Bystanders, Accomplices, Co-conspirators

My writings are not under the bed like Emily Dickinson’s writings were. My writings are on roof tops shouting out.

I see the statistics on my blog every day. It’s busy and windy these days!

This is an extremely poor example and in no means a comparison!

But when I started to write publicly about Pret, I was suicidal, I wrote very fast and as much as possible. I wanted to leave behind MY story so that the “world” may know why I killed myself.

But then some support came in and my mum was still alive. I struggled to not put more grief on her. In my trauma I pushed people away.

I had some criticism and backlash, but not what I expected to have or even deserved from my drunken outbursts.

People cannot figure me out, and that frustrates them. But that’s not my problem!

Here comes the poor example, but I often think of it when people either criticise traumatic experiences or pretend to not care. Years ago when Natascha Kampusch freed herself and her story crashed the world, she shocked the world more with her transparency and openness to speak out fast, than what actually happened to her.

Do your homework on her story. I’m not gonna present it on a silver platter here.

People were appalled, not at her ordeal, but how OPEN she was, how openly she spoke and so quickly.

Natascha gave an interview within a week of freeing herself.

She appeared “wholesome”, happy. Too wholesome, too happy.

But the public wouldn’t have any of it!

They wanted her back into the dark, lonely hole she emerged from, because she unintentionally held a mirror up to her immediate society of WHY the fuck this could have happened on THEIR doorstep!

No, I don’t compare my story with Natascha’s horror, it’s just an EXTREME example of indifference, cowardliness, ignorance of the majority of “witnesses” to wrong doing. AND journalists are fucking jealous of the investigation THEY should have done aeons ago!

People, journalists, Unions, employees … either pretend to not care, ignore my experience, or are so filled with regret and shame to not have known how rotten Pret is, that they put the blame on me. They block me. They play dead. Yeah, you do that. You won’t be part of my thank you notes!

So, all of you whose illusions about Pret got pulled down like the pants of a disgraced politician, fuck your indifference about my experience with Pret and all the staff who still believe the Pret lies.

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Mandemic Staff Reviews

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Judge Heath’s decision.

In a nutshell:

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

This is on page 6, point 32, quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Thisismoney article

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

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

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

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

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

Further point 33, quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

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

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

– Ela Minus

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

The “Difference” between Pret’s Kitchen & Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to reddit comment from 12.08.2021

Quote:

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s ONE Team! ALL work hard!

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou is having a LAUGH 🤬

Pano Christou making a MOCKERY of staff!

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

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

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

What does CEO Pano Christou do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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ADDITION 14.08.2021

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

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

My prediction from May 2021:

“The Pano Christou Index”

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

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

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Staff consider to STRIKE

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

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Link

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

This morning another lovely start into the day:

Link to Guardian article

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

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

Link to The Guardian

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

Ctrl & + to enlarge screenshot.

Quote:

Pret: “We aim to connect with every customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks. Rate the engagement level of the person who served
you at the till.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wage Theft in Pret

To NHS Employees

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

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

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

Pano Christou on Linkedin.

I recently adopted a song as the “Pret A Manger Anthem”:

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Naughty, Naughty Pret! Not paying staff … AGAIN!

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

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

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

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

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Link to Government list of companies

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Like A Vagina – Just for the very last time …

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

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

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

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

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

LateNightGirlMe/status/1421623160475095043

LateNightGirlMe/status/1419688927741497345

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

Link to June 2021 article

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only one of several complaints on Twitter.

Link

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

No sir, it’s not due to refurb!

Link

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

Link

Link

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every little helps!

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

Link

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

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

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UPDATE 16.08.2021

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

Link

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

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.


Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

5 Minutes

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etc. etc. etc.


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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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

The Difference between a Man and a Man

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1. The difference between a Mother and a Mother.

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

3. The difference between a European and a European.

4. The difference between an Educated and the Educated.

5. The difference between Rich countries and Richer countries.

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

To be continued unfortunately …

Non-commercial Break:

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

The Nasty Business of Emotional Prostitution

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

Link

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

Link

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

Link

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

Quote:

Pret: “We aim to connect with every customer with eye contact, a smile and some polite remarks. Rate the engagement level of the person who served
you at the till.”

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

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

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

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

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

Poor YOU Deborah Persaud, poor you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to video.

Link to recent Pret staff email.

Another email by another then current Pret staff:

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

Link

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

Excerpt:

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UPDATE 30.07.2021

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

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

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

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  1. Quote:

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

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

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2. Quote:

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

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

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3. Quote:

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

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

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4. Quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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5. Quote:

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

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

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

Screenshot with text underneath:

Quote:

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

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

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6. Quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

Quote with bold highlight by me:

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

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

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

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

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

Staff excerpt, quote:

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

Link to email.

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

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

P.S.

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

I’d rather die than remove my Tweets!

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

The Tweets started like this:

Link

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

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He tweets back the following:

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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UPDATE:

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

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

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

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

Quote:

»Hi,

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

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

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

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

Jo«

Here is a vomit emoticon:

🤮

SHAME on you “Samaritans”.

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Another Email by a Pret A Manger Staff

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

The email:

»Hello,


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

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

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


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

Pret Employee 2021

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

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

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

For some other staff reviews and complaints:

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

The Pret A Manger Effect

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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

Link

Facebook.com/preth8ers group.

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

Ok, keep it up Pret! Keep it up!

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

»Great Company in Risk of Ruin«

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»Worked into the Ground without Empathy«

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»Advise to Pret Management: Burn in Hell«

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»Pret Annihilates Humanity«

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»The Pret A Manger Love Treatment«

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»Hounded – The Sequel«

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»The Pret A Manger Anthem«

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

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

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

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

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

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»WOWING Pret Customers«

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

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Last but not least:

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Short Term Staffing Disruption at Pret A Manger

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

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

  • Staff issues, lack of staff, staff walk out, staff are at breaking point from the exploitation.
  • Pest issues, mice, rats etc. This will especially get worse when shops continue to be under-staffed and Team Members have no time nor strength left to properly clean.
  • Virus outbreak like the one that had to close in Norwich.
  • A 4th possibility I added (31.07.2021) which I briefly touch on here below, but detailed in Pret Shops Closed … I Smell a Rat!

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

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

Pret will INDEED try anything to survive

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UPDATE July 2021:

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

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

Link

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

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Link

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

York shop closed due to “unforeseen” circumstances:

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

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

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

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Instagram today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link

May be continued if more complaints come in!

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

The Pret A Manger Anthem 😉

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

– The Dead Milkmen

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

There is Hope for the Hospitality Industry!

Evening Standard:

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

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

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

Link to full article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Recruiting for Personality rather than Skill can be Fatal!

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

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

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

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

In an unlisted video on YouTube (why unlisted?) new CEO Pano Christou even inadvertently gives away how poor the training in Pret is. He shares how when he did stock take for the first or second time, that he stayed until 4 o’clock the next morning! And that’s exactly how it is in Pret. The training is so poor and even Managers often are clueless that especially new staff have to stay long (unpaid!) hours to figure out how things work! Before I worked at Pret, I worked in many different food places, most of my life I worked in hospitality industry, in wine bars, restaurants, a canteen, a hotel. But never did I have to stay longer hours to figure out how things are done than in Pret! It was the most frustrating thing not being trained and not being given time to train others!

If people are trained and have skills, especially since Pano Christou was a Manager at McDonald’s before he joined Pret as an Assistant Manager, there would be NO NEED to stay until 4 o’clock the next morning to know how to do a stock take and other issues!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

Schlee’s patronizing, appalling and plain clueless response:

»Dear Alicia,
I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to board my flight and I have been reading your discursive open letter to Pret. I must say you have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.
You also make your point about allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are suggesting we treat allergens more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?
With best wishes
Clive«

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

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

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

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

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

I cut out that part from the above program:

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

It Cannot Be What Can Be

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

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

That’s the only reason.

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

Mainstream media, the public & Co.

We all look for the greats.

Yet in the words of Emily Dickinson:

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

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

Eat your heart out “press”.

Eat your fucking heart out!

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

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

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

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

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Lest we forget!

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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.

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

It can’t be, no it cannot be

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

No, no, no no no … it cannot be!

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Wage Theft in Pret A Manger

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UPDATE 05. August 2021

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

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

Link to Govt. site

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

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

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

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

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Link

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

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Link

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

… and many more.

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Pret A Manger settles its second WAGE THEFT lawsuit

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Link to article

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  • Link to review on Indeed


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Link

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

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

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

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

The following Unions are best for food workers:

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Until Pret changes its exploitative working practices

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

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Link

Link

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

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Link

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Link to video on Twitter

Link

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

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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

.

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


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

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger Will INDEED Try Anything to Survive

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Link

Link

A brief bullet-point summed up list at the bottom of how Pret is ripping customers off and exploit staff. Detail in the links here. But if people have no time to read at the moment, scroll down to the bottom where the bullet points are.

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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 Pret intense, micromanaging and abusive Mystery Shopper scheme that forces staff to smile and pretend to be happy during extreme stressful and underpaid work conditions. 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 complained that NO shop makes the expensive frappes and smoothies on the subscription?

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

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Link to Tweet

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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. And yet, even with this cash injection Pret refuse to pay rent and has at least 6 lawsuits in the U.S. on their neck:

Link

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 customers off and squeezes the life-blood out of low-wage staff to get as much money as possible.

UPDATE 15.06.2021 a NEW thing Pret dishes out now:

  • No plastic cups for iced drinks supposedly due to supplier issues! LOL! Pret always quotes “supplier” issues when lying. So, if customers are lucky to get an iced drink on subscription, or even, worse paying for it (while having subscription but the bogus BS of QR can’t be read bla bla), they now get it in a cheaper and SMALLER paper cup! The plastic cup is 16oz, but the paper cup is 12oz (and the flat white cup 8oz). So, people now get ripped off out of 4oz. Not much, you think?! Well, do the math! Just another way to safe money and keep ripping customers off! I wouldn’t be surprised that shops have plastic cups in the back stock room! 😉

    And Pret has now added a 14oz paper cup, but customers are still cheated out of 2oz. Doesn’t sound much you may say, but it adds up!


    Pret sold 16,500 subscriptions on the FIRST day of the launch back in September 2020! That’s £330,000 in the first day (on the 2nd month after the initial “free” month that many customers aren’t able to cancel!) without even having to deliver a product! That’s JUST the sign-up cash flow without serving a drink. Do a rough calculation of further sales and multiply this by 4oz! You get the idea.

    Also, when products or packaging disappear for a few weeks, they always return smaller or watered down under the “new improved recipe” lie. I wrote a post on Pret’s “supplier issue” excuse when Pret had no chocolate powder in shops for several weeks. One social media person accidentally spilled the truth once after colleagues kept giving the “supplier issue”: The Pret A Manger Hot Chocolate Saga
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Link

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UPDATE 02.07.2021

One Pret social media staff told a different lie before another colleague the next day went back to the “supplier issue” lie:

And then the very next day, back to the “supplier issue” lie:

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  • UPDATE 24.06.2021 Another lie when customers ask why Pret doesn’t do the complimentary butter portions for the bread. What does Covid-19 have to do with not offering complimentary butter portions? And another lie of butter portions “sold”. Sold? Since when did Pret SELL butter portions! They sell the small bread for soups or salads, but the butter always came with it for free. So many lies …


    Link

  • 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

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Link

Link

A small collection of the MANY customer complaints on social media. The slide is just from Twitter, but there is much more on FB, Insta, private DMs to me etc.

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  • 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:

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UPDATE 31.07.2021- Two more additions:

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.

To sum up, the list of how Pret rips off customers:

  • No expensive smoothies and frappes (except cheaper iced drinks) on the subscription with multiple excuses.
  • Iced drinks in cheaper and smaller paper cups IF people are lucky to get an iced drink. They’re getting cheated out of 2oz or 4oz.
  • Expired foods by stretching dates, which is not even legal, but it’s all about not getting caught!
  • Delay in sending the QR code under the excuse of “technical issues”, so customers who give Pret the benefit of the doubt end up PAYING for a coffee, or especially iced drink while already having paid £20 for the subscription!
  • Pret making it hard to cancel the subscription, sending people in a loop. And if people managed to cancel, Pret continues to withdraw money, at times even several months AFTER people have cancelled AND received the confirmation email of the successful cancellation.
  • Now Pret has started to also have technical issues when customer try to START a subscription. But knowing Pret, after all the complaints and my blog, this may be to appear that Pret has general technical issues, even when people try to register the subscription. A clever move!
  • False advertisement of “endless” and “unlimited” drinks on the subscription, while T&C is 5 per day with 30 minute intervals.
  • People having issues in-store that machines can’t read or recognize their QR code, ending up paying AGAIN for a coffee.
  • PR move and smokescreen by giving NHS workers free coffees and 50% rebate on food, and the next day announcing staff cuts. Pret low-wage staff paid for the NHS freebie PR stunt.
  • Cutting staff, cutting labour hours, cutting benefits, bonus, paid break etc. Overworking low-wage staff, who in turn get so exhausted and burnt out that they start snapping and being rude at customers and each other. It’s a lose-lose for customers AND staff, both who pay financially and mentally/physically for Pret’s greed. It’s a win-win for Pret.
  • Various possibilities WHY Pret shops are closed: lack of staff of course, pest issues, virus outbreak AND continuing to sell the coffee subscription to customers whose local Pret shops are closed, and then refusing to refund customers!

Dear customer and reader, if you really still think all these are just coincidences and technical hick-ups, especially after a current Pret Barista spilled the beans that they are asked to LIE to customers, well, then have a nice day in bliss, because there’s nothing people can tell you, and you need to enjoy getting ripped off while Pret accumulates billions again!

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

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

Pret A Manger 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.

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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 04.09.2021 Mould on bread:

Link

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A customer who seems to know that I write publicly on Pret issues posted to me on Facebook that Pret’s food isn’t freshly made. I first responded to his fair-trade question that Pret had to remove the word “natural” from signage and packaging, but my post disappeared (either got deleted by FB or hidden, I can’t find it) he responded:

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Link to FB post. Please click on “View … more replies” to see the post.

UPDATE: 07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

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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?

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Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

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Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

Link

Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

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Link

Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

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Link

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Stale bread:

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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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

How to Chase 3 Multimillionaire CEOs off Twitter

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

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


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

You need the following:

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

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

1. The Clown Who Came From McDonald’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 2020:

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

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

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

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

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

.
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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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

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

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Some of the other trials regarding allergy reactions:

Pret A Manger Face Another Trial

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

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

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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

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

.

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

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«

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

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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Pret A Manger Staff don’t look Happy

… because they ARE NOT happy!

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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.

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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.

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

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Link

Link

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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

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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).

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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And these are non-scoring comments by the Mystery Sh