Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou and Kind??

Upfront to the WordPress staff who always check my blog posts when I publish a new one. I’m not sure if it is WordPress policy to pass info on to current and former company heads, in this case Pret as I got a certain “visitor” again after I wrote a crucial post. WordPress already moved me into the “adult” section where they only move porn sites to. This is censorship after I believe Pret must have reported me, but I write under free speech and don’t lie, backed up with tons of evidence.

So, if a WordPress staff serves as a “snitch” to Pret, please talk to your line manager and check if this is appropriate or WordPress policy.

Thanks.

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I don’t check Pret staff reviews anymore as much like I used to, maybe once a month. But a recent review from a shop General Manager (GM) got my attention. This GM mentioned among some negative feedback on Pret that CEO Pano Christou is “exceptionally kind”.

Part quote from the review:

“Cons: Expectation to achieve work that is physically impossible, in a timeline that, when broken down, is mathematically impossible. Intense pressure leading to breaking codes and regulations is a common occurrence, and those with stronger ethics end up working up to 100 hours/wk.

Advice to Management: Instead of only setting targets and expectations, map out how they could be achieved. Consider why most management leaves the company they love so much, due to burnout.

With that said, Pano is exceptionally kind and I’m sure he would fix all these issues with more competent direct subordinates.

Haha! 😀

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Link to review.

And this is where most workers, even managers when young go wrong and are brainwashed. It is the CHIEF, the head of the company who is the problem and who sets the tone for the company. Pano decides on pay cuts and cut workers’ pay, benefits and paid breaks so he can get a pay-rise and millions in bonus.

And why did this GM not approve of Pano and give him the green light (check mark). This GM refrained from giving an approval or disapproval. Very weird review. Confused GM? But it shows how Pano continues to charm and blind workers as well as journalists.

It is Pano who works in Pret since over 20 years, who implements and continues an abusive mystery shopper scheme and sets unrealistic targets for his bosses and shareholders to be happy.

That’s exactly the mistake many staff make, they are unhappy with how Pret are, how they are treated etc. but they don’t attribute this to the top leadership, because like former CEO Clive Schlee, current CEO Pano speaks “kindly” to staff in head office or when they do their rounds visiting shops.

And that’s exactly their game. It’s like a “bad cop / good cop” situation. It’s all a tactic, a game where the CEO separates himself from the harsh OPs (Operations/Area Managers) who are tasked to set high targets that GMs find unrealistic to reach.

CEO Pano, like Clive before him, is the “good cop” and let’s lower ranked staff be the bad cop, but all of these execs have a common goal: make as much money as possible on the backs of low-wage workers and customers.

But THE FISH STINKS FROM ITS HEAD!

In June 2017 Pret held a one or two week seminar only for leaders and managers at the prestigious Barbican Centre on customer service. I speak about this seminar extensively on my podcast in Part 01, Part 02, Part 03 and Part 04 of labeling issues and allergy trial. All episodes will open in a new window.

I speak about this seminar as it was held a year after the first customer, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died, but NO mention whatsoever on allergens or labeling. No training or retraining. NOTHING.

All we were “taught” was how to continue to “slime” customers and love-bomb them to gain and retain them and then bring back to the shops what we “learnt” (which was nothing new). In hindsight it seemed to me that the development team came up with this seminar where we learnt nothing new to use their annual budget. When departments don’t use their annual budget, it often gets cut for the next annual period.

That seminar seemed to me like a complete waste of time and funds. It could/should have been used to invite scientists and allergy experts in light of the first customer’s death and several injured to teach us on allergens and labeling. But no, Pret went ahead with a meaningless seminar in the expensive Barbican rooms.

The title of the seminar was called “Be Kind – Be Honest – Be Generous”. A VERY typical Pret brainwash which turns out to always be the complete opposite.

I explain on my 4 part podcast episodes above that Pret are far from kind when they did NOTHING after TWO customers died and several got injured, as well as having bullied me DURING bereavement and the systemic bullying culture that exists in Pret.

And being honest? I know from own experience how dishonest Pret are and expose some of their lies on social media.

And being generous? Let’s see how generous Pret are.

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The email invite to the seminar where I got my slot to go:

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Also, calling Pret’s training center an “academy” I felt always as a joke. In my training times in head office, I rarely learnt anything and had to train myself for years in shops searching and reading up on issues myself.

Pret’s generosity

On 18. March 2020 just before the first lockdown when the whole world was still in the air about Covid, Pret made a typical PR announcement to be giving free coffees and 50% food rebates to all NHS workers every day. All they need to do is show their NHS badge and they get a free coffee and cheaper food.

Great. Everyone went crazy on Pret’s “generosity”. And as Pret are Pret, they often make these charity announcements to cover up what they’re doing in the background to staff or other dodgy things.

The very next morning 19. March 2020 I wake up to a DM of a desperate staff that CEO Pano Christou sent an email to all shops and head office with the announcement that Pret will be cutting hours, and with it pay.

DM:

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Pret used the NHS not only for PR but as a smokescreen to hide their nasty cuts to staff. very generous!

Full CEO email here: To NHS Employees. Already low-wage Pret workers basically PAID for the NHS PR stunt.

There was only ONE NHS staff who was disgusted at this after I started swamping Twitter with this:

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Further on Pret’s “kindness, honesty and generosity”

Again, on 1st June 2022, just before the Queen’s Platinum Jubliee I woke up to a new DM by a different Pret staff reaching out to me that Pret for the 2. time this year delayed paying staff under supposedly “payroll errors”.

I immediately emailed CEO Pano Christou but openly copying in the press including Sarah Butler from the Guardian, other journalists and BFAWU President Ian Hodson who, Sarah Butler then interviewed.

Again, Pret cleverly used an occasion, just like with the NHS freebies, where the public is distracted with the Queen’s celebrations AND knowing that on bank holiday Monday all banks are closed.

Part of the DM:

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Pret’s announcement where if staff need money they can get it but with a fee which Pret supposedly would pay:

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On Instagram a staff member announced to be sabotaging Pret now, others called sick as an indirect strike action. Food and service quality would be compromised:

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Is it “exceptionally kind” of Pano to cut pay, use the pay cuts to fund NHS freebies etc. etc.?

WAKE UP EMPLOYEES!

People may ask why Pret would delay pay on purpose, simple, CEO Pano behaves exactly like a manager in Pret does. They have weekly, monthly, but most importantly quarterly targets to reach. June was moving to the end of the 2. quarter. And pay delays with constantly managers “forgetting” to pay hours helps shops and management to reach targets and get higher bonuses.

Pret settled TWICE in New York having had to repay 4000 workers close to a million dollars each time for WAGE THEFT!

Pret was also amongst UK companies being caught to pay some staff UNDER the legally required minimum wage and were then named and shamed by the UK Government.

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Or a few years ago under Clive Schlee, customers started to boycott Pret after finding out that Pret wanted to get young people to get free labour, using the apprenticeship short-term experience to not pay them except via “free food”.

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So, after I emailed Pet’s CEO copying in Sarah Butler and the press and Sarah wrote the following article, but it got drowned out by the Jubilee celebrations.

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Link

And Sarah Butler dug a little further later after I mentioned on my blog and podcast that Pano Christou received £300K pay in 2020 but didn’t spill the beans on how much he got in 2021 and 2022 after cutting wages. Then in August 2022 she reported the following:

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Link

So, in 2021 Pano got a £100K pay-rise and £4million in bonus while cutting as much as possible from low-wage staff who carried Pret through a dangerous pandemic. In 2020 Pano already got paid more than the UK Prime Minister and about the same as US President Biden. Since 2021 Pano overtook that further.

I could go on and on and on regarding Pret’s “kindness, honesty and generosity” by posting countless staff reviews on Pret’s wage theft, pay delay, missing pay as well as my own experience. But I want to end with my all-time favourite former customer tweet which I could not have put into better words!

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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 witnessed by customers: 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.

NEW: Podcast.

Please also see the MEDIA page for which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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: We are deeply saddened by the passing of Celia Marsh

Pret A Manger: “We are deeply saddened…”

So much so that we printed a label within ONE day of Natasha’s and Celia’s deaths.

One day!

NOT!

That’s how fast we can do things! In fact, we anticipated our customers deaths that we had labels ready to go once they died.

We are deeply saddened by the passing of 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.

We are deeply saddened by the death of 42 year old mother of 5 Celia Marsh.

We are deeply saddened by the allergen injury of Isobel Colnaghi in 2017, also from unlabelled sesame in the UK who also almost died, who lost in court against us in 2021 because we successfully blamed one of our low-wage worker.

We are deeply saddened of the injury of David Matt in 2015 in New York, also from unabelled sesame, who lost in court against us in 2016 before Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died. We are deeply relieved that sesame wasn’t part of the USA allergen list compared to Canada.

We are deeply saddened by all the other allergen injuries, 21 reported that we were made aware of, before Natasha died, which we all ignored.

We are deeply relieved that former Pret CEO Clive Schlee’s open letter response to a concerned allergy sufferer is buried from the public’s eye (but don’t tell anyone that it’s on this blog).

We are deeply relieved that the UK justice system and the media are on our side.

And we are deeply able to label packaging WITHIN A DAY when a higher-up person like the Queen dies.

We’re deeply able to do that.

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The press, the justice system, and survivors keep ignoring what I expose about Pret’s negligence because I am a traumatised person having survived Pret’s systemic bullying culture. People don’t want to listen to current and former low-wage workers if they are traumatised. I am traumatised after what I survived (audio player interview at the bottom of this page).

But I keep talking and writing. And I keep saying that people will not be able to say that they never knew how bad Pret is.

I explain in detail in 4 podcast episodes how Pret were and continue to be careless with food safety, including selling moudly food increasingly. And no-one pays attention, not even the Food Standards Agency that I tagged in many times.

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For a full visual of mould and rat droppings on Pret food as well as on the ongoing mislabelling I explain in my podcast, please see pictures. These are visuals of what explain on the podcast on WHY this keeps happening:

Stale, expired, mouldy food. Pret food is NOT “freshly made”. That’s false advertising AND dangerous.

Mislabelled food and mistaken ingredients. Vegans and vegetarians eat meat at Pret. And Pret are now breaking the law, “Natasha’s Law”.

Food poisoning, hygiene issues and now also labelling issues can be reported on the government Food Standard Agency website.

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Link to report.

PODCAST:

I’m not a professional podcaster or journalist, I just speak from my gut and from memory having worked at Pret for 10 years in over 30 shops, with horrible experiences of the top leadership including CEO, HR, HQ staff and management. I have tons of evidence, including paperwork from Pret themselves. I declined Pret’s hush money and never signed the NDAs they wanted me to sign.

Podcast episodes:

Part 01 of ongoing mislabelling and why staff accidentally take wrong ingredients and mislabel.

One example from even last year, 5 years after Natasha died and 4 years after Celia Marsh died. I explain how Pret work behind the scenes and why it is SO EASY to mistake ingredients:

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It’s profit over lives by under-staffing and pushing low-wage workers to the brim. Pret only cater to the strict weekly mystery shoppers, the emotional labour scheme that Pret implemented many years ago to portray a “happy” facade while ignoring food safety issues. Lack of food safety has gotten much worse, despite customers having died. Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal.

Part 02 I highlight a weird Barbican seminar and the difference between Starbucks CEO’s and Pret CEO’s handling of crisis.

Part 03 Allergy Trial of Isobel Colnaghi in 2021, and how Pret was cleared after successfully blaming Roberto Rodriguez, a low-wage worker. I also explain how training is done in Pret, or rather how it’s NOT done and the dodgy things shops do.

Part 04 In light of the inquest into Celia Marsh’s death and how Pret had TWO types of labelling in place before customer deaths became public, BUT not the labelling that you’d expect from a multi-billion £ multinational company.

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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 witnessed by customers: 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.

NEW: Podcast.

Please also see the MEDIA page for which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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 – “Corporate Mafia Company”

I start my post with the following concern:

As if Pret A Manger need more customers to die and get injured.

5 years after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died and 4 years after Celia Marsh died:

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Link

I explain on my podcast in Part 01, Part 02 and Allergy Trial as part 3 why Pret was and continues to NOT care. Please pay attention to a particular Barbican Centre seminar I mention.

From the bottome up: Part 01, Part 02, Allergy Trial 03

More customers and the public have and still are realizing now how bad Pret really are. I refer to Pret as plural, not singular (Pret are vs Pret is), because there is a core group of people behind this company who detached themselves from the suffering of shops and workers. And this detachment affects customers.

A recent Facebook comment in July 2022 to one of Pret’s posts says it all:

Link

For people and audio reading programs who can’t read screenshots, a person commented to Pret, quote: »So glad you haven’t managed to pollute the Middle East with your corporate mafia company.« End of quote.

Pret is also increasingly getting bad press since more journalists seem to wake up now instead of doing free advertising for Pret with all the “slimey” articles. I talk about it on my podcast episode: Pret CEO Pano Christou’s 2021 pay-rise & millions in bonus after cutting staff pay.

When I first started writing publicly about Pret in May 2018, even before the two customer deaths became public later that year, I discovered Glassdoor and Indeed review websites that I didn’t even know about while working in Pret. I couldn’t believe my eyes in how blunt and angry some reviewers wrote about Pret because I experienced the same, if not worse.

I became obsessed and sieved through Glassdoor, Indeed and the Internet in general, on a search for others who know Pret as a toxic company that fooled the public for decades with a caring and ethical facade, while the total opposite is the case.

My all-time favourite former customer tweet that needs no further explanation:

Link to @betty_de_brazil’s tweet where she responded to customers’ call to boycott Pret after Pret made temporary pay cuts permanent.

In 2018 there was hardly any critique from customers. But I became obsessed with staff reviews and wrote a DAILY “Quote of the Day” with a chosen review I found. I expanded on the reviews, explaining what the reviewer means. I now stopped since 2019, and rarely check reviews anymore as I’ve made my point now!

But a few reviews I found from recently which I want to put here, as work conditions have worsened to an unbelievable level of carelessness by Pret and current CEO Pano Christou. Pret delayed paying staff TWICE this year under bogus excuses, the second time during the Queen’s Jubilee weekend knowing that the public would be distracted and banks closed on bank holiday Monday.

One staff on Instagram in early June 2022 after Pret delayed paying them announced to sabotage Pret by reducing food and service quality.

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The result of this AND of hugely understaffed and stressed shops becomes more and more visible. This mouldy sandwich was posted just two days ago:

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And many more complaints.

Food quality has decreased a great deal already during the pandemic with customers flocking to social media posting photos of mouldy sandwiches, even rat dropping on a baguette. Reports on food poisoning has also increased. The latest even from today 01. August 2022. I posted more photos on Pret food is not fresh. Check the dates of the posts.

Not only are shop managers pressured to cut labour, sending staff home when there’s a hint of a quiet time, leaving whoever is left to work in shops completely overstretched and exhausted. In the meantime CEO Pano Christou cut their pay so he and shareholders can get a raise and millions in bonus. So, staff morale is low. Workers cut corners to try and resist the slavery-type bullying to work harder and faster for less. Working overtime without pay has also been a big thing in Pret even before Covid. Wage theft is also huge in Pret from own experience and also from two class action lawsuits Pret settled in New York, repaying 4000 workers. I write about this in Wage Theft in Pret. But in the UK the legal system is different and often in favour of companies rather than poor workers.

I will post some recent review at the bottom of this page and want to just as briefly as possible (yeah right!) explain Pret’s mentality.

From my interactions with current CEO Pano Christou and what I read in his emails to shops when he was UK Managing Director under then CEO Clive Schlee, I perceived Pano NOT as a leader. Pano came from McDonald’s management, and for a while until I kept pointing it out on social media, has always said to the press that he started on the shop floor. This of course gives the impression to the public that he started at the bottom. But far from it! So, I keep calling out Pret’s bullsh!t.

While he started in shops alright, he actually started in position number 4 as an assistant manager (AM) with higher pay, more bonus, more perks, paid travel to fancy places with other management, quarter briefs with galas, free fancy food and booze etc. etc. One of the perks he got that all staff who move into management get, even assistant manager roles, is £500 from Pret to go shopping for business attire which they can keep. And then assistant managers and shop general managers (GMs) get £50 EVERY month for the dry cleaners. This may have changed since the pandemic, but I’m talking about the “rich” years in Pret. I write extensively about these perks and the difference of assistant management to team members in Pano Christou’s Rags to Riches Story.

Since I kept pointing this out, he now at least says that he started as an AM.

Pano was for years Clive Schlee’s shadow. All I saw of him in my 10 years in Pret was when he accompanied Clive to shops, silently standing next to or behind Clive. And the only correspondence I saw was when Pano kept writing weekly or monthly emails to shops in how much money Pret made, especially when Pret reached a new million pound mark. And he also wrote emails to shops to announce when a shop closed.

Those emails where the most ridiculous emails I’ve read from anyone in Pret’s leadership teams. Especially when I was bereaved and traumatized. I was a team leader and would sit in the office in the afternoon to do the ordering of stock or cash up tills when I saw an email from Pano come in starting with the words: »Dear shops … it is with great sadness that I have to announce …«

Reading just the first few words, panic overcame me and my heart stopped thinking, “who died?!” And then the sentence continued: »it is with great sadness that I have to announce that (such-and-such a) shop is closing down due to (whatever) reason …«

I had these mixed emotions of anger and complete ridiculous shock that he spoke about the closure of a shop as if someone died, and as if we low-wage overworked staff even cared! Of course part of my panic was also because I received the news of my brother’s death via an email! So, I was constantly on the edge about emails and bad news. But I didn’t give a toss if Pret made another million mark or closed a shop because we were treated like dirt and bullied. I didn’t care if shops closed or how much money Pret made. I had NOTHING from this except manager after manager and OPs managers cheating me out of hours, money and break promises.

On 01. July 2019 Pano Christou, who was then still the Chief Operations Officer, closed his Twitter account after I tweeted Clive Schlee’s retirement to the press, also pointing to Pano’s Twitter account. And Pano was the only Pret executive who blocked me. His former Twitter handle has been taken on by another Pano Christou from Canada a few months later.

The COO role by the way didn’t exist before and after as it was just a stepping stone for Pano to go from UK Managing Director (2018) to CEO (2019).

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Pano has his head in the sand with the current issues, despite increasing complaints on mouldy food, bad press, more staff speaking out etc. It’s like he feels invincible after Pret got away with so much, especially TWO customers having died and dozen plus injured.

Clive Schlee was more “attentive” to reputation issues. He bullsh!tted the public and staff as well, but he was more active in bullsh!tting everyone, while Pano put his head in the sand, “hides” on Linkedin and enjoys other business people kissing his butt all day long, telling him how awesome he is in Linkedin’s typical toxic positivity way. Pret also has a lot of favour and support by some journalists like Harry Wallop from the “independent” newspaper The Guardian, which I explain in above podcast episode I linked to.

Pano is used that Pret keep getting out of trouble, no matter how bad it gets. He is either delusional or really doesn’t care, but he certainly is not a leader.

Clive left with this legacy from staff:

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A customer on Twitter pointed out that Pano upon becoming CEO in September 2019 has work cut out for him. Pret then let Pano take over the Glassdoor CEO spot in July 2019 despite him becoming CEO in September 2019. Clive didn’t want any more poor scores I guess.

In August 2022 Pano continues the trend with staff:

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Staff review and also email me saying work conditions have become beyond bearable. I know how hard it is to work at Pret. It was already horrific in my time, long before the pandemic. But I can’t even imagine how it is now! And this is not to be excused with Brexit or Covid.

  • Skimming customers out of money in many ways like via the coffee subscription, apps, deals that Pret don’t honour under bogus “technical issues”;
    Placing donation devices very closely next to payment devices where customers in the rush and noise accidentally donate £5 to Pret’s “charity” (charity = tax breaks and brownie points with the public);
    Not serving complimentary items any more,
    Decreased product size
    etc. etc.
  • Under-staffing (has always been done, but is much, much worse now)
  • Resulting in longer queues and frustrated customers who let it out on the low-wage workers who are at breaking point while Pano Christou smiles to the bank
  • More work while still expecting the same and higher standards, and expecting high financial results
  • Ongoing bullying
  • Ongoing wage theft, delayed pay, cutting hours, not paying hours worked for
  • Leadership non-existent
  • HR don’t care (that’s a no-brainer after what I’ve been through)
  • Poor food and hygiene standards (mouldy food, pest issues, dirty shops etc.) due to lack of staff and
  • Low morale
  • It’s each to their own to survive
  • And so on …

I say it again, Pano Christou is NOT a leader. He is stuck in the old Pret way that has shown him that Pret get away with ANY- and EVERYTHING.

After what I survived in Pret with direct contact to the top leadership, Clive Schlee, HR, HQ personnel, Pret’s lies, cheats, theft etc. I FIRMLY believe Pret, as in the core group of Pret’s leadership team like Pano Christou, Andrea Wareham and David Carter from HR and a handful of others who worked there many years for high pay, they are a clique of overpaid executives who run Pret like an organization which to me does indeed resemble like a mafia organization that a person on Facebook pointed out to Pret.

It’s all about the few at the top getting the biggest cut of the cake while abandoning the “slaves” on the front-lines who make all this happen but break at the end of the day. And it shows a great deal of the arrogance of Pano and the executive team to KNOW about all the suffering and appalling food safety issues from social media posts and news articles, but continue to drain employees AND customers.

A really good tweet just from today that made my day knowing that more and more people are aware of how abusive Pret are:

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Some recent staff reviews I find noteworthy to mention here.

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Link to Indeed review.

Link to Glassdoor review.

This is review is worth quoting in full:

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Title: Company of hell

Pros
Company from hell where lying is the key to their marketing strategy.

Cons
Managers shout at us, cleanliness is non-existent, no recycling, expired food in the fridges, stress all the time.

Advice to Management
Shut down your modern slave factories where you rely on green washing to attract consumers! You are not a healthy company!«

End of quote. I underline every single word 150 million percent! And I cannot explain how many times I have literally cried when I was contacted by staff in despair telling me that Pret delayed pay again, or do cuts here and there, how broken down workers are who are still forced to pretend a happiness or not get mystery shopper bonus. And whatever else they write.

I have many regrets in life, have made many mistakes, but it is safe to say that is it hands down by miles my biggest regret having worked in this horrible company!

For more reviews, please just scroll through Glassdoor and Indeed yourself and also check my front home page.

To end this long blog post, I post again here what made my day when Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha had some stern words for Pret and called on her 500K+ Instagram followers to boycott Pret. I still tear up when I watch this as not many celebrities would speak out on behalf of low-wage workers.

Unfortunately her words fell on deaf ears with Pret. After this video keep playing to see how I chased itsu founder and Pret RE-founder Julian Metcalfe and Pret executives off Twitter. An anonymous person sent me the info that Metcalfe is in Jeffrey Epstein’s address book after the person saw my YouTube slide with Metcalfe’s deleted tweets, which I screen grabbed before he deleted. Metcalfe kept retweeting my tweets, but someone from Pret must have warned him who I am, he then deleted his tweets and Twitter account, but not before I screenshot most of it.

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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 witnessed by customers: 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.

NEW: Podcast.

Please also see the MEDIA page for which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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 CEO Payrise & Millions in Bonus After CUTTING staff pay

Two podcast episodes on my “forecast” in April that Pret’s CEO Pano Christou most likely either got the same pay from 2020 (£300K) or higher, plus the millions in bonus. And today’s episode after yesterday’s Guardian article.

The CEO didn’t spill the beans in April’s Times article what he got paid in 2021 and what he will get in 2022 because if he got the same or less, he would have announced it like Pret always announce their “charity” quickly. He only shared what his pay was in 2020.

Yesterday the news emerged that Pano Christou got a 27% payrise (£400K) and £4.2 million in bonus after cutting low-wage staff’s pay, benefits, paid breaks and other perks.

And before any office worker complains that you don’t get paid breaks, well, work for 8, 10, 12+ hours in excruciating heat, noise, stress, rude customers, mystery shopper fear management, bullying managers etc. and then we can talk again. Until then, keep sitting on your butt and browse through Linkedin.

Today’s podcast episode (may have to click on link underneath if WordPress refuses to post the player here):

Link

And on Pret’s Wage Theft, please click here.

My April 2022 podcast episode predicting that Pano either got the same or higher pay after cutting staff wages:

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 witnessed by customers: 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.

NEW: Podcast.

Please also see the MEDIA page for which press articles and Pret “charity” announcements I influenced.

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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 are the MOST EVIL People I have ever come across

I keep writing horrible emails to friends, foes, Pret, the press, and I’m sure Pret are happy to see me suffer. I’m sure they’d be glad if I’d kill myself. This company has destroyed my life and the lives of so many others with a big fat fake smile. And they continue to do so.

After I raised issues with shop management and HR for almost a year, being ignored and further bullied, I contacted the then CEO Clive Schlee who then started some support, like Pret paying for counseling. But that was as a show in case for court, and the bullying continued. All the “support” Pret showed after I put my complaint in writing to the former CEO, was to show for court. As the bullying continued, I was offered money if I resign, never go to court, and never speak about my ordeal with Pret. I declined and indirectly forced Pret to fire me.

I tried to resign, tried to find another job, but I couldn’t sell myself, even in a low-paid job. I was too broken down, insecure, hopeless to find even the lowest paid work. If I would have found a job, I would have resigned. Even without signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) taking “hush-money”, if I would have just resigned without signing my rights away, I could have NEVER written this blog.

Pret would have made a public statement like they did with Andrej Stopa who was fired for having started a Union. Pret would have said that they were happy with me as an employee, that they offered me help, but that I willingly chose to leave. Pret HAD TO fire me so that I can speak out. I didn’t realise this at the time. I even BEGGED in the last dismissal hearing to not fire me, my dad was just out of a three-week coma in Germany.

Even before any option of a dismissal came up I asked Pret if I can be put under the Pret Foundation, even an OPs manager later suggested I go under the PF for a while. But that never happened. Pret who claim to help homeless people, young apprentices and prison leavers have no room for long-term employees who go through tragedy. That’s why this Pret Foundation is just a PR machine and a smokescreen to hide horrible practices. I literally begged the hearing manager to not fire me! They did anyway, unknowingly forcing me to speak out publicly.

I have had to watch my parents, each on their own, deteriorate in a horrible institutional system in hospitals, rehab, nursing homes that are mostly chains under private equity. I had to struggle with everything on my own, and when help was offered, it either rarely came or it was not meant or just as a polite gesture. Or when help is offered, there is sometimes an ulterior motive and I have to figure out who means what. Or when I asked for help, I was met with a deafening silence or the words “I’m too busy”.

Or when the help is genuine, I can’t trust it, because of what Pret did to me via so many issues and people, and most vile, via Lila Tighilt Warren who claimed to have had a brother who died alone in his apartment, wasn’t found for days, like my brother was. I researched and searched if this brother existed, but found another person not the same as she described. This very horrific act Pret and Lila did, destroyed my trust in people.

The press are bystanders, watching. And what they use from my blog, experience and research, they make sure not to mention me and my ordeal. And those who wanted to report, I pushed away in my paranoia.

There ARE good people, but I can’t distinguish anymore the sheep from the wolves. And GOOD people are suffering my mistrust and outbursts because of this horrible company! No, it is I who bears responsibility for my words, writings and actions. But it takes evil people to destroy lives.

I have made the mistake to stay in Pret for 10 years, bearing under a toxic, dishonest, corrupt environment, where all that counts is making as much money and more and more and more.

And when someone asks why I don’t go to court, I did, but then withdrew when my dad died and I couldn’t afford legal aid. I have researched the British legal system of workplace related lawsuits while I filed a tribunal claim. I have read that even when former employees win their tribunal cases, the pay-out is so small, they end up in debt for the legal bill.

Pret and companies like Pret know that. They KNOW people can’t afford legal aid. They know that even pro-bono lawyers don’t want to pick up a fight in a 5-day trial for their 30% of an £8,000 payout. Too much effort for too little reward. Unlike in the USA (see Johnny Depp’s lawsuit in the UK vs the USA). Different systems.

A Cardiff bar manager choked by colleague wins tribunal. She was left paralysed in her face and won a meager £6,660 but had an £8,000+ legal bill, leaving her in debt. In the USA she would have won a 6-digits figure if not millions!

A former Pret assistant manager who got unfairly dismissed won his tribunal case getting rewarded about £8,812. Worker unfairly dismissed, says tribunal. After he lost his job, having a young child with his partner, he ended up on the streets living in his car for 2 weeks. For the tribunal it was worth a merge £8¾K. All this money probably went straight into his legal bill. Not to mention the mental strain people go through in a legal case against a large company.

When my dad died, leading me to withdraw the tribunal claim, I knew mentally it would lead to suicide going through the 5 day court hearings, even if I’d won. One day preliminary hearing, and 4 days court hearings, as the dates were already set having had 6 months to prepare with my dad in hospital, flying back and forth. I was told by free legal advice at Citizen Advice Bureau that there may be a 6th day with a second preliminary hearing as my case was so complex, having involved the top Pret leadership team. Even though I had strong evidence and Pret already hinted in their response to court that “if [I] win the case … that the reward should be low” according to some other lawsuit outcome that has set the precedent for lawsuits thereafter. But I had no support, no financial backing, no moral support and a new funeral coming up …

And before anyone says that I need therapy, first of all I have fought for therapy since over five years; 2. I have therapy now but cannot talk as there is a strict agenda to follow a rigorous program. So, please first ASK what people have had in support and therapy before giving unsolicited, patronizing advise.

In this life and society, most everywhere, it is all about money, position, what each individual can get out of whatever they can get from those already at the edge. If you are sick, disabled, bereaved, old … there is no place for you in a society that is looking for “productivity” more than those who produce. You are a disposable machine, a piece of garbage that is of no use anymore, sucked out of the life-blood by greedy corporates and anyone lacking basic human decency. The strong must become stronger and leave the vulnerable behind, as they can’t contribute to this cog-wheel of a society at a given time or forever. Survival of the fittest by the book. A repeated issue throughout time. Human nature at its worst that always becomes the norm with a new generation, until a new “uprising” and new precedent of disobedience …

Yes, I sound gloomy, but I suffer and fought hard to not only survive. I see the dark during a sunny day. And I’m sorry I am not what you thought or hoped for. Pret win again, hey.

I need people to stay away because I have nothing to offer you and I feel I won’t get better. I write horrible when drunk and hope everyone knows it is not personal, but you need to stay away.

And I will never stop saying that Pret A Manger, up to this current leadership in 2022, the same PEOPLE in head office that run the place since decades, this a core group of the top leadership and HR, are the most evil, toxic, greedy, exploitative, dishonest, incapable, unsympathetic, unethical, cowardly people I have ever had the nightmare to be dealing with.

And I remain deeply ashamed to have spent so long there and to have had any association with them.

And to friends, I don’t know what “friendship” is. It’s a myth.

Recent, select customer comments and staff reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, Twitter etc.

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The following to me sounds like wage theft again. Highlighted, quote:

“- Did not receive 80% of wages despite being on the furlough scheme

– All your hard work was over in a 2 minute zoom call – If you need a second job to support you, better clear it with your overlords. I know this is a standard practice but it shouldn’t be – if you want your workers to devote so many of hours of their lives to you, pay them decently so they can do more than just about afford to live

Unless you work in their offices, they do not give a s*** about you. Also the CEO doing company wide zoom meetings from the comfort of his very fancy house whilst retail workers are paid peanuts, talking about how we all need to pitch in to save the business is a joke.

Retail workers are the entire reason Pret is still standing. Those in office tend to forget that without retail staff upselling, being on the floor and handling customers, they wouldn’t have anything to sell.

I would love to know what the CEOs salary is in relation to the lowest paid retail employees an whether this has increased or changed during the pandemic – and the justification for leaving those who work their hardest at the bottom of the Pret ‘family’ foodchain on wages that do not meet the stanard of living, are not entitled to many benefits” End of quote.

Answer to the question how much CEO Pano CHristou earns? In 2020 = £300,000 PLUS millions in bonus. He does not reveal how much he made in 2021 and 2022. If he also cut is pay, he would make that public. The silence is a hint that he remains on £300K and probably more.

Pano loves to present himself as the “cabbie’s son” who started at the shop floor. But until recently, since I called him out on it, failed to mention that he started at position number 4 as an Assistant Manager because he was a manager at McDonald’s. He didn’t start as a low paid team member having to wear uniform, and in those days a silly cap, that increased the body heat in stuffy hot shops and kitchens. Pano received £500 to buy business attire; £50 every month for dry cleaning; insurance; paid sick leave from day one (that’s a big one!) compared to team members who are paid from day 3 being sick with a sick note. His quarterly bonus went into the thousands. And all the other perks, travel, fancy galas for management and so on.

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Part quote: “It was just so depressing that I had to work there and thankfully don’t need to anymore. They need to consider what they do to the staff and force them to work it’s just not a good way to sort and they know that. A lot of workers are mistreated and insulted daily. The management is a huge part of that.”

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Upon my question to above Instagram person who’s staff, if it’s true that Pret for the SECOND time recently didn’t pay staff on time, the answer was, quote: “That is correct, however the delay was much less noticeable as it was late by 1 day only.”

This staff doesn’t realize that even though it wasn’t that noticeable for staff, it’s still 1. unacceptable and 2. a huge deal because Pret’s work week starts Fridays and staff are paid on Thursdays. This means the “less noticeable” for staff is a big deal for Pret as their new financial week starts Fridays. They most likely had issues with shareholders wanting to present better numbers, and then “pay back” the next day starting on Friday’s new financial week.

Pret use and abuse the goodwill of workers. And this has always been the case with shop managers, they ALWAYS for years and years, every week “forgot” to pay an hour here, an hour there. Do this with a handful of shop staff every week and it all adds up, as many don’t check their hours, not noticing the “odd” hour here and there not being paid.

And Pano Christou now does THE SAME company-wide. Stealing in broad daylight, “borrowing” from the lowest paid to appease shareholders. Mafia-style in a nutshell. Pret use low-wage workers as a loan-bank. Absolutely despicable, unethical and disrespectful. And I hope financial auditors and the government get wind of this.

Link and Link

And there is no strength or courage to join a union and stand up. And Pret know that and wear the staff out so they don’t have an ounce of strength left to even entertain the thought to fight back.

Link

etc. etc. etc.

Pano Christou’s “approval” rating:

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And the legacy former CEO Clive Schlee left with:

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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.

My last Email to Pret / Pano Christou

Yesterday after I was contacted by someone regarding Pret not paying staff this week, and then emailing the press and The Guardian reporting, I wrote a last email to Pret’s CEO Pano Christou and HR.

I also want to apologize to any and all Pret staff who contacted me, whom I kept referring to unions. Several of you contacted the unions and didn’t receive any response. I am angry and very sorry to have let you down on this. I can only say, please look for a better work opportunity and leave it all behind. It feels to me that the unions are more about politics and political agendas. The membership fees may be forwarded to political parties and projects. I have so much anxiety and mistrust about any organizations.

It seems ONLY that employees themselves will reach change when we stand up, not the unions. The unions will just “come along” when we initiate action and pay them, and then they will take the credit for OUR sweat, blood and tears. I’m sorry to be so gloomy.

Thank you for your trust and reaching out. I am sorry to have let you down.

If you need any more help, please reach out to the press directly. The press reach things more and quicker than unions or myself. But you need to have evidence, always gather and keep evidence in writing etc.

The Guardian: Sarah.Butler@theguardian.com, Ben.Quinn@theguardian.com

The Mirror: Amy Sharpe who went undercover into Pret after I asked her as I was too anxious. We were in contact via Facebook: https://twitter.com/amylsharpe

BBC and freelance: contact@bbc.co.uk, Vivienne.Nunis@bbc.co.uk, Mike.Powell@bbc.co.uk

The Daily Telegraph: Janet.Eastham@telegraph.co.uk

The Scottish Left Review who published my articles TWICE early on, when no news outlet was ready to report: Gregor.Gall@glasgow.ac.uk

And Adam, the amazing podcaster from California who interviewed me when no news outlet cared/dared: https://twitter.com/1AdamParadox

My last email to Pret, to CEO Pano Christou and HR, copying in the press and staff; verbatim without correcting spelling mistakes and grammar:

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This is my last email to you Pret,

I Blind Carbon Copied (BCC) private people in, staff, friends of staff, customers who reached out to me to tell them to not be afraid to speak out and stand up.

Pret has almost destroyed my life! But I survived to tell my story! And staff contact me with info and leaks, and it is my pleasure to pass this on to the press and others.

Is it still Pret’s practice to name, blame and shame shops that don’t do well? This has always bothered me. But it’s wonderful to turn the tables!

Complaints have increased on stale and mouldy food, expired foods, critters and rat droppings in food … you can “freshly make” a sandwich with stale bread and mouldy cheese.

Not paying your staff, the LOWEST paid staff in Pret who carried you and Pret through the pandemic while you sat at home or in socially distanced shiny air conditoned HQ, demanding for shop/kitchen staff to come to work even when they have Covid. Only you know if there have been Covid sick or even deaths. You managed to keep 2 customer allergen deaths quiet, I fear any news coming out one day that staff have died of Covid while they struggled to get paid!

Customer complaints increased on the coffee-subscription, apps, deals that are not fullfilled as advertised, and all your bogus “technical issues” while receiving “digital technology leaders” award and being slimed with award after award, compliments after compliments on Linkedin where everyone is telling you how awesome you are!

Surround yourself with Yes-Men/Women, hold your seminars and keep sweet-talking about sustainability, and keep ignoring customer emails/DMs/phone calls… and let customers and staff get on with telling the real story.

It’s no surprise that the way you treat your staff, it will reflect on customers.

Your “charity” projects make me cringe everytime I hear about it. The donation devices that Pret placed NEXT to payment devices where customers in the rush and noise accidently donate £5 thinking they pay for their coffee. And then the psychology that they are embarrassed to ask for a refund from “charity”.

The £1000 announcement that Clive Schlee made late at night from 28. to 29. May 2018 after I sent the link to my blog late that night to Sannu because I know that she can’t a secret!

The NHS freebie PR stunt you did before 1st lock-down on 18. March 2020, and right the next morning sent out an email to shops and HQ to announce cuts to staff. The low-wage staff basically PAID for your NHS PR stunt!

The half-marathon you ran last year and having the audacity to ask your low-wage staff for donation to “alleviate poverty” straight after you made temporary paycuts permanent, had turned my stomach!

And now, using the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend, where the press and people are distracted with the celebrations, to suddenly have a “payroll error”, and the 2nd time since recently not paying staff.

Your “charity” are a smokescreen and good for tax breaks.

To anyone who still works at Prt, if I can stand up on my own against these dwarfs who almost destroyed my life, you can stand even stronger TOGETHER with the Unions like BFAWU! Pret is more scared of you than you of them when you organise and stand up, strike, walk out, make higher demands and not let Pret trick you again with reinstating bonus that is discretionary to mystery shoppers and GMs!

I could go on and on and on, but I’ve written enough and wrote the Pret poison out of my system!

My greetings to your mentor and buddy Clive Schlee who patonised me as his “late night gitrl” while I SUFFERED with my emailing, he had a laugh and then shortly after getting me fired with my dad in intensive care, which you all knew about. And please tell him that the greatest thing I appreciate on being a woman, who is mistaken for a “girl”, on having been a low-wage “low skill” worker, is that I love it when entitled, rich, privileged, arrogant, self-assured millionaire business men underestimate me, and people like me. That’s my great joy!

Also greetings to Julian Metcalfe whom I had the pleasure to also chase off Twitter. Even if the YouTube slide is slightly out-of-date, but it still shows what’s really is behind you executives.

You can try to shut me down, I will pop up again. I do not care about the amount of followers or anything else and have backed everything up triple. It means nothing to me what you may do or how Pret report me to social media! Keep reporting. It means nothing to me! It only leads me to sprad out on other platforms.

What means the world to me is a SINGLE person to this day sending me an email or DM with words like “Wow, I just read your such-and-such, I didn’t know that about Pret. I thought Pret was so great … I will tell my friends and family and support small independent business from now on…” That is Christmas and Birthday all in one for me!

You made £300,000 in 2020 PLUS bonus. It’s interesting that you didn’t reveal how much annual pay you got in 2021 and 2022. If you had cut your pay like you did to your lowest paid workers, you would have made a big announcement like you make all the “charity” announcements.

I worked all my life in hospitality since I’m 16 years old, NOTHING has been as horrific, traumatic, unfair, disgusting as Pret in any company I worked in! Nothing! Your brainwash and fear management has followed me years after you fired me days after my dad came out of his 3-week coma!

You have it coming for you from staff, unions, more press, whistleblowers, more OPs and GMs leave reviews on Glassdoor, Indeed and elsewhere … and you deserve everything that’s coming for you within the law, within the legal frame and free speech! You deserve it!

My apologies again to journalists, staff, strangers, friends … for my drunken outbursts from the traumas I’ve been through. I stand by my mistakes even when I am ashamed of it! But I own up to it. And I work on it like we all work on our recovery.

And to Pret, it is my UTMOST PLEASURE to have put you on a map showing your TRUE colours to the public.

I am not afraid of you, in fact, I have no respect for you whatsoever! I cried tears of anger last night when I received mail about staff not getting paid, because I know the excrutiating PAIN, anxiety, existential fears they go through! All while you sit in your comfortable huge mansion laughing to the bank!

It takes a special breed to not do anything about customer deaths and injuries until it became public. I was a team leader responsible for health and safety and didn’t even know about fatalities! Shame on you! You put ME as a team leader in DANGER to potentially be at “fault” for another injury or death by not telling me, not training and retraining me on allergen, labelling etc.

It takes a special breed to keep taking from the LOWEST paid on the BOTTOM of the barrel! All while portraying to the public to be ethical and caring! I am PROUD to have cracked Pret’s facade further and further!

And I KNOW that my tears of anger and grief will turn into tears of joy!

 expret.org 🖕😎🖕

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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 Customer Voices, Boycotts, Outrage

… just within the last 6 months alone!

Via YouTube.

Pret having abandoned burnt-out staff and loyal customers to increase profit:

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Boycott in support of minimum-wage staff:

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Recent new staff reviews on Pret having gone downhill and Loose Women Presenter Nadia Sawahla’s stern words to Pret:

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Customer complaints on hardly ever getting the expensive iced drinks that are advertised on the subscription since the sub started last year:

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Customers unable to cancel the subscription, and if they managed to cancel including receiving a cancellation email, Pret continues to withdraw money:

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To be continued unfortunately!

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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.

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.

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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 Employee got Covid

and NOTHING was done! And this was pre-vax.

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 no 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

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UPDATE March 2022 a mother of a Pret staff said that staff are required to come to work even with Covid. Pret’s doing what they always do, follow the law, not matter if those are wrong or dangerous. It has always, remains and will always be profit over lives with Pret.

Link

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Back to and further in the FB message:

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(mild = milk)

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A customer called Pret out on this:

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Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

An indicator that soup was frozen before re-heating again. Customers usually rant and rave about the Mushroom Risotto soup being their favourite soup from Pret. But here, it’s the worst, quote: “runny like soup, hardly warm and tastes odd”. I used to freeze soups I bought from the supermarket or cooked myself. With “creamy” soups it does become runny and tasteless.

Link


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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 off 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 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 and Wage Theft

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UPDATE 05. August 2021

The UK Government is naming and shaming companies that didn’t pay staff, amongst which of course is Pret A Manger:

“Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited, Westminster, SW1E, failed to pay £9679.91 to 33 workers”

Link to Govt. site

And upfront, if you are new to my blog and read through the below wage theft issues in Pret, and you have been a longtime customer, you may think that Pret is generous. You may remember the £1000 announcement that former Pret CEO Clive Schlee did in 2018, well guess how that came about?! Spoiler alert: he made that announcement in the early hours after he was informed about my blog. More and in detail here: The Day Clive Schlee had a Bright Idee.

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

At the bottom of this page I list a host of tricks Managers use to cheat already low-wage and overworked staff out of their pay. I explain also how management manipulate staff to get free labour out of them. I speak from own experience and what colleagues told me, as well as what staff write on review sites and social media.

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

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

Link

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

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

Link

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

… and many more.

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Pret A Manger settles its second WAGE THEFT lawsuit

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

Link to article

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

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

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

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

And a little reminder on what ONE man received on BONUS alone! Not to mention what all the other execs and shareholders receive.

Link

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

Upfront, to any Pret staff and any low-wage fast-food worker in general, ALWAYS write down the hours that you worked to compare to your payslip. I had a spreadsheet at home where I updated when I worked extra hours when and where. And I also made notes IMMEDIATELY on my phone when asked if I could work an extra hour, as I sometimes forgot to add extra hours to the spreadsheet at home. If I would not have done this, I would have worked for free for months as an hour here and an hour there adds up over 10 years. ALWAYS write down the ACTUAL hours you worked even to 15 minutes! Do the math, it adds up quickly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  • Link to review on Indeed


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Link

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

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

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

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

The following Unions are best for food workers:

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

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

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

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

.
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.

How to Chase 3 Multimillionaire CEOs off Twitter

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

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


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

You need the following:

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

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

1. The Clown Who Came From McDonald’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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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’s Pano Christou – Rags to Riches Story

Let’s see.

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

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

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

Pret’s career path is super complex.

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

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

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

NEXT Level:

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

NEXT Level:

Team Leader (either Kitchen Leader or Floor Leader)

NEXT Level:

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

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

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

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Link

NEXT

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

#1 Team Member

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

#3 Team Leader

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

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A GM review, quote:

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

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Link

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

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Link

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

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

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Link

Link

etc. etc. etc. etc. ………

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

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

“Lovingly” handmade … (… and brainwashed)

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Madjid Hamla – formerly Pret A Manger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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etc.

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

The Legacy of Pret A Manger

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Organic Coffins – Natural Fools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Free coffees – the best marketing.

The £1000 for all staff.

What else is the legacy of Pret?

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

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

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

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Current CEO Pano Christou

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

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

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

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

“Video” killed the Pret A Manger.

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

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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.

Day 2 – Mystery Shopper £100 Reward

2 December – Day 2 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020


Many customers are impressed with the constant smiles, generosity (freebies), chatty appearance of front-line Pret staff. Very few ask why low-wage workers in an intense work environment smile and chat so much.

Simple answer, weekly Mystery Shopper visits.

For a FULL 32 question Mystery Shopper report, please visit Pret A Manger – Service Secrets revealed, in today’s post I keep it shorter.

When I worked at Pret the Mystery Shopper “Outstanding Card” reward was £50 if the overall shop scores weren’t perfect, and £100 if scores were perfect. In 2017 an OPs Manager asked me for ideas to improve Mystery Shopper scores company-wide as the shop I worked at as a Team Leader had mostly perfect Mystery Shopper results. I made many suggestions, one of which was to double the individual cash reward from £50/£100 to £100/£200. Since then Pret doubled it.

The complex customer service of Pret A Manger via the Mystery Shopper scheme was already micromanaging in my time, with 4 – 5 pages of questions Mystery Shoppers test staff on every week in every shop. But Pret later increased this to about 8 pages with 32 micromanaging questions.

In my time the bonus scheme was that we got £1 per hour. We earned just a little more than minimum wage, but below the Living Wage, and we had to work double for it. Pret has no choice than to pay a few pennies more and throw in some perks as no low-wage worker would break their back for minimum wage. What the low-wage worker doesn’t know is that this seemingly generous wage via backbreaking work will stay like this for years. It takes forever to get a pay-rise. So, staff start off seemingly with a higher wage, but remain at this for years to come.

The bonus scheme depends to the largest part on Mystery Shoppers. If I worked 40 hours the week the Mystery Shopper visit was successful, I received £40 extra that week (£1 x 40 hours).

A different Mystery Shopper visits each week, each shop. The shop is tested on variety of things: the overall atmosphere upon entering the shop, the amount and variety of selection of food on display, cleanliness, after customers have died from unlabelled/mislabelled allergen, Pret added questions about allergen and recipes in general. But the main thing that shops are tested on is the service. Are staff smiling, giving eye contact, chat? An individual staff member can earn the extra £100 or if perfect shop scores, £200 if the Mystery Shopper is extra impressed with the service of that one individual.

So staff kiss butt and it’s almost always guaranteed to get the £100/£200 cash reward when the staff member gives a freebie to the Mystery Shopper.

If the Mystery Shopper who counts the amount of selection of food on display and 1 item or more is missing from the amount that Pret demands, then the whole shop team lose bonus.

If ONE Team Member doesn’t smile while serving ANY customer and the Mystery Shopper witnesses the “non-smiling”, the whole Team are at risk to lose bonus. Depending how harsh the Mystery Shopper is, any tiny mistake from ONE Team Member can lose the whole Team their bonus.

Even if the bonus is lost that week, one individual staff member can still earn £100 if they kiss butt well enough and impress the Mystery Shopper. This happened in below YouTube slide where I put a real Mystery Shopper report. The shop lost bonus due to some food items missing from the range, but a Team Member gave the Mystery Shopper a free drink, explained the drink and was rewarded £100. This is done to make the other Team Members jealous and created peer pressure. All the other Team Members didn’t get their bonus because the kitchen couldn’t get the food items out in time, thus the whole team got penalized while just ONE Team Member received £100 for kissing butt.

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Managers, OPs Managers and higher up Leadership receive their bonus quarterly. Managers always put intense pressure on Team Members regarding the Mystery Shopper because Managers’ quarterly bonuses rely to the largest part on Mystery Shopper results. Bonus depends on a variety of things like profit, how much/little waste a shop has, how much labour can be cut, cleanliness, health and safety visit scores etc. But the biggest chunk of Manager quarterly bonus depends on the Mystery Shopper.

This pressure is to push smiley, chatty, supposedly “happy” customer service to impress customers with the happy facade while in reality staff are peer pressured, bullied and forced to pretend a happiness.

I write so detailed about this because I was bullied by Management when the Mystery Shopper commented that I didn’t smile. What the Mystery Shopper didn’t know was that I just buried my brother. But Management knew. HR knew. Pret knew.

An older Mystery Shopper report where Pret demanded that staff smile, chat, give eye contact to EVERY customer:

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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.

©2020 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.

Socialism in a Nutshell

A tongue-in-cheek post 😉

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Capitalism in a Nutshell (blame game):

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Julian Metcalfe’s 1-day Stint on Twitter

There are 2 conditions for which there is no cure:

Foot-in-mouth disease and stupidity. Arrogance is close behind!

So, £210 million man Julian Metcalfe actually had the balls (or one glass of wine too many) to come on Twitter for less than 24 hours and continue his rant in public. I anticipated that he’d delete some Tweets, but that he ran off that quickly was a surprise. Maybe he was drunk when he decided to hit the keyboard so publicly. And probably someone sensible, a certain PR[et] person pulled the plug! Too late Mr. Metcalfe, I’ve made screenshots!

I didn’t screenshot all of his contradicting Tweets, just the ones where he retweeted my Tweets and those that confirm how utterly uncaring, self-serving and arrogantly detached from reality this man is.

UPDATE December 2020 – I made a YouTube slide on below screenshots for easier view:

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His first Tweet yesterday, 30.10.2020:

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His second, follow-up Tweet confirms his comment to the Daily Mail of his survival-of-the-fittest mentality: “we cannot put forth the needs of the few over those of the many.”

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For anyone who still hasn’t heard, this is what Metcalfe said to the Daily Mail in response to UK’s second lock-down:

»Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret and Itsu, said another lockdown would be ‘impossible’, adding: ‘Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people

Link to Daily Mail article.

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After his first two Tweets which are NOT an apology, his third Tweet goes straight into HIS priorities, desperately trying to divert from his disastrous comments, mind you he NEVER apologized but re-emphasized his comments:

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My third Tweet to him where I wondered how long he will last on Twitter given that current Pret CEO Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account in July 2019 (after he blocked me) and former CEO Clive Schlee’s account was deleted in July 2020. I didn’t expect Metcalfe to quit that fast though. Quite something that a peasant little “late night girl” like me can bring THREE multi-million £ CEOs to quit Twitter!

Pano Christou’s Twitter account where he blocked me:

His Twitter account before he deleted it, his handle is now taken by another Pano Christou from Canada:

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And his page on 01. July 2019 before another Pano Christou took that handle:

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CEO Pano Christou is “hiding” on Linkedin where customers and low-wage staff most likely don’t mingle to confront him like they do on Twitter. Pano learnt from Clive Schlee’s Twitter mistakes. But Julian Metcalfe dug his grave on Twitter yesterday.

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And to my surprise Metcalfe started to retweet a number of my Tweets, especially after I linked him the Glassdoor reviews of his staff.

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After I linked him the Glassdoor reviews of accusations of him being sexist, a bully, creating panic etc., he really dared to respond with this:

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And his claim that his staff “begged” him for zero hour contracts is so disgusting, I’m still trying to find words …

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To which I responded:

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And a few other Tweets he posted. But the one that topped it for me is:

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If THAT Tweet didn’t put the nail in his coffin, I don’t know what will.

Now either Metcalfe didn’t know who I am, or he approached my Tweets in his lofty way assuming he can just pull his sexist, patronizing number on me before being educated and urged to stop. He deleted some of his Tweets and later his account.

One of his Tweets I didn’t screenshot where he said that the Daily Mail took his comment out of context. My question which he never responded to of course:

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Keep tweeting Mr. Metcalfe. Keep tweeting.

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I tweeted to him a thread of staff reviews on Glassdoor that were posted at different dates, as he says that reviews are biased and can be written by anyone anonymously. That’s a fair point, but then the positive reviews can be biased, too. It works both ways if it was the case of fake reviews. Here are only the few reviews from 2018 – 2020 I troubled myself to post to him as screenshots, in no particular order.

I linked to the list of those reviews. Press ctrl & + (plus sign) to enlarge the images:

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Concerning staff “begging” him for zero hour contracts:

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The founder. The biggest con. An irrational bully who uses intimidation and lies to get his own way.” …

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UPDATE:

Julian Metcalfe has a second Twitter account as @JulianMetcalfe_. It’s not clear if he started this simultaneously or before/after his @JulianEMetcalfe account was opened AND closed in one day. I doubt he’ll return to continue spreading his thoughts minus an apology. But it’s always worth a try.

Link

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I listened to a BBC interview of Metcalfe where by his own admission he said (at about 19:18 or with the interviewer’s question from about 18:40 on) that he wasn’t a good employee and that he was quite disobedient.

Need to be registered/logged in to the BBC to hear the interview. He plays stupid a lot in that interview, but I hope his low-wage staff who are exploited for his net worth of £210 million, hear this his words and show him the finger. I lost even further respect for Metcalfe. Spoiled, privileged prat!

Link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000l7k5

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LINK of my Tweets to Mr. Metcalfe, scrolling down to the bottom where I started.

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LINK to some of the reviews on Metcalfe himself.

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Article on Julian Metcalfe’s connection to Pret and why Pret can’t distance themselves from Metcalfe.

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And just as a reminder what Metcalfe said to the Daily Mail days ago:

»Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret and Itsu, said another lockdown would be ‘impossible’, adding: ‘Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people.«

Link to Daily Mail

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And regarding Pret A Manger’s treatment of staff, just a few of the many staff reviews I put on a YouTube slide. I listed many more complaints on Pret’s bullying culture on “Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger“.

Best viewed on FULL screen:

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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.

Julian Metcalfe and Pret A Manger Today

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Just when I thought nothing more straining than cancelling a trip to see family and new lock-down restrictions in Europe can wear me out, this happens:

Link to Daily Mail article from yesterday

Quote:
»Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret and Itsu, said another lockdown would be ‘impossible’, adding: ‘Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people

And I thought former Pret CEO Clive Schlee’s foot-in-mouth disease was already bad enough! This tops it! So, Pret’s had it all, they even managed to have not 1 but 2 customers die, the WORST event that can happen in a business, and they got away with it. They feel invincible. And now having words visible that, who knows, may have been spoken out behind closed doors in Pret, itsu etc.


After a public outcry, not heard since customer deaths came to light, Pret has now distanced themselves from Pret RE-founder Julian Metcalfe.

I don’t want to post all the Tweets of countless people here, but just what itsu staff say about Metcalfe himself and what Pret A Manger staff say about Pret.

But here’s Pret’s repeated copy & paste response to the outcry that started last night (28.10.2020):

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Link

UPDATE: Yet Pret started to remove the protector screens from the till counters. So far to “we must take steps to stop the spread…”

Link

Link

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Some customers believe the few sentences and come to Pret’s defense, but people aren’t stupid.

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And I want to point out again to all the many people on social media who settle for three sentences from Pret’s social media team, that what Julian Metcalfe said to the press, and with it to the public, is JUST visible now to what itsu, Pret A Manger and many, many other big chains have acted upon all along.

A little crash course on the very close and lasting connection of Pret and itsu, and why Metcalfe’s words are not surprising. Pret may distance themselves from Metcalfe, but Pret, itsu, Metcalfe, former CEO Clive Schlee, current CEO Pano Christou … are a close-knit group of friends and business people working towards one goal only: profit and making shareholders happy.

Please do your homework because I am tired of linking everything to every word I post!

Clive Schlee is very close friends with Julian Metcalfe and got the Pret CEO job from him 18 odd years ago. Clive Schlee owns half of itsu and is on the board of directors of itsu. Schlee also remains in the background of Pret as a non-executive director, being new CEO Pano Christou’s mentor. Clive Schlee snuck out almost quietly from Pret as the CEO, after he ignored multiple warnings on allergen labelling and did NOTHING after TWO customers died. Only when the deaths became public did he slowly start to label. This is how much a life, let alone more lives are worth for Pret.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s mum is in disbelief on Pret’s lack of action, from about 0:20 seconds on:

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Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account on 01. July 2019 after I tweeted the news of Clive Schlee’s retirement to the press. Schlee’s Twitter account was closed this year in July 2020.

Pano Christou is “hiding” on Linkedin where mostly Caucasian, upper middle class business people mingle, and where he has his “yes-men” applauding him in everything he posts. Customers and low-wage workers don’t complain on Linkedin, so he’s safe there from public confrontation.

Pret can distance themselves all they want, what Julian Metcalfe has said publicly, Pret has lived and is living practically!

Pret was one of THE FIRST to cut employee hours in March just before lock-down.

Pret used NHS workers for PR and a smokescreen, giving freebies and 50% rebates to NHS staff and the very next day announced to staff that their hours will be cut. Pret diverted via the NHS freebie PR, but they got caught and reverted until a few months later when close to 3000 people were fired.

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Link

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Pret was one of THE first high-street food chain to open shops DURING lock-down in April 2020.

Pret was THE ONLY food place open (at least) on Stansted airport in July 2020. Only Boots and WH Smiths were open, all the other brands incl. Burger King, Starbucks, hell even itsu remained closed! Here the video:

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Here’s a quality Tweet that reaches back into Julian Metcalfe’s history. Them Tweets don’t come like that every day. Someone did their homework.

Link

Oh so simple to just go to Wikipedia …

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What itsu staff say about Julian Metcalfe himself:

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Link

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etc. etc.

And here are some of the many Pret A Manger staff reviews. A more comprehensive but not exhaustive list of Pret staff raising their voice on review sites regarding systemic bullying and exploitation I listed on “Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger“.

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The following video slide is just a small selection. More on “Caught in the Act at Pret A Manger“.

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UPDATE

30. October 2020, 6:30pm

Metcalfe started a Twitter account, respect for facing the music. But this may dig his grave even further. Read his opposing first Tweets:

2.

Link

And his third Tweet is going straight back to HIS priorities:

And then later after he retweeted some of my Tweets in response to my criticism of him, he tweets this and continues to show his true face, blaming the public:

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Before he deleted his Twitter account again he also confirmed several times that former Pret CEO Clive Schlee (who owns half of itsu & is still in the background of Pret) and Pret are his “dear friends”:

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I responded to above Tweet that Clive was so heart broken that he did NOT act whatsoever on TWO customer deaths until this became public.

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I wrote a blog post on 31.10.2020 on Metcalfe’s Tweets as he deleted his Twitter account after less than being 24 hours on Twitter. I made screenshots because I anticipated him deleting Tweets.

Link to post: “Julian Metcalfe’s 1-Day Stint on Twitter.”

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UPDATE:

I listened to a BBC interview of Metcalfe where by his own admission he said (at about 19:18 or with the interviewer’s question from about 18:40 on) that he wasn’t a good employee and that he was quite disobedient.

Need to be registered/logged in to the BBC to hear the interview. He plays stupid a lot in that interview, but I hope his low-wage staff who are exploited for his net worth of £210 million, hear this his words and show him the finger. I lost even further respect for Metcalfe. Spoiled, privileged prat!

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000l7k5

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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.

Former CEO of Pret A Manger Clive Schlee

has withdrawn from public social media incl. deleting his Twitter account in July 2020 after I kept confronting him. He withdrew from press interviews and remains in the background of Pret as a non-executive director and mentor of Pano Christou. I call Christou Panocchio as he lied in an Evening Standard interview and beyond. Clive will be back to tell his sorry story after I kept and keep confronting his lack of leadership and steering Pret full steam ahead into an iceberg.

Clive, I will never stop addressing your lack of leadership which shows in your prodigy Panocchio, until you own up to your greed and exploiting those who are the true heroes of this economy.

Clive, you, HR and the OPs/Group Managers picked on the wrong person. You got away with customers having died and getting injured. You get away with amazing people being exploited and bullied. You just about got away from allowing me to get bullied after I buried my brother. But the conversation of Pret’s toxic ways will go beyond me raising it. Keep working on your story, and others will tell theirs.

And this is your legacy, Schlee. And mainstream media suck up to you because they are as weak as you are. We low-wage workers are vulnerable, but we ain’t weak.


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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.


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.

Escape From Pret – The Inedible True Story

How 2 executives got away with 2 customer deaths and what lessons Pret has NOT learned!

 

Vegetarians and Vegans eat Meat in Pret

Mislabelling continues

Just when you think nothing more ridiculous can happen in Pret, this happens:

2019-11-27 Chicken as Veggie sticker

Link to Tweet from 27.11.2019 – I responded to SCLFT that the real @Pret killed two people in Britain! And side note: a baguette for $8!!! No wonder former CEO Clive Schlee pocketed £30 million on bonus alone! But he left a legacy behind, where low-wage staff speak out bluntly in anonymity on Glassdoor & Co.

UPDATE: 25.02.2020 UK

“Vegan” Bircher muesli containing milk.

2020-02-25 Vegan milk Bircher

Link

And THIS happens: (I put the whole feed)

2019-12-01 Label1

Link

2019-12-01 Label2

Link

 

2019-12-01 Label8

Link

2019-12-01 Label3

Link

2019-12-01 Label4Link

2019-12-01 Label7

Link OOPS!!! Quickly get into DM to get out of the public eye! Too late!

 

And the gift that keeps on giving!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
welcome to the land of MILK & HONEY!

 

UPDATE: 10. Dec. 2019 – Pret USA again. And the usual response by the U.S. Twitter staff is very relaxed. People in the U.S. cannot DM Pret’s USA Twitter account. It’s like the U.S. side of Pret is cut off from the UK.

2019-12-10 Vegan label Milk ingredient

Link

UPDATE: 20. December 2019 Pret USA AGAIN!

2019-12-20 Pret USA label Clementine contains milk

Link

26. December 2019 Pret USA – Wrong Soup / Label … again

2019-12-26 Wrong soup Pret USA

Link

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

 

The issue of mislabelled products in Pret A Manger continues. It is 2019. Two customers have died, a third incidence was nearly fatal, and several in hospital from unlabelled allergen in Pret products, numerous customer warnings ignored before and even after deaths. Only after the deaths became public has Pret SLOWLY started to label products. But mislabelling products as well as placing products behind wrong labels continues.

Some customers who complain on Twitter assume that this is a one-off or rare problem…

NOTE:

A little reminder that Pret was cleared in New York in 2016 —>>> where a customer sued Pret after he suffered an allergic reaction ALSO to an unlabelled sesame product, the same allergen that Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of from a London shop in 2016! Even though Pret won the case it did not give them any sense of urgency or a wake-up call to start labelling products! ONLY when customer deaths became public did Pret slowly implement labelling!

Also, Pret has now set aside £10 Million on legal fees for >>> food allergy scandal costs.

>>> Pret on trial after Celia Marsh’s death, who died from dairy traces in a non-dairy product.

UPDATE: November 2019

Vegan eats chicken 10th Nov.:

2019-11-09 Vegan eats meat

Link

2 customers in one day:

2019-11-08 Ham x2

@DizzyBrunette — & — @MissKLWalker

UPDATE: 24.10.2019

THREE wrong products in ONE day
customers have posted on Twitter even before the 2:30pm lunch end in Pret:

 

  1. Wrong Soup – Mislabelled: Mushroom Risotto label on Curry Soup:

2019-10-24 Wrong Soup

Link to a really great video!

 

2. Wrong Coffee – Milk instead black for dairy intolerant

2019-10-24 Wrong Coffee

Link

 

3. Wrong Toastie

2019-10-24 Wrong Toastie

Link

 

UPDATE: 12. October 2019 – Life-long Vegetarian eats mislabeled Tuna instead of Veggie Toastie

2019-10-12 TUna instead of Cheese toastie

Link to Tom Rache’s Tweet

 

2019-10-12 Tuna instead of Cheese toastie2

Link to his wife Julia Ramil’s Tweet

 

After I tweeted to Tom Rache & Julia Ramil with this blog entry I got a full shadow ban from Twitter, probably via Pret reporting me, which got my Tweets hidden for 24 hours and can only be viewed with direct link or via my Tweets and Replies page. This is to silence the systemic issue of mislabelling due to under-staffing:

LNG FUll Ban

 

UPDATE: 11. October 2019 – BACON instead of Beef

2019-10-11 Bacon instead of beef foccacia mislabel

Link

 

UPDATE: 11. October 2019 New York – Wrong soup label

2019-10-10 Wrong soup label

Link

 

UPDATE: 02. October 2019 – MEAT instead of Veg

2019-10-02 Meat Toastie NOT Veggie

Link

 

UPDATE 23. September 2019

2019-09-23 Soya sticker on dairy coffee

Link


2019-06-28 Religious eat Ham

Link

For the sake of time and not wanting to clutter my page with endless examples, here are just a few visuals that show that the problem of wrongly labelled products in Pret is a VERY common problem and continues to this day!

The main reason for this, from my experience having worked at Pret, is chronic under-staffing of low-paid workers who are often not trained well. They are pressured, rushed and pushed so much, they work in often cramped areas, that these mistakes keep happening.

2018-11-11 Tiny HFC area4

What is so beyond believe to me is, that in the UK even with two customer deaths, a third nearly fatal, numerous customer warnings ignored before AND even after people died… Pret goes full steam ahead, doing business as usual and gets away with it. In the U.S. it would hail a storm of class action lawsuits and the leadership would face prison! In the UK they put small business owners (often Indian or other with non-British background) in prison after 1 death! And rightly so, but Pret is too big, too rich and in my opinion, too white! Sorry, but I left my PC days behind long time ago!

In the UK people remain lulled in and want to believe the fairy tale that is Pret A Manger.

 

Illusion

 

Vegetarians, or people, who for religious reasons don’t eat pork, keep settling for an apology and cheap freebies from Pret.

So, here’s a visual again on how common this problem is. Just few of the many examples. I had to fix this issue countless times as a Team Leader. In my 10 years in Pret from 2008 to the end of 2017, I had to fix this on a weekly basis, sometimes several times a day!

The other issue also is that, even though the standard is in place to not mix items on one tray, due to lack of staff, rushed for time to not lose Mystery Shopper bonus, staff bake Mozzarella Croissants on previously used Ham Croissant Trays. They even sometimes put both together on one tray to safe time and washing up. This also happens with the sweet croissants and the danger of traces of nuts touching other items. Staff are not supposed to do this, but because they often even work overtime without pay, they stop caring. I had to deal with this many times as well, retrain, redo etc. etc. etc…… And again, I don’t even blame the low-paid worker here, because when they don’t finish their production in time, they are fear managed and scared to lose their job. So, anyone assuming that at times the Veggie product did not touch the Meat product, or wasn’t baked in the “juice” of the Ham or Meat product, think again!

People are fooled with the facade of Pret. But I emphasize again that Pret A Manger is a FACTORY behind the scenes, there is NOTHING “Lovingly made” as their stickers boast! There’s no time nor room for Love in Pret A Manger!

These visuals are only a selection, there is much more, and not everyone goes on Twitter with pictures:

2019-05-03 Ham instead of Veg croissant

Link to Initial Tweet

2019-05-03 Ham no veg

 

2019-04-21 Ham instead of Veg croissant2

 

2019-06-02 Ham in Veg croissant

Link

2015 Ham instead of Veg croissant

After TWENTY-NINE YEARS… This is 2015. Link to Tweet

This one is particularly misleading, because the Ham Croissant does NOT have a slice of tomato on top like the Mozzarella & Tomato Croissant has, to distinguish each other additionally to the labelling. So, in a rush the Hot Chef, or whoever put the croissants in the oven, added the tomato by mistake. OR they didn’t realize this was the Ham croissant, as in a frozen state they can look similar, although the Ham has black pepper on top, and the Mozzarella Croissant white cheese sprinkles. But again, due to rushing, these mistakes happen fast. From 2017:

2017-04-29 Ham instead of Veg with TOMATO on top

Link

 

2019-04-23 Veggie sticker on ham buttie

Link

2018-12-06 Ham instead of Brie Veggie Baguette

After TWENTY-THREE YEARS… Prosciutto instead of Brie Baguette

2018-11-30 Tuna instead of Ham toastie

A reversed problem: Tuna instead of Ham Toastie

To safe space… the Ham & Cheese Collage (Links underneath)

Ham Cheese Collage

30. Dec. 2017
03. Mar. 2018
14. Feb. 2017
11. Mar. 2018
24. Feb. 2018
24. Jan. 2018
10. July 2017
18. Feb. 2016
11. Dec. 2014
14. Sep. 2014
11. July 2017 Lifelong Vegetarian…

Commercial break: A little humo(u)r

2012 Ham Veg

2012

 

2018-03-05 Ham no Veg USA

USA 2018

 

2019-06-09 Ham no Veg

Link

… and so on…

A more extensive list on this problem also with soups wrongly labelled >>> “Ongoing Issues, hospitalization, mislabelling…” but I stopped collecting in Dec. 2018 as this is ridiculous!

Again this is due to UNDERSTAFFED Shops, rushed staff, and at times staff don’t understand English well, placing products behind wrong labels.

6th December 2019 trial started after Celia Marsh, the second customer died of a Pret product. LINK >>> Pret A Manger facces trial after allergen death.

What staff say anonymously on Review sites, YouTube, Twitter, FB and other websites:

NOTE: If the slide show does not run automatically, please delete amp/ from above URL and reload in order to view. Or click here.

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices without Wifi

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

 

The above slideshows are just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints

Clive Schlee “retired” in September 2019 but remains in the background as a non-executive director. This is his legacy he left behind:

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

June/July 2019 Glassdoor results

UPDATE: October 2019 – New CEO:

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

 

May 2019:
TWO Pret Staff have died
>>> Link to Article

 


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


Interview

NOTE: Since WordPress changed to a new editing system, some features don’t work anymore. For the audio interview, please visit my MEDIA page where the old player still works.

©2020 expret.org

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

Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism

2020-07-02 Lawsuit racism

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Pret Lawsuit Racism

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At the bottom of this page I highlight a few things that I also experienced in Pret’s bullying environment. I link to the full 19 page court document of this lawsuit.

In light of the police violence and the death of George Floyd, sparking worldwide anti-racism protests, some former Pret staff speak out on social media on Pret’s Black Lives Matter posts. The below Tweets are only those they care to post, not having checked Facebook, Instagram etc. The problem is bigger than meets the eye.

Former Employee Tweets:

2020-06-04 Racism in Pret

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2020-06-04 Pret racism

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2020-06-07 Former Pret staff NrmnFckngRckwll complaint 01

2020-06-28 Racism staff posts FB

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Customer Tweets:

2020-01-17 Customer complaint racism

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2020-03-19 Customer complaint racism

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Employee Reviews Glassoor / Indeed:

2020-06-01 Racist bullying review

Link > Birmingham, UK

2019-10-10 NY Strokes Folks

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2013 Racism Review

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2019-03-08 TL - Rasism Racism - RVW25061701

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An Italian review on racism:

Italian review racism

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A USA review on racism:

USA 2013 Review racist

GM slavery

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2018-10-02 Modern day slavery depression

TITLE 2018-10-18 Slave Company

2019-06-01 TM - Just Ugh Slave - RVW26426142 marked

TITLE 2017-06-15 TM NY - Workers are Slave - RVW15492936 crop

2014-11-11 Kitchen Prep NY - Horrible Overworked Slave Fired Fast - RVW5359199

etc. etc. etc.

There are countless more reviews and complaints on various platforms along the lines of racism, slavery, favouritism, discrimination etc., not just on Glassdoor and Indeed. But I just stumbled across a 2012 article by The Voice of two black employees who are very specific in describing their experience. And their experience sounds very familiar of the systemic bullying environment in Pret A Manger. The claim that Pret treated them as “slaves” is a very common complaint on Review sites and YouTube etc.

The Voice article

Link to The Voice article in 2012.

There’s a reason why Pret and its leadership have such poor scores on Glassdoor & Co, and why Cliver Schlee, former CEO, left with this legacy:

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

Glassdoor scores.

2020-07-01 Pano 40 37

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints, including at Head Office and Management complaints, please scroll down to the screenshots in this article:

>> Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret A Manger.


>>> LINK to the Court document of the lawsuit
BATTLE v Pret A Manger.

2020-07-01 Court doc vs Pret racism

I’m aware that these are alleged accounts of Ms Battle. But I want to highlight a few things from my own experience with Pret and what I witnessed with colleagues. Please take the time to read the above 19 page court document. It really shows the systemic culture and hostile work environment which includes subtle bullying. Ms Battle’s experience though shows how hostile shops in the U.S. are, and many U.S. reviews keep saying the same thing over the years of favouritism, racism, bullying.

I want to highlight as well, that in the shops where I worked I never heard the N-Word, but I witnessed subtle racism and backbiting. As a Team Leader I always immediately spoke out against any form of discrimination against race, gender, sexual orientation etc. My colleagues knew that I won’t tolerate any form of discrimination. But there was always the subtle type of racism where a colleague for example complained about another Team Member and always felt the need to mention that they were Black. My response was “Why do you need to mention that they’re Black?” With that I never heard any more subtle comments from those who made mentioned like this. My Teams knew that I would not tolerate ANY form of discrimination. 

I also was contacted a few months ago by a then current Pret employee from the U.S. who complained to me about their shop mainly employing Hispanic workers. I immediately spoke up that I won’t accept racism. In hindsight as well, this may have been a mention of the 60 Broad St New York shop that Ms Battle from the lawsuit here worked at. But I don’t know this. And as the person kept ranting about Hispanic staff, I blocked them. Unfortunately I didn’t do a screenshot of the complaint, even though that complaint may still be there as it was made publicly on MY Facebook feed. But for the life of me, I can’t find it due to having blocked and can’t remember the Facebook account of the person! Oh well …

Page 6 of PDF document, point # 20:
“[Manager] Ramos also accepted and normalized the use of the N-word by Team Members.”
My comment: That’s why this became so aggressively rampant in several shops.

Page7 , point 23:
“Despite her complaint to Ramos, Plaintiff’s coworkers and supervisors continued to use racial slurs in her presence on a regular basis.”
Very typical Pret A Manger that complaints fall on deaf ears.

Page 8, point 25:
“After Plaintiff explained to her coworkers that she was offended by their use of racial slurs, they began to use it even more frequently in her presence.”
Yep, also typical in Pret. You raise an issue, and they do it even more.

Page 9, point 30:
“Ramos [Manager] did not discipline the Team Member for her use of racial slurs.”
Again, very typical Pret.

Page 9, point 31:
“Ramos initially cut Plaintiff’s hours below 30 per week in or around January 2018. When Plaintiff complained to Ramos that he had cut her hours below full time, he told her it was just for that week. Then it happened again the next week and the week after that.”
This is a CLASSICAL bullying tactic. Cutting hours down, no matter if the contracted hours are higher, and initially just saying that this would be temporary. I had that many, many times in Pret. One Manager even cut a whole week to ZERO, and that DURING the Christmas period in 2017 shortly after my dad came out of his coma! It is a classical attempt to make employees resign in desperation to leave this toxic environment.

Page 9, point 32:
“Plaintiff was also harassed and discriminated against in many smaller ways that cumulatively degraded the conditions of her employment. Another African American coworker named Destiny suffered many of these same indignities. By way of example, Plaintiff and Destiny were ordered by supervisors, usually Ramos, to take out the garbage a disproportionate number of times. This was especially remarkable because female workers at 60 Broad were not usually tasked with dragging the heavy trash bags to the garbage dump. Seeing Plaintiff dragging these bags to the garbage dump, the garbage man asked her, “What are you doing back here? I never heard of them sending a female to do garbage pickup.””
Bullying takes on many different forms including subtle harassment and unfavourable treatment being sent to do menial or degrading tasks repeatedly. I was ordered by a Manager once when I was the Team Leader IN FRONT of a 16 year old apprentice to stock up bananas!

Now I stocked up bananas, I cleaned the toilets and got my hands dirty as a Team Leader like everyone else. My colleagues knew that I didn’t shy away from menial tasks and that it was important to me that we worked as a Team and that if I as the Team Leader can clean the toilets, they can after some tried to talk themselves out of certain jobs. SO, doing these “menial” tasks wasn’t an issue for me whatsoever. But what this GM did was to systematically bully in very subtle ways, in front of others, in this case a 16 year old apprentice. It’s a classical bullying strategy as well, especially since this GM knew how hard I worked and how well I lead the Team for us to work together like clockwork and as a strong Team where no-one is more important than the other.

This Manager would do that with anyone he disliked or was upset with for whatever reason, not just with me. He would order us to do menial tasks and ordered this in front of staff. These were very subtle and passive aggressive bullying tactics, just to humiliate especially staff who were in position of leadership.

Page 9, points 33 & 34:
“On orders from Rosario and Ramos, Plaintiff and Destiny also made a disproportionate amount of deliveries during the winter when the weather was cold and it was snowing. … With reference to the menial tasks given to Plaintiff, a Team Member named Jasmine asked Plaintiff, “Why are they asking one person to do everything?””
Self-explanatory!

Page 10, point 37:
“The N -word was used pervasively by employees at those other Pret locations, as well.”
Systemic.

Pages 10 & 11 , points 38 & 39:
“… Burke [HR] said she was just there to deal with the hours issue, and that if Plaintiff had a different issue Plaintiff should call a hotline dedicated to dealing with complaints. 39.In or around early April, Plaintiff called the hotline to which the human resources representative had referred her. The call went to voicemail. Plaintiff left a voicemail during which she complained about her hours being cut and that her shop was “a hostile work environment.””
HR ignored Ms Battle’s complaint about racist slurs and did the typical thing Pret HR does, sending people away to call some hotline which goes to an automated voice mail only.

Page 11, point 41:
“Gregorio [HR] sent Plaintiff an email write-up that mischaracterized and/or omitted many of the issues Plaintiff raised. Notably absent from the write-up was any mention of racial slurs, including the incident Plaintiff told Gregorio about.”
Yep, typical Pret HR behaviour, leaving vital issues out and/or distracting from the main issues raised.

Page 14, point 55 & 56:
“On July 12, 2018 Plaintiff sent Gregorio an email in which she cited, among other concerns, her coworkers’ use of racial slurs and the lack of action taken in response to her prior complaints. She also mentioned that she had sent Ramos a text about her concerns and that he had not responded and refused to discuss her concerns. Faced with these explicit, written complaints, Pret lurched into action, albeit a kind both belated and insufficient.”
Once Ms Battle put her complaint in writing in an email, Pret suddenly responded, but insufficient of course.

In a lawsuit in 2010 in the UK a Judge ruled in favour of a former Pret worker who sued Pret for unfair dismissal. The Judge mentioned Pret’s HR hearings being quote, “fundamentally flawed”. The Judge further mentioned that the appeal’s hearings also were “fundamentally flawed”. This is a systemic problem in Pret since years as I have experienced and won’t change unless Pret is hit more seriously with high penalties. The peanuts Pret is always ordered to pay is a joke and doesn’t make them change the toxic foundation of this company.

Link to Tribunal Judge’s ruling on Pret’s flawed HR hearings, page 10 top check mark.

Page 15, point 57:
“In or around August 4, 2018 Gregorio sent Plaintiff a follow up email in which she shared the results of her investigation. Under the heading “Inappropriate Language” she confirmed that she was able to substantiate Plaintiff’s allegations that racial slurs are used in the shop. Under the heading “Hostile Work Environment” she confirmed that she was able to substantiate Plaintiff’s concerns…”
But only AFTER Plaintiff put her complaints in WRITING via email!

Page 15, point 58:
“Despite these findings, Pret did not terminate Ramos’s employment.”
Why should Pret fire him, they would have to fire the majority of the company!

Well done for Ms Battle with the cool name reflecting her fighting spirit to go all the way to court! In the U.S. it’s much easier to go to court than in the UK and Europe. Pret had to pay 4000 workers back TWICE after being sued in NY for not paying correct wages.

I explain in my interview in below audio player why I withdrew my court case against Pret. But I will never be silent about Pret A Manger’s toxic and corrupt work ethics behind their smiley PR facade!


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


Interview:

©2020 expret.org


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

Questions to Lila Tighilt Warren #PretAManger

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The following blog entry is an open letter to Lila Tighilt Warren, development manager of Pret A Manger head office in London, United Kingdom. This blog post is also converted into an automated voice reading. Please ignore the pronunciation of “manger” which need to get updated in automated voice programs to roughly “monjair” or roughly as Pret A Monjay.

Audio version (Note: Lila’s name is pronounced “Leela”):

https://anchor.fm/expretdotorg/episodes/Questions-to-Lila-Tighilt-Warren-PretAManger-e1ho2b4

Text version:

Introduction:

To any new reader to my blog,

my below “letter” is to a Development Manager from Pret A Manger’s HQ who was used by Pret’s toxic HR department to gaslight me. My full story with Pret is at the very bottom in an interview on the audio player. In a nutshell, I was targeted and bullied during traumatic bereavement by higher up Managers under the watchful eye of Pret’s HR department. After the first year of bereavement and the bullying and HR not helping me (I didn’t know at the time that HR was heavily involved!), I wrote an email to then CEO Clive Schlee, and ONLY THEN did some support start (like Pret paying for some counselling sessions).

But the bullying continued, this time in more subtle forms which I explain in detail in the audio player below. Traumatized already from my brother’s death and how it all unfolded, I became ill with emailing (again, I explain in the interview) after I received the news of my brother’s death via a cold email.

I kept raising issues of bullying, raised grievances including a grievance against a People Business Partner from HR (who since 2019 now is not in Pret anymore). Of course the grievances went nowhere and Pret just substantiated bits and bobs here and there to make it appear they cared, but they never really addressed the bullying. And Clive Schlee later patronized me calling me his “late night girl” after I sent late night emails to Pret and the whole world it seemed …

As I didn’t stop raising issues, being in trauma etc. and STILL working extremely well under horrendous circumstances, Pret offered me money, NDAs if I resign, never go to court and never speak about my ordeal. I declined the money. And I wouldn’t stop raising issues as I’ve worked my heart out for this company to just be bullied once my grief got in their way.

Pret finally pulled the last “Ace” out of their sleeve and put Lila Warren on my case. She is NOT working for HR but is a Training and Development Manager. She was tasked to hold a disciplinary hearing against me and told me in the meeting that she also had a brother who died alone in his apartment, wasn’t found for days and was not recognizable as his corpse disintegrated already, just like with my brother. My brother died alone in his flat, was not found for approximately 6 days, his body disintegrating and then they just cremated him without supposedly finding us first.

As I was so traumatized from everything, added with the bullying, I bought the lie that Lila dished out. I recently confronted her on Linkedin and after my confrontation she changed her name from “Lila Warren” to “Lila W.” not realizing that her Linkedin can still be found via Google as search of “Lila Warren Pret”. Lila was extremely manipulative and a very good liar! She’s also a NLP practitioner, a Hypnotherapist and now a Psychotherapist. I am still recovering not knowing if I can ever even trust my own gut anymore.

But I share all this to show how utterly perverse and corrupt Pret A Manger is that got away with TWO customers having died, with their smiley and happy facade. The public still believe Pret is an ethical and caring company. They need to believe what they WANT to believe.

A quote by Friedrich Nietzsche: “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” End of quote.

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Illusion

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My full story will make a little more sense after hearing my interview. And this is my final “letter” to Lila, which I sent to her on Linkedin after I did extensive research if her dead brother “Zain” actually existed.

My open letter to Lila Warren:

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Dear Lila,

I hope you are well during this pandemic.

I am still alive and physically well, although mentally ruined and broken after what I went through with my brother’s death and what Pret put me through, including you gaslighting me.

As you may know, I wrote several articles about what you have done. But in case you missed it, here are two of several posts:

Counsellor Lila Warren — and  — Counselling with Lila Warren.

There is a reason why I gave both posts similar titles.

Both more or less saying the same thing about your “brother Zain”, and what you have done and allowed Pret to do via you.

For 2 years now I’ve been writing, blogging, tweeting about my trauma. For 2 years, on and off, I’ve searched if there is a “brother” named “Zain”.

And then, I came across Kader a few months ago.

He passed away.

Who was he? Your brother? A cousin? Or was he the uncle you mentioned? As you seem to have a large family, it’s all a little bit confusing.

A LaProvence.com Newspaper article about Kader Tighilt’s memorial.

I can’t speak French and did a Google translate, maybe you could correct any wrong translation:


»He left with praise, with thunderous applause, with looks bathed in tears too. The tears of all those who had gathered in town hall from the 15th-16th, yesterday, to say goodbye to Kader Tighilt, chief of the sports department, who died, at 53, of a terrible disease. The elected officials were there, from left and right, Samia Ghali, Patrick Mennucci, Daniel Sperling, Nora Préziosi, Jean-Marc Coppola, Henri Jibrayel, Clément Yana, Jean-Marc Corteggiani, the representative of the prefect also, of the Algerian consul . Kader belonged to the 15th-16th family but he was not from any chapel, subservient to any party, except that of the Republic.

His open, tolerant and always humorous speech had allowed him to gather. Among elected officials and at the bistro. Kader was an all-terrain personality. That is why there were 300 of them crowding in the garden of Villa Laplane where the elected officials rubbed shoulders with athletes, everyday friends and family, of course. A minute of silence launched the tribute ceremony, which was followed by the hymn, symbol of this Republic which he defended as a treasure.

His young son Faris recalled him in a speech full of courage, dignity and emotion: “He was a great man who was going to leave an immense void. We can be proud of the fight he fought. ” Samia Ghali, with whom Kader Tighilt worked, portrayed a man who, beyond ideas, will have marked the town hall with his personality:

“Your voice which surprised us at the Bar des Bons Vivants or at the Régali will be greatly missed.” Nearly an hour of sincere tribute to a man who has spent a too short life cultivating friendship. And to make the young disadvantaged in the northern districts smile. Kader Tighilt was buried in the Vaudrans cemetery, abandoning loved ones torn apart by grief, who nevertheless know that his image and his spirit will remain present in Saint-Louis, La Viste, at the Bar des Bons Vivants and in the town hall of the sector.

Where, without Kader, life will not be quite as before.«


End of translation.

Kader was a prominent figure in Marseille where you’re from.

And an English article about Kader Tighilt: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/marseilles-ethnic-bouillabaisse-180191988

And a Tweet about a tribute after his death, from the French translated into English, quote: “Kader TIGHILT, A Republican tribute organized by the Town Hall of the 15th and 16th of Marseille” End of quote.

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2015 Twitter Kader Tighilt

Link

Lila, remember the picture you had on your Pret work-phone? You had NO picture whatsoever on your private phone number, which is now your counselling number, the painted picture of which you said is a self-portrait by your brother Zain, whom you said died in his apartment and wasn’t found for days, just like my brother. I found the painted picture on Facebook profile of Samir Tighilt, who has this black and white photo of Kader Tighilt on it. Is Samir another brother? I can’t find Zain, though!

2020-03-13 Samir Tighilt zain

Facebook profile

And not to be mistaken for another Tighilt family, you, your brother Morad and your Husband/family Warren show up on Samir Tighilt’s friend-list. There is no “Zain” to be found, though!

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2020 Lila Samir Tighilt

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I searched for Zain Tighilt and after many Facebook profiles and articles found Kader Tighilt.

You had a painted self-portrait of your “brother Zain” on your work phone, but no picture whatsoever on your private phone. I always wondered about this, why you had no photo or picture on your private phone, but a personal picture (“Zain’s self-portrait”) on your work phone. Well, I think it’s clear now, why. How confused your family would have been if you had that same picture on your private phone avatar. I believed you that you had a brother who died similarly to how my brother died, you were very convincing! As I wrote already in the other posts that you are either a very good liar because of the way you described everything regarding death and your “brother’s” body, which I know from my brother’s death. If you lied, that makes you a bad person. But if this is true that you indeed had a brother named Zain who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days, like my brother, then this makes you even worse than a bad person.

I am still looking for a word to describe how this feels what Pret has done, and what you have done, I can’t find a word to describe this. The only word I can find is: perversion. It is perverse what you have done, claiming that you had a brother who died alone in his apartment and was not found for days, just like my brother. How perve