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Why don't Polish service workers smile?


regionpolski 33 | 153  
13 Sep 2007 /  #1
Why don't Polish service workers smile? Cashiers don't smile. Bartenders might. Store clerks? Forget about it. Is life that miserable? I doubt it. In 6 days, three clerks/cashiers/waitresses/bartenderers have smiled. One waitress has smiled. One bartender, and only in response to the question if I thought she was pretty, and one clerk. The clerk works at the piekarnia, and she has my business. Liquor store clerks think I'm hassling them when I ask for a bag.
hello 22 | 891  
13 Sep 2007 /  #2
That's an excellent question. This is the first time a visitor to Poland (even a Polish person who's lived abroad for some time) notice. Some of them want to maybe show they are studiously doing their job and smile would not look professional? Maybe there's something in genes.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #3
poles are a serious bunch.
Osiedle_Ruda  
13 Sep 2007 /  #4
Well I always seem to get lots of smiles and laughs out of people in Poland, so make of that what you will! :D
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
13 Sep 2007 /  #5
IMO I don't think some believe that a "fake smile" from someone you get in a store is genuine.
terenowiec 1 | 29  
13 Sep 2007 /  #6
If you were making 3 zl ($1.10 usd) an hour, you'd be pretty pissed off too.

I like it, because when somebody actually smiles, you know it has to be genuine.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #7
I like it,

that's highly un-approachable.
svengoola - | 69  
13 Sep 2007 /  #8
They don't smile coz they got stained teeth from drinking herbata
Ranj 21 | 948  
13 Sep 2007 /  #9
poles are a serious bunch

Yes they are;) Actually, I found the Polish people I came across didn't smile very much, but I attribute it to the culture....it's not rudeness...it's just the way it is...I'm somewhat outgoing, and I also found that when I attempted to speak Polish (which my total vocab is very minimal) people were more receptive and more likely to smile (they may have been laughing at me, but that's ok). Fortunately for me, there was almost always someone around who spoke both Polish and English to translate.....one thing I have always admired about Europe is that many people learn more than one language.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #10
(they may have been laughing at me, but that's ok).

B-I-N-G-O!!! ;) :D
svengoola - | 69  
13 Sep 2007 /  #11
They have this respect thing going on, like: Pan, Pani. You have to look serious coz then you look smarter.
Ranj 21 | 948  
13 Sep 2007 /  #12
B-I-N-G-O!!! ;) :D

Gee, thanks plk! :D
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #13
They have this respect thing going on, like: Pan, Pani. You have to look serious coz then you look smarter.

serious, yes.. :)

and you're welcome ranj. lol
svengoola - | 69  
13 Sep 2007 /  #14
(they may have been laughing at me, but that's ok).

NO!!!!! They werent laughing at you. They were laughing WITH you. That's a difference.
Ranj 21 | 948  
13 Sep 2007 /  #15
They were laughing WITH you.

Good point, because I always had to laugh at myself when trying to speak Polish.....Kudos to those who can actually speak it!
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #16
oh no.. laughing at her sven. :D
svengoola - | 69  
13 Sep 2007 /  #17
We are blondies. We think differently.
hello 22 | 891  
13 Sep 2007 /  #18
Why don't Polish service workers smile?

Maybe most of them don't understand you (if you speak in English to them) and are confused?
plk123 8 | 4,150  
13 Sep 2007 /  #19
We are blondies. We think differently.

why are you assuming i'm not a blondie myself? should be rather evident if you've seen my posts. :D
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
13 Sep 2007 /  #20
He ya, regionp...I hope that your wife smiles at you a lot, and that's what counts. Who cares about a smiling clerk. Just get me what i need and I'm out of there!

Anyway, when I get pictures in my email from Poland, some people are serious, no big hahaha in the pics...but, there is usually a hint of a smile and a twinkle in the eye :)
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
14 Sep 2007 /  #21
Maybe most of them don't understand you (if you speak in English to them) and are confused?

I'm speaking my best Polish, which isn't very good, but it's not english. I know my opening line, so to speak. I have my money ready, grozny included. I can't make small talk, though.
Polanglik 11 | 303  
14 Sep 2007 /  #22
Who cares about a smiling clerk. Just get me what i need and I'm out of there!

I have to agree that most service workers in Poland do not smile and appear quite grim - they also have a lot to learn about customer service !

I was born in England, but speak Polish fluently due to parents/grandparents being Polish, so I don't believe it's anything to do with anyone not being able to speak Polish properly.

recently when I was purchasing numerous items in Carrefour supermarket, the check-out girl was scanning all the items until she came across a dvd that wouldn't scan - instead of calling a colleague for assistance, she threw the dvd away. I said I wanted to purchase that dvd, to which she replied "go get one that scans properly then"!

This could be an age related behaviour, because I have noticed that the younger generation and those working in better class shops do have better customer service skills.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
14 Sep 2007 /  #23
I had very good customer service this morning. I visited four stores, and everyone was very pleasant. I think the younger people are nicer. I think that if they are better educated, they have a different outlook.
Osiedle_Ruda  
14 Sep 2007 /  #24
recently when I was purchasing numerous items in Carrefour supermarket, the check-out girl was scanning all the items until she came across a dvd that wouldn't scan - instead of calling a colleague for assistance, she threw the dvd away. I said I wanted to purchase that dvd, to which she replied "go get one that scans properly then"!

lol

Count yourself lucky... over here, you'd probably have been beaten up for "disrespect" ;) :)
DaveInCal - | 23  
14 Sep 2007 /  #25
It's too hard on the face muscles.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
14 Sep 2007 /  #26
Ive found that Polish girls working in cafes and bars in the UK smile a lot.. in my local cafe which is run by Turks, they only employ Polish girls (one at a time as there is a high turnover).. the latest wears the tightest white trousers you have ever seen, she has a big dupa and you can see her g-string through the trousers, besides that she always has her tits hanging out too... I reckon it must be in order to get more tips.. most of the male customers seem more intersted in checking her out than ordering any food though.
magnum 1 | 16  
14 Sep 2007 /  #27
ok sapphire, tell us the address of your local cafe, i think i will visit there for my morning coffee, may-be have 2 or 3 cups of coffee, lol worth it just to see her thongs, lol
Wyspianska  
14 Sep 2007 /  #28
im not happy to admit it but its true. And its not only in stores, bank and so on. When u want to smile to someone on polish street he will think ure trying to flirt with (when a girl smile to a a boy) or that ure homosexual (if to a girl) lol

some kind of crazy
Ronek 1 | 261  
14 Sep 2007 /  #29
Well then. People must think that I'm the biggest gey or perv there ever was.
Wyspianska  
14 Sep 2007 /  #30
lol, no worries they think the same about me. But remember: scandal is always ok
more ppl talk about u and ure more famous :)

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