting down is counter productive.

 

2019-04-16 Mystery Shopper Blame Culture

Link

Or the “happy family” trap and the pressure on ONE person who loses the bonus for the whole team turning the team against that one person. Again, I had to many times step in-between the 1 person to protect them from the group and the bullying mentality Pret encourages.

2019-04-09 Mysterys Shopper Trap Happy Family

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

 

2017-05-26 Pure Misery

»Everything is over priced and you are forced to act like a happy jack-ass or your pay is cut. This place is what hell must be like.«

Link

 

Lose Everything That Makes You Human2

 

2019-05-05 44 recommend Pret 52 recomm Clive

Glassdoor June 2019 figures

 

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in —> Pret Staff Complaints

 

2019-04-22 NEW on TWITTER

Link

 

A recent article on the alcohol issues of customer service employees highlights the mental strain of emotional labour.

 

UPDATE May 2019
TWO Pret staff have died.
More here >
Why is Pret not being Investigated?

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

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

 

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…

 

EXAMPLE:

When you click on this Twitter linkyou will see “Tweet unavailable” BUT it IS there when I am logged into my @LateNightGirlMe account. Here’s the screenshot:

LateNightGirlMe/status/1078449508651073536

Shadowban LNG

 

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.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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 report me to get shadow-banned (secretly censored on Twitter & Co. which then hides my posts and accounts from public search). 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, but no-one knows what really is behind it. The fear management via the Mystery Shopper, rewarded extra £100 if specially nice or told off by the boss in the office and threatened with job security if they didn’t smile non-stop in the highly stressful work environment. 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

 

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.

expret.org

 


 

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

 

2018-12-14 Customer recognizes forced friendliness happiness

Link

 


 

UPDATE March 2019 – The first time I share my story verbally in one go in this interview.

Interview:

 

 

Adam

 

Above interview is with Adam from The Adam Paradox podcast on my experience in Pret A Manger.

We spoke about gaslighting, “shadow banning” and censorship on social media, as well as bereavement, trauma and mental health in general. I further talked about the significant timing of Pret CEO’s announcement of the £1000 Tweet for all staff. I also talked about a regular day in Pret and how staff have to cut corners, in order to fulfill the immense workload under constant pressure.

It is hard to squeeze my traumatic experience into a podcast segment, but we covered enough to get a good picture of today’s systemic stress environment for profit driven global companies.

Please visit his Podcast and Twitter @1AdamParadox.

 


 

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

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2018 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

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

#BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesShatter

 

… yet again!

 

White police crime, racism, hate … needs to stop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief is No Thief

 

I pondered a lot about Emily Dickinson’s grief poems, especially one particular phrase: “grief is a thief”.

But to me grief is not a thief.
Premature death is.

Grief is just breathing out what death breathed in.

Grief is a gift, that helps unclutter the traumatic mess I find myself in.

Grief is no thief, it gives ground to the bottomless pit I keep dropping in, even though the ground is murky and dark, slippery slopes as far and wide as your eyes can see.

I keep sinking in, swallowed by tangible mud, being pulled down and I FEEL it and the darkness and the resistance to drown, and I fight this nonsense. No sense to taking life like that.

I’m an alien in a human land. I lost my way. But I grieve.
I grieve because I’m alive.
Life is no thief. Death is.
Grief is just breathing in and out a breathless life.

Grief is a gift because it tells me I’m alive.
Death is the thief that stole life!

Grief is that gift that let’s me feel the suffocating mud. Just about.

Life IS unfair
Good people DO die
Young people DO die
Bad people DO absolutely live long and die peacefully in their sleep … where’s the thief here?!

Grief sucks, but it is just a result of life breathing out what death took in.

Yeah death, you won again.
You came and took.
You didn’t ask permission
And guess what, now I won’t answer your non-asked permission to thieve!

But one thing you can’t do, you can’t steal my grief, because that’s mine un-apologetically, you fucker!

©2020 poetrasblok.com

 


 

#793, c. 1863 Emily Dickinson

Grief is a Mouse —
And chooses the Wainscot in the Breast
For His Shy House —
And baffles quest—

Grief is a Thief — quick startled —
Pricks His Ear — report to hear
Of that Vast Dark —
That swept His Being — back—

Grief is a Juggler — boldest at the Play —
Lest if He flinch — the eye that way
Pounce on His Bruises — One — say — or Three —
Grief is a Gourmand — spare His luxury —

Best Grief is Tongueless — before He’ll tell —
Burn Him in the Public Square —
His Ashes — will
Possibly — if they refuse — How then know —
Since a Rack couldn’t coax a syllable — now.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Don’t Drink Bleach – Julie & Buddy Miller

 

Public Service Songs vs. Coronavirus
Musical heroes Julie and Buddy Miller, y’all

 

»Concerning Bleach«

Don’t, don’t, don’t drink bleach
It will kill you and you will be dead
Don’t, don’t, don’t drink bleach
No matter what the president said

In the president’s mind something malfunctioning lurks
But yours is a fine mind and everything works

So don’t, don’t, don’t drink bleach
It will kill you and you will be dead

Don’t, don’t, don’t drink bleach
No matter what the president said
Don’t drink bleach
it’s bad and it hurts

See if the president would try it first
Don’t, don’t, don’t drink bleach
It will kill you, and you will be dead

— Buddy and Julie Miller

 

 

»Stay Home«

 

.

 

On ‘Toxic Positivity’

Another brilliant post on the subject:

https://wp.me/p3z45x-sO

What is…Toxic Positivity?

Worth a read.

https://wp.me/p8DroA-vV

NHS Mental Healthcare Doesn’t Exist

 

I found a video on YouTube about someone’s experience with the UK mental health system during bereavement and other issues.

I can more than underline his experience. People in the U.S. or Germany don’t believe me how IMPOSSIBLE it is to find help. My own odyssey through the mental health system I don’t want to list anymore like I did before as I feel like a failure and have even been “victim blamed” by a Psychologist last year.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of bereaved and traumatized families and medical workers, this will get even worse!

I don’t want to say too much, just let this video share:

 

 

Just a few articles on the Government cuts since 10 years:

From The Independent:
>>> Mental health trusts left with less funding than 2012 due to government cuts

From The Guardian:
>>> Number of NHS beds for mental health patients slumps by 30%

From Keep Our NHS Public:
>>> Austerity and NHS cuts: wrecking our mental health

 

NHS cuts

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Lived Bereavement

A re-blog that I want to leave uncommented. No words needed.

https://wp.me/p1OFt4-123

Self Sabotage: Living with PTSD

I re-blog this because it is important. I have been on the UK mental health waiting list for therapy for 3 years now and haven’t even been diagnosed yet. But I believe I suffer PTSD or even C-PTSD with the double trauma of my brother’s complicated death AND having been bullied in Pret.

I sabotage myself now in pain and not wanting to go on.

I’ve lost hope, and now with the worldwide trauma of the virus. I keep holding on to my mum’s survival.

Podcast:

> https://www.spreaker.com/user/geerishramgolam/self-sabotage-series-post-traumatic-stre <

Geerish, MBSR Practitioner, Yoga therapist, MED

Trapped inside your head

The podcast talks about what it is like to live with PTSD and constantly believe that something bad may happen. It also talks about coping skills one can develop to get out of the vulnerable state.

Listen to “Self Sabotage series: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” on Spreaker.

Much love,

Geerish.

View original post

Self Sabotage: Living with PTSD

I re-blog this because it is important. I have been on the UK mental health waiting list for therapy for 3 years now and haven’t even been diagnosed yet. But I believe I suffer PTSD or even C-PTSD with the double trauma of my brother’s complicated death AND having been bullied in Pret.

I sabotage myself now in pain and not wanting to go on.

I’ve lost hope, and now with the worldwide trauma of the virus. I keep holding on to my mum’s survival.

Podcast:

> https://www.spreaker.com/user/geerishramgolam/self-sabotage-series-post-traumatic-stre <

Geerish, MBSR Practitioner, Yoga therapist, MED

Trapped inside your head

The podcast talks about what it is like to live with PTSD and constantly believe that something bad may happen. It also talks about coping skills one can develop to get out of the vulnerable state.

Listen to “Self Sabotage series: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” on Spreaker.

Much love,

Geerish.

View original post

Writing on the Wall

My lashing out and crying out has gotten out of control so many times that I don’t know if I can overcome this.

When I started the emailing to Pret and others (friends, counsellor, anyone …), I was in the middle of the bullying at work and trying to come to terms about my brother’s death.

I received the news of his death via email. In that email I learned that he has died 5 weeks prior, no clear cause of death and an approximate day of death plus minus. He lay dead in his apartment approximately 6 days. This email gave me his death and that they supposedly couldn’t find us and they cremated him. Other heavy information, all in ONE email. I am still today communicating with the police and even involved the press as I can’t afford a lawyer. I plainly don’t know what to do and how to live.

My friends became quickly overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do with me. I was overweight and lost 35kg, much of it in the first 6 months, and no-one knew how to approach me, so they stayed away. I worked at Pret with daily free food, but I couldn’t eat. I forced myself to eat half a baguette a day or a banana and could not swallow.

When the bullying started, Pret did not have info of the circumstances of my brother’s death as I didn’t talk about it except that he had died, not wanting to burden anyone. I only shared about a year later. Part of the bullying from line managers and an area manager was via email.

I believe this catapulted me into mass emailing. I was then gaslighted by a Development Manager from Pret who was tasked to sanction me for emailing. But this person told me in the FORMAL disciplinary hearing that she also had a brother who died alone in his apartment and was not discovered for 10 days. I still don’t know to this day if she lied. If she did, she is a very good liar because of the way she described things. She is also a Hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and now a Psychotherapist which I learned later. In hindsight I was very naive and lost in a fog of grief, trauma and the survival of the bullying culture in Pret.

I raised a formal complaint with one of the counselling bodies she is under, but they stalled and I flipped out so much that it didn’t get anywhere. I raised a Tribunal claim against Pret and had to withdraw, as I couldn’t afford a lawyer and my dad died at the time of preparing for the case.

The Development Manager went into private text messaging and emailing with me the very next day after she disciplined me for emailing!!! In hindsight it was a trick from Pret to fire me after I also kept raising issues of bullying in Pret.

When I started emailing I didn’t drink. The drinking came later and made it worse. It became so bad that I started to dismantle my phone and laptop, hiding parts in cupboards and places, so when I was drunk, I had a hard time finding the parts and putting it back together. I became so ill.

But I couldn’t stop writing. I often forgot the next day that I wrote to people until I received angry mails back or checked my sent folder! I was always devastated. I even told my then line manager TWICE that I am emailing Pret and don’t know why. He said twice that it’s not his business and that he doesn’t judge me. I was calling out, speaking to counsellors, but the sessions where always 6 weeks and stopped.

When I dismantled my phone and laptop, I woke up the next day and discovered that I’ve written on my walls with markers! I couldn’t stop writing! My apartment was a mess on the walls. I still had some paint from a year before when my kitchen and bathroom were refurbished, and I painted over the writing. Then when drunk, I wrote again on the walls, then painted over again … then wrote again … BUT at least I did NOT email anyone!

When I lost my job and went into further turmoil, I started to write publicly on this blog about what Pret did. When I started to write, I was suicidal and planned to write as much and fast as I can and then end my life. I wanted to leave and at least tell the world what happened that it can’t be brushed under the carpet.

But the writing turned into healing and support, at least on social media started to come in and I felt that the writing, apart from exposing Pret, turned into healing.

But I emailed again and again … even up to TODAY!

I lashed out at people, in emails, in DMs, openly on Twitter, on Facebook …. everywhere.

I sought help with the NHS mental health service and am still, or again, on a waiting list. I wrote about it a few days ago.

I feel hopeless, don’t want to live anymore, feel like I killed people and can’t get them back to life. I pushed people away who truly tried to help. The fear to be abandoned again like I was when my brother died and stuff that happened when my dad died …

I truly have tried to get professional help and know that friends cannot and should not carry this. I was left alone early on and lost hope that I find help. My mum is the only family I have left and I’m losing her.

I am so sorry to all people that I hurt. I have no excuse, especially those who truly tried to help. I lost so many people by my actions that I don’t know how to overcome this. But I want to thank all who were kind and helpful, and I wish I could make good again.

To anyone who has friends who have lost someone, please don’t leave them alone! Please don’t abandon them. I NOW deserve to be abandoned because of my continued action. But early in my grief I did NOT deserve it! I was lost. Now I deserve it and I take 150% responsibility.

I share a little bit on a BBC call-in early morning on Christmas Day 2019. Please all stay safe, and take care of each other.

BBC radio call-in to Dotun Adebayo Show 25th Dec. 2019:

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:


©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Love Bombing & Many Faces

 

My lashing out at people when drunk and the continued aim to not do that, apologizing, seeking professional help etc.

One person, I call XXXX, kept saying that there’s no need to apologize, it’s all healing etc.

And then, I lashed out within a group, and suddenly it wasn’t okay anymore because, the person felt their reputation was at stake but used another reason.

Double meaning, mixed messages, support only as long as they look good …

Only a few examples in private mails with the person. I sent these examples to the person and they supposedly do not read it. So, I speak out again publicly because people need to know how messed up I am, and how people play with it.

 

Me:

… And now, 2 years later I SCREAM online and Pret doesn’t do a thing!!!!!

And I lash out at people, in pain. …

Nov. 2019

XXXX:

It’s all good. Part of healing.

Nov. 2019

 

Me:

I’m sorry … I always let people down because I’m not what they think I am. …
You people who have a lot to lose, fight for yourself. …
I am still waiting for therapy abd a professional to tell me why I write this BS and lash out at people who mean well. …

Nov. 2019

XXXX:

You lash out because you are angry and hurt and speaking out helps you heal and understand what is going on with you and also helps release some of the inner stress… it’s not a bad thing, it’s a cry for help & a sign of healing… which is slow & painful and you need to allow yourself grace & heal in your own time and not scold yourself for the time it takes…

Dec. 2019

 

Me:

… I know most of “you” (meaning people in general) are fed up with my rants and nothing happens.
All I want is peace, but I’m struggling with the German police as well. I’m sorry …

Dec. 2019

XXXX:

You have NOTHING to be sorry for! … Hugs

Dec. 2019

(Struggling with the German police because I am still investigating why they did not find us and just cremated my brother without our knowledge and consent).

 

Me:

… I’m so sorry. I’m so terribly angry at the moment and letting it out on he wrong people while … I hate what I’ve become. …
I don’t want to apologize anymore. It’s pretentious I think. I am very angry at myself. The therapy waiting list has gone for 2 years now.

Dec. 2019

XXXX:

You were always going to have forward then some backward days. You’ll never know what’s going to trigger you next. It’s quite the process to heal. But you are healing. You are better than you were. And you can’t argue with me on that!

Dec. 2019

 

Me:

I am sorry for being such a disrespecting asshole.
I have no excuse.

Feb. 2020

You:

Nothing to be sorry about.

Feb. 2020

Me:

Please don’t say that. I appreciate your patience and kindness, but I am out of line!

etc. etc.

 

Here I was, lashing out at the person, apologizing, and being devastated at myself for having messed up again, and then always being told: “nothing to be sorry about” … “it’s ok” … “you are healing…” etc. etc. etc.

And once I lashed out in a group, this person suddenly called it “insults” and “venom”, because their reputation was at stake. I am really sorry I did that and disappointed them. Though, if people don’t take responsibility for their own words, and it’s always thrown back at the person who’s already in a mess, that’s very easy. People who have a lot to lose, will always put the blame 100% on the other person who’s the mess already. That’s human nature.

This is why “love bombings” and “sweet-talk” and what some call “toxic positivity” is pretentious and fake, and humiliating beyond words. It’s irresponsible and unprofessional as the person is a person of position, influence and authority. This person witnessed many times when I lashed out drunk (later deleting my Tweets in shock myself) as I copied them and others in, not ONE TIME did the person speak to me to work on this or stop this. Instead, always “nothing to be sorry about” … “you are healing” … etc.

It also reminds me of the gaslighting Pret A Manger put me through with Lila Warren, the Pret Development Manager who was tasked to sanction me. I share this in the audio player interview at the bottom of this page. Lila Warren told me in a FORMAL disciplinary meeting she held, that she also had a brother who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days. Like my brother did. After extensive research with the name she gave me of her “brother”, her story is not all how she presented.

If my mum wasn’t alive I would have ended my life long time ago.

I am tired of people who play games in private, and then want to protect themselves in public. I am always suspicious when people are too positive and say nice things all of the time!

From a regular person without influence, I can understand, but not from this person. This person also never asked me any questions. Questions like, what kind of support or professional help I received to date or am still receiving, if any. What other support I may need. What the person itself could do to support etc etc. No questions. Just love-bombing and assuming I’ll be okay.

I am well worded, and this often keeps me from getting help as even mental health services think I’m okay. My medical file is long now and I want to put a stop to it.

I will keep lashing out, I cannot recover, I cannot and don’t want to have people close anymore.

To the person who wrote all these things for me to not be sorry etc.

If you read this:
I KNOW you meant well. I still and always will know you meant well. I know it when I see it!
But you are a person of position, influence and authority, even power.
You knew my trauma from the get go. I am the vulnerable person.
You need to be responsible when you communicate.
You know people from all walks of life, especially professionals, Psychologists, Police, Doctors etc. You could have asked anyone how to deal with a person like me.
You could and should have told me in private that I should work on not lashing out instead of telling me continually that I have nothing to apologize for and that I am “healing”. I felt I even was healing, but then had a huge backlash that I didn’t see coming myself. It shocked me myself.
You are used to making decisions that affect people’s lives.
You are used to be “celebrated” and have people around you who agree on everything you do. That’s not healthy.
You will be told that you did nothing wrong by the people who gather around you.
I speak out because people need to know that you cannot trust people who say big words in private, to just drop you in a group.
Maybe you need to be needed and then spread yourself too thin.
I know you care and cared! But you should know better with your immense occupational and life experience. It makes me feel in hindsight that you just use vulnerable people to fill your own void or your need to be needed.
I am truly sorry for the pain I caused. I never portrayed myself as a person who has it altogether.
You care a lot, please seek help when dealing with traumatized people in private.
Your words have weight! Please have more care and professionalism when dealing with vulnerable people. You cross boundaries when you are neither aware nor know of your responsibility in your private communications, as vulnerable people look up to you and make the mistake to trust you quicker with the influence you have. But you are just a human being who makes mistakes. But you don’t own up to it. You were irresponsible.
I will not be used again or gaslit by people of influence.
I seek peace and to forgive.

Anyone who thinks I need professional help:

 

My NHS Odyssey

People often tell me I need to get professional help or see a Psychiatrist. But no-one asks what odyssey I have been through in the UK NHS system for years now.

I explained this recently to people who did the usual “you need professional help” thing.

I have now been on a 2 year waiting list, and before on another year waiting list for therapy. I went to suicidal charities where people who want to end their lives can be heard without getting locked in. But I exhausted that service now.

I was sent away twice from hospital while suicidal. After the first 1 year waiting list for NHS therapy, because I cannot afford private therapy, I finally got a place in a therapy, which would be long-term. I felt I cracked the jackpot!!! After reaching out so much and waiting so long, going to charities, my doctor, mental health clubs that have no professionals, just volunteers to occupy time etc. in December 2017 after 2 assessments I was offered a long-term therapy place!

I was told that I will have 12 weekly sessions of group therapy!

After only getting funded for 6 sessions, which were not enough to even get started on my trauma, before you get into your trauma, the sessions are over. But now I felt I won the jackpot with TWELVE sessions!!!

But the psychologist didn’t stop there, and the jackpot grew even bigger!

I was then told that after the 12 weekly group introductory sessions to this type of therapy, there would be a few weeks break and then an 18 MONTHS group AND individual sessions would follow.

I would have 18 months of weekly group sessions AND 18 months of individual weekly sessions.

TWO sessions per week, one in a group and one individual with a Therapist!!! For 18 MONTHS!!!

I couldn’t believe my luck and FINALLY felt hope to get long-term help. This was in December 2017 when I was fired, and flying back and forth to my father until he died in March 2018. Maybe it kept me going while my dad was in hospital, then out his coma and intensive care, then into rehab, and me just gotten fired. I held on to the hope of this long-term therapy which was starting in the fall of 2018.

In the fall of 2018 the group sessions started. 12 weeks of introduction to this type of therapy. 2 Therapists where holding the group therapy, one a Psychiatrist, the other a Psychologist. We were about 8 people in the group.

And then in the 6th session, 6 weeks into the introductory sessions the Psychologist, who was under the guidance of the Psychiatrist, dropped a bomb! We were “casually” told that the 18 months main group and individual therapy sessions would be video recorded!

We were told that the recordings were to help the therapists read what we were NOT saying and they would go frame-by-frame of what we were and were not saying!

Me and another guy in shock and after asking questions, got up and left the therapy.

I raised a formal complaint with the NHS that I felt tricked and that I wasted a year waiting for the group sessions to start, without being fully informed in the assessment the year before and given the chance to not go forward with this therapy. If I would have been informed at the assessment the year before, I would not have chosen to do the therapy and could have looked for alternatives. But instead, I wasted almost a year in the assumption I now finally found long-term help for the trauma I’ve been through.

We were never told in our assessments the YEAR BEFORE that we will be videoed. And then when the 12 week group intro. sessions started, the Therapists waited 6 WEEKS before they told us. It looked like they wanted to get us acquainted and “hooked” to the therapy first, in order to make it hard on us to either leave or to feel no other choice then to submit to videoing. We were NOT told that we had a choice under data protection. We could have all declined to be videoed, and the Therapists would have HAD TO go forward with the therapy WITHOUT videoing, as we had a choice under data protection laws.

But we were not told this! It was presented to us as if we had no choice, that the option was either to submit to being videoed during very personal therapy sessions, or to not be part of the therapy.

All my points in the complaint were upheld and I was told by the complaints dept. that in future they will inform people at the assessment for people to make a choice, if they want to be part of the therapy or not.

I understand in hindsight that the Psychologist was in training and the Psychiatrist was sitting mostly quiet to observe and train the Psychologist. Our video sessions would be used for training purposes. I argued in my complaint to the NHS that I felt we were used as guinea pigs for training, and that we were purposefully NOT informed beforehand, so it would be harder for us to make decisions against videoing, as we waited so long for long-term therapy funded by the NHS …

I bumped into one of the group a few months ago and was told that they video the group sessions, after whoever remained agreed to it and that the individual therapy sessions are only videoed with the individual person’s permission. Only 3 of us left and the rest agreed to videoing and some new clients were added to the group.

And I am still on a waiting list now for new therapy.

The chief Psychologist who is over this therapy and the other therapists was visibly pissed off with me when he assessed me for a new therapy, that they try to find for me. I ruined his plans and am now paying for it with overly long waiting lists. He even called me “chronically suicidal” in an email. And yet, I get no help.

I had the police called to my apartment 2 times and an ambulance once in the last 6 months, because I was ready to go. Other times I went to the police station at night to be safe because there are no hospital beds available. They just let me sit in the police station after I explain that I need to be safe. And no, I was not drunk except twice. The other times I was perfectly sober!

Some people say to me that they’re sorry I fell through the cracks of the mental health system. But I did not fall through the cracks! The system is such that the Government cut funds, the health system is overloaded and you either become a guinea pig, where in turn for free therapy you have to pay with your personal data in form of videoing therapy sessions. Or if you have the private funds yourself, you can find your own specialist and therapy. As I chose not to “sell” my data via videoing, I am paying for it now.

A recent news article said that the police in the UK are dealing with more mental health related calls than with crime. The Government in the last 10 years have cut over 20.000 police men/women and cut a lot in the NHS system! Anyone who has needed help from the UK mental health service, knows what I’m talking about.

And when people then say to me that I need professional help, but don’t ASK me WHAT I have done to get help in the last 5 years, I give up now.

All what is left for me is just to care for my mum as best as I can and not put any grief on her. But I have no strength nor will to go on anymore.

Thank you for reading and stay away from me.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Khalil Gibran ft. Whitey

 

Gibran

Khalil Gibran

 

The Other Language

Khalil Gibran »The Other Language« (The Madman)
Music: Whitey »Made of Night« & »Rats«
Edit: expret.org via Horxata

 

 

 

Said a Blade of Grass

 

Khalil Gibran “Said a Blade of Grass”
Music: Domi Chansorn
“Video”: expret.org

 

 

Do you hear the Medics sing? #NHS

 

Do you hear the Medics sing?
Singing the songs of years of pain?

It’s the song of a profession
who’ve been screwed and screwed again

Though we’ve got no PPE
and some of us may succumb

We’re the ones who go to work
when Corona comes

We haven’t had a pay rise since 1953
and they screwed up all our pensions
and then taxed us to our knees

They made all the Juniors sign up
for working for free

Do you hear the Medics sing?
Singing the songs of years of pain?
It’s the sound of a Profession
who’s been screwed and screwed again

Though we’ve got no PPE
and some of us may succumb
we’re the ones who go to work
when Corona comes

The traitors from the CQC
have crawled back to the pit
Your GMC re-registered
but it’s years since you quit

It turns out appraisals
is really a pile of shit

Do you hear the Medics sing?
Singing the songs of years of pain?
It’s the sound of a Profession
who’s been screwed and screwed again

Though we’ve got no PPE
and some of us may succumb
we’re the ones who go to work
when Corona comes

 

 

Song adapted from Les Misérables Do you hear the people sing? – adapted by Unknown

Song first found on Twitter

#1

 


 

1. Plea to NHS staff & all who receive freebies & donations from Pret!

Know what Pret tried to do to their OWN staff by cutting pay while distracting from it with freebies to NHS staff & others. Pret reverted for now after a public outcry and bad press!

2. Pret opened kitchen again during furlough to continue their PR stunt giving to NHS workers and homeless people, having staff work in kitchens. Pret also does this to have staff ready in place when the government gives the green light for businesses to open.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Opens Shops

 

“We are looking for volunteers who want to do the right thing and help society.”

HAHA!!! Good one Pret!

Below post I wrote on 31. March 2020 after being informed by a Pret staff about Pret wanting some staff to work in kitchens again DURING furlough under pretense of giving freebies to NHS and homeless people. In reality, apart from the typical PR stunt, Pret wants staff to be in place once the Government lifts the ban of closed businesses. And after first trying to cut hours/pay of all staff WHILE giving freebies in March, Pret now becomes “generous” to some staff.

UPDATE: 17. April 2020 on Instagram, Twitter and I’m sure on other social media channels. Critical voices about Pret opening 10 shops:

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 07

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening9

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening3

Link to critical post

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening4

Link to carleighsylvertiger’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening8 Natalie

Link to natalie_shilling’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening7

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening6 Valerie

Link

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening5 Jeck

Link to Jeck.Disney’s post

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 01

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 03

Link to Tweets

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 04

Link

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 05

Link

etc. etc. etc.


 

31. March 2020 post:

Pret is sneaking into the kitchen and being caught with the hand in the cookie jar!

Let me translate the bullshit that Pret is doing now while Boris Johnson is in quarantine (having shaken hands with corona-virus patients!)

UPFRONT:
Apart from the typical Pret A Manger PR, using NHS staff and now homeless people by wanting staff to work in Pret kitchens doing sandwiches for NHS & homeless people, Pret is VERY cheeky by wanting staff in place NOW during furlough, so when the government gives the green light for businesses to open again, Pret has already staff in place to get back to business FAST!

And after having tried to cut hours/pay by 25% DURING the first NHS freebies while the Covid-19 pandemic is in full swing, Pret NOW shows how “generous” they can be, selling this as “doing the right thing” while in reality putting their staff – who may be infected – in danger yet again! (My PLEA to NHS staff LINK)

 

Part of Daily Pret NHS PR

 

To Clive Schlee and Pano Christou,

how about YOU coming down from your arrogant, snobby, spoiled little hill, and do a “Buddy Day” for at least a week to fulfill the below “suggestions” from your Clare.

 

Part of the “Daily Pret” info from Pret HQ to staff on 30th March 2020:

My comments are in Italics below as a former Pret A Manger employee knowing this company’s bullshit inside out!

 

2020-03-30 Daily Pret

 

Page 1 of 4 – from Clare who earned her UK Managing Director position after being willing to be scrutinized by the press for Clive Schlee and then UK Managing Director, Pano Christou having ignored labelling warnings. ← Do click on these blue underlined links because they’re worth it!

Here she is, Clare, on behalf of dwarfs Clive and Pano, quote:


 

I hope you have all been keeping safe and well since I last wrote to you.
(since YOU last wrote?)

Since we closed our shops’ doors last Saturday,
(after being forced via Government orders)

I have been very proud of the work that teams all across Pret have done to continue to support those in need.
(while you use the NHS to cover up for not caring for your own workers’ needs…)

We made multiple donations of excess food and ingredients
(multiple self-idolizing and self-promotion)

to charities and over 2000 cases of smoothies and snacks to NHS staff working at over 25 different hospitals.
(yawn… the numbers… let’s talk numbers:
Pret turnover 2019 = £710 Million
Clive Schlee bonus 2018 = £30 Million
JAB Holdings / Reimann worth £28 Billion
Pret frontline staff £8.65 an hour
Any more numbers, Clive Schlee and Pano Christou?!)

In recent days, we have started to think about how we might become part of the growing efforts to help the NHS frontline staff further whilst our shops remain closed.
(In recent days – since being exposed by the Guardian via expret.org and my people the front-line Pret staff, we have started to think about how we might become part of the growing worry to keep our staff calm and away from the Unions and the press.)

We have been contacted by individuals as well as by NHS leaders and the project team for NHS Nightingale.
(aw! cute! Social Media is something else, isn’t it?)

Today, we have started work planning to open a small number of kitchens from the 6th April.
(have you now?)

These kitchens will start by producing a small range of products for delivery to NHS hospitals or staff quarters as well as enabling us to restart product donations to the homeless through our Pret Foundation charity partners.
(That’s a mouthful! [and this sounds like an addict to greed – listen up!]

Let’s take this apart:

“kitchens will start by producing” – in need labour
delivery to NHS hospitals” – in need of business in the future
“restart product donations to the homeless through our Pret Foundation charity partners” – “restart” … in need of reputation

Once open,
(once open! There you go!)

we will be able to think about extending the number of kitchens and products
(we will be able to sneak more shops in while the Government has announced closures and Boris Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 – positive = meaning he has the virus y’all … or did he just call sick!).

and start working with 3rd party delivery partners to get Pret food to more people who need it.
(Yeah right 😀 Good one!)

I am writing today to ask whether there are any members of our Pret family who would like to volunteer to return to a shop kitchen from the end of this week in order to support this effort.
( 😀 !!! I am writing to ask Clive Schlee and Pano Christou to do a “Buddy Day” to fulfill Clare’s request. Kindly. Please. Unless you are hiking the Austrian mountains in the snow!)

If you would like to volunteer, please email us at volunteers@pret.com by midday on Wednesday 1st April so we can get a sense of numbers.

(Yeah, I might email you on April Fool’s Day!)

Once we have identified volunteers, we will be in contact as soon as possible to confirm.
(You do that, but I have to inform you that your workforce … uhm … volunteers are busy signing up for the Unions)

It goes without saying that the safety of our people remains paramount and I want to let potential volunteers know that we will be implementing new standards in our shops to support social distancing. The first day back in a shop will involve training on these new safety standards.
(Oh Clare, please do try harder than this!)

Thank you in advance to those of you that will volunteer. I hope that by exploring this initiative we can play our part in continuing to support society, something we have always taken pride in.
(Yeah! 😀 )

With love,
(Big word, Pret, big word!)

Clare
(with sh!t in their pants)

 


 

To Clive Schlee and Pano Christou,

how about YOU coming down from your arrogant, snobby, spoiled home, and do a “Buddy Day” for a week to fulfill the above appeal?

 

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices without Wifi.

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2020 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 and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Pay-cut (NOT!)

 

On 19.03.2020 in the morning I was contacted by a Pret employee that Pret wanted to cut all staff hours 25%, down to 16 hours. I was sent the email that Pano Christou sent to all shops and HQ (75B) that morning.

Some numbers:

A front-line shop staff member gets a little over minimum wage of £8.65 per hour

+£1 bonus IF the Mystery Shopper is happy (I posted a FULL Mystery Shopper report with the 32 micromanaging questions that Pret tasks Mystery Shoppers to test each shop on every week. If ONE staff member makes a mistake or doesn’t smile enough, the WHOLE shop team is penalized and don’t get the bonus!).

Even if a a staff member receives £8.65 they have to work double and triple for it. Pret has NO choice to pay a little more than minimum wage and give a few perks, as no-one would work at Pret for the backbreaking, micromanaging and stressful work they’re expected to do, often in a bullying environment.

Pret’s turnover on 2019: £710 million

Former CEO Clive Schlee’s BONUS from the JAB Holdings / Reimann purchase in 2018: £30 million

Clive £30 million

 

Second richest family in Germany, Reimann via tax-haven Luxembourg JAB Holdings worth €33 BILLION (£28 / $35 billion).

Do the math of £8.65 minus 25% minus hours.

I immediately wrote blog posts and went on Twitter.

The Guardian and other press started publishing and slowly customers and readers started to speak out against Pret’s decision.

What was so vile about this is that Pret started giving free coffees and 50% rebates on food to all NHS staff the day before on 18.03.2020. Pret made a big announcement, did press releases and sent emails to shops boasting about their “charity”.

This typical Pret PR and smokescreen had many speechless and angry.

A day later, after bad press and public outcry Pret reversed the pay-cut until May when they review this again.

2020-03-20 150% rise in profit

 

2020-03-22 Long memory re bad treatment of staff

 

This NHS employee is MY NHS hero / heroine!

2020-03-21 NHS staff1

 

2020-03-21 NHS staff2

Link

 

2020-03-20 Cancel NHS offer pay staff

 

2020-03-21 Putting Workers at risk

 

2020-03-21 Support Tweet to Piers Morgan

 

2020-03-25 Boycott forever

 

2020-03-20 Exposing staff to coronavirus -

 

2020-03-23 Bad treatment of staff

etc. etc. etc.

What Pret staff say for years:

Las Vegas

 

It Analyst HQ Head Office Review

 

Go back Pret

 

 

On 27.03.2020, CEO Pano Christou was interviewed by the Evening Standard and even lied to the Standard, quote: “Last week Christou said immediately that he will pay his staff 100% of their salaries at least until the end of April.”

Immediately? You mean “immediately” after the public outcry and bad press about the 25% cut, huh?!

First email from Pano Christou on 19.03.2020 announcing the pay-cut. I was asked by the Pret staff who sent this email to me as screenshots to not publish the screenshot but write a transcript. The second letter of the pay-cut reversal is as a screenshot, sent by another staff member.

Recap of numbers again:

Front-line Pret staff:
£8.65 p/h (+£1 bonus not guaranteed – no bonus when on holiday/furlough and sick).
This is UNDER £15.000 a year! Subtract 25% AND subtract hours, announced DURING the Coronavirus pandemic AND NHS freebies!

Pret’s turnover 2019:
£710 million

Former CEO Clive Schlee’s BONUS (not to mention Pano Christou & share holders …)
£30 million

Reimann / JAB Holdings
€33 BILLION (£28 / $35 billion)

 

Pano Christou pay-cut email 19.03.2020:


 

Dear 75B and UK Shops

In moments of crisis we are challenged on our values and it is important we continue to support each other. People are at the heart of Pret. That’s why our biggest priority as we navigate the impact of Coronavirus is to protect our people. Pret is a wonderful company because it is full of amazingly talented, passionate, kind and generous people. I call it my second home after spending 20 years of my life with such wonderful people who have helped to shape me as a leader, father and a human being.

There are many people losing their jobs from other companies, especially in our sector. Our aim is not lose anyone, because we believe that we are all in this together.

Unfortunately we cannot ignore the fact that our sales in the UK have dropped by 75% and we believe this will be our new reality for several weeks. Therefore we have to reduce our costs somehow.

We are prioritising cuts in all areas that don’t impact our people directly, however it’s vital we also address pay. This means we need to ask every single Pret employee to take a 25% reduction in their contracted hours (and therefore pay). I know this is a huge ask and it breaks my heart to have to get to this point. I know it will hit people hard, but if we can achieve this, we can avoid job losses at this time. The Global Leadership Team and Board will be taking bigger cuts

We anticipate that our current reduction in sales will continue for at least 3 months and therefore the reduction in hours and associated pay will need to cover this period. If sales improve before then or we receive any further assistance from the government, nothing would make me happier than to be able to reverse this decision more quickly. I will keep you informed.

It goes without saying that if anyone would like to reduce their hours even further (perhaps for personal reasons) or take any period of unpaid absence or sabbatical (even if they haven’t been as Pret for long) then please let the HR team know.

It is important that every single Manager speaks to every single member of their team by Friday 12 noon (20th March) to explain this. There will be lots of questions and following this note the HR team will be sending a list of actions that need to be taken, a letter that needs to be given to every person, and answers to the questions you and your teams may have.

To help our Pret people at this difficult time, we are setting up a Coronavirus Hardship Fund. More details to follow early next week. If any employee needs assistance due to the reduction in their hours then they must ask us for help and we will do all we can to support.

I am fully aware of the impact this change has on us all and I thank you for your understanding.

Take care of yourself and each other.

Pano


 

After public pressure and bad press:

2020-03-23 100%

 

Second letter of the decision to reverse pay-cut until May:

2020-03-21 Pret paycut reverse letter

 

To all Pret employees:

JOIN A UNION!

And know that even ONE voice / blog / Tweet / email … COUNTS!

Even if things improve or you leave Pret, join a Union! When you stay, Pret will find ways AGAIN to try and cut hours!

These two Unions are very active and the best informed on Pret issues:

iwgb.org.uk
Twitter: @IWGBunion

www.bfawu.org (must include www.)
Twitter: @bfawu1

 

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

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To NHS Employees

 

Below post I wrote on 26. March 2020 after being informed by a Pret staff about Pret wanting to cut staff hours/pay DURING NHS freebie give-aways! On 31. March 2020 I was informed again by a Pret staff that Pret wants some staff to work in kitchens again DURING furlough under pretense again of giving freebies to NHS and homeless people. In reality, apart from the typical PR stunt, Pret wants staff to be in place once the Government lifts the ban of closed businesses.

UPDATE: 17. April 2020 on Instagram and Twitter critical voices about Pret opening 10 shops:

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 07

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening9

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening3

Link to critical post

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening4

Link to carleighsylvertiger’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening8 Natalie

Link to natalie_shilling’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening7

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening6 Valerie

Link

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening5 Jeck

Link to Jeck.Disney’s post

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 01

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 03

Link to Tweets

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 04

Link

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 05

Link

etc. etc. etc.


 

26. March 2020 post:

Dear NHS Employees,

above screenshot from @hannahwebs is the ONLY NHS employee outcry I have seen on Social Media! Other people raise their voices regarding the freebies PR for the NHS while Pret tried to cut staff pay and hours! But Hannah is the only NHS worker who spoke out! It is devastating that most only care about their freebies, but not for low-paid Pret staff! My plea to NHS employees at the bottom of this page.

Below is the email by Pano Christou, CEO of Pret A Manger who announced the 25% pay-cut for all employees and 16 hour contracts for front-line staff.

I was sent his email early morning on 19.03.2020 when he sent the email to all shops and HQ. I immediately wrote a blog entry and went on Twitter. Next day after a public outcry and bad press, Pret reversed the decision and announced to go back to 100% pay … BUT said that “we need to continually review our position”:

As a little reminder or introduction for new readers, Pret that was a multi-million pound company until 2018 was sold to the second richest family of Germany Reimann under tax-haven Luxembourg based firm JAB Holdings.

Pret now is a multi-BILLION pound company. The Reimann family are worth €33 BILLION, but Pret decided to steal from low-wage workers to keep stuffing Billionaires.

Some concerned people responded on social media, including a NHS staff’s disgust at Pret’s PR stunt of giving NHS staff freebies and at the same time cutting own staff pay and hours.

2020-03-20 150% rise in profit

 

2020-03-22 Long memory re bad treatment of staff

 

This NHS employee is MY NHS hero / heroine!