Pret A Manger Face Trial after Allergen Death

 

Trial set for 6th December 2019

Via SomersetLive.co.uk

LINK: >>>Pret A Manger and Planet Coconut will go on trial after allergy death <<<

 

0 Trial

Photos: SomersetLive.co.uk

And now I understand the recent news that Pret set aside £10m for food allergy scandal. Via TheGrocer.co.uk

>>> Pret a Manger set aside £10m for food allergy scandal costs, accounts reveal <<<

£10m

 

Prestige is a Common Good

 

but PRet PR**ked it up!

 

PRet’s

PRactices in

PRocrastinating

PRoper labelling when

PResented with concerns to

PRotect people and

PReventing

PRemature deaths from

PRepared

PRoducts, taking

PRecedence by being

PReoccupied in

PRioritizing and

PReferring

PRosperity, while being

PRetentious, but not

PRoactive,

PRactical,

PRagmatic,

PRimarily

PRofessional,

PRincipled and with

PRide

PRoviding all ingredients by

PRinting labels to

PReserve and

PRolong life … is so out of

PRoportion!

 

The PRefabricated

PRemeditated and

PRedictable

PRopaganda,

PRoclaiming

PRomising and

PRofessing that “nothing is more important right now” after an Inquest

PRobing into a death, public

PRostests and

PRessure from the

PRess is typical for the

PR[et] machine with

PRofits over

PRivate lives

PRoving their negligence

 

PRoblem remains: no

PRocecution, no

PRison sentence, and no

PRoposed new leadership

 

Pret A Manger

PRovokes anger,

PRevails and regains

PRominence by hiring and

PRomoting yet another

PR firm

Headland, Tovera Consulting and former FSA Chief Tim Smith to fix the mess and repaint the facade, like colouring a rotten egg after having ignored multiple warnings.

 

PRecious lives paid the

PRice, financially

PReyed and

PRowled upon by greedy

PRicks!

 
If PR as much as HR is not for the sake of both, the company AND the employee and the  public; if a company cannot relate to families having lost loved ones, due to the company’s negligence, going full steam ahead with business as usual, then whatever.

 

PRaying for the families and everyone suffering under this greed.

©2018 exPRet.org

P.S. Mind intellectual PRoperty.

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©2019 expret.org

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

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

Why is Pret A Manger not being Investigated on Staff Deaths?

 

NOTE upfront, as people, the press, customers will ask Pret on this, they of course will not give any info. That’s why Pret needs an independent investigation like the inquest did with the first customer, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died from an unlabelled product.

Amnesty International had independent investigations leading to 5 senior leaders resigning.

Two staff at Amnesty died by suicide last year which led to the investigation into a “toxic” work environment.

I may not be in the position of an investigator, but my knowledge of 10 years in Pret with my last 3 years traumatized and bullied during bereavement, I almost died by suicide and had close calls. I was completely out of my mind in shock, grief and the bullying environment of Pret. I’m just now slowly coming out of this darkness. I confront Pret on a suicide of an Assistant Manager in 2017. I may have learned about her turmoil a few months before she died.

I was also leaked an email in May 2019 that the Director of HR Andrea Wareham sent to all shops in that month, with the news that two Pret shop staff have died within a month. I was told that one died by suicide. The other staff member’s passing, the “leakers” don’t know the circumstances. This is the first time to my knowledge that Pret communicates staff deaths. I was a Team Leader and had access to Pret emails, even the death of the AM in 2017 was not communicated to us, let alone that it was a suicide. I only learned by word of mouth between shops, as this AM worked in the same area I worked in. And the two customer deaths were not communicated to us, not even to us leaders. Absolutely nothing was communicated, not even a hint to be more diligent with labelling and allergen info! Nothing!

This looks to me like Pret may have been advised by their legal team, but more likely a PR company to communicate when people have died, as this will come out anyway sooner or later since the press has a close eye on Pret and my website exposing from a behind the scenes perspective. Pret knows my website in case anyone is in doubt, I confront them on Twitter as well. And maybe they were even advised by the new owners JAB / Reimann via Chairman Peter Harf, who advised the Reimann family to research and publish their own Nazi past before anyone else does.

At least Pret may have heeded that advise if there was one. But they still don’t listen to the Staff Complaints and my speaking out. And when they lose a Tribunal case, they pay the peanuts and go back to business as usual.

Part of the email (I “smudged” out the names):

PretAMAnger_TWO_StaffDeaths_May2019

I always shudder when big companies refer to themselves as “family”. Especially those that exploit their employees behind the smiley facade. Psychology and manipulation of large corporations these days.

 

And this may be the reason a customer complained on Twitter of the unusual shortness of staff, if this is the South Terminal of Gatwick she was at. Pret shops are often short staffed, and when an emergency happens, there’s no backup. Even just 1 staff member calling sick puts enormous pressure on the rest of the team as Pret loves to staff very tightly to maximize profit and squeeze the life blood out of staff. The Job-center Tweets have increased lately on Gatwick positions. If this is the South Terminal, staff may have been upset of the death and called sick or quit as it isn’t unusual for staff to just walk out and never come back:

2019-06-03 Gatwick short staff death

Link

 

Also, Pret knowing and having been part of my trauma with the emailing, that the Director of HR brings the news of people having died via EMAIL shows that they not only don’t learn their lessons, but they don’t care! I keep saying to people to NEVER bring the news of someone’s death via email, text message, social media but only in person or via a telephone call, unless there is no other way. Pret could have had a meeting with all their General Manager (GMs) who then could have conducted team meetings in their shops or meetings with their leaders. Yes, this would take some extra time and effort, but CARE always takes effort! I write extensively about my emailing issues in “Not Quite a Beautiful Mind” and how abusive and discriminatory Pret A Manger really is.

Since the two customer deaths became public and my public writings against Pret, they may have changed and communicate people’s deaths now, yet continue to do this the quick and easy way via email!

I almost died after what I went through in Pret. Full story in below interview.

Another former Pret Assistant Manager lost his case against Pret for being overworked to the point of becoming suicidal. The judge ruled that the former Assistant Manager was too ambitious. Yet, I know Pret. I know how they overwork especially leaders, who are caring and hard working, compared to managers who just sit in the office blaming everyone around them. Shops at times have no General Managers (GMs). I have worked as a Team Leader and covered for managers when they were on holiday. I never received what they called a “step-up pay”, not even a “thank you”.

I can also relate to this AM’s claim that he was “scapegoated for failure” as this is a very typical Pret thing, to blame downwards which can also be seen in countless staff reviews I collected in the below slide show and long list linked to it. As a Team Leader I worked extremely well but was blamed constantly for the incapability and plain laziness of managers, especially when I became bereaved.

Pret cleared suicidal

Picture from the Daily Mail article.

The Daily Mail calls a 46 year old man an ambitious “young” manager. I first thought they meant a twenty-something year old ambitious young manager. 46 is not old, but close to 50 he isn’t a young man either. Even though the judge has ruled and Mr. Saad didn’t seem to have appealed, I really do think his story is valid, knowing Pret. Including having been in hospital! He was probably fed up and exhausted, not to mention having lost money in the case, but who knows what an appeal would have done.

The first comment under this Daily Mail online article also give a good insight into how big companies work their staff into exhaustion, and in Pret, I can verify that.
Quote:
»As someone who has been a manager for many years in retail and catering, I can confirm that companies totally use and abuse their managers. They make sure you sign the 48 hours opt out so that you can’t sue them for being forced to work excessive hours, usually before you are appointed, so that you feel pressured to agree, despite the fact their is no possible benefit to a salaried worker for opting out. I believe him, I bet they took complete advantage of him, expecting him to do a managers job for much less money when they had no intention of promoting him, which is wrong.«Thornbury9563

And yet in Pret, many managers are lazy and blame downwards, making the Team Leaders who care do all the hard work, while other Leaders who are “smarter” kiss up to management, getting promoted faster, exploiting hard working teams. Just the same old bullying mentality of elbows.

A little reminder that Pret was also cleared in New York where a customer sued Pret after he suffered an allergic reaction ALSO to an unlabelled sesame product, the same allergen that Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of from a London shop. Even though Pret won the case it did not give them any sense of urgency or a wake-up call to start labelling products! ONLY when customer deaths became public did Pret slowly implement labelling! Hello? No alarm bells ringing still?!

So, Pret having been cleared on above case where the AM became suicidal doesn’t mean anything to me knowing how dangerously close I also came to end my life.

A Guardian article on the toxic work environment at Amnesty International. There are many toxic issues, even in charities that people often don’t realize are happening. In the Amnesty report they found that many staff have a “martyrdom” mentality where they overwork, as they care so much. The above former Pret AM is like many Pret staff are, they overwork, want to prove they are good at their jobs but get the life-blood sucked out of them. In the above case, the judge ruled against Mr. Saad. But I know Pret. I gathered many staff complaints from various websites (incl. YouTube, Twitter, FB and other sites) and just compiled a selection in below Slideshow, not to mention my horrific story with Pret! I explain in my interview at the bottom of this page why I withdrew my Tribunal claim against Pret.

Pret also has public humiliation in place, at least during my 10 years when I worked at Pret. Emails from HQ would be send to all shops, naming and shaming shops/managers when they failed in Health and Safety scores for example. Shops could also check every Friday via a link on complaints from customers all shops received that week. So my shop could see all the complaints about other shops and all shops could see our customer complaints. I myself was targeted during already traumatic grief via email from my then line manager, who would blame me in group emails, always copying in his line manager (our area manager). When I applied for my file I read emails from the area manager to HR and back, brainstorming on how to get rid of me. It was systematic and is systemic.

 

DW Amnesty Toxic

Photo on Deutsche Welle (DW report)

The FULL independent report.

After the news of the first customer, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died from unlabelled allergen in a Pret product, I asked on Twitter how many more there are if Pret was able to hide this. Knowing Pret and of at least 1 suicide of the AM in 2017, with myself also almost over the edge, I asked this question before the second death of Celia Marsh became public. I was aiming mainly at staff suicides after what I survived, but little did I know there really was a second customer who died:

2018-09-30 How many more suicide pret

Link

So, I ask again, how many staff have died by suicide that is related to work conditions in Pret. Who will investigate Pret A Manger that has a toxic work environment, after I presented my story and other staff experiences as if on a silver platter to the public. Sure Pret does their own investigations, but from my experience with HR hearings, these investigations are what a Tribunal Judge once called “fundamentally flawed“. That was also my experience.

In Pret TWO customers died, a third nearly fatal, several hospitalized, numerous warnings by customers to Pret on allergen labelling ignored until the deaths became public. Even a lawsuit by a man in New York, who went into anaphylactic shock after ALSO eating an unlabelled sesame product from Pret in 2016, did not wake Pret up to label their products!

Staff died, the work conditions are horrendous, and yet Clive Schlee, CEO and Pano Christou, COO (who deleted his Twitter account when I tweeted Schlee’s retirement to the Press) go full steam ahead, doing business as usual, fooling the public with sweet-talk and free coffees. And all this now under the new owners JAB / Reimann, expanding in the U.S. where Brexit is a far distance. The COO position in Pret is new since JAB purchased Pret. Pano Christou (who came from McDonald’s management before joining Pret) was before the JAB takeover Pret’s UK Managing Director, a position held before by Andrew Walker, who then became the CEO of EAT…which is now purchased by Pret (well, by JAB really!). And I always find it interesting in Pano Christou’s case who likes to keep a low profie and even has on his Twitter profile “@ Pret” not connected to “@Pret”. Don’t want to spilt hairs, but why I mention this is that Pret A Manger leadership is notorious for hiding behind a facade and not take responsibility, but blame downwards! This reflects on manager after manager, leader after leader I have worked with and so many in the below reviews complain about.

In all of this, the absolute WORST thing that can happen in a company: CUSTOMERS DIED!!! There is NOTHING worse that can happen to a company. And in Pret it happened TWICE with a third almost fatal as well… But there are no resignations, no investigations, no responsibility! UNBELIEVABLE!

Pret being a “fun” place to work? I would laugh if it wasn’t so dead serious! Pret has the most beautiful facade of any company I know, and the most toxic work environment behind that facade that I ever encountered anywhere!

Only few of the many reviews on Glassdoor

Las Vegas

Link

 

2019-06-1 Toxic no training StPanc

Link (St. Pancrass, one of the most busiest, stressful shops)

 

2019-06-11 Nightmare Stop Being Evil

Link “This company is everything that is wrong with the world…Corporate hell on earth.”

 

2019-06-11 First World Slavery

Link

 

2019-05-05 DON'T APPLY Team Leader

Team Leader Review

 

2019-05-08 Worst place barista Oxford

Barista Oxford Review

 

Go back

Corporate NYC Review

 

HQ IT Analyst

London HQ Review

I want to enlarge this review on Head Office by a former IT Analyst. I underline this, having gotten to know some from HQ with my horrific story (interview at the bottom).

Quote:
“Some people who got lured in by company PR
Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

 

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

July 2019 Glassdoor Stats
And this shows how the £1000 “carrot” was a big PR stunt and not a generous gift I’m writing about. In a nutshell: Clive Schlee made the £1000 announcement on the 29th May 2018 when he became aware of my website. I explain here in >>> The Timing of the £1000 Announcement.

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

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

Two more groups of former Pret staff that are not as active:
@__PAMSU__ got fired for starting a Union in 2012 (VIDEO) and
I Hate Pret A Manger (preth8ers) on Facebook started in 2011

 

2011 I Hate Pret Fuck Pret

 

UPDATE June 2019

I remember the news on the suicides in a French company and periodically over the years checked on this.

Between 2008 and 2009 THIRTY-FIVE (35) staff died by suicide! >>> France24.com

Appreciate that there was an independent investigation into Amnesty International for 2 staff suicides. ONE work related suicide is one too many!

The French news story disappeared. And now after 10 years…

Arrow

Guardian France Telekom Suicides

Picture from the Guardian Article

Who will look into Pret?!

 

UPDATED August 2019:

For the record and found on my Tweets, I asked the following people / organizations to look into this:

@jeremycorbyn, @MayorofLondon, @SadiqKhan, @H_S_E, @CEO_HSE, @NSSN_NE, @hazardscampaign, @JonCruddas_1, @IanBFAWU, @foodgov, @MichaelGove and a lot of other private people and organizations who claim to care…

 

UPDATE October 2019:

2019-10-02 Pano 38 26

 

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

 

©2019 expret.org

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

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

 

Zero Nothing Nada Null 0

 

I worked in Pret A Manger when two customers died, and I cannot get over not having known. I would have struggled. I would have resigned. I don’t know what I’d done. But not business as usual!

 

Not once was I or my team informed of it.

 

0 copyright-free-38658__340

 

I was a Team Leader, a mini-manager, doing the ordering, waste management, looking after the team, health & safety, money handling, cashing up, stock-take, customer service … But there wasn’t even as much as a HINT that two customers have died within two years from allergens hidden in Pret products!

We weren’t even urged or hinted that we needed to be more diligent with the labelling or allergen information.

Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Pret kept it well hidden from us.

 

As the news keep highlighting that Natasha’s Law is getting close to becoming reality, I remember again after having posted this blog entry, that when I worked as a team leader I often checked incoming emails in the office as most communication between shops and from HQ are done via emails.

One such mail came in at times from the UK Managing Director Pano Christou who has now been promoted to COO, a position which didn’t exist in Pret until JAB took over, and who keeps a low profile. When I was in the office doing cashing up, or the ordering, or whatever I had to do as part of my leadership duties, and everytime this type of email came in my heart stopped and then pounced in a panic. The subject of the mail and the first lines read something like, “It is with great sadness that we have to bring the news …”

I received the news of my brother’s death via an ice cold, short and to the point email. In that one email I not only was informed that my brother was found dead five weeks prior to this email, but that he was cremated and completely gone! The efficient German police that has mandatory ID system for all citizens with my mum living at the same address for over 30 years claimed that next of kin could not be found … I write about this in various blog entries. But not only did this immense shock thrust me into an extreme traumatic time, but to be receiving this news via email has spiraled me into unprecedented emailing months and years later, of which I am just now recovering from.

So, these emails coming in from HQ with sad news had me fall into a terrible panic.

The email from HQ continued along those lines: “It is with great sadness that we have to bring the news that our shop in such-and-such a city/street will be closed permanently on such-and-such a date.”

Sorry, what?!!

Excuse me, what???!!!!!

My heart still pouncing, tangibly feeling blood leaving my head in the next shock that this type of wording in these emails was about a freaking shop closure?!?!?!?!!!

Of course I was relieved that this was NOT an announcement of someone from HQ or a shop having died! And I had to press against my chest for my heart to calm down again hoping my team wouldn’t call me out for customer service, as I was shaking still! But my point here is, that NOT ONE time came a message, be it via email, phone, via the weekly info/news sheet from HQ, not in Team Briefs in the shops, no extra emergency meetings, not in private from our managers… NOT ONE announcement that not just one, but TWO customers have died from Pret products! It was more important for Pret to announce in such a dramatic way that a flipping shop is closing down for whatever reason. As if anyone in the shops cared about Pret losing money from their millions, still opening on every corner constantly, while staff are underpaid, overworked, over stressed …

I get it that team members who come to work, stand at the tills, prepare sandwiches, stock up and go home without having leadership responsibilities may have not been informed. But I was a Team Leader, with the main responsibilities of Health & Safety, Customer Service, Team Engagement, Training etc. But Health & Safety (for customers and staff alike!) was the top priority in my job description! And I took that part very serious, often to the annoyance of my colleagues where I would stop them, even if they were behind their tasks, stopping them if they were working in an unsafe way for example, or the fire exits were blocked and staff rushing around, I made it priority to always have safety first and then anything else, no matter how busy is was etc.

So, these HQ emails about shop closures as if someone died first of all had me angry as my email experience of my brother’s death just hit me again and again when these emails came in. But now it’s even more appalling as Pret did not see the need to inform ALL staff, and most of all not changing and acting in URGENCY on these labelling and allergen issues until this became public and people started boycotting! This still has me shake my head in disbelief and shock, and yet knowing Pret, their procrastination and negligence is not surprising! I cannot even begin to imagine what the families go through!!

If Pret would have decided not to inform us, but still immediately implemented the labelling, that would have been a different matter. They could have held meetings with all leaders to communicate that Pret would be bringing in an allergen labelling system for all products. They wouldn’t have even needed to lie and could have told us that because several customers complained about the lack of labelling which they did before and even after the deaths, Pret could have said they decided it’s time to label all products, no matter what the law says.

But nothing! Absolutely nothing!

In 2017 Pret even hired the prestigious and expensive London Barbican Centre to do several days of training for leaders on customer service (basically how to kiss customers’ butts for more money!). Yet, this instead could have been training days for leaders on allergen and implementing labelling! But no, nothing!

And thus, Pret’s claim to be doing the right thing, with their HR department taking this claim to more lofty heights by saying to be doing the right thing “naturally”, has my stomach turn even now, no matter how much I know Pret’s mentality, and I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still gobsmacked!

And one of the main things I’ve learned from my Pret experience is, the louder someone or an organization claims something, the less this is actually happening because it’s like holding up a banner of words as the reality behind it is very, very different. It’s like putting on a lot of make-up to cover up the true face. And this is where Pret is extreme, all their slogans and bull-crap words are just a facade to cover up what’s behind it. I know, I’ve worked in it for years and survived.

 

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

 

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

The only allergen labelling that was implemented in around 2015 or 2016 was for charity. I cannot remember exactly when this started, but the thought behind that I understand only now, because we were never told the reason. The reason being that charity, homeless people most likely won’t have access to the Internet to check the ingredients and as they receive the food after closing time not being able to get into a shop to ask for allergen information.

 

2018-06-21 pret food labels for charity

Twitter Photo Link

 

But there is a contradicting twist in all this. In 2017 Pret started implementing a food labelling system in all Pret kitchens for the ingredients in the fridges that were opened and needed a product label with the new expiry date, once the item has been opened.

Before that, hand-written labels were used. So, for example if a tub of crayfish has a use-by-date (UBD) of let’s say 4 days from today while closed, the UBD changes to let’s 2 days once the tub was opened. Because many Team Members made mistakes as they are constantly rushing, writing the wrong UBD where the product then expired because they put a day longer, these labelling machines were implemented, where a Team Member just types in the product, the original UBD while unopened, and then the machine with all the ingredients programmed into it, calculates and prints out the correct UBD for the now opened product.

Pret was willing and able to  do that for kitchen ingredients, and yet, nothing for customers to make informed decisions if or what to purchase to safe lives. These kitchen machines were implemented in 2017!!

Machines for UBD product labels to me is not a priority as TMs could still continue to handwrite the labels as they did for years. But a labelling system for products on the shelves just didn’t seem a priority for Pret.

 

I am tired of trying to tell the public how utterly non-caring Pret A Manger is.

 

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

—> Pret a Manger hit with lawsuit

The Verdict  (he lost!)

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

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

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

Sweet-talk of the decade:

*IRONY ON*

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

*IRONY OFF*

 

If people want to enjoy their free coffees from Pret and continue to be lulled in by the shiny PR[et] facade, then go and enjoy!

The families know 100% loss all of the time.

Natasha’s Parents 0:19 mins YouTube

Tanya Ednan-Laperouse: “A young person died from eating one of their products and the fact that they did nothing, and just let things carry on exactly as they had before, is beyond believe, actually!”

Nadim Ednan-Laperouse: “It’s kind of madness, isn’t it? Really, if you think about it? What is it? It’s just nothing short of a kind of mad situation.”

 


 

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

Interview:


©2019 expret.org

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

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

I Worked in Pret when 2 Customers Died

 

but not once was I or my team informed of it.

 

Baguette

 

I was a Team Leader of the shop floor, which is like being a mini-manager who really is doing the hard work. As a team leader doing the ordering, waste management, looking after the team, health & safety, money handling, cashing up, stock-take, customer satisfaction etc. But there wasn’t even as much as a HINT that two customers have died within two years from allergens hidden in Pret products!

We weren’t even urged or hinted that we needed to be more diligent with the labelling or allergen information. Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Pret kept it well hidden from us.

I am tired of trying to tell the public how utterly non-caring Pret A Manger is.

If people want to enjoy their free coffees, that hardly even cost anything for Pret, then stay tucked in, if that is all it takes to bribe you.

But the families have a different Christmas now. So keep tweeting about your free cookies and coffees while Pret tries to keep you “warm” with them, no matter how many people die, including staff by suicide.

 

Natasha’s Mum 0:19

 

 

 


 

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

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

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Pret A Manger – Ongoing Issues Hospitalization, Mislabelling…

 

Pret A Mouse

Pret A Mouse … on the house!

 

UPDATE: October 2019

2019-10-02 Meat Toastie NOT Veggie

Link

 

Many examples of continued issues even after the customers deaths became public, and Pret’s “promise” to implement “meaningful” change are the opposite of what is listed further down below. I stopped adding in December 2018 but only added a few recent examples as this is getting too much, but the issues continue.

 

Another customer hospitalized, Pret sent flowers and a £20 voucher and did not react for a day to this Tweet until being prompted again:

 

2018-12-17 Hospitalisation voucher Crop

Link

 

Another customer was sent flowers after an allergic reaction:

2019-04-30 FLowers for allergy

This tweet is from 30. April 2019 and has been deleted. @BloomandWild (the flower service) even responded to it, but they also deleted their tweet. Makes you wonder …

 

UPDATE 23. April 2019

2019-04-23 Veggie sticker on ham buttie

Link

 

Most recent mislabelling again 03. May 2019. The ham vs. the veggie croissants, soup and hot food in general are the greatest issues with mislabelling.

2019-05-03 Ham instead of Veg croissant

03. May 2019

 

2019-04-21 Ham instead of Veg croissant

21. March 2019

 

2015 Ham instead of Veg croissant

After 29 years not eating ham…

 

I explain further below that due to a “chronic” lack of staff to maximize profits and due to immense stress on Team Members, lack of time given, lack of space, exhaustion especially on the Hot Chef who starts at 4:30/5:00am running non-stop until 2 or 3pm etc. these mistakes ALWAYS happened and continue to happen.

As a Team Leader I had to fix these issues DAILY. And this will not change unless Pret radically changes its structure, starting with a new CEO who ACTS and doesn’t sweet-talk which Clive Schlee does perfectly fooling the public with PR[et] slogans for years.

 

Undercover Report by The Sunday Mirror sparked by my blog on mixed up labels, out-of-date product, food waste and overstretched staff which I could write books about! 24.11.2018


 

New updates and additions at the bottom…

 

2018-10-15 Pork soup instead of Tuscan Bean

Link to Tweet (From experience with Pret soups, this looks like Pulled Pork to me, which also contains beans)

 

This could have been another death, hospitalization, allergic reaction… certainly an unpleasant experience for a vegetarian. Multiple warnings not taken seriously before and even after 2 customer deaths.

As I want to move away from my Pret outcry because I have said enough to give a good idea what really is going on behind the facade, but I keep seeing these complaints.

A tweet with the typical response from Pret that has me shake my head again and again, even though I shouldn’t be surprised.

A vegetarian customer got a meaty soup instead of what was labelled as a vegetarian Tuscan Bean Soup that even has the green veggie sticker on the soup cup. A meaty soup has a red sticker with the soup name, a veggie soup has a green sticker, plus the label on the Hot Cabinet with the ingredients (hopefully with full allergen info).

Pret’s response is to blame downwards as usual, making the Hot Chef (the person who is preparing all hot food) responsible. The OPs manager (operations manager = area manager) who often is quite stern, with an intimidating “bossy” attitude, visits the shop. The OPs then speaks to the General Manager (GM) or maybe even to the Hot Chef or person who prepared the soup.

On a side note, the Hot Chef has the most difficult and stressful job on the shop floor. Unlike the Barista who has the morning coffee rush, cleaning and stocking up, but then a quieter period during lunch time with lots of help, the Hot Chef never stops and goes from the morning bakery items to the lunch-time hot foods! In winter it’s the worst and intensely exhausting. Often they don’t get help except on paper, but in reality they are so stressed for time and often have tiny work benches, if at all, and if they are not organized naturally and not trained properly, they struggle a great deal. I mention the different job roles and stress factors in my Open Letter to Pret Customers.

So, the Hot Chef now gets even more stress and may not even get help, but will be blamed, no matter if the team may have been understaffed, or the Hot Chef may not have received proper training as I used to work as a HC and was thrust into it with little training and have seen this with other HCs again and again.

It is a lose-lose situation. The typical scenario is that staff are not trained properly, overworked, underpaid, stressed to the max, not helped and then blamed when things go wrong. Apart from my experience this can be seen in the countless staff complaints that I collected from other websites. A very typical Pret situation on a daily basis. Of course there are trained staff and good shops, but my 10 years in Pret mainly involved training myself, trying to help my colleagues as best as I was able to under intensely stressful circumstances.

Pret’s response to the customer who was sold the wrong soup is again typical for how Pret responds to this:

 

2018-10-27 Soup incidence

If the text is too small: Ctrl & + or direct Link to Pret’s “hilarious” response
So, the customer read the labels on the hot cabinet and the soup cup, and yet still got the wrong item and ingredients! If the customer would have been allergic to any of the ingredients in the wrong soup, having believed to have bought the correct item, scrutinized the labels, double checked everything … but still got the wrong item, this could have been another death… The Tuscan Bean soup does also look a little like this meat soup in the photo above. So, I have also seen often that customers open the lid to take a look and the similarity of the soups visually could still mislead them. And Pret responds in this indifferent way and just blames the Hot Chef who most likely is already over stressed as it is.

 

Tuscan Bean Soup

The (real) veggie Tuscan Bean Soup

 

The generic response that is so typical for Pret still amazes me. But the blaming is typical. Quote:

“The hot chef in charge failed the Pret standard for soup preparation…”

No, the Hot Chef most likely was overworked, stressed, had no help and was pressured by the GM or Team Leader to quickly get the soups out for selection so in case the Mystery Shopper comes, they won’t be marked down for missing items on the shelves. Plus, many Hot Chefs work in cramped areas without a proper work bench! Picture below.

No idea how a customer got a hold of this photo. If the customer lets Pret know which shop it is, the person who took and then leaked the photo will have an appointment with the Job-center soon. But this is a very common view I found in my 10 years in Pret. And this is then no wonder that serious mistakes keep happening: tiny work spaces especially for Hot Chefs who have the hardest job on shop level. This photo is a very familiar sight. Hot Chefs balancing act to have proper work benches. Very dehumanizing and disrespectful towards hardworking people to not give them the right space as well as time to prepare in a safe way.

Customer areas are increased to get as many customers / money in as possible; staff areas are decreased. This then creates multiple problems, not only on the mental strain of staff but customers’ lives as well:

 

2018-11-11 Tiny HFC area

 

The following picture of a rubbish cart is from the worst shop I’ve ever worked, not only because the bullying by my line manager and his boss was the heaviest there, but because there was NO space. There was only ONE toilet for customers AND staff alike. I had to go to the Costa next door at times as I didn’t have time to queue for the toilet! The back-room was an All-in-one room: Office, staff/changing room with lockers, Fridges and Freezers, Store room, the Hot Chef area where the soups were prepared, the Chemical room with all the cleaning materials etc., the Electrical Room and to top it all, the RUBBISH room.

Many times the rubbish was left over night after the collection already came. This photo is from September 2015 and Pret was then forced to expand the working area, decreasing the customer area as the rubbish was a health & safety issue. But this shop existed for at least 2-3 years with the rubbish included in the multi-task room.

Staff would even change their uniform in there next to the Hot Chef preparing food! It was a complete nightmare. And even when we complained about the lack of space and rubbish, Pret would NOT listen to us and only changed when prompted by health & safety people because if an EHO would have done a routine check they would have closed down that shop immediately like an EHO did when mouse droppings were found in a routine visit to a Pret shop. Pret ONLY reacts when caught!

 

Spitalfields Waste MultitaskOffice_6Sep15

 


 

I keep repeating myself that Starbucks closed 8000 shops in the USA to train staff for an afternoon after a racial incident in one of their stores. They closed for a few hours to train their staff and then even remained closed for the rest of the day after the training. This has cost Starbucks an estimated $12 Million+ for that ONE day. Starbucks did that a few years ago already in the UK to retrain staff on coffee quality.

But in Pret customers die, repeated complaints keep coming in on wrong and inadequate labelling like this soup and other products … And those are only the complaints that are public.

And Pret A Manger does business as usual. Full steam ahead! Let the slogans and generic cut and paste responses do their work. I still cannot believe that Pret is still not putting on the brakes here, and gets away with “murder” so to speak.

I wanted to move away from my Pret outcry, but these incidences which are only public, there is much more going on which is not seen, but how people are being treated, how staff suffer… and how I survived Pret, I cannot be silent.

 

Collected on “Pret Allergen Death & Customer Warnings to Pret“.

 

BEFORE Natasha’s and Ms. Marsh’s deaths became public:

05. June 2018 Quote: “Can you start labelling individual wraps?

2018-06-05 Wrong Wrap wrong label1

 

And the typical Pret “Oh gosh…” response veering away from the public into DM and just blaming “someone” for having placed item behind the wrong label. But no priority on labelling, no “meaningful” change, just full steam ahead doing business as usual. As a Team Leader I had to fix issues like this on a daily basis.

 

2018-06-05 wrong wrap

Link

I just added one “before” example, but there are countless more. Also from my own experience having worked in Pret with staff on high pace and stress, understaffed to maximize profits, running non-stop with no time to oversee careful labelling and placing items on correct shelves…

 

AFTER Natasha’s and Ms. Marsh’s deaths became public, issues continue:

 

24.10.2018 Another soup issue. In the U.S. this time:

2018-10-24 Soup incidence

Link to Tweet

 

29.10.2018 This is either the Ham Mac&Cheese or Proscioutto, but looks like the Ham Mac with a green Veggie Kale & Cauli label instead of the red Meaty sticker:

2018-10-29 Meat Mac instead of Veg

Link

 

Also 29.10.2018 response to a 26.10. complaint, after three days asking if she was okay. Pret may even be understaffed on their USA Twitter feed. A dish that contains at least enough “iron” supply for the day. The Pret A Metal-Wrap (Allergen Info: Contains metal, eat responsibly)

2018-10-29 Metal Wrap

Link

 

29.10.2018 Dairy vs Soya

2018-10-29 Dairy vs Soya

Link

 

30.10.2018 Pret’s “Plastic Pledge” (Allergen Info: Contains Plastic. Eat responsibly)

2018-10-30 Plastic Cover

Link

 

30.10.2018  Pret A Hair

2018-10-30 Hair

Link

 

01.11.2018 USA Allergen Info: “May” contain Unidentified Food Object. Eat responsibly.

2018-11-01 UFO

Link

 

22.10.2018 Wrong Soup

2018-10-22 No Tom Soup2

2018-10-22 No Tom Soup1

Link

 

 

23.10.2018 “Plastic Pledge” again

2018-10-23 Plastic

Link

 

23.10.2018 Gherkin Croissant

2018-10-23 Gherkin in Croiss

Link

 

07.11.2018 Wrong soup again

2018-11-07 Soup incidence

Link

 

08. Nov. 2018 Serious labelling issues continue

2018-11-08 Label Mess1

Link

 

08.11.2018 Omelette with Mac & Cheese label:

2018-11-08 Omelette with MacCheese label

Link

 

09. Nov. 2018 “Meaty Porridge”

2018-11-09 Meaty Porridge

Link

 

22.11.2018 Duck instead of Avo Wrap for Vegetarian

2018-11-22- Duck wrap instead of Avo

Link

 

27.11.2018 Meat instead of Vegan wrap:

2018-11-27 Meat instead of Vegan wrapLink

 

29.11.2018 Wrong soup … again

2018-11-29 Wrong soup

Link

 

29.11.2018 Pret’s “Plastic Pledge” again. Even the teeth/bite marks are visible!

2018-11-29 Prosciutto Plastc0

Link

 

17.12.2018 Wrong soup … again

2018-12-17 Wrong soup again

Link

 

21.12.2018 Cockroach in Tuna Salad still alive

2018-12-22 Cockroach in salad

Link

 

… to be continued (unfortunately)

 


 

A lawsuit filed by a customer in NYC in 2016:

A New York City man is suing Pret a Manger after he a went into anaphylactic shock. He alleges that the restaurant staff served him food containing sesame after assuring him the food was free of the allergen.

The Verdict … settled out of court.

 


 

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

Interview:

 

©2019 expret.org

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

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

PRostitution Doesn’t Only Exist in the Physical

 

… it’s just a crass word for selling ones values, beliefs, integrity for money, position or power, and a safe job that can be lost the moment one finds and stands for ones own values again.

 

PRotesting Giants, PRotecting Clients, PReserving Reliance

 

dollar sign_only_poic

 

A Crash-course on the PR[et] stunt and how businesses prostitute their values and demand their staff to do the same.

 

PRet’s

PRactices in

PRocrastinating

PRoper labelling when

PResented with concerns to

PRotect people and

PReventing

PRemature deaths from

PRepared

PRoducts, taking

PRecedence by being

PReoccupied in

PRioritizing and

PReferring

PRosperity, while being

PRetentious, but not

PRoactive,

PRactical,

PRagmatic,

PRimarily

PRofessional,

PRincipled and with

PRide

PRoviding all ingredients by

PRinting labels to

PReserve and

PRolong life … is so out of

PRoportion!

 

The PRefabricated

PRemeditated and

PRedictable

PRopaganda,

PRoclaiming

PRomising and

PRofessing that “nothing is more important right now” after an Inquest

PRobing a death, public

PRostests and

PRessure from the

PRess is typical for the

PR[et] machine with

PRofits over

PRivate lives

PRoving their negligence

 

PRoblem remains: no

PRocecution, no

PRison sentence, and no

PRoposed new leadership

 

Pret A Manger

PRovokes anger,

PRevails and regains

PRominence by hiring and

PRomoting

PR firm

Headland, Tovera Consulting and former FSA Chief Tim Smith to fix the mess and repaint the facade, like colouring a rotten egg after having ignored multiple warnings.

 

PRecious lives paid the

PRice, financially

PReyed and

PRowled upon by greedy

PRicks!

 

If Public Relation is not for the sake of both, the company AND the public; if a company cannot relate to families having lost loved ones, due to the company’s negligence, going full steam ahead with business as usual, then Public Ramifications won’t fix lost Reputation.

 

PRaying for the families, especially this Christmas time.

 

©2018 expret.org

 

P.S. Mind intellectual PRoperty.

 

Word PR.Isolated on white background.3d rendered illustration.


 

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

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

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