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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

.

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.

Wage Theft in Pret A Manger

.

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

Link

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

… and many more.

.

Pret A Manger settles its second WAGE THEFT lawsuit

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

Link to article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  • Link


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following Unions are best for food workers:

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

THE OLD pret a MANger AND THE SEA

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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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.

Until Pret changes its exploitative working practices

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

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Link

Link

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

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Link

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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


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

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UPDATE: 08.06.2021

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

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

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People in ENGLAND:

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

Link to Guardian article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download, fill in & send to GP by 23.06.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again,

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

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

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

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

Yahoo article:

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

Keir Starmer & McDowning Street

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Link to The Independent article 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Pano Christou Pret Index

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

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

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

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

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

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You’ve heard it here first.

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

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

That’s it.

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Open Letter to Kate Brunner QC

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

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Dear Kate Brunner QC,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiring according to personality rather than skill can be fatal!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EDIT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of quote.

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

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

ZERO! NOTHING! NADA! NULL!

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

AllergicLiving.com article

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

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

From YouTube at about 0:20

Pret went full steam ahead doing business as usual!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

Part of the interview from November 2018:

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

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

Ranvir Singh: “Immediately when?”

Clare Clough: “Following the inquest.”

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

Clare Clough even goes on to say:

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Tweet from 2018

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

Mislabelling: Vegetarians and Vegans Eat Meat at Pret

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

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

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

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

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

»Worked Into the Ground without Empathy at Pret«

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Roberto Rodriguez – Pret A Manger Allergen Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

»But food safety expert Dr Belinda Stuart-Moonlight told jurors Mr Rodriguez was fully trained and had acted outside of Pret A Manger’s allergen procedures.«

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

“Fully” trained?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Roberto Rodriguez,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Will INDEED Try Anything to Survive

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Link

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

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UPDATE 05.06.2021

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

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

Now, why has Pret not offered this to all the customers who have the subscription and complained that NO shop makes the iced coffees for them?

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

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Link to Tweet

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

Link

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

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

UPDATE 15.06.2021 a NEW lie Pret dishes out now:

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

    Pret sold 16,500 subscriptions on the FIRST day of the launch back in September 2020! That’s £330,000 in the first day without even having to deliver a product! That’s JUST the sign-up cash flow without serving a drink. Do a rough calculation of further sales and multiply this by 4oz! You get the idea.

    Also, when products or packaging disappear for a few weeks, they always return smaller under the “improved recipe” lie. I wrote a post on Pret’s “supplier issue” excuse when Pret had no chocolate powder in shops for several weeks. One social media person accidentally spilled the truth once after colleagues kept giving the “supplier” issue: The Pret A Manger Hot Chocolate Saga
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  • Cutting staff, overworking them, long queues for customers. Cutting hours, benefits, bonus etc. exploiting low-wage staff even more than they already did pre-Pandemic. This in turn endangers customers again with continuing to

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


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

Link to article

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Link

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

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

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

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etc. etc. etc.

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

And please support small independent businesses.

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Food is NOT Fresh!

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

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

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

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The following blog posts are important to read:

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

End of quote.

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

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

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UPDATE: 07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

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

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Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

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Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

Link

Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

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Link

Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

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Link

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Stale bread:

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Some of many staff reviews:

Link


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

Link

etc. etc. etc.

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

How to Chase 3 Multimillionaire CEOs off Twitter

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

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


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

You need the following:

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

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

1. The Clown Who Came From McDonald’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 2020:

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

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

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

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

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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.