Pret A Manger does NOT label food in Dubai, Paris

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So, here is to “meaningful” change:

Former CEO Clive Schlee’s address to the press after the September 2018 inquest into Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death:

VIDEO via Twitter

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Clive Schlee further states in an interview repeating about “meaningful change” and blames the law! I “translated” his words here: Crocodile Tears

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It is July 2021 and Pret does NOT label food on the packaging in Dubai and Paris, and probably not anywhere else outside the UK if they don’t have labelling laws. “Natasha’s Law” is coming in October 2021 and yet when a customer dies in Dubai or Paris etc. from unlabelled allergen, Pret will blame the laws in respective countries and also low-wage workers for looking at the SHELF label.

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And Pret passes the buck WITHOUT giving the customer ANY contact details. I bet the Dubai Prets don’t have an own Twitter handle or website like USA has:

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PARIS:

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Pret also continues to MISLABEL food due to chronic under-staffing, overworked staff rush and make dangerous mistakes even in 2021. AN incomplete list, there are more complaints I didn’t add:

Link to: Vegetarians and Vegans 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.

The Pret A Manger Effect

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Sure it’s gone downhill, but this is just now the effect of many years of exploiting staff and treating them like sh!t, as well as ignoring customers’ health and safety.

In hard times, like in this pandemic, the true face of companies is coming to light! What customer see now is what staff suffered through for decades, even long before the Bridgepoint take-over. Pret, that claimed to have “natural” food before being challenged in court and by ASA, already showed their true face when they sold 33% stake to the USA side of McDonald’s back in 2001 to get their foot into the door of the U.S. market. Once in, they divorced their marriage of convenience.

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In 2008 private equity firm Bridgepoint took over and squeezed staff even more. And since 2018, second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns, via in tax-haven Luxembourg based JAB Holdings, took over. Not to mention customer deaths and injuries Pret ignored until it became public.

Just yesterday a customer from Pret DUBAI complained to Pret that they don’t label food in Dubai, most likely because Dubai doesn’t have a food labelling law like the UK will be having from October 2021 onward with “Natasha’s Law”. So far to “we will learn from it [Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death]” and so far to “meaningful change”!

Not to mention that Pret STILL mislabel food, even days ago in July 2021, due to extreme under-staffing shops, forcing low-wage staff to rush and then make dangerous mistakes. More detail in Vegetarians and Vegans eat Meat at Pret. And the lack of cleaning due to low staff and no time or strength left to clean: Rat A Manger and Pret A Mouse.

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What we see now during hard times is a skeleton of a company that was very efficient in portraying an ethical and caring facade to the public and brainwash employees during GOOD and prosperous times. But anyone can do that! But behind that facade has always been a rotten egg that Pret worked very hard to avoid the stench coming out of through the cracks in the facade.

Staff review on Indeed from NY:
»Oh lord. Used to work for Pret a manger years ago, and I told them about the issues back then, and look at them now. … Now, they’re tying to catch up, but it might be very late for it.«

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Facebook.com/preth8ers group.

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So, “charity” and the Pret Foundation Trust and other PR stunts of course serve to try and keep the facade up and polished.

Ok, keep it up Pret! Keep it up!

Here, a lovely Saturday afternoon “film” event with what Pret employees, customers and lawsuits etc. have been showing since years. Get the popcorn out, put the kettle on, or get yourself an ice cold beer or a beautiful glass of wine. A peek behind the shiny PR[et] facade.

»Great Company in Risk of Ruin«

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»Worked into the Ground without Empathy«

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»Advise to Pret Management: Burn in Hell«

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»Pret Annihilates Humanity«

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»The Pret A Manger Love Treatment«

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»Hounded – The Sequel«

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»The Pret A Manger Anthem«

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»Smile for the “Misery” Shopper« (Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper Scheme – 1)

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»Pret Mystery Shopper Report« (Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper Scheme – 2)

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»Pret’s Coffee Subscription (Rip-Off!)«

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»The Endless Pret A Manger Lies«
(Subscription rip-off via the lack of Frappes/Smoothies)

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»Pret Air Maniac« (A Pandemic On The House!)

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»WOWING Pret Customers«

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»Pret A Manger Staff Reviews« (For the Quiet Music Lover)

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Last but not least:

»Why Pret can’t be Distanced to Julian Metcalfe«
(How to chase 3 multi-millionaire business men off Twitter!)

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In memory of all the people, customers and staff, who didn’t survive Pret A Manger.

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

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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.

Short Term Staffing Disruption at Pret A Manger

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Yeah, maybe finally staff are doing what some Burger King staff did and walked out in protest and strike!

Customers flock to Twitter and increasingly raise the issue of shops closed without notice, or with conflicting messages. I explain that there are 3 common possibilities why a shop may be closed, in no particular order, and with links to each issue:

  • Staff issues, lack of staff, staff walk out, staff are at breaking point from the exploitation.
  • Pest issues, mice, rats etc. This will especially get worse when shops continue to be under-staffed and Team Members have no time nor strength left to properly clean.
  • Virus outbreak like the one that had to close in Norwich.

Of course there can also be true technical issues like flooding, electricity black-out etc. But that would then be very clearly visible when the lights go off etc.

And on a “side note”, a list of issues where Pret is ripping off customers:

Pret will INDEED try anything to survive

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UPDATE July 2021:

So, after Pret made 3000+ staff redundant, cut their benefits, bonus and paid breaks (and then asking many again to return for less pay but more work etc., most refuse) Pret continues to exploit staff, mistreat and abuse them and then wonder why they have to close shops. In the meantime, Pret continues to neglect the very shop front-line workers who make Pret happen, by concentrating on digitizing Pret and advancing their marketing stunts.

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

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Maybe Pret staff finally are fed up enough to join a Union and walk out of Pret. Burger King staff certainly have had enough and a Pret customer finds it appropriate for Pret to take heed!

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Just a few of many customers raising issues of Pret shops closed in London, Birmingham etc.

York shop closed due to “unforeseen” circumstances:

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After I gave Brian Lickley some of the above possibilities, he started to ask more seriously later that afternoon:

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A confused customer on Linkedin 15.07.2021 about a Birmingham shop closed without notice:

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Several London shops closed and Pret now gives the staffing reason:

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Instagram today:

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This shop closure in Elephant and Castle looks like a pest issue! If customers are suddenly asked to leave a shop during opening times, especially in the morning, it most certainly is because staff spotted a mouse. The procedure then is to close the shop until there is NO trace of pest like droppings, nibbled on packaging etc.

When I worked at Pret and we spotted pest, we were instructed to lie to customers, and the most common lie is “technical issues”. But I chose not to lie to not get into conflicting messages and I just said to customers that we have to temporarily close due to “internal” issues. This way I didn’t have to lie and give mixed messages to customers while other gave another reason (as can be seen here in this Tweet), and I left it open for interpretation.

More on Pret’s pest issues: Rat A Manger & Pret A Mouse

Here the FULL email again by a Pret shops staff member who contacted me in December 2020, among many other staff, quote:

»Hi, I work for Pret right now and honestly everything you say is 100%. If I didn’t need my job so bad right now I would tell them all to go fuck themselves!

No bonus, unpaid breaks. Everyone is like a workhorse… even a 28 hour contract working 48-60 hours because not enough staff.

People are now just working their 28 hours and leaving, no one stays over anymore the people are waking up!

The exploitation is unreal! Calling people from other shops all over to help! Sweating all day, customers are rude because service is slow.

To make matters worse they add the subscription which states on their website over 18, we have kids coming as young as 8 ordering coffees smoothies and frappes!

Pret don’t care about anyone in this company, everyone is replaceable. It makes me so sick to work for them but at this moment I do not really have a choice!

Keep doing what you do! Fuck them! I really hope they sink In this pandemic! This horrible corporate cog of the biggest scandals wheel.«

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link

May be continued if more complaints come in!

To all Pret and general staff, join a union and leave a review on both Glassdoor AND Indeed, especially in your own language to help your fellow country men and women to make informed decisions.

I adopted the following song as the Pret A Manger Anthem!

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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 Customer Click-bait

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When I started to expose Pret publicly in 2018 it was hardly common knowledge how bad Pret is to staff. Many were shocked, many remained silent, some contacted me privately to inquire etc. The majority of people are silent, either because they truly don’t care, they pretend to ignore my writing or they are clueless in how to respond.

But one thing has grown and keeps growing, the statistics on my blog are through the roof!

And since about a year plus minus, some customers or people start to tweet how impressed they are with staff. This started increasingly to happen after I extensively started writing about Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper scheme, where staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact and giving a freebie almost always guarantees to get a staff member the £100 reward. If staff don’t smile, chat etc., if they don’t have time to clean etc., the whole shop lose the Mystery Shopper bonus and get fear managed.

Staff are brainwashed and bullied to present a happy facade. And since I’m exposing this publicly in great detail, many people are shocked of course, but some people start the click-bait tactic, where they give compliments on Twitter regarding cheery Pret staff in hopes I respond. And I do respond, because it’s public and others are reading. And the silent reader often then contacts me privately.

There’s a pattern with these click-bait Tweets:

Many have only few followers like under 10, which is not an issue as I have few followers and am notorious for “kicking” followers off for certain reasons including Guardian and The Times journalists. The amount of followers don’t mean anything to me, but I mention this as there’s a pattern. And of course others have many followers, but the majority I’ve some across as hostile have few followers and Tweets. It’s interesting that they seem similar also in the wording of complimenting a Pret staff with being very cheerful and kind etc.

And Pret staff ARE kind and helpful and most enjoy giving freebies, but they are brainwashed to strive for extra peanuts via Mystery Shopper rewards. I received many Mystery Shopper cash rewards after I smiled, gave freebies, chatted etc. and no-one knew that on my way home I headed for the bridge. Regular readers know my story, I won’t get into it here.

So, when I respond to click-bait Tweets with the reality of why low-wage staff smile and chat so much in extreme stress, due to Mystery Shopper fear management, they respond back with hostility that I’m just a disgruntled or bitter former employee who got fired for not doing my job etc. They start getting vile in that I wasn’t a good employee, bitter etc. etc. They’re wording is very quick to the point as if they know my story, but don’t accept the reality of how Pret is to staff. They also ignore my profile where I state that I declined 4 NDAs from Pret. Or they don’t know what an NDA is. I leave them in their ignorance.

Another common tactic also is that they don’t respond, pretending to not see or care, while in reality they post in order to get a response, not realizing that my response triggers people to contact me and inquire further.

Those who reply with hostility want to discredit people who have made firsthand experience because they can’t handle being fooled by Pret, no matter how much evidence former and current staff bring, in my case the amount of links, news/press articles, customer complaints, staff reviews, and my own story with legal written evidence. It’s a waste of time even responding to them, but it’s important to still respond for the sake of silent readers and the press.

Others are current or former Pret staff pretending to be customers.

But some customers can’t handle that someone is standing up, let alone a female, to a multi-billion “dollar” company while they suck up to a company they so desperately want to believe is either good and kiss up to, or they blatantly don’t care how staff are abused.

The other pattern is, they don’t have many Tweets, and those Tweets they have are mainly complaints to companies where they often don’t even get a reply.

They call me a “sad little life” while when you look at their social media feed, they’re actually describing themselves. There’s no substance to their posts, or at most just complaints to companies that rarely reply. Their compliments about staff seem insincere and just click-bait or seeking attention, or wanting a freebie.

It’s obvious that they posted in hopes that I respond so that they can just rant against me. I explain to them that I always follow click-bait because of silent readers.

Another pattern is that 9 out of 10 times these click-baiters are young and male. Because I state my handle clearly as “late night GIRL” (they don’t know why yet) it is mainly male “customers” or people who quickly become dismissive and hostile, but bring no further argument or depth.

Other times they get their friends together and gang up like schoolyard bullies trying to “impress” the strong kid in the school who actually has the balls to stand up against the main bully.

There are other interesting patterns, but I keep that for my book.

So, dear click-baiter, I will always follow your pretentious compliments and give you the 5 minutes you so desperately crave. But I do that for the silent reader who then contacts me via DM or my contact form in shock about what they read. So, thank you for the click-bait!

And I don’t go into much discussion with these people or explain in detail about Pret, as this would be throwing “pearl before swine”. I always write with the silent reader in mind as well as former and current Pret staff and the press. They know my DMs are always open.

And for anyone who is raising awareness on your own campaigns against be it injustices, toxic workplaces, discrimination etc. don’t give up. It ALWAYS takes YEARS for change to happen. People will call you names, try to discredit you, pretend to not care while in reality they keep writing to you and care but are too scared to out themselves. Keep going, you are making a difference.

And here for any NEW and silent reader who may wonder why Pret staff always smile so much, chat, and give freebies while being underpaid, overworked and many are depressed, some functioning alcoholics: Mystery Shopper fear management.

Staff will never tell a customer how it really is because they are drilled with fear and brainwashed to function under extreme circumstances.

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Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper report:

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Journalist Timothy Noah’s excellent article on Pret’s enforced emotional labour practices: The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger

Pret’s systemic bullying culture witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret

And many more issues I cover, but those who care will know them.

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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“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.

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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»Let this be the start of our revolution
Let this be the day that we take it all back
Let the writing on the wall be our manifesto
Let this be the day we go on the attack«

– The Dead Milkmen

A small collection of press articles, social media posts and staff reviews to an appropriate song:

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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.

There is Hope for the Hospitality Industry!

Evening Standard:

»Chefs demand Michelin-starred restaurants be stripped of their awards if staff are bullied«

“Michelin-starred restaurants should be stripped of their awards if staff are bullied, says Unichef.

The chefs’ union, which advocates for “zero tolerance of abuse in kitchens,” said that allegations of abusive behaviour towards staff was too common within the industry. … The petition comes after reports that Tom Kitchin, who runs the Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchin and gastropub Scran & Scally, was forced to suspend two senior staff over allegations of abusive behaviour towards employees.”

Link to full article.

There is one “argument” I mostly hear on social media when I point out the toxic bullying culture in Pret with links to employment review sites, social media complaints by staff AND customers who witness bullying, and my own story. Many people say, “well, this is in many other places, too, not just Pret”. And thus I am supposed to accept this. Well, no! It’s time things change and for this systemic toxic bullying culture to end and become widely unacceptable. People who give this “argument” really don’t care and care too much about Pret and the happy image Pret portrays. Some cuss me out because I just pulled down their illusions about Pret! Don’t shoot the messenger!

When people give me this argument, I point out that if the #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and many other movements would not have happened, we would be in a greater mess than we’re already in. It was accepted that sexual harassment in Hollywood and in workplaces in general is “normal”. No, it isn’t! Even domestic violence has only been criminalized in the 1990s! Before that, it was none of the neighbours or the police’s business what happened next door!

Of course there will always be crimes, sexual harassment, racism, bullying etc. But this is about pulling it out of the “norm” and into the exception that makes crimes as crimes and unacceptable in society. To learn and re-learn again what is and what is not acceptable! We all agree on certain issues like murder is wrong, period. We need to get to the place where we also believe and know that bullying is wrong. Period.

In fact, workplace bullying should be criminalized. The same with Wage theft!

Of course stripping restaurants of Michelin stars is just a demand and a draft of a first step towards luxury brands, but it can trickle “down” to lower wage and fast-food chains and the hospitality business in general, with different consequences for companies who allow and even promote bullying.

It’s not popular to say this, but I always was bothered with Gordon Ramsey. He made a fortune and became famous for bullying, shouting and humiliating the people who worked with and for him! It’s cool and trendy to tell a colleague to “fuck off” even on Television! How then do we wonder that this is so rampant in the hospitality industry.

It’s an upside down world to reward bullying. Life is too short to be treated like dirt when all you do is work freaking hard to build a life and a dream at best, or just pay your bills at worst, and in many cases for the lowest of the lowest wage! NO! Life is too short!

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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.

This is Judy Garland’s Story on Steroids!

If there ever was a modern-day golden cage, forced emotional labour, bullying, slavery, getting tranquilized, human trafficking, threats, black-mail … right in front of us, it’s Britney Spears!

I usually don’t give “outside issues” a blog post, here, but this is utterly shocking!

I’m not into Britney Spears’s music and often felt her performances were too “technical” and robotic. Now I understand why!!!!!!!!!!!

This is emotional labour and captivity to its extremes, covered up behind a golden cage.

I am horrified of what is unfolding and my respect for Britney Spears went through the roof! I firmly believe she WILL be free soon. Her fans, the media etc. are too strong now for this to just go away into hiding again! It just cannot be going on!

Britney has functioned since childhood on. She has performed, worked, paid everybody and has been a “good girl”. And then she JUST had a breakdown when she shaved her head and hit a paparazzi’s car with her umbrella! Male musicians have done MUCH much worse!

This is just Judy Garland’s story on steroids and the court system is AS corrupt! And it’s 2021! This is about human rights that are violated to its core, and there is too much money involved! And Britney said it best, that those who control her need to go to jail!

Leaked audio of Britney’s testimony last week. God bless whoever dared to record and leak this. You get your voice back, Britney! You are just now getting your voice back! Fuck ’em!

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Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal!

A few years ago I already dissected an article where Pret’s HR Director Andrea Wareham was interviewed. “Pret’s People Management Secrets” from HR Magazine. In this interview Andrea Wareham shares a lot about the typical Pret PR bla bla. But one sentence stands out to me which is typical Pret, but also dangerous.

Quote: »Pret famously recruits for behaviours, “personality rather than skills” as Wareham puts it, and these, she adds, are “relevant in every market”.«

When I worked at Pret it always astounded me how little many shop Managers knew of the job they were hired to do. Those staff members in lower positions who had more knowledge than some shop Managers due to experience and skill, were exploited and the Manager took credit for it.

It often bothered me how the “wrong” people got promoted and those who knew how to do the job where kept low.

In an unlisted video on YouTube (why unlisted?) 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 and have skills, especially since Pano Christou was a Manager at McDonald’s before he joined Pret as an Assistant Manager, there would be NO NEED to stay until 4 o’clock the next morning to know how to do a stock take and other issues!

Pano should have known the job already, or at least picked it up quicker as he had previous Management experience. Unless he kissed his way up, like so many do. In Pret people also get promoted through the bedroom, and then more than few are incapable to do the job and rely on lower ranked staff to do all the hard work!

Pret is famous for their smiley staff, but since I write about it more extensively since 2018 it has become more common knowledge that this smiley culture is driven by weekly Mystery Shoppers. I wrote a few posts about it and made some YouTube slides as my blog is heavily censored on Facebook and Instagram where it is completely blocked. Even private messages are deleted automatically by algorithm when I link to my blog as Pret must have reported me, thus FB, Insta put me on a black list. But YouTube isn’t blocked.

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Journalist Timothy Noah wrote a brilliant article on Pret’s emotional labour (labor in US English) that Pret enforces low-wage employees to perform. “The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger“. I really recommend reading this article! And oh, how I remember the mental agony to have to smile, chat, present a happy facade, just to get a few more peanuts. And even during already traumatic bereavement I was expected to “leave my problems at home and wear a smile like I wear my uniform”! Real words of one of my Managers after we lost bonus for not smiling! Low-wage staff have to act like emotional prostitutes and acrobatic clowns to make Pret look good and as a happy place!

Noah wrote this article in 2013, a year after the first public “scandal” hit Pret when Andrej Stopa was fired for having started a trade union. Noah was one of the first, if not THE first journalist to take a closer look at Pret and write critical about the company when no-one dared to write critically. In fact, most journalists, even to this day write ecstatic positive articles about Pret.

Noah points out what former CEO Clive Schlee said about staff touching each other, quote: »”The first thing I look at,” Chief Executive Clive Schlee told The Telegraph last March, “is whether staff are touching each other . . . I can almost predict sales on body language alone.”«

Pret’s previous Mystery Shopper requirements even was that Pret aims to “attend to EACH customer’s NEEDS” … and aims to “connect with EVERY customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks”. The weekly Mystery Shopper is then tasked to comment on how low-wage staff smile etc. and give points accordingly.

Excerpts of the old Mystery Shopper reports before Pret changed the wording but kept the expectations via Managers:

Since I write extensively about Pret’s Mystery Shopper scheme which has surprised many customers who assumed that staff give freebies out of “random acts of kindness”, while in reality staff are almost guaranteed to receive the £100 reward when giving a freebie to the Mystery Shopper, or the MS at least witnessing this “generosity”!

And Clive Schlee to me served like the Ronald McDonald of Pret. He was the friendly clown that was approachable to customers and staff alike, while in reality putting a rigorous Mystery Shopper scheme in place and manipulating staff with brainwashing slogans, and expecting touch to portray a wholesome and happy company … all to increase sales.

And yet, we all wonder how on earth can TWO customers die in Pret, a third customer narrowly surviving and at least nine more injured due to unlabelled allergen in the food. Pret IGNORED the multiple warnings to label their food, even after customers have died and got injured, Pret kept smiling and went full steam ahead doing business as usual. Pret only started slowly to implement product labelling AFTER customer deaths became public! I worked at Pret when 2 customers died and we weren’t even informed of this. Not even a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling and allergen. Nothing! The emphasis was ALWAYS to drop every task, run on till, smile, serve customers fast and present a happy facade. Personality is more important in Pret than skill!

Link

If you don’t know what you’re doing and just “look” the part, but neglect life saving issues, you shouldn’t be hired or run a business! Smiling and having a bubbly personality is a plus, but without skills it’s useless for the health and safety of staff and customers alike! Clive Schlee, the Ronald McDonald of Pret has proven time and again how clueless he was:

Alicia Turrell deleted her Twitter account, so this link is gone. But to zoom in on what former CEO Clive Schlee responded to an open letter, shows how he lacked skills and knowledge on how to approach the lack of labelling that several customers pointed out, including a lawsuit BEFORE the first customer died.

Schlee’s patronizing, appalling and plain clueless response:

»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«

I am not a fan of Wetherspoons or any food/drink chain at that, and at least their staff have started standing up with Unions. But I heard an interview of founder and CEO Tim Martin recently on Desert Island Discs from 2017. He said something that positively surprised me and maybe because pub business is a different animal from cafe/restaurant business in customer service to some extend, but he mentioned something on how staff present themselves.

Then presenter Kirsty Young asks Martin at around 26 minutes in the interview, quote: »And when you are chatting, as you are doing every week to managers and deputy managers and bar staff, do you ever say to them, “never ever say this to the customer?«

Martin replies: »No. And I also tell them, “you don’t have to smile either”.«

Kirsty Young: »You tell them they DON’T have to smile?«

Martin: »They don’t have to smile, no! We don’t go out of our way to tell them to be nice, because I think that puts too much pressure on people. I think when you go to a pub you get a beer, someone’s natural personality will emerge better if they are not under too much pressure, which of course they are under tremendous pressure anyway. Some of our best bar staff are quite grumpy

I cut out that part from the above program:

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Or in the closing words of Timothy Noah’s superb article on Pret’s emotional labour enforcement: »Now that I know Pret’s slender blonde doesn’t love me, I prefer the human contact at a D.C. lunch counter called C.F. Folks. The food is infinitely better. But I also like that the service is slower, the staff is older and grumpier, and the prevailing emotion is “Get over yourself.” Try touching someone at C.F. Folks, and you just might get slugged.«

Another brilliant article on emotional labour I have listed in “The Dangers of Emotional Labour” is by Sophie McBain “How Emotional Labour Harms us All“.

I say it again, recruiting for (fake or even true) cheerful personality rather than skill can be fatal!

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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.

It Cannot Be What Can Be

It cannot be that a nobody like me exposes a big shot company like Pret A Manger. No, it can’t be. But it is what it is.

The only reason that Pret is still “celebrated” is that there are a lot of bystanders.

That’s the only reason.

Bystanders, followers and enablers who make it happen, that good or bad things happen to people in our democracy.

Mainstream media, the public & Co.

We all look for the greats.

Yet in the words of Emily Dickinson:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Eat your heart out “press”.

Eat your fucking heart out!

https://www.mindmeister.com/1194255218/my-pret-a-manger-ordeal

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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.

Clive Schlee is now prohibited from entering a Pret A Manger establishment

Clive Schlee, 62, was found to be intimidating members of the public and acting in a passive aggressive manner killing at least two customers.

Okay, parody aside, let’s just take a drug addict and make some unnecessary “news”:

https://www.sussexlive.co.uk/news/sussex-news/beggar-banned-pret-manger-brighton-5547461

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Lest we forget!

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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.

It can’t be, no it cannot be

that a low wage female worker can call out a company like Pret A Manger.

No, no, no no no … it cannot be!

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Wage Theft in Pret A Manger

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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.

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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

One very detailed review touches on several issues in Pret, including sick-pay and takes a much closer look than most staff do:

Link to the review which is worth reading in full. But a few highlights, quote:

»Pret seems perfect if you throw it a quick look. Great pay, great food, great team mates, everyone’s so happy and friendly all the time… did you know that we have to? The “perfect Pret” standards state that the Pret employee is happy all the time, never drepressed. Not kidding, it’s printed in our locker. Sometimes it can be challenging maintaining a natural smile on my face for 8 hours straight. …
1. I recently had to call in sick, and it led to 2 days off work. When I logged in online on the website, it showed me someone put two different illnesses for those 2 days, and most oddly, both very wrong. I have already spoken to the managers about it, so how could they have gotten it wrong, as they wrote it down on the form in front of me? Intrigued, I looked into it a bit more (I have also realized, there is no one colleague of mine that bothered going into such depth researching). There is a very small subsection of a subsection on the website that states, in summary, you get paid, as a part-time worker, from the second day of illness, and as a full-time worker, from the third. I am part-time. I should have been paid for my second day. But what did Pret do? They put two different illnesses, so they don’t have to pay me (it counts as the first day of illness, for both days).
I have talked to some colleagues, they never got paid, no matter how long they have been working there for (the little subsection also states that if you’re more than 12 months older in the company, you’ll get wellness pay. For more information, please visit this website – followed by a broken link. That’s a lot of weird coincidences, isn’t it? …
Not everyone is like that though, there are some nice people, who don’t deserve to be associated with what I wrote. I am not discontinuing my contract with them because of these things either (mostly because I just need to make rent). 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.«

Please just read the full review, it’s very well exposed how Pret is cheating.

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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 to review on Indeed


  • 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!

    All the while top leadership and executives squander money on parties and flying to Dubai, Vegas, Paris … for leadership “meetings”.

  • Link

  • 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.

.
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

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

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Link to video on Twitter

Link

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

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Link to full 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.

Pret A Manger: Ready to Cheat – Eat – Repeat

Alright.

Here’s a labeling issue and Pret’s passive aggressiveness!

Remember when you were a kid and your mum or dad caught you doing sh!t?

And they reprimanded you?

And what did you do?

You sulked or threw a fit!

Of course you did!

The following is a fit that Pret A Manger threw and this is verbatim.

I’m sure I missed a thing or two!

And all so very “natural”! If anyone has NOT yet noticed that the word “natural” has disappeared off Pret’s signage and packaging, I explain why here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat

And now: PLEASE READ THE LABEL! I have written it down below:

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Link

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TEXT:

»Has anyone tried the new @Pret Meatless Meatball hot wrap yet? The best part of this was that it’s soy, mushroom, aubergine and courgette free«

No, I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read the label that you posted, and it’s full of repeats.

And wheat!

“Wheat” which is in bold, like someone copied ingredients of the Internet looking for gluten-free ingredients!

Hey Pret A Manger, when, when, when, I repeat, WHEN will you care for others than just for yourselves?

The Ingredients:

Water

Pea Protein

Rapeseed Oil

Roasted Onion

Thyme

Shea Oil

Garlic

Parsley

(so far so good)

THICKENER:

Methyl Celliulose

Dried Onion

Coconut Oil

Pea Fibre

Potato Starch

Salt

Yeast Extract

Flavouring

Caramelised Carrot Concentrate

Dried Potato

Extracts (Beetroot, Raddish, Tomato)

Sunflower Oil

Sugar

Leek Powder

Concentrated Lemon Juice

Bay Leaf

Sage Oil

Kibbled Rye Wrap

(Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin)

The above is verbatim incl. the messed up ( ( )

Water (again)

Malted Rye Flakes

Rapeseed Oil (AGAIN!)

Humectant

Glycerl

Raisin Agents

Diphosphates

Sodium Bicarbonate

Dried Fermented Wheat Flour

Emulsifier

Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids,

Salt (AGAIN!)

Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Wheat Starch; Flour Treatment Agent:L-Cysteine)

Above is verbatim (Again!)

Bell Pepper

Red Onion

Onion

Cherry Tomato

Semi-Dried Red Pepper

Rapeseed Oil (AGAIN!!!)

Muscovado Sugar

Tomato Concentrate

Red Wine Vinegar

Sunflower Oil (AGAIN!)

Chipotle Pepper

Water (AGAIN!)

Palm Oil (Oh sh!t)

Tomato Paste

Wheat Flour (AGAIN Again again aaaagain!!!)

Salt (Ay-Gain!)

Maize Starch

Garlic (AGAIN!)

Sugar (Yeah honey baby, again!)

Concentrated Lemon Juice (Yawn!)

Vinegar (NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!!)

Dried Garlic (We love repeats!)

Dried Herbs (YAY! Bingo! First ime!!!)

Black Pepper (I love black pepper on hot chocolate! Beautiful 🙂 )

THICKENER: Xanthan Gum

Flavouring, Cayenne Pepper, Basil Flavouring, Squatty Potty (I added the last one 😉 )

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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.

Dear George Floyd

I hope this day will be first day of many, many days.

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Screw the moon landing!

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton present. The old guard having lived one small step by step with Dr. Martin Luther King & many others … a small step for a man and a woman, and now a giant leap for mankind? Hopefully! Could this NOT just be a rare conviction and judgement, could this be reality for good?

One down. How many to go? …

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BLM Demo in London June 2020:

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8 Steps to Avoid Sexual Assault

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

Just found on Twitter:

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Link

Pret’s Pano Christou – Rags to Riches Story

Let’s see.

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

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

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

Pret’s career path is super complex.

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

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

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

NEXT Level:

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

NEXT Level:

Team Leader (either Kitchen Leader or Floor Leader)

NEXT Level:

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

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

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

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Link

NEXT

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

#1 Team Member

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

#3 Team Leader

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

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A GM review, quote:

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

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Link

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

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Link

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

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

Link

etc. etc. etc. etc. ………

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

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

“Lovingly” handmade … (… and brainwashed)

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger also “Stretches” Dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Needless to say, I was never promoted.

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

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

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

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

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SIDENOTE:

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MANAGER review:

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

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

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

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

80 Good Reasons to not kill Yourself

+1 … find your voice.

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

If anyone ever claims to have known me

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they knew a shell of me for a little while, but then when my brother died and Pret bullied me, these “friends” dropped me like a hot potato in no time.

If anyone claims to have known me for years, show them the door.

They brag after the fact of my life, experience, condition becoming anyone’s knowledge.

After I die.

They were not there for me, even though they claim they’ve been.

A real friend doesn’t only know my birthday, they are comfortable with my brokenness, my comfort.

But they are too spectacular to nitice “me”

They go to church, they give to charity, but they don’t know how to be there for a person in grieve.

That’s ok.

Stay just where you are.

Don’t move!

Life is short.

Thank y’all for your patience.

And fuck you.

P.

The Pret A Manger Love Treatment

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Video killed the Pret A Manger

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playlist

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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.

Pret’s continued Coffee Subscription Rip-Off

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I wrote already about the YourPretBarista subscription rip-off Pret started in 2020 and the many customer complaints on the excuses why most shops don’t do the free and “endless” (for Pret expensive) frappes and smoothies. Common excuses are: they run out of ice, ice machine broken, smoothie machine broken, no apple juice, the shop doesn’t know it’s included in the subscription etc. etc.

Blog post: Smoothie Operator – The Pret A Manger Lie

UPDATE June 2021: Pret now presents also technical issues when people try to subscribe. But knowing Pret and their tricks, they may have created that problem in case they get slapped by a consumer watchdog about the cancellation and other rip-offs Pret does, so Pret can say “Well, we have technical issues even when customers try to subscribe!” These “new” issues started after many customers complained about the lack of iced drinks or not being able to cancel, not getting their QR code, QR code not being read in stores etc. etc., forcing them to pay for their coffee while having the subscription!

A company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT MANY “technical” issues and for SO LONG (since the subscription started)!!!

The coffee subscription issues continue with daily Tweets and Insta/FB posts on customers either not able to cancel before the new month starts, wrong expiration dates which forces customers to another month of subscription, or even worse they DID cancel in time and they even received a confirmation email that they’ve successfully cancelled, but Pret keeps withdrawing money from people’s bank accounts the following months. Pret doesn’t respond to emails or customers suddenly get cut off when they DO manage to get through on the phone etc. etc. etc. So, people flock to public feeds on social media and only THEN does Pret respond luring them into DM … A news article covered this after I kept RT’ing and posting about the rip-off (below YouTube slide).

Most customers assume this is a one-off glitch only they experience. But few are taking the complaint further, yet no-one seems to contact a consumer watchdog to look into this further. I mainly post Twitter comments as I am heavily censored on Instagram & Facebook which are now under FB. But there are complaints on there as well as on Twitter.

One customer posted a visual of the loop where Pret sends people around in circles and the customer for once is not willing to keep being lured into DM by Pret social media staff.

Quote from the Tweets:

»It’s just a feedback loop! You log in, hit ‘cancel’ then it asks for your email again and then emails you a ‘one time password’. You enter the number, navigate to ‘cancel my subscription’ and it starts all over again«

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Link

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Just a few of the MANY complaints on Twitter, I didn’t even bother to screenshot Facebook and Instagram posts on this:

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Facebook:

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Recent complaint on FB again:

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One recent DM exchange between the Pret social media staff and a customer has me speechless. Pret offers “endless” coffees, even though the limit is 5 per day in 30 minute intervals. There’s already false advertisement. And here Pret is accusing a customer of fraud and after promising “endless” coffee, making an extremely rude statement that crosses boundaries: “double endless coffee isn’t a good idea for anyone”:

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UPDATE July 2021 Pret STILL makes it hard to cancel and continues to take money! No company can have THAT MANY issues for SO LONG! Just a few only from Twitter, I didn’t bother to screenshot any more from Instagram and Facebook:

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… etc. etc. etc. etc. … and many, many, many more with new complaints of being sent in a loop for the One Time Code etc. Some more in below YouTube slide since the subscription started last year.

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News article: Pret a Manger coffee subscription customers hit with £20 fee despite trying to cancel during free trial

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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.


Pret A Manger settles its 2nd WAGE THEFT lawsuit

This is two years ago, but the wage theft in Pret is rampant. I had to chase my money countless times, even my last pay. In the UK workers hardly go to court because the legal system is very different and the rewards very low.

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

Link

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

Link

… and many more.

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Pret A Manger settles its second WAGE THEFT lawsuit

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Link to article

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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.

Can we all get along? – The 1992 LA Riots

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Wednesday 29th April 1992 Los Angeles, I didn’t realize I was about to enter several days in war zone.

Four weeks into a three month trip, me and my 2 friends just moved from Santa Monica beach to Long Beach after having been invited by a family we met in a church. It was a typical American family, with 5 cute kiddies between 5 and 10+. We gladly accepted the invitation and the family was glad to get a crazy bunch of German travelers to stay with them for a few weeks. We stood out like a sore thumb in the church we visited and in the community our hosts lived in. They loved our German accents that we were embarrassed about. And we had fun hearing them pronounce our strange names.

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Santa Monica Beach view from the Motel, March 1992

What was unusual, but I didn’t know how unusual it was, not knowing the U.S. at the time, was that this family’s house was behind a closed up gate and tucked in compared to the neighbouring houses. Most houses had the typical green front yard without a fence and a few bushes. But this house had a large gate and was “locked” in. It would later serve as our refuge.

In hindsight, understanding American communities more later, with this neighbourhood more on the rough side, it was good that they had a closed up front yard where the kids could freely play without wandering off in the area or being targeted by gangs etc. No-one from the outside was able to look into the yard or the house. We had BBQs there with the family’s friends and relatives. The fencing later shielded us white girls from what was about to happen.

A brief experience here I thought worth mentioning was our first hotel straight after arriving from Germany at LAX. A shuttle driver suggested this hotel to us and I recently found out that it doesn’t exist anymore. We stayed near Inglewood in the now iconic Cockatoo Inn, that unbeknown to us was a well known hotel. Unfortunately it was shut down in 1994, just 2 years after we stayed there and remained closed for a few years. Director Quentin Tarantino filmed scenes inside in 1995 of “Jackie Brown” while the hotel was shut. It completely brought me back inside the beautiful bar/restaurant area. The Cockatoo has been demolished around 2004 and was replaced with a chain hotel that completely lost its charm.

Scene inside Cockatoo bar and restaurant

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One evening the event in the bar/restaurant was karaoke and one of my friends had a go. One man was sitting near us pretending to be Eddie Murphy. He told us to repeat after him: “I am Eddie Murphy”. I was the only one who did not repeat! He did look very similar to Murphy, and now in hindsight, maybe it was even him because I learnt recently that this iconic hotel had politicians, actors, even members of the Mafia stay. So, it might have even been Eddie Murphy. A website dedicated to to this hotel keeps its memory alive with former staff and guests posts: CockatooInn.com

CockatooInn.com published part of my story on their site with the photos I submitted. Great way to collect former guests’ experiences of the hotel: Visiting the Cockatoo during the 1992 LA Riots. Thank you for the feature.

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Cockatoo Inn, April 1992

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Cockatoo Inn entrance (the boy is the son of one of my friends)

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Visiting another church, West Angeles Church, we assumed it’s a normal Sunday service where a Caucasian blonde preacher held a sermon in the predominantly black congregation. But I didn’t understand why several serious looking guys in black suits stood to the left and right side on and off stage, which I’ve never seen in any church before. The friend who invited us to this church turned to us and said that if he succeeds, we can say that we saw the president. The blonde “preacher” was Bill Clinton who spoke in this church. We only realized later that this was a political rally rather than a normal Sunday service.

West Angeles Church of God in Christ, March 1992

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Soon after we moved to Long Beach, I started to develop horrendous tooth aches that lasted all night. I took several pain killers that didn’t help. I had tooth aches already while still in Germany, but as they didn’t last, I didn’t pay much attention to it. But this time, the pain increased and persisted. I was given advise where to go for examination. On the 28th April 1992 I took the bus for about one and a half hours to a hospital. Like so many things in a different country, this was new to me, because in Germany we go to the dentist, not to a hospital for dental issues. But I was grateful that we took out travel insurance and were covered.

Another unusual experience was that I had to wait 5 hours before I was seen. But since everything was new, TVs everywhere, I had plenty to watch and new impressions to take in. I got a medical ID card and after the X-ray I was told that a wisdom tooth needed to be pulled. The doctors decided that it would be good to pull all the wisdom teeth while they’d be at it. But I needed to take some antibiotics for a few days before they could pull the teeth. So, I left hospital again, not realizing that I needed to pick up the pills in that very hospital! I went back “home” to Long Beach, assuming I just go to a pharmacy with the prescription, and was again explained by our host that I needed to return to the hospital for the pills.

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So, on Wed. 29.04.1992 I went back with the bus on another 1.5 hour journey to collect the pills from hospital. I waited again, around an hour or so this time in the lobby of the hospital.

I was watching the TV in the large lobby where about another dozen people where waiting and scattered throughout the lobby. Again, intrigued that they showed real court cases which was new to me as well, it was obvious that something important was happening as everybody was glued to the TV that live-streamed a court session. I watched on not knowing what this was about. I kept hearing “…. not guilty” … ” not guilty…” … “not guilty” …

The non-guilty verdicts where of 4 white LA police officers who brutally beat a black man they stopped. A person from his house or balcony was filming it with his camcorder. Now, this was 1991 when the beatings happened, it’s not like today where it has become normal to film incidences everywhere, the very recent one of George Floyd who was brutally murdered while the world looked on!

It was a break through in 1991 when a man just started to film the beating of Rodney King. People were hopeful that THIS TIME the jury and court will serve justice. But, no. Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty …

A commotion started to happen in the hospital lobby waiting area, and one after the other, people started leaving the hospital, looking upset. Some people mumbled something under their breath, others visibly angry, throwing their arms up in the air. What I didn’t pay attention to nor understood the significance at the time, was that all those who were leaving were African Americans while all the Caucasian patients remained seated or standing in the lobby. I was completely green and oblivious on what was happening. Later after I received my pills, I was on the bus back home and was perplexed why a black man kept staring at me. Still not realizing what was going on.

In hindsight I think ignorance was bliss because my demeanor was completely neutral, innocent, looking out the window minding my own business. If I had known then and there what was going on and that there was imminent “tension” coming up, my body language and facial expression would have been one of caution, fear, mistrust, nervousness, alert etc.

I arrived home and my friends with some of our host’s family were sitting in front of the TV. The first pictures I saw was from a helicopter’s view. It became engraved in my mind because it was the first “point of contact” of making sense to a reality, an image of what happened to Rodney King before and the non-guilty verdicts that sparked the riots. Slowly and with explanation of our hosts, we started to understand what was unfolding via TV in the city.

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When I saw this live on TV and slowly started to understand what was going on, I remembered the man in the bus staring at me … The riots haven’t started yet, at least not where I was traveling from the UCLA Medical Center back to Long Beach. It took me a few days to grasp that I was lucky? Or blessed? Certainly completely oblivious on what it was that I saw on TV streamed from the court room … and what it was about … and what was about to happen for the next 5 to 6 days.

I can’t even write down in detail everything, because I pushed it away now for a long time. My friends and I were guests of an African American family who protected us, who literally ordered us to not go out to the shops after curfew without them. They assured us that as long as either or both of them were with us, that we were protected. These hosts and new friends suddenly became our protection, our “body guards”, our angels. I still feel ambivalent about it because here is my race, my pale colour hurting again and again and again and again … anyone of darker skin. And here we were with them protecting us, feeding us, giving us water, a roof!

The huge closed-up fence to the street and surrounding most of the front property was like a fortress, perfect in this time, compared to neighbours who had open yards.

Helicopters by day and all night. Curfew from 6pm to 6am and gun shots, even automatic weapons during the night. Boom, boom, boom, boom ratttatttaatttaaatttaa boom boom ratta ratttatttattattta boom boom boom boom …

The warning was: if you are out during curfew, you WILL get shot, either by police, gangs, shop owners protecting their livelihood and as the days went on, the military. I loved the fence, and strangely I was never afraid one bit. Again, for one, because of our hosts, they were super calm, and also because I was young and came from a protected country? Completely naive about any danger, even while seeing and hearing a war outside.

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Our hosts, our angels, our refuge and friends

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But I also was young and had a naive believe in a god, who I felt protected us. Well, I don’t believe that anymore, because why didn’t he protect Rodney King and all the people who suffer yet again under white police brutality. And the corrupt police getting off again and again. So, it’s ok, have your belief, live and let live, it’s all ok.

The rest of our stay with this lovely family is a blur to me. I left Long Beach with less teeth and a mind full of questions and experiences. Only through some photos and the many long letters that I wrote to my mum and brother, can I roughly reconstruct our journey.

One of us friends returned to Germany soon after. I and the other friend remained. We moved on to Culver City, West Hollywood, met further people, slept in a car, in motels, drew from what we saved up, stayed with people who invited us, then back to Santa Monica … all the while digesting what happened in a city that lives off drama and fairy tales.

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I walked through a street once, days after the riots, where almost every house left and right was burnt to the ground. I never took pictures of the devastation because I had such respect and felt invasive and dishonoring. I don’t know, I’m weird like that! I would not make a good journalist, certainly not a good photo journo. I regret that now. I only took photos of Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach, Malibu, Hollywood and places like that, and all the beautiful people we’ve met along our criss-crossing LA.

Around June, we returned to Germany, still in daze …

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LAX June 1992, another friend seeing us off back to Germany

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»I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?«

— Rodney King (1965 – 2012)

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1992 Los Angeles Riots, Wikipedia.

Two of the four police men were later convicted in a 2nd lawsuit for violating the civil rights of Rodney King and received short prison sentences.

Sadly, Rodney King passed away far too young in 2012 from accidental drowning in his pool, having struggled with alcohol and drug use. He still suffered nightmares 20 years after the racist police violence. He relived it in this 2011 interview. He forgave the police, which is beyond me. Forgiving such a crime where the insult went further by the cops getting off the hook, and King suffering for the rest of his life … I have huge respect for his courage.

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©2021 poetrasblok.com

Day 23 – The Necessity of Love and Care

That is, the care for human life, beyond any opinion or political persuasion – certainly not indifference!

Julian Metcalfe went on Twitter to try and fix a “situation” he did to Pret. Ooops.

But he was pulled out too early. Unfortunately. Nevermind.

Pret lives what Metcalfe spilled the beans on. But being thick as thieves means you gotta fix it. No?

But fixing it meant, you messed it up further. And the press remains silent as usual, because they can’t claim to be the author or interviewer. Shame.

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There was a frantic meeting, phone calls, some emails, in-person mild “conversations” … and off they went. Business as usual.

Metcalfe has a heart. His heart beats for his fellow opportunistic, greedy, capitalist, panicked, spoiled prats … .com

If you can spot the connection between the following connections … you made it, just about. Because these people got off the hook again.

The Necessity

2.

The Cost

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3.

The Price

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… Love and care down the drains.

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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.

Day 17 – PRostitution at Pret A Manger

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17 December – Day 17 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

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PRotesting Giants – PRotecting Clients – PReserving Reliance

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dollar sign_only_poic

Granted, a PRovocative title! But here’s a crash-course on the PR[et] stunt and how companies PRostitute themselves.

»To sell my business, this thing that I created, that I poured 30 years of work into, to sell it to one of those bastards [venture capitalists] would feel like selling one of my children into prostitution.«Guy Singh–Watson

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PRet’s

PRactices in

PRocrastinating

PRoper labelling when

PResented with concerns to

PRotect people and

PReventing

PRemature deaths from

PRepared

PRoducts, taking

PRecedence by being

PReoccupied in

PRioritizing and

PReferring

PRosperity, while being

PRetentious, but not

PRoactive,

PRactical,

PRagmatic,

PRimarily

PRofessional,

PRincipled and with

PRide

PRoviding all ingredients by

PRinting labels to

PReserve and

PRolong life … is so out of

PRoportion!

The PRefabricated

PRemeditated and

PRedictable

PRopaganda,

PRoclaiming

PRomising and

PRofessing that “nothing is more important right now” after an Inquest

PRobing into a death, public

PRostests and

PRessure from the

PRess is typical for the

PR[et] machine with

PRofits over

PRivate lives

PRoving their negligence.

PRoblem remains: no

PRocecution, no

PRison sentence, and no

PRoposed new leadership

Pret A Manger

PRovokes anger,

PRevails and regains

PRominence by hiring and

PRomoting

PR firm

Headland, Tovera Consulting and former FSA Chief Tim Smith to fix the mess and repaint the facade, like colouring a rotten egg after having ignored multiple warnings.

PRecious lives paid the

PRice, financially

PReyed and

PRowled upon by greedy

PRicks!

If Public Relation is not for the sake of both, the company AND the public; if a company cannot relate to families having lost loved ones, due to the company’s negligence, going full steam ahead with business as usual, then Public Ramifications won’t fix lost Reputation.

PRaying for the families, especially this Christmas time.

P.S. Mind intellectual PRoperty.

©2020 expret.org

Word PR.Isolated on white background.3d rendered illustration.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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


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

The 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.

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Link to Daily Mail article.

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

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

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

Link to Tweet by an NHS worker.

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

Pret open at Stansted July 2020

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

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

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

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

Link to Indeed review. of a Manager.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Interview:

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


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

Life is not worth living

for some it is, for others it isn’t

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UPDATE: 23. June 2020

I struggle with suicidal thoughts and have been for a while since my brother died and the bullying I went through at Pret A Manger.

I have good days, and I have written a lot about my trauma and loss. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts is like a mental cancer that I will fight.

If you are based in London and struggle with life or know someone who does, please reach out.

3 places I’d like to mention here:

Ambulant help by appointment only which I experienced from them, The Listening Place in Pimlico, London:

2. Maytree, a house in North London for people who are suicidal: Part of BBC documentary from 57:22 on.

3. And an actor, Joe Tranici, who recently was pointed out to me which is very helpful to know I’m not the only “crazy” person:

2020 Joe Tracini suicidal thoughts

https://twitter.com/joetracini/status/1273649508052860928

.

UPDATE

17. December 2020

On 24. November 2020 someone did a word-for-word search on this blog post “life isnt worth living” (screenshot yellow) and this blog entry was clicked:

.

2020-11-24 Life not worth living search

.

People usually do an exact word-for-word search when they know a blog post already exists.

You can call me paranoid or whatever, that’s fine. But I want to communicate again, that if I choose to end my life I will make this very very clear via different channels that people know me from! In my darkest days I had a suicide note ready in my drafts folder with several people in the CC list. All I needed to do was to click “send” when the time came that I quit. I deleted that email now, but if I choose to end my life I would make this unmistakably clear.

I write this for the following reasons. We live in terrible times where people snap, where there is so much hostility, selfishness, anger. My own anger I channeled via my blog and unfortunately I lashed out at people, also at the wrong people who have been nothing but supportive to me! Yes, I am in the process of getting therapy, but this has been a long road as the UK mental health system is broken and of no priority to this current government. Only NOW after 5 years has the NHS mental health team agreed to diagnose me, AFTER I filed a formal complaint for not getting help and being sent around circles.

In the fall of 2017 I had a brief conversation with Lila Warren, the Development Manager who was put on my case by Pret’s HR dept. (her not even being HR personnel) and who gaslighted me. For those who read this for the first time, my full story with Pret is at the audio player at the very bottom of this post. Because I was so broken, writing crazy emails to countless people incl. Pret, Lila said to me, quote: “You are making enemies”. In Dec. 2017 I was fired from Pret, and since May 2018 I tell my story on this website and on social media.

I have publicly exposed former CEO Clive Schlee, current CEO Pano Christou, David Carter HR, Lila Warren, many others and as of recently Julian Metcalfe. Links to them are below.

I am not making allegations towards anyone, and I suffer with general anxiety. Especially after the various forms of bullying DURING bereavement from Pret leaders. One experience that sticks with me is when I was shouted at by a line manager 2 days before the first anniversary of my brother’s death. I broke down, cried uncontrollably, but was sent out to do customer service in a company that boasts of “happy” teams and smiley customer service. I was paralyzed emotionally and on auto pilot. The team who witnessed this were silent, no support, no word, nothing. Pret twisted it around that I was “aggressive”. That’s one of the sickest forms of gaslighting and manipulation. And many other incidences which has me in hindsight understand that Pret tried to get me out of the company in hopes I resign. If I had resigned, I could never ever write publicly like I do now, because Pret would have twisted it again, probably saying something like: “We were happy with her work, but SHE chose to resign…we did “everything” bla bla”. David Carter certainly pulled out a few tricks!

Only after I contacted then CEO Clive Schlee after a year of trying to get help from the HR dept. did Pret start some support like paying for counselling sessions to make it appear that they’re helpful. But the turmoil in the shops continued with the various and subtle forms of bullying.

And as lunatic as I may sound, but after the tricks and traps from Pret, how they bullied me while I was broken in grief; the fact that TWO customers can die without Pret having acted on whatsoever until it became public, and Pret getting away with it; after the ‘eugenicist’ comments recently by Julian Metcalfe, the toxic environment of Pret etc. etc. … Lila Warren said to me that I am making enemies.

If anyone is doing a word-for-word search on a suicidal blog entry and then thinks that “something” can happen to me masqueraded as a suicide or accident, because I speak out publicly and then it can just be linked to a suicidal blog post … And again, I make NO allegations towards anyone. But if people can die without any consequences, staff being bullied during the worst time of their lives … anything can happen. I write publicly not just to expose, but also to protect myself. Silence kills. And how was it again? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Do I call Pret A Manger evil? I leave that to your imagination. Pret certainly is toxic, careless, cowardly and highly overrated. You can quote me on that.

I speak openly about my struggle with mental health, suicidal thoughts and other subjects to take the power out of it! The #1 cause of death in men in their 40s in Britain is suicide. Speaking about struggle takes the sting out and strips it of its power. But if anyone is having thoughts to hurt me in any way because I speak out. A friend asked me last year if I’m not nervous and looking over my shoulder because I write so publicly. No, I’m not. I’m looking straight ahead at my computer screen and keep writing. I almost even deleted above blog entry about life not worth living, for fear someone may take this in their own interpretation. Again, I am NOT making allegations, but I am taking power out of fear and my life is my life. My blog is my blog. My voice is my voice!

Again, I make no allegations towards anyone, but I suffer anxiety and I cannot suffer in silence.

I have sent this blog entry update to friends, journalists, former Pret colleagues, the Union and even to Pret’s current CEO Pano Christou, Pret’s press and HR departments, and itsu. Pret has been silent since I started writing publicly in May 2018. Pret has only played their usual PR tricks, some Pret people have contacted me or started following me whom I know are WITH Pret, but Pret have not responded publicly. To me, when someone is silent, it worries me more than when they right out fire back.

I may be unwell and struggle with life, but I am not stupid. And if anything happens to me, I want this to be investigated. It is disheartening that Pret has no courage to address what I write. But I am also thankful for writing and working through this nightmare.

I am proud, honoured and privileged beyond words to have put Pret A Manger on a wider map for people to see how and who they really are!

.

.

And Pret, when will you stop bullying, patronizing, victimizing and exploiting your hardworking employees? When will you accept a Union and stop firing people for joining or starting one? When will you stop being so greedy and cater to billionaire companies like Bridgepoint, JAB / Reimann and Co. Even hooking up early in the 2000s with McDonald’s. it was clear then where your “values” lie.

Yes, I may be crazy, but it takes crazy people to do what I do and stop caring what people think, especially those who don’t care about people in the first place. To those who support me and to those who withdrew: I’m sorry I hurt you. To Pret: I’m not sorry one bit!

And I keep writing.

Stay safe, wear a mask, share with, support and help those who are vulnerable. Comfort those who grieve and don’t let them suffer alone.

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

Clive Schlee’s “Late Night Girl”

Only a few of the blog entries that may have people angry, and me having accumulated “enemies”:

About Clive Schlee

Pano Christou

Lila Warren

David Carter

Julian Metcalfe

and others …

Julian Metcalfe’s day on Twitter. And I thought Clive Schlee’s foot-in-mouth disease was already bad. Metcalfe tops it!

.

Also JAB Holdings under secretive 2nd richest German family Reimann with their Nazi past.

.


.

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.

#Colorblind – “Let’s change the world”

 

Al Sharpton’s eulogy has so many amazing metaphors that will have you discover things in time to come.

Let’s hope Lady Justice is colorblind!

“He died because there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime, it does not matter if you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform you must pay for the crime you commit.”

– Al Sharpton for George Floyd memorial.

 

“Let’s change the world”

– Gianna Floyd

 

 

#BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesShatter

 

… yet again!

 

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

 

 

2016 Documentary on the founding of #BlackLivesMatter

2020 is just a continuation and a LOUDER cry for justice!

NOTE: This is a documentary, from 2016, (and I watched the whole piece!), there is NOT ONE MENTION of Obama in this piece.

Where was Obama when his folk got killed on the street?

The love for money and power and recognition, the safety of riches … kills people.

 

 

 

Grief is No Thief

 

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

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

Grief is just breathing out what death breathed in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©2020 poetrasblok.com

 


 

#793, c. 1863 Emily Dickinson

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

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

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

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

 


 

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


Interview:

 

©2020 expret.org


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

On ‘Toxic Positivity’

Another brilliant post on the subject:

https://wp.me/p3z45x-sO

What is…Toxic Positivity?

Worth a read.

https://wp.me/p8DroA-vV

Lived Bereavement

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

https://wp.me/p1OFt4-123

Self Sabotage: Living with PTSD

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

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

I’ve lost hope, and now with the worldwide trauma of the virus how can anyone find help?

20 minute Podcast:

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

Geerish, MBSR Practitioner, Yoga therapist, MED

Trapped inside your head

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

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

Much love,

Geerish.

View original post

Self Sabotage: Living with PTSD

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

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

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

Podcast:

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

Geerish, MBSR Practitioner, Yoga therapist, MED

Trapped inside your head

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

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

Much love,

Geerish.

View original post

Love Bombing & Many Faces

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

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

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

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

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

Me:

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

And I lash out at people, in pain. …
Nov. 2019
XXXX:
It’s all good. Part of healing.
Nov. 2019

Me:

I’m sorry … I always let people down because I’m not what they think I am. …
You people who have a lot to lose, fight for yourself. …
I am still waiting for therapy abd a professional to tell me why I write this BS and lash out at people who mean well. …
Nov. 2019
XXXX:
You lash out because you are angry and hurt and speaking out helps you heal and understand what is going on with you and also helps release some of the inner stress… it’s not a bad thing, it’s a cry for help & a sign of healing… which is slow & painful and you need to allow yourself grace & heal in your own time and not scold yourself for the time it takes…
Dec. 2019

Me:

… I know most of “you” (meaning people in general) are fed up with my rants and nothing happens.
All I want is peace, but I’m struggling with the German police as well. I’m sorry …
Dec. 2019
XXXX:
You have NOTHING to be sorry for! … Hugs
Dec. 2019
(Struggling with the German police because I am still investigating why they did not find us and just cremated my brother without our knowledge and consent).

Me:

… I’m so sorry. I’m so terribly angry at the moment and letting it out on he wrong people while … I hate what I’ve become. …
I don’t want to apologize anymore. It’s pretentious I think. I am very angry at myself. The therapy waiting list has gone for 2 years now.
Dec. 2019
XXXX:
You were always going to have forward then some backward days. You’ll never know what’s going to trigger you next. It’s quite the process to heal. But you are healing. You are better than you were. And you can’t argue with me on that!
Dec. 2019

Me:

I am sorry for being such a disrespecting asshole.
I have no excuse.
Feb. 2020
You:
Nothing to be sorry about.
Feb. 2020

Me:

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

etc. etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know you meant well. I still and always will know you meant well. I know it when I see it!
But you are a person of position, influence and authority, even power.
You knew my trauma from the get go. I am the vulnerable person.
You need to be responsible when you communicate.
You know people from all walks of life, especially professionals, Psychologists, Police, Doctors etc. You could have asked anyone how to deal with a person like me.
You could and should have told me in private that I should work on not lashing out instead of telling me continually that I have nothing to apologize for and that I am “healing”. I felt I even was healing, but then had a huge backlash that I didn’t see coming myself. It shocked me myself.
You are used to making decisions that affect people’s lives.
You are used to be “celebrated” and have people around you who agree on everything you do. That’s not healthy.
You will be told that you did nothing wrong by the people who gather around you.
I speak out because people need to know that you cannot trust people who say big words in private, to just drop you in a group.
Maybe you need to be needed and then spread yourself too thin.
I know you care and cared! But you should know better with your immense occupational and life experience. It makes me feel in hindsight that you just use vulnerable people to fill your own void or your need to be needed.
I am truly sorry for the pain I caused. I never portrayed myself as a person who has it altogether.
You care a lot, please seek help when dealing with traumatized people in private.
Your words have weight!

They have weight. Please have more care and professionalism when dealing with vulnerable people. You cross boundaries when you are neither aware nor know of your responsibility in your private communications, as vulnerable people look up to you and make the mistake to trust you quicker with the influence you have. But you are just a human being who makes mistakes. But you don’t own up to it. You were irresponsible.
I will not be used again or gaslit by people of influence.
I seek peace and to forgive.

Anyone who thinks I need professional help: Please see the bullsh!t I’ve been through in the UK Mental Health service for years:
Anger Management Classes for the Bereaved

.


.

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


Interview:


©2020 expret.org

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

Said a Blade of Grass

 

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

 

 

Pret A Manger Opens Shops

 

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

HAHA!!! Good one Pret!

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

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

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 07

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening9

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening3

Link to critical post

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening4

Link to carleighsylvertiger’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening8 Natalie

Link to natalie_shilling’s post

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening7

Link

 

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening6 Valerie

Link

2020-04-16 Instagram re Pret NHS opening5 Jeck

Link to Jeck.Disney’s post

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 01

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 03

Link to Tweets

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret iopening 04

Link

 

2020-04-17 Twitter re Pret opening 05

Link

etc. etc. etc.


 

31. March 2020 post:

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

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

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

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

 

Part of Daily Pret NHS PR

 

To Clive Schlee and Pano Christou,

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

 

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

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

 

2020-03-30 Daily Pret

 

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s take this apart:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clare
(with sh!t in their pants)

 


 

To Clive Schlee and Pano Christou,

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

 

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