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WHAT??!!! 2nd DEATH in Pret?!!!

 

Pret a Manger’s second allergy death

 

When I asked my question to Pret on Twitter of “how many more are there?”, even with all my experience with Pret’s carelessness, I didn’t actually expect this to really be happening!!!!!

 

Now my question remains: HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE died, customers from allergen reactions AND staff by suicide?!

 

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

Link to Tweet

 

 

 

 

UPDATE

08. Oct. 2018

Second Pret allergy-link victim named.

 

Pret A Manger Staff Complaints (UPDATED Oct. 2018)

 

When customers who are so impressed with Pret because they only see the outside, the facade through the PR(et) machine, when they ask Pret about these complaints, they are too easily sweet-talked into believing that this is just an unfortunate exception. But the truth will always come to the surface, no matter how long it takes.

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.

 

 

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 linked from outside Employment Review websites.

 

 

 

 

This is one major reason, but not the only one 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 to improve work conditions was an inconvenience. When nothing worked (bullying, threats, file notes…) Pret used a Development Manager from HQ who also is a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner, both that can be very dangerous tools in manipulating people, and they used it well. This development manager supposedly lost her brother similarly to how I lost mine and that way they used her to get to me, stepping on her as well as my dignity.

On a side note, she is governed under this therapy body who have a commitment right on their front page that I have not seen on other therapy sites: “Our accredited Register status helps to ensure the safety and protection of the public.” I find this  odd, as if they have therapists who are not working for the safety and protection of the public. This Development Manager who is also a Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner certainly is not adhering to safety and protection.

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. I declined 4 settlement offers not signing anything and survived to speak of the ordeal I went through. This is Pret “doing the right thing naturally” as their HR department, and Pret in general claims.

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

I want to “let” others speak as well, complaints from even recently on employment review websites, YouTube, Twitter and other sites in the long list below.

 

 

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.

 


 

 

>>> Pret’s appalling statement on Modern Slavery. <<<


 


 

 

The first person ever to stand up publicly against Pret’s terrible work-conditions was Andrej Stopa. I am the second, and in time more people will stand up.

 

 

 

In my own way to cope with this be it sarcastically or with humour to get away from the seriousness and pain, 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 hidden behind the shiny PR(et) facade.

 

 

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! And also 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 profit, is poisoned throughout the company. And in time the truth will always come out. 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.

True reviews will always continue be written 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.

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!

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

 

I did not correct any mistakes in the below reviews to keep it in their own words.


 

Start of the long list of staff complaints / 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

 

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I am an ex GM. I walked out last year as I couldn’t take the way we had to treat TMs to achieve ever increasing demands for profit and efficiencies.” (Full review in the picture below.)

 

The “certain venture capitalist firm” this Ex-GM is talking about is Bridgepoint who set the immense target since the 2008 purchase of increasing shops by 15% per year and were set to make a seven times return on their investment in 2018. It is “deal hungry” JAB’s turn now to take the baton from Bridgepoint and squeeze even further the life out of staff. Good luck Pret employees!

 

2012-07-23 Ex GM

 

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Terrible experience one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had … lots of stress … under payed … long hours/ short brakes … terrible management … really unflexible schedule.”

 

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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….

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,

 

I take back what I wrote at the end of this “video” that Pret has a “good” heart, but I leave the “video” as a reminder of Pret’s “legacy” with what I went through and the above list of staff complaints.

 

 

 

 

 

Late Night Girl2

 

 

Little Drummer Boy

 

who is about 6 feet 5-ish.

 

Ellis Dickson

Ellis Dickson

 

Nothing more to say … made my day.

First gig this year after being tired of concerts after my dad died, the whole Pret thing, three years of survival, life in general, coming to terms, cutting out all the bs. But a friend sold some bands to me……

I went home speechless and deaf! But well worth it, also for the cause of the gig!

 

Full song:

 

 

Chopped parts on the drums:

 

 

Strange Cages

Strange-Cages_Press-shot2

 

 

The Audacious and Sneaky Bus Fare

 

TrumpTrap chasing-3744753_960_720

 

After a conversation with someone, I just remembered something that I experienced a few years ago.

In 2013 I visited some friends in the U.S. having lived in Florida a few years before, I usually visit every couple of years doing a little tour through the States where friends are scattered all over. I traveled mainly on the East Coast and going mostly by coach, train and car. I flew into JFK, stayed a night, then took a coach to New Jersey to visit friends for a few days. After that I took a train to Virginia for another set of friends and another train back to NYC for a couple more days by myself, seeing some favourite bands and music events that happened to play while I was there. I then took another bus to my favourite City in the U.S., Philadelphia, stayed a couple of days, and ended my U.S. “tour” by flying out to North Dakota for another set of friends before returning back to London.

I meticulously planned my trip from London, booked almost all tickets, hotels where I stayed alone in parts of the journey. I booked almost all train and bus tickets, where I was able to book online. I researched on cultural events and bands that I love who rarely play in Europe, and even found one of my favourite bands Over The Rhine due to play in NYC just when I planned my trip there! Perfect! I even managed to book a helicopter ride over NYC. I booked almost every journey, accommodation where needed, and cultural events. I only needed spending money and whatever else came up with trips I couldn’t book from London or anything spontaneous I decided to do. So, I was able to plan my trip around some of the events as well as how my friends where at home in their states / towns.

The only ticket I couldn’t book from London was the bus ride from NYC to Jew Jersey. As I had most all other things booked and paid for I didn’t worry and just planned to go straight to the coach station and buy a bus fare right then and there. I already did my homework from London on which station to go to, and as I visited NYC before, I knew roughly where to stay over night and just book accommodation in walking distance from Port Authority Bus Terminal.

So, at the second day of the trip I did exactly that. I took a nice little walk from the hotel to the Terminal, found the right bus pretty fast and started to book a one-way ticket to Atlantic City which my friends recommended me to book to, as they would pick me up from there living about one hour away.

A one way fare would have been $20 which is super cheap for a roughly 2 – 3 hour ride. I can’t remember exactly how long it took. But for some reason the salesperson at the desk would not let me book a one-way ticket and insisted that this journey can only be booked as a return ticket and that I would get my return fare back on the other side. I had a little debate as this didn’t make sense. Why should I pay $40 if I planned to only do a one-way journey? What I didn’t tell the clerk was that I did indeed plan to return to NYC about two weeks later, but wanted to take the train as I would be coming from Virginia. The one-way Amtrak journey, which I also already booked while still in London as I planned to catch the Over The Rhine concert, takes 8 hours from Blacksburg, VA to NYC. With a bus it would have been longer and much more uncomfortable. The back and forth seems complicated, but I had to book also according to how my friends were available. And as I don’t mind train journeys and traveling in general, the zik-zaking was okay for me as this also relaxes me as long as no rush is involved. And this trip was perfect in timing from beginning to end.

But I wanted to spare all the details and just wanted a blinking ONE-WAY ticket from New York City to flipping Atlantic City! Capiche?! Nopes! She wouldn’t have it. She insisted that they ONLY sell return tickets and that passengers WILL get the return fare back in Atlantic City. Annoyed, and yet needing to take the next coach as my friends would be at the other side in a few hours to pick me up, I paid the fare and soon after left for Atlantic City.

Hours later I arrived in Atlantic City in a parking area. I texted my friends roughly 30 minutes beforehand that my coach was approaching the city, and when the bus turned into the parking area they texted back that they were also already waiting on another parking lot nearby. Fantastic, I can just grab my luggage, get my return fare back and off we go.

Nopes!

I asked the bus driver to reimburse me my return fare that I didn’t need, but he directed me with my paper ticket into a building. Now guess what building it was? Yep, it was the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino! I go in, and by now quite agitated, and was directed to an automate and thought ok, finally I can put the ticket in and get my $20 back.

Nopes!

Instead of my money, a credit-card sized plastic card dropped out of the machine! By now I’m really p*ssed off! A security guard who was standing nearby, observing my frantic aim to figure out how to get my money back, chuckled and asked me where I was from as my accent gave me away again! The mix of British English with a German tone can never have me go under cover! He happened to speak some decent German as he used to be stationed with the U.S. military in Germany in the 80s. Amused, but still helpful, he pointed me where I needed to go to the cashier place to get my money back.

So, I walked through the CASINO and a maze of slot machines, but instead of coins you just needed to use your plastic card, in my case that was loaded with MY $20. Aaaahhh, now the plastic penny dropped!

Luring passengers travelling from New York and other places into the Casino for you to get tempted to use your card (your already purchased return fare that you didn’t need!) to spend it in Trump’s casino. On the initial bus fare purchase in NYC I was very naïve why all this happened. Now it all made “cents”!

 

TrumpPlaza

 

By now I am really outraged, as the audacity of trying to use my money but being forced to “lend” it to them before getting it back, for me to only be tempted to leave it at the casino, and worse even to get into gambling!

Now, I don’t gamble and am not tempted at all to use any of the machines or tables, and I don’t know anyone in my circles who does and would support anyone who struggles with gambling without judgment. But apart from the waste of time debating with the sales person in New York to have to pay a double fare, and then trying to get MY money back with my friends waiting outside in the parking lot who already drove for an hour to pick me up, I was unsettled by the lure they use to FORCE you to go through the casino. If I was a person with a gambling addiction, be it active or recovering, this could have pulled me right back in. This “evil”, and I call it evil, so outraged me that I ranted in the car to my friends almost all the journey to their house!

The length these greedy hordes go through to get you to spend your hard-earned money felt like an old-school Nintendo Mario game. You purchase a one-way ticket but are forced to get a return ticket. Then the bus driver who can’t give you the money sends you into the Casino. There you somehow need to find an automate where instead of your money, you get a plastic card as they didn’t allow to get the money via the paper ticket, you NEED the plastic card, which serves like a chip for card games or roulette! With this card you then have to go through the Casino surrounded by slot machines, just like passengers in airports are lured through the luxury items of the duty-free section to reach their gates… It takes a long journey through the colourful and warm atmosphere of the slot machine area, drizzled on with soft music and a sweet smell in the air, before you find the cashier booth to finally exchange the card with your money! At least FOUR levels from purchasing the ticket to getting back your money and in-between trap after trap after trap after trap…

 

Trump pocket

I should have complaint to the NYC bus company or whoever is responsible regarding the ticketing for wasting my time and trying to lure customers to gamble. And of course Trump being a king in New York, he must have made many dodgy deals like this. But it’s incredible what length they go through not only to pull money out of your pocket, but what made me even more angry is, that they want people to get or remain hooked to gambling. I felt for gamblers who try to stay away from these destructive businesses that destroy lives. A recovering gambling addict could have fallen straight into their trap, and the only thing that person did was just to buy a BUS FARE!! That is the audacious and sneaky Trump trap and the money hungry deals between companies!

 

Pret Floyd “Another Crack in the Wall”

 

crack-695010_960_720

 

 

Natasha’s flown across the ocean
Leaving just a memory
Snapshot in the family album
Pret-A, what else did you leave for her?
Pret-A, what’ya leave behind for her?!?


All in all it was just a lack on the label.
All in all it just leaves cracks in the wall.


“You! Yes, you! Stand still Clive!”


When she grew up and went to Pret
There were certain allergen that would
Hurt the children any way it could
By scrutinizing on her decision
Upon anything she ate
And exposing every weakness

However carefully hidden by the labels


But out of the middle of a baguette
When she got on a flight, the fact
and anaphylactic shock would thrash her
Within minutes of her life


We don’t need no execution
We just need more food control
No stark labelling chasm on the products
Pret-A, leave them kids alive
Hey! Pret-A! Leave them kids alive!


All in all you’re just another prick in the mall.
All in all you’re just another prick in the mall.


“Wrong, Do it again!”

We don’t need no exploitation


“If you don’t label yer food, you can’t have any reward!”

We just need more food control


“How can you have any applause if you don’t label yer food?

No stark labelling chasm on the baguettes


“You! Yes, you behind the suit, stand still Perkins!”

 

Pret-A! Leave us kids alive!
Hey! Perkins! Leave us kids alive!

 

All in all you’re just another prick in the mall.
All in all you’re just another prick in the mall.


We just need more education
No stark labelling chasm on the salad wraps
“The Pret-Bulls are already out there”
Pret: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh!”
“This French Baguette bakery thought you’d like to know.”


I don’t need no charms around me
And I don’t need no thugs to harm me
I have seen the writing on the label
Don’t think I’ll need anything at all
No, don’t think I’ll need anything at all


All in all it was all just mimicks on the wall
All in all you just got cracks in the wall


Goodbye, cruel Pret
I’m leaving you today
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye


Goodbye, all you people
There’s nothing I can say
To make you change your labels
Goodbye

 

 

 

In memory of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse

 

 

Natasha-Ednan-Laperouse-inquest

 

(I rewrote the lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” inspired by an article of NewStatesmanAmerica covered in A Chink in the Armour of a Firm)

 

A Chink in the Armour of a Firm

 

or as I call it a crack in the PR(et) facade!

 

With plenty of press on Pret now this one I’d like to put my salt on in-between some sentences of this article:

“It’s difficult to say when, but at some point over the last ten years Pret A Manger became ubiquitous.”

It’s very easy to say when, it was indeed 10 years ago when Bridgepoint bought Pret and set the target of opening shops at 15% per year. I can still feel it in my bones and mental health how we were driven while staff were cut to increase profit and a 7 times return for Bridgepoint’s investment and £30 million for CEO Clive Schlee.

 

“Pret’s coffee is organic, its sandwiches are handmade, its marketing is self-aware and it wants you to know that doing the right thing is “what makes Pret, Pret”.”

Handmade by human machines while “doing the right thing” ignoring numerous warnings from customers regarding allergen and labelling, bullying staff to the point of suicide including bereaved staff. It what makes Pret, Pret.

 

“There’s never a shortage of “avo” at Pret.”

And never a shortage of complaints how hard the avos are. I only copied this complaint as an example how Pret is kissing butt while a customer offends shop staff with the C-word. But there were many complaints on hard avo. Amazing also how some people’s days are “ruined” while others lose a child and a mother to Pret products. Poor pepo!

 

PretBehaviour01a

 

 

“The people at Pret are always happy, so happy that they might give you a free sandwich if they like you”

So happy. 🙂

 

“In fact, the staff at Pret are so happy that in 2013, the chain was accused of using “emotional labour” tactics – monitoring staff to ensure they retain a cheerful demeanour – on its own workforce.”

Correct. Staff are being bullied, ordered into the office when the Mystery Shopper, or as I call them the Misery Shopper, commented that the server didn’t smile. A good telling off in the office with plenty of fear management and fear for job security. Then the staff is send out and ordered to smile! Even during illness having a cold and during bereavement!

 

2014-12-01 MS cough

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

 

The worst telling off I experienced was when a line manager, who himself never smiled, held a sermon in the kitchen with us team and said that smiling is part of the uniform! He then finished his speech and said that if anyone wants to say anything to say it ‘now’, then and there, or otherwise we shouldn’t come to him later. I lifted my hand and mentioned that I rather want to tell him something in private as I didn’t want to confront him in front of my team as I was their team leader wanting to lead by example not embarrassing the boss in front of them. But he maintained to speak up now and that later would be no opportunity.

So, I did. I said, “So-and-so, you never smile! (when serving customers)” … At least he changed a bit, but I certainly did not make friends saying this. Neither did I care.

 

“…the list of “behaviours” staff must exhibit reportedly contains over 50 items.”

Correct. A list of brainwashing that some staff threw into the bin.

 

“Pret ran into trouble earlier this year, when the Advertising Standards Authority took issue with two ads the company had run in 2016. Pret was found to have been “misleading” in its claims that products were “good natural food”. Whilst this didn’t grab headlines, it was a chink in the armour of a firm that’s clean and ethical image has been a source of its success.”

I appreciate the writer pointing out this being the “image”. It used to be quite dirty in Pret with pest problems that turned Pret into Pret A Mice until an EHO closed a shop and Pret only RE-acted, whereas before ignored staff’s and internal pest control people’s concerns.

 

“It was an early caution, perhaps, to the crisis that has engulfed the firm in the last two weeks where two of its customers were believed to have died after allergic reactions to is products.”

Plus one assistant manager who died by suicide last year that is known of within Pret and my repeated approach to confront Pret internally on this when I still worked in Pret, and now publicly.

 

“It follows the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who passed away in 2016 after eating a Pret baguette that did not have any allergen labelling on its packaging.”

Not only on the packaging, but the fatal Sesame Natasha died of was missing on the fridge label of the “lovingly made” PR(et) baguette that Natasha and her dad read.

 

No Sesame on Label

 

“Her father accused the chain of a “complete dereliction of duty””

… as well as being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, and rightly so.

 

All in all you just got another crack in the wall

 

crack-695010_960_720

 

“Pret CEO Schlee said that the chain would “ensure meaningful change”, and will start “trialling full ingredient labelling, including allergens, on product packaging” from November.”

Trialling from November. Starbucks closed 8000 stores in the U.S. After their incidence with racial issues, training their staff. ACTION is the best PR! But Pret is going full steam ahead doing business as usual, trialling…….! A death, let alone TWO the public knows about doesn’t mean anything to this sweet-talking company. If that doesn’t tell people something of the reality behind the “doing the right thing ” with even the arrogant slogan that Pret’s HR has of “doing the right thing naturally”, then I rest my case!

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

“’We cannot begin to comprehend the pain the family have felt, and the grief they will continue to feel,’ said Schlee.”

He certainly took two years to “begin” to realize that he can’t begin to imagine and finally wrote to Natasha’s family!

 

“Was Pret too late to act? It is not legally required for stores to put allergy labels on food made on site, but the warning signs were there. According to the Times, Pret “ignored” nine cases of allergic incidents related to sesame, including six related to its “artisan baguettes”.”

More than nine!

 

“The lawyer for the Ednan-Laperouse family told a West London court that there was a “clear concern being repeatedly raised that artisan baguettes were causing sesame seed allergy problems, which were not properly responded to by Pret”. Pret’s compliance director said the firm responded appropriately to each individual complaint at the time.”

The Director of Risk-taking and Complacency did not respond properly.

 

“Schlee, who is reportedly set to pocket a £30m windfall when the JAB sale goes through, didn’t write to the bereaved relatives personally until this August, the family claims. Not a good look for a brand that trades on an image of wholesomeness and honesty.”

Anyone in business who claims honesty should always get a closer look!

 

“Despite being undoubtedly the biggest crisis in its history, no one expects the burgundy star to vanish from the high streets anytime soon. Its ruthless expansion under private investment is widely expected to continue stateside thanks to JAB’s experience in the American market (JAB also own Douwe Egberts coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts).”

Yes, that’s true, they will not vanish and I appreciate it being coined as “ruthless” expansion. They will just go through a year of a little nose-dive in profits and will re-emerge with more bull-crap PR. But I lived long enough to know that when people are lucky enough to be on their death-bed and able to look back on their lives and “achievements”, I don’t want to be in their skin.

 

“If the chain loses its avocado-driven charm, no number of free coffees will pep it up.”

That’s true, but also the time is coming when even Pret workers will start standing up with Unions and demand respectful treatment, apart from the poor wages and the brainwash their subjected under.

 

And Another-Ten

 

2018-10-12-wrong-label.jpg

Link

 

A Smoked Salmon Artisan Baguette that contains Sesame from which Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of with the wrong label of a VEGGIE Avo & Herb Wrap…

 

One of the responses to this I made:

 

2018-10-12 Wrong Label2

 

And THIS is where the greed of Pret, or any company, is now paid for with the lives of customers as seen repeatedly in the Pret Staff Complaints collected from various Employment Review sites, YouTube, Twitter etc. as well as my experience as a Team Leader …

 

When profit counts more than life:

 

 

 

A collection of Allergen & Label Warnings.

 

 

Quotes of the Decade – Pret A Slave

 

slave-2614959_960_720

 

I shouldn’t be surprised nor appalled at Pret’s statement regarding Modern Slavery, and this may be concentrating more on their suppliers and farmers in other countries etc. while ignoring Modern Slavery on their doorstep in shops. Pret does what they often do, spilling the beans on something that is happening while white-washing it either in small-print or out loud through PR.

After the second customer dying due to allergy, and taking a deeper look again, I leave this without any more comments, just to say that Pret does what they do well, getting caught before getting caught.

“Good jobs for good people”, the beautiful PR(et) facade needs more fixing.

 

Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement

Quote from the Introduction on page 3:

“…  we remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate modern slavery if and when identified in our business and supply chains. We know there’s a lot to do and we will continue to make our journey transparent, sharing our successes as well as the challenges we encounter along the way.”

 

We know there’s a lot to do?

 

Rephrased: “We have modern slavery in Pret, but we work on it once we get caught. We stay quiet until it becomes public and in the meantime make a statement in advance to cover our shiny PR(et) facade.”

Like the kid with the chocolate stained fingers behind his back from the cookie jar saying to his mum who hasn’t even noticed the missing cookies yet, “It wasn’t me, mum. I don’t know where the cookies are!”

 

I’m happy to help Pret with the “transparency” part of their statement and operations: Pret’s Staff Modern Slavery Statements and how it looks behind the facade.

 

Some selected Quotes:

Modern Day Slavery (2nd Oct. 2018)

Workers are slave (June 2017)

Slave-like environment (Oct. 2017)

Felt Like A Slave (Nov. 2014)

Quoting further from this which appears when clicking on “Show More”, quoting including the ALL CAPS:

“DO NOT WORK THERE YOU WILL REGRET IT!! DONT LET THEM LIE TO YOU WITH THE PAY OF $10 A HOUR NOT WORTH IT
I FELT MISTREATED, FELT LIKE A SLAVE, THEY LOWERED MY SELF ESTEEM BY TELLING ME I DONT WORK HARD ENOUGH EVEN THOUGH I WAS THE FIRST ON TO FINISH.
THIS JOB SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE DEPT OF LABOR

Advice to Management

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.”

 

Slavery hasn’t been abolished (Oct. 2017)

Leaders treat you like a slave (May 2018)

For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans. (Dec. 2017)

 

A full review from June 2018 without the term “slave” or “slavery” but with very clear words on the subject:

Hellhole!”

“0 respect for employees
Too much stress, let’s face it pret, you’re a sandwich shop
Not that good wages anymore, everyone around you is raising the hourly wages, 10p is not enough
Communication sucks
Crazy standards impossible to follow
0 motivation for staff, if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore
Employees are the blood of the company, not customers, not ingredients, not the shops, TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!!

Rethink your whole policies, they sucks, get down from that high horse you’re on

 

PLUS scrolling down in the comments on YouTube to Branzinotito’s comment:

Horrible Company Pret

 

 

On Andrej’s Pret Union video more comments:

 

logic 2000: “… pret is pure exploitation of foreign workers modern day slavery. systematic abuse disguised as productivity target.”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments1a

 

… and further …

 

Saif Khan: “Pret exploits and abuse their employees. ..thats true fact…I can say after working 5 years there..”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments4

 

etc. etc.

 

PLUS comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of Pret staff complaints and selected quotes from the list.

 

I added comments in the PDF document with more extensive thoughts on some points.

 

 

Pret Allergen Deaths & Customers Repeated & Ignored Warnings

 

seeds pexels-photo-1296262

 

 

Apart from the 9 warnings, Pret under the Director of Risk and Compliance (or more appropriate “Risk-Taking and Complacency”) has ignored, with one also almost fatal, I have started to collect customers’ responses of allergen warnings to Pret regarding the lack of labelling before AND after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died. Only this having become public now is there some slow reaction happening. But again, only a RE-action to public pressure.

Not only should Natasha’s family pursue Pret in court, but those who have had to go to hospital and those who had allergic reactions from Pret products should file a combined lawsuit against Pret. If Natasha’s death two years ago has just come to light now in 2018, how many more are there?

People asked on Twitter and other social media who should be prosecuted for “murder”, for starters I think it is for sure Jonathan Perkins who walked along the pavement after the inquest with his hands in his pockets as if taking a stroll in the park. And certainly Clive Schlee has to face the music away from his usual sweet-talk and wanting to pay people out for silence. His patronizing response in 2015 to a concerned customer has me at a loss, even though I should not be surprised at his patronizing way.

 

Clive Schlee in his typical patronizing and self-assured way labelled me his “late night girl” after my ordeal with Pret while he can’t label products to save a life!

Welcome to Pret A Manger, feel free to take a peek behind the scenes and the reality of a company and CEO who mainly cares for the PR(et) machine.

 

The start of a list of customer concerns, warnings and complaints even before Natasha died, as well as noting that the issue has still not been taken seriously after the public inquest and outrage:

 

And another-one (CEO’s patronizing response not knowing what to do)

And another-two (CEO’s poor response to allergic customer’s warning)

And another-three (Sesame reaction 13 months after Natasha’s death)

And another-four (Lack of labelling even after Natasha’s death became public)

And another-five (Customer hospitalized after allergic reaction)

And another-six (Still lack of labelling after Natasha’s death became public)

And another-seven (Misplaced Sandwiches without labels)

And another-eight (Sesame)

And another-nine (Pine Nuts)

And another-ten (Mislabeled product: Salmon Artisan Baguette with Sesame having a Veggie Wrap Label on 12. Oct. 2018)

 

to be continued …

 

A tutorial for Pret A Manger:

Labelling for Dummies

 

2014-07-21 Contains Nuts RFH

Photo taken in London’s Royal Festival Hall cafe 2014.

 

 


 

UPDATE

07. Oct. 2018

Second allergy death in Pret and my question to Pret on 30. Sep. 2018!

 

 

 

 

IMMEDIATE PR(et) vs Labelling DELAY

 

hourglass-620397_960_720

 

At 1:29 Natasha’s mum is absolutely right, change can come IMMEDIATELY! I worked in Pret for 10 yrs and have my own story of survival on a different matter!

On the subject of “immediately”, here are 3 “IMMEDIATES” that I have witnessed Pret implementing:

  1. The week when Brexit was voted for, within THAT week Pret implemented Brexit champions in each area to assist employees regarding how to stay in the UK, because Pret got scared to be losing many employees who mainly come from Europe, in particular Eastern European nations and are known for their hard work under immense pressure. The hardest working colleagues I have ever worked with come from Romania, Ukraine, Czech Republic etc. These people waste no time, often they don’t speak English well, so they won’t know where to complain to when they encounter problems with managers and they certainly won’t know their rights. Hence, Brexit Champions were very quickly trained to help non-British workers stay in the country and therefore in Pret to continue like “machines” to increase profits.
    Andrej Stopa, the first person to PUBLICLY challenge mistreatment by managers paid with his job for it. He was dismissed under the “Pret”ense of allegedly having made homophobic remarks TEN MONTHS before getting fired! But in reality he got fired for having started a Trade Union. He confronted Pret on the reason for dismissal.

    ————————-

  2. Within a DAY of the Grenfell Tower fire, Clive Schlee, CEO announced (or rather bragged, typical PR) that Pret is giving £100,000 to the Evening Standard Trust for Grenfell, that was decided within a 24 hour period of the tragedy when the tower was still smoking and parts burning! A typical emotional RE-action and decision Pret’s CEO makes because he had a visual and was overwhelmed for a minute. Super-fast IMMEDIATELY.

    ————————-

  3. And the most amusing IMMEDIATE was when Pret became aware of my blog on the night from 28th to 29th of May 2018 and Clive Schlee making a £1000 announcement for all staff where it would take 10 years of service to receive £1K, this carrot is now thrown at everyone as Brexit is advancing fast and Pret has already lost staff (in 2016 the CEO was still speaking about 20K staff, now it’s 12K?).Only he knows if this £1000 idea was born on that night out of becoming aware of my blog, but I am certain knowing how he RE-acts to confrontation, that the timing of the announcement in the night to 29th May was due to their discovery of my blog in that night! So, I am delighted of having been part in staff getting a financial boost, even though this only serves as a carrot. And interesting enough, an immediate RE-action to my blog that lead to this announcement did not bring an immediate action, as employees are still waiting for the £1000 to “moneyfest” (sorry, I couldn’t resist this wordplay!) and the CEO’s premature announcement adds now to the pressure.

 

I could go on an on with 4. and 5. … of RE-actions to being caught like when an EHO closed down a Pret shop due to pest, whereas before this close-down Pret ignored our complaints to please solve the pest problems. Internal pest control people worked hard but could not fix the issue until an EHO closed a shop after a routine visit finding evidence of pest. ONLY THEN was an outside pest control company commissioned to tackle this.

I asked for a transferal to another shop as the mice issue in my then shop was unbearable. One person shot this video in the U.S. of mice activity and it brings back memories! It’s the night shift working in Pret A Mice! High activity when the shops were closed and quiet, but in the shop I worked in the mice were so bold, they strolled along under the barista cupboards during the busy coffee rush in broad daylight! But I couldn’t take it anymore and asked for a transferal. That was before the EHO closed a shop, and then Pret went into panic-mode sacking people, disciplining managers, reverting managers back to assistant managers even thought GMs weren’t trained properly… all that changed with a shop closure when only then a proper pest control company entered the scene!

Bottom-line why I speak out so openly whereas before I used to be very discreet and professional: it ALWAYS takes a dramatic happening before Pret responds! And with these deaths, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE that people had to die! Absolutely unnecessary! Unacceptable! Complete negligence on Pret’s part!

 

 

12K vs 20K

(Suddenly they “matter”, hey?)

 

Staff are still waiting, getting confused and impatient, while Clive Schlee does the usual thing: “blaming downwards”. He makes the announcement but then refers to the shops… as usual. And the team members get more and more confused. So, I help a bit by pushing on the rusty PR(et) machine!

 

 

1000 announcement still waiting 2018-08-29

 

 

… and still waiting …

 

 

2018-09-16 my response to £1000 29May announcement

 

 

… and still hoping …..

 

 

1000 announcement still waiting 2018-09-24

 

 

… and still (yawn) waiting …

 

2018-09-30 1000

Link to £1000 Tweet

 

while Pret customers were also still waiting for full labelling of EVERY product to safe lives! ……..

 

Of course by now all the staff have been briefed to please not tweet anymore as I haven’t been silent! But as soon as the £1000 is paid to all staff this will be big news! Forget labelling and customers dying, as long as the PR(et) machine keeps working, everyone’s happy!

 

Back to the IMMEDIATE:

Not having labels with FULL ingredients and allergen info after repeated warnings and complaints shows of the carelessness and complacency. I know Pret, they do NOT care until caught at worst, or until something is to their benefit and PR at best!

Ten months after Ms Marsh’s death, Pret makes a public statement and sues CO YO. Just after the carpet got lifted and the public is made aware of two deaths. I asked Pret on 30. Sep. 2018 after Natasha’s death became public, how many more people have died, not in my worst nightmares expecting that a second death would be revealed shortly after, and yet sadly I am not surprised at the negligence of Pret A Manger:

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

Link to Tweet

 

I still have the emails regarding Brexit and Grenfell etc. Whatever helps Pret and Clive Schlee’s PR and bragging about good deeds that are obvious and visible and self-serving, that is what Pret acts on IMMEDIATELY.

 

To the BBC News, PLEASE don’t let your reporters say “In the wake of Natasha’s death”… This is in the wake of Natasha’s death becoming PUBLIC! She died TWO YEARS ago and Pret didn’t care, but everyone treats this as from yesterday.

To Natasha’s parent’s her death IS as if it happened yesterday, and will be like this forever. But Pret, Clive Schlee and particularly Jonathan Perkins knew of Natasha’s death for two years, as well as all the warnings before and after, but did not do anything to change!

Absolutely nothing and even ignored repeated warnings!

The hypocrisy of the CEO on his Twitter calling this a “promise” and saying that “nothing is more important to Pret right now”.

 

2018-10 1st death Pret Labbelling Statement

Link to the pinned Tweet having replaced the £1000 Tweet

 

While all the time hanging on to anti-Plastic Bottles and Straws schemes as if for dear life!

 

Clive Schlee Plastic Bottle concern

 

 

So, nothing is more important right now! After two years! What a terrible attempt to keep up the facade! Pret got caught now, and this reshuffles their priority. NOT the deaths, NOT the numerous warnings, but the public exposure.

Pret A Shame on you!

 

Natasha’s mum saying that “action can be immediate” @ 1:29

She further says, “You don’t have to wait for a law change to start putting stickers, listing the allergens on the food that you sell. You can just do it because it’s the right thing to do.

 

 

versus the PR(et) blaa blaaa machine:

 

 

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

 

Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement vs My Comments

 

Food Chains crop

 

 

I commented on the Pret Modern Slavery Statement as this is the usual PR they are so well known for.

My and many other experiences on the work conditions in Pret shops I have extensively written about on this blog. But I decided to comment on their statement within the PDF document.

I understand that this looks a “messy” and it may take a “scholar” to sieve through this, but I decided to do it this way instead of creating a lengthy blog entry with quotes. For anyone who is truly interested in the subject of work conditions, how it really looks behind the PR facade, I uploaded this.

Many people in today’s society won’t bother with lengthily texts, as we are so conditioned with fast Tweets and short statements, unless we admire certain established writers or love to read in general. I am not an established writer, I just have experience that has almost cost me my life working in Pret A Manger. And regardless of the short attention span of today’s age with the overload of information, I want to emphasize what I and many others experienced in Pret.

I gave Pret the benefit of the doubt one too many times, having given my sweat, blood and tears to this company who tricked and trapped me via their toxic HR department and HQ, being bullied by immediate line managers during bereavement; there is NO clear zero tolerance on bullying or “Modern Slavery” as Pret lines out in their statement. The continued staff reviews on Employment Review sites explain this loud and clear, even now in October 2018 which I continue to collect on my blog, continuously updating the list of Staff Complaints.

Knowing Pret’s tactic, their Modern Slavery Statement at the bottom of Pret’s website could also be a clever way of subtly wanting to get people used to Modern Slavery and that Pret is not able to tackle it, but working on it. Clever psychology again and as their usual PR stunt addressing it with “groups” in place. The reality in shops and kitchens is different and the complaints on Employment Review sites continue on the same lines of “Modern-Day Slavery” as this 2nd Oct. 2018 review shows again. Yes, this Modern Slavery in shops may look different than those from the supplier in other countries, but it is nevertheless WRONG as it hurts people mentally and physically. My medical record is long since having gone through my ordeal being bullied during bereavement and the immense story I went through that sounds like out of a Psycho-Thriller!

I almost lost my life, and for many who are familiar with my blog, this is a repeat and I want to thank all the faithful readers and supporters of my blog. It is because I could be dead right now having had a close-call to end my life when I worked in Pret. I cannot be silent even if I wanted to. Others still suffer in this non-rewarding, discriminating environment.

Thank you for reading.

 

9 Page PDF document of Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement with my comments.

 

And an important article on the poverty of Fast-food workers in the USA:

Modern Slavery US Fast-food Industry Thriving on Poverty-stricken Workers

 

Pret A Manger missed IMMEDIATELY

 

hourglass-620397_960_720

 

 

I updated this on another blog entry: HERE

 

 


 

 

At 1:29 Natasha’s mum is absolutely right, change can come IMMEDIATELY! I worked in Pret for 10 yrs and have my own story of survival on a different matter!

On the subject of “immediately”, here are 3 “IMMEDIATES” that I have witnessed Pret implementing:

  1. The week when Brexit was voted for, within THAT week Pret implemented Brexit champions in each area to assist employees regarding how to stay in the UK, because Pret got scared to be losing many employees who mainly came from Europe, in particular Eastern European nations and are known for their hard work under immense pressure.————————-
  2. Within a DAY of the Grenfell Tower fire, Clive Schlee, CEO announced (or rather bragged, typical PR) that Pret is giving £100,000 to the Evening Standard Trust for Grenfell, that was decided within a 24 hour period of the tragedy when the tower was still smoking and parts burning! A typical emotional RE-action and decision Pret’s CEO makes because he had a visual and was overwhelmed for a minute. Super-fast IMMEDIATELY.————————-
  3. And the most amusing IMMEDIATE was when Pret became aware of my blog on the night from 28th to 29th of May 2018 and Clive Schlee making a £1000 announcement for all staff (where it would take 10 years service to receive £1K, this carrot is now thrown at all as Brexit is close and Pret has already lost staff. Now, only he knows if this £1000 idea was born on that night out of becoming aware of my blog, but I am certain knowing how he RE-acts to confrontation, that the timing of the announcement in the night of 29th May was due to their discovery of my blog! So, I am delighted of having been part in staff getting a financial boost, even though this only serves as a carrot.And interesting enough, an immediate RE-action to my blog that lead to this announcement did not bring an immediate action, as employees are still waiting for the £1000 to “moneyfest” (sorry, I couldn’t resist this wordplay!).

 

 

12K vs 20K

 

 

Staff are still waiting, getting confused and impatient, while Clive Schlee does the usual thing: “blaming downwards”. He makes the announcement but then refers to the shops… as usual. And the team members get more and more confused. So, I help a bit by pushing on the rusty PR(et) machine!

 

 

1000 announcement still waiting 2018-08-29

 

 

… and still waiting …

 

 

2018-09-16 my response to £1000 29May announcement

 

 

… and still hoping …..

 

 

1000 announcement still waiting 2018-09-24

 

 

… and still (yawn) waiting …

 

2018-09-30 1000

 

 

Of course by now all the staff have been briefed to please not tweet anymore as I haven’t been silent! But as soon as the £1000 is paid to all staff this will be big news! Forget labelling and customers dying, as long as the PR(et) machine keeps working, everyone’s happy!

 

Back to the IMMEDIATE:

Not having labels with FULL ingredients and allergen info after repeated warnings and complaints shows of the carelessness and complacency. I know Pret, they do NOT care until caught at worst, or until something is to their benefit and PR at best!

Ten months after Ms Marsh’s death, Pret makes a public statement and sues CO YO. Just after the carpet got lifted and the public is made aware of two deaths. I asked Pret on 20. Sep. 2018 after Natasha’s death became public, how many more people have died, not in my worst nightmares a second death being revealed shortly after:

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

 

 

I still have the emails regarding Brexit and Grenfell etc. Whatever helps Pret and Clive Schlee’s PR and bragging about good deeds that are obvious and visible and self-serving, that is what Pret acts on IMMEDIATELY.

 

P.S. @ BBC News, PLEASE don’t let your reporters say “In the wake of Natasha’s death”… This is in the wake of Natasha’s death becoming PUBLIC! She died TWO YEARS ago and Pret didn’t care, but everyone treats this as from yesterday.

To Natasha’s parent’s her death IS as if it happened yesterday, and will be like this forever. But Pret, Clive Schlee and particularly Jonathan Perkins knew of Natasha’s death for two years, as well as all the warnings before and after, but did not do anything to change!

Absolutely nothing and even ignored repeated warnings!

The hypocrisy of the CEO on his Twitter saying that “nothing is more important to Pret right now”.

Right now? After two years?! Pret got caught now, and this reshuffles their priority. Not the deaths, not the numerous warnings, but the public exposure.

Pret A Shame on you!

 

 

It’s not the Waking, it’s the Rising

 

I am missing one major artist and activist from his song, and yes, many are missing, but the one person that keeps being forgotten, maybe because she isn’t as “loud” in her music is Joan Baez. She went to jail several times for her activism in the 60s, was expelled, not welcomed by certain oppressive regimes, visited war-torn countries in solidarity also to local artist etc. etc.

 

“I went to jail for 11 days for disturbing the peace; I was trying to disturb the war.” Joan Baez, 1967

 

Joan Cried Power!

 


 

It is the grounding of a foot uncompromising
It’s not forgoing of the lie
It’s not the opening of eyes
It’s not the waking, it’s the rising

It’s not the shade, we should be past it
It’s the light, and it’s the obstacle that casts it
It’s the heat that drives the light
It’s the fire it ignites
It’s not the waking, it’s the rising

It’s not the song, it is the singing
It’s the hearing of a human spirit ringing
It is the bringing of the line
It is the baring of the rhyme
It’s not the waking, it’s the rising

And I could cry power
Power
Power
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power
And I could cry power
Power
Power
Power
Curtis cried power
Patti cried power
Nina cried power

It’s not the wall but what’s behind it
The fear of fellow men, his mere assignment
And everything that we’re denied
By keeping the divide
It’s not the waking, it’s the rising

 

 

Nina Cried Power

 

Same Old – A poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Brilliant poem from a fellow blogger!

parallax

Manifesto – Word of the Day

Karl-Marx-and-Frederick-Engels.jpg

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Communist Manifesto, published circa February 1848, and which sparked many political and economic debates, and not just a few revolutions.

Same Old

It was that kind of day,
when I could finally speak paradox,
between the corner store
and the park.
It was there I heard
the suit encased optimist’s manifesto,
from the podium,
“yadayadayadayadayadayadayada”
with only a momentary pause.
The man behind me asked,
“Can you splain that mate?”
And, I said, “Sure, it goes like this;
lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies,
but it came out as,
paradise, free bread, equality,
love and peace.”
Then the woman in front said,
“You know, we already have all these things,
they’re a manifesto of your heart.”

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

View original post

Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement vs Pret’s Modern Slavery Practices

 

business-1320078__340

 

 

I shouldn’t be surprised nor appalled at Pret’s statement regarding Modern Slavery, and this may be concentrating more on their suppliers and farmers etc. while ignoring Modern Slavery on their doorstep in shops. Pret does what they often do, spilling the beans on something that is happening while white-washing it either in small-print or out loud through PR.

After the second customer dying due to allergy, and taking a deeper look again, I leave this without any more comments, just to say that Pret does what they do well, getting caught before getting caught.

“Good jobs for good people”, the beautiful PR(et) facade needs more fixing.

 

Pret’s Modern Slavery Statement

Quote from the Introduction on page 3:

“…  we remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate modern slavery if and when identified in our business and supply chains. We know there’s a lot to do and we will continue to make our journey transparent, sharing our successes as well as the challenges we encounter along the way.”

 

We know there’s a lot to do?

 

Rephrased: “We have modern slavery in Pret, but we work on it once we get caught. We stay quiet until it becomes public.”

Like the kid with the chocolate stained fingers behind his back from the cookie jar saying to his mum who hasn’t even noticed the missing cookies yet, “It wasn’t me, mum. I don’t know where the cookies are.

 

I’m happy to help Pret with the “transparency” part of their statement and operations: Pret’s Staff Modern Slavery Statements and how it looks behind the facade.

 

Modern Day Slavery (2nd Oct. 2018)

Workers are slave (June 2017)

Slave-like environment (Oct. 2017)

Felt Like A Slave (Nov. 2014)

Quoting further from this which appears when clicking on “Show More”, quoting including the ALL CAPS:

“DO NOT WORK THERE YOU WILL REGRET IT!! DONT LET THEM LIE TO YOU WITH THE PAY OF $10 A HOUR NOT WORTH IT
I FELT MISTREATED, FELT LIKE A SLAVE, THEY LOWERED MY SELF ESTEEM BY TELLING ME I DONT WORK HARD ENOUGH EVEN THOUGH I WAS THE FIRST ON TO FINISH.
THIS JOB SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE DEPT OF LABOR

Advice to Management

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.”

 

Slavery hasn’t been abolished (Oct. 2017)

Leaders treat you like a slave (May 2018)

For this company you are numbers, robots, machines, you are no humans. (Dec. 2017)

 

A full review from June 2018 without the term “slave” or “slavery” but with very clear words on the subject:

Hellhole!”

“0 respect for employees
Too much stress, let’s face it pret, you’re a sandwich shop
Not that good wages anymore, everyone around you is raising the hourly wages, 10p is not enough
Communication sucks
Crazy standards impossible to follow
0 motivation for staff, if you treat people like they’re useless and worthless, they won’t work so well anymore
Employees are the blood of the company, not customers, not ingredients, not the shops, TREAT PEOPLE PROPERLY!!!!

Rethink your whole policies, they sucks, get down from that high horse you’re on

 

PLUS scrolling down in the comments to Branzinotito’s comment:

Horrible Company Pret

 

 

On Andrej’s Pret Union video more comments:

logic 2000: “… pret is pure exploitation of foreign workers modern day slavery. systematic abuse disguised as productivity target.”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments1a

 

… and further …

 

Saif Khan: Pret exploits and abuse their employees. ..thats true fact…I can say after working 5 years there..”

2012 Andrej Stopa Video Comments4

 

etc. etc.

 

PLUS comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of Pret staff complaints and selected quotes from the list.

 

I added comments in the PDF document with more extensive thoughts on some points.

Quote of the Day #60 – Pret A Modern-day Slavery

 

UPDATE:

I posted this Quote of the Day which I have been doing on and off since around May 2018, but today’s “quote” I posted a few hours before I learned today’s news of a second death from a Pret A Manger product. Even though I am not surprised at Pret’s negligence and slow reaction until this became public, I am utterly shaken at these news. Devastated and shocked!

 


 

 

 

pressure-62283_960_720

 

 

They expect you to follow six key points of production and have passion in making items. When you follow this they then moan that you are to slow and need to hurry up as everyone in a Pret kitchen says choppy choppy which is the worst thing because it only makes you less motivated.

 

My comment: Yes, this is very true, and the reason for this is that leaders in the shop, but especially in the kitchen under harsh management are pushing people to their limits to then be promoted themselves. A typical “kissing upwards, and kicking downwards” bullying behaviour in large companies. In Pret this is rampant as can be seen in the Staff Complaints via the link on the bottom, but Pret is next to nothing when it comes to PR and the public is lulled in to believe Pret is kind to their staff. Well …

 

 

2018-10-02 Modern Day Slavery

Former TM 2nd Oct. 2018

 

I also want to highlight the “Cons” in this review, quote:

“Cons

Depression. Anxiety. Dread to go to work

 

I can absolutely underline this statement of the mentally unhealthy environment in Pret.

 

Featured in the selected “Quotes of the Day“.

Comprehensive, but not exhaustive Pret Staff Complaints.

Why I collected these after having survived Pret.

 

My Response to a Tweet

 

… from @AliciaGTurrell

 

Hi Alicia,

I’d like to respond here via my blog, as Twitter is limited in words and I want to avoid tweeting even more than I already do. I have included Hazards Campaign and Ian Hodson in this as they are campaigning for health and safety at work, for better work conditions and people’s lives in general, as well as having been a great support where others have failed me. Please pardon the length of my response, I try to cover all the bases, and writing helps me to cope in an extreme nightmare.

 

Your request…

 

2018-10-05 AliciaGTurrell Response

Link to Tweet

 

 

… is totally valid and I would usually not cross pollinate concerns that I have with other matters that people raise. I totally understand and I agree with your plea / request, except if it wasn’t for knowing Pret from the bottom up and from its heart regarding people’s lives, health, safety and dignity!

I have been “campaigning” regarding staff treatment, bullying, negligence of staff health and safety openly since May 2018, but from within Pret since May 2015 when my ordeal in Pret started to become horrific on top of my already traumatic loss.

The “cross pollination” is not so much a cross pollination as it seems because for me it is about the health & safety and the lives of PEOPLE, customers and staff alike.

In January 2017 I was told by an HR People Business Partner, who was the note-taker of a grievance appeal that I raised against another PBP for his involvement in my turmoil, that an assistant manager in bereavement was also mistreated at work on top of this. Apart from this being extremely unprofessional and plain stupid for this PBP to even give me this information and with it confirming that staff, no matter what position they’re in, are being mistreated even during bereavement. He confirmed that I was not the only one this happened to. He tried to compare me with her and said that she was “bitter” as she was raising grievances like I did.

I was speechless at this but later at home emailed him to say that she is not bitter but in a lot of pain, as I knew exactly what she must be going through. I regret not having tried to connect with her to support her as I was myself still very lost in my grief and pain. A few months later I learned that an assistant manager died by suicide and this time learned of her name, branch and other details. With Pret I do not believe in coincidences anymore and I have almost ended my life as well having been very close on the edge after what I’ve been through with Pret!

This is about people, no matter on which side of the counter they are standing. Yes, of course customers are always treated better than staff, not because customers “are” better, but because their pockets is what any business is after. But to have neglected and plainly ignored repeated warnings and complaints from customers on the labelling issue, with one also almost fatal, this is a deep-rooted problem in Pret and won’t just improve over night.

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

 

 

The negligence of Pret A Manger concerning people’s lives and health is neither an accident nor isolated incidences, and sadly I am not surprised at Clive Schlee’s repeated self-assured and patronizing response to customers as well as staff. Him “labelling” me his late night girl after my traumatic emailing, making fun, discriminating and minimizing my becoming so unwell, while he refuses to label food products to safe lives, acts to be an open reminder to take responsibility. And then to fire me three days after Christmas 2017 while my dad was in intensive care, just out of a coma is their way of claiming to be “doing the right thing naturally“.

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

 

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

 

I know Pret for 10 years with my last 3 years extremely traumatizing. Pret’s “approach” is to blame downwards, that also shows when the labelling was changed to send customers to shop staff to ask about allergen advise. This is a typical lazy approach to blame the shop staff should something go wrong. The amount of rules and micromanaging tasks staff have to sign to be made responsible is just Pret’s way to divert responsibility.

Pret was very very fast in response to Brexit. Within the week of the Brexit vote “Brexit Champions” were placed in each area to help employees stay in the UK and with it not lose staff. Pret reacted very quickly after repeatedly ignoring requests to tackle pest problems in shops, only  when an EHO after a routine check closed down a shop due to pest issues did Pret react and commissioned a proper pest control company to solve this problem. Now with Natasha’s death having become public… only a reaction while having ignored repeated warnings before AND after Natasha’s death.

Yes, you may ask why I didn’t leave, I tried. I had interviews, even a trial day while in my darkest time and grief. I couldn’t sell myself and was very down emotionally and mentally. And maybe I overdid it in the trial day trying to “prove” that I’d be a great asset to the company. But when the floor underneath you is ripped away with personal tragedy and then added with the turmoil at work, Natasha’s dad in an interview described the emotional turmoil as feeling like a zombie! I can completely relate to this in terms of grief, especially traumatic grief. And I cannot even begin to imagine the nightmares he has at nights seeing his daughter die in front of him.

You may also ask why I didn’t go to court against Pret, my answer to this repeated question is here.

And also, the trend today is that people accept this as just the norm. People, employees are being treated like this everywhere, there’s nothing that can be done. I had a Facebook message like this again just two days ago. Friends speak like this, even in a grievance hearing the hearing manager said that mistreatment is happening everywhere. And people settle for this. No, I don’t! I do not settle for this! I do not accept this as the norm, and to quote Ian Hodson from the BFAWUnion on different speeches he made, that “It is no longer acceptable that workers are oppressed, paid low wages having to rely on benefits, being exploited, mistreated, disrespected… etc.” It is no longer acceptable! Full stop!

Staff becoming suicidal, mentally ill with depression and other mental conditions, customers (as well as staff!) having life-threatening allergy reactions, and ultimately Natasha’s death is a direct “result” of this carelessness and acceptance on what big companies get away with. Pret allows me to tweet on their feed because they are waiting for me to say something they can use against me. That’s fine with me @Pret. Bring it on!

 

This is about LIFE without discrimination, without distinction of customers vs. staff. This is about PEOPLE’S LIVES.

 

Having worked in Pret is my biggest regret in life, but now I am deeply ashamed to have any affiliation to Pret and unfortunately cannot erase 10 years of my life that I have wasted. I have become suicidal and was close to the edge which gives me shivers thinking about how close I was. But my suicidal days are over and no matter how much I still suffer, I will not be silent.

Natasha’s death is not an unfortunate incidence that just happened, and like raani1810 has the audacity to suggest that “Maybe it was her time”! It is not for anyone to speculate who’s time it is! Apart from that, it was a tragedy in the making after repeated warnings! I wouldn’t go as far to say it was “murder”, even though in my devastation I have called it like this at times, but it surely has a “manslaughter” quality to it!

Customers’ lives and health, staff’s lives and health, people’s lives and health is what I am standing up for. And be it to support your cause on the allergen issues, I am behind you as well. But because of the lives and health of people, this isn’t as much a “cross pollination” to me as the core problem with Pret A Manger is the lack of true care behind the PR(et) machine. I know I keep repeating myself because this will not change any time soon. Clive Schlee’s “promise” as he calls it to label products now comes only after Natasha’s death has become public. He even procrastinated to contact Natasha’s family for two years!! This is NOT an unfortunate “accident”.

I respect your request but I cannot and will not be silent anymore regarding people’s lives and safety, regardless if they are customers or staff, the core problem in Pret is neglecting people’s lives.

I understand my writings are a “handful”, but I do NOT apologize anymore for speaking out nor sharing my personal experience. I have passed on the written evidence that I have on my ordeal with Pret. I do not trust Pret one ounce after what they’ve put me through!

Thank you for reading.

—————————————————

Update: These kind of responses make me even more determined to never be silent about people’s suffering mentally and physically, be it customers or staff alike. Everybody has their “area” of campaigning, for Alicia it is the allergen issue which I will always support, but as usual the mistreatment of staff, the rampant bullying behaviour of huge companies is of little concern to the public.

I accept and respect people not wanting to know what is happening behind the scenes, but keep on speaking out. And this kind of reaction often comes because I am already “volunteering” the thought that my post may be too long, people then tend to like to jump on that bandwagon to get themselves away from being spectators to injustices, while the statistics of my writings speak another story that people want to know what is going on. I could be dead right now after having had a close call, and also for others in a similar situation who cannot speak anymore, I speak out.

And I do understand that people want to protect themselves, as this is public and even while they might still read my response, publicly distance themselves. That’s fine, everybody is at the level of courage or their own campaign where they feel safe. The same is with most managers in Pret who understood my standing up within Pret but have their jobs to protect.

 

 

2018-10-06 Re Alcia response2

 

 

“Exploitative employers, We are coming for you”

 

McStrike-logo-300x264

 

 

 

Quote of the Day:

“Our message to exploitative employers is, that we are coming for you!”

John McDonnell

 

 

London’s Leicester Square 04.10.2018

 

 

Spoonstrike

 

 

BFAWU

 

 

A Message To Chains

 

For my people in the shops and on the streets, being loud and clear to say that we care for more than just peanuts and we deserve better than the disrespect we encounter for too long…

I miss my colleagues, working with them shoulder to shoulder, so I march with them shoulder to shoulder…. This is for them… more to come ………

 

 

ball-and-chain-2624325__340

 

A Message to Chains

 

One of those mornings

when I enter the shop

waiting for my colleagues to arrive

I am extremely down that day

but I keep going

 

Setting up the coffee machine

putting the frozen croissants into the oven

answering the phone to a colleague calling sick

putting down the phone

picking up my heart

I keep going

 

My team’s starting to trickle in

one by one, tired but Pret A Faire

I’m glad to see them

we all disperse to our jobs

and later the boss arrives

but I keep going

 

Noon-time

I want to press the snooze button

No! I want to smash it!

So exhausted!

Rude and ungrateful customers

boss having a go at us

colleagues fatigued

but I keep going

 

Hours missing from my pay

getting told off for nothing

rota changed without notice

and I keep going

 

Made a mistake

nothing much

but a catastrophe for my boss

so I keep crawling

 

Feeling low after life’s blow

going to work without pay

without help, with no meaning…

being bullied…

I keep going

and I strike

I strike

I strike

 

I strike back!

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Fast-food Workers Strike, Leicester Square, London, nationwide and in other countries 4th October 2018.

 

For my People in the shops

 

and on the streets, being loud and clear to say that we care for more than just peanuts and we deserve better than the disrespect we encounter for too long…

I miss my colleagues, working with them shoulder to shoulder, so I march with them shoulder to shoulder…. This is for them… more to come ………

 

 

ball-and-chain-2624325__340

 

A Message to Chains

 

One of those mornings

when I enter the shop

waiting for my colleagues to arrive

I am extremely down that day

but I keep going

 

Setting up the coffee machine

putting the frozen croissants into the oven

answering the phone to a colleague calling sick

putting down the phone

picking up my heart

I keep going

 

My team’s starting to trickle in

one by one, tired but Pret A Faire

I’m glad to see them

we all disperse to our jobs

and later the boss arrives

but I keep going

 

Noon-time

I want to press the snooze button

No! I want to smash it!

So exhausted!

Rude and ungrateful customers

boss having a go at us

colleagues fatigued

but I keep going

 

Hours missing from my pay

getting told off for nothing

rota changed without notice

and I keep going

 

Made a mistake

nothing much

but a catastrophe for my boss

so I keep crawling

 

Feeling low after life’s blow

going to work without pay

without help, with no meaning…

being bullied…

I keep going

and I strike

I strike

I strike

 

I strike back!

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org

 

Fast-food Workers Strike, Leicester Square, London, nationwide and in other countries 4th October 2018.

 

 

Lucky Pret: The Difference between the USA & the UK

 

justice-2071539_960_720

 

 

The difference between the USA and the UK is not only the legal system, but the hunger for justice, even if that “justice” in the U.S. is known for being so ridiculous:

 

Suing Pret for “air” in the States, while Natasha was dying in the air and Pret in the UK is getting away with murder.

 

 

And Another-Six (from a friend)

 

A friend emailed me this last weekend regarding his visit to Pret the weekend before, quote:

 

“I was in a Pret last weekend and noticed a distinct lack of labelling which I thought was probably due to how busy it was as so many customers were sheltering from the rain. I knew what I wanted and found it easily enough but it didn’t even have an identity/price label on the cabinet, let alone potential allergy advice. So they clearly still haven’t learnt their lesson, although the company would probably blame the local staff.”

 

Pret and Clive Schlee will get away with murder and JAB stand by their man!

 

Pret came with below the average of labelling food products and certainly way above average of killing a customer, as well as having put several others into hospital with even more having suffered reactions and one also almost fatal. Where PR(et) will fail here, money will get them out of this one.

 

 

Clive

 

 

And Another-Four

 

egg-3471439_960_720

 

“I went to Pret *today* thinking you’d learned your lesson. My daughter is allergic to egg. Allergic lists were hidden away. Your staff could not confirm the ingredients on children’s products after 20 mins of online research & calls. You should be utterly and deeply ashamed.”

 

Link

 

 

And Another-Three

 

warnings-28709_960_720

 

“Avani Bansal had a reaction to sesame from a Pret salad 13 months after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, died after eating a Pret baguette containing the seeds. …

After that, I tweeted Pret to tell them what had happened and they private-messaged me and offered me a £20 Pret voucher, and said they were working to change their labelling.

It was like they were trying to pay me off. I didn’t feel like they were taking it seriously enough.

Especially considering what happened with Natasha just over a year previously, why hadn’t they already changed their labelling by that point?”

 

Link

 

 

 

 

And Another-two

 

Allergen

 

“Chip Colquhoun, 34, from Cambridge, has written an open letter to Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee to say he should have heeded his warning six years ago. … Mr Colquhoun, who has a shellfish allergy, claimed that when he urged CEO Clive Schlee to put labels on Pret’s food the chief executive reportedly told him that he wouldn’t sanction adding labels because he didn’t want the restaurants looking like stationery outlets.”

 

Link

 

 

And Another-one

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

 

Link

 

Clive Schlee’s appalling response, apart from the patronizing and self-assured tone, quote:

“You also make your point about the allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that …”

 

I still shake my head when reading this, and I read this many times now in disbelief!

 

A “collection” of warnings Pret ignored.

 

The Question if I filed a Court Claim against Pret A Manger

 

judge-1587300__340

 

 

The more people learn about my story with Pret the more the question comes up if I went to court against Pret.

Yes I did. But I withdrew.

 

If you are a new reader to my ordeal with Pret A Manger, you will be confused and overwhelmed as my story is very complex and long. Those who have been following since the beginning when I started to publish on my blog in May 2018 have a good picture on what I went through.

This will eventually turn into a chronological book of events.

 

But to briefly answer the repeated and valid question if I sued Pret or if not, then why not, which I was just asked today again on Facebook, I decided to write this in a blog and just link to it.

 

When I was dismissed after being bullied, manipulated, gaslighted, held low, lied to by Pret’s toxic HR department, and continuously patronized by Pret’s CEO, Clive Schlee, who is not willing to label products for allergen information but was willing to label me his “late night girl” after the ordeal I went through… when I was dismissed three days after Christmas 2017 with my dad in intensive care just woken out of a coma, I filed a Tribunal claim as soon as I was able to in February 2018 as you have 3 months minus 1 day to file a claim.

In the meantime I was flying back and forth again between London and Germany to be with my dad (who was in hospital since 10.11.2017) as best I could on his bed side and then later in rehab. In the middle of all this I started to prepare for the Tribunal claim which would have happened in September 2018 with the first preliminary hearing in April 2018.

But I had no legal aid as I cannot afford lawyer fees. I scrapped all legal information together as best as I could, going from Citizen Advise Bureau to other free legal advisors to online researching back and forth, while also flying back and forth between London and my father’s bed side.

 

For people in the USA to understand, the legal system in the UK or in Europe in general is very different to the USA. Since 2015 on and off I contacted various law firms including pro-Bono, no-win no-fee firms, I even had a lawyer for a while who advised me for free. But I had to find out later again that he only wanted to make a quick buck by settling with Pret and get his 30%+ fee from the settlement. He didn’t really advise me properly anyway and even gave me some false advise at times which I later found out when I continued to do my “homework” researching online. I rejected four settlement offers from Pret, three while still working in Pret, and the fourth one via negotiating with the ACAS conciliator while withdrawing the Tribunal claim I raised and then closed. I dropped the “charitable” lawyer as soon as I found he was just looking for fast money himself.

In the USA lawyers would line up like vultures wanting to sue Pret on my behalf as the compensation can be ridiculously huge. In the UK the compensation would have maybe be maximum £10.000, maybe even more and mostly around £8000. But 33% for the lawyer is peanuts for them to go all the way through with days and days of preliminary and then the main hearings. The free lawyer I had for a while also kept saying to me that it takes months before the hearings take place. In the UK they don’t bother for this “little” amount, while the Millions that can be won in the USA has lawyers drooling for cases like mine.

 

My father then died in March this year, and again I found myself crumbled under the weight of what life has thrown at me since I learned of my brother’s death in January 2015 (but he died in December 2014) and all I went through in Pret. Autopilot kicked in again, but I couldn’t cope anymore. Enough is enough. I want to die, but I want to live. I need a break.

 

1971-07-14 WK PK2 crop

WK 1939 – 2018

 

I withdrew my claim against Pret as my father died in the middle of preparing for the court case with scraps of legal advise I stumbled through, and my mental health taking another nose dive beyond basement level. But I did my homework and asked the Tribunal for the right to file a second claim later should I decide to file again. And I was granted this request.

If I will raise a second claim or if the time limit will be over, I don’t want to talk about.

But this is the reason why I withdrew my case, as it is so complex which involved the heart of Pret, the CEO, HQ, Head of HR, a Development Manager who was used to gaslight me etc. etc. etc. Unwillingly and unprecedented I poked into the heart of Pret, and for me to go all the way through to court without a lawyer going all the way with me would be suicide, as I cannot handle even small stress mentally at this time.

So, lucky for Pret I withdrew, but lucky for me I didn’t sign my rights away for peanuts. And even if Pret had offered me a huge amount, I don’t prostitute my values nor sign my rights away for life. So, I published now.

 

What happened to Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and her family has utterly devastated and shaken me. I wrote it before I have learned of her death, that having worked in Pret is my biggest regret in life. And now having learned of her tragedy, I am deeply ashamed to have ever given my time, effort and skill to this company, and having tried to improve work conditions from within while extremely traumatized myself. A company’s facade that does not care for people’s lives and health will get more and more cracks in time, with a glimpse behind the scenes of their carelessness.

 

Ednan-Laperouse

 

 

My heart and prayers go out to Natasha’s family and friends; her brother Alex, her mum and dad Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse.

 

 

I hope in time more people will come forward, especially on the issue of suicide in Pret as well as work conditions, bullying and customer injuries. On work conditions this former employee was the first to go public, I am the second and in time I hope more will follow. And I hope Natasha’s family pursue Pret in court as they have the finances for legal aid and the public behind them now with many warnings Pret ignored.

 

Thank you for reading and please open your eyes to Pret and take a closer look behind the facade, as indeed take a closer look at ANY company or organization that looks too good to be true in this profit driven society today.

If you don’t take anything away from my publications, ask yourself if anyone can really smile and be “happy” for 8+ hours DAILY in an intensely high stressed work environment out of true “happiness” or if there is anything else behind this!

 

And my question to Pret A Manger remains: If an assistant manager died by suicide in 2017, I almost did as well after my turmoil at work, and now Natasha’s death in 2016 is revealed, HOW MANY MORE people died and/or suffered hospitalization, depression, mental health issues, physical and mental injuries in relation to Pret.

 

2018-09-16 Re Emily to Pret

Link to Tweet

 

The only way I cope is to write, and to write creatively of my ordeal. I said it to Pret while I still worked there that it is a mistake to mistreat someone who suffered loss and is a writer, as that person has nothing to lose anymore. And as Madeleine Peyroux wrote so poignantly in her song “Don’t Pick A Fight With A Poet”, Pret in their arrogance and feeling invincible, #toobigtofail, again did not heed yet another warning.

 

 

Some blog entries that give a good glance behind the shiny PR(et) facade:

 

Selected “Quotes of the Day” from substantial, but not exhaustive list of Pret Staff Complaints.

 

How I became a late night girl as “labelled” by Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee.

 

Pret A Mask

 

An important Open Letter to the Director HR.

 

And finally, I take back the sentence at the end of this “video” that Pret has a good heart. I take that back, but I leave this “video” as a reminder and a sore in Pret’s sight of my passion, care and love for people, having tried to improve work conditions while myself being traumatized and mistreated by Pret!

 

 

 

2nd Quote of the Day “It is INEXCUSABLE that a food company of this magnitude…”

 

with this much money cannot realize the responsibility it has to people who are making a life or death decision every time they go into that shop, because these allergies can take your life, and it can take them in a couple of hours or in minutes.”

— Susanna Reid, Good Morning Britain 01.10.2018

 

 

Natasha

 

 

Also Piers Morgan has some much needed words for Clive Schlee at the end of the interview.

 

 

 

 

Putting this again into “perspective” how Clive Schlee’s patronizing and self-assured response was to an open letter regarding allergen and labeling in 2015.

Not only resignation, but prosecution needs to happen here:

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

 

Link to Tweet

 

Quote for larger print:

 

“Dear Alicia

I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to board my flight and I have been reading your discursive open letter to Pret. I must say you do have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.

You also make your point about allergen information. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond. I think you are telling us to train our staff better. I can’t argue with that. I think you are suggesting we treat allergens more seriously. Again, fair point. Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?

Wish best wishes

Clive Schlee”

 

The more I read this response the more my head doesn’t stop shaking!

Is it just arrogance, feeling invincible, carelessness, what is this??! His response to me even looks stupid and foolish, like an apprentice who is trying to figure out an assignment…

The patronizing and self-assured tone of: “I must say you do have a charming, self deprecating writing style and it was very gracious of you to mention so many good things about Pret. I am Pret’s CEO.”

Alicia is supposed to get excited that THE CEO responded?

I could pick apart the whole response, but this sentence could be the end for him: “To be honest, I am not exactly sure how to respond.”

 

Hence, this second “Quote of the Day”:

It is INEXCUSABLE that a food company of this magnitude with this much money cannot realize the responsibility it has to people who are making a life or death decision every time they go into that shop, because these allergies can take your life, and it can take them in a couple of hours or in minutes.”

 

The arrogance and cowardliness of Jonathan Perkins, Pret’s Director of Risk-Taking and Complacency!

 

I want to say Thank You

 

Thank you to those who passed on my story with Pret even though some of you just came across my site and never met me.

Thank you to those who passed on my story, retweeted, put on your Facebook Wall, sent emails… even though I flipped out at times and you just held on ….

Most of all, thank you for BELIEVING me!! Many people just shrug it off or don’t believe me, with some even getting angry, one responded to my message (1 message) saying “why are you harassing me, I love Pret!!” I immediately stopped “harassing” anyone who doesn’t want their bubble burst. And I just keep going elsewhere.

 

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

I am so tired of campaigning and I am so devastated and shocked of what happened to this young lady Natasha, her family, her father who had the horrific task to try and save her… I cannot even begin to imagine the nightmares he has at nights, and will have for the rest of his life in seeing his precious daughter die right in front of him from unnecessary neglect of a greedy profit-driven company! I even worked in 2016 in Pret when Natasha died, and we were never even informed or any urgency to be diligent with the labeling, nothing! Having worked in Pret is my biggest regret in life and I am ashamed to have given so much sweat, blood, tears and skill to them.

 

My heart goes out to Natasha’s family and friends!

If I would have been the Team Leader in Heathrow that day, and later found out that a customer died on my shift, I would have resigned immediately! Immediately.

I have blogged and logged and ranted and raved about Pret’s brutal work conditions and arrogance, but I’m tired now.

I plead for Clive Schlee to resign and for those responsible to be prosecuted in a court of law because of the arrogance to feel invincible to keep destroying people’s lives.

Her name was Emily.

 

I want to thank many people, but I want to name just those who stuck it out on social media while I was out of my mind at times in anger and anxiety, and those who immediately understood without knowing me.

 

Paul you are a very kind soul!

https://pvcann.com/

 

Ian Hodson

thank you for your patience. Please don’t give up but take care of yourself as well, take a break as well.

https://latenightgirl.org/2018/07/16/ian-hodson-and-the-bfawu/

 

Kate Louise

The first to re-post my story.

 

I AM FILMIC

I don’t know you, but you are super supportive and kind.

https://twitter.com/OfficialAbruptr

 

Rebecca Nahid

Rebecca, you are right, but I think it’s not 80%, it is 95% or more. But I did my best. Thank you so much!

https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.burke.98/posts/10156341284571758

 

Rebecca

 

 

 

Rainbows

I don’t sing, I don’t dance and I don’t like American comedy, because it is boring, non-challenging and silly to me.

But if I was to choose a comedian to brighten up my day, no colour could cover the sky like this guy.

And maybe one day people stop being afraid of strong women and men speaking out.

Rudy and the Beast… my favorite RR Fake News Network report

Thanks for brightening my day and many others’ …

Jonathan Perkins – Pret’s Director of Risk-Taking & Complacency

 

UPDATE:

When I wrote the first sentence that Natasha isn’t the only fatality in Pret, I did not know that a second customer, Celia Marsh had died in December 2017. I did ask Pret on 30.09.2018 how many more there are and included it here on the 30th, but with the other fatality I meant a suicide of staff I keep confronting Pret about.

 


 

Blog Entry:

 

Natasha’s death is not the only fatality in Pret.

Pret’s Director of Risk & Compliance, or more appropriately, Risk-Taking & Complacency, having known of 9 complaints regarding sesame in products, especially the Artisan Baguette BEFORE Natasha died from it.

…walking ahead, strolling on the pavement in this VIDEO casually with his hands in his pockets as if nothing ever happened. Maybe the lady to the right behind him “ventriloquized” for him to take his hands out of his pockets for the cameras, as he briefly looked to his right, and then repositioning himself moving out of view of the camera. Nothing to worry about, because Clive Schlee does what he does best, sweet-talking Pret out of every mess! This one as well?! Certainly very impressive performance two years after Natasha’s death!

I find it also interesting that the CEO’s senior staff and lawyers stood far off on the other side of the street instead of close behind him, covering his back while he faces the public via the press. If Clive Schlee decided or was advised to face the press alone, while Mr. Perkins and legal advisors coward behind him out of view of the camera, with him later also walking alone through the mine field of the press, only he knows. But it shows what I experienced in Pret for 10 years, there is no “one for all and all for one” principle in Pret, the “family” illusion that Clive Schlee loves to portrait has always annoyed me, as the reality is Pret being a brutal and dishonest profit driven company, or a very dysfunctional family at best, breaking down as the mask is falling and the public starts to see the true face.

 

Jonathan Perkins gave a very poor response in the inquest which not only has many people perplex but angry:

Quote from this news report: “I accept that a number of individuals have had a negative experience, even a tragic experience, but thousands of customers and allergy sufferers shop with us safely.”

He might as well have said: ‘…a number of individuals have had a negative experience, even a tragic experience, but thousands of customers and allergy sufferers balance on the rope of potential allergic reactions without falling off‘.

Let’s just blame the law and the shops, shall we, and disgracefully Natasha herself? If you as the reader is blaming Natasha and her family, please go away from my website, buy yourself a coffee in Pret and stay lulled in from the PR(et) facade! Just click my website away, I don’t want your audience! I am not writing for you!

 

Perkins completely disregards a person’s death AND 9 previous complaints (with 1 also almost fatal) to thousands of customers who mingle their way through the dangers of allergic reactions due to lack of labeling! The lack of labeling is still happening TODAY (29.09.2018) as a friend just wrote to me having visited Pret on the weekend checking the labels.

Perkins further says after being asked what he has learned from Natasha’s death: “The father in me would want to change everything. I would give anything for this not to have happened. We try to do our best for our customers, but humans are fallible. Despite our best efforts and intentions we will get things wrong.”

 

 

Right Thing Naturally

 

 

This response not only angers many people including me, but it shows the core of Pret’s repeated negligence, and in my opinion plain arrogance in how they deal with many issues, not even putting on the brakes regarding life and death issues. For one, he had to admit due to Pret’s complaint logs, that he knew of the 9 previous complaints before Natasha died, but NOTHING was done! The father in him would want to change everything?? He missed a minimum of 9 opportunities to change EVERYTHING! And to excuse a death and negligence with just being human and fallible is outrageous and sickening, especially since Pret expects perfection from their shop staff and penalize employees easily for the smallest mistakes, mainly blaming downwards!! I survived being penalized and bullied even during traumatic bereavement.

Jonathan Perkins walking with his hands in his pockets, not taking responsibility, not resigning but hiding behind Clive Schlee from the camera’s view speaks volumes of Pret’s core values of “doing the right thing naturally”.

“It’s what makes Pret, Pret”!

 

 

PretDoingRightThingHaHa

 

Heartbroken for Natasha and her family!

 

The self-assured and patronizing response from Clive Schlee, CEO to an open letter in 2015 will also shed enough light behind the shiny PR(et) facade that gets more and more cracks by the public exposure of the fact that people, customers as well as staff, get hurt physically and mentally:

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

 

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

Link to Tweet

 

 

For him as the CEO to personally reply was supposed to impress Alicia? Well, it didn’t!

Last sentence in his response, quote: “Is there anything else that you would specifically like [u]s to do?”

Yes, RESIGN Clive Schlee!!

 

 

2018-07-06 Head Office PR

Former IT Analyst’s employment review

 

 

Maybe Pret can learn from London’s Royal Festival Hall café. I used to chuckle when I ordered a coffee before a concert when I saw this sign of a “Honey NUT Tart” visibly loaded with nuts and the price tag saying: “Contains Nuts”! I thought it funny and made this photo, but now I don’t laugh anymore! Apologies to all allergy sufferers! The RAH’s diligence makes sense now! And this photo I made as far back as 2013 or 2014.

 

2014-07-21 Contains Nuts RFH

 

 

Heartbroken for Natasha’s family, who like all people who have lost loved ones due to neglect in unnecessary and avoidable deaths, say that they hope Natasha’s death will lead to change and save lives.

I join that hope, but I also hope that the top leadership of Pret resign or get dismissed and prosecuted, mainly because of the high and unattainable standards they expect of their staff, while themselves hiding behind a facade and their millions and hurting people. I myself have given Pret the benefit of the doubt one too many times while I was bullied, gaslighted, manipulated and ultimately dismissed during bereavement with my dad in intensive care, just out of a coma.

Pret does NOT care for people nor the health of customers and staff alike until caught publicly. The time has to come that the top leadership are called out to take responsibility away from the sweet-talking slogans they are so effectively known for.

To quote only part of one staff review (Clicking on “Show More” to see full review):
“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.

That makes two voices already… And since news of Natasha’s death broke, more positive reviews seem to appear in support of Schlee and Pret. It doesn’t matter how many rally around the CEO and the company, a person died, others were hospitalized and suffered scary reactions to products.

How many more have died that we don’t know about if Natasha’s death that happened in 2016 just comes to light now? How many died of food allergies or staff by suicide that is under the carpet?

 

2018-09-30 My Tweet on death suicide

 

 

Nothing further to say, hey!

That’s not for today… I’ve made my statement”

When is the day, Clive Schlee, when, with you being “deeply” sorry for Natasha’s death two YEARS after she died because this is public now? When is the day?

 

 

Dear Clive Schlee,

could you please stop the PR(et) machine, put on the brakes and truly live up to your slogans to do “meaningful” change? Could you please bring real change for customers’ lives as well as for staff?

Your demands and slogans towards staff to “go the extra mile”, “strive for perfection”, and the most ridiculous of all, Pret “doing the right thing naturally” will always come back to haunt you. I know neither staff nor yourself can live up to micro-managing and fear managing slogans you have had in place for too long. Changing those would be a good start.

You calling me your “late light girl” two months before I was dismissed while my dad just came out of his coma in intensive care, knowing how I suffered during bereavement under your and HR’s leadership, or the lack thereof (!), almost losing my life as well, staff suffering… and you still do business as usual!

You are no “undercover boss” who is oblivious on what’s going on in your company, you are present in Pret like no other CEO. You are very very aware of what is happening inside and outside of Pret. There is no excuse of the suffering of PEOPLE, of customers and staff alike.

Unless you truly change the slogans, the labeling and other health & safety issues, including mental health & safety not just “on paper”, starting by having enough staff on the shop floor instead of cutting labour to increase your millions, as well as having real and more than adequate training in place… until you truly live what you preach this will keep happening and the crack in your PR(et) facade will widen.

Please step out of the shoes of the likes of McDonald’s, Amazon & Co.

Pret is still small and intimate enough to make a real change that wouldn’t be just “meaningful” but life-saving as well as enhancing physical and mental health!

Please heed. Please change direction, sir, or resign and make way for a CEO who would truly care for all people’s lives (customer and staff alike), for their physical and mental health.

Sincerely,

Your Late Night Girl!

 

P.S. And dear Pret, could you please NOT task anyone to contact me, as a former team leader colleague of mine whom I used to highly respect, until I learned of his lies, called and then texted me two days ago, whereas in over three years I haven’t heard from him and him having lied in an investigation hearing that I raised because I was bullied by our then line manager. I immediately asked him to not contact me again and go back to Pret to which he replied that he contacted me “by mistake”. Of course, he did! Please, you should know by now, especially after gaslighting me via this person, that I won’t fall for your toxic and corrupt HR department’s tricks anymore. Thank you!

 

Selected Quotes of Pret Staff Complaints.

Comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of Staff Complaints.

 

Pret A Body Language

 

 

Ok, the nervous but calculated posture of Clive Schlee versus the relaxed hands-in-pockets “Director of Risk” (whatever that means!) Jonathan Perkins (in the background) who quickly changed his posture…

Just judge for yourselves if this is truly being sorry about a person’s death (from 2 years ago) or Pret doing the PR(et) thing once again… naturally…

After the patronizing, self-assured response to an open letter in 2015:

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

 

Well done Clive, you looked convincing!

Outstanding Card!

 

VIDEO

 

“I am Clive Schlee, I am the CEO of Pret A Manger… and I got caught doing the wrong thing naturally…”

 

Please stop being the Ronald McDonald for Pret!

People died. Her name was Emily.

 

https://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/video/statement-outside-west-london-coroners-court-by-pret-a-news-footage/1045935372

 

Hands-in-pocket Director of whatever, sugar-coating…

 

 

 

 

 

Pret A Murder

 

Little seeds hidden in bread that were supposed to give life and nutrition to people.

 

Clive Schlee, please stop the sweet-talk.

Jonathan Perkins strolling down the pavement with his hands in his pockets speaks volumes:

Natasha’s premature death is not the only fatality in Pret.

 

 

 

 

The Arrogance of Pret A Manger

 

under the leadership of Clive Schlee:

 

First of all, calling me his “late night girl” after my trauma in grief and bullying in Pret crossed the line.

Second, his patronizing sweet-talk makes me sick to my stomach!

 

2018-09-28 Another OPEN LETTER_2

Link

 

Thirdly, the families of staff who ended their lives and became suicidal, mentally ill, homeless etc., working under excruciating pain in Pret will speak out in time.

 

Angels without wings are just humans without heart.

Late Night Girl

 

 

Before they mute my response to Pret’s CEO regarding Death…

 

Not good enough, Pret!! Not good enough!

Some of my tweets have been muted lately since the news broke of the girl who died (in 2016 already) from a Pret baguette due to allergy.

Before my response is deleted or muted again, here it is again.

Pret has absolutely NO excuse for this!

What I wrote in the tweet regarding “going the extra mile”, “striving for perfection”, “doing the right thing naturally”….

These are slogans, suggestions, requests and demands Pret has in place for staff. These always bothered me because Pret is not living up to their own demands.

Shortly after my brother’s death and mistreatment in the middle of grief, my suggestions since May 2015 to Pret’s HR department regarding staff treatment, especially of the bereaved have not only been ignored, but I have been bullied on top of it. Only when I involved Clive Schlee, CEO (who later labeled me his “late night girl”) did some support start, but a lot of it was to cover Pret’s own back. A lot was “Pret-entious”!

The bullying which became more subtle later on in the middle of my already traumatic bereavement have made me mentally ill with my emailing, which I extensively explain in other blog entries and how my ordeal started.

I still may be too naïve to have hopes that Pret TRULY can change direction if they put their priorities right. But I firmly believe Pret’s toxic and corrupt HR department needs a serious re-vamping in new leadership, as well as a new CEO who doesn’t just sweet-talk their way out of a disaster or tragedy when Pret gets caught “doing the wrong thing naturally”!

My response to Pret’s CEO as it may be deleted or muted like it was done with some of the other tweets:

 

2018-09-28 MY Response 2 Clive BBC2

 

Link to Tweet

 

Dear Clive Schlee and Pret,

I still have hopes that you change direction regarding work conditions, true customer care, quality of training staff to assist customers… away from your well oiled PR(et) machine and truly live up to your slogans. Not just for customers, but also  for staff, as we all are human beings, sir, not staff as work-machines and robots or customers as piggy banks for your millions.

For the sake of many who suffered to the point of even becoming suicidal, as well as for the public, that is becoming aware of the negligence in Pret which is not an isolated incidence.

Selected Quotes from staff complaints.

Sincerely,

Your Late Night Girl

 

Pret Quotes of the Month – September 2018

 

Depression pexels-photo-246804

 

 

Key words in the quotes:

“GET REALISTIC and stop punishing your hard working teams.

Calm down and take a step back – proper communication is key, over-reacting doesn’t help anyone nor does assigning blame before even fixing a problem.

The manager is so rude. They treat their employees as slaves. It would be good if they educate their staff to treat workers (fair, well, good, better?), they are aggressive and badly educated.

… not worth if you have a manager who shouts at you every five minutes.

Managers are very bossy and unprofessional, a bit of exploiting. Be honest and kind.

Attitude of the manager towards the employees. No understanding to empathy.” …

 

Yep, no understanding to empathy. I survived being bullied during bereavement which was already immensely traumatic how I lost my brother. I was then manipulated, gaslighted, exploited and taken advantage of in my work and aim to better work conditions. To top it, I was then fired while my dad just came out of his coma in intensive care, still hooked on the breathing machine and tubes. I was dismissed two onths after Clive Schlee, CEO labeled me his “late night girl” (late night emails to Pret, friends, counselors out of trauma often drunk) further stepping on my dignity.

I wrote it somewhere else already that Pret with their shiny facade and well oiled PR(et) machine can meet me in the middle of their sugar coated look. Pret can do the PR and I do the ET. They do Public Relations and I Establish Truth with the quotes of the Review websites, YouTube etc. and my own traumatic experience.

 

 

2018-09-01 Do not apply

 

 

 

2018-09-05 Calm down

 

 

2018-09-10 Aggressive

 

2018-09-10 Aggressive2

 

 

2018-09-14 Exploit

 

 

2018-09-21 Managers Attitude

 

 

Collected Staff Complaints from various Employment Review sites, YouTube, Twitter etc.

 

Selected Quotes from the Staff Complaints list.

 

Only after a death does Pret listen?!

 

Now I understand why there were some changes with the labeling two years ago, but now urgency! We weren’t even briefed that a customer died from a Pret baguette due to lack of labeling!

9 other complaints from customers with six of them allergic reactions with one almost dying, but someone’s death finally got Pret to act?! Devastating!

The girl looked at the ingredients before she bought the baguette. It did not list that there were sesame seeds in the bread to which she was allergic and lost her life.

 

A quote from the BBC News website:

“Pret A Manger did not label “artisan” baguettes as containing sesame seeds despite six allergic reaction cases in the year before a girl died, an inquest has heard.

There were nine cases of sesame-related allergy incidents in the year before Natasha died, including six that involved “artisan baguettes”, according to a complaint log for the company.

In one of these cases a woman nearly died after suffering an anaphylactic reaction from a baguette in October 2015, West London Coroner’s Court heard.

Jeremy Hyam QC said the customer’s family afterwards gave Pret A Manger a “specific warning”, but the chain still failed to label sandwiches with allergy information.

 

Speechless! My heart breaks for her family and her father who tried to safe her life.

 

 

 

 

Leading with Heart and Common Sense

 

Donating overtime? Not possible say legal experts. Indeed possible says HR Director Pia Meier – and prevailed.

An interview

 
Seidel Gi Zeitung

 

 

herMoney: Mrs. Meier, as the HR Director of Seidel GmbH & Co KG you found yourself in the headlines. Are you surprised by this immense media attention?

Pia Meier: Yes, I never expected that what is so natural to me would be of great interest to so many people…

 

herMoney: “Natural” doesn’t seem natural these days. Your employees donated 3300 hours of overtime for one colleague so he can care for his son who was diagnosed with leukemia. How did this campaign come about?

Pia Meier: A colleague from the production department approached me and asked if I knew about the child of a colleague that has become gravely ill. I didn’t know about this and phoned this employee to inquire about it myself. He already used all of his annual leave and at once submitted his resignation to continue to care for his son, as his son was his priority. But for me this wasn’t an option, a resignation was completely out of the question. So I liaised with my boss and the leadership of our works committee, and we came up with a plan.

 

What did the plan look like?

Initially the company supported his family financially. And then we wrote to each of the 700 employees explaining the situation and asked if anyone would be willing to donate overtime. Within two weeks we accumulated 3300 hours in total.

 

Did all employees participate?

Yes, including the leadership who gave each 100 hours towards this campaign. This touched so many co-workers, including myself, and welded us closer together as colleagues. More or less we managed to get so many hours together that this colleague could take the better part of 1.5 years paid leave to be with his ill son – while receiving his entire salary including Christmas bonus, without fear of losing his job.

 

Does your employer support this project?

(laughs) Dr. Andreas Ritzenhoff, CEO and owner of Seidel isn’t actually a business economist, but a medical doctor. He inherited the company from his father and it was always his desire to lead the company with this approach. So we, as well as the works committee believe in and live the same values and pull together under these principles.

 

Your CEO studied medicine, you at first worked as a practice nurse and later became a multilingual secretary. It seems an unusual leadership duo…

If I was a legal professional I would not have considered such an option. Legal professionals think different, legal questions and ramifications are paramount to them. And as a legal professional I would probably have thought first of all the implications regarding taxes. Even law professors wrote to me and asked me how I managed to get away with this, as by law it isn’t allowed to transfer overtime between employees.

 

And what was your response?

That employment contracts are individual agreements. The transfer of overtime though is complicated for the tax office. We might still face some consequences regarding this, but we take this upon us for the sake of a good outcome for this colleague. On the other hand the finance secretary of the state of Hessen, Thomas Schäfer personally presented us with the „Menschen des Respekts“ (People of Respect) award on behalf of the regional government. In case his finance office embarks on penalizing us for “monetary benefits”, he would then have to explain himself!

 

pia-meier-titel-2-1

Pia Meier

 

Back to you: You have had a remarkable career. How does one go from a practice nurse and later multilingual secretary to becoming the Director of HR in a company with 700 employees?

That’s a long story. After my graduation as a multilingual secretary I worked as the assistant to the CEO. When the previous Director of HR left the company, my boss asked me if I could fill the spot temporarily to liaise with the works committee. Apparently I did my job very well. After a few months the leadership of the committee approached Dr. Ritzenhoff and suggested to promote me to be the new Director of HR.

 

Were you apprehensive to fulfill this job-role?

Of course I was. My first reaction was, “Oh goodness, how on earth can I fill these shoes”. “I am not a lawyer.” But I soon realized that this isn’t even important. Vital for this job is the interpersonal skills and the sense for people. If I do need some legal advise I would employ professionals. Heart and compassion are central in relation to working with people, you cannot buy emotional intelligence.

 

Apart from the campaign with the overtime donations, you have also helped others in unique ways. Is professional and private life inseparable for you?

Absolutely, you can’t cut off the private person from the professional. When someone has personal problems it will always affect their work. That is why I offer every employee support, but I don’t force it upon them. My colleagues know about this opportunity for help and are not shy either to approach me if they need to. For example one time two colleagues stood at my doorstep with their young child. They showed me an eviction note and were very distraught. The date of the eviction was the following day…

 
Were you able to help?

I immediately phoned the mayor of the city of Marburg whom I know is a member of the executive council of the Housing Association to plead with him to halt the eviction. And then I negotiated with the creditors. In the end we were able to reduce the debt from 25,000€ to 9,000€. Before the credit investigation office was satisfied to close the case, our company bridged the gap financially. Today these employees repay this through a borrowing rate of 3.3% interest from the bank and are paying it off in small instalments. They were able to keep their apartment and jobs.

 

Is your social activity not taken advantage of at times?

Of course you have to be careful, but it doesn’t happen. Maybe because I know our employees very well and am really interested in their well-being. But I also would not recommend for anyone to mislead me – I have a zero tolerance for dishonesty. Commitment is very important to us. Everyone deserves a chance, but if anyone plays foul they will have to leave the company.

 

You say that you take a strong interest in the well-being and life of your colleagues, do you think this is particularly a female attribute? Or to rephrase: do women lead differently than men?

Yes, I think so. Maybe it is the maternal instinct that we bring to the table. We women don’t just see the worker, but the human behind it. In recent years the number of leading women has risen. Since the foundation of the company in 1830 a woman has taken on the leadership of production now. And even in the product development and project management women are leading the departments.

 

In the global competitive market, can a company afford to be “human” in all its forms, strengths as well as weaknesses?

With all the developments and changes that are happening, we cannot remove the heart and the core of a person. And in the long-run the contest of skilled and specialist workers in the selection process will separate the wheat from the chaff. I experience again and again that skilled specialists choose to work with us, even when they would receive a higher salary in another company. If staff is not seen and respected as human beings, they will in the long-run burn out. I am absolutely convinced of that. And our approach seems to be paying off. In 2017 we had the best results to date in the history of our company.

 

Seidel Gi Zeitung2

Presentation of “People of Respect” Award, from left to right: CEO Dr. Ritzenhoff, Andreas Graf father of Julius, Finance Minister Thomas Schäfer, Head of Works Committee Kai Deuker and HR Director Pia Meier.

 

 

Pia Meier is the Director of HR since seven years and is a member of the executive leadership team of Seidel GmbH & Co KG [Inc.] (www.seidel.de/en). Established in 1830, the company with its 700 employees is the global leader in aluminum design products, specialising in packaging and containers for the cosmetic industry. In the spring of 2018 the personnel of Seidel was presented the “People of Respect” award from the State of Hessen for their unparalleled support towards their colleague Andreas Graf.

 

Seidel Gi Zeitung3

Andreas and Julius Graf

 

Translated from the German interview: https://hermoney.de/ihr-leben/fuehren-mit-herz-und-verstand/3/

Translated by LateNightGirl.org

 

Video report:

 

 

Interview with workers and the CEO:

 

 

 

My additional comments: I really love the clear and strong message on their website regarding their core values and what they stand for in relation to their employees and work ethics. It is unmistakably clear what policy they have in place, and this in turn is visible in their support as well as success of their workforce.

Their leadership guidelines are like music to my ears, something I always deeply believed in and tried to implement with the teams I worked with, no matter how hard the company was I worked under. A clear stance from the company leadership is paramount for the protection, growth and success of any workplace.

I particularly love the last sentence and cannot stop tearing up when reading this: “Leadership through Perspective: Our managers are to put themselves into their colleagues’ place in order to see the situation through the employee’s eyes and instruct the employee based on this perspective. This encourages the employee to carefully re-think their impulses for the future and to modify towards the instructed approach.”

Seidel’s Leadership Guidelines

 

Open Letter to the “Misery” Shopper

 

Dear Mystery Shopper,

I hope you forgive me for calling you the “Misery” Shopper. That is how I often experienced you: merciless, unrealistic, arrogant and plainly non-caring. You gave us often very good comments, recognizing my hard working teams and with it also my hard work with my teams. Thank you for that. But many times I suffered deeply under your unfair comments, especially while going through bereavement with equally merciless bosses who only cared about their bonuses and reputation.

I can forgive you as you didn’t know what I and colleagues were going through, but my bosses knew and had no consideration nor care. The Mystery Shopper results count for the biggest chunk of management and OPs Manager’s bonuses, so this was the greatest pressure as well as torture, and the rewards were just too little for us teams. And yet, even if Pret would have canceled the Mystery Shopper scheme, I would have worked exactly the same, as I love quality and giving customers the best service they deserve, not just because they pay money, but because I love people. Full stop!

 

 

Face off man-845847__340

 

 

You can only be a Mystery Shopper if you have never worked in retail or the food industry, so you would not empathize with the staff, but judge as a “proper” customer not understanding the pressures of the business. You are being instructed to be fair but firm, whereas I often looked at it hoping you would be firm but fair. You often choose to be firm. I have had outstanding comments throughout the years, including twice being commented on as having the best team yous have ever experienced. That was very kind for you to write, it didn’t help with my bosses, though, as it was never good enough, what we as the teams achieved. But that aside, it is about you in this open letter.

 

2012-10-12 MS 1

2012-10-12 MS 2

I and my teams received many comments like this throughout the years, but they have not helped me against the harshness of my line managers. It was never good enough. Towards the end of my employment in Pret I would even submit 4 pages of ideas on how to improve the Mystery Shopper and passed it on to my OPs manager. I had another 4 pages of ideas, but never submitted those as that OPs manager promised me as the Team Leader extra incentives if the Mystery Shopper results would improve (as if we needed improvement with almost always perfect scores!), but she never lived up to her promise. I delivered, but as usual left empty handed with broken promises. Another typical Pret “behaviour”, suck everything out of your staff and leave them stranded.

As with any other job, every Mystery Shopper is different, there are those who really take it serious at the same time have an eye on fairness. Others of you don’t really care too much, you come in and out so fast to just finish that job and within minutes you decide for the team to not get the bonus for whatever wasn’t right for you. Never mind them working and toiling since 5am or earlier with an angry manager giving them a good telling off later, because their bonus got even a bigger dip down.

Your job is to judge, no matter how long or short your visit. I hope you forgive me when I re-name you as the Misery Shopper as many times when the scores weren’t so good, even when we still had the bonus, the manager would give us a harsh telling off, because the managers and OPs rely on the scores to increase their bonus and competition in the areas. The Misery Shopper contributes most to their bonus and the ranking, that is why the teams get the most pressure from it.

It was particularly hard when I served you and your feedback was that I didn’t smile or that team members should not work while sick because I coughed during service. I am sure you are under the impression that the teams get paid when they are sick at home. But they aren’t paid when sick forcing them to go to work, cough, receive negative ratings for it and the manager gives them a hard time.

It’s a complete 100% lose-lose situation. If you stay at home because you are sick, you won’t get paid after your “well-being days” are used at the sole discretion of your manager. Also, your manager doesn’t like you being off sick, especially if you are a leader, like I was. They doubt your illness, I had that even while depressed and with a panic attack on sick leave, my manager didn’t believe me, but that’s another blog entry in itself.

If you do go to work because you need to pay your bills, the danger of serving you and receiving a bad report, and with it a telling off from your boss in the office, nothing is ever in your favour, no matter what you do.

 

2014-12-01 MS cough

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

I didn’t feel cheerful to smile as well after the telling off from my line manager afterwards. You got told off in the office because you didn’t smile, and while the boss is telling you off (who by the way does not smile themselves, just as a side-note!) and then the non-smiling boss orders you to smile! You go out extremely humiliated, discouraged, with low motivation, and yet forced to smile if you don’t want to find yourself penalized or losing your job.

Another example of a Team Leader who complained on Twitter about being sick:

 

2018-09-13-59-staff-tweet-e1536844434384.jpg

 

 

In detail:

 

2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet2

Link to tweet plus, I responded to Pret’s saying sorry, but my tweet has been deleted. But it is still on my Twitter as well as a screenshot in one of the “Quotes of the Day“. Pret of course keeps any of my tweets they may use later against me. That’s fine with me.

 

 

But I can more than relate to this Team Leader’s “review”. You are made to feel guilty when you call sick, because when you are off sick as a leader, the manager has to pull up their sleeve and work instead of just sitting in the office!

So, dear Misery Shopper, what exactly would be a cheerful occasion to smile? And you probably think that this is an exception and that surely if a team member goes through bereavement there would be empathy and understanding. Wrong again. Having to smile NON-STOP especially for 8 – 10 or more hours a day, in an intensely, excruciating and brutal work environment, and on top of that just having buried a loved one…

 

This is nothing short of developing either superhuman abilities or mental illness!

 

 

Pret Uniform2

 

I wrote it to the real Pret customers already, that I wished sometimes I would have been able to wear a badge like a pregnant woman does with the “Baby on Board” badge, or a disabled person with a “Please offer me a seat” badge. I would have needed a “Please bear with my grief” badge, as my manager was merciless when I didn’t smile, even during bereavement. When I did smile and this feedback was given in your report, my manager never acknowledged it either. Never a word of, “I know you are going through a terrible time with the loss of your brother, and you still come to work and even smiled, well done, I don’t know how you do it, but you are doing good, if you need anything, a little break to take a breath, just let me know.” … Nothing of the like. Just a telling off and you go home later wanting to end your life.

I would do this with my team members once I was aware of problems in their lives. I’d encourage them, offer them some extra break or if they need to disappear for a few minutes when I saw them in tears. But for some reason I did not receive this common human kindness from my line managers, except from only one I worked only for a few weeks when she then went on maternity leave.

I wonder, dear Mystery Shopper, if you would also be so harsh with a team member if you knew they had a loss in their life preventing them from smiling. Would you be as merciless as the managers?

I survived the bullying and harshness, I became ill and at times suicidal when I couldn’t take this brutal treatment anymore. And I know of others who became depressed, ill, suicidal. But I survived and live to tell my story, and I tell it so bluntly because the thought that I may be dead now, jumping of a bridge because of the turmoil I went through, my body still freezes when I think of the close call I’ve had!

 

Bullying can kill

 

You will continue to do your job trying to be fair but firm, I would just want to ask you to rather be firm but fair, or better even, kind and fair. The people in HQ who come up with these rules and penalties don’t care about the stress on the shop floor and in the kitchens. They know very well how difficult and cold it is, but it is not of their concern.

Your job is to feed back if the team smiled amongst other things you check on, no matter what hell they are going through. I hope you won’t be judged so hard when you go through tragedies.

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,

Ex-Employee of Pret, or as I call us “Ex-Prets” 🙂 ( <<< now that’s a real smile!)

Late Night Girl2

 

A compiled list of staff complaints from various review sites, YouTube and Twitter. Selected reviews as Quotes of the Day.

A Question on Suicide in Pret & a £1000 Announcement

 

I am aware that this is a “handful”, but bear with the below and please look deeper to know what really is going on behind some announcements.

 

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

 

Pret is recruiting, and £1000 is the carrot. Pret minus Bridgepoint + the German JAB Holding Company based in Luxembourg = Pret has arrived in tax haven!

Pret’s leadership became aware of my blog and website here on the 28th into the 29th May 2018. The CEO of Pret tweeted the below at night on the 29. May, probably as a reaction to my blog? As I don’t believe in coincidence anymore and as Pret is mainly reacting to issues when confronted.

I almost lost my life working in Pret, having been bullied during bereavement and with all the tricks, traps and gaslighting the toxic HR department dealt me with. I wasted my sweat, blood and tears for close to 10 years in this company, making the mistake to try and improve work conditions while being completely traumatised in grief and mistreatment. Having worked in Pret is my biggest regret in life.

 

An assistant manager died by suicide in 2017 after I was told by HR of an AM who was also bereaved and mistreated at work like I was. I almost ended my life as well. And Natasha having died in 2016, but we only learn about this two years later… HOW MANY MORE ARE THERE?!

 

——————————————————

UPDATE

07. Oct. 2018: Pret a Manger investigates second death linked to sandwich

——————————————————

 

Pret’s slogan of “Doing the right thing naturally” is just another of the many slogans to crank up the PR(et) machine. But in reality, this is what Pret does “naturally” behind the shiny facade: Pret Staff Complaints collected from various Employment Review websites, YouTube and Twitter, as well as my own traumatic experience.

 

 

 

The CEO working the PR(et) machine after my blog was revealed to him:

 

 

12K vs 20K

 

It used to take 10 years of service in Pret to receive £1000. If Pret is giving all their staff £1000 it means they are desperate to recruit or desperate to counter my public outcry regarding staff treatment. In 2016 the numbers of the employees was 20,000 now it’s 12,000? What happened to the 8,000 within 2 years? Or are the 12,000 from the UK only excluding all the other countries? I know what happened to me, but what happened to the other “7,999”?

The CEO pockets £30 million, and then giving £1000 (from the sale, not his £30 mil!) to each employee as Brexit is at the door and many, especially Eastern European workers return to their home countries or move on to other opportunities. Several of my ex-colleagues already told me of their plans to return home. Usually Pret gives cheap cakes to their shops when another financial milestone was reached, over-sugared cakes that end up half-eaten and stale in the shop fridges. But this generosity means Brexit is advancing fast and my publication is a sore in their sight. New recruits are needed and the facade needs another polishing shine.

 
Also, to announce the £1000 ahead of the deal being finalized, as usually rewards are given after a deal or a milestone has been reached not before, is nothing short of interesting.

 

On 12th September 2018 and beyond the shops are still waiting for this announcement from three months prior to become reality:

 

 

2018-09-16 my response to £1000 29May announcement

 

 

A month before that someone already inquired about it:

 

 

2018-09-16 my response to £1000 29May announcement2

 

 

UPDATES:

 

2018-09-30 1000

 

 

2018-09-30 1000 JAB

 

 

Well, I’m delighted to have been part in Pret’s CEO making this premature announcement on 29th May when he became aware of my public outcry regarding my ordeal and staff treatment in general. The JAB deal will go through and the money will flow, but the work conditions will get worse as there is now much much more money in the purchase involved. How many more people, customers and staff alike will pay the price for this greed @ Clive Schlee, how many more that we don’t even know about?

 

When the bullying started, or rather continued during grief adding to my trauma, I became ill. There were no appraisals where I could learn where I was strong or where I can improve, never a reward, no feedback, absolutely nothing. Only targeting, bullying and manipulation were standard. One later GM’s tactic was to hold me low while I was going through the worst time, being vulnerable, having had the floor underneath my feet ripped away. This kind of “leadership” is common in Pret. This GM, who didn’t want “the area to feel sorry for him anymore” because I was thrust into his shop in the middle of trauma, grievance hearings and under shock, was one of the worst management experiences I worked with because it was very subtle bullying hard to put ones finger on until it was too late.

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

 

 

2018-09-16 Re Emily to Pret

Link to Tweet

 

 

Wasting 10 years of my life in a company that is only profit and target driven with extreme good PR in place and a smiling, approachable CEO who is fully aware of what’s going on in his company as he visits the shop floor regularly, Pret-ending everything is jolly good while lulling in the public and staff. Grievance hearing after grievance hearing that I raised in my traumatic state were conducted in tricky ways, not impartial.

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

 

Pret has become like the majority of multinational corporations mistreating their workforce, especially in the fast-food industry. One former Assistant Manager “pleads” with Pret to return to the basics, a General Manager pleads to “revive Pret to its former glory” and poignantly says of Pret being “a great company in risk of ruin”. But I think these concerns and pleas may be too late as once a company licks blood of the Millions and Billions that are made, it’s like a drug that is hard to beat. And now with the JAB takeover, it’s a point of no return.

Being bullied during bereavement and all the mistreatment from superiors towards workers, Pret is moving more and more towards the jungle and swamp of Amazon that is notorious for their brutal bullying tactics. The only difference is that Pret is excellent in PR and still relatively small in this corporate world of greed, lulling the public and staff in with sweet-talk. And in-between they throw in a £1000 carrot for each employee to polish up their facade.

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

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

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

When you read that all staff now receive £1000, whereas before it would take 10 years to receive £1K it shows how desperate Pret is to gain and retain staff. I was never after money and have declined 4 offers of settlement, not only because of the peanuts they offered. Not even a million pounds would have done it, because I don’t prostitute my values or sign away my rights for money, no matter the amount.

 

@Pret, too many people suffer, become depressed, even suicidal that someone needs to stand up and tell their story! Does Pret, does Clive Schlee really believe that a £1000 and all the sweet-talk will hold up this facade in the long-run? Staff will take the money, but the truth cannot be bought, held under and sugar-coated sweet-talked forever.

 

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

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

Do you know the hope I felt when I met a person of similar loss, as my grief became so complicated, and still is? And then to just find out after a while that this was yet another trick!? Again? Gaslighting at its best. If Pret truly takes inventory of their conscience, they would have to face that this absolutely crossed the line! They stepped one too many times on my dignity. And that one nailed it!

I survived to speak about it openly and I will never be silent, no matter what you come up with out of your trick-box from a corrupt and discriminating HR department.

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

And maybe, just maybe instead of firing all the hardworking people who work with integrity and commitment in the high stress environment, the top leadership with its top HR leaders may need to get a dose of their own medicine, and get fired for a change to really turn this company into what they claim it to be.

 

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

― Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

HR Paradise!

 

I still can’t get over this, what a company unanimously has done, kick-started by their HR (HeRo) boss Pia Meier! I still cry even now when I read / watch this story. HR, leadership and employees, combined support at its best! THIS is what HR should be there for, looking out for its workforce in the interest of ALL, employees AND employer.

There are good people in this world! And it doesn’t take much to help when everyone carries a little bit of a load that would have otherwise crushed the one person the load was on. I tear up every-time I think of this, as my experience with HR has been completely different and almost destroyed my life.

This is what HUMAN Resources should be like, HUMAN!

 

pia-meier-titel-2-1

A true leader, defining what HeRo really stands for: Pia Meier, boss of Seidel’s HR department. I can never stop talking about this. I have learned since that this is only ONE story of their support for all their workforce. This is a very regular and common thing in this company Seidel GMBH & Co KG to be supporting any employee who has any kind of need that may affect their work and/or existential situation.

In my bereavement, if I would have worked in a company like this, I would not be where I am now, mentally unwell, jobless, living with anxiety and depression and just now starting to come to terms about my brother’s death. I hope more and more companies become like this in this cut throat money hungry world of Amazon, Pret A Manger, McDonald’s etc.

 

NEW updated and extended interview with HR boss Pia Meier with English subtitles.

 

3000+ hours overtime for a colleague Andreas Graf and his son Julius

Father able to take 1+ year off to care for ill son

 

There are too many heroes hidden behind all the bad news everywhere!

 

Pia Meier seidel-mitarbeiterhilfe

From left to right: Assistant HR boss Kai Deuker, Julius and father Andreas Graf, HR boss Pia Meier and CEO Dr. Andreas Ritzenhoff of Seidel GmbH & Co KG.

 

This company does not have a “bold” slogan of “Doing the right thing naturally”. They just do it without advertising a statement they don’t live up to. If the leadership of a company or organisation does not have certain values in place, it will trickle down through the ranks to the bottom of the barrel. Whatever is happening on the “bottom”, on the front lines of the business is a sign of what is happening at the top levels and what values are TRULY lived, not what the PR machine wants the public to see.

This company has this beautiful slogan which I believe after what they have done:

»The value of a company lies in the people who work for it and the spirit in which they do so.«

— Heinrich Nordhoff (1899-1968)

 

Song of the Day #1 – “Don’t Pick a Fight

 

With A Poet”

— Madeleine Peyroux

 

 

bird-feather-2505307_960_720

 

 

 

I re-wrote the lyrics
— Late Night Girl

 

When you’re working in a chain,
where your bosses give you pain,
make you want to start a big fight,
’cause they talk as if they’re so right.
There is one thing to remember,
in case you haven’t heard:
You can sack another staff member,
but you cannot smite a word.

 

 

So, don’t pick a fight with a poet.
Don’t hide behind your PR.
Whether it’s wrong or it’s right,
there’s a lesson in life,
and to learn it, you need to listen up,
cause staff’s had enough of this crap.
When you treated me so poor,
I almost died but I came through,
and you want to prove me all wrong,
you think you are so strong.
You can try to make them listen.

You used to be my boss,
but the survivor is the one
who recovers from their loss.
So, don’t pick a fight with a griever.
Don’t corrupt the hearings for our gain.
Whether it is wrong or it’s right,
there’ll be a lesson tonight,
and to learn it keep turning the page,
’cause a poet knows, that ink will never age.
Over here on the screen with a Customer’s grin
making rhyme out of broken lives
cryin’ the hymn.
And memories from good times,
clicking away free coffees and treats,
congregating the world
with a keyboard and tweets.
Don’t pick a fight with a traumatized person.
Don’t raise your voice against them.
Once they have nothing to lose,
there’s only truth to choose,
and to accept it, you’ll have to return,
to the basics of kindness to win … again.

 

 

blur-blurred-book-46274

 

 

 

 

Doing the Late Night Girl Thing Naturally!

 

P.S. to the readers who collect, please remember copyright.

 

Late Night Girl2

 

Quote of the Day #59 – Pret A Anger

 

2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet2

 

 

2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet

 

 

 

2018-09-13 #59 Staff Tweet3

 

2nd July 2018 Leader Tweet

 

Quote of the day:

 

“!!!! … !!!!! … !!!!!!!! … !!!”

 

— and —

 

“…go work with fever 40 degree because nobody can cover me as leader made me undervalued I was very depressed !!!!the management give to me a lot pressure complaints about because I was calling sick I asked help but nobody help me out to change shop… I have infection of my livers because expired dates food is not been checked properly dates nobody following standards… I’m surrendered because I chose health and my mental well-being…”

 

Translating this very common problem in Pret:

She is overworked, not appreciated, over pressured and can’t even take off sick because there is no leader to cover her. Management is either swamped themselves or don’t care as both situations I have experienced time and time again and many others complain about in what I compiled onto one page from different Employment Review websites and YouTube.

There is no time to do one of the most important things, which is to check for any items that went out of date. I have experienced this countless times, I did the date checks, then my boss came to work and started having a go at me for why I haven’t done anther job… If you do the other job, the boss has a go at you for why you didn’t do the date check! So, after a long time of bullshit like this, I prioritized with what the most important health and safety issue is and this was my argument when I was rebuked again.I said this many times, even while working in Pret when my colleagues were frustrated about the harsh leadership, I likened what Pret is doing with the metaphor of binding the feet of the employees and then demand for them to run! No matter which direction you stumbled, it was always wrong!

There is no proper training, no proper leadership, standards are low and this Team Leader is trying her utmost best to keep up standards and try to work as best under the circumstances. She finally decided to “surrender” (give up, quit) by tweeting this, maybe leaving Pret, maybe she was placed n a better shop so she won’t openly complain anymore.

One hint of this trend throughout the company is in this staff review, of cutting staff to maximize profits, but then the health and safety of staff and customers are compromised. Quote, “Either stop cutting hours or stop giving teams a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete.”

My experience with the bullying during my loss and trauma in 2015 came to its peak, which I describe extensively in another blog entry about how I was bullied and gaslighted which I named Pret A Manipulate. I was one of those Team Leaders as well, like this Leader in the Tweet here, who took my job very serious. In the shop where my ordeal was the most painful and scariest, there were no morning date checks done, only evening checks. So, when an item was found out of date, the evening Leader was penalized even though the standard was to do a morning date check, but that standard was not followed. I always stressed this to my Leader colleagues to do the morning date checks, and not just tick off the box in the daily date check list lying that the checks were done. They always said that there was no time, and I stressed again that we need to find the time as this is one of the most crucial tasks for health and safety reasons.

One evening I did miss to take out 1 (ONE!) Lemon Cheese Cake that would expire by the end of that day. I saw it in my evening checks that I did hours before closing time. I even circled it on the date check sheet for me to remember to later take it off the fridge and waste it, so it won’t be on the shelf the next day out of date. I even remembered that I checked again when we closed the shop at closing time, but I didn’t see it anymore. I assumed we sold it and I was delighted not to have to waste food and money, as this is a more expensive item to waste.

But the area manager who targeted me for months for little things did one of her checks the next day, which was my day off (interesting she did the check on my day off!) and she found that ONE Lemon Cheese Cake. Long story short, she tried to penalize me, wanting to put me on targets etc. while in reality a colleague of mine left multiple items out of date in the fridges and was known for his poor working conduct by all colleagues. At one point he left about 40 – 50 items that were out of date in the fridges in ONE night, which I then found on my next morning shift and during the checks couldn’t believe how many items I had to pull off the shelves! Also, as there were no morning date checks, which is standard, but in that shop no-one except me was doing the morning double check, I was still the one she wanted to put on performance targets! I realized very quickly that she was targeting me.

But it backfired on her when I found the 40 – 50 items a few days later, communicating this to her and asking her for a meeting to speak about why I am being treated so harsh for little mistakes while I worked my butt off DURING the darkest time of my life having lost my brother. From then on she tried to get rid of me, shifting me around shops and using other managers to target me further. I realized very quickly that ANYTHING, the smallest thing can be used against a person if someone is out to target them. From this time onward the rota was adjusted to include the standard morning date checks!

 

This among the many other mistreatment I share on my blog, made me so paranoid, mentally ill, and I still now suffer from panic attacks. For a regular person who isn’t going through trauma or bereavement this would be already a nightmare to deal with, but I was in the middle of dark grief and had to also be dealing with poor, terrible management like this. I felt like I was stumbling through a war zone in a mine field, being shot at from different sides trying to desperately get out this mess!

I almost ended my life and this is why I write so passionately about my Pret experience, because people become mentally and/or physically unwell at best and suicidal at worst.

In a drunken stupor I write my anger in Tweets and on my blog at times, trying to still come to terms, and I am not proud of it, but I will never ever be silent about what I have been through in the middle of grief and trauma, which was then added by repeated mistreatment, manipulation, gaslighting in Pret A Manger.

 

My Brother had 3 Cats

 

that survived approx. 6 days while my brother lay dead in his flat.

The police said that his flat was mayhem, the cats rampaged and pooed everywhere, probably in distress.

My brother was a very tidy and a well kept man, you had to take your shoes off when you visited him, just like in my flat. But when they found my brother with his 3 cats being alive, they said the place was chaos.

 

DSC00221

My brother’s first cat

 

They were able to capture 2 cats not realizing there was a third one.

The third cat escaped later through the open door which the police couldn’t capture. My brother’s neighbour said that they see the cat outside sometimes, but the cat will not let anyone come close. It just goes from door to door for food, but disappears again.

They must have been so traumatized seeing their “dad” on the floor for days. Cats grieve, too. My mum’s cat grieved when my cat died. They grew up together and for the first few days after my cat died, my mum’s cat would lie and sleep in the cat litter, which he never did while my cat was still alive. He would also roam through the house for days as if he was looking for my cat.

 

1992 Luzie und Pascha crop

My cat Luzie on the left, my mum’s cat Pascha on the right

 

I don’t know where my brother’s cats are. I hope the 2 they were able to catch found a good home again and the third will let people get close again.

 

DSC00188

 

 

I saw this video on Facebook of a cat who watches a video of their owner who died.

 

Cats grieve, too:

 

 

In memory of my big brother, Thomas 25.02.1969 – 09.12.2014

cropped-17-tk.jpg

 

Congratulations Pret A Manger

 

especially Clive Schlee with your friendly approachable smile, you have succeeded in lulling in the public who want to believe this beautiful facade.

Coffees on the house, smiles for free every second of the day, not matter if they just buried a brother or if a staff member died by suicide.

Well done, they eat out of your hands and believe every colour and shape and atmosphere, and they taste the same picture perfect packaged item off the shelf!

Well done Pret A Manger, you made it in the world of the big guns in tax haven Luxembourg.

Unfortunately you forgot your humble beginnings, like so many companies do, but let’s not dwell on the past but look forward to bigger things.

The sky is the limit, and that is where you are found now. Out of reach.

The rest of us just enjoy life on the ground with folk who touch our hearts, save a life and console those who grieve.

 

Kind regards,

People . who . speak . out . from . their . hearts

 

Pret Uniform2

 

Darkness, Trauma, Work without Pay

 

always_smile

 

There is a British company that named itself “Ready To Eat”, or better known for its foreign branding term: Pret A Manger.

British food is not known to be the most culinary experience one can lick their fingers to, especially in the 1980s. So, a French name had to help to draw to its “cuisine”.

PR(et) slogans later on, as they are so many and offensive to their hard working people.

Over three years ago on 12. January 2015 I learned through an ice cold email that my brother has been found dead in his flat on 15. December 2014. He lay in his apartment for approximately 6 days before the neighbours smelled the odour of his corpse.

Police supposedly tried to find next of kin, but weren’t successful in the efficient country of Germany! They then just cremated my brother and all the other nightmare things they have done. They did NO autopsy, finding no clear cause of death. The city council sent his urn from his city via the POSTAL SERVICE to the city council in the town where my mum lives. They destroyed his belongings that had no value and sold the things that had value because he was in debt…

I could look at this as if this was a twisted Hollywood script that no producer wants to finance. But if that nightmare wasn’t enough I had to go into Alice Wonderlandish-nightmare…

From the get go I was an inconvenience in Pret for which I worked 7 years at the time, 10 years altogether. The first 5 months during bereavement I was put on mainly late shifts which kept me from seeing friends during a nightmare I cannot describe!

I was then transferred at my request to a shop to have rotating shifts, but there the bullying really started.

In May 2015 I approached Pret’s HR department informally to make suggestions on how to support bereaved employees. What I didn’t realize then was that I put a bulls eye target on my back, as the People Business Partners who was present at the meeting, was involved in targeting me later on. I only understand now that People Business Partners are there for business, nothing else.

 

What staff really think.

 

I am tired to explain what went on for three years. Really really tired.
@Pret, your silence won’t help you.

 


 

UPDATE 15.10.2018

A staff member confronted Pret on Twitter openly, this is only one example happen to become public and the cut & paste response from the Pret-Tweet emplyee (probably HR). I gave my own responses and suggested for him to join a Union. I know exactly how it is when managers “forget” to pay you, happened so frequently, at times putting me into rent arrears and other stressful situations having to raise this with HR which in turn put a target on my back with the line manager. No matter how you turned, you were at the losing end. And Clive Schlee is counting his £30 Million + and the £1000 “Pay Rise” for all staff that they are still waiting for is exactly what it is, PR.

 

2018-10-15 No pay for 4 weeks3

 

 

2018-10-15 No pay for 4 weeks1

 

Link to Tweet

How I became a Late Night Girl

 

Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret A Manger stepped on my dignity, patronizing me by calling me his “late night girl” two months before Pret fired me while my dad was in intensive care, just out of a coma. Why he labeled me this I explain on my blog here in detail. I adopted this “label” to be a sore in Pret’s sight, in hopes they will never do to employees again what they’ve done to me.

How did I become a late night girl?

 

18-tk-ca-2012.jpg

 

On 12. January 2015 I woke up and checked my email while still in bed blurry-eyed. Bed, the most vulnerable and safe place to be in. I had late shift that week and thought I quickly check my mail before turning around to sleep some more and later go to work.

I found myself making the fastest jump out of bed I’ve ever made, but that jump felt like slow motion, as if I got stuck in mid air and my room was moving by me in an eerie pace. The light painted wall became fogged up like someone just poured a dust-like grey powder over it. When I landed on my feet, I felt like a deformed cartoon character out of a Tom & Jerry fighting scene, who got whacked over the head and entered into another world. But it was more like a shotgun hole in my gut, something ripped life out of my system and left a huge crater behind.

My bedroom wasn’t my bedroom anymore, my apartment wasn’t my apartment anymore, my mind wasn’t my mind anymore. It was just like it feels when you return from a two or three week trip to a different country and culture, returning home and your place has a different feel to it, a stale atmosphere because you’ve gotten used to a different place, food, impressions, language.

Of course your apartment or house is still the same, it’s just you who has to readjust to the familiar and safe place you know so well and fill it with life again. But for me it was like I’ve come “home” to hell. It was the beginning of a very long and dark time in that world, which I am still standing in with one foot, while the other foot is trying to venture out to find green pastures.

In a 6 or 7 sentence email the sender went down a quick and short route to inform me that my brother has been found dead in his flat on the 15. December 2014. Next of kin could not be found in time (in a country as efficient as Germany!). Cause of death not clear, no autopsy, he lay dead for an estimated 6 days plus/minus before he was found, and then they just cremated him before finding us!

[After I flew over the next day to personally – not over the phone! – bring my mum the death of her son she gave life to, we arranged for his urn to be brought over from the city where he lived in. To our utter disbelief they sent his urn via post to the city’s council where my mum lives, so we can bury whatever was left of my brother close to my mum. Another German procedure I didn’t know was even done like this, sending an urn via post?!]

Furthermore I was advised to reject the inheritance as his estate was highly in debt, which also meant I learned later that I could not retrieve any of his belongings and was informed later that any belongings with no financial value has been destroyed…

The email ended with some other instructions. Kind regards.

My phone became like a curse in my hand that I could not understand that this was a phone I was holding, just starring at it, reading an electronic mail giving me a message of death.

I died that day.

 

 

 

07 TP crop

 

When Machines Bring You Death

 

A Plea!

 

©2018 LateNightGirl.org, Poetrasblok.com