Pret A Manger Mystery Shopper - Emotional Labour forced on staff

I'm sure you'll find that the vast majority of people that I deal with daily find me EXTREMELY nice, and helpful. I'm sorry you feel that way, and about all the "bullying" that you have endured for not doing your job. I will be sure to contact Pret and suggest everyone keeps their jobs, even when they don't do it well, and everyone gets a trophy.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 05:56PM by KSSPete.

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Coming into a forum that is for mystery shoppers is a bad place to come in and complain about mystery shoppers, that's Internet Forums 101. It's even worse when you respond to replies with the nastiness that you have.

Yep, we follow orders, it's called work, and you do the same when you accept a job. WE are not micromanaging anyone but ourselves. The reports that we submit to the mystery shopping company are a direct result of the originating company's request. We don't sit around looking for the most nitpicky things because we get off on the idea of ruining someone's day. We don't look for things that we are not asked to look for. Many of us have been on the other side of the "counter" and know what it's like to be in your position.

It's also up to you to decide if your job is worth whatever you went through at your workplace. I worked at a chain drugstore that didn't let all of the employees at our store go to a funeral when our 28 year old coworker died suddenly in a tragic accident. I seriously considered leaving then, but decided it was the wrong time to give up my benefits (my decision, I accepted the outcome). A year later, when my sister was on the verge of death 1000 miles away, they told me I couldn't take time off unless it was for her funeral. I walked out as soon as I heard that reply and never looked back. You have the power to change your situation and not blame others for something they have no control over. Grow up!

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
You are completely over-the-top here.
* We all deal with traumatic losses. It is part of human existence. My response was not cold or heartless. I have had losses, too. However, I find a balance between grieving and working.
* The comparison to Nazis is completely off-base and does not merit further response.
* Most of what you and the undercover journalist describe is normal life is a fast-paced food service environment. It does sound like a call to the health department is in order. Otherwise, if a boss is a jerk, don't stick around and suffer him/her: get another job and move on.
* Nothing you describe is the fault of a mystery shopper. Perhaps Pret is doing a very poor job using the reports. However, simply reporting that you did not smile is not an attack on you - especially when you full admit that you didn't!
* You've quit this job. Move on! Why spend hours and hours blogging about it and attacking your former employer. Enjoy your new job. Spend time on other aspects of your life. Most of us have had terrible jobs and bosses. We quit those jobs and move on - or we learn how to work despite the boss. That's part of being an adult.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@expretDOTorg wrote:

Yes, I expected a cold response, but your reply is one of THE most heartless comments I have ever read.

I understand how the MS works and that they are employed by an outside company on behalf of Pret & other firms.

But the micromanagement I experienced from most Myster Shopper which I re-named as "Misery" Shopper is where they comment on the smallest things, a few tea spots on the table, finger prints on the window. I've read the most ridiculous reports and got the impression that many MS's are getting a kick out of hurting hard working employees.

The power an MS must feel to decide if a shop gets the bonus or if their butt is kissed enough to give the extra £50 or £100 to that one Pret staff for bending backwards.

The former employee who was fired for starting a union rightly addressed Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret to "dismantle the humiliating Mystery Shopper" because that's what it is: humiliating.

After working for 8 hours in excruciating conditions, noise, heat, dehydrated, bullying managers etc AND traumatic bereavement or other physical and mental strain staff go through, they are still expected to smile and pretend to be happy, all on low wage while the top gets their millions.

I was told off for having COUGHED while sick and having served the MS, as Pret does not pay sick-leave the first 2-3 days even if you have a sick-note. Mystery Shoppers live in LaLa Land at best and are arrogant at worst, not understanding that after a ridiculous report and micromanagement a staff member, especially when bereaved can be tipped over the edge.

I confront Pret openely on a suicide of an Assistant Manager in 2017.

Your cold, calloused and plainly ignorant comment, quote:

@MFJohnston wrote:

A good employee will be able to know when/how to grieve - and when/how to do a job when needed.

This is the coldest thing I've ever heard and shows that you have no idea what trauma is, no matter if you say now you have lost people etc. You have no idea what devastating trauma and loss is.

You would change your mind in heartbeat if you were to work in Pret under these conditions.

And I am very proud to have made the Unions, the Press and other important people aware of Pret.

A journalist even went undercover into Pret after I urged her to go into Pret. She describes the stress, and I am proud that more press reports are coming out and I'm addressing Pret directly.

Amy Sharpe's account in her undercover work --->>> [] <<<

But you Mystery Shoppers are making it too easy on yourself but just saying that you follow what is given to you. The last time I heard that was from ex-soldiers in Nazi Germany.

"We just followed orders".

A very typical thing people say who have no courage to look deeper and make a difference.

If Pret could hide TWO customer deaths, a third nearly fatal, several in hospital and one staff suicide that I know of, with myself almost having gone over the edge as well, how many more are there.

So, keep following orders and be that "good" employee and Mystery Shopper and excercise your "power" if that is what makes you feel superior or better in yourself.

Even in years to come, my story will be spoken about and the Pret staff I help even now as I write this will have a positive, maybe even life changing affect.

Your job is just to "follow orders". I won't read about you in years to come.

Maybe try Mystery Shopping then?

I really feel like this thread is a joke or something. But dude, in case you are serious, we don't shoot people a'la Nazi's, we just report on the service we get. Your issue is with your management.

We don't go on power trips and try to get people in trouble. You want to know why we don't even if we are that type of person? Because it causes us more work. That/s right. Every time you don't do your job, we have to talk about it. We have to write more. Instead of checking a little box and moving on, we have to go into detail about what happened exactly. A 20 minute report turns into a 40 minute report.

I'm sorry you have issues but everyone loses people we love. Everyone has problems. Go see a therapist. There's no shame in it. We are not qualified to help you.
@expretDOTorg wrote:

That's a misconception, because many MS's are micromanaging, like I explained somewhere where we lost bonus because I gave the wrong receipt, or I coughed and the MS mentioned this without ANY empathy whatsoever, or a little tea stain on the table where the rest of the shop incl hte toilets were spotless! Or some finger prints on the window from a child, where the rest of the large windows also were spotless as there are daily window cleaners etc. etc. etc.

Thanks, that's exactly the point I'm making. I am NOT against Mystery Shoppers, I am against micromanagement and unreasonable expectations and misuse of "power". And in Pret the MS reports are used as a bullying tool because so much money in managers' bonuses depend on the MS reports.

Thank you. Yes, I'm sure if Mystery Shopper would have know about my trauma, they would have been more empathetic, but like the MS who demanded that staff should smile and not work while ill has no idea how staff struggle financially because they are not paid. And even when I stayed home sick, my managers always pressured me with manipulating comments because I was sick and having been the Team Leader they had to pick up the work (ordering etc.) I usually did.

YOU ARE NOT LISTENING! We do not make up the guidelines, we report what we see. We do not demand that staff smiles. These are put out by the company who hires the MSC who then contracts the mystery shopper and then the mystery shopper reports on that. I can almost guarantee that every mystery shopper on this board hopes that the shop that they are doing goes well and that everyone is smiling and that the windows are smudge free and that the cashier notices that there's something under the cart and that we are immediately greeted by the employees and every other thing that we have to report on so that everyone leaves feeling content and we don't have to go home and write a 3 page essay on why we answered no to each and every one of these questions. WE are not micromanaging, the company that you work(ed) is and that, unfortunately, is YOUR problem.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 06:57PM by Jenny Cassada.
Dear Ex-pret,

"Why should I fake a smile?"
A: Because people are fighting all kinds of battles within their personal lives. When they go to Pret A Manger, all they want is some food. It is taking them away from the situations they are dealing with. Maybe that lady just walking in just lost her husband a week before. Maybe that man walking in just found out his child has cancer. Maybe they have no one to turn to at that moment. That "hello" they get at your store might be the only "hello" and a smile they have a chance to get all day.

"Why should I pretend to be happy?"
A: Again, because customers just want some food. They are dealing with all kinds of stress in their lives, that it only compounds the problem when they see someone just as grouchy.

"But the job culture sucks".
A: That belongs in the back room. It's not the customer's fault.

"But management doesn't care."
A: Then get a new job. It's not the customer's fault.

"I hate mystery shoppers."
A: The mystery shoppers job is 1000x easier when the person shopped does everything right.
@expretDOTorg wrote:

Yeah, your sarcasm says a lot about yourself. And that's why you are an MS because you like to exercise power over low-paid employee's weekly pay, hey. And the MS reports I still have with compliments on my service and team speak for itself.

Here's the funny part, which actually shows how little you know. I'm not a mystery shopper. I have done some mystery shops, to help out schedulers who need it, but I do not mystery shop full-time like many here do. I may take about 2 or 3 shops yearly.

Also, I don't believe I have ever given a bad review (which to all the full-time mystery shoppers here, it probably tells them immediately how rarely I do a mystery shop). For you to peg these people, whom many are some of the nicest people you'll never have the privilege to know, as power hungry over low paid employees (like you know what a mystery shopper makes), is rude, off-base, and flat out stupid.

It seems you are trying real hard to be a little activist. It's cute, to a point, but you are even worse at this than you admittedly were at your Pret job. Insulting people you are trying to convince to join your cause is not the best way to be a great activist.

As far as my sarcasm, all I can say is it comes from your idiocy.

**Edited so I can say it more gently for you, cupcake... My sarcasm comes from your uneducated, off-base, fragile, and rude comments**

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 06:55PM by KSSPete.
Ok either Shoptastic has returned after a stint in the food service industry or this is some serious next level trolling.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I'm guessing the first option considering the novels this guy writes.

@bgriffin wrote:

Ok either Shoptastic has returned after a stint in the food service industry or this is some serious next level trolling.
A mystery shopper reported I didn't smile! Nazis!!!

I write long posts about it and that's not wierd at all.
Where's my blankie? I need a safe space.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 07:03PM by CoffeeQueen.
My 13 year old daughter has more sense of what life is about than this OP. I'll let it go there.
@expretDOTorg wrote:

@SteveSoCal wrote:

None of these issues are related to the mystery shopper themselves, however.

That's a misconception, because many MS's are micromanaging, like I explained somewhere where we lost bonus because I gave the wrong receipt, or I coughed and the MS mentioned this without ANY empathy whatsoever, or a little tea stain on the table where the rest of the shop incl hte toilets were spotless! Or some finger prints on the window from a child, where the rest of the large windows also were spotless as there are daily window cleaners etc. etc. etc.

Um...I think you have a misunderstanding over the word "Micromanage".

We are not managing you, therefore we cannot possibly micromanage you. It is literally our job to report if you give the correct receipts, don't cough on our food and wipe the spots off the tables and window. We simply reflect the condition at the store.

Your resentment of shoppers is like being mad at the company that makes concealed video cameras if you were caught on camera doing something wrong at work!
Ummm.... When you work for someone else's private company, you DO have to deal with it or leave.

Now I KNOW you're of one of these recent generations.

Tip for you... Not only does everyone not have to fit the mold you want them to, but that's also actually a GOOD thing. Life isn't fair. Put on your big boy pants, and get over it. You are not rewarded for not doing well. And you SHOULDN'T be. When you have a job, leave your personal life at home. It has no place at work, and is not your employer's problem.

You are going to have a very hard and frustrating time in life if you keep believing you are owed something, and that everyone else must take your situation into account when you don't do your job.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2019 07:47PM by KSSPete.
Sexual harassment is a crime. Expecting and demanding that your employees smile and are polite, is not.
So Pret is basically a Starbucks/Panera?

This thread must be a joke.

OP can just go on reddit to complain. That’s where they’ll find sympathy.

Bye Felicia
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