Two forms of therapy I have come to experience as manipulative.
I have been given a disciplinary by a Pret development manager who also is a Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.
What I didn’t realize in my vulnerability and mental state after traumatic loss and being bullied in Pret by several superiors with the help of HR, that this development manager was manipulating me.
She played three roles that utterly confused me:
- Manager giving the disciplinary.
- Friend communicating with me on a personal level because she lost her brother in a very similar way I have.
- Therapist as she employed some therapy tools, partly offering, partly agreeing when I asked about how NLP works.
What I didn’t realize in my naivety, that she was not “technically” allowed to speak with me as she admitted finally six months after we started communicating. She then lied to HR investigating after my emailing restarted and blamed me for her having to lie. Of course she is safe in her job and will even be promoted, as her conduct helped HR that wanted to get rid of me since 2016 and even before.
But for sure it has put me off certain forms of therapy. My trust has been abused and broken. My naive belief that people truly care out of a pure motif is destroyed. I hope she, as well as the person who put her on my case, will one day face and understand what impact this has made on my mental health.
Yes, you as the reader from the outside looking in may think how stupid I was. And in my “former” life I would agree with you. But for me there is now a “before and after” my brother died, and anyone who has ever been deeply traumatized by loss, or any tragedy they were slammed into, and on top of that being bullied at work, will know how much you can go out of sync mentally. And when at times you add alcohol, or some people any drugs of their choice, it becomes even more blurred.
I filed a court claim but withdrew as I cannot handle a lengthily and complex court case. I declined a final and fourth offer from Pret as I am not signing my rights away.
And the more difficulties I get, the more I will speak about it.
Someone on Twitter recently published a tribunal ruling in favour of a lady who also got dismissed for writing inappropriate emails to her employers and having been diagnosed as bipolar. I am in the process of having renewed assessments myself as I want to understand why I went so out-of-sync.
The tricks and traps Pret A Manger has used to cover up the bullying, to put me under the control of managers who kept me low, all the grievance hearings that were not impartial, and finally to so disrespectfully use a development manager’s tragedy against mine is still so unbelievable to me, I wouldn’t believe it if I haven’t been through it, and having all the written evidence. I have survived and will live to keep telling my story.
Pret is known for a company with great customer service, but customers rarely know the price employees pay and how they work under fear management via the mystery shopper (I call it “misery shopper”), even to the point when they are going through bereavement or any kind of tragedy and are bullied to perform regardless.
I have received some help with counseling only after I involved Pret’s CEO who towards the end of my employment called me his “late night girl” for my late night emails to Pret. He made light of an ill behaviour I tried desperately to get away from. My illness as a result, and what they have done I will speak about for the rest of life. This is my own way to campaign for mental health and against discrimination of mentally disabled, as well people in bereavement.
Even before I filed a tribunal claim I found several court cases against Pret on the .gov website and the common thread that the grievances held by Pret HR are not impartial, like I have experienced as well.
Only with public pressure from customers or the law does Pret re-act, it’s only always a reaction:
He is right, this kind of pressure he is explaining is more than true, but I would have rather joined a union, and not go through the trouble to start one.