Until Pret changes its exploitative working practices

.

I rarely give a single blog post to a customer complaint or issue. But this one deserves a spot on its own. Thank you Dr. Eunice Goes. Nothing more to add!

.

Link

Link

.

On Facebook. I’m triggered by the thought of the horrific work conditions, now even worse! It was always bad, but Pret squeezes even more now!

.

Link

Link to email by a current Pret front-line shop staff.

.


.

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.


Roberto Rodriguez – Pret A Manger Allergen Trial

As Pret got off the hook yet again in the recent allergen trial in Bristol I want to highlight something important regarding training in Pret. I can only urge journalists again to go undercover for a longer time than a week to see for themselves how the training in Pret is really done! This has been my biggest frustration in Pret! I always trained especially new Team Members and was called away from training to go to the till and serve customers!

Shops train staff on their breaks and expect them to read training material in their free time at home or on their much needed breaks! During the shifts, they were expected to only work and serve customers.

I mention this because of what was heard at Bristol Crown Court, quote from the Sky News article:

»The employee – Roberto Rodriguez – failed to check the store’s allergen guide, which would have confirmed the sandwich did contain sesame, Bristol Crown Court heard. Instead, Mr Rodriguez allegedly checked a label on the fridge and told Ms Colnaghi – incorrectly – that sesame was absent.«

And, quote: »Mr Rodriguez looking at the shelf rather than the allergen guide “amounted to an error by the server”, he added.«

Prosecution, quote: »Ms Brunner told jurors that in an account he gave to the company, Mr Rodriguez appeared to believe he was following the company’s procedures during the incident

»But food safety expert Dr Belinda Stuart-Moonlight told jurors Mr Rodriguez was fully trained and had acted outside of Pret A Manger’s allergen procedures.«

Also, quote: »The court heard Mr Rodriguez no longer worked for Pret A Manger, had left the UK, and solicitors had been unable to contact him since 2019.«

“Fully” trained?

Yes, it’s totally understandable that Roberto dived under and cannot be reached! I would have done the same because Pret made him responsible! But here’s the twist, in below interview (player at the very bottom of this page) at 1:13:22 I explain about the lack of training in Pret and that staff have to sign training records every 6 months without being properly trained. It’s a long interview I’ve had in March 2018, but skipping to 1:13:22 I highlight the lack of training and pressure to sign training records.

Staff are pressured to sign even when they’re not trained. Management of course will never openly encourage or admit this pressure, but the Team Member Trainer (TMT) with the blue belt & badge is supposed to train staff and AFTER the training the staff sign the records. But the TMT is also extremely swamped with work and is not given time to PROPERLY train staff. I have worked with many TMTs who had huge benches to do as the Manager cut hours so management and upper management get more bonus every quarter.

The TMT hardly ever was able to fulfill their job description of truly training people except how to quickly make sandwiches in the kitchen. Hence, the TMT feels the pressure to get back into the kitchen, to do their bench as kitchen staff are pressured and penalized when they don’t finish their benches at the strict time that is given. In turn the TMT pressures the staff to sign the training record of over a dozen items every 6 months without them being trained. Pret will never admit to this of course, but this is also systemic in Pret and I will try and find most of the Glassdoor and Indeed reviews on the complaint of lack of training, apart from my own experience throughout ALL of my time in Pret.

One poignant staff review is from a Manager from Edingburgh, but I can absolutely confirm that this happens in London and other locations, I speak from 10 years in Pret! This GM mentions that they are forced to cheat to bring results to the OPs who sits at home and pressures staff. HOW CAN staff be “fully” trained when shops are systematically under-staffed?!

And as I share my own experience of 10 years in Pret, for example on Linkedin, Sterling Crew, Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board who writes favourably about Pret, has blocked me and threatened me. And even other critical voices he just disses and responds that there is the “court of public opinion”. He isn’t willing to 1. democratically discuss issues with people who have different opinions; 2. he silences free speech and 3. he completely ignores my experience on the shop floor in Pret and ALL the evidence I bring. Current and former Pret staff who KNOW Pret are disregarded and looked down upon!

Here’s only one of many reviews that the public ignores:

Link

I only signed items I was trained in and refused to sign the things involving health & safety when I wasn’t trained. I also encouraged my colleagues to NOT sign anything they’re not comfortable with because if they sign while not trained, and something happens, it’s on their heads! So, it’s understandable that Roberto Rodriguez has dived under!

I had an Assistant Manager then “train” me with a horrible, angry attitude because I basically “forced” them to train me as I wouldn’t sign. And needless to say, I was never promoted. When I started at Pret, especially in my early months, I read on everything I could find regarding rules, rights, training material because Pret is VERY complex! Pret has an intranet system they call “Planet Pret”. When I read my employee manual many times I’ve read “… for more information please go to Planet Pret”. So, I did.

As I was very fast in my work and in our teams we worked effortlessly, often finishing the evening shifts at least 15 – 20 minutes before the end of our shift. I took the time to read on things on Planet Pret because I was not explained or trained. So, I trained myself and passed every knowledge on to my colleagues.

I came across a lot of information which was important to me at the time or stumbled on other issues that were just interesting, and some things that helped me years later. One such issue was when I’ve read that only the General Manager (GM) and of course the Maintenance Team were allowed to go on a high ladder to change a light bulb or something like that. Team Members, including Team Leaders were NOT allowed to get up on a high ladder for insurance reasons. We were of course allowed to use small step ladders with no more than 3 or 4 steps to stock up the highest fridge shelf etc. But not high ladders.

One day at 11am when shops are quiet after the coffee rush and before the lunch rush, I came to my shop to start my late shift. I saw a Team Member high on the high ladder fiddling something on the air conditioning on the ceiling. No-one stood by the ladder to hold it! I calmly went to him and asked him if could please come down the ladder. When he was down, I explained to him that he isn’t allowed to be on there that high as he isn’t covered under the insurance, should he fall off and injure himself and at worse become incapable to work. He’d be f****d! He was shocked to hear that and said that the GM asked him to take the air con screen off so he could clean it in the kitchen.

Needless to say, I was never the favourite of that GM. Maybe the GM didn’t know himself, as even GMs are not properly trained! But I also know that GMs at times ask TMs to do dodgy things, so when they get caught, it was the TMs fault! And the TM can never prove that the GM told him to do this or that. But because I had this piece of information I stumbled upon on Planet Pret a while before, I couldn’t just pass by and let the TM be on the ladder! And the Team Members whom I trained regarding the allergen guide behind the counter ALWAYS checked the allergen guide, or often they just passed it on to me. But they knew where to check because I TRAINED them! I am sure that if Roberto Rodriguez was trained in the allergen guide, he would have gotten the file and looked for sesame. Of course I can’t prove that, but from my 10 years in Pret, I can absolutely say that the training is appalling and I myself was often called away from training a colleague so we serve customers while the Manager and Assistant Manager sat in the office.

This is not here and there, this has been for my WHOLE 10 years in shop after shop after shop!

So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roberto Rodriguez was NOT trained properly but made the mistake to bow to pressure and sign training records. Thus, he’s stuck, he can’t honestly say that he was NOT trained because Pret holds up Roberto’s training records which he signed! And he’s also is stuck because he feels ashamed that he signed the training records without being trained. It’s a lose-lose situation for Roberto and a win-win for Pret!

I was strong enough to withstand the bullying and pressure to sign training records without being trained. And I was known for taking health and safety extremely serious, like ALWAYS having fire exits clear and fire extinguisher free of chairs blocking it etc. But most Pret staff are young foreigners, very easily fear managed and they have no idea of the potential consequences.

To Roberto Rodriguez,

should you ever read this, if you have not been trained it was NOT your fault that you didn’t know where to check for the allergen! If you have NOT been trained, the mistake you’ve made was to SIGN that you have been trained!

To all current Pret staff and staff everywhere, do NOT sign training records unless you have been FULLY trained. Full stop! You will get in trouble in subtle ways, you won’t be your Manager’s or Leader’s favourite, but in the long run you are better off! The consequences of signing something that you can not vouch for, can be horrific. You will NEVER be able to prove that you were not trained and that you bowed to pressure to sign. It will be YOUR fault!

To all allergy sufferers and their loved ones, I cannot even begin to imagine the fear and stress you go through every single day when going grocery shopping or treat yourself to a restaurant meal! Food is necessary, it’s not a luxury that you can skip. I am still extremely devastated that two customers have died, several injured and warnings ignored. I am offended that Pret didn’t even inform us. It is a great offense to me personally as a former Team Leader whose job description included health and safety that Pret did not even inform us. There wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more diligent with labelling or allergen. Absolutely nothing! This offends me, because I could have potentially been part also in endangering customers even while I took health and safety very, very seriously!

I write about the labelling mess that truly was all over the place as Ms Brunner told the jury. Please visit: Pret’s Labelling Commitment?

And I also write extensively about the week or two week seminar Pret did in the prestigious Barbican Center the year AFTER Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died, BUT this seminar was NOT about labelling or allergen!
Please visit: Pret A Manger – Kind? Honest? Generous?

And a collection of customer complaints on social media regarding mislabelling that still goes on in 2021:
Vegans and Vegetarians Eat Meat 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 speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger Will INDEED Try Anything to Survive

.

.

UPDATE 05.06.2021

I know that people have a hard time believing that Pret is purposely ripping customers off. Customers can die in Pret. Staff speak out about the systemic bullying in Pret. I’ve written extensively about the Pret Mystery Shopper Scheme that forces staff to smile and pretend to be happy etc. But people still WANT to believe in Pret’s “ethical” facade!

Here is another one of Pret’s scheme. When customers complain about an issue on social media, Pret asks for the customer’s address to send some goodies. Customers quickly give their data to get some cheap sweets in the post.

Now, why has Pret not offered this to all the customers who have the subscription and complaint that NO shop makes the iced coffees for them?

Easy answer, because Pret already has you data! Pret “pays” with cheap freebies to get customer data. And most people fall for it!

.

Link to Tweet

.

I want to add to The New York Times article “Pret will try anything to survive”, in what else Pret is trying to do to survive. Pret has recently received a £185m cash injection from their in tax-haven Luxembourg based owners JAB. Pret also has done staff cuts and the exploitation is much worse for employees, but is also spilling over to customers.

A list of links, what is shown in the links is what Pret staff leak to me together with increased customer complaints on social media. Click on each link to see the specific issue in which Pret rips of customers and squeezes the life-blood out of low-wage staff to get as much money as possible:

  • Cutting staff, overworking them, long queues for customers. Cutting hours, benefits, bonus etc. exploiting low-wage staff even more than they already did pre-Pandemic. This in turn endangers customers again with continuing to

  • False advertisement of “endless” or “unlimited” drinks on the coffee subscription while T&C state 5 per day. AND hardly any shop makes the (for Pret) expensive frappes and smoothies on the subscription with a list of excuses.


    Pret made an instant £330,000 in one day, the first day of the subscription without having delivered ANY service. And not only did Pret get cash, they got people’s data.

Link to article

.

.

  • Making it hard for customers to cancel the subscription, sending them in loops with all sorts of “technical” glitches. And when customers manage to cancel ON TIME and even receive a confirmation email that it was successfully cancelled, Pret still withdraws money the following month(s) from people’s bank accounts AFTER cancellation.

    Also, customers don’t receive their QR codes, they end up paying for their coffees in-store after having signed up and paid the first £20 for the subscription. And other QR codes and technical issues forcing customers into paying for coffees while having the subscription. Just a few of the almost daily inquiries:

.

.

.

.

etc. etc. etc.

If I’ve forgotten or am not aware of anything, please let me know via the contact form NOT Twitter or Facebook DM! I don’t get notifications of DM requests and can’t think of checking every day.

And please support small independent businesses.

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger Food is NOT Fresh!

Upfront: If you DM me on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram etc. please be aware that I don’t get notified! If I don’t respond within a week, try to get my attention again or contact me via my contact form. I am blacklisted on social media, shadow banned, my posts hidden at times etc. I am not notified when I receive a DM request.

If you don’t hear from me within a week while you see that I am normally tweeting, please know I’m NOT ignoring you! Try to get my attention in a feed or so!

Although it seems like I’m uber-active still on Pret related issues, I’m actually not anymore. I write the odd blog post and still tweet a bunch but mainly just tweet blog entries that I’ve already written. I am writing other things and am still investigating issues around my brother’s death. I haven’t checked my DMs for a long time as I wasn’t notified of the many DMs I have received since last year! I was scatter-brained and on autopilot again, having cared for my mum most of last year into this. My mum died now, I couldn’t bury her and I am just focused to keep writing. I pretend she is still alive, and that I just haven’t called in a while. And that I just can’t call her again. I hope that the whole world now understands that we ALL will die one day. I’ve spent the most bestest beautiful amazing weird painful awesome last time with my mum during the first and second lock-downs. Dementia is fucker. But time is endless. Take a moment.

.

The following blog posts are important to read:

I mention these because I was contacted on Twitter with the following, in part, quote:
“Pret have started keeping their food overnight and selling it the next day. Considering they’ve built their entire brand on the Freshly Made slogan it’s very misleading. They’ve also slowly started removing all the freshly prepared signs from their stores hoping no one finds out.”

End of quote.

I have to mention like I did in above “Stretched Dates” post, that in Pret, many Managers and Leaders have always stretched dates, especially during the Christmas period when the depot sent short-dated ingredients to get rid of stock, as the holidays approached and stock was sitting around expiring.

I won’t bother posting all the Tweets of customers who complain to Pret with and without photos that the bread is stale, or the chicken tastes off etc. Just a few so you won’t need to take my word for it. There has always been date stretching, but since the lock-downs it’s gotten worse. Below Tweets are all from DIFFERENT shops, so this is not just the odd shop here or there, it’s throughout the board. And as a side-note, Pret received a cash injection from owners JAB recently: JAB pumps £185m into Pret via MCA-insight.com

.

UPDATE: 07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

.

Now THIS is bad, because pickled cornichons and cucumbers take months to mould! This mouldy cornichon hasn’t just gone bad within days, who knows how long it has been sitting in that Pret kitchen fridge! More detail on the times when mould forms, here: Can Pickles Go Bad?

.

Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

.

Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

Link

Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

.

Link

Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

.

Link

.

Stale bread:

.

.

.

.

.

Some of many staff reviews:

Link


Link to General Manager review regarding “cheating” to please OPs Managers pressure.

Link

etc. etc. etc.

For other “gone off” foods, please visit pest infested Pret shops via
Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice

.

.


.

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.

How to Chase 3 Multimillionaire CEOs off Twitter

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

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


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

You need the following:

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

.

.

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

1. The Clown Who Came From McDonald’s

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

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

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

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

.

.

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

.

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

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

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

.

.

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

.

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

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

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

.

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

.

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

.

July 2020:

.

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

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

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

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

.

.


.

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.

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

.


.

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.

NEW Trial against Pret A Manger

This trial was already announced in January 2020 by the Daily Mail and is in full swing now.

Today’s news via the BBC: “Pret customer had severe allergic reaction, trial hears

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-56895914

.

Some of the other trials regarding allergy reactions:

Pret A Manger Face Another Trial

.

Mayor: »I’m proud Lewisham is Pret-free«

Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan:
»I’m proud Lewisham is a Pret-free borough.«

.

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

»Lewisham is planning to launch a yearly count of Black, Asian and minority ethnic-owned and independent businesses.

In his speech to the council’s AGM on Wednesday, Mayor Damien Egan set out plans for the annual survey, expected to run for 20 years.

The move aims to protect Lewisham’s independent businesses “from the increase of chain businesses coming into the borough,” and the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

The council hopes the survey will give “a valuable insight into the diversity of business owners”.

Mayor Egan told the AGM: “I am proud that we’re a Pret-free borough. I’m so thankful that so many of those bland and sterile high street chains that make up too much of the capital have largely passed us by. …«

Full article from July 2020 on LondonNewsOnline.co.uk

.


.

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.

Virus outbreak closes Pret A Manger in Norwich

Link to Article

I’m always contacted by frustrated Pret staff about issues I write about that they can relate to on what’s happening behind the scenes. Recent complaints are that staff get fired when they call sick more often, or they have to continue to work even while having Covid symptoms (fever, coughing etc.)

Some recent staff reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed where staff have the courage to speak out freely in anonymity. I marked some in the screenshot.

Quote: »…they say they care but they really don’t as workers forced to come to work even if they show symptoms as their jobs are on the line as apparently u can’t be sick for more 7 days a year in total or face being sacked !!«

Link

»Unsafe against COVID«

Link

Quote: »… if you’re sick you basically have to still come in, to prove you’re sick or get fired.«

Link

etc. etc. etc.

One recent email by a current Pret front-line shop staff about the exploitation in Pret, and how difficult it is for employees to find new work during these times. Staff feel stuck, especially those who have kids to feed. Excerpt in orange, full email in the link below:

Full email: »Pret don’t care about anyone«

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger Staff don’t look Happy

… because they ARE NOT happy!

.

UPFRONT: please note that in below and current Mystery Shopper reports, Pret has completely scrapped the questions on IF staff members know about allergen. After 2 customers died and only when this became public, Pret included questions to test staff on their knowledge of allergen. But while Pret keeps all the other micromanaging questions, they have stopped testing on life-saving allergen questions.

.

UPDATE May 2021:

Staff tell me that the £100 reward and some other benefits are back now, so below is out-dated, but I leave it like it is to show customers how low-wage staff are pressured for a little more peanuts and fear management. If ONE staff member makes a mistake, the WHOLE Team lose bonus.

.

Update 12. May 2021 on a customer seeing the exploitation in Pret and made a short video:

.

Link

Link

.

This is the third blog entry or YouTube slide I post on a Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper (MS) report. This 3rd report is a recent one from December 2020. Since the pandemic and all the cuts Pret has done, there is currently not even bonus being paid to staff, YET, low-wage workers are STILL expected to be acrobatic clowns tested by weekly Mystery Shoppers.

I write extensively about the Mystery Shopper on several entries and walk the reader through a MS report on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed and included 2 YouTube slides (at the bottom) for those who don’t want to read long detailed blog entries. The reason it’s so detailed is to show how micromanaging and exploitative Pret is that at least now have cut the MS questions from 32 down to 20. But not paying bonus is even worse than the previous exploitation.

I write this new blog entry because several customers have complained to Pret on Twitter that they don’t want to be asked again and again if they want to buy anything extra. Unfortunately customers don’t appreciate the immense stress and the target for staff to have to up-sell or lose bonus. In below screenshots from a December 2020 MS report, people can see the perfect example of a shop that lost bonus BECAUSE the Team Member (TM) did NOT up-sell the way Pret demands and the fussy Mystery Shopper expected. This particular Mystery Shopper was especially ignorant and arrogant, expecting staff to stretch in all directions.

One of several recent customer complaints not realizing staff have no choice:

Link

.

The following sheet is an example of a weekly rota or plan on which item to up-sell on which day and time of day. Pret staff send me all these pieces of information as my blog is the only “link” between their silent ordeal behind the scenes and the public (and press).

.

And part of a leaked Zoom call video I was sent and passed on to the BBC that later reported on Pret’s “job situation” when it was announced that employment cuts were coming up. In this clip I cut out from the full video, UK Managing Director Clare Clough explains the “Attachment Rate” which is where customers buy extra items when they get a coffee on a subscription service, or in this case with the “20 coffees for £20” voucher. Since the pandemic and loss of profit staff HAVE TO up-sell because that’s where the money comes in.

For some reason the sound is off-sync. Not sure what happened there. I cut this part from the full Zoom call I was leaked to from a Pret employee, some technical glitch happened there. Apologies. But what Clare Clough says is clear.

.

The BBC article that came from this leaked video where CEO Pano Christou announced numbers, profit and the “job situation”: Pret a Manger job cut fears as sales plunge

.

It is disheartening that people do not understand how low-wage staff have to be like acrobatic clowns, kiss butt all day, smile no matter what, during bereavement, depression, illness etc. in order to get just a few extra peanuts and the shop Manager a bigger cut of the quarterly bonus. Low-wage staff don’t realize they have to go on strike to stop this exploitation and abuse by companies like Pret.

Staff get heat from all sides: customers complain, bosses bully to get more profit, Mystery Shoppers comment on the tiniest issue which I scrutinize in detail below. And staff get more depressed, disheartened, careless. It is a wonder that not more customers have died and who knows if or how many staff have caught the virus or even died that Pret keeps under the carpet. We have forgotten that TWO customers have died in Pret and Pret got away with it. Full steam ahead, business as usual. Let the exploitation and carelessness continue.

Recently a Pret shop in Norwich was closed due to a Covid outbreak.

Mystery Shopper Screenshots: (I highlighted and marked in yellow or red a few things to explain the horrible expectation by multi-millionaires to squeeze the last drop out of workers to present a happy facade).

I cannot enlarge the screenshots, so please press “Ctrl & +” to enlarge the picture and “Ctrl & ” to decrease it again (Ctrl & plus / Ctrl & minus). But I quote under each screenshot what I marked to point out the micromanagement and humiliating expectations.

.

Marked in yellow:

»Until further notice, Bonus and Star
Team awards are not payable«

Bonus used to be £1 per hour worked. So if a TM worked 40 hours that week and the shop gets the bonus, they earn extra £40 that week.
An individual TM can get extra £50 or 100 (even if the bonus for the whole team is lost) if the TM is extra nice and kisses butt extra hard. This is called an “Outstanding Card” (OC) £50. If the overall shop scores are perfect, the TM gets the “Super Outstanding Card” (SOC) = £100. Giving a freebie most likely gets the TM the £50 or £100 cash reward. An Outstanding Card is not literally a card, but just the name of the cash reward for smiling extra hard.
A Star Team Award is when within a quarter a shop consistently gets outstanding cards, bonus and high scores. HQ then gives the shop a few hundred or thousands of pounds to go out to dinner or bowling or whatever. Might sound great, but the high pressure, stress and bullying environment to constantly get high scores defeats the mood to then also go out in your private time. I was always so exhausted from work and the horrible work atmosphere that I didn’t enjoy spending my private time with colleagues and the bullying boss.

So, until further notice staff still have to act like acrobatic clowns and bend in all directions with a big non-stop smile and chatty attitude, yet currently don’t get any cash rewards until further notice. If staff want to continue getting exploited like this, there’s no hope for change!

.

.

If the reader wants to understand the full Pret blow a low-wage Team Member suffers through day in, day out, please read my extensive post on each step of above MS questions and the system behind this on: Pret A Manger Service Secrets Revealed. If even just ONE category is in the red, the whole shop Team lose bonus and get fear managed. If only ONE staff member makes a mistake or doesn’t kiss butt of the Mystery Shopper enough, the whole team can lose bonus if the Mystery Shopper wants to, as it happened in this MS report. Mystery Shoppers seem to enjoy the power they have, and I renamed them to “Misery Shopper”.

.

.

Quote on the top left under “Outstanding Card”:

»Was any ONE member of our team very helpful, extremely charming and/or outstanding?«

No 😦

This is the question about any ONE Team Member’s service, regardless if the whole Team got the bonus or not. The added 😦 emoticons are to increase the “disappointment” and stress that staff didn’t kiss butt enough. My colleague can lose us all the bonus by their “poor” service, but I individually can get the £50 Outstanding Card reward if the Mystery Shopper notices me being extra special nice kissing butt. If the shop gets the bonus and all scores are perfect, it would double my reward to £100. But again, since the pandemic not until further notice does Pret pay any bonus or rewards wile still sitting on billions. So, instead of getting cash rewards staff get brainwashed and continuously fear managed to keep performing a happy facade.

.

.

Mystery Shoppers have to check if staff wear masks or an exemption badge. Yet, many customers on Social Media complain about the lack of wearing masks and exemption badges. Some shops have ALL staff not wearing masks. The MS is tasked to probe into this because Managers don’t enforce mask wearing.

.

.

I highlighted this to explain to customers that staff have 60 seconds to serve a customer and 60 seconds to hand over the hot drink from the time the customer paid. Mystery Shopper time it to the SECOND which is extremely patronizing to staff who are rushed off their feet ALL day and then customers complain that their coffee was half empty, cold, too much froth etc. and worse of all Mystery Shoppers complain about “robotic” service! The speed of service is just for ONE purpose, to get customers in and out of shops as fast as possible for fast money flow.

Quote:
“I was served in 32 seconds and was happy with this.”
“I received my coffee in 36 seconds and was happy with this.”

But later in their last comments (at the bottom) complain that, quote: “there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink“. (Idiot!)

Pret wants fast service with a smile, but not robotic!

Pret wants perfect products, but within seconds!

I always told my colleagues that the best way to describe Pret A Manger’s work expectations and conditions is, that they bind the feet of staff and then demand them to run. And if they fall, they get penalized. I keep saying again and again to join a Union and strike. If McDonald’s and Amazon workers and maybe soon NHS workers can do it, Pret staff can. They just need to find the strength and courage to look beyond the brainwash and fear management. But maybe they’re not angry enough yet.

.

.

Here is where the up-sell question comes and where this particular shop lost the bonus because ONE Team Member was probably too exhausted to up-sell a specific item. Quote:

»How did the team member suggest a product to complement your purchase?«

No product suggested (1)
“The team member asked me if I would like anything else in a robotic manner but didn’t suggest a particular product.”

Staff are expected for low wage, NO bonus, fear management and brainwash to bend themselves over day after day and then get reprimanded for being robotic. This is one of the worst types of abuses in the workplace that employees suffer.

.

.

Quote:

»How well did your server or any member of the team end the transaction by thank you and/or giving a pleasant parting comment?«

Parting Comment/Thank You Given (3)
“The team member said thank you but didn’t say anything else. I felt that she could have said enjoy or have a nice day.”

.

These kinds of comments I have read hundreds of time in my years in Pret. Extremely patronizing, unemphatic, and the power that Mystery Shoppers enjoy to want to have a conversation with and attention of a low-wage staff member who is burnt out. Depending on the business of a particular shop, but from my experience, a Team Member EASILY serves 300 – 500 people per day. And Pret expects them to smile, chat, give eye contact, kiss butt all day every day, and now even for no extra money. If staff don’t join Unions and go on strike they will continue to be degraded like this.

.

.

And these are non-scoring comments by the Mystery Shopper. The yellow highlighted I have quoted in red below. Dear Reader, please tell me how you would feel reading those comments after you have sweated day in day out for low wage, now no bonus, no rewards, just humiliating comments! And please don’t make it too easy on yourself by saying that staff can just find another job! Read this email a current Pret staff sent me: Pret don’t Care About Anyone.

Remember, the Barista or Coffee Maker has 60 seconds to get the drink ready into the customer’s hand or risk losing the WHOLE Team their bonus! This Misery Shopper was happy to be given his coffee in 36 seconds and then complains that it wasn’t well made! I wish I knew this particular MS, I would slap this Misery Shopper the report at his feet (I say “his” because the photo he took with the receipt in his hands clearly showed a male hand. Sounds like an arrogant, entitled, power-loving #@&%-er!

Only one of many customer complaints on Twitter regarding long queues and only 1 or 2 staff members behind the counter:

and

Link

.

.

.

.

etc. etc. etc.

The MOST poignant staff review that painfully explains a day in Pret. I can underline every dot and comma of this review. I highlighted a view things and put the link underneath.

I still don’t know how I survived this stress! And even without having become suicidal, the pure stress and anxiety feels like can kill you! But I will never ever work in these kinds of conditions again! I’d rather be poor for the rest of my life and work in silence somewhere than in this exploitation:

Link

Dear Reader,
put yourself into the shoes of this particular Team Member (or any TM!) who served this Misery Shopper as the TM’s name will appear on the report.

You worked for hours that day, your Manager shouted at you in the office for little things and threatened you with a disciplinary because you aren’t fast enough making sandwiches, while being called from the kitchen to the tills constantly to serve customers as shops are ALWAYS under-staffed. You lost a loved one recently and have no choice but to work.

You worked already 8 days straight without a day off as there aren’t enough staff members and you feel manipulated to come to work on your day off. You feel too vulnerable to say no. You started at 5am everyday and this day until 3 or 4pm, now with unpaid breaks. So you cut your break short to not lose money and hope to get home as soon as possible.

You went through an intense morning coffee rush, and are now (after 1pm) in the middle of the extremely busy lunchtime rush. You are sweating, tinnitus screaming in your head, trying to concentrate, holding back the tears when thinking of the loved one you just buried a few weeks ago … you serve the Misery Shopper but don’t know it. You know you won’t get bonus or anything extra and ESPECIALLY no positive feedback whatsoever from your Manager or Team Leader. In fact, you (collaborative as a Team) are told to leave your problems at home and are expected to “wear a smile like you wear your uniform” (true story, actual words by a Manager I had!) …

And then you read comments like this:

“I would recommend based on the food only as the service was just average and the coffee wasn’t well made. I didn’t think the coffee had been properly prepared, because as I got to the last half of it, there was a lot of coffee grounds in my drink and I was unable to continue drinking it.”

.

You leave your shift going home. You head for the bridge.

.

Former Pret A Manger staff Tweet

.

Several excerpts of Mystery Shoppers from different years and shops where staff were expected to smile, give eye contact to EVERY customer:

.

One Mystery Shopper report with most of 32 micromanaging questions from December 2019 (those questions include allergen questions):

.

A recent staff member’s email to me, excerpt in orange, full email via link:
Pret don’t Care About Anyone

.

Further reading on the Emotional Labour practices of large companies, please go to: The Dangers of Emotional Labour (how it harms service workers’ mental health). There I’ve listed some excellent articles by journalists and former service workers who became journalists.

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret’s Pano Christou – Rags to Riches Story

Let’s see.

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

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

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

Pret’s career path is super complex.

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

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

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

NEXT Level:

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

NEXT Level:

Team Leader (either Kitchen Leader or Floor Leader)

NEXT Level:

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

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

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

.

Link

NEXT

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

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

.

Link

.

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

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

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

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

#1 Team Member

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

#3 Team Leader

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

.

A GM review, quote:

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

.

Link

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

.

Link

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

.

.

Link

.

.

Link

.

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

Link

etc. etc. etc. etc. ………

.

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

.

.

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

“Lovingly” handmade … (… and brainwashed)

.

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

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Pret A Manger continues Bullsh!tting Customers

.

A customer today complained about being “pestered” to buy other items and Pret does the usual BS apologizing and luring into DM asking which shop this was. I explained to the customer that Pret staff HAVE TO up-sell or they lose bonus. I posted part of a recent Mystery Shopper report a Pret staff sent me where the whole shop Team lost the bonus because the Team Member did NOT up-sell except for saying “anything else”.

.

Link

.

.

A recent weekly up-sell rota on which item is supposed to be offered at what time of day:

.

Part of a recent Mystery Shopper report, point #15 about the mandatory upsell. In this case the whole shop Team lost the bonus because ONE Team Member (the server) did not up-sell a specific item, therefore the whole Team is penalized to peer pressure and bully that one Team Member:

.

.

Part of a leaked video of Pret’s HQ Zoom meeting and UK Managing Director Clare Clough explaining the “attachment rate” which is when customers buy an additional item when getting a “free” coffee on a coffee subscription. In this case it was the 20 coffee for £20. For some reason the video is out of sync:

UK Managing Director Clare Clough explaining the “attachment rate” from a leaked Zoom meeting at Pret’s HQ, summer 2020.

.


.

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.

Madjid Hamla – formerly Pret A Manger

.

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

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

.

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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

.

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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

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

.

.

etc.

.

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

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

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

.

.


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.

How a LEADER sounds like who has 0 tolerance on #WorkplaceBullying

.

A strong person fights and beats a strong person, or at least beats a person that appears strong, loud, obnoxious …

But it takes a weak person to beat a vulnerable person.

Yes, President Biden’s words come after 4 years of insults by a guy who should have never been President. But that’s what democracy is, it allows room for mistakes, room for conversation, for disagreement. Unfortunately it takes a lot of loss all around, but the U.S. comes out on top sooner than many wars the world has been through. Same in Europe, it needs clear words.

.

.

Researching Joe Biden’s story, the words of his family, his colleagues, people who met him … they keep saying that he doesn’t tolerate bullies.

Biden isn’t and won’t be perfect, but clear words and consistency is needed more than ever now.

President Biden on Inauguration Day 20. January 2021 to his new team:

»If you ever work with me, and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot! On the spot!«

.

Link

.

I hope President Biden’s age won’t be in his way to serve out 4 years + and God forbid any attempt to take him out will fail. Could this really be a presidency that lasts for a moment? Just a moment?

Surely after the worst came the best.

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

The Legacy of Pret A Manger

.

Organic Coffins – Natural Fools

.

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.

.

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…

.

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

.

Current CEO Pano Christou

.

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.

.


.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Day 24 – The Pret A Manger Love Treatment

24 December – Day 24 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

Merry Christmas.

.

The best Christmas gift you can give this year and beyond: Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands regularly and properly.

Comfort the grieving, don’t leave them alone. Support the vulnerable.

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

.

.

The Pret Head Office and executive people are mingling on Linkedin where low-wage Pret frontline staff and most customers don’t mingle.

Most customers and staff still hang out on Twitter, but not Pret HQ staff. They feel safe on Linkedin.

If you want to complain or reach out to Pret Head Office staff, here are some of them.

I start from the bottom up:

Lila Warren

the toxic Pret HQ staff who was tasked to gaslight me.

I write about it in several posts, but asked questions to her here:

Questions to Lila Tighilt Warren

Her Linkedin profile.

.

David Carter, who was put on my case after I contacted former CEO Clive Schlee. Carter thought he, as the big gun of HR, could “win” me, little shop staff over with his ego, asking me how on a scale of 1 – 10 it was meeting him. David, I never wanted to meet you. And I surely won’t meet you again!

His Linkedin profile.

.

Andrea Wareham

(David Carter’s line manager)

She used to be called “Director of HR”, now another fancy re-naming:

“Chief People Officer at Pret A Manger”

(She was at the Coxton branch of Pret when former CEO Clive Schlee pointed to me, saying to her that I was his “late night girl” after my emailing and Pret taking the mick. Full story at the bottom audio player).

Her Linkedin profile.

.

Pano Christou

CEO of Pret who plays “puppy” in collaboration with the press.

I explain here: “Clever Pret A Manger Marketing

His Linkedin profile.

The best way to contact Pano Christou publicly is in a Linkedin thread he posted. One example is the subscription thread.

Direct link to Pano Christou’s Linkedin thread.

.

There people can go and complain because Twitter is out-dated, and Pret know it 😉

Merry Christmas!


.

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


Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Day 21 – The Mollie Goodfellow Pret-Thread

Apart from this being a creative thread by a Pret fan, lover, believer … from a person who only knows Pret from the outside, I post this person’s thread here, because she had all the reasons to block me. But she didn’t. I write from the inside, having massively hijacked her thread. But she didn’t block me, unless she baited my response like many do these days.

I should actually block her
for pretending to not care
Pret A Manger
😉

But that’s what I call a respecter of free speech, who is secure enough in themself to let a post just be!

Most people, especially those with a white-on-blue Twitter “tick”, would have blocked me.

That’s why I “engrave” her fun and creative thread in this year’s Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020, 21 December, Day 21.

Mollie Goodfellow, thanks for being secure enough to let me and some others rant without censoring, and sorry for having hijacked your thread! Most people still want to live in LaLa-Land about Pret! And other people, who are people too, suffer under that smiley facade.

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

.

Link

.

Link

.


Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

.

Link

.

.

Link

.

Link

.

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.

Link

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 20 – »Pret don’t care about anyone«

20 December – Day 20 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

Over time I have received many emails, DMs, text messages from current and former Pret A Manger staff. I have never felt like putting them unto my blog out of respect for privacy. But this recent one I thought maybe I should start making an own blog entry on what current and former employees write to me.

I will not post any comments without permission of course, and will always keep them anonymous. This recent email I just asked this current staff if I can post, and they said yes.

Their message is word-for-word and doesn’t need any more explanation.

To the person who wrote this to me and to all the others, thank you for your courage and trust. And thank you for letting me publish this. I will only publish the initial/first mail/DM, nothing thereafter.

Join a Union and leave reviews on Glassdoor AND Indeed like I already wrote to you in the emails/DMs.

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

.

The email:

»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.«

– Current Pret Employee

.

As Pret is very customer (money) focused like most big companies and portraying to the public to be an ethical and caring company for their employees, the very opposite is the case. A wise word I stumbled across once on Twitter:

.

.

For a more substantial, but not exhaustive list, on Pret’s systemic bullying culture behind a smiley PR facade, please check “Caught in the Act at Pret” and scroll down to the screenshots.

And for those who don’t like reading long blog entries, get the popcorn out and put the kettle on, a small collection from the “core target audience’s words of mouth” of what many, many other current and former Pret staff say throughout the years, from different countries (including Pret’s London HQ staff) on review sites, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc.

Best viewed on full screen (and volume 😉 )

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Day 19 – Clive Schlee’s Crocodile Tears

19 December – Day 19 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

Clive Schlee’s performance worthy of an Oscar, that took two years of practice.

.

YT

.

So touching!

.

CryMeARiver

.

In 2015 Clive Schlee was CLUELESS what to do and patronizing as usual. Only ONE of several customer complaints and warnings before AND even after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death: 

.

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_3

Link

In 2016, which no one in the UK media seemed to have noticed nor researched, a man in New York sued Pret quote: “after he a went into anaphylactic shock. He alleges that the restaurant staff served him food containing sesame after assuring him the food was free of the allergen.”

—> Pret a Manger hit with lawsuit

The Verdict  (he lost!)

.

I tweeted about this HERE and mention that from the witness account in the verdict document the supplier of the wrap that contains sesame did NOT need to include sesame in the ingredient as in the U.S. it isn’t law, but in Canada it has to be included. So, the supplier acted responsibly and added it anyway even though by law he did NOT need to, but he included it in case the product was purchased from outside the USA, like Canada for example. Yet, Pret could not be bothered and after this lawsuit and then even after Natasha’s death still did NOTHING!

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s mum tells of her shock:

.

Link

.

I was a Team Leader, responsible for health and safety, but not only were I, were we NOT told about TWO customers having died, there wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling and allergen. I write extensively about a seminar Pret did AFTER Natasha died, but this seminar was NOT about labelling or allergen.

Witness statement from the supplier from the verdict document, Page 5 (FDA = Food and Drugs Administration):
“We list and perhaps by FDA regulations, we are asked to list or call out any of the ingredients that could be classified as an allergin [sic]. Wheat and soy are classified as allergins in the U.S. In Canada sesame would be included as we really don’t know wh~re stores are, so we put what might be outside this country or at least the border country.”

So, the supplier has sesame included, even though by U.S. law he didn’t need to. And Pret did not list, even though they had the info from the supplier ingredient list on the product.

Sweet-talk of the decade:

IRONY ON

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

IRONY OFF

The Translation Of former CEO’s Oscar-worthy performance

Clive Schlee: “I went to the Inquest…”

As if he had a choice to not go!

CS: “and I saw the impact that Natasha’s death had on the family.”

He went, saw and came to the conclusion after two years since Natasha died, that her premature death, which happened on his watch, destroyed a family!

CS: “And it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

.

CryMeARiver

.

And the Pret Academy Award in a leading role for the performance that took two years to perfect goes to…

Clive Schlee: “So, on a personal level I’m devastated.”

Is he, now? After two years ignoring repeated warnings before and even after Natasha’s death.

CS: “But”

But

CS: “… the coroner”

Oh, the coroner, huh?!

CS: “the coroner asked for a change in the law…”

The coroner blames the law, now? Didn’t the coroner say that Pret’s labelling was inadequate? And further in this “REPORT TO PREVENT FUTURE DEATHS”, quote: »Regulation 5 allows for food outlets to avoid full food labelling requirements whether they prepare a small number of items in local shops or in the case of Pret, over 200 million items for sale by preparing these items in “local kitchens”. These items prepared in “local kitchens” are in fact “assembled” in large parts from items made in factory style outlets to Pret specifications. I was left with the impression that the “local kitchens” were in fact a device to evade the spirit of the regulationYes, that about sounds like the Pret I know! And I’m glad someone finally sees that Pret products are not freshly “made” but “assembled” from ready products out of factories into many tiny “factories” sold as “lovingly made in Pret kitchens” bla.

CS: … “the family asked for a change in the law.”

Wow! Dragging the family on his side while Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said this in response: … He’s not acting fast enough. (Well, he’s ‘acting’ alright) “I would say to anyone with serious allergies or is concerned about allergies … don’t buy a sandwich or go to Pret A Manger, because they’re still holding your life at risk right now!” — Nadim Ednan-Laperouse

So much about “preventing future deaths”!

CS: “And I’m now making changes in PRET that will make that change in the law happen more quickly.”

I must say Clive Schlee has got some balls or deeply lacks the sense of responsibility, to still be in the blaming game Pret-ending to be a “leader” who brings the change after being clueless on what to do!

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_3

CS: … “Probably – probably better.”

Yep, I would have stuttered, too, if I was him!

.

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

.


.

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.

Day 16 – David Carter Pret HR

16 December – Day 16 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

I’m sure I’ve just woken a sleeping giant with my last 2 posts. But the good thing about woken sleeping giants is, they are too lazy. That is Pret A Manger.

.

I could share a lot about my meetings with David Carter, then Head of Pret’s HR, now “People Director” of Pret (just another fancy word for a department that has as its sole purpose to sieve out “trouble makers” and kiss up to a company).

For you readers who don’t know Pret’s top leadership, you will not understand below confrontation I did to David Carter. He was put on my case after I emailed Clive Schlee.

The two videos below are about Pret’s culture.

LinkednIn is the chosen platform for Pano Christou, David Carter & Co as Twitter is for those who are “too low” for the snobs posting on LinkedIn.

Pano Christou deleted his Twitter account on 01. July 2019 after I linked to his Twitter account when I tweeted to the press about Clive Schlee’s “retirement” (a soft way of saying he got sacked or at least he resigned!). Clive Schlee’s account was deleted in July 2020.

David Carter wrote ONE LinekedIn post, and I happen to take this window to respond.

I wrote THREE posts, but one got deleted. The post about Julian Metcalfe’s words recently (video below) remains, but the post about Pret has been deleted, but I have screenshots.

So, Pret keeps the post about Metcalfe’s disaster words, but Pret got my post/video on Pret itself deleted. Well, there you go, they just threw Metcalfe under the bus for making detrimental statements hurting Pret! The business world is brutal indeed! No forgiveness.

Carter’s post is about the apprenticeship program where Pret uses former – mainly young and short-term – homeless people for PR, while the main workforce suffers. I posted to him because a few days ago he visited my LinkedIn profile.

For those who are not on LinkedIn, if someone looks at/visits your profile, you will see it unless they privatized their account. Because my account is blacklisted, I won’t see their profile pictures.

.

.

With the account I posted, I cannot see his profile photo. But without being logged in I can see his photo. That’s why there seems to be inconsistency.

.

My P.S. response which got deleted:

.

UPDATE 16.12.2020

So, there was a LinkedIn email today informing me that they censored … uhm, I mean that I went against some community standard shit! Of course I did! After all, LinkedIn ain’t Twitter where CEOs run away from confrontation!

Part of the above hidden/deleted post with a new post under it that I just wrote:

.

New Post, yet to be censored: (Sidenote: suddenly David Carter unblocked me. What’s the game here Mr. Carter?)

.

.

My, my, I haven’t been “professional”! Here’s my take on Pret’s “PRofessionality“. <—

.

In my first post to him I posted the YouTube slide about Julian Metcalfe:

.

The second post was about Pret customers gobsmacked on the reality of Pret, but that LinedIn post got deleted:

.

After the second post, he blocked me.

I want to mention here as well, that Pret via Carter, paid for some therapy counselling AFTER I contacted Clive Schlee about the bullying I went through. Before that, I approached Pret for about a year for help, not realizing that their toxic culture is systemic. For a year I didn’t get help. Only when I contacted then CEO Clive Schlee, die Pret pay for some counselling to pretend that they supported me.

But my daily work in shops continued with bullying, no information given, excluded from meetings, my pay wasn’t the amount of hours worked, shouted at, blamed for Manager’s mistakes etc. etc. etc.

And David Carter made 3 offers of settlements if I resign from Pret and never speak about my ordeal nor go to court. The fourth settlement offer came via ACAS when I withdrew my Tribunal claim against Pret, because my dad died at the time of preparing.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 13 – #PretAManger “Annihilates Humanity”

13 December – Day 13 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

»You will lose everything that makes you human«

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 11 – Pret A Manger’s Coffee Subscription

… and so many complaints that customers continue to get charged even after they cancelled their subscription in time.

.

11 December – Day 11 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

People either can’t cancel, can’t log in, don’t get a confirmation email, don’t get a response when emailing Pret (except when publicly tweeting), having various “technical” issues and a dozen other reasons why they can’t cancel. And if they manage to cancel before the expiry/renewal date, following all the terms and conditions, they are still getting charged the following month as if they’ve never cancelled. Coincidence? 😉

In one Tweet a customer has even cancelled TWICE and Pret still keeps drawing money out of their bank account, or someone contacted Pret 4 times without a response, and then went on Twitter in public.

People need to cancel the direct debit with their bank to avoid being charged.

The Tweet here is an RT of a news article about this. The article is at the bottom of this page, which also shows how to make sure it’s really cancelled.

The below YouTube slideshow with the Tweets are only a fraction of the huge amount of complaints. There is much more, also on Facebook, Instagram and who knows how many emails Pret doesn’t respond to.

.

.

A year ago a customer already noticed a dodgy thing Pret was doing regarding unsubscribing from marketing emails:

Link to Tweet

Just a few collected complaints on YouTube:

.

News report on MoneySavingExpert.com that only bothered to give 3 examples from customer Tweets:

Link to article

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©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 9 – How Much is a Life Worth @Pret A Manger?

9 December – Day 9 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

In 2016 a customer in New York suffered an anaphylactic shock from a Pret product containing unlabelled sesame. He went to court and he lost. The court document shows how tricky it is when different countries have different laws on different allergens.

Example: The UK and Europe have the 14 allergens listed compared to the U.S that has only 8 listed by law.

In the U.S. sesame does NOT have to be listed, but in Canada it has to. The Unites States 8 allergen – versus – the 14 in Europe.

.

Link

.

Pret won the case, yet it did not give them any urgency to change into labelling their products.

One poignant reminder of the lack of former CEO Clive Schlee’s care nor knowledge shows in a reply from Schlee to an open letter from one of many customers’ complaints and warnings:

.

Account doesn’t exist anymore.

Last part of Schlee’s response, quote:

“You also make a good point about allergen information. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are telling us to treat allergen more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else you would specifically like [u]s to do?”

.

Clive Schlee was informed, warned about and complained to many times about starting to label Pret products.

Another sesame reaction:

13 months after Natasha died

Link

.

Another sesame reaction of another student that went to court in November 2020

Quote: »The food chain pleaded not guilty to “selling food not of the substance demanded” at Bristol Crown Court on Monday following the incident which reportedly took place on November 26, 2017

.

Link to Evening Standard article

.

I worked at Pret when TWO customers died. I was a Team Leader of the shop floor and among other things responsible for health and safety. But not only were we, was I NOT informed that 2 people have died from allergen in products, but there wasn’t even as much as a HINT to be more diligent, cautious and attentive to labelling and allergen. Nothing!

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s mum puts it into her own words:

Link to full report from ITV News

.

  • How much is a life worth?
  • 1 seed of sesame killed a whole human being
  • 1 seed had a man lose his case in court for lack of evidence
  • 1 seed had others in hospital and court
  • Pret set aside £10 million for legal bills
  • Clive Schlee was paid £30 million
  • How much is a life worth?

.

.

.

.

.

In memory of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.

In memory of Celia Marsh.

.


.

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 8 – Pret A Manger – Symbol of the Highstreet

8 December – Day 8 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

A little sidenote behind today’s door that I started calling Pret a “symbol of the high street” because people kept asking why Pret is always mentioned in connection with the economy during the pandemic. I tweeted that several times and after that the press and different journalists picked it up in their articles, including an interview with CEO Pano Christou. 😉

.

Tweet from 29. August 2020 BEFORE journos started using that term in their articles.

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 7 – Pret A Manger Misery Shopper

7 December – Day 7 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 6 – Worked into the Ground without Empathy

6 December – Day 6 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 5 – Hounded at Pret A Manger

5 December – Day 5 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

.

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

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

.

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

.

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

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 3 – Julian Metcalfe’s Foot-in-Mouth Disease

3 December – Day 3 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

The following YouTube slide is self-explanatory.

UPDATE 20.12.2020

A lovely comment on Twitter on the below YouTube slide:

.

.

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

.


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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Day 1 – WOWING Pret A Manger Customers

.

1 December – Day 1 of Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

When I worked at Pret I used to “wow” customers.

Now since I don’t work at Pret anymore, I continue to “wow” customers.

.

.

Last year’s Calendar: Away in Pret A Manger ad-VENT Calendar 2019

.


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.

Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar 2020

.

This is the second Away in Pret A Manger adVENT Calendar with new and surprising non-sweet items behind each “door”.

.

Prat

.

Every day until the big day there will be a surprise behind the door, linked from this page.

The above Santa Clowns are the current CEO Pano Christou (left) and former CEO – turned Non-executive Director, Clive Schlee, most likely still pulling the strings in the background, being Christou’s mentor. And the 3rd clown is Julian Metcalfe, re-founder of Pret, plus founder and CEO of itsu. Clive Schlee is also on the board of directors of itsu (like he is in Pret) and owns half of itsu, also having shares in Pret.

There will be some goodies on Metcalfe behind a door and why he made the mistake to RT my Tweets!

I guarantee it’s free of anything that may harm your eyes, but it may crush your heart if you care. It’s packed full with ingredients of experience, observation, reviews of Pret’s little helpers and other staff members’ accounts.

It’s going to be heart-wrenching with some eye-openers for new readers. Plenty of bags stuffed with a good peek behind the doors of the well polished, glittering facade.

BUT, don’t you cheat! Don’t prematurely open a door of a later day, like you used to do as a kid with the chocolate calendar! 😉

.

No

.

Day 1 The Door – open

Day 2 The Door – open

Day 3 The Door – open

Day 4 The Door – open

Day 5 The Door – open

Day 6 The Door – open

Day 7 The Door – open

Day 8 The Door – open

Day 9 The Door – open

Day 10 The Door – open

Day 11 The Door – open

Day 12 The Door – open

Day 13 The Door – open

Day 14 The Door – open

Day 15 The Door – open

Day 16 The Door – open

Day 17 The Door – open

Day 18 The Door – open

Day 19 The Door – open

Day 20 The Door – open

Day 21 The Door – open

Day 22 The Door – open

Day 23 The Door – open

Day 24 The Door – open

Last year’s Calendar: Away in Pret A Manger ad-VENT Calendar 2019

Next year’s adVENT Calendar is still a secret …

Just a few reviews and social media posts
by current and former Pret staff:

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 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.

Socialism in a Nutshell

A tongue-in-cheek post 😉

.

.

Capitalism in a Nutshell (blame game):

.

Julian Metcalfe’s 1-day Stint on Twitter

There are 2 conditions for which there is no cure:

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

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

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

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

.

.

His first Tweet yesterday, 30.10.2020:

.

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

.

.

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

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

Link to Daily Mail article.

.

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

.

.

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

Pano Christou’s Twitter account where he blocked me:

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.


.

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

.

.

To which I responded:

.

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

.

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

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

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

.

.

Keep tweeting Mr. Metcalfe. Keep tweeting.

.

.

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

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

.

.


.

.

Concerning staff “begging” him for zero hour contracts:

.

.

.

.

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

.

.

UPDATE:

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

Link

.

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

.

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

.

LINK to some of the reviews on Metcalfe himself.

.

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

.

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

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

Link to Daily Mail

.

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

Best viewed on FULL screen:

.


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

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

Julian Metcalfe and Pret A Manger Today

.

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):

.

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

.

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

.

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:

.

.

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.

.

Link

.

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:

.

.

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 …

.

What itsu staff say about Julian Metcalfe himself:

.

Link

.

.

.

.

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“.

.

.

.

.

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

.

.

UPDATE

30. October 2020, 6:30pm

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

2.

Link

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

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

.

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”:

.

.

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.

.

.

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.”

.

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

.


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


Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org
Interview:

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

Pret A Mourir — Stasi-like Surveillance at Pret A Manger

.

I found a brilliant article on Pret’s enforced emotional labour practices. This article is next to Timothy Noah’s article “Labor of Love – The Enforced Happiness of Pret A Manger” my favourite article on this subject. Having worked at Pret experiencing this abuse as I call it, I more than underline both articles. I’m grateful for true journalism compared to the majority of media people sucking up to Pret.

The article is from 2011 but worth the read to take a peek behind Pret’s smiley facade. Some of the things mentioned, like “shooting stars” and other brainwashing, micromanaging things Pret has stopped now, especially since private equity came in, wanting faster money than already squeezed out of low-wage staff.

Link to the text below: Pret A Mourir

By Rob Horning

I borrowed the title for this post from my friend Anton of Generation Bubble, who forwarded me a link to this NYT article by Stephanie Clifford about Pret à Manger, sort of the Target of sandwich shops, assuming Subway is the Wal-Mart. If you want to see a horrific application of all the principles of immaterial and affective labor, Virnoesque virtuosity, lateral surveillance, obligatory reflexivity, emotional management, gamification and so on, you need look no further.

How does any company encourage teamwork? At Pret a Manger, executives say, the answer is to hire, pay and promote based on — believe it or not — qualities like cheerfulness.

There is a certain “Survivor” element to all of this. New hires are sent to a Pret a Manger shop for a six-hour day, and then the employees there vote whether to keep them or not. Ninety percent of prospects get a thumbs-up. Those who are voted out are sent home with £35 ($57), no hard feelings.

The crucial factor is gaining support from existing employees. Those workers have skin in the game: bonuses are awarded based on the performance of an entire team, not individuals. Pret workers know that a bad hire could cost them money.

All the joys of tournament labor markets like those that exist in academia, with none of the “life of the mind” rationalizations. And instead of solidarity against management, each worker becomes the face of management, another Stasi spy for the happy police.

But that is not nearly enough surveillance to allow Pret’s management to discriminate among workers:

Pret also sends “mystery shoppers” to every shop each week. Those shoppers give employee-specific critiques. (”Bill didn’t smile at the till,” for instance.) If a mystery shopper scores a shop as “outstanding” — 86 percent of stores usually qualify — all of the employees get a £1-per-hour bonus, based on a week’s pay, so full-timers get around $73. “There’s a lot of peer pressure,” said Andrea Wareham, the human resources director at Pret.

DARE sessions in school taught me that peer pressure was bad, but I suppose peer pressure, in this context, is good. It is the vaunted power of worker collaboration and cooperation turned inside out and made into a coercive management tool. One’s very ability to get along with others is alienated and quantified, made into something you would only do for money rather than from basic human solidarity. Pret rejects the sort of human sociality that might thrive outside of capital, that is possible in environments where making a profit by selling commodified service experiences isn’t the overriding goal. Instead Pret chooses to incentivize human feeling and turn the point of exchange into an explicit, quantified moment of affective labor while turning worker cooperation into a reified shadow of itself. That policy is carried out all down the line, apparently, with no sociality left unincentivized and thus unexploited:

Pret reinforces the teamwork concept in other ways. When employees are promoted or pass training milestones, they receive at least £50 in vouchers, a payment that Pret calls a “shooting star.” But instead of keeping the bonus, the employees must give the money to colleagues, people who have helped them along the way.

There are other rewards. Every quarter, the top 10 percent of stores, as ranked by mystery-shopper scores, receive about £30 per employee for a party. The top executives at Pret get 60 “Wow” cards, with scratch-off rewards like £10 or an iPod, to hand out each year to employees who strike them as particularly good. Pret has all-staff parties twice a year, and managers get a monthly budget of £100 or so to spend on drinks or outings for their workers.

“Rewards, through bonuses or ‘outstanding’ cards, affect behavior,” Ms. Wareham says.

Wow cards, I suppose, are the Scooby snacks of the service industry. It’s always nice to be recognized, but there seems to be something backhanded about making even that a lottery scenario. And in the end, it’s just Pavlovian manipulation, not genuine recognition of the worker as a human. The incentivizing of feeling leaves no space for the employees to be recognized in and of themselves. Everything about them as feeling creatures has been subsumed by the wage relation. That’s what is so creepy about going into a Pret — you know they are being forced to be nice to you and are being carefully watched by other fake-nice bosses and informers. It feels like those moments in movies about people in a mental asylum, where the patients try to maintain a facade of controlled politeness in hopes of demonstrating their newfound sanity. This sounds sort of insane to me, anyway:

Every new employee gets a thick binder of instructions. It states, for example, that employees should be “bustling around and being active” on the floor, not “standing around looking bored.” It encourages them to occasionally hand out free coffee or cakes to regulars, and not “hide your true character” with customers.

Can a boss really force you to display your “true character” without driving you into an insane spiral of endlessly recursive reflexivity? And is one’s “true character” nothing more than picking random lottery-winner customers to hand a cake to? Are human interactions so conditioned by the imperative of exchange that giving and getting something for nothing is the best way to simulate genuineness, or sincere benevolence? Perhaps the looting in London was just a big expression of love.

The article should put to rest any ideas that the implementation of such concepts as gamification and the general intellect are inherently benevolent or subversive. Instead, they can be deployed by management to create a kind of affective Taylorism, where emotional experiences are assembled under hurry-up conditions and energetically concealed duress. Unless you believe that it’s more fun to be forced to pretend to be having fun while working a deli counter — maybe the findings that people who are forced to smile report being happier apply here also. Clifford notes that Pret’s “annual work force turnover rate is about 60 percent — low for the fast-food industry, where the rate is normally 300 to 400 percent.” Stockholm Syndrome is a powerful management tool.

The emotional labor being extracted from Pret employees exemplifies the way tight labor markets give employers the chance to cement expectations of a more pliant disposition from workers. The new normal is a grotesque sycophancy sugarcoated as a fun, cheerful workplace where “teamwork” rules. In an email, Anton says Pret’s approach elicits an “unprecedented self-relation — instrumentalization of mood and affect as a way of producing surplus value. It can only end in a psychotic break.” I’m inclined to agree.


I’ve put a YouTube slide together with a real Mystery Shopper report where a staff member received £100 for giving the Mystery Shopper a freebie, while the whole shop staff lost bonus because there was some selection of products missing.

.


.

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.


.

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


Interview:


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


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

Escape From Pret – The Inedible True Story

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

 

Vegetarians and Vegans eat Meat in Pret

Mislabelling continues

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

2019-11-27 Chicken as Veggie sticker

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

UPDATE: 25.02.2020 UK

“Vegan” Bircher muesli containing milk.

2020-02-25 Vegan milk Bircher

Link

And THIS happens: (I put the whole feed)

2019-12-01 Label1

Link

2019-12-01 Label2

Link

 

2019-12-01 Label8

Link

2019-12-01 Label3

Link

2019-12-01 Label4Link

2019-12-01 Label7

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

 

And the gift that keeps on giving!

 

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

 

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

2019-12-10 Vegan label Milk ingredient

Link

UPDATE: 20. December 2019 Pret USA AGAIN!

2019-12-20 Pret USA label Clementine contains milk

Link

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

2019-12-26 Wrong soup Pret USA

Link

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

 

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

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

NOTE:

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

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

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

UPDATE: November 2019

Vegan eats chicken 10th Nov.:

2019-11-09 Vegan eats meat

Link

2 customers in one day:

2019-11-08 Ham x2

@DizzyBrunette — & — @MissKLWalker

UPDATE: 24.10.2019

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

 

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

2019-10-24 Wrong Soup

Link to a really great video!

 

2. Wrong Coffee – Milk instead black for dairy intolerant

2019-10-24 Wrong Coffee

Link

 

3. Wrong Toastie

2019-10-24 Wrong Toastie

Link

 

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

2019-10-12 TUna instead of Cheese toastie

Link to Tom Rache’s Tweet

 

2019-10-12 Tuna instead of Cheese toastie2

Link to his wife Julia Ramil’s Tweet

 

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

LNG FUll Ban

 

UPDATE: 11. October 2019 – BACON instead of Beef

2019-10-11 Bacon instead of beef foccacia mislabel

Link

 

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

2019-10-10 Wrong soup label

Link

 

UPDATE: 02. October 2019 – MEAT instead of Veg

2019-10-02 Meat Toastie NOT Veggie

Link

 

UPDATE 23. September 2019

2019-09-23 Soya sticker on dairy coffee

Link


2019-06-28 Religious eat Ham

Link

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

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

2018-11-11 Tiny HFC area4

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

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

 

Illusion

 

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

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

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

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

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