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Polish Organizational Skills


tonykenny 18 | 131
5 Feb 2009  #1
OK, strange question... But what have people's experienced been of Polish peoples' organisational skills?

For my experience having only lived here about 7 months is that, as a general rule, I am surprised that they are able to plan far enough ahead to get to a toilet before they wet themselves.

I say 'as a general rule' because I have met some that are good planners and organisers. But most I've met don't have a clue and that includes people in business who do _everything_ last minute!

T
Wroclaw Boy
5 Feb 2009  #2
But what have people's experienced been of Polish peoples' organisational skills?

Generally speaking 90% of them range from bad to absolutely useless. The i dont give a crap attitude.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
5 Feb 2009  #3
Maybe my thoughts on this are out of date given that may last full time working in PL was getting on for five years ago now. I had three years of working for a major company in Warsaw and in general I would agree that the planning skills were not as strong as other countries I've worked in. The major frustration of working there for me though was the inability of people to make decisions without consulting up the hierarchy. This led in turn to a reluctance to plan as it was always their bosses' repsonsibility. The whole cycle did my head in on numerous occasions. The organisation was previously state owned and managed so maybe that excacerbated the problem. Not to say that the ones who did plan and had delegated authority were not good. In fact some of them were excellent. Management practices in PL will take time to evolve and mature. I would be interested to hear if they have since my days there.
OP tonykenny 18 | 131
5 Feb 2009  #4
That's pretty much what I feared. It's almost as if they are just waiting for their leaders to give them the next instruction. I thought that way of life was supposed to be left behind in 1991.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
5 Feb 2009  #5
I thought that way of life was supposed to be left behind in 1991.

Change in management practices will only come from the top or from an influx of foreign or returning Polish managers. It's a question of how long that will take to permeate through I guess. There were definite signs of improvement in my time there. Maybe the governmrnt should send all CEOs to Harvard for a year:)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
5 Feb 2009  #6
I am surprised that they are able to plan far enough ahead to get to a toilet before they wet themselves.

That's pretty much what I feared.

Perhaps it is a loaded question and therefore you are getting the response you elicited?.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
5 Feb 2009  #7
I find this with all big companies, everywhere, no?.

That's different from my experience SeanBM. Most of the companies I have worked for in western Europe and the US/Canada/Australia have actually had very good delegated authority and reposnibility, certainly within the last tenm years or so. Yes there always exceptions and I certainly exclude government agencies from that.
OP tonykenny 18 | 131
5 Feb 2009  #8
Perhaps it is a loaded question and therefore you are getting the response you elicited?.

Not really loaded... and i was kinda hoping you would all tell me I was wrong and I had just had some unfortunate encounters. So I could look forward to things improving....
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Feb 2009  #9
On different levels, I've heard many foreigners here say that certain people just can't get their act together and that they have to be spoon fed everything. They also do things begrudgingly, with the 'why should I be doing this?' look on their faces. It comes from a distorted sense of pride.

As ever, there is another side and many are super efficient. Unfortunately, they seem to be the exception to the rule. There is a lot of wandering around here when they could be working.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
5 Feb 2009  #10
That's different from my experience

I know some very large Dutch/Canadian companies that are pretty efficient and other Scandinavian companies that every single thing has to go back to Scandinavia so that "the members of council" can discuss them, it is a long and frustrating proceedure.

and i was kinda hoping you would all tell me I was wrong and I had just had some unfortunate encounters.

I would not say you were wrong but I would say you have had some unfortunate encounters.

-----------------------------------------------------

I edited my original post as I am sick of hearing myself complain about 'that' country.

----------------------------------------------------

always exceptions and I certainly exclude government agencies from that.

Here in Poland the government agencies remind me of :-

The knights who say "Nie".
youtube.com/watch?v=QTQfGd3G6dg

-------------------------------------------------------

Why was this closed?.
Wroclaw Boy
5 Feb 2009  #11
Not really loaded... and i was kinda hoping you would all tell me I was wrong and I had just had some unfortunate encounters. So I could look forward to things improving....

If youre looking for reliable, independant/own innitiative Polish employees, youd best source Poles that have worked in western European countries. Some have been de-poled if oyu like and are customary to our way of thinking and organisation.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Feb 2009  #12
Good point, WB. Getting away from your customary way of doing things helps on many levels. I remember teaching a girl called Akiko in Hiroshima. She was as quiet as a mouse. She went to America for a year. I didn't recognise her when she came back. She was using hip slang and was really communicative.

The same could apply to work perspectives. People who have closeted themselves here only frustrate others who have different ways of working. It's like beating your head against a wall sometimes, or trying to rouse a mule into action.
Wroclaw Boy
5 Feb 2009  #13
Good point, WB. Getting away from your customary way of doing things helps on many levels.

Oi ive been known to help out a bit here and there, youre just not around when i do.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
5 Feb 2009  #14
Steady on Stig. I think Seanus was referrring to the general your rather than your your if you see what I mean.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Feb 2009  #15
Hehehe, I didn't mean that, I meant that if people get out of their ordinary routines, they are initially like fish out of water and have to adapt. Many Poles love gibbering away in their own language and would have to adapt a fair bit if they went abroad. It really helps them break from the nest and learn to swim. Lord Only Knows I've had that initiation before and it has stood me in good stead.
OP tonykenny 18 | 131
5 Feb 2009  #16
Well, it was an interesting discussion, glad and yet also sad to see I'm not alone on my observation. Maybe Poles will eventually learn about the & P's. Until then, they will just muddle along reactively and doing everything at the last minute .... and everybody else will prepare and beat them to everything.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544
7 Feb 2009  #17
I know some very large Dutch/Canadian companies that are pretty efficient and other Scandinavian companies that every single thing has to go back to Scandinavia so that "the members of council" can discuss them, it is a long and frustrating proceedure.

Some time ago I have read about the increasing amount of high skilled Scandinavians workers that decide to stay on unemployment because of the fear from living on their own, taking risks, deciding what to do, etc...

I think that we actually could find an analogy between the current government policies in Scandinavian courtiers and the ones of the former polish nanny state of the commy era.

Old habits die hard I guess, and I must admit that I am also guilty of this trait, leaving everything on the last minute.
Kowalski 7 | 621
8 Feb 2009  #18
Ahh those processed people complaining others are not. Time stealing is an effective way of sabotage in any workplace.
It's not about full employment but full enjoyment!
Now, check your watch for time and get dressed for something.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
8 Feb 2009  #19
But what have people's experienced been of Polish peoples' organisational skills?

I can only speak with authority about teachers but they are generally pretty dreadful

Why?

1) Apathy - Nothing we do makes a difference so why bother
2) Resentment - I don't get rewarded so why should I make an effort
3) Lack of time - Paradoxically, they do not have time to sit down and organise themselves
4) Ignorance - They have never been taught to organise themselves. the results of a crap education system that is perpetuated by teachers like themselves.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #20
Hmm....I have met some like that but the Polish teachers at Profi-Lingua were pretty thorough. I have a lot of respect for them. The ones at other schools are the same, a little more of a mixed bag but similar.

What you must bear in mind is that many Polish teachers work at 2 schools. I saw my co-teachers coming in exhausted because they had toiled for 6-8 hours before doing their private school shift.

Really, they do remarkably well for their working conditions.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
8 Feb 2009  #21
What about the school managers / coordinators?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #22
Very good at the 2 schools I work for. As for the schools I worked for, hellbent on profit. I hate when people are in teaching for a quick buck, it's not what it is about. The teachers are the ones who carry the school and draw the punters in.

The organisation itself was OK, the shoulder shrugging and we don't give a toss attitude wasn't though.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
8 Feb 2009  #23
I've met some managers here who complain about managers from other countries who take too long to come to decisions. I've heard a lot of complaints about the French, Danish Spanish and Italians from Poles. So there's my 2p in the fountain.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #24
It just depends. Many know their contractual obligations here and fulfil them quite well.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
8 Feb 2009  #25
Very good at the 2 schools I work for. As for the schools I worked for, hellbent on profit. I hate when people are in teaching for a quick buck, it's not what it is about. The teachers are the ones who carry the school and draw the punters in.

Well.... I'm sure your school are OK but I've been working in a university in the UK for a couple of Summers and the level of organisation is far higher over there than in the schools in Poland. It really isn't comparable - Everything from the organisation of the timetable to the management of the teaching staff is done on time and with no cockups.

Uni courses in Poland consist of a semester based on a coursebok that has more often than not been given as a set of free copies to the department. The content of the book is divided into 15 weeks. that is the upper limit of Polish educational management.

I've worked in Uni departments in Poland where the staff design end-of-semester speaking tests 10 mins before the exam by photocopying pages from Proficiency books. While they are assessing the speaking, they mark the written tests to save time. The marks themselves are arbitrary - "What do you think of this one?" "Hmmm better than the last one but she never speaks in my grammar lessons" "Three then?" "Three and a half" ... and so on.

Truely, every day I wake up in the morning believing I've seen the lowest standards, the most slapdash work practices and the greatest contempt for any kind of professional behaviour and every day, I am pleasantly surprised as, once more, my expectations for the following day are lowered further.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #26
I can imagine what you mean. Although I have had largely positive experiences, I can see how the above comes about. Some are just too keen on gassing and getting little done, especially some women I've seen.

However, I'm not here to be critical. Just to say what I have seen.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
8 Feb 2009  #27
Feel free man - it's a discussion forum :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #28
I know one school where 2 employees left because they weren't paid at all for 3 months. Getting the Polish rate of pay is bad enough but getting nothing is just a slap on the face. It brought a whole new meaning to 'equal pay, equal work', LOL.

Everyone wants a bigger slice of the pie these days but, as I said, teaching is teaching and unfortunately has descended into a money issue.

I brought my fiancee onboard to investigate just how legit things were. She doesn't hold back and found out some interesting cooking of the books. There is subtle swicking going on that I see. Rather than confront me with it, they prefer to take their chances in the hope that it'll slide away.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
8 Feb 2009  #29
I know one school where 2 employees left because they weren't paid at all for 3 months. Getting the Polish rate of pay is bad enough but getting nothing is just a slap on the face. It brought a whole new meaning to 'equal pay, equal work', LOL.

Oh, yeah - I was working for place who used to do that kind of thing regularly. The owner apologised to us for not paying but he 'didn't have the moeny because he took his wife to Paris for the weekend'.

It's a shame that teaching has become so price led. The problem was all the horrid pikey schools offering the low quality rubbish served up in state schools at bargain bucket knock down prices. Most students go for this because they don't know any better (and most of them don't really want to learn anyway). If the prices were higher, the would be more pressure on the teachers and schools to perform and they would have to be more organised and efficient.

I know what you mean about the teachers working long hours though. One of the problems at my school is that the director has to run the school AND teach a full timetable. What nonsense is this?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Feb 2009  #30
Yeah, it hardly inspires much confidence. It's very much quantity, not quality. They cram in as many classes as they can to squeeze you.

It's like anything in this world, you have to do something for a stated reason but you can always clear what the underlying reason is. It's all about bums on seats.

I've asked many times to have my list of students revised but nothing. They are very quick to give me new students to mentor but don't update the list.

Off to Paris, LOL. He should have to pay upfront.


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