The Great Pret-ender (Genius of the Crowd)


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

Usually clowns are there to make people laugh, but some clowns are having a laugh on the account of those who make these clowns great wealth under poverty wages.

Best example of patronizing hard-working people:


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



PAMSU Clive Alienate Staff






2018-10-13 Clive Schlee Clown Tweet



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


I am very aware that “our” staff work their butts off for nothing while being bullied, exploited and my job is to smile, be approachable for PR and to sound like I appreciate them. With a smile and sweet-talk I exploit them and received £30 Million from the JAB purchase. Thank you hard-working slaves. I am very conscious about how hard you work, I certainly celebrate with my fellow slave masters in Dubai, Las Vegas, Austria, New York … Thank you. Keep working and being fooled by my slogans. 


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

Anyone seeing the cynicism, disrespect and patronizing approach here?

“how cheerful and motivated when buttering the bread”. 


Uhm, hello? Mr. Schlee, are you ok?


Brutal Nightmare


2018-07-06 Head Office PR crop2


2018-11-01 Go back to UK


Just three of the many Pret staff reviews and complaints collected.


Here is an outcome, a quick reaction leading to a PRETENSE that I am particularly proud of having been part of:


BEST views ever 29May2018

I sent a link to my blog here in the late evening of 28th May 2018 to an Operations Manager (OPs) via Facebook. This OPs I know cannot keep a secret. I’ve sent a link before to some Pret employees, but these employees have integrity, are empathetic, and probably thought to protect me they won’t send my website on to Pret’s leadership. I never asked anyone to send on, as I want people to decide themselves what to do with all the info I write.

But on 28th of May I was fed up to be writing without Pret being aware of it. So, I sent a link to this OPs who cannot keep a secret! 😀

And when I woke up on 29th May 2018 and checked my website’s statistics, the number of visitors and clicks were already through the roof even before 8am! My stats went from a few visitors and clicks on most days to a three digit number over night! I could even see LIVE as the numbers increased click by click!

I now have lots of visitors every day, even when “shadow banned” on Twitter and Facebook, but the 29th of May is still the most visited day so far, to this day (17.02.2019)!

Now, hands up if you believe in coincidence? I don’t! I know how fast Pret reacts to quickly counter any bad press and the fear of being exposed. The shiny PR[et] facade needs a quick polish!

Check the date (and time!) of this Tweet by Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee:


2018-05-29 £1000 Announcement



And team members went on Twitter even in October asking where the money is! Staff have been told if they go on social media with critical Tweets, they will receive a disciplinary and are threatened with their job security.


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


My tweet here is hidden as Pret let’s Twitter shadow ban my account where I expose Pret.


1000 announcement still waiting 2018-10-02b



This is just one of many examples of the pretense of Pret A Manger. But I’m delighted to be rattling the cage enough for Pret to be a little more generous, even if just for pretense.


Thinking about my ordeal in Pret A Manger and the pretense of this company that has almost cost me my life, a poem by Charles Bukowski comes to mind, on how the majority of “average” people really don’t care, and in fact dangerously are harmful. Indifference and selfishness is the biggest problem I believe. One of my favourite musicians, Whitey put Bukowski’s poem into a simple but brilliant piece of music, read by Charles Bukowski himself:




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.



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

©2017 – Present:,, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.



A Chink in the Armour of a Firm


or as I call it a crack in the PR(et) facade!


With plenty of press on Pret now this one I’d like to put my salt on in-between some sentences of this article:

“It’s difficult to say when, but at some point over the last ten years Pret A Manger became ubiquitous.”

It’s very easy to say when, it was indeed 10 years ago when Bridgepoint bought Pret and set the target of opening shops at 15% per year. I can still feel it in my bones and mental health how we were driven while staff were cut to increase profit and a 7 times return for Bridgepoint’s investment and £30 million for CEO Clive Schlee.


“Pret’s coffee is organic, its sandwiches are handmade, its marketing is self-aware and it wants you to know that doing the right thing is “what makes Pret, Pret”.”

Handmade by human machines while “doing the right thing” ignoring numerous warnings from customers regarding allergen and labelling, bullying staff to the point of suicide including bereaved staff. It what makes Pret, Pret.


“There’s never a shortage of “avo” at Pret.”

And never a shortage of complaints how hard the avos are. I only copied this complaint as an example how Pret is kissing butt while a customer offends shop staff with the C-word. But there were many complaints on hard avo. Amazing also how some people’s days are “ruined” while others lose a child and a mother to Pret products. Poor pepo!





“The people at Pret are always happy, so happy that they might give you a free sandwich if they like you”

So happy. 🙂


“In fact, the staff at Pret are so happy that in 2013, the chain was accused of using “emotional labour” tactics – monitoring staff to ensure they retain a cheerful demeanour – on its own workforce.”

Correct. Staff are being bullied, ordered into the office when the Mystery Shopper, or as I call them the Misery Shopper, commented that the server didn’t smile. A good telling off in the office with plenty of fear management and fear for job security. Then the staff is send out and ordered to smile! Even during illness having a cold and during bereavement!


2014-12-01 MS cough

Mystery Shopper comment: “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.”


The worst telling off I experienced was when a line manager, who himself never smiled, held a sermon in the kitchen with us team and said that smiling is part of the uniform! He then finished his speech and said that if anyone wants to say anything to say it ‘now’, then and there, or otherwise we shouldn’t come to him later. I lifted my hand and mentioned that I rather want to tell him something in private as I didn’t want to confront him in front of my team as I was their team leader wanting to lead by example not embarrassing the boss in front of them. But he maintained to speak up now and that later would be no opportunity.

So, I did. I said, “So-and-so, you never smile! (when serving customers)” … At least he changed a bit, but I certainly did not make friends saying this. Neither did I care.


“…the list of “behaviours” staff must exhibit reportedly contains over 50 items.”

Correct. A list of brainwashing that some staff threw into the bin.


“Pret ran into trouble earlier this year, when the Advertising Standards Authority took issue with two ads the company had run in 2016. Pret was found to have been “misleading” in its claims that products were “good natural food”. Whilst this didn’t grab headlines, it was a chink in the armour of a firm that’s clean and ethical image has been a source of its success.”

I appreciate the writer pointing out this being the “image”. It used to be quite dirty in Pret with pest problems that turned Pret into Pret A Mice until an EHO closed a shop and Pret only RE-acted, whereas before ignored staff’s and internal pest control people’s concerns.


“It was an early caution, perhaps, to the crisis that has engulfed the firm in the last two weeks where two of its customers were believed to have died after allergic reactions to is products.”

Plus one assistant manager who died by suicide last year that is known of within Pret and my repeated approach to confront Pret internally on this when I still worked in Pret, and now publicly, as I almost ended my life as well during my ordeal in Pret.


“It follows the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who passed away in 2016 after eating a Pret baguette that did not have any allergen labelling on its packaging.”

Not only on the packaging, but the fatal Sesame Natasha died of was missing on the fridge label of the “lovingly made” PR(et) baguette that Natasha and her dad read …


No Sesame on Label

(Sesame info missing)


… while each product that is given to charities for the homeless and people in need is being labeled with allergen info since years:


2018-10-20 Pret charity labels2

(Products with allergen labels for charity)



“Her father accused the chain of a “complete dereliction of duty””

… as well as being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, and rightly so.


All in all you just got another crack in the wall




“Pret CEO Schlee said that the chain would “ensure meaningful change”, and will start “trialling full ingredient labelling, including allergens, on product packaging” from November.”

Trialling from November. Starbucks closed 8000 stores in the U.S. After their incidence with racial issues, training their staff. ACTION is the best PR! But Pret is going full steam ahead doing business as usual, trialling…….! A death, let alone TWO the public knows about doesn’t mean anything to this sweet-talking company. If that doesn’t tell people something of the reality behind the “doing the right thing ” with even the arrogant slogan that Pret’s HR has of “doing the right thing naturally”, then I rest my case!


Right Thing Naturally


“’We cannot begin to comprehend the pain the family have felt, and the grief they will continue to feel,’ said Schlee.”

He certainly took two years to “begin” to realize that he can’t begin to imagine and finally wrote to Natasha’s family!


“Was Pret too late to act? It is not legally required for stores to put allergy labels on food made on site, but the warning signs were there. According to the Times, Pret “ignored” nine cases of allergic incidents related to sesame, including six related to its “artisan baguettes”.”

More than nine!


“The lawyer for the Ednan-Laperouse family told a West London court that there was a “clear concern being repeatedly raised that artisan baguettes were causing sesame seed allergy problems, which were not properly responded to by Pret”. Pret’s compliance director said the firm responded appropriately to each individual complaint at the time.”

The Director of Risk-taking and Complacency did not respond properly.


“Schlee, who is reportedly set to pocket a £30m windfall when the JAB sale goes through, didn’t write to the bereaved relatives personally until this August, the family claims. Not a good look for a brand that trades on an image of wholesomeness and honesty.”

Anyone in business who claims honesty should always get a closer look!


“Despite being undoubtedly the biggest crisis in its history, no one expects the burgundy star to vanish from the high streets anytime soon. Its ruthless expansion under private investment is widely expected to continue stateside thanks to JAB’s experience in the American market (JAB also own Douwe Egberts coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts).”

Yes, that’s true, they will not vanish and I appreciate it being coined as “ruthless” expansion. They will just go through a year of a little nose-dive in profits and will re-emerge with more bull-crap PR. But I lived long enough to know that when people are lucky enough to be on their death-bed and able to look back on their lives and “achievements”, I don’t want to be in their skin.


“If the chain loses its avocado-driven charm, no number of free coffees will pep it up.”

That’s true, but also the time is coming when even Pret workers will start standing up with Unions and demand respectful treatment, apart from the poor wages and the brainwash they’re subjected under.




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

©2017 – 2018, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement vs Pret’s Modern Slavery Practices





I shouldn’t be surprised nor appalled at Pret’s statement regarding Modern Slavery, and this may be concentrating more on their suppliers and farmers etc. while ignoring Modern Slavery on their doorstep in shops. Pret does what they often do, spilling the beans on something that is happening while white-washing it either in small-print or out loud through PR.

After the second customer dying due to allergy, and taking a deeper look again, I leave this without any more comments, just to say that Pret does what they do well, getting caught before getting caught.

“Good jobs for good people”, the beautiful PR(et) facade needs more fixing.


Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement

Quote from the Introduction on page 3:

“…  we remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate modern slavery if and when identified in our business and supply chains. We know there’s a lot to do and we will continue to make our journey transparent, sharing our successes as well as the challenges we encounter along the way.”


We know there’s a lot to do?


Rephrased: “We have modern slavery in Pret, but we work on it once we get caught. We stay quiet until it becomes public.”

Like the kid with the chocolate stained fingers behind his back from the cookie jar saying to his mum who hasn’t even noticed the missing cookies yet, “It wasn’t me, mum. I don’t know where the cookies are.


I’m happy to help Pret with the “transparency” part of their statement and operations: Pret’s Staff Modern Slavery Statements and how it looks behind the facade.


NEW Slave’s company (18. Oct. 2018)

Modern Day Slavery (2nd Oct. 2018)

Workers are slave (June 2017)

Slave-like environment (Oct. 2017)

Felt Like A Slave (Nov. 2014)

Quoting further from this which appears when clicking on “Show More”, quoting including the ALL CAPS:


Advice to Management

Fix Your Attitude care about your employees dont over do the staff be reasonable be fair try everybody equally and so on such a bad experience.”


Slavery hasn’t been abolished (Oct. 2017)

Leaders treat you like a slave (May 2018)

For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans. (Dec. 2017)


A full review from June 2018 without the term “slave” or “slavery” but with very clear words on the subject:


“0 respect for employees
Too much stress, let’s face it pret, you’re a sandwich shop
Not that good wages anymore, everyone around you is raising the hourly wages, 10p is not enough
Communication sucks
Crazy standards impossible to follow
0 motivation for staff, if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore
Employees are the blood of the company, not customers, not ingredients, not the shops, TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!!

Rethink your whole policies, they sucks, get down from that high horse you’re on


PLUS scrolling down in the comments to Branzinotito’s comment:

Horrible Company Pret



On Andrej’s Pret Union video more comments:

logic 2000: “… pret is pure exploitation of foreign workers modern day slavery. systematic abuse disguised as productivity target.”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments1a


… and further …


Saif Khan: Pret exploits and abuse their employees. ..thats true fact…I can say after working 5 years there..”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments4


etc. etc.


PLUS comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of Pret staff complaints and selected quotes from the list.


I added comments in the PDF document with more extensive thoughts on some points.





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

©2017 – 2018, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


The Question if I filed a Court Claim against Pret A Manger





The more people learn about my story with Pret the more the question comes up if I went to court against Pret.

Yes I did. But I withdrew.

If you are a new reader to my ordeal with Pret A Manger, you will be confused and overwhelmed as my story is very complex and long. Those who have been following since the beginning when I started to publish on my blog in May 2018 have a good picture on what I went through.

This will eventually turn into a chronological book of events.

But to briefly answer the repeated and valid question if I sued Pret or if not, then why not, which I was just asked today again on Facebook, I decided to write this in a blog and just link to it.

When I was dismissed after being bullied, manipulated, gaslighted, held low, lied to by Pret’s toxic HR department, and continuously patronized by Pret’s CEO, Clive Schlee, who is not willing to label products for allergen information but was willing to label me his “late night girl” after the ordeal I went through… when I was dismissed three days after Christmas 2017 with my dad in intensive care just woken out of a coma, I filed a Tribunal claim as soon as I was able to in February 2018 as you have 3 months minus 1 day to file a claim.

In the meantime I was flying back and forth again between London and Germany to be with my dad (who was in hospital since 10.11.2017) as best I could on his bed side and then later in rehab. In the middle of all this I started to prepare for the Tribunal claim which would have happened in September 2018 with the first preliminary hearing in April 2018.

But I had no legal aid as I cannot afford lawyer fees. I scrapped all legal information together as best as I could, going from Citizen Advise Bureau to other free legal advisors to online researching back and forth, while also flying back and forth between London and my father’s bed side.


For people in the USA to understand, the legal system in the UK or in Europe in general is very different to the USA. Since 2015 on and off I contacted various law firms including pro-Bono, no-win no-fee firms, I even had a lawyer for a while who advised me for free. But I had to find out later again that he only wanted to make a quick buck by settling with Pret and get his 30%+ fee from the settlement. He didn’t really advise me properly anyway and even gave me some false advise at times which I later found out when I continued to do my “homework” researching online. I rejected four settlement offers from Pret, three while still working in Pret, and the fourth one via negotiating with the ACAS conciliator while withdrawing the Tribunal claim I raised and then closed. I dropped the “charitable” lawyer as soon as I found he was just looking for fast money himself.

In the USA lawyers would line up like vultures wanting to sue Pret on my behalf as the compensation can be ridiculously huge. In the UK the compensation would have maybe be maximum £10.000, maybe even more and mostly around £8000.

One former assistant manager who became homeless after being unfairly dismissed from Pret has gotten under £10K.


Pret A Marley shot the Sheriff


But 33% for the lawyer is peanuts for them to go all the way through with days and days of preliminary and then the main hearings. The free lawyer I had for a while also kept saying to me that it takes months before the hearings take place. In the UK they don’t bother for this “little” amount, while the Millions that can be won in the USA has lawyers drooling for cases like mine.

My father then died in March this year, and again I found myself crumbled under the weight of what life has thrown at me since I learned of my brother’s death in January 2015 (but he died in December 2014) and all I went through in Pret. Autopilot kicked in again, but I couldn’t cope anymore. Enough is enough. I want to die, but I want to live. I need a break.


1971-07-14 WK PK2 crop

WK 1939 – 2018


I withdrew my claim against Pret as my father died in the middle of preparing for the court case with scraps of legal advise I stumbled through, and my mental health taking another nose dive beyond basement level. But I did my homework and asked the Tribunal for the right to file a second claim later should I decide to file again. And I was granted this request.

If I will raise a second claim or if the time limit will be over, I don’t want to talk about.

But this is the reason why I withdrew my case, as it is so complex which involved the heart of Pret, the CEO, HQ, Head of HR, a Development Manager who was used to gaslight me etc. etc. etc. Unwillingly and unprecedented I poked into the heart of Pret, and for me to go all the way through to court without a lawyer going all the way with me would be suicide, as I cannot handle even small stress mentally at this time.

So, lucky for Pret I withdrew, but lucky for me I didn’t sign my rights away for peanuts. And even if Pret had offered me a huge amount, I don’t prostitute my values nor sign my rights away for life. So, I published now.


What happened to Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and her family has utterly devastated and shaken me. I wrote it before I have learned of her death, that having worked in Pret is my biggest regret in life. And now having learned of her tragedy, I am deeply ashamed to have ever given my time, effort and skill to this company, and having tried to improve work conditions from within while extremely traumatized myself. A company’s facade that does not care for people’s lives and health will get more and more cracks in time, with a glimpse behind the scenes of their carelessness.




My heart and prayers go out to Natasha’s family and friends; her brother Alex, her mum and dad Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse.


I hope in time more people will come forward, especially on the issue of suicide in Pret as well as work conditions, bullying and customer injuries. On work conditions this former employee was the first to go public, I am the second and in time I hope more will follow. And I hope Natasha’s family pursue Pret in court as they have the finances for legal aid and the public behind them now with many warnings Pret ignored.

Thank you for reading and please open your eyes to Pret and take a closer look behind the facade, as indeed take a closer look at ANY company or organization that looks too good to be true in this profit driven society today.

If you don’t take anything away from my publications, ask yourself if anyone can really smile and be “happy” for 8+ hours DAILY in an intensely high stressed work environment out of true “happiness” or if there is anything else behind this!


And my question to Pret A Manger remains: If an assistant manager died by suicide in 2017, I almost did as well after my turmoil at work, and now Natasha’s death in 2016 is revealed, HOW MANY MORE people died and/or suffered hospitalization, depression, mental health issues, physical and mental injuries in relation to Pret.


2018-09-16 Re Emily to Pret

Link to Tweet


The only way I cope is to write, and to write creatively of my ordeal. I said it to Pret while I still worked there that it is a mistake to mistreat someone who suffered loss and is a writer, as that person has nothing to lose anymore. And as Madeleine Peyroux wrote so poignantly in her song “Don’t Pick A Fight With A Poet”, Pret in their arrogance and feeling invincible, #toobigtofail, again did not heed yet another warning.


Some blog entries that give a good glance behind the shiny PR(et) facade:

Selected “Quotes of the Day” from substantial, but not exhaustive list of Pret Staff Complaints.

How I became a late night girl as “labelled” by Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee.

Pret A Mask

An Open Letter to the Director HR.

And finally, I take the sentence back at the end of this “video” that Pret has a good heart. I take that back. The good heart in Pret is the hard-working teams I had the privilege to look after. But I leave this “video” as a reminder and a sore in Pret’s sight of my passion, care and love for people, having tried to improve work conditions while myself being traumatized and mistreated by the top leadership of Pret, leaders in HR and HQ!




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



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

©2017 – Present:,,, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Jonathan Perkins – Pret’s Director of Risk-Taking & Complacency



When I wrote the first sentence that Natasha isn’t the only fatality in Pret, I did not know that a second customer, Celia Marsh had died in December 2017. I did ask Pret on 30.09.2018 how many more there are and included it here on the 30th, but with the other fatality I meant a suicide of staff I keep confronting Pret about.



Blog Entry:


Natasha’s death is not the only fatality in Pret.

Pret’s Director of Risk & Compliance, or more appropriately, Risk-Taking & Complacency, having known of 9 complaints regarding sesame in products, especially the Artisan Baguette BEFORE Natasha died from it.

…walking ahead, strolling on the pavement in this VIDEO casually with his hands in his pockets as if nothing ever happened. Maybe the lady to the right behind him “ventriloquized” for him to take his hands out of his pockets for the cameras, as he briefly looked to his right, and then repositioning himself moving out of view of the camera. Nothing to worry about, because Clive Schlee does what he does best, sweet-talking Pret out of every mess! This one as well?! Certainly very impressive performance two years after Natasha’s death!

I find it also interesting that the CEO’s senior staff and lawyers stood far off on the other side of the street instead of close behind him, covering his back while he faces the public via the press. If Clive Schlee decided or was advised to face the press alone, while Mr. Perkins and legal advisors coward behind him out of view of the camera, with him later also walking alone through the mine field of the press, only he knows. But it shows what I experienced in Pret for 10 years, there is no “one for all and all for one” principle in Pret, the “family” illusion that Clive Schlee loves to portrait has always annoyed me, as the reality is Pret being a brutal and dishonest profit driven company, or a very dysfunctional family at best, breaking down as the mask is falling and the public starts to see the true face.


Jonathan Perkins gave a very poor response in the inquest which not only has many people perplex but angry:

Quote from this news report: “I accept that a number of individuals have had a negative experience, even a tragic experience, but thousands of customers and allergy sufferers shop with us safely.”

He might as well have said: ‘…a number of individuals have had a negative experience, even a tragic experience, but thousands of customers and allergy sufferers balance on the rope of potential allergic reactions without falling off‘.

Let’s just blame the law and the shops, shall we, and disgracefully Natasha herself? If you as the reader is blaming Natasha and her family, please go away from my website, buy yourself a coffee in Pret and stay lulled in from the PR(et) facade! Just click my website away, I don’t want your audience! I am not writing for you!


Perkins completely disregards a person’s death AND 9 previous complaints (with 1 also almost fatal) to thousands of customers who mingle their way through the dangers of allergic reactions due to lack of labeling! The lack of labeling is still happening TODAY (29.09.2018) as a friend just wrote to me having visited Pret on the weekend checking the labels.

Perkins further says after being asked what he has learned from Natasha’s death: “The father in me would want to change everything. I would give anything for this not to have happened. We try to do our best for our customers, but humans are fallible. Despite our best efforts and intentions we will get things wrong.”



Right Thing Naturally



This response not only angers many people including me, but it shows the core of Pret’s repeated negligence, and in my opinion plain arrogance in how they deal with many issues, not even putting on the brakes regarding life and death issues. For one, he had to admit due to Pret’s complaint logs, that he knew of the 9 previous complaints before Natasha died, but NOTHING was done! The father in him would want to change everything?? He missed a minimum of 9 opportunities to change EVERYTHING! And to excuse a death and negligence with just being human and fallible is outrageous and sickening, especially since Pret expects perfection from their shop staff and penalize employees easily for the smallest mistakes, mainly blaming downwards!! I survived being penalized and bullied even during traumatic bereavement.

Jonathan Perkins walking with his hands in his pockets, not taking responsibility, not resigning but hiding behind Clive Schlee from the camera’s view speaks volumes of Pret’s core values of “doing the right thing naturally”.

“It’s what makes Pret, Pret”!





Heartbroken for Natasha and her family!


The self-assured and patronizing response from Clive Schlee, CEO to an open letter in 2015 will also shed enough light behind the shiny PR(et) facade that gets more and more cracks by the public exposure of the fact that people, customers as well as staff, get hurt physically and mentally:


2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2



2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

Link to Tweet



For him as the CEO to personally reply was supposed to impress Alicia? Well, it didn’t!

Last sentence in his response, quote: “Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?”

Yes, RESIGN Clive Schlee!!



2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Former IT Analyst’s employment review



Maybe Pret can learn from London’s Royal Festival Hall café. I used to chuckle when I ordered a coffee before a concert when I saw this sign of a “Honey NUT Tart” visibly loaded with nuts and the price tag saying: “Contains Nuts”! I thought it funny and made this photo, but now I don’t laugh anymore! Apologies to all allergy sufferers! The RAH’s diligence makes sense now! And this photo I made as far back as 2013 or 2014.


2014-07-21 Contains Nuts RFH



Heartbroken for Natasha’s family, who like all people who have lost loved ones due to neglect in unnecessary and avoidable deaths, say that they hope Natasha’s death will lead to change and save lives.

I join that hope, but I also hope that the top leadership of Pret resign or get dismissed and prosecuted, mainly because of the high and unattainable standards they expect of their staff, while themselves hiding behind a facade and their millions and hurting people. I myself have given Pret the benefit of the doubt one too many times while I was bullied, gaslighted, manipulated and ultimately dismissed during bereavement with my dad in intensive care, just out of a coma.

Pret does NOT care for people nor the health of customers and staff alike until caught publicly. The time has to come that the top leadership are called out to take responsibility away from the sweet-talking slogans they are so effectively known for.

To quote only part of one staff review (Clicking on “Show More” to see full review):
“I want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE!” I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.

That makes two voices already… And since news of Natasha’s death broke, more positive reviews seem to appear in support of Schlee and Pret. It doesn’t matter how many rally around the CEO and the company, a person died, others were hospitalized and suffered scary reactions to products.

How many more have died that we don’t know about if Natasha’s death that happened in 2016 just comes to light now? How many died of food allergies or staff by suicide that is under the carpet?


2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide



Nothing further to say, hey!

That’s not for today… I’ve made my statement”

When is the day, Clive Schlee, when, with you being “deeply” sorry for Natasha’s death two YEARS after she died because this is public now? When is the day?



Dear Clive Schlee,

could you please stop the PR(et) machine, put on the brakes and truly live up to your slogans to do “meaningful” change? Could you please bring real change for customers’ lives as well as for staff?

Your demands and slogans towards staff to “go the extra mile”, “strive for perfection”, and the most ridiculous of all, Pret “doing the right thing naturally” will always come back to haunt you. I know neither staff nor yourself can live up to micro-managing and fear managing slogans you have had in place for too long. Changing those would be a good start.

You calling me your “late light girl” two months before I was dismissed while my dad just came out of his coma in intensive care, knowing how I suffered during bereavement under your and HR’s leadership, or the lack thereof (!), almost losing my life as well, staff suffering… and you still do business as usual!

You are no “undercover boss” who is oblivious on what’s going on in your company, you are present in Pret like no other CEO. You are very very aware of what is happening inside and outside of Pret. There is no excuse of the suffering of PEOPLE, of customers and staff alike.

Unless you truly change the slogans, the labeling and other health & safety issues, including mental health & safety not just “on paper”, starting by having enough staff on the shop floor instead of cutting labour to increase your millions, as well as having real and more than adequate training in place… until you truly live what you preach this will keep happening and the crack in your PR(et) facade will widen.

Please step out of the shoes of the likes of McDonald’s, Amazon & Co.

Pret is still small and intimate enough to make a real change that wouldn’t be just “meaningful” but life-saving as well as enhancing physical and mental health!

Please heed. Please change direction, sir, or resign and make way for a CEO who would truly care for all people’s lives (customer and staff alike), for their physical and mental health.


Your Late Night Girl!


P.S. And dear Pret, could you please NOT task anyone to contact me, as a former team leader colleague of mine whom I used to highly respect, until I learned of his lies, called and then texted me two days ago, whereas in over three years I haven’t heard from him and him having lied in an investigation hearing that I raised because I was bullied by our then line manager. I immediately asked him to not contact me again and go back to Pret to which he replied that he contacted me “by mistake”. Of course, he did! Please, you should know by now, especially after gaslighting me via this person, that I won’t fall for your toxic and corrupt HR department’s tricks anymore. Thank you!


Selected Quotes of Pret Staff Complaints.

Comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of Staff Complaints.



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.

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

©2017 – 2018, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Pret Quotes of the Month – September 2018


Depression pexels-photo-246804



Key words in the quotes:

“GET REALISTIC and stop punishing your hard working teams.

Calm down and take a step back – proper communication is key, over-reacting doesn’t help anyone nor does assigning blame before even fixing a problem.

The manager is so rude. They treat their employees as slaves. It would be good if they educate their staff to treat workers (fair, well, good, better?), they are aggressive and badly educated.

… not worth if you have a manager who shouts at you every five minutes.

Managers are very bossy and unprofessional, a bit of exploiting. Be honest and kind.

Attitude of the manager towards the employees. No understanding to empathy.” …


Yep, no understanding to empathy. I survived being bullied during bereavement which was already immensely traumatic how I lost my brother. I was then manipulated, gaslighted, exploited and taken advantage of in my work and aim to better work conditions. To top it, I was then fired while my dad just came out of his coma in intensive care, still hooked on the breathing machine and tubes. I was dismissed two onths after Clive Schlee, CEO labeled me his “late night girl” (late night emails to Pret, friends, counselors out of trauma often drunk) further stepping on my dignity.

I wrote it somewhere else already that Pret with their shiny facade and well oiled PR(et) machine can meet me in the middle of their sugar coated look. Pret can do the PR and I do the ET. They do Public Relations and I Establish Truth with the quotes of the Review websites, YouTube etc. and my own traumatic experience.



2018-09-01 Do not apply




2018-09-05 Calm down



2018-09-10 Aggressive


2018-09-10 Aggressive2



2018-09-14 Exploit



2018-09-21 Managers Attitude



Collected Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites, YouTube, Twitter etc.


Selected Quotes from the Staff Complaints list.



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

©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Quote of the Day #59 – Pret A Anger


2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet2



2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet3


2nd July 2018 Leader Tweet NOTE: This tweet is visible but not the initial Tweet from Pret’s CEO, except when I am logged in to my Twitter as many of my tweets are “shadow banned” (Please google shadow banning – secret censorship).


Quote of the day:


“!!!! … !!!!! … !!!!!!!! … !!!”


— and —


“…go work with fever 40 degree because nobody can cover me as leader made me undervalued I was very depressed !!!!the management give to me a lot pressure complaints about because I was calling sick I asked help but nobody help me out to change shop… I have infection of my livers because expired dates food is not been checked properly dates nobody following standards… I’m surrendered because I chose health and my mental well-being…”


Translating this very common problem in Pret:

She is overworked, not appreciated, over pressured and can’t even take off sick because there is no leader to cover her. Management is either swamped themselves or don’t care as both situations I have experienced time and time again and many others complain about in what I compiled onto one page from different Employment Review websites and YouTube.

There is no time to do one of the most important things, which is to check for any items that went out of date. I have experienced this countless times, I did the date checks, then my boss came to work and started having a go at me for why I haven’t done anther job… If you do the other job, the boss has a go at you for why you didn’t do the date check! So, after a long time of bullshit like this, I prioritized with what the most important health and safety issue is and this was my argument when I was rebuked again.I said this many times, even while working in Pret when my colleagues were frustrated about the harsh leadership, I likened what Pret is doing with the metaphor of binding the feet of the employees and then demand for them to run! No matter which direction you stumbled, it was always wrong!

There is no proper training, no proper leadership, standards are low and this Team Leader is trying her utmost best to keep up standards and try to work as best under the circumstances. She finally decided to “surrender” (give up, quit) by tweeting this, maybe leaving Pret, maybe she was placed in a better shop so she won’t openly complain anymore.

One hint of this trend throughout the company is in this staff review, of cutting staff to maximize profits, but then the health and safety of staff and customers are compromised. Quote, “Either stop cutting hours or stop giving teams a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete.”

My experience with the bullying during my loss and trauma in 2015 came to its peak, which I describe extensively in another blog entry about how I was bullied and gaslighted which I named Pret A Manipulate. I was one of those Team Leaders as well, like this Leader in the Tweet here, who took my job very serious. In the shop where my ordeal was the most painful and scariest, there were no morning date checks done, only evening checks. So, when an item was found out of date, the evening Leader was penalized even though the standard was to do a morning date check, but that standard was not followed. I always stressed this to my Leader colleagues to do the morning date checks, and not just tick off the box in the daily date check list lying that the checks were done. They always said that there was no time, and I stressed again that we need to find the time as this is one of the most crucial tasks for health and safety reasons.

One evening I did miss to take out 1 (ONE!) Lemon Cheese Cake that would expire by the end of that day. I saw it in my evening checks that I did hours before closing time. I even circled it on the date check sheet for me to remember to later take it off the fridge and waste it, so it won’t be on the shelf the next day out of date. I even remembered that I checked again when we closed the shop at closing time, but I didn’t see it anymore. I assumed we sold it and I was delighted not to have to waste food and money, as this is a more expensive item to waste.

But the area manager who targeted me for months for little things did one of her checks the next day, which was my day off (interesting she did the check on my day off!) and she found that ONE Lemon Cheese Cake. Long story short, she tried to penalize me, wanting to put me on targets etc. while in reality a colleague of mine left multiple items out of date in the fridges and was known for his poor working conduct by all colleagues. At one point he left about 40 – 50 items that were out of date in the fridges in ONE night, which I then found on my next morning shift and during the checks couldn’t believe how many items I had to pull off the shelves! Also, as there were no morning date checks, which is standard, but in that shop no-one except me was doing the morning double check, I was still the one she wanted to put on performance targets! I realized very quickly that she was targeting me.

But it backfired on her when I found the 40 – 50 items a few days later, communicating this to her and asking her for a meeting to speak about why I am being treated so harsh for little mistakes while I worked my butt off DURING the darkest time of my life having lost my brother. From then on she tried to get rid of me, shifting me around shops and using other managers to target me further. I realized very quickly that ANYTHING, the smallest thing can be used against a person if someone is out to target them. From this time onward the rota was adjusted to include the standard morning date checks!




This among the many other mistreatment I share on my blog, made me so paranoid, mentally ill, and I still now suffer from panic attacks. For a regular person who isn’t going through trauma or bereavement this would be already a nightmare to deal with, but I was in the middle of dark grief and had to also be dealing with poor, terrible management like this. I felt like I was stumbling through a war zone in a mine field, being shot at from different sides trying to desperately get out this mess!

I almost ended my life and this is why I write so passionately about my Pret experience, because people become mentally and/or physically unwell at best and suicidal at worst.

In a drunken stupor I write my anger in Tweets and on my blog at times, trying to still come to terms, and I am not proud of it, but I will never ever be silent about what I have been through in the middle of grief and trauma, which was then added by repeated mistreatment, manipulation, gaslighting in Pret A Manger.






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©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Quote of the Day #56 – Pret A Mask


Pret Uniform2

The Pret A Manger Uniform Cupboard.

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


Quote of the Day:

“Forced happiness…management tends to have a patronising approach to employee, and a customer service way that request people to show a “fake” happiness.


I got in trouble when I didn’t smile at times after the Mystery Shopper mentioned my lack of smile. What the “Misery” Shopper didn’t know (and probably didn’t care about anyway) was that I just buried my brother and my managers had no mercy on me.

But even before that, I had a cold once and coughed while serving customers, and the Misery Shopper wrote this report after which my then line manager had me in the office, giving me a good telling off.

Side note, Pret staff are not paid sick leave unless they have a sick note from 1 week sickness onward, the first 2 days are not paid *cough*:




Magnifying the small print (or press ctrl & + until you can read the comment, to decrease size again ctrl & – ).

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

Amazing observation. I also wasn’t cheerful enough to smile when my brother died AND Pret A Manger bullied me during bereavement. What now dear Misery Shopper?!



2018-08-30 #56 Forced Fake Happiness

Review from a former Assistant Manager, London Nov. 2017


One GM would hold a meeting in the kitchen and tell us team to leave our problems at home and that our smile is part of our uniform (while he never smiled during customer service).



” This job can annihilate every piece of humanity inside of you. … you are required to have the widest fake smile on earth, highly pitched voice and again be as fast as possible, its all a race. … You will loose everything that makes you human.”


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


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


“Minimum salary for everyday smiling … We have to be smiling a being polite to a bunch of unpolite people.”


“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.” Former IT Analyst reviewing Head Office, Dec. 2017



FAKE happiness; FORCED happiness; FAKE smile; Pret-ense; EMOTIONAL labour; SMILE while sick; SMILE while bereaved; NO MERCY, smile for the millions that Pret’s CEO is pocketing and the thousands upon thousands of £$€ the top leadership reap in bonuses.

@Pret, it’s your turn to smile and keep your PR(et) machine working!


Selected “Quotes of the Day” taken from the complied list of Staff Complaints to highlight the common thread of the problem in all of Pret in different countries and cities.

Substantial list of Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites, YouTube, Twitter etc.




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

©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Pret A Manipulation


Or the art of gaslighting someone.

I wasn’t manipulated to think that I was insane, I was manipulated to think that I was not bullied, that there was no conspiracy against me and that they cared, only wanting to help. I was spied upon and used for personal advancement in psychological studies. And I am glad I kept all the text messages and emails regarding this. With hindsight so much makes sense now.

mask man-1461448_960_720

What happened?

I worked in Pret A Manger for almost 10 years. After 7 years in a Team Leader position front of house, my brother died in December 2014, but I learned of his death 5 weeks later in January 2015. The shock and trauma I entered into I cannot even describe and have just touched upon on other blog entries, but I pretty quickly went into autopilot. After all the errands, flying back and forth between London and Germany for funeral, family and investigating what has happened, I had no choice but to continue to work. I lost my savings due to the travels, bills, errands etc. and tried to juggle work with coming to terms. In hindsight I should have taken an immediate 6 months sabbatical plus rest holidays and unpaid leave. But I couldn’t afford to take off that long without income, and I did not expect not only to get no support at work, but that I would be bullied in the middle of this nightmare!

In hindsight looking at the events and the writings (work emails and my file I later applied for) my trouble really started after I approached HR in May 2015. Between January and May 2015 after the travel back and forth I was put on mostly late shifts for 5 months with few exceptions. This meant I was home by close to 10pm which isolated me from vital support from friends who were off in the evenings while I worked, and who worked in the mornings while I was off. In the first few weeks I didn’t mind and didn’t even notice because I was in a cloud of shock and grief. I couldn’t sleep before 4 or 5am anyway being tortured from trying to make sense of what happened.

But after weeks of late shifts and few occasions where I met with friends for dinner or a concert, some friends were talking about a movie they saw which I wanted to see from the trailer I saw a while ago. I said to my friends to let me know next time they go to a film because I may want to join. One friend said to me, “I don’t even call you anymore because you’re always working.” This hit me, because I realized then how many late shifts I was on but didn’t even notice at first because I was like in a trance of grief, going to work and home on autopilot. I was a different person, like a zombie…

After some struggle with my line manager who refused to give me rotating shifts so I can be with friends, I asked for a transferal to another branch and was moved to a different area. As the move happened I also asked for an informal appointment with HR not to complain or raise a grievance, even though I had reasons to, but just to make suggestions and bring points on how to support bereaved employees. Little did I know that by doing so I put a target on my back. Only now do I understand why so few people approach HR as Prince William points out after some research they have done.



Would I approach HR now after what I’ve been through? Yes absolutely, I would. But never ever alone again and always having someone take notes for me. In my informal approaching HR (2 HR people at the meeting plus 1 area manager) in May 2015 one HR person took notes on a laptop, but when I applied for my file I also asked for these notes but was told that they got “lost”. These notes would have proven that I was not offered any support as the People Business Partner (PBP), who was present at the meeting, later alleged. So yes, I would approach HR informally again and again to make suggestions, but never ever alone anymore, and not without having my own notes taken.

I will try and squeeze the first 6+ months of my turmoil in few sentences, but in a nutshell one particular area manager who was the boss of my immediate line manager at the new shop really had an eye on me, targeting me by using several managers against me. This area manager was under the guidance of the HR People Business Partner I met in the May 2015 meeting as I would learn months later after having applied for my file reading all their emails about me.

My line manager would rebuke me constantly, especially in group emails that he used to communicate with us leaders. Another situation was where I was moved to a shop to help with other leaders who were sent there to fix a situation that went completely out of control in that shop and new leadership was implemented. The interim manager constantly threatened us new leaders with our job security (and would later label me, in an email to the main area manager who targeted me, a “drama queen” after I told her about my turmoil having lost my brother and that her harshness on top of it wasn’t helping). I was sent back and forth between different shops as this particular area manager tried to get rid of me after her targeting me for small mistakes didn’t work.

I was excluded in leader’s meetings, openly rebuked in group emails and in team briefs until I finally had a breakdown which also was partly because it was 2 days before the first anniversary of my brother’s death. I completely collapsed in a nervous breakdown. Later in my file I read where this same PBP who was involved since my May 2015 informal approach of HR, wrote to the area manager advising her that she should not deal with this formally “yet” (with my breakdown where I broke down and cried hysterically in the team brief after being rebuked again by my boss in front of the team). In other words he advised for her to slow down because as he wrote that “this time it is no doubt a difficult time for her”, meaning that my brother’s first anniversary was two days away and I was distraught already as it was. But I could not believe my eyes! He advised her to not deal with me formally “yet” as I had “no doubt” a difficult time at this time! As if all the time before I had a jolly good laugh! I could not believe what I was reading and went from shock to shock!

This PBP also responded to an email I sent to the main HR email address that I want this time to raise a grievance myself (as the first grievance was raised by an HR advisor who heard my side of the story after first only knowing the bullying area manager’s version), this PBP just replied by writing very superficially, “I’m sorry you had a breakdown…” some bla bla and then sent me back to the area manager who was the catalyst for my turmoil, unbeknown to me under the direction of this PBP. In the email he never asked me what happened or why I had a breakdown, if I am okay etc. Nothing! Just this two-faced sentence “I’m sorry you had a breakdown.” I could not get out of this Twilight Zone situation.

This and other of his emails was a clear sign how involved this HR People Business Partner was. And it makes sense, as he is a BUSINESS Partner. It’s all about business! They are not concerned about people, about the staff, no matter what they go through. The grievance I raised against him, based on this and other emails I read months later in my file, was of course a joke as they just substantiated a little thing. This PBP stood outside when the HR advisor walked me out of the grievance hearing that I raised against him, and he winked over to the HR advisor while I walked next to her.

I had to learn my lesson hard that one does not have any chance with a corrupt and toxic HR department, and this one in particular that conducts hearings which a Tribunal Judge called “fundamentally flawed”. But at the time I was like in a pitch dark room, stumbling my way around trying to find the light switch, asking those for help who were the problem in the first place! They had a laugh all the way through.




To try and keep it short to come to the “gaslight” situation, I finally involved the CEO after having tried for almost a year to speak with my bosses and HR about the treatment I experienced. Only then some support started, but I was continuously placed under manipulative and bullying management. I was also made to doubt my experience and the situation was even turned around at times and later in the grievance hearings. In one appeal’s hearing the hearing manager asked me what my definition of bullying is! I couldn’t believe it. They tried to make me doubt that I was bullied! And it worked somewhat. I ended up even apologizing for my breakdown and can only shake my head now! I was made to be the “villain” not the victim. It was incredible, I even apologized many times to my bosses, to HR, to colleagues, and yet it was THEM who did the wrong and needed to apologize to me. I was just completely in a Twilight Zone, lost in a fog of trauma and grief.

I raised several grievances in the course of different months not fully understanding how systemic this bad management in Pret is. I was moved again to another shop in which the mistreatment took on a different “mask”. At first the manager was shouting like most manager are, I resisted this and even became so unwell that I ended up on sick leave for 3 months where I then had my first massive panic attack! After returning to work the manager changed tactics. He hardly gave me more than 35 hours a week even though I asked many times, while several colleagues worked 60 or even 70 hour weeks who didn’t want to work so many hours.

Or on another occasion he asked me if I can stay a few hours longer to cover for someone who called sick, to which I agreed as I needed more working hours, which he knew how desperate I was for more hours, having lost all my savings. And just before I was to start the extra hours he changed his mind. There was a strong sense of control and manipulation from this manager which I couldn’t put my finger on at first, but always felt uncomfortable while blaming my own traumatic loss and grief. Now in hindsight I can see so many situations where he was controlling, manipulative and discriminating. This is the same line manager who would tell me that he didn’t want the area (his manager colleagues in the area) to feel sorry for him anymore, because I was moved to his shop. Some of my colleagues found that he was controlling and unfair, and in a grievance I raised against him in the end, the witnesses I stated were not interviewed by the hearing manager, as she was under the direction of HR. It was systemic and never ever stopped, no matter what shop I was in.

I started to email Pret, friends, therapists, everyone. I entered into an emailing “cramp” for a period of time that turned into ill and out of control emailing. Only in 2017 it dawned on me why I may have entered into this crazy behaviour, which worsened after I started to drink when I received my file that had many emails about and against me.

I received the news of my brother’s death via a concise and business-like email; my line manager would rebuke me via group emails; my file that I applied for contained many negative and accusing emails about me… and in a weird way the affect it had that I did not reply to my brother’s last email to me about 5 weeks before he died, subconsciously my mind just wanted to email him back. It’s a screwed up complexity our minds can enter into when traumatized. But these email occasions catapulted me into an emailing-spree I have slowly recovered from. I write about this extensively on this entry.

I received a warning by the Head of HR, which would have been appropriate, but was unfair because my line manager was being kept informed about my emailing and I even told him twice in frustration that I am doing these crazy emailing, but the first time he only replied, “Yeah, but I don’t judge you” and just walked off. The second time he said, “Yeah, but I don’t want to put my nose in it.” He was having a laugh! How can my boss not be bothered with craziness of one of his team members, especially a leader that I was?! My boss didn’t care, even laughed about it while the Head of HR was warning me. Later the CEO would even call me his “late night girl” (late night emails) introducing me to the Director of HR! Discrimination and laughs, my emailing was a source of fun for them. It became clear that the Head of HR wanted to get rid of me but was worried this would backfire as I was mistreated on several occasions.

I became suicidal, went from therapist to therapist, to Suicide Support charities, to A&E mental health liaison team, back to my GP, back to the community, back to craziness, anxiety and continued mistreatment which by then was more subtle in controlling and holding me low at work. It was one big mess under the watchful eye of HR.

The final thing they did was the most disrespectful thing that they have done and that I have ever experienced, they used a Development Manager (DM) from HQ to give me a disciplinary. What was so unbelievable in this was that this DM supposedly lost her brother in a very similar way I have lost mine. I still don’t know if that story is true as she turned out to have been quite manipulative and dishonest. A Psychologist doing an assessment with me while I still worked in Pret said that she was “abusive”. This is where the gaslight situation really kicks in and how ingrained abusive and manipulative Pret’s approach is.

In the disciplinary hearing she already told me about her brother briefly when the HR advisor left the room to get the notes printed out. In hindsight that was planned so that I take the disciplinary well, which I did, I even embraced it! She even spoke a little further about her brother when the HR advisor has returned back to the room. She gave me the disciplinary for my emailing (electronic communication), but she then entered into unallowed (officially!) personal contact with me the very next day. Not only that, but our communication was solely via electronic means via text message and some emailing! Never a phone call, never a meeting. She initially wanted to meet up to interview me for an essay she was writing for her university studies. She was studying to be a Psychotherapist and wanted to write an essay on anger. As I was very angry due to that and how my brother died, the unanswered questions, how I was bullied on top of it. My bereavement was about 90% just anger which reflected in the emails that they had a laugh about. But I declined to participate in her essay project as I didn’t know her, and so the meeting didn’t take place.

I was ecstatic about this “coincidence” and felt hope that there is someone who knows what I am going through. I was so gobsmacked, yet blind to their plan. I was amazed and hopeful that there was a person in THIS city, in THIS company, in THIS room who had the SAME loss??? Our brothers died 2 months apart from each other in their flats and lay there for days before they were found??? Really??? Mine did, I know that, but if her story is true, I am now not so sure anymore.


The contact became quickly very confusing for several reasons. Little things like after she gave me her personal phone number while I also had her professional work phone number from the disciplinary letter. But her professional phone had on its Whatsapp avatar a painting her brother did (if he existed!), but her personal phone’s avatar on Whatsapp had no picture whatsoever! A very personal picture regarding her brother on her WORK phone, while on her private phone, nothing! Not even a picture of a tree or a flower like some people have, nothing! That always puzzled me but I kept forgetting to ask her about this.

Then she was always so secretive, didn’t want me to talk to others that we spoke, which later I understood because as the hearing manager for the disciplinary she wasn’t allowed to be in contact with me, but of course HR was aware as this was their plan! She was later even excused for this when I raised this when I was fired. But I was so dumb that I assumed Pret was supporting me via her as she understood this common grief. But I always said to her that it wasn’t fair that they used her. I later explained that true care would have been that HR could have gotten us in contact OUTSIDE the disciplinary and let another hearing manager do the hearing. But them using her, and worse even, for her to allow them to step on her and my dignity like this, the only word I can find for this is: perverse. But at the time while still in a fog of confusion, in reality I should have immediately stood up and smelled the rat, but I was so blind, still in Trauma, still fighting this subtle control from my boss… etc.

And the greatest confusion and where the abuse and manipulation gets into full gear was that she played three roles in one:

1 – Professionally she was the hearing manager giving me the disciplinary (used by HR), especially since she is not an HR personnel but a Development Manager training people!

2 – Personally we shared our brothers’ fate, so it was like a friendship. We went from complete stranger one day in the disciplinary hearing to very personal contact the next day!

3 – Psychologically because she is also a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. And this is true because I found her on the National Hypnotherapy Society website which is the governing body over her. She displayed elements of therapy and also wanted my input for a paper she wrote for university as she was also studying to become a Psychotherapist. She was writing an essay on Anger and wanted my input straight in the beginning of our contact, but I declined as I didn’t know her well.

So, it was a complete mix-up of roles which confused and frustrated me further and restarted my emailing again. She befriended me, getting personal information, abusing my trust where she even “demanded” trust in the beginning. I held back on a lot of things, but opened up on other things which aren’t that important, but still it was personal information. She would ask me subtle personal questions which puzzled me at times, in hindsight she was fishing for information to pass on to HR as well as use it for her studies. Some info they then used to fire me, while excusing her conduct. I am glad I kept all the written correspondence. It was also confusing in the beginning that she never wanted to talk on the phone and canceled meeting up, everything was done in writing. And I am sure she kept all the correspondence as well, I hope one day she faces the damage and abuse done. I write about her manipulation extensively in another blog entry called “The Double Agent”.

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

I was fired three days after Christmas 2017 while my father was in intensive care just out of a coma.

Because I was so traumatized and out-of-sync I couldn’t see straight, and only with hindsight and distance are so many things crystal clear. I did file a Tribunal claim but withdrew because my father just died and my mental health can’t see through to the end without a lawyer. And yes, I did try to find another job while still working in Pret, but I lost my self-esteem, couldn’t sell myself, everything felt extremely “gloomy” and I was like a “piece of meat” that was whacked constantly. I survived to write about this and will never be silent, no matter what threats, tricks and traps they employ. I rejected yet another settlement agreement of peanuts that would have also hindered me to go to court against the Development Manager. I rejected all 4 settlement offers, not only because the amount was so offensively small, but because I don’t sign my rights away, no matter how high the amount.

In a mix of pain, anger and sarcasm I wrote about this “encounter” in Monkey Business.

It is needless to say that Hypnotherapy and NLP wouldn’t be desired therapy forms for me. All the NLP practitioners in Pret that I know, I have come to know as dishonest people. I don’t know what it is with NLP, but it seems to have great potential to manipulate people if these tools are used wrongly.

So, in hindsight ALL the managers, HQ people, HR work systemic to only advance business. It is never about people, it is always about money. Anyone who becomes inconvenient, especially in bereavement and approaching HR to make suggestions for improvement.

I was sliding from traumatic event to traumatic event for 3 years and my lesson from this is that you absolutely can and must trust your gut. Because of this systemic nature where the majority of people work together like marionettes where a toxic HR department pulls the strings the only way to deal with this kind of toxic work place is indeed to leave if raising issues does not work.

People will always continue to give reviews on Pret like the one below and on the same lines of bullying and discriminating work environment.

I am still recovering. And I will never be silent.

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Substantial list of Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites and YouTube.

Concise list of chosen “Quotes of the Day” taken from the Staff Complaints to highlight the common thread of the problem in all of Pret in different countries and cities.




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©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Quote of the Day #55 – Pret A Exploitation


Zahnrad Machine


Can’t help but appreciating this reviewer having some much needed humour!


“Why you was in the fridge for more than 45 seconds?
If you work in Pret you have to know how to deal with a lot of pressure, they will repeat 10-15 times per hour(I’m not exaggerating) to be faster at all team members, the supervisors ask motivation for everything, either if you are just fixing your pants.”

NOTE: True, this reviewer is not exaggerating, micromanagement, control, pressure non-stop.


Quote of the Day:

“You should probably consider buying industrial machines to make sandwiches instead of focusing on exploitation East-European employees.”


Nothing more to add!


2018-08-26 Comedy

TM from London on 16. Aug. 2018



Substantial list of Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites and YouTube.

Concise list of chosen “Quotes of the Day” taken from the Staff Complaints to highlight the common thread of the problem in all of Pret in different countries and cities.




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

©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Quote of the Day #51 – Pret A Brainwash


… another word for PR(et)





Quote of the Day:

“The company is trying to brainwash you, they expect you to give up your life and be ready for Pret 24/7 … There are a lot of favouritism, which leads to promoting incompetent people to more senior roles. … The management expects you to do the workload of 2 or 3 people, including doing their job sometimes. … It’s not the NASA, just a sandwich shop, where human beings work, not robots.”


Yes, it is just a sandwich shop, but people need to understand that there is a humongous amount of money in bonuses that GMS and OPs and the upper management makes, THAT’S WHY the pressure and forcing staff to work for 3 people. If there is unnecessary pressure and bullying it is a indicator that it is ALWAYS about money and power.


2018-08-16 #48 Pret A Brainwash


Review of an unspecified position and location.


Extensive list of Pret Staff Complaints from different years, locations and positions.



Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

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

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

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




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

©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


The Double Agent




“You can talk to me now.”

Words in an informal moment of around 3 – 5 minutes, while the HR advisor who took the notes, briefly left the room to get the print-outs.

A new Twilight Zone I entered into and the most confusing time of my life, not realizing how calculated this was.

There actually is a person in this city, in this company, in this room who also has lost her brother almost identical, almost the same time and similar circumstances I did??!!

My brother lay dead in his flat for around 6 days before he was found. He lay in front of his apartment door that they had to push his corpse away to get in.

And here was a person in the same company who also lost her brother who lay dead in his flat for days?

Why did they do this to me? Who came up with this?

This is a true account of the painful and degrading way Pret A Manger and its HR department is claiming to be “doing the right thing naturally”.


Right Thing Naturally


I have survived working in a company that bullied me during bereavement and had a laugh while I tried to bring suggestions for improvement.

Yes, how stupid I was. And no I wasn’t. I was traumatized. I am actually known for my “eagle eye” and discernment and not being bull-shitted easily. But in trauma, you lose every sense of common sense! You are gone!

This by far was the meanest and coldest thing Pret has done to me. You absolutely cannot top that! Doing the right thing naturally? It can scare the hell out of you what they are capable of!


Don’t take my word for it, if this is too much for you. I have just survived to publish.


If anyone wants to understand what emotional and mental abuse looks like:


In the disciplinary hearing my (positive) shock was that there actually is a person in this city, in this company, in this room, who also has lost her brother almost identical, almost the same time and similar way I did??!!


I broke.


Not knowing how abusive and calculated this was from Pret’s toxic HR department under their Head of HR and Recruitment.


Here was a person, as in a Development Manager working in HQ for over 15 years, in the same company, who also supposedly lost her brother, laying dead in his flat for days?

Why did they do this to me (and to her if this is true)?

Who came up with this?


It made all sense later, when all crumbled and after I asked myself many times why she had a drawing, her brother (if he existed and if he died) drew as a self-portrait, that she put on her Pret work phone, while not having an avatar picture on her private phone.

A personal picture on a professional phone?

An empty avatar on her personal phone? No picture.


Why did she let them use her tragedy of her lost brother against my tragedy of my lost brother?!


In many of my dark moments, in tears and numb despair I wondered, why did she never have the courage after working there for more than 15 years, knowing all the staff there, to respectfully decline being the hearing manager for my disciplinary? Was it just “survival”? Fear management at its best? What was it?!


But I understand now what it was.


It is an elite of people, who come from a different place, far removed from the “ground” floor, the front-lines of the business. It’s the usual story that repeats itself again and again.

If you like culture, art, movies outside of Hollywood, you may know the 1927 silent movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang.

This film portrays repeated life. The top stomping on the bottom to make their world go around.


Life is like a beating heart, a machine that Pret has mastered with a smile: The top steps on the bottom, who in turn kicks back to the top… pumping blood through a system.


Development Manager, Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, Griever, professional, semi-professional, personal, alien, human… Wearing too many hats, hurts people.

Wearing too many hats, hurts people.

I only wear one hat: The Being-True-To-Myself Hat. It’s a lonely hat, but it will pay out in time.

Double Agents lose double in the end.




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©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.


Abusive Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner At Pret


I received a disciplinary from a Development Manager (Lila Tighilt Warren) in Pret for my mentally ill emailing after the bullying and trauma, the tricks and traps of the HR department in the middle of going through traumatic bereavement already.

I don’t know how I survived.

They put her on my case because she supposedly also had a brother who died similarity to mine. But instead of having a recommendation for her to speak with me outside the disciplinary and let another manager do the disciplinary, they took advantage of her tragedy using her against me in my tragedy, knowing that she may have better access to me, as I was irrational and traumatized from the bullying of several line managers.

The disciplinary would have been valid even, but it became void because she entered into  un-allowed / secret contact with me because of our brothers. But her secrecy and weird communications where she would ask me strange things at times put further stress, confusion and frustration on me. I lashed out at her in a drunken stupor at times because I was confused about her secrecy, not wanting me to tell others that we talked.

The sick and abusive thing in this apart from her using my story for her psychological studies as she was in University at the time to additionally become a Psychotherapist, she gave me a disciplinary for my electronic communication (emailing) but then entered into solely electronic communication with me, mainly text messages and some emailing!

This re-started, and even intensified my emailing again. I was then very mercilessly fired three days after Christmas 2017 and while my father was in hospital, just out of a coma.

I repeat myself here, because new readers will visit the blog and it would take ages to read through everything. Pret’s HR of course rejected my appeal of the dismissal, as even a Tribunal Judged called Pret’s HR hearings as well as appeal’s hearings fundamentally flawed. I still appealed even though I knew it wouldn’t help as I have been through the flawed hearings several times, but I appealed in order to be able to go to court. Without appealing the Judge will reject the case as I didn’t appeal, so it was just an appeal to go through the motions. And I based my appeal on the two main things: The Development Manager being in contact with me, confusing me; and the CEO of Pret just two months before I was dismissed calling me his “late night girl” (late night emails to Pret and others), making light of my ill conduct where I tried so hard to stop. He had a laugh, minimizing the seriousness of it.

So, just as a sore in Pret sight I named my website and blog “Late Night Girl” and speak openly about my trauma in Pret which has almost cost me my life.

I filed a Tribunal claim while going back and forth to visit my dad in hospital, then rehab and later dementia ward, but as I don’t have legal aid or a Union Representative, unlike this lady who was also fired from an NHS service for inappropriate emails but won her case, I knew, even if I would win, I wouldn’t be able to mentally see through to a complex and time consuming court case.

My dad died two-and-half months after I got fired and I became unable to work collapsing under one after another tragedy.

What is so scary and a very poor testament for Pret is, that this Development Manager (DM) also is a Hypnotherapist and an NLP Practitioner and studying to be a Psychotherapist. When looking closer into these, especially NLP, those give tools on how to manipulate people. And in hindsight it makes sense now all the weird questions she asked and she didn’t want to speak on the phone and canceled meeting up, as if she wanted everything in writing. She also wanted to get my input as she was writing an essay on anger for university, which I declined as I didn’t know her well. Later she declined showing me her essay when I was interested in what she wrote with the reason that she wanted to protect her volunteers whom she interviewed.

But first of all I don’t know any of the volunteers, and secondly an essay is not that long, a few pages, she could have quickly blacked out the names. And essays are always written with volunteers’ names being pseudonyms, not their real names. So, what most likely happened was that she wrote about my intense anger for her University essay, despite that I declined to partake in it. So, here I am writing openly about her and what Pret has done to me.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Anne Lamott

I know of three high up managers in Pret, including her, who are NLP Practitioners. I only know those three, but this seems to be a trend in Pret and there must be more.

But these three people, two of which are well educated behaving so dishonest, manipulative and unprofessional.

From the times the DM gave me the disciplinary and immediately entering into contact, to the time I was dismissed were 6 months. When I lashed out at the DM a times I apologized many times and was distressed myself why on earth I had a go at her at times. I know in hindsight that it was because of her confusing roles (Manager giving the sanction / Therapist / Friend due to our brothers).

But after about three months into our contact, she sent me the following screenshot in a text message one morning without any explanation. She must have been reading and studying for University and texted me what she was studying without any explanation whatsoever. She sent this screenshot with some sentences highlighted and with  the words:

“I was reading this and it made me think of you.”


2017-09-01 Script pic


Further confused and plainly angry that she was implying I would “die sad and alone”, and then for her not to further explain why she sent this to me was another reason for further distress in the middle of trauma already. Even in the first assessment with a Psychologist weeks before I got fired, the Psychologist called the DM’s conduct abusive, in the least already because this was a trust relationship, even if we did not enter into a contract for official therapy sessions.

It was abuse of power (Manager giving disciplinary), abuse of trust (like a friend due to our brothers) and abuse of boundaries and for her own gain in therapy studies and for personal advancement (Therapist). She should know better than anyone about boundaries and professionalism. But even my last therapist when he heard the story said that she is not behaving as a therapist should. She crossed boundaries that turned out to be very damaging to me and Pret wanted me to sign a settlement where I also would not be able to go to court against her in the future.

This is Pret “doing the right thing naturally”.

I have filed a complaint with the Hypnotherapy governing body that is over her, but they are also just sweet talking not really wanting to investigate. I have left it at that and can only warn to be cautious regarding Hypnotherapy and NLP and certainly Pret A Manger.

I hope one day she will understand what damage she has done in allowing Pret to use her like this and for her to abuse my vulnerability in trauma. She is not fit to be any type of therapist.

I have no confidence in much of the therapists anymore and certainly in no way Hypnotherapy and NLP which I never trusted in the first place anyway. But her conduct just sealed my mistrust.

Pret has lost more than I have. I just lost a job and will find a new one, no matter what reference they will give me.

But Pret not only has lost a very skilled team leader who has integrity, passion and love for people, I survived and live to tell my story and will never be silent again.

More staff complaints of current and former Pret employees who were smarter than I to leave earlier and not struggle against a toxic and corrupt system.



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.

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

©2017 – 2019, unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.