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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram:

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Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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

Link

Facebook:

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

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

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

.

Link to article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

.

.

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

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

Another #PretAManger Lie – QR Codes

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

.

.

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

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

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

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

.

.

.

.

.

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

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

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

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

.

Link to article.

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

.

.

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

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

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


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

.

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

.

.

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

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

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

.


.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another former staff:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pret advertises jobs as follows:

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

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

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

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

Link to Tweet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“modern slavery”

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

“Great pay and benefits 😂😂😂

🤣🤣🤣🤣never back”

etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link to email.

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

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

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.

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Mandemic Staff Reviews

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Judge Heath’s decision.

In a nutshell:

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

This is on page 6, point 32, quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Thisismoney article

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

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

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

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

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

Further point 33, quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

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

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

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

– Ela Minus

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

The “Difference” between Pret’s Kitchen & Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to reddit comment from 12.08.2021

Quote:

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s ONE Team! ALL work hard!

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
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.

Like A Vagina – Just for the very last time …

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

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

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

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

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

LateNightGirlMe/status/1421623160475095043

LateNightGirlMe/status/1419688927741497345

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

Pret A Manger Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

Link to June 2021 article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only one of several complaints on Twitter.

Link

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

No sir, it’s not due to refurb!

Link

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

Link

Link

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every little helps!

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

Link

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

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

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UPDATE 16.08.2021

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

Link

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.


Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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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.

5 Minutes

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etc. etc. etc.


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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Difference between a Man and a Man

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1. The difference between a Mother and a Mother.

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

3. The difference between a European and a European.

4. The difference between an Educated and the Educated.

5. The difference between Rich countries and Richer countries.

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

To be continued unfortunately …

Non-commercial Break:

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

I’d rather die than remove my Tweets!

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

The Tweets started like this:

Link

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

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He tweets back the following:

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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UPDATE:

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

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

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

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

Quote:

»Hi,

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

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

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

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

Jo«

Here is a vomit emoticon:

🤮

SHAME on you “Samaritans”.

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

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

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived … no, I’m still surviving … systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Another Email by a Pret A Manger Staff

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

The email:

»Hello,


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

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

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


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

Pret Employee 2021

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

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

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

For some other staff reviews and complaints:

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Pret A Manger Effect

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

Link

Facebook.com/preth8ers group.

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

Ok, keep it up Pret! Keep it up!

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

»Great Company in Risk of Ruin«

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»Worked into the Ground without Empathy«

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»Advise to Pret Management: Burn in Hell«

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»Pret Annihilates Humanity«

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»The Pret A Manger Love Treatment«

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»Hounded – The Sequel«

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»The Pret A Manger Anthem«

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

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

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

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

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

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»WOWING Pret Customers«

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

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Last but not least:

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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

– The Dead Milkmen

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org 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.

It Cannot Be What Can Be

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

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

That’s the only reason.

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

Mainstream media, the public & Co.

We all look for the greats.

Yet in the words of Emily Dickinson:

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

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

Eat your heart out “press”.

Eat your fucking heart out!

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org 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.

And ANOTHER LAWSUIT against Pret A Manger

»Pret can’t dodge biometric privacy lawsuit over employee fingerprint scans«

»Pret A Manger must face a proposed class action over alleged unlawful collection and retention of employees’ biometric data«

Link to Reuters article

“The lawsuit was filed in November 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court by attorneys Keith J. Keogh and Gregg M. Barbakoff, of Keogh Law Ltd., of Chicago. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of named plaintiff Kayla Quarles, identified as a former Pret A Manger employee, who worked at one of the chain’s Chicago locations for about a year, ending in 2019.

The lawsuit seeks to expand the action to include virtually all Pret A Manger employees who worked at its Chicago restaurants in the past five years.

The class action asserts Pret A Manger improperly required its workers to scan their fingerprints when punching in and out of work shifts. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Pret A Manger of failing to secure written authorization from the workers before requiring such fingerprint scans, and of failing to provide workers and the public with certain notices required by the law, explaining why Pret A Manger was requiring the fingerprint scans, and what it would do with the scanned biometric identification data.”

Link

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The 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 4 – #PretAManger – Great Company in Risk of Ruin

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4 December – Day 4 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

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Last year’s Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2019

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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.

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.

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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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:

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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.

Pret A Manger Seminar on Customer Service

In the spring of 2017 I still worked at Pret as a Team Leader of the shop floor (Floor Leader – FL) when Pret hired the prestigious London Barbican Center to hold a one to two week seminar on customer service. I can’t remember if it was two weeks, but certainly a whole week where Managers and Leaders from different areas where scheduled to attend.

The seminar theme was “Be Kind, Honest, Generous”. Pret did not hire the main Barbican hall, but several rooms upstairs including the Amphitheater. We were led through different rooms where presentations were held, like a video stream being shown on a hidden camera shoot that showed different shop staff members and the mistakes they made in customer service. I cringed at this because Pret already has a very patronizing, micromanaging Mystery Shopper scheme where weekly visits happen to test every shop on service, cleanliness, amount of products available etc. If shops fail, the whole Team lose the bonus, even if only one staff member makes a mistake. If they succeed everyone receives a bonus and / or an individual staff member can earn an extra up to £200 if they kissed the Mystery Shopper’s butt extra sweet!

A real Mystery Shopper report with the majority of the 32 micromanaging questions I put together on YouTube:

In a nutshell: Low-wage staff HAVE TO smile, chat, give eye contact etc. to present a “happy” image while in reality they are short-staffed, bullied to work fast, many are depressed, take pills or drink to cope with the daily stress. I myself was bullied during already traumatic bereavement, which I share at the bottom audio player interview on a podcast based in California.

Why am I writing about this? Why is this significant?

It was spring 2017 when Pret held this seminar for all Leaders in customer service, and for the Leaders then to pass what they’ve “learnt” to the Teams. There wasn’t really anything to learn, it was just one big brainwash in how to kiss butt even more. This was a year after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s tragic death from an unlabelled allergen (sesame) in a Pret baguette. But at the time I and my colleagues did not know about a customer having died, (let alone by Decmber 2017 TWO customers having died) from hidden allergen in Pret products.

I learnt like everyone else through the media in autumn 2018. And apart from being shocked, I was appalled that Pret did not only NOT tell us about this, but as a Team Leader whose job description also was health and safety, that I wasn’t even briefed or as much as HINTED to be more cautious and diligent about labelling and allergen!

Pret went full steam ahead with business as usual! Natasha’s mum points this out perfectly in about 0:20 into the video:

So, what did Pret do? Pret did a seminar on customer service and how to kiss butt for increased profit. We shop workers laughed about the theme of “be kind, honest, generous” as we knew Pret wasn’t kind, honest, generous. We knew how pretentious the company is and how we were pushed and drilled to present a happy image while being burdened down and lied to by management constantly. We were bullied on silly issues while important issues were ignored.

For example, in the seminar, in one of the rooms we were led through, a scenario was given where trans-sexual customers complained to Pret about being called “sir” when they were female or called “madam” when they were male or identified as a different gender. Or we simply made a mistake by accidentally addressing a customer the wrong way.

Tweet about the theme mentioning Sarah Bohn who’s part of Pret’s training department developing this seminar.

Sarah Bohn (red jacket) on a team-building trip.

I remember Lila Warren, (in above Tweet pictured on the very right – dark jacket/hair), one of the Development Managers from the training department, explaining in great detail that we should not call people sir or madam to not offend etc. I remember getting annoyed at this because Pret staff have one minute to serve customers or risk losing bonus and get fear managed. As a team member I myself served at LEAST about 500+ people in a 6 hour shift, especially when I worked in the morning coffee AND lunch rushes! The pace is so relentless as regular customers will know. The many Mystery Shopper questions that I listed in above YouTube slide show how staff are micromanaged and have to follow silly and unnecessary rules upon rules upon rules …

When a customer then looked male or female, we just simply were too busy, swamped with volumes of customers and work, and we were plainly exhausted from the same menial fake smiley tasks, then surely it cannot be a catastrophe to address a customer wrongly by MISTAKE. I did that a few times, apologized and even gave a free coffee.

YET! Pret did not see it important to hold a seminar on allergen and food labelling!

I write about Lila Warren on my blog as she was instrumental in my ordeal. In a nutshell, Lila Warren was tasked to give me a disciplinary when I spiralled into late night emailing to Pret after I was systemically bullied by Pret leadership under the watchful eye of the HR department. This had former CEO Clive Schlee call me his “late night girl”. I explain in detail in the audio player at the bottom.

Pret had no grounds to fire me. In fact Pret was worried that I’d go to court after what they put me through from the top down. I was offered 4 settlement offers if I resign and be silent about my ordeal. Three offers came while I worked at Pret refusing to resign, and the fourth offer came after I withdrew the court case that I filed against Pret. I withdrew as my dad just died at the time of preparing for the case. But as I declined all 3 money offers, Pret put Lila Warren on my case. And this was the most toxic and perverse thing Pret has done and that I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Lila claimed that she had a brother who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days. Just like my brother. She gave me a disciplinary for emailing Pret, but then entered into private emailing and text messaging with me, which resulted in me getting fired. It was a vile plan that I still recover from today.

Pret A Manger being “honest, kind and generous”?

Yikes! It’s the typical PR stunt that Pret is so known for. Ignoring multiple customer warnings on labelling before AND after customers have died. Bullying low-wage staff and HQ staff to the point of suicide to maximize profit. Mainstream media is in Pret’s pocket and they like to ignore my writings, but steal from it for their own press articles.

Pret could have EASILY re-shifted the seminar. I’m sure it took a year or so to prepare this seminar, getting rooms and the Amphitheater hired in the Barbican etc. But Pret could have easily re-shuffled the theme from “sliming” customers and kissing butt in service – to – allergen and labelling. Pret could have EASILY gotten in allergy experts to train us on the importance and the various forms of allergies. But no, they went full steam ahead with a seminar that I and my colleagues didn’t even learn anything new!

In hindsight, this seminar to me seems like the training department still had a huge annual budget to blow, and instead of getting less budget for the following year, they just came up with a “seminar” that none of us needed, as we were already doing the butt-kissing and smliey service drilled via weekly Mystery Shoppers.

And in hindsight also, I am offended big time that Pret not only did NOT inform us about Natasha having died, that Pret didn’t even as much as HINT for us to be cautious with allergen and labelling, no instead they wasted money on a Barbican seminar that we didn’t need! I would have wanted to get trained or re-trained on health and safety issues, on allergen etc. etc. Pret didn’t even need to lie to us if they didn’t want to tell us of a customer death and several injuries, Pret could have been HONEST to us, KIND to customers and GENEROUS with INFORMATION and TRAINING on allergen!!!

Pret didn’t even needed to lie, they could have been HONEST and tell us that many customers have complained to Pret to start labelling the food! BAM! And THEN Pret could have gotten experts in to train us! I am OFFENDED that Pret did NOTHING!!! Deeply offended!

If this doesn’t show how little Pret cares, I don’t know what will. I cannot find any information on the Barbican seminar, but I still have the invite email from Pret. Also, anyone from the press can contact the Barbican itself and inquire about the spring 2017 Pret seminar. I’m sure they can find the info quick as everything that Pret did and still do is always a big deal for venues and business people.

More former and current Pret staff will stand up. Several lawsuits are coming up and Pret’s facade keeps getting cracked.

Just few of the many Pret staff reviews:


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. If the below audio player doesn’t work, please visit my MEDIA page where it works and other articles are listed.


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.

»Congratulations, everyone hates Pret«


New reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed. For lack of time I pick out one that gave me the chuckles!

It’s time to update the long list of staff complaints and video slides!

Link



Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper report and why low-wage staff always smile so much and give freebies! In below YouTube slideshow the Mystery Shopper rewarded the staff member £100 for giving a freebie:


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.

Pret A Manger – Company in Risk of Ruin

 

… Self-explanatory.

 

 

 


 

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.

My 2 Articles in the Scottish Left Review

 

1. On the frontline: crushed by corporate capitalist culture
(May/June 2019)

2. Pushing back against Pret – making headway against malevolent management
(Nov/Dec 2019)

 

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

Glassdoor

2020-02-11 Pano 35 39

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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.

Pret A Merde

 

Nothing more to add … EXCEPT pointing out the spelling mistake! That reviewer wasn’t Pret perfect here!

“Oh no! Sorry about that. Could you DM us and let us know which shop this was from?”
— Pret A Merde

 

Pret A Merde

 

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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.

Pret A Migraine

 

… I love the creative writing / titles on some of the reviews!

Nothing more to add to this review. I’m learning to keep my posts short, also for lack of time (lucky reader!).

 

2020-01-30 Pret A Migraine - RVW31598406

Link

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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.

An Unacceptable Level of Fear Culture

There’s nothing more to add to this Manager’s review, except that the fear culture is not just in Edinburgh, but is systemic in Pret.

GM Horrible

Link

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints and extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the “happy” facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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.

Employees are the Blood of the Company

 

»It’s amazing to me how many business leaders separate their employees from their customers/patrons. Your employees are your core target audience to put word-of-mouth out about your organization.«

 — @minmilyjung

 

2018-06-13 Hellhole - RVW21022161

Link

 

Clive Schlee “retired” with a legacy on Glassdoor & Co where staff dare to speak bluntly without fear:

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

 

2020-01-22 Pano 39 34

 

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©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.

Shocking Comments

 

A Pret customer on Twitter responded to the blog post on the bullying environment in Pret that I tweeted, where a Manager was “Caught in the Act” bullying a Team Member right in front of customers. I posted many Pret staff reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, YouTube, Twitter etc. on the systemic bullying environment of Pret, including in Head Office.

I get many responses, mostly of shock, as people have been presented with a clean, ethical image of Pret. I also get a lot of “hate”. I get blocked, cussed out, reported, ignored etc. And that is expected. And at times in my drunken state I have lashed out at people and received appropriate responses. My apologies again to all who were at the receiving end of my drunken Tweets. It’s a trauma thing I do, but it’s not an excuse! So, when people hit back, it’s completely understandable and I accept it.

But the “hate” I get most of the time is when I tweet in a normal or neutral way just raising awareness on Pret. And the opposition of course is expected.

But one person responded, who seems to really care, and asked a question I have asked myself many times:

»These comments are shocking.
Why isn’t the public aware of this mistreatment?«

 

2020-01-09 Shocking comments

Link

I explained a little bit in 3 Tweets, but want to put this into a blog post to not be limited in characters or get shadow banned.

My take on this, after over a year of hitting my head against a wall, is several reasons. I believe the following as a mix of reasons, in no particular order:

  • Most or many don’t care, like in real life, they are bystanders or show indifference. I literally had people tell me that they don’t care after I pointed Pret work environment out to them.

 

  • Also, many people flock to success, they are drawn to big shiny things and great stories. It’s human nature to want to believe a fairy-tale and what a company, organization or person “sells” to us as ethical, “natural” and good. Some people were so shocked about the reviews that I linked to, that they wrote things like: “I wish I never mentioned Pret” after I gave them a peek behind the facade. Or another Tweeter said, “Why are you doing this to me?” – as if I was ripping their illusions apart. We all have seen people or comedy where one person tells another person a truth, but the listener in a silly way holds their ears closed and starts talking or singing loud, so as not to have to hear the truth that is being told, like in this brief scene with Jim Carrey in >>> Dumb & Dumber. And this is how it sometimes comes across with Pret’s work practices that I post and the responses by people on social media.
    A great quote by Nietzsche sums this up well:

Illusion

 

  • I have several accounts on social media as my Tweets are censored (hidden from the public) which then hides my writings from Twitter in general and can’t even be found in search. Only when people go directly onto my Twitter feed are Tweets visible during a shadow ban. But who would do that, especially when not knowing about my account?! And Twitter knows that, denies that they shadow ban, yet even said that people “may have to do more work to find” Tweets. I responded to their right out lying about this in a Tweet over Christmas 2018 after I just became aware of shadow banning. More on shadow banning, which is modern-day secret censorship, and how they do it, please watch this undercover report on YouTube.

 

  • Mainstream media KNOWS my blog, but is in Pret’s pocket. I have contacted HUNDREDS of media people! Sure, they are worried of getting sued, but there are other journalists who wrote about Pret’s emotional labour practices. I collect their writings here: The Dangers of Emotional Labour. So, it IS possible to write about Pret without any repercussions. My writings are the most comprehensive, and if I can do it, anyone can, especially telling my own story AND pulling info from other Pret staff into one place, cross-referencing from other publications as well. 

 

  • Unions want to unionize staff, but I don’t know where this is at and I know that Pret staff are scared, often even too scared to leave, like I was. This recent review, marked in red, by a Manager I can absolutely relate to as Pret steeps employees in fear and brainwashing them. And this is not only in Scotland, as I worked in over a dozen Pret shops in London with my own horrific story with even Pret’s top leadership:

GM

Link

  • The majority of people are followers, not leaders taking risks. So, for example I myself as this “little” person raising awareness, I am unknown, unpopular, have 30 followers here, 2 there etc. Nothing “special”. If ONE person clicks like or RT on my Tweet or even goes a step further and comments in support, even though I am “nobody”, unknown, out of my mind in trauma at times etc. this person is a leader. If I was a known or famous person with 3 million followers and would write exactly the same thing, or even something banal, I would get thousand of likes, RT’s, would probably start a revolution! So,