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Pret A Manger Staff Complaints (UPDATED Aug. 2018)

 

I have chosen to do this public because I suffered so much and almost lost my life. I do this publicly for my own protection.

I wasted close to 10 years of my life in Pret! It is my biggest regret.

This is one major reason why there are so many complaints: Bridgepoint Capital. With the new JAB takeover, it will get even worse unless Pret radically changes their approach to the work conditions, and a £1000 fix won’t do it in the long-run, it is just an incentive to lure new workers in and retain current staff.

In the end, when nothing worked to make me resign because my grief was in the way of Pret’s business and my suggestions for improving work conditions was an inconvenience, when nothing worked (bullying, threats, file notes…) Pret used a Development Manager who also is a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner, both very dangerous tools in manipulating people, and they used it well. This development manager supposedly lost her brother similarly to how I lost mine.

I want to “let” others speak as well, complaints from even days ago on employment review websites.

But when I was bullied in Pret during the darkest time of my life while HR was aware of, even involved in it, I became suicidal and ill. I was tricked and trapped again and again by management and HR and my ill emailing out of trauma, having started to drink, I was fired while my father was in intensive care just out of a coma. This is Pret “doing the right thing naturally” as their HR department claims.

 

AudienceClub_HowToListenEffectively

 

Complaints from current and former staff members and managers, you can “blindly” click on ANY link below at RANDOM and it will read the SAME in a nutshell, at different times/years, from different positions: Discrimination, horrible, biased and incapable management, overworked, not paid for overtime, favouritism shown to own country-men etc…. Pret has extremely good PR in place and is sweet-talking their way out of this or post their “good deeds” online to cover up what really goes on behind the scenes, when customers contact Pret regarding these Staff Complaints.

 

If you want to skip this long intro, scroll down until the red writing, and below it click on any of the many staff complaints I listed from outside Employment Review websites.

 

 

In my own way to cope with this be it sarcastically or with humour, I take a complaint from below’s list and put them daily as “Quotes of the Day” on my blog and collect them HERE, to stress the point how toxic Pret’s work environment is, and how it is hurting people.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews. In my 10 years in Pret I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 were decent, fair and caring, not to mention hard working. The majority I worked with are immature, discriminating, bullying, insecure, complacent and oftentimes incapable due to lack of training.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

 

One quote from a former barista in Pret NYC mentions that every shop they have worked in, it is the same story re: bad management, favouritism etc. And it really is, also in London, UK: “I worked in 4 different shops and the song and dance was the same in each one.”

Another review also from NY: “Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company …” And I can verify this even in London, and I have worked with more than a dozen managers! Only 2 of them were exceptional and good, but it is the sad exception even now in 2018 as my experience and the below reviews show.

 

You can click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

And on the subject of missing pay and overtime not being paid as I have experienced as well in 10 years countless times that I had to chase missing pay from managers. This was draining and a job in itself.

Pret staff in the UK and elsewhere should do the same as Pret staff in the USA have done, go to court to reclaim missing pay: Pret A Manger settles overtime wage claims of 4000 employees!

 

I left all the mistakes in the below reviews to keep it in their own words.

 

This is for my former colleagues with whom I worked shoulder to shoulder for almost 10 years.
I miss you guys, and this is from and for you!

 

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Some of the most direct reviews: 

 

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.

 

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“Horrible place they shout at you all the time for any little mistake. … push you to be more and more quickly treat you like a robot not a human being … Dumb and bossy staff members….” NEW review from 27. June 2018

 

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NEW review on YouTube towards the bottom beginning of July 2018 from RPQ who now changed the name to Branzinotito, quote:
“I used to work for Pret. What a truly brutal nightmare is was. Horrible company.”

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply2

Same comment, new name:

2018-07-24 RPQ now Branzinotito comment on James Hoffmann video

 

My initial comments to James Hoffmann’s video and his response, which are still not released but only visible when I am logged in to my YT account. I wrote an Open Letter to James Hoffmann because my comments weren’t visible, otherwise I wouldn’t have written one. He still hasn’t responded and just briefly recognized it via Twitter, as I have a hunch that he might have contacted or has been contacted by Pret who may have sweet-talked their way out of this again, as “PR”et is very efficient for the outside facade:

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply1a

 

 

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Unfairly dismissed Worker was unfairly dismissed, became homeless, lost his relationship, slept in his car for a few weeks. 

 

Unfairly dismissed Flawed HR Hearings and Appeal’s Hearings.

 

Dismissed for starting a Union.

 

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A review regarding Pret’s Head Office from a former IT ANALYST!

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

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

 

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A review from a former Purchasing Director in Pret NYC.

One of the oddest work experiences. Worked their during a transition period – so company going in one direction and then the opposite.

2017-02-28 NYC ODD A Manger

 

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Quote Pret #20 Terrible Company

Quote: “Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company…”

This, dear New York Employee, is because like you already mentioned that there is no training in leadership and employee relations. I have had over a dozen managers, and even more managers I’ve worked with when I helped out in other branches for a few days. In my 10 years in Pret there were only 2 of them that had people and leadership skills, one of which is this wonderful person, who’s also proven that a manager can be nice, hard working and still be really successful, as she was often at the top (#1, 2 etc.) out of all the shops.
Also, Pret pays a little more than the competition and gives incentives, more holiday, bits and pieces here and there, because if they won’t give more they would have no one wanting to work in Pret as Pret is just way too stressful and hard work. To me, the hard work was not so much the issue, the issue was the UNNECESSARY bullshit = bullying and discrimination. And for Pret to dare bully me while I was going through extreme trauma with the loss of my brother and all the tricks and traps I could not clearly see until later, you bet I will speak about this openly no matter what they come up with next.

 

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A former Manager’s review:

“I am an ex GM [General Manager] … I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs [Team Members] to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.”

12 Blogger dot comCROP

Source, scrolling down to the comments.

 

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James Ashword video comment by Hailey Hyein Lee

From YouTube ca. February 2018

 

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Perat A Manger London video comment by Budai Andrea

— and —

Perat A Manger London video comment by justineyouloulou

— and —

Perat A Manger London video comment by Logic 2000

From YouTube 2008 this was before Pret became increasingly and intensely bullying But it has always been difficult, but since the 2008 Bridgepoint takeover, it became more systemic bullying as Pret was tasked and pressured to open more and more shops fast on almost every corner in London at least. I won’t point out who, but in the video is one person I later worked with, who became a GM later (I worked with them when they were AM) and is one of the rare people/GMs being good to their TMs.

 

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The idea of proper training is also rediculousMost people are taken in under promises (including being a front of house or kitchen person but then dumped where they are needed and not where they were promised) but find that often by day 2 or 3 are thrown on a bench on their own in the kitchen and nagged at due to not being fast enough and expected to reach TM* productivity levels within the first few weeks with hardly any proper training.”

Throughout all my time in Pret I have mentioned the lack of training again and again and again and did my utmost best to train my teams even though many of my managers tried to stop me because I was investing time in my teams, but managers wanted me and teams to just be busy on the tills and in the kitchen… Training hardly exists in Pret. Development Managers are just doing their 9-5, Mon – Fri job, not being bothered if what they train is even implemented in the shops! There is a huge chasm between HQ and shops, no matter how much “PR”et is trying to convince otherwise!

 

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“I’ve learned a Lot!…” “Cons: In Spite of the wonderful Pros of this company, Your subjected to emotional blackmail and serious labor issues with Most shops being run by Unprofessional and Bias Managerial staff backed by a corrupted HR Dept. Advice to Management: The Core Values you instill in your Employees are Virtuous , And is the the secret to your success!…..On the Contrary, I strongly suggest a Labor Union! so employees that are treated unfair have a platform for their voice to be heard without resentment or the sinuous backlash from your Inadequate Managerial staff & Flout HR Dept.!!!! who support them.”

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Pret A Manger Logo “If you want to work in a happy enviroment without being bullied then whatever you do DON’T work for Pret”Being made to feel incompetent. Worked into the ground without empathy. Managers treat staff like idiots. The image of the happy enviroment is a joke. It would be good for the BBC or Dispatches to go under cover and work in a shop for a week to show the world what really goes on behind the scenes.” – Welcome to the Club and my website! You are not even safe when you grief the loss of a brother!

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“fire the HR staff”

and replace them with more educating indiviuals and ones that dont discriminate … Nothing but aggravation and a discriminating HR” <– (This review is as recent as 12. June 2018! I have my own extensive experience with the Pret HR dept. as the Head of HR said that I “Exhausted the HR department”. Sorry about that @ Head of HR, but as a Tribunal Judge already ruled that your hearings are “fundamentally flawed” I can more than verify this after raising grievance after grievance that were NOT conducted fairly and impartially).

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First review 4 months before this review underneath. 

“Interesting comments. My husband now works for pret and is being treated so badly by his area manager. I am astounded that they can get away with it. It seemed like such a nice place to work but it’s like some kind of sect… ”

My response: they get away with it because it is systemic and they are trained to treat staff like this, for more and more profit.

— 4 months later: —

“Further to my previous comment [scrolling up above this review] about my husband having problems with his area manager. They stitched him up good and proper and fired him…this was done in such a way that they found a couple of things to hang him on which wouldn’t normally result in him being sacked. They clearly did all of this because he was going to put in a grievance against his area manager for bullying (he was talked out of this and thought it had all smoothed over) and then wham! The company disgusts me – how they could treat an employee with a wife and 2 small children like that I don’t know. The management of this company are pure evil.”

 

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Response to above review:

“Regarding the area manager, yeah they just sit on their fat bums all day, and email on their phones or look at stupid graphs. End of the day its about increasing sales, meeting targets and reducing labour. They will always cover there own backs first, to watch there bonuses, and not care about the workers.

Alot of managers i have met, are complete arrogant snobs, that know nothing about even running a store, yet alone trying to explain things to you, they sit on there high throne, and blah blah blah things.”

 

pexels-photo-262218

 

“Please get the bullies out” “Forced to work without pay, … bullying tactics used by Heads, unfair salaries, descrimination …

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“I want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE!” … “I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.

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Pret doesn’t care about workers. The most important is business, profits. That’s why they cut working hours and made you work harder.”

 

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“Hellhole … you treat people like they’re useless and worthlessget down from that high horse you’re on”

 

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“Poor … Lack of defined management, finger-pointing, politics and poor organisation.”

Poorly trained management Too much dependency on skillful employees.”

“Squandered opportunities” “Poor management, broken promises, stressful work environment.”

“”rude behaviour at the workplace (kitchen manager shouting at everybody)”

“Pure Misery … kitchen staff is treated like slavesThe upper management is a bunch of heartless

“Overworked and Aweful Managers everyone complains how much they hate this job”

“If you want to follow the company standards, you need to have enough labor. Do not kill your employees.”

“Workers are slave Very bad management. They treat you like a slave. You have zero value for them. They don’t recognize your effort

extremely rude co workers, unprofessional management, not properly trained however expected to know what you’re doing and smile while doing it.

Would not recommend … Managers do not care about they team. Never get 2 days off in a row. Practice favoritism”

“Hell job for minimum salary.”

Bad management who talk to staff rudely, and yet don’t do their jobs properly

“even when you are having a bad day you must smile” Not just on a bad day, even during traumatic bereavement!

do not give power to irresponsible people

“Stressful and dominating … Supervisors/Team Leaders treat you like a slave”

“It’s a trap” “listen to your employees. Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

“Head Office” “People are taken into account only if it makes a good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.

“Manager- horrible upper management, unrealistic goals, promotions based on politics.”Favoritism with managementNo integrityA lot of show and dance for support center and president/ceo.

“The brainwash is real”The coffee calling system is broken. During busy times it is nearly impossible to keep up with the orders without hating everyone around you. managers/team leaders are not properly trained when it comes to simple communication. Especially towards female staff members. A lot of people cry in the staff room especially in their entry period. Advice to Management: Get some proper training regarding real people skills.” (Absolutely true!)

“Bad jobs for sometimes good people” “Advice to Management: Good luck with Brexit!” … (Well, that’s why this is happening: Pret is giving £1000 to each employee now)

“… Team Leader … Every shop has less people than required as this affects shops profitability” True about the Mystery Shopper! But even if you do well with the Misery Shopper (yes MISERY Shopper!) as I did again and again for years, I never gotten rewarded other than the usual bonus, even during bereavement doing really well, no mention. But the moment a few points are lost, hell breaks loose!

“Managementhas no clue how to manage people

“Very demanding … Nothing you do there is appreciated “… Horrible atmosphere and you feel too much pressure all the time. Advice to Management: Please treat employees as humans not as robots! It seems like you enjoy making people unhappy.

“Not kitchen, food factory” “Not everybody has to be a leader who works long enough for Pret and shouts loud enough. Management should assess the personality, the leadership skills and the interpersonal skills before making someone a leader.” 

“Horrible training, too many lies” “Training sucks, people are treated like crap. Upper management do not care about you, will never recommend this company. Bottom line as a British company they treat employees as machines, they don’t care about how they feel, expect too much for too little. Horrible environment. Advice to Management: Treat people with respect and appreciate their hard work. Stop using your British mentality when it comes to deal with people. You’re people are horrible at this.

 

Robot sad crop

 

“Toxic, low class, unprofessional culture … upper management and hr are fully aware of but ignore. … Terrible management training program” really unprofessional and have very low management skills.

“Advice to Management: Treat people like human beings“”

“Worst place..” “Advice to Management: Absolutely less stress and please cut the roles because looks to work like slaves. Terrible experience.”

“Worst first day experience” “Pros: Nothing at all….. Not even a 0.0005 star. …Lies about family team vibes… They don’t recruit you for your work ethic…”

“Slavery hasn’t been abolished!”

“Most of the managers are really difficult, they forgot where they come from”, please treat the people as human beings, We know the profit and your career are important but you don’t have to be rude.”

“Worst company to work for”managers are always working with fear … Advice to Management: Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.” (And I thought I was tough with my critique!)

Very hard work … No support and respect from Manager

“The worst job I’ve had in London” “the good payment is not enough for getting worse my health (my back and my heart). l am with anxiety all the time, working in a tiny kitchen in a HORRIBLE atmosphere!!” (Yes, I was bullied during bereavement and tricked and trapped via HR, high five!)

I have asked for several transfers to other shops due to management. Either a manager was extremely “lazy”, un-supportive, but gave the team a hard time when things didn’t go well, or another manager was like a tyrant, constantly threatening the team & individuals with & giving file notes for the smallest things. Ops Managers either aren’t aware of it, mostly being concerned with mystery shopper results for their own bonuses or not bothering about how the team is “motivated”.”

 

“You are of course right, hiring happy people is only a part of the solution. If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently).”

My response: I lost my brother and in my bereavement was NOT asked “gently” what’s up, I was bullied, targeted, tricked and trapped by Pret’s HR dept. to get me out and ultimately fired while my father was in intensive care, just out of a coma. So, here I am again having survived to tell my story as “gently” as possible collecting all these reviews from other sites.

 

pexels-photo-278303

 

Pret A M*ffin “…team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear … listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt

Pret A Robot “People are treated inhuman way in terms of sickness and work load. Employees are being treated more like robots than human beings

Pret A JokeYou have a limited time to do your job everyday but this time limit is a joke. they give me the next rota just the day before the week starts.

Pret A Nothingdidn’t learn nothing as i have things to give to that shop as i came with lots of experience and skills.

Red A Manager “their [managers] personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

Pret A Unhappy If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently)”

Trap A Manger “It’s a trap! … Huge stress. Never stops.Shouting all around. … Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

Pret A Unpaid “Very unfair company”

Pret A ScreamOne of the things that I absolutely hated about working at pret, was the fact that management wanted you to act like you were having fun and smile at all times.

Pret A Managerthe staff are great the guys who do the real work. The management suck

Pret A No RespetarLos managers son penosos“, “un horror!!” “desastrosa” and “todo… no tiempo libre, no respeto..”

“When the job takes over your life”

“Too much pressure and managers with poor interpersonal skills. … Advise to Management: Respect your team…”

“Brainwashed sandwich making”

“Fun but stressful, not worht it”

“Busy job”

“pret a manger”

“… hot chef…” (Hot Chef in Pret shops is the hardest job!)

“barista”

“Too Much Pressure”

“Really working at Pret” (“Advice to Management: quit”)

“Team Leader”

“Sometimes long shifts due to lack of people. Advise to management: take care of workers.”

“too much work. Poor leadership

“Minimum Salary for everyday smiling”

My response: Yes, even smiling while going through trauma, dare you not smile when you just lost a loved one!

 

emoji-happy-thumbs-upSIDE Down

 

“Good but not perfect”management should do their jobs

“Never ever!” I hate all manager…”

NOTE: I don’t agree with the racism here! But the trend of complaints about management and leadership should be clear.

“Hot Chef Advice to Management: Be human. It’s not your own business.”

My response: That’s what I said once to a line manager who told us leaders that if we don’t like it in “his” shop to f*** off, I replied that he is also only employed by Pret, he does not own “his” shop!

“Brain wash, Control, Never stop…” “Cons: Aggressive and mortify management, brainwashing, mobbing, after working hours NON PAID, if you don’t finish YOUR DUTIES you stay after the working hours non paid… Advice to Management: Respect people that work hard! Don’t exploit them!”

“Assistant Manager Respect yourself don’t let managers to overload you.”

My response: easily said when they immediately threaten with Note of Concerns, disciplinary and job security!

“…also has a motto: FIFO or Fit In or Fu*k Off. I always got the impression that Pret was actually a free-thinking company…but perhaps they are becoming too large too and need to do the conforming thing.

 

silhouette-2480321__340

 

“high rated company”

“Pret A Manger Reality”

“Ok job…” (“Atmosphere was horrible at times. … Don’t overload your staff.”)

“Good jobs for good people” (“Look after your people and figures will look after themselves.”) Amen!!

“Will be leaving soon”

“Overworked environment”

“Not much training” True! I had to train myself most of the time.

“It was fine” “… lots of micromanaging”

“Favouratism”

“Barista” another

“Team Member”

“Cliquey environment…”

“Good jobs for idiots”

“Bad experience” “Treat your employees with respect. Be polite .”

“Team Leader” another TL

“TMT”

“Not for British”

“Barista” again “Advise to Management: Train your internal managers better”

“Cool”

“Not for me” “Advise to Management: Don’t be so brainwashed and scared.”

“Not the best place to work”

“Good jobs for part time” “lazy managers high demanding ops”

“Overworked, High expectations, No recognition” “Manager at my shop treated everyone really poorly. Expect you to stay longer to complete your job for free when not enough time is given. Constantly missing hours from extra shifts taken. Have to ask every week to see if they have repaid those hours and in some cases takes months to chase back.”

“I regret working there (don’t go)” “Team Leader who was working with me during the weekends (I was a part timer) was very rude to me , calling me stupid etc. … And I also ”love” how the company itself tries so hard to create this friendly enviroment for the employers by putting these sweet posters around etc. etc. when in reality it is very miserable and stressfull place to work for ! … People working in your company are not robots with smiles on their faces 24/7 !!!”

“Well, unfortunately my post about the harsh treatment at Pret has been removed minutes after appearing here. Censorship. Will find another way to post on the web.”

“yay oy”

“Diverse place”

“place for foreigners young people”

“Good progression tree…” “Management bonuses are profit driven so hours are cut often… I would recommend joining a union”

“Team Leader” “Listen to your team” Absolutely!

Pret a Manger “leader use to shout people.”

“Very average”

“Barista-role part time … There are no appointed qualified trainers there like you promise beforehand, why say it then?”

“Horrible Experience”

“Some of the management are rude or never show up … They always make mistakes like ‘adjust the rota’ resulting in me not being able to work …”

“Disappointing”

“Barista” another one

“My Experience” “Put same manager know how to organize the team and what you have to do”

“Team Member” “Managers are pain”

“very bad team” “manager was very bad he was all day on face book in his office”

“Less than 1 year…”

“No sick pay…”

“Disappointed” another

“Not a good company to work for…”

“Good first job … as foreigner” “Often happen to work “unpaid” overtime to finish daily duties … Limited progression career if you’re not in the state of grace of the Head of your working Area … In many cases I’ve weighed up a big incompetence and lack of skills between Team Leader and Assistant Manager’s position.”

“too much expectations” “management is a joke. numbers are more important than people”

“Eh” “The management is terrible.”

“Demanding. Can be fun” “High demands not in line with pay, lack of support, inconsistent training, stressful/poor work life balance”

“horrible management, super biased” “super biased managers most of the girls in my store are from the same place even the assistant manager and FOH so they tend to group together against people they don’t like even if they don’t know them. … make sure the store isn’t just a bunch of biased friends that if you aren’t part of their group they’ll make your life hell”

“Horrible experience” “Lack of communication b/t managers and staff. – Immature workers – Slave-like environment – Biased behavior – Too strict on simple task. Advice to Management: Work on communication and stop treating co-workers like robots.”

“Team Member” “my location had a rude manager who cleaned up her act after I tried relocating. There is no HR, just a recruitment team who will give you phone numbers to where you wanna go. Overworked for sure; management expects perfection for their weekly shopper. You’ll be running from the basement to the first floor, between tons of customers, and up to the second … ”

 

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The one thing that did frustrate me and ultimately caused me to leave was the way it dealt with the enthusiasm troughs. In fairness to Pret, I left 8 years ago; so this may have improved since but in my experience the company was not good at dealing with people’s frustrations. There was a strong message for people who were frustrated with something and couldn’t get it resolved – leave! I saw a number of people become shunned and passed over if they had feedback which wasn’t entirely positive. Often people left disgruntled having started out as the desirable happy employees. I suppose in someways it was a useful self selection process – when I became frustrated with a few things and felt threatened that my feedback would fall on highly judgemental ears I knew it was time to leave – leaving the happy people behind me. ”

My response to this review: This person left in 2008 out of frustration, I started in Pret in 2008 and can only say in all fairness to Pret, that it gotten worse.

 

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unskilled managers, racism, bad pay, they take advantage of staff”

“Great company, but will take advantage” “Rude young team members and too many managers in 1 store. Advice to Management: Cut back on all the chiefs we need more indians” – My speech for 10 years!

“Come to your shop at weekends from time to time to see how it’s look like when it’s understaffed”

“Team Member” “Multiple Supervisor – Confusing Leadership … Lack of leadership … Add some structure & look for ways to encourage workers to work hard and have fun without risking their jobs”

“General Manager” “Very racist upper management. They make you work 60 hours per week and they don’t pay you for it (just basic salary). They don’t appreciate your work no matter how good you are. Tendency to promote british managers than american ones. Advice to Management: Open your mind towards american managers. stop racism that is happening to workers. Get involved with the employees and don’t let the operational managers act as they own the people.”

“Takes advantage of your kindness”

“cashier / hot chef” “Some managers are very anal! The customer is more important then workers. Advice to Management: Listen to your employers suggestions!!” – (I think they meant “employees”)

“Advice to Management: Be kinder to your employees they are not slaves.”

“The management plays favorites more often than not”

“Great things preacherd, not always practiced” ” If you are a Pret Person, quirky, and in with the right crowd, you’re golden. If not….good luck. Pompous and thinks too highly of itself.”

“Pret Graveyard shift” “Terrible hours and poor management and training some people…”

“over worked” “hours are constantly changing … team members are constantly training themselfs”

“management talks to you with little respect.”

“Pressure is crazy especially if you work in the kitchen. … Paperwork is excessive at times. Advice to Management: Reward those who work hard for you and give them a raise. Catch them doing the right thing and praise, and dont just discipline the bad”

“team member” “stressful environment, too many people trying to overpower others. Advice to Management: think like a team member and your key roles to understand success of the team”

“just terrible”Discriminatory management. Unprofessional atmosphere … Abusive staff. Don’t just promote the people that you like, promote the people that are the most qualified.”

“working at pret”Lack of accountability … poor management.” (Absolutely!!!)

“Long hours, unrealistic expectations…”Unrealistic targets, little support, long hours. Advice to Management: Stop changing everything all the time with poor execution

“Terrible experience…” “Cons: Pretty much everything is a con: -lots of stress -under payed -long hours/ short brakes -terrible management -really unflexible schedule.”

“Spoiled, selfish upper management…” “upper management thinks they are better than everyone else. They spend (waste) lots of money on dinners for themselves and “leadership conferences” that are really just excuses to party in Orlando or Vegas. “Business” trips to Boston and Chicago are really expensed vacations for their families. The Brits have taken over NYC. Pret has brought over many managers and leaders form the UK and ‘beheaded’ many of the US employees who built the brand to make room for them. Advice to Management:get over yourselves.”

I will shorten the comments now as this is never ending… Links can just be clicked and read….

Pret A Manger Logo “Horrible,OverWorked For The Pay,Bad Management And Bad Treatment Felt Like A Slave.” “Fix Your Attitude care about your employees dont over do the staff be reasonable be fair try everybody equally and so on such a bad experience.”

DISCRIMINATION of [in] PRET A MANGER!!!!!!!!!!?”

Retrain management

Horible management

They expect perfection

Politics

They hire if you don’t know the language (That’s true, because that way you won’ t be able to complain or know your rights).

Horrible management … expecting perfection

Biased management

Listen to your employees, some have great potential that needs to be channeled not blocked

Heavy workload, borderline demeaning, discrimination.

Hard hard working culture, to much pressure to be working 100% every sec.

Careless

most of your employees don’t look forward to working there because you are staring them down every second

Poor senior leadership due to lack of experience and diversity. Promotion and staff recognition based on personal favourites

Management is very incompetent. It is clear they have little to know training and have absolutely no training or experience in employee relations

Interior is very clumsy, depressing sometime.

Other review site “Indeed”

Avoid working there

Terrible

Unorganized management

Good benefits, poor management

You will lose everything that makes you human

Very little positive feedback

Rude lower management

Could be more human

Kitchen managers tend to pressure employees excessively

You get to know many different people but nobody really stands for the job.

Very stressful

Everything revolves around achieving the weekly bonus

Poor and terribel mangement

to meet MS standards you have to cheat, ops manager should spend some time with team members (No, they are too busy sitting in the pub during lunch time rush and flying to Dubai to party “their” hard work)

Forced happiness (even during traumatic bereavement!)

When they don’t need you, they make so many displinary needed for you left the job.

Bad Management

I assume this is a complaint with the 1 star 😉

Very disappointed … they never praised me

What the head office ask to us is more than 100% perfomance.

The culture overall was a very rude tone

unfortunate tradition on keeping a dynasty of friends in power while others that don’t make it into the friendly circle will perish.

manager was very rude to another member of staff in front of the rest of us which was very unprofessional

The management of the company seems to have no principle based.

Pret is now too productive and cost minimising company. Labour cost is the key, then customer satisfaction.

many Shop Manager they were very rude and unprofessional

Good company but bad management … You have thousand of standards to respect, but it’s impossible to finish on time NO, when the majority of managers are bad management, then it is a bad company! “The fish stinks from its head” as the saying goes.

Apply there, work for few months and run away a soon as you can.Managment and somemembers of staff were extremely rude and patronising, was often a lot of eye rolling and sighs (Bullying environment)

Crazy management , promoting people from their homeland only . overworking staffs

Harsh Environment. HR problems, employee is treated really badly

I felt like I was being patronised the entire time I was there.

Excessive control. Stress.

Little training was just pushed at the deep end as soon as I started the job

Micromanagement, too many rules

Not fun at all due to management approach

Robots

Fake people, cheat

for every shop the job was done by, let say 20 people. now it is done by 10

Managers treats you like poorly. they are racist and discriminating. if you want to get promotion you have to sleep with someone and kiss manager bum.

Management is trying to squeeze you like a lemon, there is no time to catch a breath, no weekends off, not even 2 days off together.

 

———————————————————————–

 

My own review with a former Senior Manager’s response to my review.

 

———————————————————————–

 

….. and so on.

 

———————————————————————–

In an Imaginary but Honest Interview with Pret I made up the acronym of what Pret stands for: PRET is a four letter F-Word spelled F E A R which stands for: Fire Early At Request. Or one can say Fret.

@Pret, at any company, please treat your people right, as a team leader I have shown you that when you treat your team right, you will still be successful and the money comes in and the team feels truly respected. You don’t want people like me who raise the standard while still treating the team good. I was too loud for you, and yet, if you would have protected me in the darkest time instead of continuing to put me under suppressive management, I would be writing a completely different blog now.

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Night Girl2

Julie Miller for my Hero Section

 

In about 1991 I came across a musician whose voice first had me listen-up because it was so high pitched, but warm, just warm.

My English was basic then, like “Hello, how do you do?” … “Thank you, I am doing fine, how do you do?” … “Oh well, I am doing fine, and you?” … “Oh, just fine, thank you…”

That was about the English I did do.

Julie Miller’s English wasn’t Oxford stuff, it was heart stuff, and with my little bittle English, I understood her stuff.

Her first album, “Meet Julie Miller” now sells overpriced on whateverbay … I am a proud owner of this vinyl, even though it wasn’t her first album, but it is rare treasure.

Buddy Miller calls his wife’s work one of his favourite writings.

In my clumsy English in the 1990’s, all I understood when I listened to her poetry was that I wish I could write like her. Simple, to the point poetry.

Julie who spoke about the abuse by her father, surviving hell and who lives to speak and sing about it, she has been scarce due to health reasons. But with Buddy rocking around, she has a place in my life like no other artist, poet and musician will ever have.

I saw her live a few times in the 90s, met her briefly backstage. I am glad she is still rocking, even if scarcely with her husband Buddy.

Good to see this lady rocker, musician, poet and hero in her own right, whom just so very few know about.

No musician, poet, artist can topple this lady off my chart.

I’d pay an arm and a leg to hear her live once more, but I know I’m daydreaming.

 

Meet Julie Miller:

 

 

 

Original 1993

 

 

The Listening Place for the Hero Section

 

This charity does what it says on the tin!

I was one of the first when they started, maybe a first? But they took me in when I didn’t care where I was going. I was just ready to go.

Sarah Anderson, now the CEO was incredibly patient. My regards to my volunteer P. with his mentor M12, thank you!

The Listening Place offer more than just a phone call to an anonymous “Jo” at the other end of the line of the Samaritans.

If you feel like life is just gone for you, give them a go, they care. They really care.

http://listeningplace.org.uk/

The Listening Place well deserved award, well deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lidl Disaster

Boycott_clipartvisionDOTcom

So, being from Germany, knowing the brand as well as Aldi for its low price, yet good quality groceries, I used to be (emphasis “used to be”) a loyal customer at one particular Lidl branch in my area since having moved to the area in 2006. Until yesterday when I became an involuntary Mystery Shopper!

I was always impressed with the team there who worked for at least 8 – 10 years as a solid team in the same branch. I never had issues with Lidl or with this particular branch.

I boycotted Lidl in 2008 for more than a year because of the scandal in Germany which partly came to light by undercover investigative journalists, but in which Lidl UK seemed to not have been affected, as I often chatted with my local Lidl store team. They seemed genuinely happy. But I boycotted Lidl nevertheless as I have a deep dislike for companies mistreating their staff who make all this wealth happen. I shopped in other places until this was changed.

I cannot find an English video about this on YouTube, but have only found a German report from March 2018 on YouTube reviewing the “spying” method from Lidl towards their employees, where staff was spied on how many times they went to the toilet, with whom they have a romantic relationship, who has financial troubles etc. Maybe I will translate this into English.

But since recently there seems to be this ever reoccurring trend of the usual greed and disregard for employees as well as customers.

When I shopped at Lidl I always went there to do “bulk” purchases like foods that have a long shelf life, cans of tomatoes, corn, sardines etc., cleaning products, oils, vinegar, crispy breads and so on. Fresh things like milk and eggs I get from a local store even if it costs a few more pennies. Fruit and veg I always buy at my local market for three reasons: I can pick and choose individually and am not forced to buy in plastic packaging of 5 or 6 when I only want 2 grape fruits for example; it is much cheaper than in supermarkets; and I always have a little chat with the market folk whom you get to know throughout the years. There isn’t a lot of “staff turnover” as in big businesses. It’s just an old school local vibe that is being pushed out too much by the big guns.

So, buying in bulks at Lidl, I usually go there only once every 6 to 8 weeks stocking up. I need to say that I “hate” shopping! I am not your usual female who loves to stroll through the aisles with a basket, ending up with a trolley full of things I don’t need nor want! I am any business’ nightmare, you can’t draw a penny out of me if I don’t want to spend it! I know what I want, I hover over the shop floor, blindly aiming for what I need and out the store I go …

But on Friday and yesterday I went two consecutive days to Lidl, once to buy some things for a BBQ on Friday, and then because I forgot something returning yesterday. I have noticed a few weeks ago already that since this particular Lidl (as many others, I’m sure) has installed self checkout tills, they cut their staff at the tills and in the stores. I used to see a lot of staff mingling about the shop including the manager (as I knew the solid long-term team there). The tills were often manned appropriately, the shop floor was well looked after, when I was looking for an item I quickly found a member of staff pointing me to the right direction.

But since they changed the team, installed self check-out tills and cut their staff, the store now looks like someone rampaged through it. At the till I was queuing up the staff member informed me that I would be the last person he’ll be serving to which I said that he is only one serving and that they need more people. He just shrugged as if it wasn’t his concern. A lady with a basket started queuing behind me and she was informed that the till is now closed after me. She just put her basket on the floor and left annoyed. Understandably. She took a brochure before she left, probably to complain.

These photos I made yesterday 18. Aug. 2018 while waiting in the long queue where only 1 staff member was on the till with another long queue by the self check-out. I walked around a bit, made these photos and these are just from the front of the store, I didn’t bother going to the back anymore. But it was like this on Friday as well and weeks before when I started to notice the change. I have never ever seen anything like this anywhere in the world in any supermarket or store! This is worse than a toddlers bedroom after playing, or a flee market:

IMG_20180818_193312

Mixed foods randomly left behind

IMG_20180818_193323

A package of RAW chicken in the basket that has been standing there God knows how long out of refrigeration! Good luck if they put it back into the fridge for the customer to get food poisoning! I remember now that on Friday I pointed out to a lady at the till who bought two whole chickens, that one chicken packaging was bloated, and bloating packaging is a sign that the product may be off. But the staff member on the till said that the date is still good. So, I left it with that. But NOW I realize that this chicken MAY HAVE been left outside for a long time in room temperature like so much of the other foods I saw, and then returned to the fridge!!! Oh boy!!!

Don’t worry, I have already informed Lidl HQ last night before even writing here today on my blog! I might go later to check if this Lidl is still open today and tomorrow. If so, well I’m sure the press would love to write something as people may get dangerous food poisoning.

IMG_20180818_193330

Three till areas full of “junk”, foods, yogurt, I saw salad, cheese, orange juice, meats… out of refrigeration!

IMG_20180818_193342

These tills are visibly closed but full of stuff. Even the till where I was served at had salad, cheese, a pair of children sandals on top of the chewing gum area and all kinds of other mixed up items… I mentioned this to the cashier and he just blamed customers for leaving it there!

IMG_20180818_193345

Another closed till. Altogether this particular Lidl has 5 tills that can be manned, but had only 1 staff member, plus 5 or 6 self check-out tills that were all busy with customers doing the work themselves and a long queue!

What was really weird yesterday after I took the photos, maybe I was observed on the CCTV because an automated voice gave several orders over the speaker phone. The first one was “A staff member please to till number 6” … I looked, but there is no till 6!! There is only 1 to 5 plus self check-out. A few minutes later another message said “Staff member please to till 1”. Okay, maybe they’ll open till 1 now, I thought. But nothing happened. And then the last message “Staff member please to till number 4.” But this was the till that was already manned by the indifferent staff member and in which line I was queuing!! So, I wasn’t sure if this was some kind of code to bring attention to me making photos. Not sure, but it was way way weird!

IMG_20180818_193358

More abandoned baskets on the floor with mixed foods, some which needed to be refrigerated.

IMG_20180818_193404

In need of some TLC! Chocolate, a glove thing, an electric thing on the right, crisps? Buisquit? and next to it more mess…

IMG_20180818_193415

Flowers, children’s shoes, eggs, beer, bleach, toilet paper, plastic wrap on the floor…

IMG_20180818_193437

“Tipsy” non-alcoholic beverages.

IMG_20180818_193449

IMG_20180818_193457

Yogurt, sausages out of refrigeration!

IMG_20180818_193505

Tomatoes. Eggs, bread in the basket.

IMG_20180818_193519

Salad out of refrigeration.

… I didn’t go further into the store as I just needed dry non-food items and wanted to get out of there ASAP!

At the till I spoke to the member of staff who got the manager. I observed the manager already before I approached the till, not knowing he’s the manager. He just cruised around the shop with a sheet of paper he was ticking off something. He even looked at the baskets on the floor while he passed by. He was in no hurry to clean up the mess. I complained to him that in my 12 years of going to this branch, I have never ever seen anything like this, not even in any other supermarket anywhere in the world! The floor was full of black stains as there was dried fluids, receipts and papers on the floor by the till area.

I pointed to the mixed items on the till next to him (children sandals, cheese, salad mixed up with other items etc.) He apologized, but with no urgency. I said that he should not apologize but fix this mess because he not only just lost a customer, but I will complain to Lidl HQ about this unacceptable mess.

In hindsight I wonder if this manager was crying out for something to happen in such a radical way, maybe because his area manger pressured him to cut staff and everything just grew over his head. I don’t know. But it reminded me of Pret A Manger who cut their staff, overworking and underpaying them with tight and micromanaging managers on site pressuring the teams like slave masters! So, this manager from Lidl might have just capitulated under the unattainable expectation and pressure from his boss? And this was a way for him to just cry out for something to happen?! I don’t know, but something is really badly wrong in Lidl.

The staff member on the till had a smirk on his face when I pointed out the cheese and other food items horded by his till. He just blamed the customers. I said that customers don’t leave items like this within minutes, this has been piling up for days and weeks!

No company, no matter how big they are is safe from failure and loss. The mighty Monsanto last week was ordered to pay close to $290 million in damages to a cancer patient in his last stages of the disease caused by a Monsanto product, that Monsanto denied causes cancer. This giant that seemed untouchable finally is hit big time for their greedy misbehaviour. Murdock’s empire with all the terrible scandals isn’t safe. Tyrants throughout history that in time fall because people just cannot take it anymore…

Lidl has had scandals, got caught, fixed it, and again they keep messing up until caught again.

Pret A Manger with their shiny facade and fake smiles fooling the public for years until people stand up and say “enough of the lies and bullying!”

And the higher the climb, the deeper the fall. The German drug store giant Schlecker, a multi-million family business that mistreated their staff for decades, now bankrupt and the heirs in prison for trying to take the millions and run before the collapse making 50K (FIFTY THOUSAND!) people of their 8000 branches etc. jobless. Schlecker was notorious for cutting staff. Their stores had only ONE, mainly female staff member working in a shop. It was widely known that in a Schlecker store there was only one person working, so robbers would go from Schlecker to Schlecker robbing the shops on a regular basis.

I remember years ago having also boycotted Schlecker for these reasons.

Later Schlecker would close shops, make their staff redundant, and then open another Schlecker opposite or around the corner just weeks after having closed a shop, employing the same former staff-member for less money! And because many employees have been working for many years at Schlecker, had to feed kids and pay the bills, they found no option than to take this lousy deal.

But the Schlecker empire is now gone, bankrupt, his children in prison…

Founder given suspended sentence, but his kids got prison sentences

Former Schlecker employee bouncing back

I don’t care who they are, Pret A Manger, McDonald’s, Lidl, Tesco, Monsanto, no one is too big to fail! Greed and mismanagement will turn around and bite them in the butt sooner or later. And certainly if that doesn’t happen to the current senior managers because they take the money and run before things get uncomfortable, they at least will have to tweak on their reputation for the rest of their existence! The truth always comes out sooner or later.

Regarding this Lidl store I used to get my shopping done, I cannot help but think that the manager and staff are “crying out” regarding what is expected of them with little staff and pay. Who knows. But Lidl has lost me.

I rather spend a few more pennies and support the local stores and market.

Quote of the Day #51 – Pret A Brainwash

 

… another word for PR(et)

 

 

head-2147328__340

 

Quote of the Day:

“The company is trying to brainwash you, they expect you to give up your life and be ready for Pret 24/7 … There are a lot of favouritism, which leads to promoting incompetent people to more senior roles. … The management expects you to do the workload of 2 or 3 people, including doing their job sometimes. … It’s not the NASA, just a sandwich shop, where human beings work, not robots.”

 

Yes, it is just a sandwich shop, but people need to understand that there is a humongous amount of money in bonuses that GMS and OPs and the upper management makes, THAT’S WHY the pressure and forcing staff to work for 3 people. If there is unnecessary pressure and bullying it is a indicator that it is ALWAYS about money and power.

 

2018-08-16 #48 Pret A Brainwash

 

Review of an unspecified position and location.

 

Extensive list of Pret Staff Complaints from different years, locations and positions.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same from different years, even days ago and different countries, in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

 

Quote of the Day #50 – Pret A Not Worth

 

pexels-photo-133021

 

Quote of the Day:

“Great Perks, but Not Worth The Stress … Either stop cutting hours or stop giving teams a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete.”

 

2018-08-18 #50 Pret A Not Worth

Coffee Specialist, London April 2018

 

Extensive list of Pret Staff Complaints from different years, locations and positions.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same from different years, even days ago and different countries, in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

 

This is IMPORTANT! Please watch!

 

domino-665547__340

 

I just stumbled upon this, it is a great and important stance on today’s culture coming from movies, music, even fairy-tales and the classroom. It is important especially if you have young kids or any age group of people to re-evaluate how we look at ourselves and those we care about. I don’t want to say more, please if you take 12 minutes to watch this.

 

Abby Norman TEDx

 

I was led to this video via different corners from this important video via Tweet-video from Karamo Brown.

 

A bully is strong???

 

david-and-goliath

 

 

A wonderful campaign to change the definition of bully in the dictionary!

 

Current definition in several dictionaries:

bully1 n. (pl.bullies) Those who use strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

 

Campaign to change the wording to:

bully1 n. (pl.bullies) A person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.

The online Oxford dictionary has changed this.

 

 

From AntiBullyingPro: Young People Who Are Being Bullied No Longer Defined As ‘Weak’

 

 

Quote of the Day #49 – Pret A Cutting Staff

 

overworked-boy-1467040 freeimagesDOTcom

 

Quote of the Day:

Poor management and under-trained … Pret A Manger has cut down on staff so theres more a lot more of things to do and not enough staff to do everything, so employees are being worked harder. Management do not have sympathy or care for employees. Managers only focus on their goals and tasks.”

 

2018-08-17 #49 Pret A Cutting Staff

Team Member, London April 2018

 

Extensive list of Pret Staff Complaints from different years, locations and positions.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same from different years, even days ago and different countries, in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

Broke

 

Old_New_InvertedColours

8yrs    |    35yrs

 

In memory of my big brother Thomas 25.02.1969 ~ 09.12.2014 whose death has not been investigated properly; whose day and time of death could only be estimated; whose 3 cats survived in his flat while he lay dead for approx. 6 days before he was found; whose corpse they just cremated without our consent; whose passing we didn’t know for 5 weeks; and whose death I was delayed to grieve in peace while working in a bullying workplace at Pret A Manger, surviving a hostile work environment under trauma.

 

I still dance like this…

 

 

Broke

( –feat.– “To know just how He suffered would be dear” –feat.– “something for myself”)

 

To know just how He suffered – would be dear

I want to hold you

 

 
To know if any Human eyes were near

what happened to you?

 



To whom He could entrust His wavering gaze

couldn’t find a way out of this endless maze?

 
Until it settle broad – on Paradise

my lights went out

 

 

 

To know if He was patient – part content

I’m a mess, you know

 
Was Dying as He thought – or different

can we rewind and find the switch?

 
Was it a pleasant Day to die

what day was it?

 
And did the Sunshine face his way

what hour of the day?

 

 

 

What was His furthest mind – Of Home or God

something you always sought

 
Or what the Distant say

I was here, not there

 
At news that He ceased Human Nature

at news

I ceased

 

 
Such a Day

such a day 

 

 

 

And Wishes – Had He Any

wish ! was there

 
Just His Sigh – Accented

breathless shocks unanswered

 
Had been legible – to Me

to blind too see

 
And was He Confident until

no one could

 
Ill fluttered out – in Everlasting Well

find the everlasting will

 
And if He spoke – What name was Best

that belongs to you

 
What last

belongs to you

 
What One broke off with

our hearts broke

 
At the Drowsiest

no knock on the door

 

 
Was He afraid – or tranquil

a fighter still

 
Might He know

one photo showed

 
How Conscious Consciousness – could grow

you knew more than I

 
Till Love that was – and Love too best to be

missed you

 
Meet – and the Junction be Eternity

why am I still this side of it?

hurt so many

 

 

 

 

(So, I dance like this

for me …

 

 

Cats

don’t pull me in

let me breathe

don’t like to be)

 

 

 

Text: »To Know Just How He Suffered—Would Be Dear« Emily Dickinson, 1863 + »Broke« Horxata/LNG, 2015

Music: “something for myself” Dark Dark Dark, 2011

 

Emily Dickinson handwriting To know just how

Emily Dickinson’s handwriting »To Know Just How He Suffered—Would Be Dear«, 1863

 

Quote of the Day #48 – Pret A Mouthful!

 

10-Signs-of-A-Difficult-Boss-and-How-To-Deal-With-It-8

 

This is a review from February 2018 of a multi-tasking TM who covers for Barista, Hot Chef, probably also kitchen as many of those “multi-taskers” are thrown into all kinds of jobs to cover after managers cut staff all over the place to maximize profit. So, this person knows what they’re talking about.

Several Quotes of the Day:

“Considering it’s a coffee shop, you are not allowed to drink in view of the customers. At lunchtimes you are not allowed to leave the till between 12-2pm so end up with a dry mouth and feeling fatigued. You can sneak a drink sometimes behind a wall, but if you’re caught by the manager you get a telling off.

Additional NOTE: I always let my team drink water behind the counter if they weren’t allowed to leave the counter area. Behind the coffee counter with air conditioning often not working properly the air is dry and overheated. Excruciating and inhumane to work like this dehydrated.

 

Living in London you will hardly have enough to live off of. Even with bonus, the wage is not realistic considering the cost of living in the city and the amount of work you have to do at Pret.

The mystery shoppers are very picky and you can lose your bonus for simply being too engrossed in the task you’re dealing with. E.g. restocking a fridge and not stopping and turning to say hi, how are they etc.

Additional NOTE: Again, inhumane.

 

Also when you’re short staffed you may not be able to constantly check the shop floor, and you will get marked down for uncleanliness and again lose your bonus. Very unrealistic expectations

 

You will never get time to 100% finish a task because customers come first. A good policy, but not so good when you’re restocking drinks and a leader will make you go to the till because they can’t be bothered to serve themselves. Amongst other scenarios.

Additional NOTE: Poor management for which Pret is known for.

 

Clash with management. Sometimes your manager will tell you to do something, and then the assistant manager will tell you to do something else or question why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s annoying and stressful at times when you feel like you’ve done something wrong but it’s what you’ve been told to do!! Have to split yourself into a million pieces.

Additional NOTE: Again, poor management for which Pret is known for.

 

Being a Barista can be highly stressful at busy times and some customers are not forgiving/highly impatient which adds to the stress factor. Flustered team members add to the chaos.

 

Quick turnaround of staff. Some shops are constantly losing and gaining new staff so it can be stressful trying to deal with peoples mistakes. We’ve all been there, but it just makes the day a lot harder when you have 3 or 4 new staff on the tills shouting the wrong drinks etc.

Additional NOTE: Again, poor management, solely profit driven, no care for staff and customers.

 

Managers tend to cut hours…

 

Weekly rota that usually gets given to you a day before the new working week starts, so you generally can’t plan things because you don’t know what shift you’re on.

Additional NOTE: Rotas that should be ready on display two weeks in advance. I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 GMs managed to have the rota ready according to standard two weeks in advance and communicated well if they needed to change the schedule a little. Most managers are at a loss of how to do the rota and do the rota on time.

 

You tend to get stuck on certain shifts for weeks on end so make sure you voice your opinion if you don’t want to close for the 6th week in a row.

Additional NOTE: In the first months of my bereavement my then GM put me on 5 months late shift which isolated me from vital support from friends as I got home around 10pm. I voiced my complain but to no avail. This is when my ordeal of the bullying during grief started!

 

The positions are hardly worth it for the pay you get. Better off being a team member if you don’t see Pret as a long term career prospect.

 

Raise the wages. For the money pret spends on waste or joy of pret budget, some could be put towards a £1 pay rise for staff (not including bonus).” 

Additional NOTE: That’s not going to happen unless a lot of people leave Pret.

 

2018-08-16-48-pret-a-mouthful.jpg

February 2018 review of an All-rounder in London.

 

Extensive list of Pret Staff Complaints from different years, locations and positions.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same from different years, even days ago and different countries, in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

 

Quote of the Day #47 – Pret Squeeze A Lemon

 

zitrCrop3

 

Quote of the Day:

2018-08-15 #47 Pret A LemonSqueeze

Team Leader review

 

More Staff Complaints

 

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews. In my 10 years in Pret I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 were decent, fair and caring, not to mention hard working. The majority I worked with are immature, discriminating, bullying, insecure, complacent and oftentimes incapable due to lack of training.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

 

Quote of the Day #46 – Pret Abusive Staff

 

woman-3089939__340

 

Quote of the Day:

“Don’t just promote the people that you like, promote the people that are the most qualified.”

 

 

2018-08-14 #46 Pret A Terrible

Barista, Chicago IL

 

More Staff Complaints

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews. In my 10 years in Pret I worked with over a dozen managers, and only 2 were decent, fair and caring, not to mention hard working. The majority I worked with are immature, discriminating, bullying, insecure, complacent and oftentimes incapable due to lack of training.

Since I compiled all these complaints, the Pret website as well as the CEO’s has as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

 

Suicide Sanctuary

 

If you struggle with suicidal thoughts and live in or around London, or know someone who struggles, please pass these links on.

Two places in London, non-judgemental and lifting the lid on this taboo subject that is the number one “killer” of men in the UK. They won’t call the police on you and are neither shocked nor afraid to hear and talk about suicidal thoughts.

Don’t remain alone, speak about it, it will take the sting out of it and lose its power after getting out from the darkness of hopelessness and despair.

Maytree (5 nights free stay with first hand experienced volunteers)

Featured in this documentary) where it is explained what exactly this charity does.

Maytree works together with The Listening Place (ambulant face-to-face support)

Also SOS – Silence of Suicide

 

clasped-hands-541849__340

 

 

Quote of the Day #45 – Pret A Powerkid

 

or just liking the “idea” of what Pret is doing.

This may have become my favourite review now, the strong words with the passionate heart behind it. Beautiful.

And Pret does not realize, or stubbornly doesn’t want to know how many amazing people they keep losing!

 

blinds-201173__340

This review from a former Barista’s frustrated point of view, is the most caring, concerning and loving review I have read so far. What’s so frustrating with this is, that Pret neither understands nor cares what calibre of people they keep losing.

But knowing Pret and its CEO, they are taking notes from my blog, mainly from the USA.

But this former barista is an example of what Pret is notorious for in regards to their staff, losing their best but keeping…

While the “idea” is in place, reality is out of sync.

I love this review so much! It reminds me of so many people I’ve worked with, whose English is broken, but whose hearts are in place!! I love the way this reviewer in their best English is trying to describe the difference between a mature and good manager (adult) to the immature and bullying manager (powerkid), and the heart behind this reviewer.

These hard working people of integrity I worked with shoulder to shoulder, or behind the very small counter area, we worked often “bum to bum”. These people inspired me so many times to get up at 3:30am in the morning, during the darkest time of my life, carrying my grief to work and back home, and suffering under the burden of incapable (powerkid) managers in the midst of a nightmare. My teams, people in the spirit of this former barista, kept me going.

I was fortunate enough to have been a team leader, protecting my teams from unnecessary harsh management as best as I could.

This review is from a person with a freaking big heart that Pret does not know how to contain.

@CliveSchlee, I will never cease to be gobsmacked of you having lost your way in protecting your teams from this greed and your search for acceptance in the multibillion dollar marketplace. Your slogans and PR just won’t do it forever. But I know you are taking notes and adapt. But my blog here or there will also be forever on the web, so that Pret will always remember where this came from.

This review is the most heartfelt review I have come across!

Pret, this one is on YOUR house.

Quotes of any day:

Please read every word of this exerp and the full review below in the link:

The job can be in some shops busy over any expectations, so be ready to roll up your sleeves and work really hard in some times of the day …
They try for good means to keep all together happy, so you got parties, team drinks and stuff.
It is a customer service with a fun-based culture, so whichever is your mental state, you have to be happy and smile

You can find the good manager that is adult
but you can also suddendly be under the powerkid that is mainly rude, ignorant and frustrated, unable to control the situation, setting up your rota to damage your personal life just for fun, or shouting at you in front of the others, bringing you quickly at the point that you’re forced to leave the company or ask a transfer to another shop
I really like the idea of Pret, but there are still some problems that can ruin entirely your experience

Powerkid rude lower management, overpressure on work

… …..

More in the the complete review

2018-08-13 #45 Powekid

 

A long list of staff complaints from different positions, incl. Head Office, London and a former Purchasing Director, NYC.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I published on the Pret website as well as the CEO’s, there is as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR. There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

 

Fawn within fawn

 

August 9, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes  an act of “peering from the woods.” Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by August 14, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments.

CarrotRanch.com 99 Word Challenge

 

2018-08-09 Challenge

 

“Fawn within fawn”

Oh deer! No headlights this time; Just eye to eye”, I thought to myself when I encountered this beautiful beast unsuccessfully trying to camouflage as a tree. Its two-leaf ears gave it away! My green coat may have equally looked like food, too, but I actually was looking for some game, yet couldn’t bring myself to break it to the fawn, gun in hand!

What now?! We could both pretend neither is here or just hop on to the next best eatable opportunity down the food chain.

I leave it to the reader to decide what happened next.

 


 

©LateNightGirl.org

 

Quote of the Day #44 – Pret A Bos(s)ton

 

Pret in Boston are having lots of boss issues…

 

pinterest 6b0441daa3049330bc421c4343bd9eb5

 

Quote of the Day from the above poster:

“No person deserves to be traumatized or stressed to death by work

Current laws do not address interpersonal cruelty at work.”

 

2nd Quote:

“… only major downfall is the management…. There is no respect from boss to employees…the first motto when getting this job is (employees come first…that is far from the case. Management only cares about money an will disrespect you and make you slave work until the days over, or you quit….they feel that they can do or say anything they want to there employees because they NEED the job and use that against themmean bosses, no respect for employeestreated as a slave worker

Former Administrator, Boston MA

 

NOTE:

Quote: “the first motto when getting this job is (employees come first…)”
I have never heard this, apart from the CEO calling Pret “family” because of the Brexit fear of losing a lot of employees, I have never heard of employees coming first, not in the interview nor in shops. But I reckon that this former employee was just subject to Pret’s PR as usual. Just slogans and words but reality is brutally different.

 

2017-03-24 BOSTON Pret A Mean

 

Other Pret Boston review links:

2017-05-16 Boston MA

Former TM

 

2018-06-29 Hot Chef

29. June 2018 review from former Hot Chef (the hardest job on the shop floor!)

 

 

2016-12-20 Boston MA

Management quality is very low

 

I like this review, very passionate and keen to give a detailed review, proving how much they really cared for the job:

2017-10-24 Boston Blah blah review

 

I am sure Pret is looking into these shops via my listing these areas that have the biggest problems in management! Management issues are actually a problem in the whole company as this comes from the top. But some are priorities, with Boston being one of them. I hope @Pret you are really taking a good look at your leadership style as this is not only hurting people, but when staff are in mental distress, bereaved, unwell in any way it can actually take their lives!

I hope Pret you are listening! And dear Pret, in case you are having a laugh again thinking I am doing all this work for you to get better ratings or improve your public image, I am not doing this for you, I am doing this for my former colleagues, whoever and where-ever they are, as your company, your HR department, and your leadership style has me almost killed. And I know of other people who had the same problems.

So, before you laugh again or hide behind your PR, I am doing this for employees in the hopes you will heed and take action, with integrity and truly doing the right thing, not on paper and not exploiting your workers.

Take all of my “Quotes of the Day” as my Note of Concern to you and your corrupt HR department. Take these as my Disciplinary issued to you. And take these as my Dismissal of your fake, dishonest and corrupt ways.

I will never be silent again.

 

A long list of staff complaints from different positions, incl. Head Office, London and a former Purchasing Director, NYC.

 

NOTE:

Since I compiled all the staff complaints there seem to be quite a lot more “positive” reviews appearing, especially regarding “good” management and work environment. If there are fake news, I am not alleging anything but there may be fake reviews! Knowing how Pret and their corrupt HR dept. manipulate, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is tasked to write these reviews.

Since I published on the Pret website as well as the CEO’s, there is as the main pinned Tweets the “good” deeds Pret & the CEO are doing, again excellent PR.There are good managers and good shops of course, but the management style in Pret to pressure for more targets and profit is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out.

As true reviews will always continue on the same lines of horrible and bullying management until this changes. Pret does annual staff questionnaires that are at times manipulated by management. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if some are leaving fake reviews.

In the meantime, click on ANY of the below reviews and read the same in a nutshell: bullying, discriminating management, over worked, missing pay etc.

 

 

Quote of the Day #43 – Pret A Blame

 

Several reviews in one. Leaving spelling mistakes in to keep reviews in their own words. Highlights added.

 

Quote of the Day:

overworking envornment , discriminating HR , unprofessional managers

 

 

 

energy-73336__340

 

overworking envornment , discriminating HR , unprofessional managers

my experience working for this company was not great at all. everyday i felt overworkedthe manager and the workers were extremely unprofessionalthe company treat part time workers very mean because your not apart of there union so the can abrupty fire you and they treat you like you have no rights.

 

2018-06-12 Manhattan NY

Former Barista, NY 12. June 2018

 


 

Oct. 2017 review:

“They give me just under 30 hours so that I will not be able to receive benefits despite me asking multiple times to pick up other shifts. Managers are rude. the GM of my store forgot to change my schedule my first week of working there when I gave them a 3 days notice that I couldn’t come in one day. Manager forgot to take it off my schedule so I got reprimanded for calling out months later, stating that I need to give them a weeks notice, yet at that point I hadn’t even been working there a week and I did give them prior notice. GM has also laughed at me for trying to do my job and the store manager yells at me if I try to help out the hot chef by putting out croissants.”

NOTE:

Rota issues are a big problem in Pret added by GMs not taking responsibility, but blaming and sometimes even laughing at TMs. Not only is the rota not on display 2 weeks in advance as it’s supposed to be, but very often you don’t even know how you are working the very next day, not to mention the coming week starting on the next day. And even when you give 2 or 4 weeks of notice, GMs are very disorganized or complacent, not having a calendar system in place and end up forgetting to give you the shift you asked for weeks in advance to which they agreed to. An absolute organizational mess. Rotas are also often changed without notice, so that you turn up at 5am to then be told that you are supposed to start at 11am or that you are having a day off! I always made a copy of my rota and dated it because GMs then lied and said they never changed the rota after having destroyed the initial schedule.

Regarding blame and reprimanding TMs for GMs faults: Weeks after having buried my brother I was blamed for my missing holiday pay. I noticed my pay for 2 different weeks being unusually low, even though I worked and took paid holiday leave to fly back and forth between Germany (funeral, family care etc.) and back to work exhausting all my savings. The GM smirked at me when I said that I went into rent arrears because of the missing holiday pay. The GM then said with smirk on her face, “Since when can you not pay your rent?” Already in shock I said, “Do you remember me flying back and forth (between Germany and London) these past few weeks? I bought 9 flights taking a friend for support to bring my mum the news of my brother’s death, arranging the funeral, investigating what happened to my brother, taking care of my family, having my mum over for a few days straight after the funeral because I had no choice but to work while still needing to take care of her just having lost her son… paying flights, costs, bills etc. using all my savings and whatever pay came in….”

When I explained why only 2 weeks of messed up and missing pays put me into rent arrears, the GM then suddenly got a serious look on her face, as if to realize ‘ooops’. But, not only did she NOT offer me an emergency pay to cover my rent until next pay-day, an emergency pay which would have been super easy and quick within 1 hour to be arranged, as this has been done on another occasion a year later, but there was NO apology whatsoever! And apart from the 5 months late-shift she put me on from then on, this was the beginning of a very traumatic nightmare in Pret that I almost didn’t survive.

So, this Manhattan, NY review could almost be word for word taken from my experience in London.

 


 

not worth it at all not a good jon (job) not fun not good very prententious people the customers are rude co workers are disrespectful

 


 

“A true roller coaster ride …

I learned you had to kiss butt to move up and how a team Member in Penn station became a GM in just two years. I couldn’t be apart of that. Derogatory management in my experience. No guarantee of hours ,was told to stay home numerous times … Underpaid, too much task, no job stability…”

2017-07-28 NYC GOOD

Former TM, NY

 


 

Working at Pret For me was sometimes good .. mostly bad … The Management SUCKS !! Employees are very unprofessional in the work place … not PROFESSIONAL .. FAVORTISM ..”

 


 

“poor management they need to work on hiring better managers”

(My comment: They won’t because they want managers to be task masters while the top leadership runs a good PR for a good facade. Pret is growing too fast and has no time nor interest in proper management. JAB based in tax haven Luxembourg has bought Pret for over a Billion £$€ and want their investment back. It will get even worse now)

 


 

The higher you move up the more problems you encounter. The expectations versus the pay do not match. They expect perfection at all times, sometimes it’s just not possible.

 


 

“Fast Paced work environment with poor management. … A typical day at work in most Pret A Manger locations is Fast paced,Stressful and Unpredictable. At any moment during your shift you can be sent home or sent to work at another location.

 


 

manic work enviromentSome management is biased and will refuse anyone to advance if they do not like them. But at least you get free lunch and sometimes the coworkers are nice.

 


 

This job is a scam

Odd

over the years PRET has begun to hire more careless people

one of the worst jobs ever

 

Unquiet Grief

 

 

The wind does blow
today my bro

A few small drops
of rain

I’ll never have
such a brother again

In a cold grave
his ashes remain

I’d do as much
for my true blood
as any sibling may

I’ll sit and mourn
at the thought of him

Forever
and a day

The months
and the days
been rough
the dead began
to speak

Oh, who sits weeping
at the thought of me
and will not
let me sleep

It’s me my brother
who weeps at your fate
and will not let you sleep

I crave one hint
of what occurred to you
and that is all I seek

You crave one hint
of what occurred to me
the truth may be
hefty strong

If you’ve one hint from my
cold grave, sis
your time may not
be long

I stand and wonder
at the past so green
and go where we used to play

The finest mem’ry
that has ever been
is broken down to clay

My life has turned to dust,
my kin
so will our hearts decay

So make yourself
content, little sis
till God calls you away

— for my brother who just left like that.

 

“Unquiet Grave” 15th century folk-tale

Music: Kris Drever / LAU

 

The Double Agent

 

sunglasses-312051__340

 

“You can talk to me now.”

Words in an informal moment of around 3 – 5 minutes, while the HR advisor who took the notes, briefly left the room to get the print-outs.

I entered a new Twilight Zone and the most confusing time of my life, not realizing how calculated this was.

This is a true account of the painful and degrading way Pret A Manger is claiming to be “doing the right thing naturally”.

I have survived working in a company that bullied me during bereavement and had a laugh while I tried to bring suggestions for improvement.

Yes, how stupid I was. And no I wasn’t. I was traumatized. I am actually known for my “eagle eye” and discernment and not being bull-shited easily. But in trauma, you lose every sense of common sense! You are gone!

 

Don’t take my word for it, if this is too much for you. I have just survived to publish.

 

If anyone wants to understand what emotional and mental abuse looks like:

 

In the disciplinary hearing my (positive) shock was that there actually is a person in this city, in this company, in this room, who also has lost her brother almost identical, almost the same time and similar way I did??!!

 

I broke.

 

Not knowing how abusive and calculated this was from Pret’s toxic HR department under their Head of HR and Recruitment.

 

Here was a person, as in a Development Manager working in HQ for over 15 years, in the same company, who also supposedly lost her brother, laying dead in his flat for days?

Why did they do this to me (and to her if this is true)?

Who came up with this?

 

It made all sense later, when all crumbled and after I asked myself many times why she had a drawing, her brother (if he existed and if he died) drew as a self-portrait, that she put on her Pret work phone, while not having an avatar picture on her private phone.

A personal picture on a professional phone?

An empty avatar on her personal phone? No picture.

 

Why did she let them use her tragedy of her lost brother against my tragedy of my lost brother?!

 

In many of my dark moments, in tears and numb despair I wondered, why did she never have the courage after working there for more than 15 years, knowing all the staff there, to respectfully decline being the hearing manager for my disciplinary? Was it just “survival”? Fear management at its best? What was it?!

 

But I understand now what it was.

 

It is an elite of people, who come from a different place, far removed from the “ground” floor, the front-lines of the business. It’s the usual story that repeats itself again and again.

If you like culture, art, movies outside of Hollywood, you may know the 1927 silent movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang.

This film portrays repeated life. The top stomping on the bottom to make their world go around.

 

Life is like a beating heart, a machine that Pret has mastered with a smile: The top steps on the bottom, who in turn kicks back to the top… pumping blood through a system.

 

Development Manager, Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, Griever, professional, semi-professional, personal, alien, human… Wearing too many hats, hurts people. HQ people sleeping with people from shops, taking advantage of them, hey all they managed to do for me was a person who lost a brother.

If at all …

 

 

Quote of the Day #42 – Pret A Shady

Quote of the Day:

“Fun at times but really shady company. They worked us off the clock and would be quick to transfer even there best workers over favoritism. No stability at all…

Yep, I was never even considered for promotion as I refused to be in the “IN” group playing their games. I saw this also with many other hard working people who never reached beyond team member level, no matter how hard or well they worked. It truly is based on favouritism or when shops are desperate for leaders, they thrust in anyone available.

pexels-photo-884496

2018-08-07 Quote Pret A Shady #39

Former TM, NYC.

More Staff Complaints

Book release today: Caryn Walker

 

August 9th 2018 on Amazon worldwide, on eBay, some indie booksellers online, in the UK also in ASDA and WH Smith Travel or order in any local bookstore.

 

Most of my fellow bloggers are in the U.S.

Please support: eBay USA

 

Self explanatory!

Brave woman

 

 

 

Please follow this lady @carynwalker4, buy her book and pass on the link!!

The book can be purchased in the UK also in WH Smith Travel and ASDA or can be ordered in your local bookstore.

 

Caryn Walker Twitter

 

 

Quote of the Day #41 – Pret A Scam

 

taxes-tax-evasion-police-handcuffs2

 

 

Quote of the Day:

This job is a scam you work hours and hours and it never matches your check. Mangers don’t even know how to do there job and if your not a key role nothing benefits you.

 

2017-05-13 NYC GOOD SCAM

Former TM, NYC.

 

More Staff Complaints

 

 

An IMAGINARY but Honest Interview with Pret

 

Pixabay_interview-2071228__340

 

LNG: Thank you for your time and agreeing to do an imaginary but honest and transparent interview, this has been a long time in the making and I am grateful you finally agree to give us an unprecedented look into your business, especially staff treatment, and what makes you stand out on the high street.

PAM: Oh, no problem at all. Sorry it took so long to agree to an imaginary yet open and honest interview, but we’ve been really busy with our success as you know.

LNG: Yes, well done! May I call you Pret?

PAM: Sure, we love to be on first name basis here. We are family.

LNG: Thank you, you can call me what your CEO calls me.

PAM: Great! Okay Late Night Girl, what do you want to know about our company?

LNG: My first question….

PAM: (interrupts) Oh, would you like a coffee? On the house? The first hit is always free! 😉

LNG: No, thank you, I got my own! 🙂

 

Coffee paper cups

 

 

LNG: So, my first question is, what is the secret ingredient to your success?

PAM: Well, if we stay on the first name we have a secret spelling system here, we love to work with acronyms to really emphasize that we mean business when it comes to motivating our staff. Pret is French for “ready”. So, Pret A Manger means “ready to eat”. Fast food, from already cooked and processed products that arrive daily and are then assembled in the kitchens on the premises. But it is not just food ready to eat, we want our staff to always be “ready to work” come rain come shine, in good days and in bad days, till FS do us part.

L: What’s FS?

P: That’s another meaning, “FS” is the Firing Squad, but officially they are called “HR”, meaning Human Resources, of course. Our HR department have a really great slogan to sell their mission as, “Doing the right thing naturally”, and people buy into this slogan without questioning it, as PC is too common. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? HR don’t do the dismissing themselves, no, they like others to execute this nitty-gritty muddy business. They…

L: (interrupts) What’s PC now?

P: Oh, common’?!

L: Ah, yeah, right. Sorry.

P: Tztz, you didn’t do your homework when preparing for this interview?! You don’t know our 6 P’s?!

L: No, no, yes, uhm, I know them all! (nods, while getting a first glimpse into the intimidation tactics) It’s just a lot to remember what you give your staff to memorize.

P: Yes, that is how brainwashing works, repeated bombardment of silly word games.

L: Sure.

P: So, where were we?

L: With HR not doing the dirty work.

 

ronald-mcdonald-you-re-fired-meme

 

P: Ah yeah, so they fire indirectly using their operational side of the business, managers who are tasked to hold hearings that are “fundamentally flawed” as one Tribunal Judge called it, they are unfair and only impartial if we need to cover ourselves.

L: Ah! So, it’s a lot to do with fear management?

P: You got it.

 

L: And how does the fear management work exactly? Talk me through a typical day in a Pret shop.

P: No problem. First of all, we don’t like to be known as a sandwich “factory”, even though we are hundreds of little sandwich factories. So, we put intensive incentives in place, pay a little bit more here, give a little more holidays there, put on elaborate parties, let the kitchens play loud and fast music to speed up their work pace and avoid them talking too much with each other wasting our precious time, no matter if they get a head ache or a tinnitus etc. etc.

In reality we have no choice but give a little here and there as the job is way too harsh, stressful and non-rewarding. So we apply psychology where we call our sandwich makers “chefs”, let them go through patronizing “graduation” so they assume they achieved something and won’t leave as easily.

 

L: Ah, clever!

P: Yes, it’s all psychology. We have slogans on our packaging saying “Lovingly made in this kitchen today”, we’re having a laugh with our staff because in this high-paced and stressful environment making something “lovingly” would only be to resign!

But our real main ingredient and the real spelling behind our acronym as already hinted early on is, Pret really is a four letter F-word spelled F E A R. It means Fire Early At Request or with the nickname of “Fret” to make it more appealing. Fear management is the main motivator for our lovely and hard working people, but we facade this in the perfect packaging of “Good Jobs for Good People”. We have a lot of good people, but after a while they get so burned out, feel devalued and dehumanized that they are not “good” anymore, and there are plenty of young people lining up for the job. We give out disciplinaries like napkins, we make sure that our staff always worry about their job security, and we don’t tolerate people being vulnerable (takes a sip from the organic coffee).

L: What do you mean by “vulnerable”?

P: Well, simply inconvenient occasions like bereavement or even mental illness of our staff. We feel that especially bereavement is “imposed” on us. That’s not nice.

L: (looking confused) So, it would be best to not be vulnerable, as staff wouldn’t be safe in their jobs?

P: That’s right.

 

L: So, if staff are bereaved, or suffer from a mental illness or disability that might affect their day-to-day work, and even if they work still really good while in bereavement, there is no policy in place to protect them from potentially being bullied by superiors?

P: Yes, something like that. We have a large HR department, larger than the IT or even food team. But it isn’t large enough yet, as one of our former employees has exhausted our HR department after being bullied during bereavement and being held low in shops. So we want to expand our HR staff to not let this happen again.

L: Wow! Must have been hard work. But at least you learned from this and won’t let the bullying happen again. That’s great.

P: No, we won’t let it happen again that anyone approaches HR with their concern about bereavement and bullying like this anymore, even though we advised that person (whom the CEO called his “late night girl”) to raise grievances, as we didn’t want to interfere with how the managers were mistreating her. As we don’t have an anti-bullying policy in place to protect the bereaved, we aim to divert to the grievance procedure as we don’t want to admit that we have a huge problem. A grievance procedure often deters the employee to raise the issue formally, as this is quite stressful to have to come up with all the evidence, not to mention becoming a target after speaking up.

For other issues like sexual orientation, pregnant women, physical disabilities, religious beliefs, equal opportunities etc. we have a strong and clear zero tolerance policy on discrimination, because there are laws in place and we would get into trouble if we’d let those groups be bullied. Sometimes we even use any of the above groups in discrimination to get rid of other inconvenient employees, the laws for the protection of the above groups really come in handy here, even if we have to tweak our reason for dismissal a little.

And our luck is that there are no laws to protect the bereaved, we can openly and even in writing express that this is “imposed” on us without any problems. We just don’t really want to bother with grief and mental issues, even while we know that we all will die, and 1 in 4 of us will at one point or another suffer from a mental health condition. Death and illness can happen to any person at any time for any reason. But we don’t want to think about it and want to just concentrate on the material world with all the money that can be made. If you work for us, your mind needs to be of steel and you better have “Metal” Health.

L: Just like a machine or a robot?

P: Exactly!

L: I see. Hm…

P: You’re catching on fast, I like that.

L: Oh, thank you, I feel honoured! *blushing*

 

flick2

 

P: So, to finish the thought, we pride ourselves in our HR department. They are super busy with all the grievances raised and disciplinaries issued, and of course the firing squad, ready to fire anytime for any and no reason (checking the phone as a text message comes in).

L: Sounds quite efficient. I’m impressed.

P: Thank you. Yes, could we speed this up a little? I have to attend to some business.

L: Sure, just finally I’d like to throw some questions out that you cannot skip, but have to answer honestly.

P: Uuuh, I’m intrigued, fire away!

 

L: Who was the first one you ever kissed?

P: Oh, I’ll never forget my first kiss! It was McDonald’s. We even got married so I can get a green card to the U.S. But we are divorced now, as I gotten my green card and dual citizenship now and won’t need McD anymore. But we are still friends.

L: Any kids?

P: Naa, we were always married more to our jobs, and our different tastes in food finally split us up! Career is more important, and as soon as I had my foot in the door to the U.S. our divorce was imminent.

L: It was a “marriage of convenience” then?

P: You got it!

L: I see. Okay, while on the subject of super mergers, what super powers would you like to have?

P: To fire all the shop staff in one go and exchange them with perfect smiley robots that are so real looking to customers unlike the current prototypes, fooling them, and so increase our profits even more. That way we won’t have to deal with staff not being as productive when they go through personal issues like bereavement or illness. We also won’t have to deal with any human being thinking for themselves. But mostly that way we can truly “man” all the tills at all times and have enough staff, almost more than customers. We could even place a human looking robot with each and every customer, raising sales going through the roof. We would also scrap the Misery Shopper, as we won’t need them anymore since we have perfect robots. Can you imaging the amount this would slice off our labour costs and bring out the maximum? (sigh, what a dream!) But it also means that we would need to rethink the HR department, maybe turning them into mechanics fixing the robots when they break. (ponder ponder)

 

L: Sorry, what did you say, the what? The “Misery” Shopper?? What’s that?

P: Did I say that??

L: Uhm, that’s what I heard.

P: Sorry, I meant the Mystery Shopper *smile*

L: Maybe I just misheard as I had a miserable coffee this morning! The competition hey. Should have gone to Pret instead!

P: Yes, that’s it, it’s all your fault! You misheard, it was your mistake, not mine! It’s one of our important Pret attributes, always blame downwards, never take responsibility. As long as we can smile, we’re fine!

 

robot-916284__340

 

L: Okay back to my questions. What time period would you like to visit, past, present or future?

P: The future, always the future as the present is a blur and the past is done with and not worth keeping fond memories of. We move on quickly, whoever can’t keep up with the pace will be left behind.

L: No regrets then, huh?

P: Hello? We are Pret we don’t regret!

L: I see. Who would you like to collaborate with in business?

P: Anyone and No one. Anyone who could pour more money into us, so that we can squeeze even more out of our workers to repay the investors. We don’t like to share the spoils except only with our HQ people and high up leaders. But if we do have a moment of generosity with our shops, it is mainly to try and keep them before they leave or our aim to win new ones (whispers: Brexit’s advancing fast now).

 

L: What is your greatest accomplishment?

P: Okay, that’s another tough one, as we have so many. But I would say… (looking up at the ceiling, tapping with the fingers on the coffee cup) I’d say it really is our HR department with that ever impressive slogan of “Doing the right thing naturally”.

L: What do you value so much that you would put your money where your mouth is, so-to-speak?

P: Again, investing in our HR department, making them bigger, even though they are already bigger than any of the other departments. We’d like them to give more disciplinaries, neglecting the bereaved and mentally ill, and fire faster. Any support that is in place, most are just Pret-ense for our own fear of the Tribunal, as we like to live up to our name.

L: Which was what again?

P: F E A R.

L: Ah yeah, that’s right.

 

L: What was the moment when you felt you’ve made it?

P: When our staff bought into fear management and unnecessary pressure.

 

robot-3486900__340

 

L: What was the scariest encounter you’ve ever had?

P: Tribunal Judges at first, but when we lose our case in court, we just pay the peanuts the Judges order us to pay in compensation and then go back to business as usual. Our most scariest encounter will always be the customers and public pressure, not to mention the Unions!

L: And the greatest?

P: All our hard working people in the shops, especially those with integrity and longevity during hard times. We really feel intimidated by them, as they show real passion which we only Pret-end to have for them. But don’t tell them, they need to think that they are not valued and their work is never good enough, so they work harder until they burn out and are exchanged with “fresh blood”. It’s like one of our main acronyms: FIFO, First In First Out or our internal acronym BPOFBI: Black Pudding Out Fresh Blood In. If they find out our tactics, it would also be the most embarrassing encounter, but that’s between us.

L: Of course! You do love your acronyms and slogans, don’t you?

P: (Smiling) It’s what makes Pret PRet!

L: Yes, Pret is next to nothing when it comes to PR.

P: That’s right, we are especially successful in this by employing former homeless people to confirm this when the pressure on us gets high to explain why we treat our staff so poorly. The CEO invites a group once a year to his private Austrian property, and that way we win them for our reputation to speak up for us should we reap criticism from the public regarding staff treatment. We also aim to not integrate them too much into regular Pret shops, but are working on having shops run entirely by former homeless people, as they won’t cope in the long-run in a regular mainstream Pret shop, with all the bullying and high stress environment. It wouldn’t look good on our PR.

 

L: Makes sense. To continue with the questions, which food item are you currently working on to be the best selling of all time, not only in Pret but in the world.

P: Well, now you want to know some secrets here, what food item our food team is working on. I can’t let you in on that one, even though I agreed to do an open and honest interview. But I will say this much: it has to do with the Hearts of our staff.

L: Interesting! Similar to dishes like Liver Mousse or Kidney Pâté, but only with Hearts? Like Hearts on a Platter? Are some Minds part of the new stew as well? Oooh, I can’t wait for the new product launch!!

P: (motions with a gesture of sealed lips)

L: What, if any, is your hidden talent?

P: Doing the wrong thing naturally.

 

People-who-are-dishonest-are-perceived-as-incompetent-

 

L: On a personal level, which instrument would you like to play?

P: Hearts and Minds.

L: You can only choose one!

P: That’s not fair! I can’t choose! *biting on the coffee lid*

L: Well, strive for perfection here, a little extra mile will go a long way.

P: Okay Minds, as Hearts are often broken already and useless therefor. The Mind still needs tuning and somewhat breaking like a wild horse that is thinking on its feet too much. We are not in the horse whispering business, we break them!

 

L: Starbucks or Caffee Nero?

P: Pret!

L: Prosciutto or Posh Cheddar?

P: Well, since we go towards more Vegan, it would be Hearts. Organic Hearts of course!

L: Of course!

L: Mystery Shopper visits or Senior Management visits.

P: (regaining posture after the Heart vs Mind decision) Senior Management visits of course, we love to see the nervousness and fear on the faces of our managers and teams when we walk into shops.

L: Makes sense, that F E A R thing again, I really get to know you now and how consistent you are, very reliable.

P: (lifting the head with pride) Thank you. Now I am almost blushing.

L: Comedy or Drama?

P: Since we have too much Drama already, I’d choose Comedy, although they both go very close together in our company.

 

stressed-woman-3309731__340

 

L: Which micromanaging rule are you most proud of and why?

P: Letting our staff sign countless training rules without having the time to really train. We just like to cover our backs.

L: Which other countries would you like to conquer for Pret?

P: The whole world of course, even jungles where the monkeys live.

 

L: While on the subject of monkeys, if you were an animal, what would you be?

P: A Pret-Bull.

L: Why?

P: We like to look intimidating to our staff, but they don’t know that barking dogs don’t bite. We only bite together in groups and when we smell fear, which brings us back to fear management.

L: All well thought out then.

P: Yes. Are you sure you don’t want that coffee? It’s free!

L: No, thank you.

 

L: Final question, what was the best advise you’ve ever received?

P: Hire fast and fire even faster. Made today, gone today.

L: Thank you.

P: Well, that was fun!

L: Yeah, wasn’t that bad, was it? It must feel good to be honest.

P: Absolutely, never thought it would feel so relieving. I’ve learned a lot about myself today. Well, unfortunately, since it is lunch time I have to get back to the pub with my OPs managers for a few pints while our good and hard working people make it happen for us.

L: Of course, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule. And thank you for this imaginary but honest and open interview.

P: Any time! And let me know whenever you want that free coffee 😉

L: Thank you. But no thank you. I am on my way to interview Sainsbury’s, one of the big ones to have signed up for the Disability Confident employer scheme, I want to avoid too many toilet breaks during this important interview.

P: Disability what?

 

L: Never mind, you wouldn’t be interested in that.

P: I guess you’re right. We need to keep that fear thing going.

L: That’s what I meant. Thanks again. See you again soon. *not*

P: Yes, oh while you are with them, could you ask them if they would be keen to have a Pret shop inside their supermarkets, like Costa does with Tesco with those rather unhygienic automates? That way at least we could Pret-end again to be part of this Disability thing you talk about without really being part of it of course. 😉

L: I see what I can do… *not*

 

Late Night Girl2

©2018 LateNightGirl.org Poetrasblok.com

 

 

 

Quote of the Day #40 – Odd A Manger

 

This is a review from a former Purchasing Director in Pret NYC.

 

One of the oddest work experiences. Worked their during a transition period – so company going in one direction and then the opposite.

 

Yes, I got frustrated countless times in shops when new rules or strategies were introduced and days later scrapped again or changed, as if whoever makes these decisions didn’t really think things through. It often seemed decisions were made out of compulsion where someone had a brilliant idea but didn’t think it through thoroughly.

Free lunch seems to be the only “Pro” most people mention.

 

2 faces

 

 

2017-02-28 NYC ODD A Manger

Former Purchasing Director, NYC.

 

More Staff Complaints

 

Quote of the Day #39 – Pret A No Respetar

 

Pixabay_criticism-440219__340

 

Okay, “no hablo español” was about the only thing, apart from “gracias” and “corazón” I was able to say when I visited American friends in Mexico some years ago!

But I think I can figure out that much, that this Spanish speaking person who submitted the below review was not a happy camper! And I do understand 1 star out of 5 very well! This person formerly worked at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and I can imagine the immense stress there, as I have heard horror stories of working especially in Pret at Airports.

One former manager who used to work for Pret in one of the airports, I had a chat with a few years ago while I was on my lunch break when I was still in Pret. This former GM started to work in another food company that just opened next to the Pret shop I was working in at the time, and over time we started chatting about Pret and our experiences.

I sat outside in his area of his company’s food shop having my lunch break away from my Pret shop, as I wanted to eat in peace without being constantly interrupted by my boss asking me work-related questions. This was another stress factor in Pret, you often had no true break because your boss would even ask you to look after the shop WHILE you were on your break in the shop! So, I often left my store to sit somewhere else to gather back some strength and sanity!

This former GM told me stories of how horrible it was for him before he became a GM at his then Pret shop in an airport. He said that he and his colleagues used to get so frustrated about the terrible treatment from their line managers and GM, that they would retaliate by throwing away boxes and boxes of food items, like cakes, expensive foods and other items straight into the bin, while checking the early morning or night delivery that arrived daily for production or immediate display.

But they would check off the items on the invoices as if the items arrived. That way they created huge unaccounted for their shops, which in turn affected not only the business financially but also the manager’s and OPs manager’s bonuses. And that was the goal, to f*dge-cake s*gar-pie attack the bonuses of their bosses who mistreated them. Down the bin!

Now, I don’t agree with that at all! This is not right, first of all throwing food away like this and also just in principle doing this kind of retaliation by destroying what belongs to a company. But it does make a lot of sense, that when people are treated badly, when they are devalued, disrespected and burdened down they go down that route. And if they cannot get any support from HR or leaders, in their despair and anger they WILL find a way to retaliate, be it in an acceptable or unacceptable way, but they will retaliate.

It’s like recycling… or as the saying goes, “What goes around comes around”. There have been studies that in workplaces where staff were mistreated, the company had a high level of thefts for example. Whereas, when employees are treated fair and feel truly valued (not just bribed with financial incentives), there aren’t as many problems like this.

 

All I can about understand in this review is what I choose as today’s “Quote of the Day”:

Los managers son penosos“, “un horror!!” “desastrosa” and “todo… no tiempo libre, no respeto..”

 

2018-08-07 Quote Pret A No Respeto #39

Former TM, Spanish Review

 

Other current and former staff complaints.

 

If anyone reading this speaks Spanish or knows someone who does, could you/they please translate this as precisely as possible, preferably by two people for accuracy?

I want to avoid Google or other translators, as I won’t know if it is correct. And I want to do this person’s review justice.

Would very much appreciate it. Gracias!

 

Caryn Walker for the HEROINE Section!

 

Self explanatory!

Brave woman

I cannot even begin to imagine her ordeal!

Caryn Walker

Caryn Walker

Please follow this lady @carynwalker4 and buy her book!!

The book can be purchased in the UK also in WH Smith Travel (airports, train stations) and ASDA or can be ordered in your local bookstore, as I for my part am boycotting Amazon for their bullying practices toward their employees. But regardless, please support Caryn, she will help a lot of people and she deserves every loving nudge from people.

 

 

Caryn Walker Twitter

 

Quote of the Day – Pret A Manager #38

 

Quote of the Day:

the staff are great the guys who do the real work. The management suck

 

chicken-2584740__340

 

 

2014-04-26 GM Pest Problem

A Manager review, who says that management doesn’t give a “damn”!

I have had an internal interview once with a manager for an assistant manager’s position. As the GM talked me through his shop and the team, he mentioned that the kitchen in this particular shop is very tiny (as many kitchens are) and that he himself would never work in these conditions! This is a manager saying about the shop he is responsible for, pressuring his team to achieve productivity in a tiny kitchen he himself would never work in! This is Pret management for you!

I have had countless complaints of and conversations with my managers, who themselves don’t like the job or wouldn’t subject themselves to these work conditions, while pressuring their teams without giving them relieve. Managers who have mortgages to pay. I was always disheartened at this attitude from selfish managers.

But to be fair on the cleanliness issue, the cleanliness has approved after EHO / government health & safety visits. It used to be quiet bad, but has since improved a great deal, although with a lot of pressure and at the cost of TMs working extra time without pay! And I will not get into how long it took to deal with the “droppings”. It always takes the government to catch businesses not doing the right thing naturally! But I can verify that cleanliness has changed and improved. That much fairness is on the house!

But staff treatment and the appalling management approach remains a huge issue, as the foundation of success is to pressure staff, cutting hours and squeeze everything out of the teams to maximize profit. And no amount of PR will have current and former employees quiet and me stop to compile their outcry, because it hurts and damages people. I survived, and I will never be silent again.

 

I am Tired

Tired to convince even close friends

who hide under a protective blanket

of indifference to suffering

that some things are just

plainly wrong and unacceptable

Since January 2015

my life is nothing but loss

The last 3+ years my life

is like sand running through my fingers

I have become like an outcast

I am not a desired guest at

Christmas dinners

or birthday parties

or walks in the park

On 12. January 2015 I learned

via a cold email

that my brother was found dead

in his flat

on 15. December 2014

I learned in one email

that they couldn’t find next of kin

that they cremated him

that his flat has been emptied

that he had debt

that his belongings that had no value

were destroyed

We received a box with paperwork

photos, ID cards, letters…

memories

A Box

An Urn

A Hell

Everything else,

every fibre of my brother

Gone

I went to work

to the funeral

to my family

on my shock

on my anger

on my loss

on trying to understand

how an efficient German system

can mess up like this?

I worked hard to find answers

I went to work in Pret A Manger

that worked hard in return

to get rid of me

tricking and trapping me

from beginning to end

I became an inconvenience

that needed to be discarded

like a broken machine

Since January 2015

I lost my brother in December

I lost friends

I lost my mind

I lost my job

I buried my dad

I am losing my mum to dementia

I have lost my mental health

I have lost trust in systems

any system

I have lost faith in workplaces

with their slick slogans and PR

mistreating their workers

for gain

fooling the public

for gain

again

I have lost faith in words

that are not backed with deeds

I have lost confidence in leadership

that should not be called “leadership”

but mis-leadership!

“leaders” who don’t understand what

it means to lead,

but who follow their own

selfish gain

Leaders who are captains

of ships but jump ship

first when it sinks

leaving a multitude

of passengers to

fend for themselves

I have lost confidence in the police

who don’t care to investigate properly

I have lost hope in “charity”

that is just big business

using poor people

and little children

to raise money

And politicians?

Don’t get me started!

I am tired of people

being overwhelmed with

my story

I am tired of those

blaming me for not

copying well

I am tired of excuses

that this society

can’t handle grief

and loss

I am tired that professionals

can’t deal with ONE person

right in front of them

I lost the sun

but I know it shines

I lost my taste for life

but I know I live

I lost the fear of my

friends’ anger

whose silent appeal,

that I lost my way

my person,

deafens me

I may be mentally out-of-sync

but I have a voice

that needs to be heard

I may have postponed

my ability to quickly

forgive

but I have a message

that is still not known

And if no one else speaks out

I still have a beating heart

willing to volunteer

I have lost fear

of bullying

by a company who prides

itself in smiles and

customer service

on the backs of hardworking

people of integrity

I am not paralyzed anymore

under fear management

I am not intimidated

by powerful people

whose only “courage” it is

to step on those

who are already broken

on the ground

I am tired

but I will never be silent again

nor give up

nor believe the voices of

indifference and complacency

that this is just the norm

This is NOT the norm

this is WRONG!

— Late Night Girl

In memory of my brother, Thomas whose death I was robbed to grieve in peace and timely manner.

Hand Sunflowers pexels-photo-1287103

Quote of the Day – Pret A Scream #37

 

bully-1

 

Quotes of the Day: (Where to start!)

 

This job was one of the worst working experiences I’ve ever had. The management was horrendous… I felt like I was a slave, the manager would scream at me like I was a dog to make the items faster…

One of the things that I absolutely hated about working at pret, was the fact that management wanted you to act like you were were having fun and smile at all times. Obviously you want to treat the costumers great by smiling but they don’t know what happens in the back and how much stress you have to go through to get all the stuff done in TIME… There’s also no job security because you could get fired for the tiniest thing… you need to dedicate yourself to pret 110%. The manager was always putting me down making me feel like I wasn’t giving my best and threatened to fire me if i didn’t make X amount of item per hour… whoever is reading this and is considering to work or apply to this company, PLEASE don’t do it

 

I have read you and so will others! I believe you. I have been there.

I can underline every word here. In bullet points:

  • The co-workers are great, and I can verify this, the teams most of the time are wonderful, hard working, follow really well the lead as a team leader if you respect them, help/support them and treat them well. It is just when people start moving into management levels, that they start to change and turn from being nice to being task masters out of pressure and immaturity handling power and leadership without adequate training in leadership principles and skills.
  • Fear management
  • Constant threat to job security
  • Unnecessary pressure, even if you don’t mind working hard, it is never good enough!
  • Emotional labour, forced to smile non-stop even while unrealistic (I was bereaved and treated with NO mercy!)
  • Horrendous management …

 

I could go into every sentence in this review, but I want to explain something about this forced happiness and smiling that this reviewer put so well into words:

Quote: “One of the things that I absolutely hated about working at pret, was the fact that management wanted you to act like you were were having fun and smile at all times.

This expectation is so warped and twists your emotional well-being into this sick feeling and eventually makes you mentally ill. On the one hand there is a manager shouting at you, manipulating you, threatening you with your job security, day in day out – and then on the other hand – is expecting you to be HAPPY and SMILE!

If you have never experienced this sick abuse and perversion of emotions, and this IS abuse and perversion, you will never understand how this feels, and especially when you even go through bereavement on top of this!!! It is textbook emotional abuse!

After I was transferred to a shop of one particular line manager in the middle of my traumatic grief and grievance hearings after being bullied extensively, we had a poor Mystery Shopper result. The Misery Shopper as I call it, literally stated that upon entering the shop they felt “miserable”. No one was smiling, no friendliness etc. So, we lost bonus and had one of the poorest scores ever in the company.

The line manger gathered us team members in the kitchen and gave the biggest “anti-motivational” speech I have ever heard! He ranted on about how “a smile is part of your uniform!” We were supposed to leave our problems at home, and smiling is part of our job description. He repeated that a few times as it seemed he loved the sound of it…

I remember my paralyzed emotions and disbelieve that this nightmare never seems to stop. He then went on to say if we had anything to say about this, to speak up then and there, because later he won’t accept anyone to come to him about this. In hindsight I believe he said this because he knew the team was too intimidated to say something right then and there. But he didn’t realize that when you have lost a loved one, you have nothing to lose anymore as the depth of grief and pain can never be topped with bully-crap management like this.

Perplexed I said to him that I rather would want to say something in person later in the office, not in the group as I felt very strongly to tell him something for which he was notorious, but I didn’t want to be disrespectful to my boss in front of the team! He persisted and said, “speak up now or later there is no opportunity!” I asked surprised if he was sure, he just looked at me. So, I said to him calling him by his name: “But So-and-so, you never smile!”

He was visible taken aback a little and immediately “corrected” me, that it is not up to me to tell him this, but that it is up to his boss to tell him this. I apologized and thought to myself…. what I won’t write here!

But from then on I could see an improvement where he made an effort to smile and be a LEADER and an EXAMPLE in what he expects from his team! He also improved in encouraging the team after I mentioned in the office later that teams are never motivated by being told off all the time, but with some encouragement, miracles happen!

Needless to say, I never gotten promoted nor given the credit for building the team UP instead of tearing them DOWN!

I was getting tired of having to train managers who reaped the harvest!

So, it’s my turn now to rant and rave, and to have my “I-have-a-Scream-speech” moment!

 

 

2014-12-26 NY GOOD

Former Team Member, NY

 

Numerous Staff Complaints along the same lines.

 

Squint – & – The Cut

Saturday Mix, 4 August 2018!

This week we are seeing double with ‘Double Take’.

The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our homophone sets this week are:

heal – to cure of disease
heel – hind part of foot
he’ll – contraction of “he will”

and

lain – past tense of lay
lane – narrow road

 

I have 2 and just put them on one page:

 

Squint”

 

She lived way too long in the fast lane

busy with life, work, stress and activities

rat racing away

from her home country

 

It was time to catch up in person

not just through the line and

via a machine

 

When she invited him for a gig

close to his town

she firmly expected he’d come

as he emailed that he’ll

have a look at his schedule,

a ticket was even booked

but he couldn’t make it

 

Some months later she learned

that he has lain for days

not able to heal

 

She lost track,

went on a free fall

and has been on life’s heel

ever since

not seeing clear anymore

 

 

0ae2b4a2fd6512bff7d9b5068a5aace7

 

 

The Cut”

Thinking he’ll heal after the injury to his heel when he was lain in the lane after the flame erupted in the plane. But they had to amputate.

 

©LateNightGirl.org

 

Quote of the Day – Pret A Unpaid #36

 

Hand pexels-photo-167964

 

Quote of the Day:

If you don’t want a lot of stress in your life, avoid this place. Unorganized management always pushes you to finish in time and a lot of time they forget to pay you out. … A lot of dumb and disrespectful employees. Very unfair company

 

2018-08-04 Quote #36 Pret A Unpaid

Former Team Member

 

Taken from other Pret Staff Complaints

 

The Porch

 

I’m sorry I can’t slow down, life is short and when my brain is full, I need to empty it to make space…

 

Entry for this week’s Carrot Ranch 99 Word challenge:

August 2, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent. Where is it and who does it belong to? Think of how the color adds to the story. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by August 7, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments.

 

2018-08-02 Challenge

 

—————————————————–

 

The Porch”

 

Reinhold Messner sought the Heights
and found his Porch
No Mansion by the Beach
or Villa in the Hills
can bargain with him
in exchange
for his little Yellow Tent
on top of the Peak
touching Paradise

No incentive of a fake Sky
from a tasteless satellite dish
can pay him to observe
electronic stars and purple rain
sprinkle down upon his Summit

The Snow is his Sand
the Tent his Castle and
the Sky his Umbrella
to protect him from
a moderate Life

The Crisp Air is his Coffee
the Moon his Bread
and the Earth his Bed

 

—————————————————–

©LateNightGirl.org

 

A little bonus for Deepa’s brilliant naughty entry, but I will not submit this, it’s just silly fun:

——————————————-

The Torch”

Frantically and with red cheeks (from the cold!) the Beatle and Messner tried to grab the torch at once and crawled out of the tent. As they were gentlemen, they volunteered to spend the night in a chilly igloo, so Deepa and her Yellow Flame can enjoy nature’s fireworks!

The Beatle, awoken from Messner’s talk about his feat to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen, caught his breath to switch songs and began to whistle “Dead Flowers”.

And then a sudden silence pierced the air. Messner didn’t dare, but the Beatle crawled back to the tent, and it was empty!

——————————————-

 

 

A Beatle’s Wasteland

My entry for this week’s Carrot Ranch 99 Word challenge:

August 2, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent. Where is it and who does it belong to? Think of how the color adds to the story. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by August 7, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments.

2018-08-02 Challenge

—————————————————–

“A Beatle’s Wasteland”

‘How did I get myself into this mess?!’ he thought while trying to find beauty in his surroundings, with freeze burn on his toes.

His mind was frozen from the cold. And in this solitude, all he managed to do was to hum a tune to try and stay awake. All that came to mind in this ironic turn of events, was a song he used to sing with his friends under a starry night around the camp fire…

“We all live in a yellow submarine, yelloow suubmaariine, yeeellooow sub…mmaa….riiinee…”

And then he dosed off into the stars.

—————————————————–

©LateNightGirl.org

Okay, I admit, this was a little bit of a cheat, as I am borrowing 11 words from The Beatles’ song. *blushing*

I’m just warming up a little bit.

THE Song for Times Like These

 

Chapman

 

Timeless as history keeps repeating itself.

 

 

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution

 

Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ ’bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take what’s theirs

Don’t you know
You better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ bout a revolution
Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ bout a revolution, going on
Talkin’ bout a revolution, going on

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

 

— Tracy Chapman

 

 

The Place

 

Due to popular demand (of 1 person), I continue to chase the case, even after the case is closed in submitting entries for the challenge. But as life goes on, the story of course goes on as well.

 

———————————

 

working-template-for-ff-challenges44_Number3

 

 

“The Place”

He had to do this alone, while his wife was waiting in the car on the road above, by the bridge. He wanted to leave a little bit of life that was plucked, but its pedals still breathing and moving somewhat, in memory of the load on his shoulders that almost took his life.

As he put the flower down he wondered, what happened to his suitcase, who took it? Why was someone so quick to take his case while he was walking into darkness?

Was he being observed while he lost his track? What happened to the case?

 

———————————

 

©LateNightGirl.org

 

Pret being Careful to Integrate

 

former homeless people into Pret shops.

 

Workplace-Bullying5

 

Some more free PR for Pret.

In the PRet CEO blog about the “Rising Stars” former homeless employment program, the idea came up for these “Rising Stars” to solely work together in a Pret shop.

CEO Quote (I added the bold):

“Our shop idea lost momentum when we returned home. People pointed out that we didn’t have enough Rising Stars at a management level to actually run the shop. Others felt we might be leaving them too exposed, as we are usually careful to integrate Rising Stars into our shop teams.”

Might be leaving them “too exposed”? Question: Too exposed for what? Answer: Too exposed to the stressful and bullying shop managers and work environment.

They are “usually careful to integrate” former homeless people “into our shop teams”. Question: Why are they careful to integrate them into their shop teams? Answer: Same as above, because shops are a highly stressful workplace with bullying managers who are drilled for targets and profit.

Most managers have no people and leadership skills, and often are even incapable to run a shop, so they rely on skillful workers covering for them. Managers concentrate on cutting hours to maximize profits for the huge bonuses for lower and upper management. They treat their teams disrespectfully, discriminatory and exploitative (see the Staff Complaints I repeatedly link to, as well as my traumatic experience). A former homeless person if they have been traumatized, or suffer from mental ill health would not hold under this mistreatment. And this kind of work environment makes people unwell, losing their mental health and jobs in the first place. So, these “Rising Stars” are more protected, so are the young apprentices. And rightly so, they should be well cared for, I absolutely agree with and would support that.

But my outcry here is, that it looks to me like they are “separating” former homeless people away from the bullying mainstream shops to be able to show how “successful” this scheme is and how much they care for staff or disadvantaged or former homeless people. And this then serves as great PR in the future should “regular” staff complain, the “Rising Stars” then serve as shiny examples.

And further, instead of Pret softening their approach in staff treatment throughout the whole company, integrating people from all backgrounds, treating ALL staff with value, decencyrespect and dignity, they choose to use certain people for PR while continuing to drive all the other employees to exhaustion and frustration to maximize profits. Pret just creates pockets of shops were a certain group of people will be “cliqued” together to show a nice front again. Helping people off the streets, giving them jobs is a decent and noble thing, but it should be the norm. Pret’s CEO should not be bragging about it, using former homeless people for PR, while having countless hard working people unfairly dismissed, even becoming homeless! It is a typical thing the CEO does when he does a “good deed”, he announces it via email to the shops or on his CEO blog.

As a former IT Analyst who reviewed head office and how PR is used wrote:

“Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

 

In my bereavement having made the mistake to approach a corrupted HR department, with the Head of HR AND Recruitment just sweet-talking me, while he, as the Head of Recruitment as well could have easily have put me in an area of the business where I could have recuperated in a less stressful work environment, so that my “star” could rise again. But it was no coincidence that I was continuously placed into shops with suppressive managers.

I was shouted at, belittled, held low, given small tasks whereas I was extremely good in my leadership role, but couldn’t grow, information was kept away from me in order to not grow in my work, I wasn’t even invited to a leader’s Christmas dinner shortly after my dad came out of a coma and I returned to work needing to earn money. All of this under the watchful eye of the Head of HR and Recruitment. And all after having worked in Pret for almost 10 years, having a track record of doing an extremely good job, but then becoming bereaved, traumatized, and under the bullying turning mentally ill.

So, this hypocrisy of “Rising Stars” while their current workers’ “stars” are falling, is PR that is a slap in the face of anyone who experienced Pret as a “terrible”, a “nightmare”, “horrible”, “bullying” work environment. Disregarding and “discarding” loyal, hard working people because they become an inconvenience in their bereavement or mental illness has been my hellish Pret experience.

 

CEO Quote:

“Today we celebrate 10 years of the program and I’m pleased to say the situation has changed. We are very proud that enough Rising Stars have now developed through the ranks to become Managers, Team Leaders, Baristas and Hot Chefs. This means we can now build what we like to call a ‘family tree’ – the ideal team structure to run a Pret shop.”

… away from the mainstream bullying management style, continuing to maintain a facade in PRet-ending to be a great working place for people. And no amount of trips to Austria will convince me that Pret has changed for the majority of the people, not just a handful, mainly young people. And manipulating former homeless people, using them for PR so they will say how lovely Pret with its CEO is… I shudder…

I mentioned it in another blog entry already, that it is also very interesting that mainly young people are furthered like this, as the investment will pay out longer, while a former 40 or 50 year old homeless person  brings too much baggage, life experience and a zero tolerance of bullshit. Young people don’t know their rights in the workplace, they are cheap labour, are paid less under 21, and can still be manipulated and molded into a system.

If Pret discriminates like this and refuses to treat ALL their workers fairly and with value, they maintain a viscous circle making people suffer and mentally ill, and ultimately will hurt themselves in the long-run.

 

Another recent quote from YouTube:

“I used to work for Pret as a main barista for about 2 years in London. It was a total nightmare… Their system is utterly mess and they force employees to work extra.”

 

James Ashword video comment by Hailey Hyein Lee

 

And THAT amongst all the other staff complaints, is why Pret knows that they cannot put former homeless people who have been vulnerable for a long time into this mainstream stressful, chaotic and bullying shop environment. And they refuse to change work conditions for ALL Pret employees. That’s just another way to discriminate.

Pret of course will not respond publicly as they briefly did in 2012 in reaction to Andrej Stopa, because if they would respond publicly to my outcry with Brexit at the door and many staff having left already, staff members may have the courage to stand up themselves when they read what I write.

Another quote from YouTuber, Logic 2000 in the comments section of Andrej Stopa’s video:

“I am not sure about trade union thing. but pret is pure exploitation of foreign workers modern day slavery. systematic abuse disguised as productivity target.”

The truth will always come out in time. I am not worried about this.

I almost lost my life from my Pret experience. And I will never be silent again.

 

 

 

 

This is where the Internet is at its best

 

and where online “community” finds its true definition!

 

CarrotRanchSmile

Photo from CarrotRanch.com

 

I don’t want to be cheesy, weepy, or too emotional here, but I get cheesy, weepy and emotional with this “little” blogger / writer community I am just now getting into. It may be that it will help somewhat to recover my sanity!

But to any writer, check out this wonderful writing place at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

Thank you again to Kate for nudging me and not letting go!

I wrote my first “Flash Fiction” 99 Word challenge encouraged by Kate and immediately got addicted! The Case and The Chase with a full list of all the entries of the Stranded Suitcase. And I’m hooked!

This little community of writers and stories I include in my “Hero” section because my writing brain found a wholesome outlet to, at least in a small way, regain my mental health after trauma.

Thank you Charli Mills for hosting and inviting the world of writers to your Ranch! What a huge work you are doing with passion. There are some writers and stories I have already come across in just 3 days where I can learn from, find inspiration and get my mind off the painful things of life and get into much needed fun as Kate gently reminded me!

Lovely! 🙂

 

The Congress of Rough Writers

 

P.S. Warning regarding Late Night Girl side effects: I go into moods swings at times as well as working on some “liquid issues”, if that happens where you read something irrational, harsh or confusing, let the horse kick my butt and please ignore and keep going. I am just recovering from 3 years of emotional hell and am working on getting back to normal again … TY

 

 

When His Ash was Still Warm

I must have been asleep
or working in the heated environment
of Pret A Manger
where there is no break from
customers
or bullying managers

My brother’s ashes must have just
come out of the furnace
when I had lunch, maybe?
Or was I at a concert?

I know that I was at a gig of
Piers Faccini on the 8th Dec. 2014
in London
a day before my brother
supposedly died + – a day or so
in Germany

I got a letter from court
two days ago
from the court in the city
where my family lives
reminding me after their
initial letter from April
to inform them
of my brother’s address
to be informed
of my dad’s last will
that he made 30 years ago
when we were kids

And I’m still thinking
why I am so fooled to believe
in a German system of efficiency
and registry

And I want to burn my German ID card
as it is of no use to find next of kin
should I just be burned after leaving

I decided not to answer the court
that wasted their postage on me
because they are the Law
they are a court
that need to get up and
investigate properly

My brother’s ashes are cold now
and I have come accustomed to
the tough soil
after 3+ years
that I was burning in grief
after I heard the news
and desperately trying
to unburn him
while being chased
and shoved around
abandoned
and torched with scorn
left on the wayside
at Pret A Manger

And I have nothing to give
not even a thought

My mind is empty
of any thought

©LNG

My Allergies

The Ten Commandments just gotten a few add-ons as in sub-categories here!

I add to that my allergies to hypocrisy, workplace-bullying, abuse of power.

Considering the side effects in the small print of the packaging.

parallax

via Daily Prompt: Allergic

I have an allergic reaction to Penecillin, and peanuts aren’t my true friend either. But I have more serious allergies than those.

I'm allergic to:
All negative isms
Environmental destruction
The appalling treatment of refugees 
Non-defensive violence
Sexual assault
Child abuse
Animal abuse
Domestic violence
Hatred
Homophobia
Racism
Religious intolerance/fundamentalism
Fascism
Elitism
Decisions without consultation
Most politicians who are party bound
Nationalism
Patriotism
Greed
Anachronism
"The Good Old Days"
And in general - stupidity (as I define it, of course).

Because I have these allergies, I’d ask you to leave these at the door when you visit. 🙂

Paul,

pvcann.com

View original post

Operation Tetra Pak

 

Still new to this word challenge thing, but getting addicted!

 

tltweek130 Ricardo Viana via Unsplash

photo by Ricardo Viana via Unsplash

 

Here’s my 3 sentence entry on the photo of this challenge with title, Week 130:

 

————————————-

 

“Operation Tetra Pak”

 

Relax, trust me, don’t panic!!!

Just follow the blue line, starting from behind the Tetra Pak, aiming for 6 o’clock and ignore the mayhem of the camouflaged wasteland.

And when you reach the escape route don’t look down, just lower yourself, you’ll be fine!

 

————————————-

©LateNightGirl.org

 

I understand now what Pret is doing

 

They are doing what makes them Pret, not doing the right thing “naturally” as Pret’s HR department so cynically advertises. What does Pret do next to nothing that makes them unmistakably Pret?

 

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

 

I was awaiting an open retaliation or “tangible” trouble for going public with my traumatic experience in Pret, but no, I have to be disappointed again! I should have learned by now!

Pret’s done it again, the PR thing. This blog entry is for them of course a welcome contribution to their PR. I am feeling generous today and will explain why below.

Usually on Pret’s and the CEO’s Twitter there is something about a new product or a scheme like new cutlery, bottles etc. pinned to their pages, but since recently Pret’s pinned tweets are about all the good deeds Pret loves to advertise to the public, how Pret gives jobs to people who were homeless etc. So far so good.

So, the Tweet goes: Look at what lovely things we’re doing! Braaaaggg:

Btw, as an “Ex-Pret” I suggest to run from Pret before the stars fall from the sky!

Twitter Pret

 

and then:

 

Twitter Pret2

… while other staff members are unfairly dismissed and made homeless.

And on the CEO Twitter the pin is about the £1000 for every employee (12K of them, whereas in 2016 there were 20K employees. 8K people dropped in two years?)

This sudden generosity, where it used to take 10 years of service in Pret to receive £1K now is “thrown” at all new and long-term staff, which to me looks like Pret is desperate to recruit and retain their staff, while making others redundant in HQ. Just shifting the money a bit in the midst of this Brexit angst.

 

Twitter Clive

 

So, what’s my problem with these? No problem at all, looks all very sweet and lovely, except to say that I crinch at this hypocrisy!

And I can’t help but think also of age-discrimination. All the former homeless people in the photo seem in their 20s or no older than 30s, as well as the apprenticeship scheme with young people who are paid less per hour, means that the “investment” in them will pay out longer than taking over 40 or 50 year old former homeless people. Young people don’t know their workplace rights yet, they are easily to be brainwashed and molded into a system whereas an older person comes with a lot of life experience and a zero tolerance for bullshit.

One review from a former employee has put it in more “krass” words, that even I find a bit too strong, but the reviewer, a former Assistant Manager who has a little more insights into upper level management and tactics than I have, wrote, quote:

“now the company is just about the profit also it is run like mafia organisation where it is about who you know, the team member are over worked and managers are always working with fear … Get back to basic, care about the team and always listen to the little people, also be open and get rid of some top management who are so corrupt.”

I can certainly verify about the favouritism in Pret where you can work your butt off but are never promoted while an incapable and bullying team member sleeps their way through the ranks. But I just don’t have the courage to say the “M*fia” word and rather quote it, but the PR stunt is certainly a close relative to how Mafia organisations work. They “rampage” their way through a region and town, and in-between they give money to the little people and make substantial donations to charity.

Of course with the Mafia it is a mix of bribery, money laundering and “investing” in the little people, so when they need a boost in their reputation, the small folk will stand up and say what great deed this organisation has done for them! Super duper clever PR in a nutshell.

And a former IT Analyst of 8 years in Pret giving a review on HQ, quote:

“Manipulative and exploitative approach to employees as owners and senior management concerned about profit margin only. People are taken into account only if it makes good PR. Genuinely fake and dishonest company.”

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

 

To pin ones photo with ex-homeless staff on ones Twitter feed and try to buy current and new staff with £1000 incentives, while the atmosphere in shops show a different story, is what my problem is with this.

Now, I am really glad for these and other ex-homeless people to not only get a shot at work and a new life again, visiting the CEO’s Austrian PRoperty, and also for the apprentices, who are all treated a little “softer” then the rest of the workforce, but if this is the only response to my public outcry, I am really disappointment. And if I was a former homeless person, I would be ticked off in being used for a PR stunt like this.

You may say as some have that I am very passionate about my Pret-rants, or you may think that I am too angry. Yes, both true, and if you have followed my story with Pret you will know why, if you agree with my public outcry not, but you will know why.

For any new reader, in a nutshell, I worked in Pret for almost 10 years. After 7 years of service I was bereaved as my brother died and the circumstances around his death and how I received the news were extremely shocking and traumatic. But regardless how his death was or how I received the news, bereavement is bereavement, and instead of being supported, I was bullied, targeted, excluded, shouted at by line manager after line manager, tricked and trapped by Pret’s corrupt HR department and patronized by the CEO who labeled me his “late night girl”. The support that I then received was a lot to cover up their tracks and a Pret-ense in many ways.

Because the managers in shops are not trained in how to deal with a bereaved staff member, the Head of HR met with me after I contacted the CEO for help when the bullying became unbearable. At the first meeting the Head of HR asked me how meeting with him was for me on a scale of 1 – 10. Confused at this weird question but in hindsight understanding that he had the need to get his ego scratched, falsely assuming I was “star struck” in having met with a big gun. Nope, I wasn’t impressed, especially after I approached HR for almost a year with suggestions for support, hitting a brick wall! I needed to meet with and the support from my line managers who were at a loss, frustrated and angry with me, belittling and offensive, and as one bullying line manager wrote in an email to his boss that my situation was “imposed” on him.

And another time the Head of HR met with me again while I was in the middle of a 3-months sick leave, but then not knowing it would turn into 3 months, a sick leave that was kick-started by my line manager shouting at us leaders again for no apparent reason and my anxiety level couldn’t handle this anymore. In this sick-leave I had my first massive panic attack in my sleep, waking up from or with a panic attack I didn’t know one can have in ones sleep. Dragging myself to A&E at 5am in the morning thinking I’m in the middle of a heart attack and the fear of death in me.

The Head of HR met with me again then and made the first of four settlement offers if I resign and be quiet about my ordeal as well as not go to court. Of course I refused as I don’t prostitute my values, nor am I willing to suffer in and “of” silence for the rest of my life. And then he had the audacity to want a “cuddle” when we finished the meeting where we met in a Cafe Nero. Not quite the professional end of meeting I would have respected as such. He put his arms around me and I remember ducking down confused, and later thinking to myself, that he should make up his mind if he wants me to leave or if he wants to cuddle! You can’t have both, sir! But then I heard a few things about him later, and again a lot made sense.

 

 

images.washingtonpost.com

A tutorial

 

Before my brother died, I had a normal life, friends, projects, hobbies, normal problems, bills, just a plain life. Now, Pret was always hard, rude, bullying, but I was able to see through and resist the fear management style most of the time and not take the stress home too much. But when I was thrust into traumatic grief and still working really well, even making the effort to bring suggestions to Pret, I was then drenched in great fear and anxiety that bereavement and trauma brings with it as a default. But this extreme fear was intensified by the bullying culture in Pret. I was like a zombie stumbling around and still don’t know how I even survived this.

So, now where I am publishing openly about my and other people’s experience, having been scared so much by and of Pret, intimidated, confused, angered, now where I am openly confronting this bullying system of Pret, Pret does not have the “balls” so-to-speak to not only apologize, but to respond in a way that would give them a chance to “safe face” and even more, to truly make a difference for their workers as this system is hurting them, and with it Pret in the long-run.

 

YT_JamesHoffmann_Reply2

 

And as it is with everything in life, the truth always comes out, prolonged fear leads to anger and people eventually start to speak out, like in this unprecedented example of sexual violence in Hollywood and the outcry that was kick-started by a little hashtag #metoo that has brought and is still bringing rapists, bullies and abusers to justice. The same it is with systemic workplace bullying, a system like this cannot hide forever behind a PRet smile.

So, posting sweet little photos with former homeless people, using their stories for great PR, and advertising on the rooftops what good deed they’re doing now with the £1000 sudden generosity to each employee, I will refrain from saying what word comes to mind!

 

A former staff member, Andrej Stopa, who was fired for starting a Pret Union is a little more lucky than I to have none other then Andrea Wareham, Director of HR following him on Twitter, which might just be Pret’s way to signal to Andrej that they’re having an eye on him. Keeping him nicely tucked in as long as he doesn’t rock the boat too much.

 

 

Twitter Wareham PAMSU

 

Up until recently I was honoured to have a “Mystery Shopper” on my Twitter following. I had 23 followers, but 22 were visible. One follower was invisible, which gave me a good dose of confirmation that when someone has to hide their page, I might be doing something that troubles them.

Unfortunately the Mystery Shopper from my Twitter following has left, or maybe made themselves visible. And as I am customer focused, everyone is welcome!

 

 

Alison Cameron for the Hero Section

 

Dear Ally,

when I read your story I think how on earth did you go through this?

Glad you did.

Your writing has my chin to the floor at times and my eyes poking hard into the dictionary because I’m learning words and phrases.

You are a mentor to many.

Thank you for your encouragement.

You are bold, but not beaten!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQNGcwNnWAg

https://en.gravatar.com/allycwriter

Twitter some butt once in a while

https://allywritesblog.wordpress.com/

 

Quote of the Day – Trap A Manger #35

Pret A Trap

I’m not into comics, but this just nailed it!

Some beef of Greggs supporters vs Pret from Facebook.

I add some horseradish to that.

Quote of this beautiful Day:

Huge stress. Never stops. Brute customers. Back pain from lifting heavy boxes to restock products. Shouting all around.
listen to your employees. Say something nice from time to time. Don’t insult them!

2018-08-01 Quote #35 Pret A Trap

Terry Crews for the HERO Section!

 

Terry Crews

 

My Hero Section is growing!

His story and the experience he tells is completely different to mine, but there are so many similarities that he touches on when it comes to the abuse of power in leadership. After sharing his own conduct as someone who dominated women and people in general, he came to a change and was at the receiving end of this behaviour.

He came to see what complicit system harassment and the abuse of power to dominate is, and also how he struggled alone by himself to deal with abuse and bullying in the film industry, trying again and again to address this with them by himself naively thinking they would look into this and change! I am glad I’m not alone in this, thinking how naive I was giving the benefit of a doubt more than I could even afford.
Really worth watching this if anyone wants to get inspired and get a good dose of hope!

 

Terry Crews Testifies On Sexual Assault & Survivors’ Bill Of Rights

 

Especially this part I can relate to in my experience of workplace bullying:

I can so relate to this in terms of bullying, the hopes to get help and the complicit system where there will never be help internally! It took me years to finally understand this as systemic, always doubting myself and thinking ‘what’s wrong with me??!!’ Nothing!! A lot is wrong with them in their system!

That’s why I collected these from other websites as my story sounds too unbelievable to people!

And what he says here is my experience as well. Quote:

“When you’ve been victimized you are now behind enemy lines. And you’re trying to find a way out. You literally have a spoon, and you’re trying to dig a tunnel. And you’re trying to dig your way out to safety, and no-one around you is gonna help you, no-one believes you…”

I can soooooooo relate to this metaphor in my workplace bullying experience. I was even taken for a ride by an OPs manager (Operations/Area Manager) holding an appeal’s hearing I raised against a line manager who repeatedly shouted at me, and then sent me out in a broken-down state and in tears to do customer service, in a company that prides itself in customer service! I was asked by the OPs in the hearing what my “definition of bullying” is! I wrote it already in another blog about this, but in hindsight I’d like to answer this question with the question of what this OPs manager’s definition of bullshit is! But I need to find myself some sweeter words again to find some calm!

So, this definition bull-crap question had me gobsmacked, and this is how I can relate to Terry Crews describing this like being behind enemy lines trying to dig your way out with a spoon! I then started to drink and became ill turning completely into ill behaviour myself due to the sheer majority and being outnumbered, doubting my own gut.

I believe the truth always comes out of wrongdoing. Always, sooner or later. Someone just needs to make the first step. And more people will come out and speak up, no matter what tricks and PR is in place.

 

 

The Chase

I did a happy ending version of my depressing 99 word entry I submitted yesterday.

Have to start somewhere with the “fun bit” @ calmkate 😉

The challenge:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

 

The Chase

 

 

working-template-for-ff-challenges44CHASE

 

In the stillness, a sudden noise from the horns of a train erupted in the tunnel, followed by a blinding light. Out came the man running for his life. About 20 meters into the tunnel he had second thoughts that were immediately confirmed by an oncoming train chasing the man back out of the tunnel.
But his case was gone already, while his life was found again. Exhausted, he sat by the side of the tracks, feeling the guilt of almost having involved an innocent train driver into an involuntary act. New hope and the chase for life began.

 

©LateNightGirl.org

 

 

Quote of the Day – Pret A Unhappy #34 + extra Quote on the House!

 

“You are of course right, hiring happy people is only a part of the solution. If an employee is unhappy, and its affecting their work, ask them what’s up (gently).”

boss-and-lazy-clerk1
My response: I lost my brother and in my bereavement was NOT asked “gently” what’s up, and even though I have and had a proven track record how good I was at my job, I was bullied, targeted, tricked and trapped by line managers and their bosses with the “blessing” of Pret’s HR dept. during bereavement to get me out. I was ultimately fired while my father was in intensive care, just out of a coma.

My constantly approaching Pret and HR since May 2015 until fired in Dec 2017 with suggestions and ideas on how to support bereaved employees as well as improving work conditions fell on stony ground. I turned into ill behaviour and even then was tricked and trapped. In hindsight I understand now what happened to me. But at the time I was so naive thinking they just don’t get me or are too clumsy. Nopes, this was and is systemic to maximize profits and get rid of anyone who seems an inconvenience to them. Anyone who does not fall into (their) line, needs to be pushed out.

I have survived to tell my story as “gently” as possible, collecting and compiling all these reviews from other sites and am waiting which PR stunt, trick and trap or whatever Pret will come up with, to talk themselves out of this one! Silence works, too. Will see. I’m not going anywhere @ Pret, and I will never be silent again.

 

Quote of the Day “on the house”:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Anne Lamott

 

Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation.

 

 

Prayers

Dear Readers, followers, friends, strangers,

please READ and PASS ON.

Thx.
LNG

Niki Flow

mombeachMom: Connie 
My mom is in the hospital.  She had very serious surgery this morning. She is in ICU and expected to fully recover, in time, but she is in a lot of pain. Asking for your prayers and good thoughts.

benSon: Benjamin 
Please also pray and send good thoughts to our family. My son Ben disappeared on March 2, 2016. No one in our family and none of his friends have seen nor heard from him since. His national missing person case is here:
https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/33696

View original post

The Case

Okay, this is my first challenge I am participating in with the kind encouragement of fellow blogger calmkate via her own 99 words entry. I hope I got it right.

The challenge:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

 

 

working-template-for-ff-challenges44

 

My 99 word entry:

The Case

————————————————————————

This is the case of a man who walks the tracks, burdened with a bundle that life over time has loaded on his shoulders. He loves the stillness and the protective feel of the walls. He carries his suitcase and the load on his shoulders as he reaches the threshold of a tunnel, not the light at the end of the tunnel, but the darkness at the end of his life. He leaves his case on the tracks as he doesn’t need it anymore and walks into the tunnel. This is the case of a man who once lived.

————————————————————————

©LateNightGirl.org

 

The Cost of Systemic Workplace Bullying – 2

 

As I tend to not want to waste time as life is short and no-one is guaranteed another second on this earth, I went straight into the ultimate cost of systemic workplace bullying in my first post, the cost of life. Death by suicide.

In this second post I want to highlight a precursor to suicide: mental health, mental illness in all its forms.

What bullying does to mental health and how I am experiencing it in my struggle to recover is very simple.

 

pexels-photo-278303

 

Systemic bullying sends a distorted and twisted message to the mind.

In a nutshell, if you are in a room with 10 people and 1 person is treating you disrespectfully or attacks you, while 9 people treat you kindly and respectfully, you think to yourself ‘What’s wrong with that person?’

If you are in a room with ten people and 1 person is treating you respectfully and kind, while 9 people treat you with contempt, disrespectfully, attack or exclude you, you think to yourself ‘What’s wrong with me?’

That is what systemic bullying does to the mind and mental health.

Systemic bullying from a group is like democracy gone wrong!

It is not always the majority that is right! It is the majority that is set up of individuals who have their own set of “values”. They have little to no values and principles that are universal and that robs them of courage, blinding them to opportunities to make a positive, and sometimes even life-saving difference.

 

pexels-photo-568021

 

One of my favourite poems by Emily Dickinson, which I interpret in my own way and a favourite poem in general, always reminds me to chose my crowd carefully:

 

The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone — 

 --- Emily Dickinson

 

I choose my society based on the values that I have. And if a majority chooses to bully an individual or a certain people group, then there is something wrong at the foundation of the values and principles of that majority.

If a company does not have a clear zero tolerance on workplace bullying, than I question the foundation on which this company builds their “values” on.

Mental illness is the cost of systemic bullying and is the precursor to suicide.

Is this really the legacy and the cost a company is willing to have on their record, as I believe things will always come to light sooner or later, unless it is dealt with from the root at top levels.

 

Bullying at work

 

 

Quote of the Day – Red A Manager #33

fist-blow-power-wrestling-163431

Quote of the Day:

“Please have the staff send feedback more often about working within the company. Especially about the managers that come externally, as most of the time, their personality only is good for business, but not for the people that work under.”

Good suggestion, but unfortunately this would be a waste of energy and time because this type of management is calculated and wanted in Pret BECAUSE of business. Take it from me, I wrote my fingers into a carpal tunnel and spoke my tongue into a swollen slab, with bringing suggestion after suggestion to just hit a brick wall of indifference and stubbornness. The slogans and messages that “Pret is a family” like the CEO said straight after Brexit happened, is just PR to try and keep a work”force” in place that is in reality not a family of course, but like the military where they have to function like machines. Whoever doesn’t survive or is too “weak” will be discarded.

The “family” talk had me fooled for years as well breaking my head trying to understand why Pret is not doing anything about the poor management in shops. Ha Ha, Pret IS behind this poor management. “Good for business” is the only goal in Pret, as I came to wake up more and more after thinking for too long that they are just clumsy or incapable.

Military pexels-photo-279991

Last year when I still worked in Pret I was on my lunch break during a shift in my shop one afternoon, when a Manager In Training (MIT) joined me for lunch who just came back from his training day in HQ. He was looking at his training manual at the part of the “The Four Insights Discovery Colour Energies” that Pret teaches and implements for their managers and which is briefly touched on in Team Leader training courses as well.

Remember, the red, yellow, green, blue in personality and management styles? The MIT casually looked at this page while eating and we started chatting when I asked him how the training is going and if it was good, anything interesting he learned etc. We just had some small talk. I always ask people how it’s going whatever they are doing at that point as I love learning about them.

When I saw the page with the colours, I asked him what he discovered his main colour is. He explained what his colour is and I was perplexed, because he said that his colour is red. I responded surprised and said that I thought his colour was more like a mix of green and yellow, because he was quite caring, fun to be around with, although he was somewhat hectic and clumsy as he was new to Pret coming from a different business. But when I responded surprised at his colour he then said something that had me not only in tears, but the scales from my eyes fell off and it all made sense.

Me responding that his colour may be more green or yellow, not at all red, he said, “No, no, they (the trainers in HQ) told us to kill the green because we are a business”, that red is better for business.

These were the literal, exact words he repeated from his training!

Kill the green because we are a business!

I almost had my food stuck in my throat when he said that. He knew my story of mistreatment during bereavement a little bit, and I just teared up right in front of him and said to him, that “this attitude they are teaching you to ‘kill’ the green literally almost killed me!”

He just starred at me in silence as if the penny dropped since knowing my story. He just went quiet as if having second thoughts on his “choice” of colour. I don’t know where he is now, if he made it to be a manager, I’m sure he did, but I hope these few minutes of a conversation had him rethink his approach and not doubt his colour or personality, nor let anyone tell him how to twist himself into a “colour” that he is not, a colour that hurts people including himself.

This is why this review I posted a few days ago makes so much sense and my years of experience in a raging red hot environment that gotten me ill and almost dead!

Well done to my fellow former team leader colleague for leaving early!

2018-07-31 Quote #33 Pret A Red

Former Team Leader

Taken from a list of Pret Staff Complaints collected from Employment Review websites.

What does an Angel of Light look like?

 

Stick Man Angel of Light

 

White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Caucasian Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Male Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Isaiah 14:16 Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Ruining People’s Lives Caucasian Middle Aged Ruining the Middle Class Lowering Working People Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Middle Aged White Man Discriminating Hard Working Class’ Families White Middle Aged Successful Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Business Man Ruining People’s Lives Middle Aged White Multi-Millionaire Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Ruining People’s Lives Business Man Middle Aged Male Sweet-talking Multi-Millionaire Angel of Light

 

 

I just fell in love with a song!

I am not in tune at all with the German music scene as I used to be, and I am really weary with the pseudo gangster rap bull-crap in Germany, which unfortunately serves as a money making machine like everywhere else. I love hip hop and rap with its fast paced poetry especially in Grime, but I love it when it’s original and authentic, not the cliché stuff that is so huge in Germany.

And then a musician comes along with explosive positivism that grabs me by the heart. I just discovered this guy on my favourite talk-show on German TV, and I am smitten with German music again!

Art, music, meaning and to top it, an important but simple message!

I just did a quick and loose translation of a very simple and purposely clumsy brilliant text.

This song and the video just made my day and brought me hope that life is good, regardless. I know that there is nothing new under the sun, but when you rediscover glimpses of life again, it is like a new day where the sky is blue and the grass is green.

Before I lose this sense again in this emotional roller-coaster of fear and hopelessness, I post this song and text because it deserves a massive mention even or especially outside of Germany.

bosse-2016

Everything is Now

I have learned to enjoy life

to water my friends like flowers

I have learned to keep the fire going

to not lose the spark

I have learned that first impression is deceiving

and that it can be good to miss ones turn

I have learned that even in misery

the sun still rises regardless of the darkness

And then a brilliant idea begins to kindle

like a fresh breeze, a new day

then a brilliant idea starts to kindle

and it brings light where it is dark

And everything is now

it is everything, everything now

Life is short

too short for a long face

and little by little laughing returns

and the joy, and the pelvic thrust, and happiness

I have learned that there are many stupid people

who pass on hate that creates borders

I have learned that the courage that you give

will be the love that you’ll receive

I have noticed that I desire nevermore

to get further, to be cooler I don’t need no more

I have learned to celebrate

and appreciate what I have

And then a brilliant idea begins to kindle

like a fresh breeze, a new day

then a brilliant idea starts to kindle

and it brings light where it was dark

And everything is now

it is everything, everything now

Life is short

too short for a long face

and little by little life comes back

and the joy and the pelvic thrust, and happiness

And what you dream you’ve got to do

all the great, marvelous things

to do it all, to fulfill it all

what you dream you’ve got to do

all the best things, super things

just do it, just go for it

….

Fresh off-the-press song debut on my favourite talk-show.

Original:

Alle ist jetzt

Ich hab gelernt das Leben zu genießen
Meine Freunde wie Blumen zu gießen
Ich hab gelernt das Feuer zu schür’n
Den Zauber nicht zu verlieren
Ich hab gelernt der erste Blick täuscht
Und dass es gut ist, wenn man sich verläuft
Ich hab gelernt auch wenn’s mies ist
Geht die Sonne trotzdem auf

Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Wie frischer Wind, ein neuer Tag
Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Und die macht hell wo dunkel war

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und Stück für Stück kommt das Lachen zurück
Und die Freude und der Hüftschwung und das Glück

Ich hab gelernt es gibt viele dumme Menschen
Die ihren Hass weitergeben, so entstehen Grenzen
Ich hab gelernt den Mut den man gibt
Ist Liebe die man kriegt
Ich hab gemerkt ich will kein Nimmermehr
Weiter, geiler brauch ich nicht mehr
Ich hab gelernt zu feiern
Und zu schätzen was ich hab

Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Wie frischer Wind, ein neuer Tag
Dann kommt eine zündende Idee
Und die macht hell wo dunkel war

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und Stück für Stück kommt das Lachen zurück
Und die Freude und der Hüftschwung und das Glück

Und was du träumst das musst du machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alle machen, alle machen
Was du träumst das musst du machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Einfach machen, einfach machen

Und alles ist jetzt
Es ist alles, alles jetzt
Das Leben ist kurz
Zu kurz für ein langes Gesicht
Und das was du träumst musst du machen, einfach machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alles ist jetzt
Alles ist jetzt

Und das was du träumst musst du machen, einfach machen
All die besten, super Sachen
Alles ist jetzt

From

Closure

 

When you lose someone to death, especially if it is a significant or premature, untimely death, and a death with unclear causes not investigated thoroughly, you will never get closure. You will have to learn to live with this loss and go through a hell you never imagined existed. You cannot speak to the person who died and say one last time Good-bye – or – I love you – or – Sorry I didn’t answer your last email, check your mail please, I sent you my response now – or – What happened to you that you just died like that? – or – Could I have done something? Did I miss something? – or – Will I see you again? – or – I’ll be fine, just look after yourself ………..

There is no closure. The door of grief will remain open for the rest of your life, it will cease in intensity with time, but it will never close. The shock and trauma that hits you out of no-where like a wrecking ball, and the can of worms it opens where existential fears, unanswered questions, foundational doubts of life and purpose, and every nightmare scenario crawl out and haunt you. Or as a German saying describes it better that when unforeseen events or tragedy hits you, a “rat’s tail” of events and complications will be attached to it, that you cannot get rid of.

 

Rat shutterstock_490066927_rat

 

It’s not just grief you’re dealing with, it becomes much more complicated as the floor underneath you is ripped away, the friends you thought you have disappear, the beliefs you built your life upon become like sand running through your fingers, your mind turns into a mine field where every thought becomes an explosive danger of anger, fear, self-doubt, and the desire to explode out of this life and join the one(s) you lost.

You just have to live through it, as someone I can’t remember who, once said that, “If you’re going through hell, keep going” the light at the end of the tunnel will appear eventually, just keep going through it, keep walking, don’t stop, don’t give up…

But this kind of closure of loss of life and the dark grief it brings is not what I am talking about. The kind of closure I sought since my ordeal started, was to get closure for having additional “heat” being poured on me while I was already in hell! The heat of systemic workplace bullying and the aim to get rid of me early in my trauma, even though I worked extremely well and even during the scorching heat of grief. I gave my sweat, blood and tears to a company who returned my labour with scorn, distance, coldness, scheming, blaming, excuses, additional burdens that almost crushed me beyond repair.

I was just a number, a dirty paper cup that needed to get discarded when it started to “leak” its grief and pain, while still working flawlessly in many areas, helping to bring results to shop after shop after shop. I had no value, was of no use, an inconvenience, a burden, a nuisance, a piece of trash that needed to get thrown on a pile of other useless cups that served their purpose.

 

Rubbish Paper Cups2

 

It became even further complicated as the tactics were very clever to avoid responsibility. In my fog of grief I even apologized for many things that I didn’t need to apologize for! But this served them well where they often turned the situation around making me feel like I was the problem, like I was the one who created the problem, while it was ridiculously the opposite! When you are in shock and trauma, you cannot see as clear and cannot see the hand in front of you, like if you were crawling with your car through the thickest fog in winter, expecting to hit a car in front of you or being hit from behind just trying desperately to get out of this mess.

The closure I would have wished for, but know it is wishful thinking, is the closure where Pret A Manger would have the backbone to apologize, not just for their “insensitivity” as the CEO put it, because he did apologize AFTER I apologized first for my traumatic rants that I started after repeatedly approaching HR for months, to make suggestions in how to support me and people like me who are bereaved. His apology that was sandwiched into patronizing sentences. A typical Pret sandwich of belittling and patronizing.

I would have wished for an apology for repeatedly being put under suppressive management to get me under control, so I become quiet again like I was before, obedient and following a toxic leadership style that silences people through fear management.

 

Rat pexels-photo-617440

 

An apology for the systemic bullying and suppressive culture in shop after shop, no matter if the staff is already suffering from personal loss or any tragedy.

An apology for the refusal to be open to all the suggestions and resources available that I made the effort to seek out and bring forward, to no avail. Pret A Manger = Ready to Eat! It was all there, right in front of them, presented like on a Pret silver platter, suggestion after suggestion, link after link after resources after ideas… a waste of time and energy.

An apology for offending me, not only by offering settlement agreements if I resign and be silent about my ordeal, but having a laugh by offering peanuts while I lost all my savings after my brother died, and trying to take advantage of my financial strain. Offering peanuts as if I was a person who can be bribed with, what for Pret are pennies. No, thank you! I am not for sale nor do I prostitute my values to anyone, no matter what amount is offered.

An apology for the greatest perverted act in all of this, the sick audacity of having tasked a Development Manger who lost her brother similar to how I lost mine to sanction me. Not to put us into contact to support each other in our common grief, which would have been a massive help and step forward; but instead using her to give me a disciplinary for my electronic messaging and her allowing her dignity to be stepped upon like that!

And if this wasn’t enough, an apology for her then entering into secret electronic messaging, traumatizing me more as this “support” was fake and the hopes of someone understanding my bereavement was taken away again. How toxic, disrespectful and perverse can it get?! What else is Pret capable of?!

An apology for then dismissing me in my trauma and ill behaviour that was further fueled by the Development Manager’s secret conduct with the blessing of HR and her being excused and protected in her conduct.

An apology for the scheming and plannings of the HR department with certain key people involved since my informal approach of HR in May 2015.

An apology for stepping on my dignity, having become ill and the hopelessness and anxieties if I ever get my mental health back.

An apology for the CEO belittling me calling me his “late night girl” to the Director of HR, minimizing my ill emailing for which I got dismissed two months later!

An apology for dismissing me while my father was in intensive care just woken from a coma, thrusting me into a new hell I am going through.

An apology for the silence at my outcry in the hopes that the brilliant PR will make this go away.

I want an apology for having been robbed of the time to grieve my brother.

I want Pret A Manger to apologize for robbing me of time to come to terms.

I want the CEO to not skip out silently, but take responsibility!

There is no closure until dealt with in true integrity and a hard look at the core and foundation of Pret A Manger. If true values are not lived and visible, if slogans only serve as phrases to lull in the public and staff to present a shiny facade, the foundation will crumble eventually.

With loss to death there is no closure, but with events that happen while alive, there can be closure.

Until then, there will be no closure.

 

Late Night Girl2

 

 

When I nailed my Voice to the Air

was when their voice
became silent

But

I don’t believe in silence”
Because, tonight —
however I try — I cannot get downstairs
without waking my daughter
I do not believe in silence.

because of the Worboys enquiry,
because of the one hundred-plus women he raped —
because of the policeman defending the findings
unable to utter the word —
‘this (herrrrm) crime, this (ahem)
assault, this category (cough)
category of offence’ —
I do not believe in silence

because of the stairs and the banister’s crack;
the sound of the lock
and my hand on the door — the fifty-tone creak —
the magnificent echo of light-switch and click —
I do not believe in silence.

Because of Neda — and everyone’s sister —
and the man who said `Don’t be afraid’;
for the sake of my daughter, because of the burka,
because of the patter of rain;
because of two hundred thousand years of human history,
thirty-seven of them my own —
I do not believe in silence

for the sake of my arms, the wrists especially.
With respect to my legs
and my belly and chest
and the comfort long due to my throat

Because of nightclubs at one a.m.
and shouts in the street and feet in pursuit
and shops that don’t shut;

because of sirens and the dealers downstairs;
because of Levi and Akhmatova;
because of the blue-lipped prisoner;
the itch and the scratch of my pen;

I believe in the word.
I believe in the scrabble of claws
on uncarpeted floors.
I believe in my daughter’s complaints.
I believe in the violin, the E-string,
the see-sawing bow; the cello
straining its throat.

I believe in the heart and its beat
and its beep and the dance of the trace
on the screen, I believe in the volume
of colour turned up, and my blood
which was always too loud.

Because of the nights, and the sweats,
and the same rowdy thoughts;
because that one afternoon
when I nailed my own voice to the air
and because there was nobody listening and through it all
birdsong
and the sound of cars passing —

I do not believe in silence.
— Clare Shaw

 

Because of all the mistreatment

and bullying hard working people

especially those

who already suffer in bereavement

I do not believe in silence

 
Dear Pret,
I want to say to your leadership that your silence will not serve as a distraction to avoid being made responsible for your actions.
I do not believe in silence any longer.

 

silhouette-3265766__340