Pret A “Manager” received the ‘Digital Technology Leaders’ Award

… even though they present ongoing “technical issues” with their subscription, QR codes not sent, QR codes can’t be added to Apple app or can’t be read in-store, a recent new excuse is that Pret supposedly is waiting for payment to come through while customers are waiting for DAYS for their QR codes etc. etc. Customer service is not available via email, phone, DM … and many customers are appalled at the poor customer service!

Here’s to the parallel universe executives as well as social media platforms live in!

On Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, critical voices are quickly shut down. Executives, business people and office staff mingle to tell each other sweet little nothings, while Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are on fire with customer and staff complaints!

Hey, let’s keep living in these parallel universes and on the top level keep giving each other awards for doing absolutely nothing constructive except to stroke their own egos!

Quote from PA Consulting on Linkedin: “We’re proud to have supported Pret A Manger in accelerating the transformation of their digital customer experience. Congratulations to the team on a well-earned win at Computing’s Digital Technology Leaders Awards…”

So, if the reader would scroll down to only some of the MANY MANY customer complaints on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook on Pret A “Manager’s” appalling customer service, technical issues etc. and leave the Linkedin folks up in La La Land to keep scratching each others’ ego! These award things are a smoke-screen of what’s really going on behind the facade. Pret’s always been like this. Head office has awards lined up while we staff felt disgusted at their PR bullcrap.

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And just a few of the many sweet-talk responses on how awesome Pret is etc. One has to wonder if people “up there” are really just delusional or having a laugh on the backs of customers and low-wage front-line shop staff!

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“… a company that knows a lot about client satisfaction and customer experience.”

Above is the Linkedin version of Pret’s client satisfaction and customer experience. Below is the real world! I only post a few of the countless angry complaints, as this post is already long.

Instagram:

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Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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A customer who cancelled his subscription because of ongoing bad customer service.

Link

Facebook:

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A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!

Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.

If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:

@pret qr

.

.

Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.

And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!

Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉

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Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!

Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.

And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …

So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.

Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:

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From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!

You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:

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Link to article.

And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.

I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.

  • No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:

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  • And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.

    If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.

    The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:

  • Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.

    Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!


    Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!

    This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

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  • Pret doesn’t only cheat customers out of their dough! Cutting wages, bonus, benefits, even wage theft leading some caring customers not only to boycott Pret, but many have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again! Pret is now a minimum-wage employer and have recently been named and shamed by the UK Government amongst 190 other companies for paying UNDER the minimum-wage! Via YouTube:

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  • Pret now censors directly, deleting former staff comments on Instagram and Facebook, and disabling the comment section under their “we’re hiring” posts. But I grabbed some screenshots before Pret shut it down. Plus Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret: Last Minute?? Staff Disruptions

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  • Also, going back to the Pret Foundation Trust donations, CEO Pano Christou did his usual “charity” stunt by having announced he’d be running the half-marathon in Hackney to raise funds for the PFT and to “alleviate poverty”. But he tops it by wanting donations from his minimum-wage, poverty stricken front-line staff after he cut their wages, bonus, benefits etc. The very staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on the front-lines, risking their lives, while executives and HQ staff worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned HQ.

    Some staff got Covid and Pret did NOTHING as revealed to me by a former staff on Facebook. Shop staff are getting pooped on like the Government poops on NHS staff! Pano Christou has no shame whatsoever! And I QUESTION where the money goes to because Pret has other problems right now than raising donations for the poor! I just don’t buy it!

    And asking his LOWEST paid staff for donations, AFTER cutting their wages and other things, is utterly disgusting and rotten to the core!


    Detail here: Pret A Manger’s “Charity” Projects.

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  • Many Pret shops in city centers are closed down, or open later and close earlier than the advertised opening times. Pret gives the main reason as staff shortages. While this is one part of the reason as Pret has fired 3000 and many staff walked out as well, another reason may be that as Pret is opening 200 shops outside city centers, closing shops in cities helps Pret finance new shop openings. Why is that a rip-off for customers? Just two of countless complaints on Pret’s different social media platforms:

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Instead of Pret listing the shops that are closed on their website or warn customers to check if their local Pret is open before signing up, Pret continues to sell the subscription that many people can’t use as their local shops are closed. Katchink!

And there are other “rip-offs”, some of which I posted here: Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive

To end this long post I couldn’t keep short again, a real Pret Mystery Shopper report with most of then 32 micromanaging questions staff are patronized with every week. Staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact, have spotless shops or the whole team don’t get the bonus. If ONE staff makes a mistake, the whole team get penalized by not getting bonus. If ONE kisses butt extra special like giving a free coffee, cookie or lunch, the Mystery Shopper “may” (or may not!) reward that one staff with the £100 cash reward, even when the whole shop lost the regular £1 per hour bonus. Happened here:

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

itsu & Pret founder Julian Metcalfe in Jeffrey Epstein’s “Black Book”

So, I’m minding my own business when I receive an email with a link to page 38 for a “black book” of none other then convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who some believe may have been “suicided”.

What names do I see?

Pret A Manger co-“re”-founder and itsu founder, net-worth £215 million, Julian Metcalfe and his former wife Melanie with two addresses and phone numbers.

Of course it’s not a crime to be in a convicted pedophile & sex trafficker’s address book. And Metcalfe was married to Melanie between 1992 and 2005. The first allegation on Epstein to police came in 2005, so technically people didn’t/couldn’t know about Epstein’s crimes. But still! Itsu staff have reviewed Metcalfe as sexist, racist, aggressive etc. And in an interview with the Telegraph in July 2021 Metcalfe’s words are headlined with “Only the fittest will survive high street cull”.

This is very much in line with Metcalfe’s words to the Daily Mail last year regarding lock-down and being happy to sacrifice a few thousand very old and vulnerable people for the hospitality industry.

So, only Metcalfe knows why he is in Epstein’s infamous “black book” and it doesn’t need to mean anything. But I find it noteworthy to mention after Metcalfe’s own aggressive words to the press (and other words that he deleted after I confronted him on Twitter), and what others say about him.

Quote from the Western Journal: »Epstein employee Alfredo Rodriguez called the list the “Holy Grail” or “Golden Nugget” that would map out the billionaire’s alleged underage sex network. Rodriguez first tried to sell it to journalists; instead, authorities seized it as evidence.«

About the black book via CNBC: The big names in Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Black Book’

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Page 38:

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Link

I was sent this because I chased Metcalfe off Twitter last year and put it on a YouTube slide where I explained why Pret can’t be distanced to Metcalfe. I posted itsu staff reviews to Metcalfe where he is alleged to be sexist, racist, aggressive etc. I suppose someone from Pret must have warned Metcalfe of who I am, as he then deleted his Twitter account the next day, not knowing I already made screenshots!

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And a little piece about one of the phone books, as there is more than 1 it seems:


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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Another #PretAManger Lie – QR Codes

A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!

Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.

I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.

If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:

@pret qr

.

.

Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.

And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!

Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉

.

.

Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!

Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.

And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …

So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.

Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:

.

.

.

.

.

From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!

You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:

.

Link to article.

And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.

I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.

  • No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:

.

  • And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.

    If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.

    The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:

  • Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.

    Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!


    Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!

    This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

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.

.

One super angry, now former, customer on Instagram. I’ve read many angry customers’ comments, but this one I have to share:

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  • Pret doesn’t only cheat customers out of their dough! Cutting wages, bonus, benefits, even wage theft leading some caring customers not only to boycott Pret, but many have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again! Pret is now a minimum-wage employer and have recently been named and shamed by the UK Government amongst 190 other companies for paying UNDER the minimum-wage! Via YouTube:

.

  • Pret now censors directly, deleting former staff comments on Instagram and Facebook, and disabling the comment section under their “we’re hiring” posts. But I grabbed some screenshots before Pret shut it down. Plus Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret: Last Minute?? Staff Disruptions

.

  • Also, going back to the Pret Foundation Trust donations, CEO Pano Christou did his usual “charity” stunt by having announced he’d be running the half-marathon in Hackney to raise funds for the PFT and to “alleviate poverty”. But he tops it by wanting donations from his minimum-wage, poverty stricken front-line staff after he cut their wages, bonus, benefits etc. The very staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on the front-lines, risking their lives, while executives and HQ staff worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned HQ.

    Some staff got Covid and Pret did NOTHING as revealed to me by a former staff on Facebook. Shop staff are getting pooped on like the Government poops on NHS staff! Pano Christou has no shame whatsoever! And I QUESTION where the money goes to because Pret has other problems right now than raising donations for the poor! I just don’t buy it!

    And asking his LOWEST paid staff for donations, AFTER cutting their wages and other things, is utterly disgusting and rotten to the core!


    Detail here: Pret A Manger’s “Charity” Projects.

.

  • Many Pret shops in city centers are closed down, or open later and close earlier than the advertised opening times. Pret gives the main reason as staff shortages. While this is one part of the reason as Pret has fired 3000 and many staff walked out as well, another reason may be that as Pret is opening 200 shops outside city centers, closing shops in cities helps Pret finance new shop openings. Why is that a rip-off for customers? Just two of countless complaints on Pret’s different social media platforms:

.

.

Instead of Pret listing the shops that are closed on their website or warn customers to check if their local Pret is open before signing up, Pret continues to sell the subscription that many people can’t use as their local shops are closed. Katchink!

And there are other “rip-offs”, some of which I posted here: Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive

To end this long post I couldn’t keep short again, a real Pret Mystery Shopper report with most of then 32 micromanaging questions staff are patronized with every week. Staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact, have spotless shops or the whole team don’t get the bonus. If ONE staff makes a mistake, the whole team get penalized by not getting bonus. If ONE kisses butt extra special like giving a free coffee, cookie or lunch, the Mystery Shopper “may” (or may not!) reward that one staff with the £100 cash reward, even when the whole shop lost the regular £1 per hour bonus. Happened here:

.


.

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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Last minute?? Staffing Disruption @ Pret A Manger 🤣😃😂.

A Tweet that unfortunately has been deleted, but is spot on!

I had a VERY proud day! A very, very proud day indeed!

After three and a half years of writing on Pret, mainly staff issues but also other issues, Pret has now disabled commenting for me on their Instagram and Facebook post from yesterday on “we’re hiring”! Why? Because I am causing too much staffing disruption! 💪😎👌

When I started writing in May 2018 former CEO Clive Schlee (whose Twitter account was deleted in July 2020) and Pret never blocked me. I mainly got shadow banned (censored, Tweets and account hidden from the public and from search), but they never blocked me. New CEO Pano Christou when he was the UK Managing Director and then COO blocked me. Christou then deleted his Twitter account in July 2019 when I tweeted the press about Schlee’s “retirement” and linked to Christou’s Twitter account on my blog. Another Pano Christou from Canada later took on the Twitter handle.

But I managed to grab a screenshot of Pano Christou blocking me!

It’s interesting in above former account that Pano wrote “@ Pret” instead of “@Pret” as if to distance himself.
To enlarge the screenshot press ctrl and +
And to decrease it again ctrl and

He blocked me and now “hides” on Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, and rich business people tell each other sweet little nothings while ignoring the plight of front-line staff who make them rich! Business people are huddled in their bubble on Linkedin knowing very well how they exploit low-wage staff for their own pockets. Even when I write nice and positive, Pano, Pret and die-hard Pret fans will get me shut down. So far to free speech and Pret’s “open door policiy” to tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly.

On 01. July 2019 Pano deleted his Twitter and later that year another @ChristouPano took that handle:

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Why am I so happy that Pret now has disabled commenting for me on their “we’re hiring” post, even though other former staff write their negative experience? Because Pret’s very very desperate for staff and I’m rocking their boat too much.

I’m not sure if Pret completely deleted/hid comments on Instagram or if it’s just my account and computer that can’t see comments anymore. But I managed to grab some screenshots yesterday before Pret booted me out. On Facebook I’m not able to comment, but I can LIKE comments and in this way draw attention to my page! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›

Instagram “we’re hiring” post with now 0 comments where before they had dozen comments: www.instagram.com/p/CUuE0NLMGio

One former staff replied to me before Pret shut it down, laughing about “flexible hours” and then saying,
I used to work there for 4 years until it pretty much broke me”.

Another former staff:

And many others that I missed taking screenshots as I didn’t expect Pret to shut it down! It’s the first time that I’m aware of Pret completely disabling and deleting/hiding all comments.

I haven’t checked Facebook today, but a few I grabbed yesterday and managed to “like” but can’t comment:

Quote: “Pret A Manger limited who can comment on this post.”

THANK YOU Pret for finally confirming that you have a lot to hide behind that smiley facade! How do they say in McDonald’s? “I’m loving it!” 😊

So, instead of reporting me, Pret now does the dirty work of censoring themselves! Wash your hands with soap for 30 seconds Pret!

And since Friday where it was 42 comments, Pret must have completely disabled comments now for all.

Some comments on Facebook that Pret leaves in as only good comments would look fishy. Also, see how many people “laugh” about it in the “like” section. Some I recognize as former staff, most likely all of them are former staff, one is even angry:

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For people with visual impairment who can’t read screenshots I put a few quotes here that former staff commented on Facebook.

Pret advertises jobs as follows:

“Free Food
Great pay and benefits
Flexible Hours
Apprenticeship opportunities”

On Twitter I “translate” each point partly as follows:

Free Food – All if not most hospitality business, cafes, restaurants provide free food for staff.
Great pay and benefits – National minimum wage of £8.91 and less for people under 21.
Flexible Hours – 28 hour contracts but staff work 60 – 70 hours and are manipulated to work overtime without pay. Managers now are on 35 hour contracts (42.5 hours pre-Covid) but also work 60+ hours unpaid.
Apprenticeship opportunities – Young people are employed who get less pay and don’t know their rights.

After a strike action was announced by a brave staff member (who has since been silenced!) and the bad press that followed, one customer started an amazing feed on Twitter after having a VISUAL of the pay and “benefits”:

Link to Tweet.

And yesterday’s Facebook comments by former staff, each quote from a different person for anyone who can’t read the above screenshots:

“Worked for Pret, my life improved so much, [when] I left!!!!”

“If the pay is so great why not name it then?”

Response: “exactly when you start 8.20 (before tax) less than 30min break, “training” one week, shouting that staff are too slow, insults etc. If they ask for help, to stay longer IT’S FOR FREE”

“I have worked there for over 10 years. If you work extremely hard there is a career opportunity but I am glad I don’t work there anymore.”

Response: “extremely hard and you get extremely sick and mentally destroy…”

“I really feel sorry for staff who work on this company. I work before and NEVER again”

“modern slavery”

“Great pay and benefits? What a joke. Low pay, no, VERY LOW PAY and what are the benefits? None.”

“Great pay and benefits 😂😂😂

🤣🤣🤣🤣never back”

etc.

So, of course Pret now has “staffing disruption” and have disabled their comment section for me!

Here again 2 YouTube slides that Pret don’t want people to see. I use YouTube and Twitter links because my blog is completely blocked on Facebook and Instagram. But they can’t block YT and Twitter!

  1. Slide is the immense outpouring of love and support from customers, many who not only boycott but have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again:

2. Slide is with recent staff reviews that exploitation has gotten much worse and Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern message to Pret after the bad press that Pret cut wages. I watch her video on Instagram at times when I need a boost. Nadia has an almost 500K following on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret has. I never knew who she was until I saw this on her Instagram under a Pret hashtag or mention. Nadia Sawalha, should you read this, apologies, but I don’t have TV and don’t watch much online stuff except some short-attention-span YouTube videos! But you’ve got this angry, insane person’s attention and all ears!

This powerhouse of a lady using her huge platform to make a strong and public stand for low-wage staff has me still in tears when I watch it!!! And the recent staff reviews here are very telling as usual!

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Customers flock to Twitter and increasingly raise the issue of long queues, few staff and closed shops without notice, or with conflicting messages. Pret continues to sell the subscription which many customers can’t use as their local Pret shops are closed.

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

Link

Maybe Pret staff finally are fed up enough to 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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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 to email.

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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Cowards Don’t Run Marathons

Cowards run away!

Pano Christou will run the Hackney half-marathon tomorrow 26th September to raise money to “alleviate poverty” after he made cuts to low-wage staff. He was forced to raise the wage again to 5% (around 50p per hour) after public pressure and bad press.

Not only that he does the typical Pret PR in doing “charity”, he has the audacity to want donations from hie low-wage staff he made cuts to.

Detail: Pano Christou is having a laugh

Pano Christou has the backing of re-co-founder of Pret, Sinclair Beecham because Pret is at breaking point having to please share holders, especially after staff AND customers spoke out.

Pret will thrive again of course, but at least their reputation has reached a little more McDonald’s levels. That’s all I hope to convey to people who believe these charlatans.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

To a Friend’s House the Way is Never Long

I recently discovered a band, an album, a song that has been around a few years but is not “out there” for mainstream ears to hear.

It’s so profoundly amazing, ONE sentence, one meaning, one message, one experience, 9 words.

When my brother died and we learnt of it 5 weeks after the fucking fact that he was dead AND cremated, I slammed into hell and had to dive deep into it to learn what friendship means.

I lost friends early on, most were at a loss themselves, but that’s not my problem. Some gave me a hard time like they did Job in the Bible I don’t believe in anymore. Others wanted to cross oceans to pick me out of hell.

One of my former friends lives only 5 minutes by car or 20-30 minutes by foot from me. They distanced themselves early on, or at best behaved like soldiers doing duty service. If you should read this, I forgive you and I don’t blame you anymore. But I am glad that you are not in my life anymore.

I lived in Florida for a few years and travelled the States many times. In the first year of my bereavement and what Pret put me through, there was a friend in Virginia with his family. He wanted to book a flight to London to pick me up to stay with them. I declined, because how the fuck can my friend of 20+ years living 20 minutes from me not BE with me, while a friend thousands of miles away was about to pick me up to find some rest?

When I heard this song recently for the first time, all of this came up and I want to put this here and say to you Wa. C. and your family in Virginia, thank you again for having been there, but I couldn’t take it because I could have never repaid this friendship. I still can’t.

But you have shown me that to a friend’s house the way is never long. P.

Pret A Mandemic Staff Reviews

and a video message to Pret by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

99.9% Accepted Exploitation – So, 0.01% Lost in Court!

I try to keep it as short as possible, but this is THE reason why people need to ORGANIZE and stand up in unity as a group.

My heart is broken for this former Pret staff, a Kitchen Leader (KL) who made the same mistake I and so many other Pret folk do: He fought alone. But at least he FOUGHT!

Below is a link to a full Tribunal court decision, which shows that even if Judges agree that the respondent (in this case Pret who was getting sued) acted unreasonable, Judges have to do the fair thing, uphold the law, listen to other aspects and make decisions on democratic level UNLESS a law was broken.

This to me is a very sad case and a lost opportunity YET AGAIN!

Link to Judge Heath’s decision.

In a nutshell:

Former KL J-P Moussye sued Pret for “redundancy” pay after being dismissed/fired from Pret for refusing to sign the new contract of lower contracted hours. But Mr Moussy was NOT made redundant, he was fired.

This is on page 6, point 32, quote:

“As the claimant was not dismissed by reason of redundancy, he is not entitled to a redundancy payment, and I dismiss this part of his claim.”

Redundancy pay package can only be claimed when made redundant due to down-sizing a company etc. But here the deal was “you sign or get dismissed”. And dismissal is more negative than redundancy. Dismissal puts the blame on the one fired, while redundancy is not the person’s fault who got dismissed as redundancy. Therefore, no redundancy pay.

The simple choice that Pret forced upon staff was: you sign the new deal of lower contracted hours or you get fired. End of.

The court document states on page 5, point 27. quote, that “out of 4,443 staff members presented with proposed changes to their contracts of employment, all but six accepted.”

A little side note: the proposed changes happened just at the start of lock-down March 2020 when Pret boasted of around 12,000 staff. Interesting to see that less than half of employees have been “offered” this lower deal. And the question on social media always is, if the big guns, the execs also took a pay cut! Well, this number suggests no!

And another little side-note, of course Pret would thrive again. Pret has cheated customers out of expensive ice drinks on subscription, keep having “technical issues” where the QR code doesn’t work or isn’t being send for days, forcing customers to buy instore as they give Pret the benefit of the doubt etc. etc.

News three days ago that sales are soaring again due to office workers going back to the offices. 80% of sales from pre-Pandemic levels! But of course, wages remain lowered and all the other perks Pret cut.

Link to Thisismoney article

So, only 6 staff refused to take the cut and were fired. And only one of the six went to court over it.

It further states in point 29. quote (I highlight/bold):

“Whether the dismissal is fair or unfair depends on whether in the circumstances (including the size and administrative resources the employer’s undertaking) the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in treating the reason as sufficient reason for dismissing the employee, and is to be determined in accordance with the with equity and the substantial merits of the case.”

Further on page 6, point 30. b, quote:

The fact that a large percentage of the workforce has accepted contractual changes is a material factor which the tribunal can take account of in assessing whether the dismissal fell within the band of reasonable responses …”

Further point 33, quote:

“99.9% of the workforce went along with change, which in itself is supportive of the soundness of the respondent’s business reasons for restructure.”

In a nutshell 99.9% of staff said to Pret: “Lovely dearest Pret A Manger, we absolutely love for you to fuck us over with even less hours, and with it pay, for the hard work during a live threatening pandemic! Hallelujah! We totally agree with this! Thank you SO much for exploiting us further! Big thumbs up!” 🙂

But what the Judge doesn’t realize is the fear management and brainwash and breaking of promises that Pret does. Of course the majority of low-wage, mainly foreign workers who have kids to feed or university fees to pay rather take the lousy deal, giving Pret the benefit of the doubt that the cut is temporary as promised!!!

The Judge took that willingness to get further exploited into considerations and concluded with a fair (to the Judge’s knowledge of Pret), but heart-breaking decision, point 34. quote:

“In considering whether the respondent acted reasonably or unreasonably, it is not for me to substitute my own opinion but to assess whether the respondent’s actions fell within a range of reasonable responses.”

In other words, even if Judge Heath agreed with J-P Moussy that Pret acted unreasonable, the Judge HAD TO take into account that 99.9% of staff loved getting screwed over with more exploitation!

I don’t know which number or percentage would have swayed the Judge to conclude in favour of Mr. Moussy, but imagine even just 5%, or 20% = about 1,200 staff would have objected to the new contract, or let’s dream of half, 50% = 2,000+ … the outcome would have been a very different one!

And that’s what breaks my heart, that Pret workers like ALL workers are sleeping GIANTS who don’t understand that if you ORGANIZE in numbers, you’ll chase Pret out of town in a heart beat!

And that is WHY I keep pressing people to join a flipping Union and ORGANIZE in increasing NUMBERS!!!!!!

The Judge’s job is to uphold the law. Pret has not broken any law. So, the next thing a Judge will do is take all sorts of things into consideration, and in this case the strongest issue leading to Pret winning is that 0.01% objected, resulting in less than that losing in court.

J-P Moussy probably has a huge legal bill on his neck. Is certainly depressed, hopefully his mental and physical health isn’t taking a hard nose-dive. But if you should ever read this Mr. Moussy, I for one have HUGE respect for you to have taken Pret on, even if I want to shake you for doing it alone! But I can’t shake you, because I made that mistake for too long!

But to give Pret staff and other low-wage workers hope, here a small YouTube slide on SOME of the MANY MANY customer voices on social media boycotting Pret because they learnt from ONE Guardian article after I tweeted to the press, because ONE Pret staff ask for help with a strike that never happened, as the staff must have been silenced by Pret. But they can’t silence customers and public voices!

And underneath, an Instagram rant by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha who used her HUGE 400K+ followers platform to kick Pret’s butt, after customers learnt that Pret has made temporary pay cuts permanent:

And Nadia Sawalha’s beautiful rant on Instagram that still has me cry when I watch it. Pret staff you are NOT alone, but you need to stand up TOGETHER in a GROUP!

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The Soul Selects Her Own Society

then shuts the Door
to her divine Majority
present no more

Unmoved she notes the Chariots pausing
at her low Gate
unmoved an Emperor be kneeling
upon her Mat

I’ve known her from an ample nation
choose One
then close the Valves of her attention
like Stone

– Emily Dickonson

c. 1862

I’ve asked NHS psychiatrists if I have Asperger, Autism … why I handle things the way I do. No response. No help. Long waiting lists.

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I worked at Pret A Manger when my Brother died, and they bullied me, involving 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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger’s Health & Safety Hypocrisy

Desperate times, desperate measures.

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Facebook post, quote: “… we’re unable to donate hot food … due to its limited shelf-life.”

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Link

Link

And since over a year Pret’s been giving hot food leftover away via food donation apps, especially after I keep informing people on social media about the immense daily food waste in plastic to landfill via Pret A Manger Food Waste.

To safe face after all the criticism of food waste that customers in the UK, USA etc. have made photos of, Pret then started to even give hot food away that previously was STRICTLY NOT allowed to be given out. I was a Team Leader at Pret and got in trouble by management when I gave hot food to charity. I didn’t know at the time that we weren’t allowed, as I was trained on this.

Of course I stopped giving hot food and only gave to the charity guys who picked up food with the instruction to please consume the hot food immediately and not keep it over night.

Link

So now, what does Pret do to safe face with all the criticism, they give end of 2 hour shelf life expired hot food away. Bur now donations have turned into sales, they now can be PURCHASED via food saving apps! People now have to PAY for hot food that became cold, has been sitting on the hot shelf for at least 2 hours, probably re-heated at least 2 times which I explain in detail here: Request to Remove a Tweet. Suddenly it’s not a health and safety issue anymore.

And to make it worse, people now have to PAY for expired hot food that turned cold, may have been reheated already 2 – 3 times, which people then heat up AGAIN at home! Loss of profit due to the pandemic of course eliminates any health and safety issues *irony off*!

The marking on the porridge lid means the porridge has to be wasted at that time of that day. This porridge may be from yesterday or at least from HOURS after it was already on the hot shelf for 1.5 – 2 hours.

Pret policy as stated above was to WASTE all hot food after 1.5 or 2 hours on the shelf, depending on the product. Some products are 15. others 2 hour self-life. This is not do to expiration but due to quality.

So, since profit losses and criticism of too much food waste, Pret suddenly changes its policy and it’s supposed to be safe now?

Link

Early last year before it got clear how the pandemic would affect worldwide economies, a customer witnessed soups being thrown in the bin because it expired according to (then) Pret policy. The customer just purchased a soup and seeing that it’s basically becoming zero value within minutes, asked for her money back. Pret responded by asking which Bath shop it was, because the stressed out staff member threw the soups out IN FRONT of customers. Pret will have instructed staff to waste behind closed doors, not on the shop floor.

Link

More on Pret’s health and safety issues, please see the following links:

Pret A Manger Food is NOT Fresh

Pret Staff Tested Positive for Covid (pre-vax) and how expiry dates are “stretched”, food kept for several days and soup is now frozen to safe money on waste.

Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice – understaffed shops, overworked staff lead to lack of hygiene. Rat droppings, flied, hair, plastic, critters etc. in food.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Prexit – Pret A Manger Customers’ outpouring of love & support

»We can’t seem to find
Any peace of mind
As much as we try
There’s no way out but fight

You won’t make us stop
You won’t make us stop
You won’t make us stop the run«

– Ela Minus

AND a brilliant and heart warming 4+ minute rant on Instagram by Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha. I still cry when I watch this:
(This is the actual video, not just a picture, click play)

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Also, to see how Pret does charity, please visit:
Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Find Yourself a Subject to Campaign for & do some Good!

I want to address something without having to publicly out people, as I am being met with bullsh!t lately and have no time for this.

I am being contacted by all kinds of people, by customers, journalists, former and current Pret staff etc. I appreciate the encouragement, the support (also for other Pret staff) and the interest. I also appreciate critical feedback, suggestions and so on.

I also want to apologize again and again for lashing out at people, especially good people who try to help. I have explained this on my blog and social media many times, that I am working on stopping to drink, which leads to verbally (writing) lashing out in anger and paranoia. I’m not proud of it, I sabotage myself like this, and I am still trying to find therapy and overcome the trauma and losses I still suffer. That is MY fault, MY responsibility and MY problem, not yours!

But what I don’t appreciate is when people want to tell me what I should write about or how I should construct my social media profile etc. And then when I don’t do what they want, they sulk and gaslight or ghost me.

I want to make this very clear, I am very open for critique, for suggestions, for ideas, for correction. I welcome ideas. I have been told by several Pret staff that my blog is to cluttered, too wordy, too complex. And I completely agree with that, and try to cut down on the sheer volume. I also welcome when people give ideas or critique, and would ask to point me into the direction of services or people who can help me shape my website better or make it simpler. Critique is good and welcomed, giving solutions and where I can get help is even better. And believe me, if I had the funds I’d hire a proper web developer as well as editor to do me a shiny, easily readable website. But I’ve done all this solely on my own, without know-how, support, financial help. And for this, I’ve done a hell of a job! But I do appreciate critique and suggestions.

My url expret.org came to be because a web developer explained to me that it would make more sense then my previous main url LateNightGirl.org, as people initially won’t understand the meaning, while an url with the word “pret” in it makes more sense! I am super happy to change my approach or layout or whatever suggestions may help and make sense to me.

But I am not willing to take any bullsh!t from people who try to boss me around, telling me what subjects I should write about or what emoticons to use on my Twitter profile etc. And then they sulk and play hurt puppy when I don’t “follow” their wishes! And then after initial support, when I tag people in they ask me to not tag them in anymore because they are sulking and are having a pity party because I don’t do what they want!

I asked this before, if you don’t want me to tag you in, please block me, because this is the easiest way to not get tagged in, as I tag people at times accidentally in time, having forgotten their Twitter handle after a long time etc. I don’t care about numbers and followings, I don’t care when people block me! I am not on Twitter to be friends. I am on social media for the sole purpose to expose Pret A Manger after what I survived!

Sure, it would help if I had more followers, more RTs etc. And I shoot myself in my own foot by offending people. I’m learning to be more “diplomatic” in my approach and am not proud of how I behave at times fueled by alcohol. I spent 10 years in Pret being forced to smile, pretend a happy facade or get fear managed and penalized. I do not have any smile or happiness left UNLESS I feel like it! And unfortunately I went into the other extreme and am trying to level it out again!

At the same time, I do not put weight on clicks, likes, followings etc. as these go as easily as they came. My handicap here is that I am so used to fight “giants” on my own, being betrayed, lied to, fear managed, and the worst to lose family/friends/job/money … that “compliments” or the amount of following/clicks/likes have no meaning to me! This is also one reason I push people away because I’m fucking scared everyone dies around me or what I’ve built up will be taken away again. I know how quickly we can lose people and things for no reason that I don’t put weight on amount, volume or numbers.

And those I address here, you know who you are! And I will not stoop low again to out anyone unnecessarily. But I will also say again, if you claim to be a journalist or anything you tell me, but you are not willing to get your butt off the cushion, and campaign for subjects you are keen to get public, then do not tell me what I should do! And also do not claim to be someone that you are not! It doesn’t help, it’s not honest and I always worry if what people tell me is actually true! Also, if you claim to be someone you are not, you will always have to look over your shoulder to not get caught! It takes more energy and goes no-where.

I have different Twitter accounts because I am shadow banned (censored) at times where Twitter hides my tweets and account. But people know it’s me, and it’s not illegal to have different accounts. Twitter even allows for accounts to merge. But I don’t claim to be someone that I’m not!

Many people on Twitter and other social media platforms know me! They know my name, my face after we’ve met in real life or on Zoom, they have my number etc. And that includes some journalists. Pret certainly know me and know who is behind my blog and social media handles. The reason I write anonymously in public is anxiety after what Pret has put me through. Especially after being bullied by a GROUP of “professionals”, Managers, under HR etc. during bereavement! And the worse thing that Pret has done via Lila Warren that still has me paranoid that Pret sends a “spy” again, which I describe in detail here: Questions to Lila Tighilt Warren.

This is one reason I lash out while drunk when GOOD people contact me, and I make the poor decision to drink and fall into paranoia that these good people are “spies” to “get me”. I get troll and disgusting mail/DMs at times which comes with the territory of being on social media. And being female seems to be another reason for some people to try and patronize me. So, if someone then claims to be someone they are not, you are not doing yourself a favour by getting in contact with me. I’m not having it!

And people may not believe this, but I’m actually a very private person who usually doesn’t spill my guts all over the place. This has just been a necessary stretch for me to not only expose Pret and what happened to me, but to distract myself from ruminating too much on loss and grief. Between 2015 and 2018 my blog was solely about my brother’s death. Then I turned my website around into campaigning and telling my story with Pret.

And before you assume that I didn’t get mental health help or legal aid, ASK first what I’ve been through and do your homework on my story before making assumptions and judgements!

I have been to hell and back more than once and I was never too proud to ask for help! I don’t just write a blog the size of this website on a subject to just kill time! You don’t write a blog that I do without having been through hell! I have suffered to the point of suicide and still am just surviving! I pay money for my blog, I don’t get any money, I don’t even take donations! I could easily put a donation PayPal button on my blog and start asking for money! But I don’t want to do that. No-one can accuse me of monetizing anything, even though I deserve to be fuck!ng rich after the immense work I’ve put into my website!

I EARNED my blog! I EARNED my experience and horror with what Pret has put me through! I made MANY mistakes, hurt and offended MANY people. I have lost everybody and everything except the roof over my head! But I EARNED what I write about, I suffered through this, I keep suffering and pay the consequences for anything I say, do or write that hurts people or myself!

So, if YOU want to expose an issue, wrong doing or even just do a fun thing to cheer people up, then please do that. But do not tell me what I should or should not do, and then want to “punish” me through manipulation, gaslighting, ghosting etc. I have zero tolerance for bullsh!t like this. And if you claim to be a BBC, Times, Telegraph or any big name reporter, and I find out that you’re not, I will out you publicly!

And I say it again to any person who is hurt because of Pret or ANY person/group: BE YOURSELF! Don’t be someone that you are not! Be as open or as anonymous as you want to be, but be yourself. OWN your story! You EARNED it! You suffered through it! It’s YOUR story!

I didn’t chase three multi-millionaire businessmen off Twitter without having a story to tell that has almost destroyed my life and that scares them!

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Do as little or as much as you can and want to do. Start a blog, or a YouTube channel, or a podcast, or a band, or political party, or a Union, paint a picture, sing a song, cook a meal, talk about mental health or healthy food, rescue animals, pick up waste to recycle … whatever you want to raise awareness of, go for it! However small or big it may be. Go for it! Don’t ever underestimate ONE voice! Don’t let people tell you that you don’t have enough followers or clicks and likes to make an impact! It means nothing in the long run if it doesn’t change a thing or if it doesn’t give you some sort of satisfaction or peace or whatever.

I KNOW the fear, anxiety, paranoia of getting hurt. It took me YEARS to stand up and lose fear! I am not scared of Pret. I spent years being scared of these coward millionaires who sh!t on hard working people! Ten years of being fear managed, exploited, taken for granted and then even bullied during the worst time of my life, I have no fake smile left anymore! And I have no tolerance for fear management, manipulation or any other crap that tries to hold me down. Those days are over!

So, if you don’t want to be tagged in, please just block me because I am not on social media to make friends. My sole purpose is to write about Pret and my experience. My true social – and friendship circle is in real life, not on social media.

And my apologies again for having lashed out at anyone! I’m working on it every day. I’ve come a long way, and have a long way to go.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects

When Pret find themselves in a pickle, a crisis, being exposed etc. they do what they do best: polish up the facade by doing a charity thing.

A small list of charity runs I know of in connection to something deeper that Pret tries to hide or overcome.

I start with my favourite PR stunt that came directly after Pret was informed of my website. Each link explains in detail with screenshots of issues.

Pret’s £1000 announcement to all staff in May 2018 after finding out about my blog.

The coffee freebie and 50% off food for NHS workers, just before first lock-down, while the very next day cutting staff hours, pay. Pret using NHS staff for PR and as a smoke screen to hide staff cuts. Full CEO email in above link.

CEO Pano Christou doing a half-marathon for the Pret Foundation Trust AND asking low-wage staff for donations of whom he made cuts to. Pret trying to get money at every turn under the “charity” umbrella.

Will be updated as more “charity” activity is revealed that looks fishy in connection with other issues.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The “Difference” between Pret’s Kitchen & Shop

I would like to explain something to Pret front-line workers.

I am ecstatic about @at_pret‘s planning to strike and am super proud of their courage! If the strike goes forward or whatever the outcome may be is another topic. And of course I hope the strike goes forward and staff ask for and get MUCH MORE, especially the London Living Wage.

But I like to put some balance into an issue that I had to balance out many times when I was a Team Leader at Pret in many of the shops I worked at.

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I was a Team Leader of the shop floor and also worked in the kitchen to learn the products and helped out many times. I ALWAYS was gobsmacked and had a high respect for Kitchen Team Leaders, because I could never do what they do! I ran the shops as a shop Floor Leader (FL) and even though it was extremely stressful, the job was EASY for me!

One General Manager (GM) said to me once that I run the shop with my eyes closed! It came easy to me! What did NOT come easy was all the bullsh!t and bullying from the top! One GM tried to coax me into becoming a Kitchen Team Leader (KL) if I wanted to move up to be an Assistant Manager. But I declined because running the kitchen is a nightmare!!! And I also loved working with customers and appreciate daylight!

There are many Pret staff who prefer to work in the kitchen as they don’t like contact with customers. And that’s fair enough!

But at times when the shop staff had a go at the kitchen staff and visa verca, I quickly jumped in to balance out the conflict.

Kitchen staff often think that shop staff are lazy because at times after the busy coffee rush and before the busy lunch rush, one or two staff stand by the till and seemingly look like they’re not doing anything!

But shop staff are always pressured by management to STAY at the till and DON’T MOVE! Because staff are pushed to drop everything as soon as a customer approaches the till! Staff are pushed to serve FAST to get customers in and out fast, as this means fast money flow.

I don’t want to get too much into this and want to avoid writing a LONG post again, but I often explained to the Team that we ALL work HARD and each team just has a different kind of stress!

I explained to those who never worked on the shop floor, what kind of stress shop staff suffer. And then I explained to shop staff what kind of stress kitchen folk suffer, and they started to appreciate each others’ work and helped each other more. And thus we all realised that it is much easier to work TOGETHER than to fight each other!

Kitchen staff have to work FAST like machines WITHOUT ever stopping! But kitchen staff don’t have to SMILE and pretend to be happy every second of every day on the shop floor and kiss butt of customers who have a go at them because their latte is cold!

Kitchen staff have LOUD and FAST music, NOT for fun like Pret claims, but so they don’t talk and work fast. Fast and loud music serves as a beating drum for the work pace! Your head explodes with that stress!

Same in the shop, the music has to always be loud so that customers don’t linger around too long! But kitchen staff at least can choose their own music and even switch it off if they want to. Although management and KL will switch it on again! I was told off by an area Manager once because I kept turning the volume down in the shop after my head was exploding and I had a concert of Tinnitus bugging me every day. Also, customers kept complaining, but Pret wants the music LOUD! In the kitchen at least staff have some control of the music system.

Shop staff have to listen to the same songs day in day out for months until head office changes the playlist!

If you are ill, depressed, bereaved and you work in the kitchen, you can do your bench in the corner of the kitchen, don’t have to speak with or look at anyone. You can even have a quite cry and wipe your tears on your shoulder!

If you are ill, depressed, bereaved and you work in the shop you are NOT allowed to have a sad face and MUST pretend to be happy and smile at all times! You MUST suppress the tears while being bugged by a customer who’s taking 5 minutes to get out pennies to pay for the £2.85 and tries to get rid of change. …

I know the public doesn’t believe this, unless you have worked or know someone who’s worked at Pret. But I had countless times when I went into the toilet when the shop was quiet, burst out in tears, splashed water on my face, dried up, waved wind into my eyes for my red eyes to settle back, went back on the shop floor, smiled and my customers never knew how suicidal I was. Especially after I buried my brother. At times I BEGGED my Manager to put me in the kitchen to work for a day when I was very down. I couldn’t afford to take unpaid leave if my holiday was already taken, and wasn’t paid for the first two days off sick, even if I’d had a GP sick note.

Most of the time my GM refused me to work in the kitchen because I wasn’t used to the pace and would have slowed down the production and the whole kitchen Team. Other times I begged to be the coffee maker for the morning so I don’t have to face customers and smile all the time. Again, refused because unlike in the kitchen, I was very efficient with fast service and looking after the shop. Even during extremely busy lunchtime, the shop side was immaculate at all times when I ran the shifts. So my Managers never wanted me in the kitchen or on coffee. If I was at any other position, coffee, kitchen it meant my GM or AM would have to look after the shop instead of sitting in the office checking Facebook! This is REALITY in Pret with many Managers!

It is ALWAYS about Pret, about Managers not wanting to work but dump all the burden on those who already work like machines. And I say it again, that I survived this especially during bereavement I still don’t understand!

This has screwed me up so deeply that now I REFUSE to smile or even be friendly if I don’t feel like it. And much worse, I lash out in a drunken stupor at GOOD people because I get paranoid they’re out “to get me” … You can judge me if you like, but this is reality.

Since @at_pret made the strike announcement and the Guardian took it to another level, social media is exploding with customers boycotting and even vowing to never set foot inside a Pret again! Reddit even has several former Pret staff speak out! I will STOP myself from posting ALL the reddit posts, but one I want to highlight and say that I also had to countless times console a colleague who cried in the staff room because our boss told them off, or a customer had a go at them …

Link to reddit comment from 12.08.2021

Quote:

»I can see no one in the comments worked for Pret. That place is a hell to work for, you always end up doing the job of 3-4 people, they have high standards, you are scolded if you don’t smile, and so on. It’s hell, I have never seen so many people crying during and after their shift. You are paid pennies compared to your workload. I can keep going, but it’s just not worth it and now they even cut the paid break, which was the only incentive to stay there. I am glad I left.«

One of many staff reviews along those line, this one is from 2015:

Link

Quote: “A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period …”

I could go on and on on with the different stress points in both areas, but I only want to emphasise that BOTH, kitchen and shop Team work bloody HARD, each with their own stress levels!

Sure, kitchen staff have very little opportunity to get the individual outstanding card awards! Shop staff have much more chances to get an outstanding card. But the outstanding card is an INDIVIDUAL reward, while the bonus is for the whole Team.

When someone kept having a go at the kitchen Team I said to them that they should work in the kitchen for one week and then after a week they come back to the shop floor and KISS the ground! And visa versa said the same to a kitchen staff to work a week in the shop!

I always stressed to kitchen and shop staff that we are ONE TEAM not two Teams, ONE team! And division and stress between staff is EXACTLY what Pret and low-wage companies love! It distracts from the REAL issues of exploitation by millionaires, who throw crumbs at the bottom to fight over!

I saw a bunch of pigeons fighting over crumbs once and realised then where the term “picking on each other” comes from!

I speak about this in my interview on a podcast, fast forward to 1:22:20 via Soundcloud.

@at_pret kitchen staff, if you’re reading this, please understand that the shop Team have AS MUCH stress, it’s just a different kind of load, but shop staff work AS HARD as kitchen staff and kitchen staff work AS HARD as shop staff. NO-ONE works harder, and NO-ONE has it easier! It’s just a different kind of stress!

My favourite review I came across is from a kitchen worker who also had to jump in to help out in the shop on the till. And trust me, as a Floor Leader I often helped out in the kitchen or asked a shop staff who wasn’t busy to help out in the kitchen as much as kitchen staff also helped us in the shop.

It’s ONE Team! ALL work hard!

My favourite review that still has me cry at times as it triggers the pain that follows you home! I gave it an extra YouTube slide because the public NEEDS to understand how Pret staff suffer!

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou is having a LAUGH 🤬

Pano Christou making a MOCKERY of staff!

And even though my post here makes indirect advertisement for Pret, I want the public to see how utterly, utterly careless, patronizing and disrespectful Pret is towards their staff!

Is he delusional or just outright, unashamedly disgusting to staff?

As all social media platforms are on fire with customers not only boycotting Pret, but many having vowed to never set foot inside Pret again, and some staff find courage to speak out over Pret’s exploitation, cutting pay etc.

What does CEO Pano Christou do?

He does what Pret does best: he announces his self-loathing “charity”.

He wants to run a half marathon to raise money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty, hunger and homelessness” … and then he’s asking the staff of whom he just cut wages, benefits etc. to donate to his cause @%!*&% 🤬🤬🤬

I have so many curse words on my tongue but don’t want to degrade myself further! He is spitting on his staff with his charitable pretends! F****** 🤮

They’re trying to get money at EVERY corner including donations from staff.

But this goes exactly along the lines of what Pret did to staff in March 2020 when Pret did the NHS freebie PR stunt. On 18. March 2020 just before first lock-down but at the intensity of the pandemic where it was clear how contagious Covid 19 is, Pret announced coffee freebies and 50% rebate on food for NHS workers. The very next day “charitable” Pano Christou sent an email to all shops and HQ to announce “temporary” cuts to staff. NHS workers were used twofold, as a PR stunt and a smokescreen to divert from cuts to own staff.

I was contacted by several Pret staff on the morning of the email and was sent his email. Full email: (My plea) To NHS Employees. The audacity to use the pandemic to justify cuts and at the same time TAKE AWAY from low-wage staff. In my eyes, Pret staff basically PAID for the NHS freebies. And it was disheartening to read that most NHS staff didn’t care except for their own pocket. Just very few NHS staff spoke out, one very strongly:

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Link

Since the Guardian article by Sarah Butler came out yesterday and a social media storm erupted of customers showing LOVE and solidarity to Pret staff, I’ve spent most of my day tweeting with tears streaming down my face! The overwhelming support from the public I didn’t expect. There’s always some support, but there’s always more silence than voices. But yesterday and still today customers speaking out is like a much needed rain in a drought, and I haven’t cried tears of joy in a long time. And this in contrast to just few voices of NHS staff who mainly seemed to care about getting a freebie while Pret staff bled for it!

So Pano does the usual Pret thing, floating HIS boat on his charitable ventures while sh!tting on staff! His marathon message he sent to all staff, one of whom sent it to me. Also very economical for Pano, instead of joining and paying for the gym or doing a boring morning run on his own, he goes for a public exercise and gets money for it!

And mind you, this message has been sent to me by a low-wage front-line SHOP staff, NOT HQ staff! Pret wants £8.91 p/h staff to donate to his “charity” act! Yeah Pano, I wish you luck! You’ll need more of it now than you ever thought!

Pret staff and the Unions should take the picket-line across the route where Pano will run! And the banner at the goal should have a strong message from staff and the Union on it!

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ADDITION 14.08.2021

After pondering on Pano’s charity stunt, it seems to me that Pano is losing it and is clueless on how to act. Going on a charity marathon thing is a coping mechanism he does from long days gone by. When Pret found itself in deep water on any issue, their strategy was always to do some quick charity stunt reaction. But Pano hasn’t realized that this old coping mechanism doesn’t work anymore. It’s out-dated, it’s INAPPROPRIATE and it has NOTHING whatsoever to do with current issues of the pandemic nor staff shortage!

I wrote in May that I have a feeling that Pano will soon be replaced as a CEO. Staff never really saw him as a leader who’d make an impact. He was Clive Schlee’s shadow for years but never really brought anything new or inventive to the table. He just learnt how to sweet-talk like a parrot!

My prediction from May 2021:

“The Pano Christou Index”

And in the early hours of 29. March 2018 former CEO Clive Schlee made the £1000 announcement to all staff (£800 after tax) after he found out late at night on 28. March about my blog. I give a visual of the evidence here:

“The Day Clive Schlee had a Bright Idee” (Idee is not a typo, I explain in the post!)

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
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 Staff consider to STRIKE

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On 10th August 2021 I woke up to a wonderful Tweet:

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Link

I went on a Twitter race to tweet the press, Unions and others in general.

This morning another lovely start into the day:

Link to Guardian article

Of course this article took the strike announcement to another level and a social media storm erupted as usual, with caring customers announcing to stop buying at Pret. And this comes days after the UK government named and shamed Pret amongst 190 other companies for paying under the minimum-wage: Pret ‘named and shamed’ in government minimum wage list.

Just hours after the Guardian piece, Pret made what Sky news called a “U-Turn” and reinstated the £1 per hour bonus. BUT, this is a joke and a trick! The bonus is not guaranteed and I will briefly explain here below why this is a joke!

Link to The Guardian

First of all, yes of course it’s not law to have to pay breaks and most retail business don’t pay breaks! But why do we settle for a SYSTEM? Why not get this changed? Fast-food workers, especially Pret staff work like machines! It was already horrible to work before the pandemic! Pret always boast that they pay a little more then the competition. But 1. staff have to work triple the amount for it and 2. they don’t get a pay-rise in YEARS except on what the Government raises.

Some people get it to not accept certain “normal” things:

Link

And now, Pret ALSO pays the national minimum wage of £8.91, and with all these cuts staff get more work, many have left, who knows if there are Covid infections or even deaths. Pret was able to hide TWO allergen deaths under the carpet and a 3rd narrowly survived and more injured until an Inquest into the first fatality forced the news out.

The reason why the bonus being fully back from 50p to £1 per hour is that this is just another one of Pret’s tricks!

The bonus is not a guarantee whereas a living wage, paid breaks etc. are a guarantee. Pret has an extremely micromanaging, dehumanizing, humiliating Mystery Shopper scheme in place. I’ve written on this several times and have done some YouTube slides with real Pret Mystery Shopper (MS) reports because my blog is heavily censored on Facebook, Instagram, even here on WordPress. My blog is blocked on those sites and Facebook algorithm even deletes my PRIVATE messages when I link to my blog! But FB, Insta etc. can’t block YouTube, Twitter etc.

The MS has immense power to make or break shop bonus. Every week they visit and any little thing that p!sses the MS off can cost the whole shop the bonus. Pret Managers also have discretion to NOT give bonus for ANY silly reason. The MS is used as a tool to bully and fear manage staff!

If the Manager doesn’t like a staff member and that staff comes in ONE minute late, boom, the Manager withdraws the bonus.

The staff who got the ball rolling on the planned strikes confirms this:

Link

If you work 60 hours per week because Pret has always been under-staffed, but now since the pandemic it’s much worse, you get exhausted, sick, Covid is still around etc. and if you are sick even just for ONE day, you get your whole week’s bonus cut. If you work 60 hours and the MS visit is successful, you get £60 on top of your wages (£1 per hour). £60 is a LOT of money for underpaid staff who, some of them are on benefits to pay their rent. If you worked all week for 52 hours, and on your last day of that week you call sick missing 8 hours to make it to 60, you lose the whole week’s effort of £52 of the previous 52 hours you DID already work!

Many times I myself worked while I was sick because I had to make a decision if to stay at home and get well, but lose money, or work while sick risking further health issues AND potentially losing my whole Team the MS bonus. One MS I unknowingly served pointed this out when I was coughing while serving them and I was not able to smile. My Manager had me in the office after we received the report.

Ctrl & + to enlarge screenshot.

Quote:

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.”

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

Fathermucker, I was also not “cheerful” enough after I buried my brother and my boss told us to leave our problems at home and wear a smile like we wear our uniforms! If an undercover journalist would go into Pret to experience the Mystery Shopper hell. I renamed it to “Misery” Shopper. And dear MS, next time PAY staff to stay home and get well!

One staff member confronted former CEO Clive Schlee on this and called it “stealing”. The staff might have been warned by Pret as they since deleted their Tweet. Also, Clive Schlee’s Twitter account has been deleted in July 2020, so all that’s left are replies to him and many of the screenshots I have from his Tweets.

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And a recent Facebook DM with a former Pret staff who points this out as well, how working 70 hours per week is harmful for mental health, but also physically. I have permission to post this:

So, working like a donkey WILL make people sick! More from this FB exchange here: Pret Staff Tested Positive for Covid.

And other issues with the bonus being weaponized against staff, I worked with a colleague who came to work from his holiday with a little beard. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but in my time when a guy wanted to grow a beard, he had to let Pret know in advance. Pret had this in WRITING in our staff manuals, that’s why I know about it as I had to read stuff as a Leader. To this day I still don’t understand why they had to let Pret know because in the kitchen men with beards wear beard nets as well as hair nets! But he came from holiday with a beard and our Manager cut his bonus!

I got threatened that my bonus will get cut if I keep forgetting to slide the plastic opening sign to “open” in the morning. Pret don’t have these stupid red sliding signs anymore, but in my time when I was new as a Leader I kept forgetting, partly because no-one trained me on “Managing by Walking Around” (MBWA).

Anything can be used by management to not pay bonus. And knowing Pret, they may retaliate against staff for announcing a strike by making the Mystery Shopper harder and/or hint to Managers to cut bonus at any turn possible!

One recent review on Glassdoor by a Team Leader puts this in simple terms: “Bonus is used as weapon”:

Link

We staff always were suspicious as well that when Pret threw these elaborate huge summer and Christmas parties that each cost at least £10.000 and more, VERY OFTEN straight after the parties that week, many shops lost bonus! We couldn’t proof that Pret was behind this, but I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. And it was like clockwork, we staff always laughed and made bets if we get bonus the week after a party.

The same with overheated shops! I worked in 2 different shops, both for months without adequate air conditioning and broken ACs. Shops and at times kitchens if all ACs broke, were 40+ degrees! Every Mystery Shopper, every week NEVER even mentioned this! We were expected to keep smiling and performing at highest standards. We lost bonus if we couldn’t smile etc.

I write in detail and walk people through how working in 40 degrees is like and put many customer Tweets who complained to Pret over overheated shops: Pret A Manger Overheated Shops.

After I started my blog here I registered once on a Mystery Shopper forum about 2 years ago. People were sharing their experiences. There was no-one who was a Pret MS, but I explained from staff perspective how horrible it is for us. And 9 out of 10 MS on that forum were brutal with me! They said that this is our job and that we are expected to fulfill what the company wanted, no matter what. They said even after I explained that I was bullied DURING bereavement and expected to smile! I was shocked at their response! Many Mystery Shoppers seem arrogant and entitled, this is visible in their comments. And to become a MS, you are not allowed to have retail work experience. I believe that is because companies don’t want the MS to have empathy but be like a brutal customer who ONLY spends money when their butts are kissed!

I could go on and on, but I’m trying to learn to write shorter texts. Reinstating the £1 bonus is not good enough and as the only option is a bad deal because bonuses are not a guarantee. Knowing Pret from my own horrific experience, I truly believe it’s a trick of Pret, and staff should NOT settle for it.

As social media is on fire, even former Pret staff on reddit spill the beans on the reality of Pret:

Link

The following reddit comment I will quote here to enlarge it! These guys speak TRUTH!

“No, I’ve been working in hospitality for years. I’ve never seen anything like Pret, the amount of emotional abuse is unacceptable. But hey, people need to see you smile while they’re buying an effing sandwich…”

Link

Low-wage stop staff depend ONLY on the Mystery Shopper to get their peanut bonus of £1 per hour. But Managers and higher up Managers have their quarterly bonus GUARANTEED!

Low-wage front-line staff get the bonus paid weekly, if you worked 40 hours, you get £40 extra. But the bonus relies solely on the Mystery Shopper results, whereas shop Assistant Managers (the position CEO Pano Christou started), Managers and higher ups get their bonus quarterly and the Mystery Shopper is just one part of it. It’s the biggest part, but even if they have low scores, they still get their bonus every quarter!

Little side note again, I write about Pano Christou’s “Rags to Riches” story and explain that he started at position number 4 in the shop NOT at the bottom. He loves to tell the public that he started “in shops”. Sure he did, but he started as an Assistant Manager with a ton of benefits including £500 to buy business attire, monthly £50 for the dry cleaner, health insurance, sick pay from day one, a LOAN to buy an annual travel pass that costs only for 10 months (2 months free travel), elaborate executive parties, travels for Team building, higher pay, bigger bonus and a bunch of other perks along the way. He just loves to fool everyone how he started at the “bottom”! Give me a break!

Staff, as well as customers, have Pret at their balls now and should keep squeezing! DON’T let go! This is a momentum and an opportunity that doesn’t come around often!

They have the press AND the public AND former/current staff AND the Unions now with open eyes on this! DON’T LET GO!

Two slides I’ve done so far and may add more if staff send me updates with new Mystery Shopper reports. But once you look at the detail, you get the idea how dehumanizing Pret’s MS report is. Pret has downgraded from 32 questions to a little over 20 questions, but it’s still horrible for staff who have to act like acrobatic clowns to just get more crumbs that Pret throws at them.

Slide 1 are excerpts from different MS reports from different shops I worked in and different years. Slide 2 is from one shop in 2019. Pret changed some wordings a little since I extensively write about the Mystery Shopper and may have forced Pret even to mention the MS on shop walls. I renamed it to “Misery” Shopper!

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And most of the 32 MS questions from 2019. I have a report from 2020 but had no chance to work it into my blog or YT:

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Also, regarding cuts and exploitation, please see the following posts that show how Pret exploits staff since YEARS including wage theft, lawsuits, using NHS workers for PR etc.

Wage Theft in Pret

To NHS Employees

The Difference between Kitchen and Shop work (The strike announcement says that kitchen staff are the hard workers, but I explain that ALL staff work hard).

UPDATE: Please see how Pano Christou is further ripping low-wage staff off by trying to get money for “charity”: CEO Pano Christou is Having a Laugh!

And lastly, if customers and staff really want to reach the top executives after being ignored on Twitter, FB, Insta etc., it’s best to post to CEO Pano Christou directly on Linkedin. He deleted his Twitter account in 2019 after I tweeted Clive Schlee’s “retirement” to the press and also linked to Pano’s Twitter.

Pano Christou on Linkedin.

I recently adopted a 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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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.

Bosse Did It Again

After being blown away from a song of his 3 years ago > I fell in Love with a Song, he did it again!

Translation below …

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Rough translation, not a perfect translation, but the core of it:

SUNNYSIDE

Where the sun kisses the city

and your face, too

When you slept like you used to sleep

and you won’t miss a thing

You survive in the park

and you realize the grass is green

and someone hands you a beer

and endorphins release fear

And you sing out of tune on your way home

whistling a song in the dark

Then you’re on the sunnyside again

from there you just float

because you’re letting go and forgive

and you’re going out again

then you’re on the sunnyside again

From then on everything just falls into place

because you’re letting go and heal

and finally thrive again

Where your rough edges disappear

and melt at every turn


Where you don’t look back

Self-worth, Self-love

Where your light-footed walk is back

as well as your sneaky laugh

there, where you need eyes and deeds, say, what should we all do?

And you sing out of tune when we go about the neighbourhood together

whistling a song into the dark

Then you’re on the sunnyside again

from there you just float

because you’re letting go and forgive

and you’re going out again

then you’re on the sunnyside again

From then on everything just falls into place

because you’re letting go and heal

and finally thrive again


You look exhausted, but it’s over

you see how the first light shines on your ruins

You faced it, you haven’t hidden anything, you’ve cried till you dried

through deepest tunnels and grief and gravel towards sunnyside

towards sunnyside

– Bosse

Translation expret.org

WordPress CENSORS under the umbrella of “Mature Content”

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So, here I am minding my own business, writing my posts on Pret and doing other things in life, when I was informed that my blog cannot be found on WordPress.com READER when a WordPress user is signed in and searching for “Pret A Manger”.

And I’m sorry, I’m a better writer than a drawer, apologies! I do understand that the red dick that I drew looks more like a cactus with a sun burn that has lost its “spikes”, but I never claimed to be an artisté! I’m just exposing Pret and have pulled down their pants, revealing their tinie tiny dicks! And now I’m censored for it …

Censorship is nothing new under the sun, it’s happening throughout the Internet since the stone ages of the Internet. It’s subtle, it’s sneaky, it’s disgusting!

I contacted WordPress, and this is their reply today.

Viewer discretion advised and disclaimer: Please go to the toilet before you read the following otherwise you may wet yourself laughing!

Click ctrl & + (ctrl & plus) to enlarge the dick uhm pic:

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WordPress replies with the following:

In text:

“Your site has been classified as mature. For more information about this, please see the following guide:
https://wordpress.com/support/mature-content

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I just did a quicky, sorry a quick search on 3 words: Vagina, Penis and Dick.

And the following came out … no pun intended of course.

I leave it to investigative journalists to dig in to WordPress.com’s censorship in the name of “adult content”.

And Pret A Manger, good one, you have just help WordPress lose a longtime customer! Well done!

My blog was already censored months before I posted the following:
Pret A Vagina

And after I was informed of WordPress censorship, I did a search on just 3 words:

Vagina:
https://vvveritas.com

Penis:
https://reviewpeenlargementbiblepenissupersizer.wordpress.com

Dick:
http://www.drdicksexadvice.com

Now, which part of my blog is mature content porky pie?

Looking forward to moving my website over to another web provider!

Dear WordPress, I’m sure you don’t need my business as you pride yourself in being the most used web-provider out there. I should have known better and choose the little guy web provider. I pay for 1 main URL and 2 further URL’s. I was planning to upgrade, but not only will I NOT upgrade, I will move my website over to another web provider who doesn’t suck up to Pret A Manger’s tiny dick!

But most importantly, I have already passed on your censorship to investigative journalists, also Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and all who don’t give a sh!t about WordPress. WordPress, please come, come, come, come up with another excuse to censor blogs on behalf of coward companies, than in the name of “adult content” you father suckers!

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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.

How much does it take?

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Andrej (PAMSU) tweeted for 6 years after he was fired for having started a Trade Union.

Once I came along on Twitter in 2018, he stopped tweeting. I get it that he was tired. But I don’t appreciate that he never replied to my email, Facebook messaging, and even lied to a journalist. Not good Andrej.

I understand that this is AGAIN about a FEMALE speaking out, and you males shutting down.

I don’t need you.

Facebook group “I Hate Pret” posted in 2011 and then a few years after that. And then stopped.

I myself wrote an Encyclopedia on Pret in 3 years that journalists pretend to not care about, while drooling over it, trying to figure out how not to plagiarize.

So, when journalists come across my story and website, they do one of the following depending on the person:

  • They pretend to not care and ghost (while checking out your website)
  • They REPLY that they are interested, trying to lure you in to share more than they can handle
  • They really don’t care, and in that case, they have other projects worth investigating. But the main thing is, you will know a bullshitter miles away.

When I stared to write publicly on Pret, I wanted to write down my story and die. I wanted the public to know that there are Pret staff who suffer and why they died.

The public and journalists are catching up now. But in the end they don’t care.

I contacted hundreds of journalists.

Most continue to play-pretend to not care.

You won’t be remembered in my book.

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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.

Naughty, Naughty Pret! Not paying staff … AGAIN!

I’m actually surprised that this Tory Government has investigated, and now names and shames companies for not paying staff. I am so disheartened with the Tory Govt. for how they squeezed the UK for years, especially the NHS, and mishandled the pandemic. So, the publication of this list of companies is a pleasant surprise!

Our usual suspect of course is Pret A Manger. And as usual, many people are surprised, especially business people. But why? Business people should know best how companies cheat to get and keep money!

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Pret has been stealing wages for years and settled TWO class action suits in the USA having had to repay 4000 workers close to a combined $1 million. In the USA people quickly sue and get results, while in the UK the legal system is very different. Even if you win in court, the effort and price you pay compared to the rewards is not worth ruining your mental health and finances. It needs class actions as well as individual lawsuits.

Pret’s wage theft, detail here: Pret A Manger Wage Theft

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Link to Government list of companies

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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.

Like A Vagina – Just for the very last time …

I have written the most comprehensive site on Pret A Manger.

After initially contacting hundreds of journalists who didn’t care, I am followed or contacted by high profile journalists. Most I “kicked off” my following because I’m tired of journalists wanting material to drop in their lap, while they won’t give credit to me or my story.

And the reason why no-one dares to cover my story, except those who don’t have to lose anything, is because I’m female.

On top of that I have mental health issues. And thus, the stigma is perfect.

And most journalists block me then. And this is one sign to know which journo can be trusted.

LateNightGirlMe/status/1421623160475095043

LateNightGirlMe/status/1419688927741497345

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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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 Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

I wrote a post with 3 possibilities why several Pret shops are closed throughout the UK: “Short Term Staffing Issues“.

But I want to do an extra post adding a 4th reason. My alarm bells go off when Pret seemingly speak the truth. It is true that Pret has staff shortages, like all in the hospitality industry.

But some shops have a note on the door saying they are closed due to refurbishments. The memo didn’t get around to settle on which lie to tell I guess. So, there are always conflicting messages even within ONE shop.

Link

There are daily complaints on all social media platforms to Pret that customers cannot use their subscription as their local shop is closed. Thus they keep paying the monthly £20 without being able to get any drink. This looks typical like Pret to me ripping customers off and not giving a refund. This to me is unethical, because if Pret would care about their customers, instead of quick money coming in, they would make a list on their website with WHICH shops are currently closed and email all subscribers informing them of those shop closures.

If Pret cared, they would also put information on Pret’s subscription sign-up page, to inform any customer who is about to sign up to check THEIR area for open/closed shops BEFORE they sign up. But what am I talking??! Since when would Pret care for customers and for ethics instead of just for money.

My theory is that Pret does a clever economical thing, they take all the staff from shops that don’t bring much profit, close those shops and place the staff in the shops that do make profit.

Then Pret negotiates with landlords to get a cheaper deal or refuse to pay rent altogether, like Pret does in the USA and has at least six lawsuits on their necks for unpaid rents.

Link to June 2021 article

So, saving money in rents, maybe either negotiating with landlords or refusing to pay altogether in the hopes they get away with it, as the UK is more forgiving then the USA. Pret has also received a £185 million cash injection from their in tax-haven Luxembourg based owners JAB Holding, yet do a lot of questionable money saving stunts. I list some here: Pret will INDEED try anything to survive.

Saving on overhead costs on closed shops, deliver service costs for the daily products delivered to shops from the depot, saving on shop management payroll as less Managers are needed, and then continuing to sell the coffee subscription to customers who can’t use it!

Clever deal, Pret. But in my eye highly unethical.

Also, some shop staff put the lie on the front door of a closed shop that they are closed due to refurbishment, or like the above Tweet says “nip and tuck makeover”. Well, if you’d worked at Pret like I did for 10 years (yeah, don’t ask me, it’s my biggest regret!) you would know that refurbishments in Pret take no more than 2 days, 4 days max AND that refurbishments are ALWAYS done at night, OUTSIDE of business hours so as not to disrupt the trade!

I have worked in several shops over the years where Pret did the huge refurbishments back in the early 2010s when they changed from the cold, silver, metal look to the warm wood ambience! The shops where I worked at did the refurbishment mainly during the weekends at night, but also during the week at nights. Many times when I opened the shop on Monday morning 6am, neighbours were already waiting outside fuming and then coming in to complain that builders were making unbelievable noise during the night. Builders were hammering, using the electric saw OUTSIDE to avoid too much saw dust inside for staff to have to clean … Everything was done during the night to avoid interruption to the business!

I had to personally apologize several times to rightfully angry neighbours and get them the number or email for head office. I always offered a free coffee on top of it, but some were so angry, they didn’t even want a freebie! And when Pret opens a new shop, builders in different shifts work 24/7 to get the shop opened as soon as possible. The worst that was always shocking to me was when neighbours told us of the sawing machines OUTSIDE where builders were sawing during the night! No regard whatsoever of the residential neihbourhood.

Only one of several complaints on Twitter.

Link

So, let’s see how many more lies Pret come up with and what confusing messages staff put on shop doors.

No sir, it’s not due to refurb!

Link

A FULL refurbishment doesn’t take 4 days! Even when they work only the night, it may take 4 days, but during the day the shop is open! And especially a “nip and tuck” which indicates a small refurb, doesn’t even take more than 2 nights!

Link

Pret itself give the “short term staffing disruption” on several occasions while some shops didn’t get the memo on which lie to post on the door.

I can only say to customers who have the subscription while their local Pret shop is closed, to demand a full refund for the period when the shops where closed (while having the subscription).

But Pret won’t do that, because they are not challenged by consumer rights groups or in court. In the USA there would be a class action suit in no time. But in the UK people keep giving Pret the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many customers die, how many staff speak out about exploitation and the bullying environment in Pret etc. etc.

For more on how Pret is ripping customers AND staff off: HERE again.

The rip-off also happens in the USA where customers pay for their drinks while having the subscription (pass), or the usual “no iced drinks”, no expensive plant-based milks, customers can’t cancel the subscription, and IF they manage to cancel, Pret continues to withdraw money yada yada yada …

Link

Link

Customers are continuously charged AFTER they successfully cancelled the subscription. Via YouTube:

Hardly any shop serves the expensive frappes and smoothies on subscription. This goes back since the subscription started last year which can be seen in below YouTube slide on the dates of the Tweets towards the end.

And IF people are lucky to get an iced drink (often the cheaper iced Latte or Americano, Pret managed to get 14oz cheaper paper cups from the suppliers, while claiming since MONTHS to have “supplier issues” on the more expensive 16oz plastic cups.

My question to a current Pret Barista on the cup issue, but the Barista isn’t sure why Pret changes the cups. What this Barista means by “which is bigger” is that the 14oz paper cup is bigger than the usual 12oz hot coffee paper cup, but it’s smaller to the 16oz plastic iced drink cup.

Link

Pret should actually adopt a similar slogan to what Tesco uses: “Every little helps” (for Pret that is)!

Pret in the UK did only 2 cup sizes (apart from the small espresso cup), the 12oz usual coffee paper cup and the 8oz flat white and strong espresso cup. Mind you a “strong” espresso is NOT a double shot, it’s 1.5 shots, thats why Pret NEVER advertises it as “double espresso” but “strong espresso” to not get n trouble, while paying with people’s perception of “assuming” it’s 2 shots. But Pret charges the 1.5 strong coffee shot as if it was a 2 shot coffee, just like normal cafes like Caffè Nero does. Caffè Nero does actual TWO shots as a double shot and charges the same for an extra shot like Pret does.

When a Pret customer asks for a double shot latte, the Barista presses the “strong” espresso button, which is 1.5 shots NOT 2 shots. Even when a customer asks for a latte with an extra shot, the Barista presses the strong button. ONLY when a customer asks for a latte with TWO separate shots but demands to pay for the advertised “strong latte”, the Barista reluctantly does it as an exception if the customer persists. But most customers don’t know about the 1.5 shots as they assume it’s a double shot.

Please scroll up and down in the following Twitter feed where a former Pret Barista confirms this.

Pret just uses psychology to fool people into thinking they get a double shot. Every little helps! 😉

And now Pret has added a 14oz paper cup for the iced drinks. Excuse me, how can Pret have NO “supplier issues” on the 14oz paper cups, but since MONTHS on the 16oz plastic cups?

Every little helps!

Pret confirming to a customer that their iced plastic cup is 16oz:

Link

Getting cheated out of 2oz doesn’t sound much, but it adds up. Every little helps!

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Anyone who has the subscription while local shops are closed should get a full refund.

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UPDATE 16.08.2021

It seems that Pret also closed shops in city centers to open new ones outside cities. Oh and the irony of creating 2000 new jobs! Minimum-wage jobs and facing strike action!

Link

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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.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.


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.

5 Minutes

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etc. etc. etc.


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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 Difference between a Man and a Man

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1. The difference between a Mother and a Mother.

2. The difference between a Black person and a Black person.

3. The difference between a European and a European.

4. The difference between an Educated and the Educated.

5. The difference between Rich countries and Richer countries.

6. The difference between “strong” Males and “weak” Females.

To be continued unfortunately …

Non-commercial Break:

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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 Nasty Business of Emotional Prostitution

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I’ve read a short Tweet exchange today between Pret customers regarding the service in Pret.

Link

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I start entering the conversation under @Ethical_Sailor’s Tweet. Please click “Show more replies” and “Show replies” as my account is blacklisted on Twitter due to censorship as I expose Pret. I won’t put all my Tweets here, please just read the feed on Twitter as I added some more.

Link

I then also write under the original Tweeter. Again, please click “Show more replies” and read further Tweets in the feed.

Link

One Tweet I want to place here because it’s important:

Link

Here is a screenshot of a Mystery Shopper (MS) comment when I served the MS (unbeknown to me) and I was coughing because I had a minor cold. I remember this very vividly because after we received the report that week, my boss ordered me into the office! I was intimidated at their “preaching” to be more careful when serving. I wasn’t as bold then as I am now. This was before my brother died and all hell broke lose in Pret. But comments like this can tip any person over who suffers mental health issues, let alone having a flipping cold!

And maybe the MS doesn’t know that low-wage staff are NOT paid sick day on their first and second days, even with a GP sick note. Or maybe they didn’t care. But I worked while sick MANY MANY times, having to make the decision if I should stay at home and get well, but lose money or go to work struggling, but able to pay my bills.

I don’t understand why above MS screenshot is blurred! Is there censorship on this website provider, too??

Please see the following link where the screenshot is enlarged and clear:

https://s20.directupload.net/images/210728/eba3rst4.jpg

Quote:

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.”

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

Uhm, I wasn’t even “cheerful” to smile under extreme stress and noise 8+ hours each day on a good day you arrogant, entitled prat!

Since I started writing on Pret’s micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme, Pret has now changed the wording, they don’t say anymore “We aim to connect with every customer with …” as many customers on social media became appalled at this when I posted this.

Back to above Tweet feed, I started looking at Ms Persaud’s original Tweet on the top closer and decided to write a blog post on this. And this time I WANT Deborah Persaud to take it personal. I’m going to copy her full text into my blog as well as the screenshot above.

Quote:
»Just goes to show how much difference one good person can make – went to my usual @Pret fir coffee this morning. The helpful person must be on holiday as I stood right at the counter for 5 minutes being actively ignored by the staff. So I left, lunch-less.«

Poor YOU Deborah Persaud, poor you!

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This kind of attitude and expectation is what Sophie McBain writes about in her subtitle of “How Emotional Labour Harms Us All” quote: »Workers are put at high risk of anxiety and burnout, while consumers are emboldened to behave aggressively.«

Now Deborah Persuad doesn’t seem like behaving “aggressively”, rather more passive aggressive, but comments like hers I remember reading in the weekly Emails that Pret’s head office sent out to all shops on Fridays where we, in our area would read all the positive and negative comments on shops in the area that customers sent in to Pret. Some sent it via Email, others on Social Media. Pret does this so that EVERYONE in shops can read each others’ comments to either shame us if negative comments or make others jealous if positive, so as to strive to achieve better. It’s the typical manipulative bullying behaviour to keep low-wage staff on their toes at all times.

And customers like Deborah Persuad love this, because she gets her emotional ego stroked, probably even a free voucher to keep her coming back spending more money. In the meantime the staff member whom Ms Persuad complained about PUBLICLY, will probably find themselves in the office with the equally frustrated Manager who gives the staff member a good telling off, threaten them with a disciplinary and then sends them out onto the shop floor demanding to smile for Mystery Shopper bonus. Please read this real Mystery Shopper report and put yourself just for 5 minutes into the shoes of a low-wage front-line FOOD worker.

And mind you, some customer take photos of staff and publish their names on social media, humiliating already burnt out, underpaid staff.

»Workers are put at high risk of anxiety and burnout, while consumers are emboldened to behave aggressively.« Sophie McBain

I recently had a go at a customer from Pret New York who put a photo of a female staff member whom he accused of having touched her face while serving. As the staff member was black, I equally accused the Tweeter of racism! I won’t put the screenshot here, because this low-wage worker deserves protection and dignity! And many other Tweets with photos and names of staff that arrogant, entitled, spoiled customers post.

Two YouTube slides I did on Pret’s abusive Mystery Shopper scheme. I use YouTube as well because my blog is blocked on Facebook/Instagram where the algorithm even deletes PRIVATE messages when I link to my blog! But they can’t block YouTube or Twitter! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›

The first slide is with excerpts of Mystery Shopper reports from different years and shops. All those were from shops that I worked at. I coined Pret’s Mystery Shopper as “Misery” Shopper for a reason:

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This second slide is from one Mystery Shopper report in December 2019 that a Pret staff send me. From this report I included most of the 32 micromanaging questions Pret tasks weekly Mystery Shoppers to test staff on. Staff have to bend backwards and sideways like acrobatic clowns, just to get some extra peanuts. selling their smiles like emotional prostitutes, yet with NO guarantee to even get the bonus! If ONE Team Member “sicks duck” enough, they MAY be lucky to get the £100 reward, which happened in this report, while the whole shop lost bonus because a few food products were missing from the range:

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The FULL report of above second slide can be found here: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed.

And then of course as we are in the Internet age and also in the cancel culture pandemic, she now blocked me. As if I’d care! 😀

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The only thing that is disheartening is that customers who are the “worst” in terms of quickly complaining and completely disregarding low-wage fast-food worker’s plight, are often mental health advocates, in Deborah Persaud’s case she’s a “disability activist”. She seems to have forgotten or not know that many disabilities are invisible.

And I take offense that Deborah Persaud doesn’t think the person who didn’t live up to her expectations isn’t a “good person”.

When I read her initial complaint Tweet closer again, I read with tears in my eyes, partly in sadness and also fuming in anger. I had a clash yesterday with a Samaritan which was a scary moment for me to tip me over. I write about it here: I’d Rather Die Than Delete My Tweets. Apologies for my strong language and fuming anger, but I smiled for 10 years in Pret INCLUDING during horrific bereavement while being bullied! I have NO MORE sweet words to say to people who don’t give a sh!t while presenting themselves as “saviours”. And on a side note, the fact that the Samaritans give awards turns my stomach! Shove your awards up your asses and STOP using broken people to scratch your fucking egos!

And to any new reader, before you judge me as being a “disgrunted” former employee, please familiarize yourself with my story first and also read some of the accounts of other former and current Pret staff that I post on my blog. I wish I was “just” a disgrunted former employee! I wouldn’t go out of my way writing “war and peace” on Pret!

Dear Pret Customer, you want to go on social media and shame low-wage employees who are burnt out, depressed, some are even suicidal, others functioning alcoholics or taking medication to be able to sleep, especially during this horrific pandemic, I may come and shame YOU!

One of many GOOD and important Tweets, just yesterday by a rightfully concerned customer about how shops are SWAMPED with customers and only 1 or 2 staff at breaking point. And Pret does NOT care!

Link to video.

Link to recent Pret staff email.

Another email by another then current Pret staff:

Link to full unedited email, unedited because the person didn’t give any specific details like the above (yellow) did to may get identified by Pret.

Link

To anyone else who cares, please read the following Facebook exchange I’ve had with a former Pret staff, who described that Pret did NOTHING after a colleague tested positive for Covid-19:
Pret A Manger Staff Tested Positive for Covid (and Pret did nothing).

Excerpt:

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UPDATE 30.07.2021

As there have been some more information via a Tweet exchange and then I was blocked again, I want to update this post and respond to Tweets that I cannot respond to as I’m blocked.

Please scroll up (and down) in the following Tweet exchange:

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A blind person once told me that they cannot read texts that is on the screenshots, so I type out each Tweet underneath the screenshots, and then my response to it.

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  1. Quote:

»Thank you, @FieldsHighbury. I don’t need to explain myself to strangers, and my OP wasn’t directed at you, @ExPretAManger, but my banner and profile sets out a few salient facts to help readers understand my situation, and a moment’s perusal would have helped you here.«

First of all Ms Persaud blocked again but continues tweeting @ my blocked account. So, I respond here on my blog. After the Tweet exchange with FieldsHughbury I see the figures/emoticons on your profile now. As many people on Twitter use flags, emoticons etc. it often passes me by what some signs mean or because they are very small. But of course now I can see what this means. I am a text person, I don’t like picture books, I don’t often use emoticons, but only started recently to use them more, I prefer text and #hashtags, my brain doesn’t pay attention as fast to pictures compared to text.

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2. Quote:

»For the benefit of anyone who needs my OP spelled out more clearly… My guide dog and I visit that branch of Pret very regularly and are welcomed warmly. They even know my order. This is a very nice thing.«

Yes it is. And why couldn’t you spell this out from the get go? And I have seen this MANY times that customers have had 10 experiences in Pret, 9 of the 10 experiences were super positive, and the 10th was negative. And immediately that ONE negative experience makes them go on social media and rant! Disheartening.

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3. Quote:

»This time, however, in an almost empty store, my dog and I stood at the counter repeatedly asking for help and I was ignored. This is not a nice thing and I left empty-handed. I decided to let @Pret know. I did not direct individual criticism at anyone, just a generic (emoticon of a woman shrugging her shoulders).«

And why not? Why using a general brush aimed at ALL Pret staff giving vague information? What you have experienced is unacceptable and hurtful. A fair criticism would be to openly critique, explaining what happened so that the company and the people involved can UNDERSTAND where they were wrong or made a mistake.

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4. Quote:

»If you care to track back through my historic tweets, you’ll soon see the numerous occasions where I’ve given very positive feedback on the service I’ve received. Hence the (emoticon of a woman shrugging her shoulders)«

Why would I care to track through your historic Tweets if you keep blocking me first thing, and then even write TO ME while I am being blocked, not able to read your response TO ME (except when locked OUT), and not able to respond as I’m blocked. This cancel culture to immediately “diss” people who disagree with you is tiring. I have no interest to check the historic Tweets of a person who immediately shuts the door in people’s faces because they have a different opinion or who give critique, especially while not knowing the events but vague and general criticism of staff.

You chose to write on a PUBLIC platform, without initially giving information and then expect people to immediately understand what the issue is. I am not a saviour or “advocate” or anything like that, but from my own experience in Pret where we got DAILY criticism from our line Managers, from Pret’s Head Office, from customers, and to top it and make it worse, from weekly micromanaging Mystery Shoppers commenting that basically NOTHING is EVER good enough and that EVERY LITTLE thing we do or make a mistake on is IMMEDIATELY condemned, called out, named, and shamed!

And if that wasn’t enough, low-wage staff don’t get their bonus and suffer not only mentally, emotionally and physically, but financially!

If I then see vague Tweets like your initial Tweet, I cannot just silently read it and move on KNOWING that low-wage, exhausted, bullied, overworked, underpaid, depressed, sick Pret staff have NO ONE to speak up for them! Because I KNOW how they will find themselves in the office with an equally frustrated, and by area Managers bullied shop Managers, and the staff are NOT given a chance to voice THEIR side of things! But instead they are shouted at behind closed doors in the office or kitchen or staff room, away from customers. They are fear managed to get in line or fear for their job. Then they are send out to the shop floor and ORDERED to smile and pretend to be cheery, so that the WHOLE shop Team get their bonus and the area Managers their bigger chunk of money while sitting home having a laugh!

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5. Quote:

»I know the staff are minimum wage and I have always graciously thanked them (we have no way of tipping here). So I can only conclude that @ExPretAManger is a lazy troll and I was right to block. Take your grievance out on the right person and leave me and my supporters alone.«

I’ve been called a lot of things since I expose Pret. I’ve been called “insane”, “angry”, or when people are upset because I have a different opinion they quickly call me “troll” etc. But “lazy? LOL! No, that’s not one that people call me. 😀

And yes, it is kind of you to thank staff and try to give a tip. Pret has even stopped the tip box in the USA and turned the tip boxes into charity boxes. But while tipping staff and thanking them is wonderful and boosts their spirits for a moment, what people really need to start looking at is the HEAD of the company, the SOURCE of the problem. This is why Tweets like the following has me hopeful that some customers pay attention at the REAL issues.

Screenshot with text underneath:

Quote:

»Until it changes its exploitative working practices I will not buy a single sandwich a @Pret_UK. The average worker at Pret works a 6-hour shift without a single break (breaks are unpaid) at an unstoppable pace. …« – Dr. Eunice Goes Link to Tweet

Regarding your assumption on me being a “lazy troll”, what you CAN indeed call me though is: uninterested in your historic Tweets! And that is because, if you come on Twitter and in a passive aggressive way criticize low-wage staff in GENERAL, WITHOUT giving specific details on WHAT happened, and THEN you immediately block someone who KNOWS firsthand how immensely stressful, ungrateful, toxic, fear managed, depressing … working at Pret is, where staff are FORCED to smile or they lose money and get threatened with their job security, then I have no interest whatsoever to check your history.

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6. Quote

»And I really don’t think going into a shop, standing at the counter and asking for service is being ‘emotionally needy’ – it’s just buying stuff in a shop. Most people do it most days!«

Knowing what I know now, no of course it’s not “emotionally needy”. I wrote my blog post without the information I have now because people throughout the years have complained on Twitter or via email to Pret making staff responsible for THEIR emotional needs. Pret itself even demanded from staff to “attend to EACH customer’s needs” as if staff are little psychologists or nurses responsible for customers’ emotional well-being. So, staff love-bomb customers to get extra money and avoid getting fear managed if they lose bonus.

And you wrote, quote: »I’ve become reliant on the warm welcome and consistently great service…«

Please do NOT become reliant on low-wage staff’s welcome or the lack thereof! They just sell coffee and sandwiches under EXTREMELY stressful conditions! And even if it is quiet in the shop, you don’t know how it was prior to it, and if a staff member just was bullied back in the office. That of course is NOT your problem or responsibility, but please do not put your reliance of warmness on low-wage food staff!

And especially since you have received CONSISTENTLY great service, it is upsetting that ONE incidence makes you question the “goodness” of the staff, not knowing what went on that moment or day.

I’ve read many ridiculous complaints from customers with the expectation to, figuratively speaking, be “cuddled” by low-wage food staff, but the most ridiculous and plainly upsetting complaint is this:

Link

Quote with bold highlight by me:

»@Pret Queen Street Pret at 8:10 this morning. Poor service from server named ‘Adil S’. No smile. Rushed service. Didn’t give me a warm and welcoming feeling. He should not work in the service industry if smiling doesn’t coming naturally for all your morning coffee customers!«

I responded to his appalling complaint, but now I would just put a vomit emoticon under his complaint! Pret staff including Baristas have 60 seconds to serve a customer or risk losing the WHOLE shop their bonus! I am sick to my stomach at customers like this.

»Workers are put at high risk of anxiety and burnout, while consumers are emboldened to behave aggressively.« Sophie McBain

And I won’t get bullied to take down anything I write while equally being offended. I am by all means NOT lazy at all, and for sure I’m angry and to a certain degree “insane”, but I am not interested in anyone who comes on a public platform and in a vague way “snitches” on low-staff who are at breaking point, without giving fair and specific details why you are upset or offended.

I want to end with an excerpt of an email by a current Pret front-line staff who wrote to me in tears. And believe me, Pret staff will NEVER tell you and other customers how it REALLY is for them for fear you jump on Twitter and humiliate them, or for fear they happen to speak to the Mystery Shopper, because even regular customers can be Pret Mystery Shoppers!

Staff excerpt, quote:

»I came across your blog just before applying for a job at Pret, but stupidly looked over what you were saying as I was growing desperate to work … I’m writing to you … and I wish I’d taken your warnings before applying. … Honestly, I feel like I’m drowning … I would never want to be the kind of person who gives up on things just because they’re challenging, but …. I spend most … times … crying, I don’t have enough time to eat. … I haven’t been shown where to get certain items and have to keep asking, it’s absolutely humiliating. …«

Link to email.

So, please complain to Pret, even publicly which is important, because it is UNACCEPTABLE how you were treated! But PLEASE complain fairly and be specific on what happened without expecting people to read every emoticon or history of your Tweets! And before you criticize my grammar or English, because that’s what people often do when they run out of arguments, please know that English is not my mother tongue and I haven’t studied. I do know about my weakness of making sentences too long. But I don’t apologize for it. It’s everyone’s prerogative to read or not.

But please do some research on what a troll actually is. If you do choose to respond, please do so in a FAIR way. Other then that I have nothing to say to you or your friend anymore. Best wishes.

P.S.

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Also for the record, it’s open to me to comment on anything that is written on a public platform. To call this “harassment” is laughable and a typical accusation when people are not happy being challenged. When you call people a “lazy troll” you cross boundaries and have become extremely rude, and I would like it to stop. Thank you.

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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.

I’d rather die than remove my Tweets!

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Today I had a “lovely” Tweet exchange with an award winning suicide prevention Samaritan worker.

The Tweets started like this:

Link

So, I hung my Tweet at @sharkyrae, not directly at @GaryLiverpool.

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He tweets back the following:

Link

Thinking it’s just a usually annoyed person which happens, and is completely understandable and acceptable. I get that occasionally. I start replying with my usual response to just block me, and then my eye caught his profile to the right … and I started losing it!

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I know why I don’t trust awards! And that HR departments are toxic is more or less common knowledge, but this just turned my stomach. I’m not proud of my language here and the row of Tweets that follow, which you can easily follow by clicking “show more”. My Tweets are hidden in general, all the time behind the censorship wall, even when I write positive things, as my account is blacklisted for exposing Pret. But his profile just did it for me.

I used to call the Samaritans. I will certainly never call them again. I’d rather jump off the bridge.

If this guy answers a phone call or email of a suicidal person who happens to work at Pret and shares that they want to end their life because they are bullied during bereavement, the exact thing why I called the Samaritans 5-6 years ago, of course he would NOT say to not “call him again with my sad story and that he loves Pret”, but he would also NOT take a suicidal person with exactly that experience serious! Just the thought makes me want to get the fuck drunk and end my fucking life!

He would sweet-talk the caller and volunteers as well as professional counsellors are (supposed to be) trained to be non-judgmental and neutral. And just thinking that he would sweet-talk on the phone to a suicidal person and in private be so vile … The Samaritans have certainly lost my “custom” should I ever stand at the bridge again.

Of course I’m now partially shadow banned for the next 12 hours (until approx. midnight tonight) as he must have reported me.

I wrote further once I noticed that my account is shadow banned. And by the way, Twitter allows multiple accounts, so I’m not doing anything illegal here by having more than 1 account, Twitter even allows to connect one account to another.

I explained to him that as a mental health worker especially in suicide prevention, that he is held to a higher standard. And what he tweeted would have pushed me to the edge 2 years ago if not even recently, and I’m still struggling to survive, let alone live. I expect these kinds of words from ANY regular Joe, and I have received much worse comments from a regular person, but NOT from a suicide prevention volunteer (or staff).

I am grateful I wasn’t drunk when I read his words, I would have right jumped out of my window. And I need not go down the alcohol path.

What is also such a cowardly thing he did, he deleted @sharkyrae handle to reply only to me and Pret so she won’t see it. People sometimes do that to suck up to Pret while hiding their true face from others. I later copied @sharkyrae back in again amongst others like the Samaritan handle etc. Fucking hypocritical coward!

If you as mental health worker, no matter if volunteer or paid staff, write in such a way, and THEN hide yourself from others in the conversation, I will CALL YOU OUT EVEN LOUDER!!!

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Link

I filed a complaint with the Samaritans that this guy should not be near a mental health service, let alone suicide prevention. People tell me at times on Twitter to fuck off, or that they don’t care, and much worse things. That’s “normal”. And I can understand people’s annoyance being tagged in. But I also know that this is a public platform. I don’t knock at people’s door like a Jehovah Witness or call people on the phone, even though I have some high profile numbers.

When I get an angry reply, I then just respond that they should just block me so they won’t get tagged in again in the future, which happened before by accident as I don’t pay attention to social media handles. But a suicide prevention charity worker saying what he did would have tipped me over 2 years ago. And I still am not over the hill when it comes to suicidal thoughts. I used to go to bed with suicide on my mind and wake up with suicide on my mind and have passed by countless bridges on my way home from work. It’s not a daily tortures thought anymore. But this guy turned my stomach.

The Tweets towards the end is him threatening me with a lawsuit. And I say it here loud and clear, I rather die then take back my Tweets! I have nothing to lose and a piece of sh!t like this hypocrite would just make my fucking day!

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No it’s not irrelevant! So much lack of emotional intelligence. I don’t expect a lot from human beings, but if you work in certain fields, you’d better think twice before calling someone who has NOT offended you initially a “sad account” for calling out Pret’s terrible treatment of staff who test positive for Covid19. Because that is the link I’ve tagged him in about, before he proclaimed his love for Pret again and calling my account sad.

It’s like a police officer who goes over the speed limit while driving in private without being in an emergency. Or all the politicians who broke Covid restrictions after making them law. Or if I wear a T-Shirt saying “Jesus loves you unconditionally”, and then I say to a person “I’m really not interested in your sad account/story/experience” etc. If this guy would be the average Joe, I would have laughed it off as usual and just asked to block me. But when I saw his profile, I lost it.

I was one of the first clients at The Listening Place (TLP) when they first started in 2016. They do face-to-face meetings with suicidal people. Never ONCE where ANY of them in any way unprofessional or told of their personal feelings, either positive nor negative towards Pret. They even wrote a letter on my behalf to Pret. I later applied for my file from TLP to hand it in to my NHS file and I was gobsmacked in how professional they are. I couldn’t even find ONE mistake, whereas in my NHS file are multiple mistakes that I had to get corrected.

And then a “Smaritan” like this says something that he did, I am still in shock. And I’m not proud of the language I use, but I don’t give a flying fuck about his meaningless threats. Make my day you fucking piece of shit! And get the fuck away from people with mental health problems, especially those who want to end their life. YOU piece of shit makes me want to end my life!

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Link

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UPDATE:

I received a TYPICAL sweet-talking email back from the usual “jo” @Samaritans …

Upfront, I can only say that The Listening Place started by 2 Samaritans, started off caring beyond believe, but I lost hope.

If you are suicidal, please reach out to a snail, they’ll help you.

The generic, sweet-talking email I received from the anonymous “Jo” @ “Samaritans”, and please keep in mind that this is a McDonald’s answer to beef.

Quote:

»Hi,

I appreciate you getting in touch with us. The details of your complaint have been passed on to the relevant department for review.

I am very sorry to hear about your mum passing away. I imagine not being able to go to her funeral would have been very hard to deal with. It sounds like you have been going through a lot recently with work and your personal situation. How are you coping at the moment?

You mentioned before that you would be happy to die. Can I ask, do you still feel this way? Could you tell me a bit more about your thoughts and feelings around this?

If you still feel comfortable talking to us, please know that we are here to support you.

Jo«

Here is a vomit emoticon:

🤮

SHAME on you “Samaritans”.

You are the McDonald’s of mental health. Fucking stay away from me!

I gladly die without the “help” you offer you clowns! And congratulate the Tories for privatizing mental health help. Fuck you!

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived … no, I’m still surviving … 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 Staff tested Positive for Covid …

and NOTHING was done!

I have the permission from a former Pret staff to post the following Facebook messages between them and myself. That’s what they meant by “yeah go for it”. I absolutely believe that account as I know Pret very well. Also, don’t forget that Pret did NOTHING after TWO customers died from allergen, a third narrowly survived and this was not public until the inquest into Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death. I was a Team Leader when 2 customers died, meaning part of my responsibility and job description was health and safety! But not only were we NOT informed about fatalities, Pret didn’t even give us as much as a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling, and not further training on allergen was done. Zero. Nothing. Nada. Null!

And I implore the press to send a journalist undercover for at least one month in DIFFERENT shops to see the SYSTEMIC issues throughout the company. Pret is desperate for staff now, so it should not be an issue to get a journo in for a second time. Many shops are closed due to what Pret on Twitter says, “short term staffing disruption“, while some shops have a note at the door that shops are closed due to “refurbishment” or “nip and tuck”! 😀

Yet, I worked in several shops over the years and KNOW that Pret ONLY does refurbishments during the night and mostly on weekends, so as not to disrupt trading hours. I had to deal with neighbour complaints several times who came into the shop first thing Monday morning fuming that builders made noise of hammering, sawing etc. during the night.

So three possibilities why shops are closed: staff walk out, virus outbreak to pest issues, and I add a 4th now on 29.07.2021 – I have a hunch that Pret send staff from less busy shops to busier and more profitable shops, closed the less busy shops and keep selling the £20 monthly subscription, while many customers can’t use it due to closed shops!

Nip and tuck is NOT a massive refurbishment, but even if there was a massive refurbishment, they only take TWO NIGHTS while shops remain open during the day. I’ve worked in several Pret shops over the years that had huge refurbishments in the early 2010s when Pret changed from the ugly cold steel look to the warm wood ambience. And EVERYONE of those shop refurbishments were completed within two nights, often during the weekend. There was NEVER a disruption during daytime opening hours, never!

In the Facebook exchange, I leave a lot of messages out that are not relevant here, to keep it focused on issues of staff getting Covid, no cleaning, expired food etc. But they are in chronological order. I absolutely believe this former staff because I’ve seen enough carelessness when I worked at Pret, but this is now much worse which in my time I never thought possible.

Please click ctrl & + (ctrl & plus) to enlarge the screenshots for easier read, and ctrl & – to decrease again.. The blue screenshots are my writings obviously.

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The person means this Tweet from me, please click on “show more” as Twitter censors/hides my Tweets:
https://twitter.com/LateNightGirlMe/status/1417130241248665605

Further in the FB message:

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(mild = milk)

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A customer recently called Pret out on this:

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Link to Tweet.

About the toasties etc. being carried over to the next day and NOT freshly made daily, as Pret claims, confirms what another current staff private messaged me on Twitter a few months ago: Pret Food is NOT Fresh

And about the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here: Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

Link

And a Tweet from just yesterday:

Link

And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat POO on food!

Link

Further in the FB message:

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Absolutely agree!

To the person on Facebook, thanks for letting me post this.

And this goes along the lines of some staff reviews I found:

Link

A recent review:

Link

Also, at the start of the pandemic, just before the first lock-down, Pret did the typical thing to play pretend to care for customer safety for show, while completely ignoring staff safety – Customer safety March 2020:

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Versus staff safety March 2020:

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And from 19th July 2021 Pret has put the following safety measures in place:

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Link (the text in the link may change as time goes on, screenshot above with my markings).

If people check Pret’s Tweets & Replies regularly, they will find customer complaints that tables, chairs etc. are NOT sanitized. And how can it be cleaned with so little staff?!

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UPDATE 01.08.2021 – It’s not only in that shop, it’s in MOST shops due to chronic under-staffing:

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Also since the UK lifted all restrictions on 19. July 2021, daily customer complaints on social media of being appalled that Pret immediately took of the counter screens, and hardly any staff wears a mask. But I can’t be bothered to screenshot any more …

Just one Tweet from a customer at the start of lock-down 2020 where it was already evident how Pret treats staff for anyone who has OPEN eyes. This is after the PR stunt of announcing NHS freebies and rebates on 18. March, and the very next morning CEO Pano Christou sent out an email to shops announcing cuts to staff. I was sent the CEO email by a staff that morning and published it. The NHS was used for PR AND as a smoke-screen to hide staff cuts.

Full CEO email here: To NHS Employees

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So, the question remains, WHY are several Pret shops closed throughout the UK? Somehow the press got wind of one outbreak in March 2021:

Link

The following video I’ve shot in Stansted airport July 2020 when ALL food shops were closed EXCEPT Pret (and essential Boots & WH Smiths). And before anyone crucifies me, I had to do essential travel as my mum was placed in a care home and then hospital (non-Covid related) after I cared for her during 1st lock-down, briefly went home and her health (dementia) deteriorated to the point the neighbours and ambulant care service couldn’t care for her at home anymore. I tried to keep her at home as long as possible flying back and forth pre-Covid and then staying for 3+ months during 1st lock-down. I was even planning to move back and care for her. But that never worked out …

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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.

Another Email by a Pret A Manger Staff

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With the permission of a Pret staff member who contacted me, I want to post the following email. I cut out a lot of specific detail to protect the person’s identity and checked back with them for permission. So, there’s a lot of dots and stars, but the main message is clear. I receive a lot of private messages, but this one, like the other email I posted, shows a lot of detail. The only text that I added is in italics. Thank you to the person for your trust.

The email:

»Hello,


I came across your blog just before applying for a job at Pret, but stupidly looked over what you were saying as I was growing desperate to work … I’m writing to you … and I wish I’d taken your warnings before applying.

Firstly, I was clear that I was looking for **** hours and was heavily pressured/tricked by team leaders into working around **** (more hours) with full availability all week despite me saying I couldn’t, which means I am essentially full time. They are immensely understaffed so I have received very little training (I was hired as **** and still don’t know how to make half of the ****) while being thrown into working at least three people’s jobs, all while being threatened with the mystery shopper.

Honestly, I feel like I’m drowning … I would never want to be the kind of person who gives up on things just because they’re challenging, but …. I spend most … times … crying, I don’t have enough time to eat. … I haven’t been shown where to get certain items and have to keep asking, it’s absolutely humiliating. Communication between managers and the team is abysmal. You are absolutely right when you write about younger TMs being manipulated by staff. …


Thank you so much for taking the time to read, it’s massively appreciated.«

Pret Employee 2021

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As I always advise everyone who contacts me, here again for any new reader, join a Union, even if you have no problems at work currently. The best Union for food workers is the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) that know most about Pret from my blog and communications. https://www.bfawu.org

Another good Union is the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). They specialize in supporting foreign workers who don’t know their rights. https://iwgb.org.uk

Also, leave an anonymous review on BOTH Glassdoor AND Indeed, even in your own language to help people from your country make informed decisions. I always emphasize to leave a review on BOTH sites, as some people just find one or the other but not both. And last time I checked as I am German, there a FOUR reviews in German on Pret Berlin on Indeed, but not 1 Berlin review on Glassdoor. It might have changed, I don’t know as I checked months ago, but take advantage of every site out there and leave a review on each site especially in your own language.

For some other staff reviews and complaints:

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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 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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Link

Link

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. Usually the social media Team respond with the generic reply, “Please DM for more detail” etc. But here, they just shrug the shoulder saying that the customer is “through to the UK team”. Sorry but the UK team is the HEAD OFFICE team at the very heart of Pret in London.

Also, clever wording: “our PARTNERS in Dubai” as if to distance themselves from THEMSELVES!

Intrigued to know what has become of the issue and if Dubai labels now. We may never know.

Link

PARIS:

Link

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

Link

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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Link

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.«

Link

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.
  • A 4th possibility I added (31.07.2021) which I briefly touch on here below, but detailed in Pret Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

Of course there can also be true technical issues like flooding, electricity black-outs etc. But that would then be very clearly visible when the lights go off etc. and those don’t last more than a few hours before it gets fixed. These emergencies are on the top priority of Pret’s maintenance and repair department, shop would never be closed for more than half a day! I have had many incidences in different shops and the repair was done very fast for us to continue the trading.

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.

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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Link

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

I implore the press to send a journalist undercover for at least one month in DIFFERENT shops to see the SYSTEMIC issues throughout the company. Pret is desperate for staff now, so it should not be an issue to get a journo in for a second time. Many shops are closed due to what Pret on Twitter says, “short term staffing disruption“, while some shops have a note at the door that shops are closed due to “refurbishment” or “nip and tuck”! 😀

Yet, I worked in several shops over the years and KNOW that Pret ONLY does refurbishments during the night and mostly on weekends, so as not to disrupt trading hours. I had to deal with neighbour complaints several times who came into the shop first thing Monday morning fuming that builders made noise of hammering, sawing etc. during the night.

So three possibilities why shops are closed: staff walk out, virus outbreak to pest issues, and I add a 4th now on 29.07.2021 – I have a hunch that Pret send staff from less busy shops to busier and more profitable shops, closed the less busy shops and keep selling the £20 monthly subscription, while many customers can’t use it due to closed shops!

Nip and tuck is NOT a massive refurbishment, but even if there was a massive refurbishment, they only take TWO NIGHTS while shops remain open during the day. I’ve worked in several Pret shops over the years that had huge refurbishments in the early 2010s when Pret changed from the ugly cold steel look to the warm wood ambience. And EVERYONE of those shop refurbishments were completed within two nights, often during the weekend. There was NEVER a disruption during daytime opening hours, never!

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.

.
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 Customer Click-bait

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.

.
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 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 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.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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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!