Pret A “Manager” got a Digital Technology Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram:

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Twitter:

Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:

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April 2021:

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

Link

Facebook:

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

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

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

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

@pret qr

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

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

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

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UPDATE 01.11.2021

THREE devices for “payment” and customers make a quick mistake in the busy, hectic, noisy environment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: 16.10.2021

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

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

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Link to article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Link


More complaints via YouTube:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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UPDATE November 2021!

As of 26th November 2021 I’m delighted to say that Pret has FINALLY blocked me on Twitter!!! As Pret shops are in shambles and countless customer complaints flood in which I keep posting on YouTube etc. they finally decided to slam the door! Muhahahahaaaa!!! 😎 🤭 🙂 🙃

And THIS is my last Tweet to Pret which made them block me! It took them 3.5 years to finally see that what I write is trouble for them! Thank you Pret!

But back to the staffing issue.

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

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

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

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

Another former staff:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pret advertises jobs as follows:

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

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

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

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

Link to Tweet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“modern slavery”

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

“Great pay and benefits 😂😂😂

🤣🤣🤣🤣never back”

etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link – Also see: Link and Link.

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020

Link to email.

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

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

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DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

.


.

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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Employee got Covid

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

I have the permission from a former Pret staff to post the following Facebook messages between them and myself. That’s what they meant by “yeah go for it”. I absolutely believe that account as I know Pret very well. Also, don’t forget that Pret did NOTHING after TWO customers died from allergen, a third narrowly survived and this was not public until the inquest into Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s death. I was a Team Leader when 2 customers died, meaning part of my responsibility and job description was health and safety! But not only were we NOT informed about fatalities, Pret didn’t even give us as much as a HINT to be more cautious and diligent with labelling, and no further training on allergen was done. Zero. Nothing. Nada. Null!

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

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

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

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

In the Facebook exchange, I leave a lot of messages out that are not relevant here, to keep it focused on issues of staff getting Covid, no cleaning, expired food etc. But they are in chronological order. I absolutely believe this former staff because I’ve seen enough carelessness when I worked at Pret, but this is now much worse which in my time I never thought possible.

Please click ctrl & + (ctrl & plus) to enlarge the screenshots for easier read, and ctrl & – to decrease again.. The blue screenshots are my writings obviously.

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The person means this Tweet from me, please click on “show more” as Twitter censors/hides my Tweets:
https://twitter.com/LateNightGirlMe/status/1417130241248665605

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

Link

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Back to and further in the FB message:

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(mild = milk)

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A customer called Pret out on this:

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Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

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

Link


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About the toasties etc. being carried over to the next day and NOT freshly made daily, as Pret claims, confirms what another current staff private messaged me on Twitter a few months ago: Pret Food is NOT Fresh

And about the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here: Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

Link

And a Tweet from just yesterday:

Link

And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat POO on food!

Link

Further in the FB message:

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Absolutely agree!

To the person on Facebook, thanks for letting me post this.

And this goes along the lines of some staff reviews I found:

Link

A recent review:

Link

Also, at the start of the pandemic, just before the first lock-down, Pret did the typical thing to play pretend to care for customer safety for show, while completely ignoring staff safety – Customer safety March 2020:

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Versus staff safety March 2020:

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And from 19th July 2021 Pret has put the following safety measures in place:

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Link (the text in the link may change as time goes on, screenshot above with my markings).

If people check Pret’s Tweets & Replies regularly, they will find customer complaints that tables, chairs etc. are NOT sanitized. And how can it be cleaned with so little staff?!

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UPDATE 01.08.2021 – It’s not only in that shop, it’s in MOST shops due to chronic under-staffing:

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Also since the UK lifted all restrictions on 19. July 2021, daily customer complaints on social media of being appalled that Pret immediately took off the counter screens, and hardly any staff wears a mask. But I can’t be bothered to screenshot any more …

Just one Tweet from a customer at the start of lock-down 2020 where it was already evident how Pret treats staff for anyone who has OPEN eyes. This is after the PR stunt of announcing NHS freebies and rebates on 18. March, and the very next morning CEO Pano Christou sent out an email to shops announcing cuts to staff. I was sent the CEO email by a staff that morning and published it. The NHS was used for PR AND as a smoke-screen to hide staff cuts.

Full CEO email here: To NHS Employees

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So, the question remains, WHY are several Pret shops closed throughout the UK? Somehow the press got wind of one outbreak in March 2021:

Link

The following video I’ve shot in Stansted airport July 2020 when ALL food shops were closed EXCEPT Pret (and essential Boots & WH Smiths). And before anyone crucifies me, I had to do essential travel as my mum was placed in a care home and then hospital (non-Covid related) after I cared for her during 1st lock-down, briefly went home and her health (dementia) deteriorated to the point the neighbours and ambulant care service couldn’t care for her at home anymore. I tried to keep her at home as long as possible flying back and forth pre-Covid and then staying for 3+ months during 1st lock-down. I was even planning to move back and care for her. But that never worked out …

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DONATIONS

I fully fund my blog and choose not to use ads

If you would like to donate, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

£10.00

.


.

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.

Pret’s Food isn’t 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 often not notified when I receive a DM request.

So, here is Pret A Manger’s psychology in using terms & slogans: “freshly made”. You can “freshly make” a sandwich with expired ingredients, mouldy cheese & stale bread. It’s “freshly made” with UN-fresh ingredients!

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.

Many of below customer complaints are not in this YouTube slide show:

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UPDATE: September 2021

Pret together with the TooGoodToGo app now SELL leftover food for cheaper price in bags for people to pick up from shops. The OLIO app still give free food while TGTG app sells it now! Even HOT food that has expired after the 2 hours shelf life is now sold that Pret wouldn’t even give for free before, due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Pret was VERY strict about this and I was reprimanded once by my Manager for giving out-of-shelf life hot food to the charity that picked up food in the evening! More detail: Pret A Manger Health and Safety Hypocricy.

So, when it comes to money, anything goes suddenly! And Pret sells expired food under the “charity” umbrella to collect money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty” while having made cuts to staff wages and benefits. Pret workers are now on minimum-wage and have to top up their pay with benefits. Pret CEO Pano Christou even has the audacity to ask his low-wage staff for donations! Pret is trying to get money at EVERY turn having installed donation devices in shops that customers mistake for payment devices and accidentally donate to Pret! Katchink!

I strongly believe Pret should get investigated on where the donations REALLY go to! More on Pret’s Foundation Trust: Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects, and WHEN they do charity events.

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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 £185 million into Pret via MCA-insight.com

Furthermore, Pret received an additional £100 million from shareholders to open 200 more shops within 3 years. Pret also received help from the UK government with the furlough scheme as well as bank loans. Of course the bank and shareholders want their money back, so the squeeze continues. And with “squeeze” I mean raising prices, lowering pay to minimum-wage (the payrise in April 2022 is just for PR as the government raises the minimum-wage), benefit and other cuts remain in place, customers get ripped-off which I explain in detail throughout my blog and on my YouTube playlist etc. etc. etc.

Yet, Pret refuse to pay rent and have multiple lawsuits from landlords in the USA on their neck reaching into the millions, some I listed here: Pret’s Lawsuits and Settlements. Instead of paying their bills and debts as best as possible, they go ahead and open more shops worldwide. Quality suffers, customers are p!ssed off, boycott and staff walk out. What do you do when you have problems at home? You go out and continue the bullsh!t elsewhere in hopes they will never know how Pret fudges up back in the homeland (as well as those countries they’re already open).

13.08.2021 mould on cheese (for this Italian style “Parmesan” cheese to get mouldy, it takes a very LONG time. This means, this cheese has been stored way beyond its expiry date or the fridge was not cooled appropriately, and understaffed shops have no time to get it fixed):

04.09.2021 mould on bread:

Link

22.11.2021 mould on newly launched Christmas sandwich:

Link

UPDATE Jan. 2022

UPDATE May 2022, 2 mouldy products from 2 different shops in 1 day:

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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.

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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UPDATE from July 2021 on:

Part of a private Facebook message with a former Pret staff who allowed me to post this on my blog. Their experience DURING the pandemic where sandwiches, products are kept over-night and expired foods are used, and to my surprise that the ready cooked factory soups that come in plastic bags now get frozen to keep them beyond their expiry dates. Their only game now is to not get caught by a surprise EHO visit:

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(mild = milk)

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A customer called Pret out on this:

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Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

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

Link


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About the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here:
Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

Link

Link

And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat droppings on food!

Link

UPDATE February 2022:

Pret London City Airport had a poor hygiene rating by a surprise EHO visit of 2 out of 5. It was mainly on pest issues and general hygiene. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More detail on this: Pret’s Hygiene Rating December 2021.

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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 or via YouTube with some “explicit” videos (you have been warned!):

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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 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 Chicken Broccoli Rice Soup

2018-12-10 Chick BrocRice Soup Nooooo

Link

Sure, no problem:


2018-10-17 Chick BrocRice Soup NEVER any chicken

17. Oct. 2018

2019-05-12 Chick BrocRice Soup

12. May 2019

2019-05-01 Chick BrocRice Soup

01. May 2019

2019-04-24 Chick BrocRice Soup

24. April 2019

2019-04-19 Chick BrocRice Soup

20. March 2019

I love this “etc” soup 😀

2019-04-13 Chick BrocRice etc Soup

13. March 2019

2019-04-11 Chick BrocRice Soup

11. March 2019

2019-04-10 Chick BrocRice Soup2

10. March 2019

2019-04-07 Chick BrocRice Soup

07. March 2019

2019-04-05 Chick BrocRice Soup

05. March 2019

2019-02-27 Chick BrocRice Soup

27. Feb. 2019

2019-02-23-chick-brocrice-soup-1.jpg

23. Feb. 2019

2019-02-20 Chick BrocRice Soup

20. Feb. 2019

2019-02-08 Chick BrocRice Soup

08. Feb. 2019

2019-01-27 Chick BrocRice Soup

27. Jan. 2019

2019-01-18 Chick BrocRice Soup

18. Jan. 2019

2019-01-15 Chick BrocRice Soup

15. Jan 2019

ALSO the 15. Jan. 2019

2019-01-15 Chick BrocRice Soup AGAIN

15. Jan. 2019

2019-01-14 Chick BrocRice Soup

14. Jan. 2019 Video

2019-01-04 Chick BrocRice Soup

04. Jan. 2019

03. Jan 2019 Disappointed …

TWO for the price of … happy new year!

2018-12-31 Chick BrocRice Soup

31. Dec. 2018

10. Dec. 2018 True disappointment…

04. Dec. 2018 A little light on the chicken

2018-11-20 Chick BrocRice Soup

20. Nov. 2018

2018-11-12 Chick BrocRice Soup Video

12. Nov. 2018 Video

2018-11-10 Chick BrocRice Soup Increase Price

01. Nov. 2018

2018-10-29 Chick BrocRice Soup Video

29. Oct. 2018 Video

Note: People with white/blue “ticks” are not patronized with “Oh no/Oh dear” responses, the rest of the customers are patronized like idiots!

2018-10-22 Chick BrocRice Soup RENAME

22. Oct. 2018

2018-10-08 Chick BrocRice Soup Video

08. Oct. 2018 Video

Jumping over a host of more Tweets and going back to 22. March 2017… and then I just stopped…

2017-03-22 Chick BrocRice Soup

22. March 2017

Not only is the Chicken Broccoli & Rice soup a see-through meal without the main ingredients, Pret adds some glass to it to make it more transparent:

2019-02-28 Chick BrocRice Soup GLASS

28. Feb. 2019

And finally, the Soup Question of the Day:

2019-01-05 Why ALWAYS Chick BrocRice Soup

05. Jan. 2019

2018-11-26 Why ALWAYS Chick BrocRice Soup2

26. Nov. 2018

2018-11-21 Why ALWAYS Chick BrocRice Soup

21. Nov. 2018

Because it has hardly any ingredients in it, making the profit margins fatty for those millionaire pockets…

Class Action Suit against Pret
settled in NYC for deceptive packaging;

A Visual of the
Misleading Wrap Packaging Size.


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.

The Best thing that happened to Pret A Manger

 

… is CEO Clive Schlee in terms of PR, marketing and presenting a well polished facade. But the CEO is not the best thing that happened to staff. Him being approachable and friendly is acting while staff suffer and are being fooled. I am a former Pret employee of 10 years and have survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement under Pret’s leadership. My interview on a podcast at the bottom of this page.

No matter how many customers died, a third nearly fatal allergy reaction, several hospitalized and multiple ignored warnings: the CEO will fix every mess with an approachable smile.

Clive Schlee labelled me his “late night girl” and I survived his “friendliness” to publicly speak about my ordeal and many other staff complaints I collected onto one page: Selected Quotes and long List of Reviews and comments on the web.

How easy it is to take a few former homeless people who are vulnerable and easy to be manipulated, taking them to Schlee’s PRivate PRoperty in Austria for a hike, or going to Stone Hedge and now giving them accommodation and a low paid job, separating them from regular shops, as quoting Schlee they don’t want to keep them “too exposed” being slow to “integrate” them into regular shops.

In the meantime regular shops are harsh places with poorly trained bullying managers who are tasked to reach high target and profit, so that Mr. Schlee can pocket his £30 Million. So, what does he compensate this poor treatment of staff with?

Yep, good deeds via charity.

I posted several blog entries on the facade that Clive Schlee like the Ronald McDonald Clown does for McDonald’s, Clive does for Pret. Clive is the good cop, shop management are the bad cops, but all have one goal, squeeze as much “productivity” out of staff to maximize profit. And in all this throw in some good works and lots of free coffees for customers (that are paid by raised prices) and the public is hypnotized and lulled in to sleep.

With all things in life where we want to believe a facade and are shocked beyond believe when the quiet neighbour next door who was always so involved in the community turns out to not be what everyone around him believed. The truth always comes to light about a company, person, system, ideology…

 

Illusion

 

Some blog posts I wrote regarding Clive Schlee:

 

Cry Me A River – Translating Crocodile TearsClive Schlee not acting on customer deaths until this became public.

The “Fallen Stars” of Pret – Regular staff have a different story behind the scenes. Yes, there are good shops and good managers as well, but I worked in over a dozen shops and have only worked with 2 maximum 3 managers who were good and “normal”. The majority is terrible management.

The Great Pret-ender (Genius of the Crowd)

Pret Poets Society Explaining the different job roles in Pret shops and reviews from those.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Another writing to Clive Schlee

 

… and some other indirect posts on the overall atmosphere behind the Pret facade.

 

2018-01-07 I Hate Pret Facebook Page2

Facebook group since 2011 that Facebook hides on behalf of paying companies like Pret

 

 

2018-05-09 PAMSU EndTheMysteryShopper

Former Pret staff who was fired for starting a Union

 

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Former IT Analyst having worked in HQ

 

17 Odd

Former Purchasing Director NYC

 

2018-11-01 Go back to UK

Former Corporate Employee NYC

 

 

2018-10-15 Staff complain in Twitter not paid HR

Link

 

 

Brutal Nightmare

YouTube comment towards the bottom

 

10 Chicago Pret horrible company to work for

A comment from a customer in Chicago who knew a deceased Pret employee

 

JavaScript required to view slideshow. May not work on mobile devices.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow can be paused

 

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

 


 

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


Interview:

 

©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


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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 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 – Present expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Digging Out an Older Blog Entry

 

As Anti-Bullying week has come to an end last Friday I remembered an older blog entry I made. I wrote the below post in May 2016 on another blog site where I mainly posted poems for/about my brother and just scratched on what I went through in Pret, without naming Pret at the time as I do now on this site. But when I was going through the mixed horror of my brother’s death added with the bullying in Pret, this particular time was like a transition period where my trauma worsened, but I didn’t realize it then.

At that time I rather felt that everything in Pret would settle for me and I could concentrate on coming to terms about my brother’s death. I always felt that my situation wasn’t dealt with properly, but I didn’t realize how much I was played and manipulated via dodgy grievance hearings. One area manager who was very slick held a grievance appeals hearing against a line manager who openly bullied me (shouting, blaming, excluding etc.) under the main catalyst who was his boss and the guidance of HR.

In the hearing she held she asked me what my “definition of bullying is”. At that time I was utterly distraught and fell for this trap to think I wasn’t bullied. In hindsight I’d answer this “question” with a question of what her definition of bullshit is! It was also the time when I applied for and received my file, but at the time I just briefly looked through it vaguely until months later when I meticulously sieved through every word on every page and went into deeper turmoil that I explain in “Not Quite a Beautiful Mind“.

Now, looking back, having been in deep darkness, confused, traumatized, holding on and trying to escape through writing, I am grateful to have given Pret the benefit of the doubt so much to be able to say, what a corrupt and toxic company behind a friendly facade and under the current leadership of Clive Schlee and HR Pret A Manger is.

 


 

May 2016 Blog post (I added the links from the old blog entry):

 

Definition of Bullying

 

Once on a school trip to the seaside of Western France, six of us girls planned to share a room in the youth hostel we were booked in. On the first night after dinner and having settled in, I found myself alone with one of the girls in the big room, while the other four girls spontaneously moved out again and into a vacant 4-bedded room together.

It didn’t take me long to understand what was happening. The girl who was “stuck” with me (or I with her) in the 6-bedded room was the typical person to not have been cool enough to share a room with. There was even talk about her already back home at a school-BBQ before the trip and how they would give her the trip of her life. She was typically uncool, by the book at that time; ginger hair, thick glasses, long front teeth, not wearing the trendiest clothes… The perfect uncool kid to be “avoided with” or not be around.

She (I’ll give her the name “Ginger”) was someone who didn’t fit into the norm, nothing more, nothing less. The usual stuff. I didn’t fit in either, not for “temperature” reasons, but because I was in a sphere of my own.

So, we just had more space and more peace. I didn’t like the situation because I wasn’t invited  by the four “cool” girls, but I didn’t mind either because I never liked this kind of group dynamic. Nothing against groups as long as they are inclusive, accepting, supportive, more than just tolerant/tolerating. But tolerance would have been the bare minimum anyone could ask for if individuals in a group have neither strength nor courage for anything beyond that.

“The soul selects her own society, then shuts the door to divine majority. Present no more.”

— Emily Dickinson
Not having been particularly “cool” myself, and not really bothered if I was or not, I didn’t care to impress a group or be intimidated by a “mob” of freezers. I tend to select my own society.

 

The first of the five or six mornings we were there, I woke up turning around in my bed towards the door. From the sun beams that were shining through the windows, I could see something shimmering on the floor in front of the bed of my room mate. I got up, went to see what it was and saw it was a puddle of fluid, it was obvious from the stench that it was urine left there close to Ginger’s bed, with her still asleep. If she would have had to get up at night for the toilet, she most certainly would have stepped into it.

I pondered over this “pond” and was just perplexed on how it got there or worse, why someone would do this and how we both didn’t wake up noticing this invasion of our dignity. We cleaned it up later, pretending something weird spilled here somehow. I don’t know, I didn’t know what to think or say. Whatever we were thinking, not sure. To this day I don’t know why I didn’t get a teacher immediately and clean it up before she woke up. Maybe I was too perplexed, offended, embarrassed… Hopefully she thought I was the target or us both together; wishful thinking on my part. She was just always very quiet. I will never know if or what she realized was going on.

I didn’t know what to do, if I should go to a teacher or ask around why someone would do this. But going to a teacher or trying to find out who the “donor” of this mess was, might have just encouraged more of this. So I left it, assuming it was a one-off, never having seen any “pranks” like this on previous school trips.

As the days of the trip went on, we took a bus ride through the region. I was sitting in the back of the bus, one or two rows in front of the group of girls, now joined by the boys, and overheard them speak about how they want to cut Ginger’s hair at night. I remember freezing in my seat and feeling my blood disappear from my head with a tingling sensation in my face, going into panic-mode. I had two seats to myself since the bus was roughly half filled, as not the whole class went on this trip but just about two dozen of us. Everyone, except for the group and some couples, would sit generously in two seats, getting a little privacy away from the shared rooms in the hostel.
My thoughts started racing on what to do, since the “pee” situation I knew they would go through with whatever they planned. They must have felt secure that I was just a dumb bystander who’s “job” it was to console Ginger in the aftermath of whatever would happen to her. As if it was some kind of calling in life for her to be bullied and my calling was to just stroke her head, comforting her, oh well poor poor Ginger, c’est la vie.

My heart and my mind went into overdrive with the dilemma of not wanting to get into trouble with the cool crew, but also not wanting to allow something disgusting like this to happen to a girl, who’s only fault it was to not fit in.

Society-selecting time again!

 

Later that day before dinner time at the hostel, I couldn’t think straight, never mentioning any of this to Ginger or anyone. I was nervous before the meal, heart pouncing, thoughts pacing back and forth when I decided to speak up. I approached the room where the group always huddled together, prayed under my breath, knocked on the door and was invited in. I went straight to the ring leader girl and said sharply (with my limbs like jelly and my heart beating to my throat!) “If anything happens to Ginger, you will be the first to regret it!”. She looked perplexed, starring at me and then around the room, and laughing with the group asked if I was insane or what!? I repeated the sentence and just left the room shaking inside. I went straight to the room of one of the teachers, telling the whole story to just get this sorted. I guess some would call me a “Drama Queen”, but bullying is not just a drama, it’s a cowardly disgrace and a shame.
The next day Ginger had her birthday, and the majority of the kids congratulated her, even if half-hearted by most, including some of the cool, “strong” and marvelous group. Nothing ever happened to the uncool girl anymore. And on the eve of our return back home, Ginger and I sat outside for a smoke while there was an improvised “Disco” going on inside for our last night of the trip.

To this day it’s just a guess if Ginger knew what was going on, or if she repressed the situation to just avoid the pain of it. We never spoke about it and she never seemed at a shock, just rather quiet and speaking about nothing really. Deep down I felt of course she knows. But my pretense might have matched hers equally, just so we can make that day. We just had a good smoke and a meaningless chat, but worth our while.

Nothing further happened as the teachers had an eye on it now, after my shivering confrontation with the group’s leader. But I meant what I said, even while shaking inside my boots. And I rather took the risk of being bullied myself, suffering the consequences, than having to watch in silence how a person is being targeted just because she didn’t fit in to whatever the majority felt was the(ir) norm, or to release the burden of their own meaningless existence.

Even with the threat of any more nightly “adventures” in our room, I slept well at nights. I’d rather be bullied or be with those who are, then being cozy with a bully.

I wondered at times throughout the years, and even now, what has become of Ginger. While writing this experience down, I looked up a digitalized photo of her with some of the bullies on the France trip. I do hope this wallflower became a bouquet, no matter if it fits into anyone’s perception of cool or beauty, but whom those bullies would not recognize today, because they are too busy and messed up in their own journey to fit in.

I never thought I would write this story down and after having scanned over a thousand photos recently into my computer from all the years of my life, even before I was born, then shredding the majority of it to get rid of clutter in my flat. I never scanned in the photos of the bullies, except when “Ginger” was on them, but just threw them away without digitalizing them. Don’t know if I’d regret it one day since even the bad stuff is part of our lives, but I have no room for those bullies on my computer. No more “beds” available.

 

Depression & Support pexels-photo-551594

 

I have not been bullied as a kid, except the typical teasing we all go through. But I cannot remember ever having been bullied as a kid in school. But I never would have imagined that I would be bullied as an adult.

What was my weakness? The thought that our lives are final on this earth? The inconvenience of my grief? That I didn’t “function” at times as expected? That I didn’t kiss anyone’s association or agenda? That I looked strong, but in reality was completely broken while on autopilot? That I spoiled someone’s perception of strength? That I reminded them of their own mortality and weakness?

In hindsight, please, someone tell me?

All I know is that I have been bullied! No more formal grievances needed. If the catalyst, the main bully is in leadership above you, you have no chance unless you have the strength to see it through. I’m sorry my brother’s death got in their way. He won’t do that again!

 

Sometimes people are bullied not because they are uncool in the perception of a mob, but because they may come across too strong. Anything that does not fit into the “norm” of the (insecure) majority might just be the perfect target. I don’t know. People in a group, in a mob do things that they would never do when alone. But unfortunately 1 single person, who is in the position of power or leadership, can influence a group who wants to please their leader/boss, and pull the carpet from under someone else’s feet.

It takes only 1 person, 1 leader to influence their sub-ordinance to either pull that carpet or provide a safe place for an individual or minority. Everything stands and falls with leadership. If a leader won’t allow bullying to happen, it won’t! If a leader closes their eyes, or worse, is the main catalyst of bullying, then God help us.

I understood this in my late teens/early 20s already, that’s why I went straight to the leader to make clear that she is responsible to set the tone of the group. But I was too scared and got backup by the teacher, the higher “leader” of the group. If telling on others is what it takes, then that’s what it takes.

It is horrendously easy to be within a group siding against one person, than to stand up within that group, reaching out against the decision of the majority and their leader for the protection and support of that one person. If we realize it or not, we constantly “select our own society”, depending on how strong we feel towards moral issues, health, justice, principles. We constantly make our choices and will choose until our last day. I have chosen wrong and right many times myself in different situations, but if I make up my mind that one person or a minority needs to be protected, especially while going through tragedy, than I hope my mind is made up regardless of the consequences. And after a while, if I manage to make it through in one piece, I sleep well at nights.

 

this question might really be asking how to avoid being made corporately responsible for those who are in the group they themself represent.

It is beyond me that a powerful group of professionals still try to protect each other without realizing how “small” I am and how simple I am reached without trickery. If we “manage” by fear, that’s all we do: fear!

All I hoped for was just for someone to not be afraid of me, for someone to just have a coffee with me asking how my day was and complain about the weather or whatever. The way my former boss “Cat” did briefly before leaving too soon. I am nobody, just broken, scared, loud, angry, nothing more to be afraid of, and nothing less to be stepped upon. I would have wished for some protection. But better late than never.

 

Now, I like to leave each day on a positive note. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with depression, other times I’m exhausted from the day, another time just chilled and content. I don’t dare to aim for happiness, I’m not there yet. But I don’t want to end a day on a negative note. And yet I still do it so often.

A dear friend recently said to me, “Forgiveness is a powerful thing”, something I did not want to hear, but know she is right. To “for – give”, to give away an experience, a painful event, letting go, is liberating. Even if or because it takes time and pain; falling, getting up, falling again, getting up again… as if I haven’t got enough pain to work through already. But bitterness won’t be the thing I will fall asleep with. And the only shimmering puddle I will wake up to is the dew of a new day, with new chances to look out for those who need a new society to lend them a hand to heal.

 

One thing I often did early on after my brother died, was to walk for hours through London, especially through the busy tourist areas I would usually avoid. There I sought and saw happy faces, little kids eating ice cream and being jolly, and when they cried it was because they didn’t get their ice cream right then and there. Very valid tears for a child; I envied the reason for their tears. And after five minutes the only thing that was crying was the melting ice cream dripping down on their chin, and life was sweet again.

There were glimpses of life in the midst of loss and blackness. I sought the smiles of kids, or the naïve curiosity of tourists, or the clumsy effort of new lovers… All I did was starring at life as it kept moving on and passing by me. There was life in the midst of trauma. At least I was an observer of it, like watching a movie passively, just “existing” without living the scenes I watched, looking for meaning, never mind a happy end. There’s none.

The Trafalgar and the Leicester Square areas and the Southbank have been my home away from home in the early weeks and months of making sense of my brother’s passing. I miss him. And I keep looking for him in my walks.

 

Life is good I want to enjoy it when it comes around.

The smile of a child; the glance of a lover; a little dog licking your face not caring if you’re happy or sad, just caring that you’re there; the courage of your boss; the neighbour’s lending hand; the shoulder of a friend …

May 2016

 


 

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.

Quote of the Day #3 – Pret A Mess

 

“- Staff can be unfriendly
– Always messing up pay
– If you’re even 2mins late, ITS A BIG ISSUE! (& you will miss out on weekly bonus)
– Expect too much from you (work you like a slave)
– Everyone speaks their own languages

– Be more understand to staff needs
– Train managers regularly (especially with confidentiality)
– Employ more staff”

 

Anonymous Reviewer – Team Member

 

StaffComplain_Jan2018

 

 

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

 

Quote of the Day #1 – Pray A Manger

 

“Get ready to lick so many a***es to advance 

Dear Lord, protect me from ever need to work for Pret a Manger ever again. Amen.
For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans.

 

Compilation: Pret A Manger Staff Complaints – UK & USA

 

 

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 unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret is Recruiting

 

… and £1000 is the carrot.

 

Note: If you see this page on white background, but prefer to read on a green background, please delete amp/ in above url and reload. On green background comments at the very bottom will be visible compared to the white background page.

Or click here: https://expret.org/2018/06/10/pret-is-recruiting

 

I write so “blunt” because I almost lost my life.

Pret minus Bridgepoint + the German JAB Holding Company + Luxembourg = No tax.

Pret has arrived in tax haven!

Forget VAT Eat in or Take Away.

As a side-note at the start, Pret became aware of my blog and website here late on the 28th to the 29th May. The CEO of Pret tweeted the below at night on the 29. May probably as a reaction to my blog? Maybe not. As I don’t believe in coincidence anymore I see tricks and traps on many a corner.

I almost lost my life working in Pret, having been bullied during bereavement and with all the tricks and traps HR dealt me with. I wasted my sweat, blood and tears for close to 10 years in this company. It is my biggest regret in life.

Pret’s slogan is “Doing the right thing naturally”. But THIS is what Pret does “naturally” behind their shiny facade: Pret Staff Complaints on various Employment Review websites and YouTube and my traumatic experience.

 

The CEO working the PR(et) machine:

 

12K vs 20K

 

It used to take 10 years of service in Pret to receive £1000. If Pret is giving all their staff £1000 it means they are desperate to recruit.

The CEO pockets £30 million, giving £1000 to each employee as Brexit is at the door and many, especially Eastern European workers return to their home countries or move on to other opportunities. Several of my ex-colleagues already told me of their plans to return home. Usually Pret gives cheap cakes to their shops when another financial milestone was reached, tasteless and over-sugared cakes that end up half-eaten, stale in the shop fridges. But this generosity means Brexit is advancing fast, new recruits are needed and my blog is a sore in their sight. Also, to announce the £1000 ahead of the deal being finalized, as usually rewards are given after a deal or a milestone has been reached, not before is nothing short of interesting.

 

When I was a Team Leader I raised standards in every shop I worked, encouraging my teams, not bullying them, helping shops to more success but never receiving any rewards. When the bullying started, or rather increased during grief adding to my trauma, I became ill. There were no appraisals where I could learn where I was strong or where I can improve, never a reward, no feedback, absolutely nothing. Only targeting, bullying and manipulation was standard. One later GM’s tactic was to hold me low while I was going through the worst time, being vulnerable. This kind of “leadership” is common in Pret. This GM, who didn’t want “the area to feel sorry for him anymore” because I was thrust in his shop in the middle of trauma, grievance hearings and under shock.

Wasting 10 years of my life on a company who are only profit and target oriented with extreme good PR in place and a smiling, approachable CEO who is fully aware of what’s going on in his company as he visits the shop floor regularly, Pret-ending everything is jolly good while fooling the public and staff.  When my brother died I was bullied and targeted on top of my traumatic bereavement by several superiors under the watchful eye of HR. Grievance hearing after grievance hearing that I raised in my traumatic state were conducted in tricky ways, not impartial.

For three years I approached HR and managers with suggestions and ideas on how to improve support for bereaved staff. I had a target on my back from the moment I approached HR informally to bring suggestions in May 2015. I was so naive. Unbeknown to me at the time, it was the beginning of the end for me. It is no wonder that hardly anyone approaches HR in this systemic and toxic work environment in society today.

Pret has become like the majority of multinational corporations mistreating their workforce. Being bullied during bereavement and all the mistreatment from superiors towards workers, Pret is moving more and more towards the jungle and swamp of  Amazon that is notorious for their brutal bullying tactics. The only difference is that Pret is excellent in PR and still relatively small in this corporate world of greed, lulling the public and staff in with sweet-talk.

In-between they throw in a £1000 carrot for each employee making them look like a lovely company to work for. Let’s look deeper!

I became ill and wrote countless emails which I explain in detail here. One of my last line managers just laughed about it with the leadership team, the CEO labeled me his “late night girl” to the Director of HR, the Head of HR tried 4 times to pay me out (peanuts) if I resign and the peak came when the gaslight really took on full swing as described below… There is no protection against the discrimination of the bereaved and mentally ill in Pret A Manger.

But the worst thing they’ve done was to “introduce” me to a development manager who supposedly had a similar loss with her brother, but our introduction was not to support me (or her), it was for her to give me a disciplinary for all my emailing (electronic communication) and then entering into secret solely electronic communication (text and email), confusing and frustrating me further that my ill emailing behaviour intensified again. This was gaslighting in a nutshell.

I was then unfairly dismissed just 5 months short of my 10 year’s service where I also would have received £1000, the development manager of course is safe in her job as she served them well. Pret went all the way in “doing the right thing naturally” again by firing me three days after Christmas 2017 while my father was in intensive care just out of a coma! Again, “doing the right thing naturally”.

When you read that all staff now receive £1000, whereas before it would take 10 years to receive £1K it shows how desperate Pret is to gain and retain staff. I was never after money and have declined 4 offers of settlement, not only because of the peanuts they offered, not even a million pounds would have done it, but I don’t prostitute my values or sign my rights away for money.

@Pret, too many people suffer, become depressed, even suicidal that someone needs to stand up and tell their story!

I was ONE, you were and are many, you have all the resources, sophistication (bottom page), manpower, money and whatever you can come up with. You still refuse to acknowledge how out of proportion this was and is. No amount of money could have fixed this.

To be entrenched in this system that you probably don’t even realize how wrong so much of how you, as a GROUP of influential professionals have acted towards ONE single person, and indeed everyone on the “front-lines” of the business, who are the ones making you all this wealth. Sure, you seem desperate to recruit now being suddenly so generous to all staff. Don’t turn too socialistic now, though, it doesn’t come across genuine!

Do you know the hope I felt when I met a person of similar loss, as my grief became so complicated, and still is? And then to just find out after a while that this was yet another trick!? Again?!! I think I have written enough for anyone to understand, if they truly take inventory of their conscience, that this absolutely crossed the line! You stepped one too many times on my dignity. And that one nailed it!

My anger I have to overcome again and hope to not get bitter and stuck. And that I still, or rather am again angry after the whirlwind of my father’s illness and death, being fired right in the middle of it. I am someone who usually goes out of my way to brag on people, encourage them and let everyone know how amazing they are. The story might have gone like: “I was bereaved traumatically and Pret really helped me”. But this I will never be able to write, and some of the support you gave AFTER I involved the CEO, that was for show and the Tribunal just to cover your backs. This missed opportunity from Pret is forever lost on your end. You did not deserve my work, my skills, my talents and my passion. You did not deserve it at all. And I certainly did not “deserve” you. I survived to speak about it openly and I will never be silent, no matter what you come up with out of your trick-box from a corrupt and discriminating HR department.

It would be good to heed this reviewers advice to management from June 2018: Fire the HR staff because a £1000 quick fix won’t do it, the reviews from Pret staff on Employment Review websites and other online platforms will continue on these lines and crack the PR(et) machine until Pret truly lives up to its slogans and words. The annual staff questionnaire Pret holds won’t help as they are tweaked at times by shop management. The truth will always come to light sooner or later.

 

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

 

 


 

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


Interview:

 

©2018 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.

 

How To Card – Dismissing Fairly

NOT like this

Neither like this

NOT like this (the hearings of this “sophisticated” company are “fundamentally flawed” as ruled by the Judge, page 9 top (or page 10 in the PDF as the document has two pages 1).

and not Like This I have plenty of my own experience of “flawed” hearings.

Anonymous Complaints

 

Late Night Girl2

 


 

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


Interview:

 

©2018 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.