in civilized countries it is called obowiązek obywatelski. In Poland it is called donosicielstwo. ;)))
there is something to it :) PRL was not a 'civilised country'. It was a system of exploitation, and the nation reacted in a natural way. Stealing from the state was widely accepted, stealing from a private person was your ordinary thieving, despicable thing. You needed to paint your flat, you 'organised' paint from your factory, or a neighbour did you a favour for a symbolic bottle, then you went to your GP, and his first question was '3 days or a week'. Those who happened to actually have a flu felt like slightly embarrassed, un-Polish.
Weird stuff. Bareja got it right, although it seems unbelievable. In this reality, snitching means civil death, and sometimes worse. Civil death means you go to the shop and all you can get is what you see. It means you call a recommended plumber, and he's not doing it, sorry, and that was one exceptional case, my brother in law asked me to do a favour to his best friend's terminally ill mother, and she provided all the materials anyway, I only put it all together for a cup of tea and a nice chat. On Sunday.
edit: well, maybe it's not clear enough. The recommended plumber turns out to be a mistake, so you call the official service, they come next Easter, they leave mess in your bathroom, and the leak comes back the next day anyway, because they exchanged your loose, but otherwise good tap with a faulty one. They needed good material for good Poles, innit. You getting the gist?