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Day 24 – The Pret A Manger Love Treatment

24 December – Day 24 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

Merry Christmas.

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The best Christmas gift you can give this year and beyond: Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands regularly and properly.

Comfort the grieving, don’t leave them alone. Support the vulnerable.

Merry Christ-Mask-wearing-handwashing-social-distancing!

.

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The Pret Head Office and executive people are mingling on Linkedin where low-wage Pret frontline staff and most customers don’t mingle.

Most customers and staff still hang out on Twitter, but not Pret HQ staff. They feel safe on Linkedin.

If you want to complain or reach out to Pret Head Office staff, here are some of them.

I start from the bottom up:

Lila Warren

the toxic Pret HQ staff who was tasked to gaslight me.

I write about it in several posts, but asked questions to her here:

Questions to Lila Tighilt Warren

Her Linkedin profile.

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David Carter, who was put on my case after I contacted former CEO Clive Schlee. Carter thought he, as the big gun of HR, could “win” me, little shop staff over with his ego, asking me how on a scale of 1 – 10 it was meeting him. David, I never wanted to meet you. And I surely won’t meet you again!

His Linkedin profile.

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Andrea Wareham

(David Carter’s line manager)

She used to be called “Director of HR”, now another fancy re-naming:

“Chief People Officer at Pret A Manger”

(She was at the Coxton branch of Pret when former CEO Clive Schlee pointed to me, saying to her that I was his “late night girl” after my emailing and Pret taking the mick. Full story at the bottom audio player).

Her Linkedin profile.

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Pano Christou

CEO of Pret who plays “puppy” in collaboration with the press.

I explain here: “Clever Pret A Manger Marketing

His Linkedin profile.

The best way to contact Pano Christou publicly is in a Linkedin thread he posted. One example is the subscription thread.

Direct link to Pano Christou’s Linkedin thread.

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There people can go and complain because Twitter is out-dated, and Pret know it 😉

Merry Christmas!


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


Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Pret A Manger Tränendrüse

A very clever Pret A Manger marketing strategy with the help of mainstream media.

The best translation for “Tränendrüse” I can find is “tear jerker”, but I’d rather go with “crocodile tears”. It’s a word that came to me when I pondered on the recent Pret A Manger articles in the New York Times and The Guardian regarding Pret’s dealing with the Covid 19 crisis. Mainstream media journalists play into Pret’s pocket as usual. What I found particularly interesting are the photos that were shot and used for these articles, especially in the Guardian article.

In the German when someone tries to get pity in order to gain or get advantage of something, we say “der drückt auf die Tränendrüse”, loosely translated “someone’s squeezing out tears” … or best translated: producing crocodile tears.

Pret A Manger has always been smart in their marketing strategy, giving free coffees to look generous while it’s been the main marketing strategy to get people into shops spending more money. I write about the freebie marketing in detail on my blog: Pret A Manger Free Coffees.

Another clever move has always been to give vouchers and freebies after customers complain. Pret customer service staff call this to “kill people with kindness”. That way they stop complaints going further, getting people off their backs and winning them over, plus new customers, as people do free advertisement on social media and beyond on Pret’s “kindness” and “generosity”. And also since 2018 the new endeavor to collect customer data via social media DMs and now subscriptions for future marketing.

The first “Tränendrüse” article came from The Guardian and how new CEO Pano Christou is approaching this rather “positive”, seeing Covid as a chance. Never mind hundreds of thousands having lost their lives, their loved ones, their health, their jobs, their livelihoods … The tragedy turned into a strategy for Pano Christou. A tragedy that now hit millions of people worldwide is being used by Christou as a “strategy” for business. He even takes it further and puts on a sorry, but determined face, to persuade the loyal British higher middle class customer to feel sorry for Pret and risk their own lives to “save Pret”.

By the way, the term as in Pret having become the “Symbol of the Highstreet” came from me on Twitter after some people wondered why Pret is being mentioned constantly to save the economy. Journalists took that and wrote their own articles on it. My blog has become the source for lazy journalism’s copy & paste writing. Nothing new under the sun.

Link to 29. August 2020 Tweet

Link to 31. August 2020 Tweet … and many more on Twitter before Journos took that term from September 2020 onward.

The reader can go through the Guardian and New York Times articles to scrutinize the marketing strategy here. I want to draw the attention to the photos being used for Pret’s subtle and gentle, smiley “propaganda” to get customers to spend money.

From The Guardian, photo by David Yeo:

Pano Christou sitting in the shadow in front of half empty shelves … alone … looking out somewhere into uncertainty … his Tränendrüse about to burst, yet looking with hope like a puppy trusting to get what those who hold the treats in their pockets are ready to give.

Aw! Cute puppy!

The puppy’s promise behind to his right, with the false advertisement of “endless” drinks on the monthly coffee subscription (I write about the false advertisement in detail on “Smoothie Operator“). And the intense shadow of his (seemingly) sorry self behind him with a high wall overwhelming him with the shadow of challenge-turned-opportunity … Puppy Christou looks hopeful. After all, smiling is Pret’s main marketing strategy. Smile through the crisis, smile through grief, smile through mental health issues, smile through Pret customers having died, smile through it all … and keep smiling to the bank.

Link to The Guardian article and photos by David Yeo.

Link to NY Times article and photo by Tom Jamieson.

No shadows here, just a look of getting hit by the pandemic, but determined somehow, yet disappointed and clueless what to do like a little puppy that’s still waiting for its treat and strokes. Mixed view here, left open for interpretation.

The NY Times article is titled as “Pret A Manger Will Try Anything to Survive”

Yet, what exactly is Pret doing? Anything? How is Pret turning a deadly virus into opportunity?

Sacking 3000+ people is one opportunity where Pret does anything to survive, while owners JAB in tax-haven Luxembourg via second richest secretive German family Reimann, sit on billions. Sure, they lost a few billions as well. A recent German article in the Handelsblatt dishes out the numbers.

Some more numbers in bullet points:

  • Pret A Manger front-line employee under £10 per hour, below the Living Wage, not paid for sickness the first 2-3 days depending on age and length of service no matter if having a GP sick-note.
  • JAB/Reimann 2019 worth estimated 25€ billion.
  • 2018 Pret’s annual turnover £710 million which steadily increased into 2020 before lock-down.
  • JAB/Reimann donate $11 million (~ £9.5m) to charity over Nazi past.
  • JAB/Reimann pay former CEO Clive Schlee £30 million on BONUS upon acquisition of Pret. And here it’s clear where their priorities lie. £10m in “repairs” to Jewish charity versus £30m for ONE man alone in Bonus! Well, Pret is doing ANYTHING to survive.
  • etc. etc.

.

Link to Daily Mail article.

The “few” millions Pret loses and the billions JAB loses hardly crack any teeth in their unsatisfied, hungry jaws! They can EASILY afford to keep their workers and INVEST by doing ANYTHING they can to “survive”.

Yet, Pret will not only survive, Pret will thrive again. And in order to thrive and keep accumulating millions and billions, Pret needs to cut at the bottom and “sacrifice” those who already lose everything anyway.

Hardly is JAB/Reimann nor Pret struggling. Pret even was one of THE FIRST companies to try and cut hours of low-wage workers back in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. What was so vile was that Pret announced the cuts a day after starting the NHS coffee freebie and 50% food rebate to NHS workers to divert away from the cuts. Pret used NHS staff two-fold, PR of course and as a smoke screen to hide how Pret really treat their own employees DURING a pandemic, let alone in general. And this was pre-lockdown and at the start of the pandemic becoming obvious to us all. I also write about this extensively in “To NHS Employees” after I was contacted by Pret employees with the news of Pano Christou’s email to all shops about the cuts. I then immediately tweeted to the press and all hell broke loose resulting in Pret to revert the cut decision for a while until the big job cuts were announced in July 2020 after I was leaked a video by a Pret staff … and so it keeps continuing with doing “anything” to survive.

Link to Tweet by an NHS worker.

Pret has also been one of THE FIRST businesses to open shops DURING lock-down and was THE ONLY business open at Stansted airport in July 2020 when ALL food outlets (apart from Boots and WH Smiths) remained closed.

Pret open at Stansted July 2020

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Another clever strategy Pret seems to be using is to close 6 more shops now (October 2020) after the 30 shops they closed already. Now laying off 400 more employees (400 staff of 6 shops?). This puts pressure on the Tränendrüse of loyal customers who feel extra sorry for Pret now. Yet, many fail to see the strategy behind this. Pret CAN afford to stay open! Pret CAN afford to keep people employed! And mark my words (today 17. October 2020) that in a short while Pret WILL OPEN shops again. It takes just a few days for Pret to set-up a new shop! Even on Twitter the Job-center is advertising for new Barista etc. opportunities in Pret. Closing 6 shops is nothing for Pret. They will open in a heartbeat when grass has grown over this drama of pushing on the tears of customers’ purses.

Pre-pandemic, the average low-wage worker earned £8.65 an hour. If the shops did well with Mystery Shoppers, they earned an extra £1 but all still BELOW the Living Wage.

Now Pret has cut jobs, hours, benefits, bonus and even paid break. I’m sure Pano has lost count on his millions sitting in his bank account, being busy putting people out of jobs, some of whom will lose everything.

Pret always prides itself to pay a little more than the competition with the brainwashing psychology and their slogan of: “Pay people what you can afford, not what you can get away with”. And yet, Pret fails to mention that 1. staff have to work DOUBLE for it and 2. it takes YEARS to get a pay-rise in Pret! It is Pret luring low-wage workers in with a few pennies more from the start of employment, and then they have to labour for years to earn a few more peanuts. Staff chase that carrot just to be left high and dry. The backbreaking work that I have done and witnessed hardworking colleagues, is not worth the peanuts that Pret claims to be what they can afford. By the time a regular Pret worker is ready for promotion or a pay-rise, they are so exhausted and disheartened, they don’t even have the strength to look nor find a new job.

Link to Indeed review. of a Manager.

Staff get so worn out, they stay in Pret for years because they have no strength to move on. I write extensively about the reality of Pret A Manger behind the smiley facade in “Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger” with its systemic bullying culture that Pret top leadership were involved in my own ordeal.

So while former CEO Clive Schlee is in the background as a non-executive Director, quietly being Pano Christou’s mentor, puppy Pano pushes on the Tränendrüse with the help of big newspapers to squeeze even more pity and money out of customers who fail yet again to support the small independent businesses that really suffer to the point of losing their livelihoods.

So, you mainstream journalists from the New York Times, The Guardian and others, keep sucking up to Pret and wipe their crocodile tears. Nothing new under the sun.

God help us if we aren’t screwed enough yet, we love to get screwed some more by multinational private equity leeches.

Just a few of the countless reviews by Pret employees on various sites.

P.S Here’s a visual of Puppy Christou howling on the belly of mainstream media with a shadow and all the pity he needs. DO feel sorry for this puppy, they need money:


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:

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.

Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger

If you have no time to read,
please scroll to all the screenshots further down below.

(And read the comments at the very bottom of this page.)

01 Go back to UK

Review by a Corporate, NYC


This is the REALITY of Pret A Manger behind the facade WORLDWIDE. 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 court-case in November 2020), several injured, multiple warnings ignored etc. Seeking independent investigation into a staff suicide.

 

UPDATE: LAWSUIT filed against Pret in NYC for racism and discrimination (bottom of page).

2019-12-24 FL review NEVER go to Pret

Link (More reviews further below in this blog post)


2018 Chaotic hellhole ambience

A rare complaint from Hong Kong where most people put their heads down and continue under hard conditions:

2020-01-30 Pret staff Hong Kong complaint

Link to Tweet. An online conversion from HKD 45 to British Pound is roughly £4.65 an hour! And Pret didn’t even respond to the Tweet.

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

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.”

Former General 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


UPDATE July 2020

Lawsuit filed on 01. July 2020 against Pret for racism, discrimination, hostile work environment at several shops in New York City.

–> Battle v Pret A Manger & Ramos.

Pret Lawsuit RacismLink


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.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

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)


ARTICLES

Two articles I wrote for the Scottish Left Review:
1. “Late Night Girl” Story with Pret
2. Pushing Back Against Pret

Thank you for reading/listening.


UNRELATED TO PRET – But important

> My call-in to BBC radio show of Dotun Adebayo early morning on Christmas Day 2019. The subject of the show was »What does “Christmas spirit” mean to you?«. One of the questions was, if more people are alone at Christmas than it used to be, and what people’s experience is with Christmas in general. As I was up, I just called in. I didn’t speak about Pret, as death and grief is already “heavy” as it is on Christmas Day and I don’t think a BBC radio program would be ready to hear about Pret! I kept it “light” I hope.

(My losses happened in a span of 3 years, not 5 years, I just spoke from looking back on 5 years.)


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

 

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices. Best viewed on Wifi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be pause

 

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.

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

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

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By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

Full article from July 2020 on LondonNewsOnline.co.uk

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Virus outbreak closes Pret A Manger in Norwich

Link to Article

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

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

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

Link

»Unsafe against COVID«

Link

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

Link

etc. etc. etc.

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

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Anger Management Classes for Bereaved People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Client: Who lost his young son and other bereavement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dear XXXXX,

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

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

Below is my summary of her suggestions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best wishes,

Devil’s Advocate

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

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

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

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

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

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

My email, Quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of email.

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


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

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8 Steps to Avoid Sexual Assault

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

Just found on Twitter:

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Link

Pret A Manger Staff don’t look Happy

… because they ARE NOT happy!

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Marked in yellow:

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

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

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

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

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Quote on the top left under “Outstanding Card”:

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

No 😦

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pret wants perfect products, but within seconds!

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

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

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

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

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

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Quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

and

Link

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

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

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

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

And then you read comments like this:

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

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

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Former Pret A Manger staff Tweet

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret’s Pano Christou – Rags to Riches Story

Let’s see.

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

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

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

Pret’s career path is super complex.

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

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

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

NEXT Level:

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

NEXT Level:

Team Leader (either Kitchen Leader or Floor Leader)

NEXT Level:

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

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

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

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Link

NEXT

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

#1 Team Member

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

#3 Team Leader

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

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A GM review, quote:

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

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Link

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

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Link

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

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

Link

etc. etc. etc. etc. ………

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

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

“Lovingly” handmade … (… and brainwashed)

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger also “Stretches” Dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Needless to say, I was never promoted.

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

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

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

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

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SIDENOTE:

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MANAGER review:

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

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

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

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

80 Good Reasons to not kill Yourself

+1 … find your voice.

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

Pret A Manger continues Bullsh!tting Customers

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Madjid Hamla – formerly Pret A Manger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madjid, you lost me the moment you agreed to be the hearing Manager for my grievance against Nick Davis. I have as much “respect” for you as for most Pret executives.

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etc.

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My favourite words of my favourite President on 20. January 2021. Words that will never come out of any Pret A Manger executive’s mouth. And if it does, it’s just Pret A Manger sweet-talk as usual.

I never had a “favourite” President as I am not American, but I lived in the U.S. for 6 years and visited many times before and after … I understand the mentality of this country, learnt the “heart” language and appreciate some of the ups and downs.

And the following words are cold water to a burning soul in low-wage companies that pretend to be ethical and caring. Anyone who finds bullying at work acceptable because it is in low-wage jobs…you are bystanders, indifferent and AS involved as the person/company who bullies. Live is too short to be treated so badly.

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

How a LEADER sounds like who has 0 tolerance on #WorkplaceBullying

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A strong person fights and beats a strong person, or at least beats a person that appears strong, loud, obnoxious …

But it takes a weak person to beat a vulnerable person.

Yes, President Biden’s words come after 4 years of insults by a guy who should have never been President. But that’s what democracy is, it allows room for mistakes, room for conversation, for disagreement. Unfortunately it takes a lot of loss all around, but the U.S. comes out on top sooner than many wars the world has been through. Same in Europe, it needs clear words.

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Researching Joe Biden’s story, the words of his family, his colleagues, people who met him … they keep saying that he doesn’t tolerate bullies.

Biden isn’t and won’t be perfect, but clear words and consistency is needed more than ever now.

President Biden on Inauguration Day 20. January 2021 to his new team:

»If you ever work with me, and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot! On the spot!«

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Link

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I hope President Biden’s age won’t be in his way to serve out 4 years + and God forbid any attempt to take him out will fail. Could this really be a presidency that lasts for a moment? Just a moment?

Surely after the worst came the best.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

The Legacy of Pret A Manger

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Organic Coffins – Natural Fools

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I know my website, experience, outspokenness etc. is too much for this generation of “journalists” who copy’n’paste.

I haven’t hidden my writings under my bed like Emily Dickinson did, and after she died they went for it!

Those who copy will have their 15 minutes of fame and then be gone. That’s the beauty of it!

My agenda is to expose Pret A Manger, that they have never been the “ethical” and caring company they portray to the public.

My website is not for the 280-character Twitter generation.

My website is for those who care and struggle under millionaires who suck every drop out of less-than-£10-an-hour workers.

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Free coffees – the best marketing.

The £1000 for all staff.

What else is the legacy of Pret?

Two customers dead. Several injured.
The suicide of an Assistant Manager.
Pret’s “natural” claim that went down the drains, but most still don’t know about.
I was targeted and bullied during bereavement in the worst time of my life.

Keep going Pret, you’re doing well when it comes to numbers, money and such…

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Former CEO, current non-executive director Clive Schlee’s legacy

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Current CEO Pano Christou

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The following slides are a testimony of a front-line shop employee who worked to exhaustion for minimum wage.

And while having worked for minimum wage I lost my brother, and then I became an inconvenience for a company like Pret A Manger.

But courage has “rage” in it, and my rage has been worth it.

So, you “investigative” journalists, you “friends”, stay safe and take care.

“Video” killed the Pret A Manger.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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