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Polish people and Politeness


king polkakamon - | 544
15 Aug 2010 #31
For example in Greece it would be.

Holding a door for the group of your friends.

This means that you are going to ask your friends for sth.

Holding a door for the group of strangers.

This means that you are very protective and may be seen as pimping like imposing superiority.Dangerous to do unless the stranger is very old and incompetent.

Holding a door for a woman you don't know.

It is considered sleazy.The woman will say thanks very quickly and run away.

Holding a door for a man you don't know.

Does not happen.If you do it,the man will very likely talk to you to test if you are man indeed.
convex 20 | 3,978
15 Aug 2010 #32
But you ask for an answer from Polish perspective.

Just wondering, do you come from a city or the countryside? Maybe people here in Wroclaw are different, but the door is usually held open if someone is coming in behind you. Man and woman alike, except for those people that are in their own little world, which is a small minority.

You just blackmailed this poor guy. I don't see why are you happy.
The rules are the rules. It was this guy's job to execute it. He wasn't a man who invented them. It simple like that - If you don't accept the rules of WARS - don't go there. :-)

That's just head in the sand behavior. That attitude is changing as well, I know plenty of young families that would have told him where to stick it. On the other hand, there are lots of weak people that just blindly follow the rules with question. I guess that's why socialism had such a long run here. People are used to getting away with things because no one steps up to the plate and confronts them on it, thus change at the speed of molasses and reinforcement of negative behaviors.
enkidu 7 | 623
15 Aug 2010 #33
The only point I can comment on is that Kapuszczynski quote: if it had been written by any other tourist, I can see why it would look strange and would be printed in a book, but if a Polish journalist makes that observation about Russians, can he not see it in his own culture too? Was he trying to say how awful it is, or how Poles and Russians share some cultural features? I don't know.

I did read this book too. Kapuścinski was amazed that almost no words were exchanged. I Poland the customer is expected to say "Dzień dobry!" "Proszę" i "Dziękuję" at least. For Kapuścinski this Russian silence was a sign of a lacko of politeness, because he judge it by Polish standards not the Russian ones. He made exactly the same mistake that most of westerners are doing in Poland: He believes that standards of politeness are universal and more-or-less the same in every country. Well - it's not a true.

he had no other choice, since some of those rules are silly, such as no sleeping in Wars, which probably comes from the time, when people due to lack of seating room were dosing off in Wars on long trips. One needs to be reasonable and flexible.

I am agree - this rules are silly. But RULES ARE RULES. This guy may be "reasonable and flexible" and lost his job in reward. Because he was expected to run this train with strict adherence to the rules.

Would you be willing to risk your job just to show some "flexibility" to a stranger?

Just wondering, do you come from a city or the countryside? Maybe people here in Wroclaw are different, but the door is usually held open if someone is coming in behind you. Man and woman alike, except for those people that are in their own little world, which is a small minority.

I am from Toruń. It has nothing to do with the topic. I am not saying, that my opinions are universal. Maybe the people in Wroclaw are different.
Richfilth 6 | 415
15 Aug 2010 #34
Well - it's not a true.

And yet, in any self-order restaurant or fast-food joint, or the meat-and-cheese section in shops, or in fact any situation where you need to make a selection (what awful sandwich LOT will give you during your flight, is my favourite example) Poles behave EXACTLY THE SAME as the Russians in Mr K.'s book. That's why I mean it's hypocritical. He sees Russian terseness as rude, but doesn't see the Polish equally laconic style as equally rude.

"Dzien Dobry"'s are very rare here unless, like you said with friends holding doors for the group, it's with a sort of sense of humour, a joke about the politeness of olden days.
convex 20 | 3,978
15 Aug 2010 #35
I am not saying, that my opinions are universal.

Thus the question.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #36
True, if you haven't learned basic manners like those, we can't expect you to apply them, enkidu. Fair point! You just do it differently :)

Does Poland really have the 'o-kari' system of indebtedness like in Japan? Do Poles really feel that they must return the favour?

You seem to be describing Japanese people more than Poles here, enkidu. In more than one respect, I might say.

No flaming, enkidu, you got it!
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
15 Aug 2010 #37
Would you be willing to risk your job just to show some "flexibility" to a stranger?

I doubt that he would loose his job, but I cannot judge the situation since I was not there. However I would do the same as Warszawski.

He sees Russian terseness as rude, but doesn't see the Polish equally laconic style as equally rude.

I disagree with that, he was simply reporting what he saw and I have read most of his books and did not find a piece of his writing not being objective.
enkidu 7 | 623
15 Aug 2010 #38
"Dzien Dobry"'s are very rare here unless, like you said with friends holding doors for the group, it's with a sort of sense of humour, a joke about the politeness of olden days.

And then we have got a lot of post here about how rude are Polish salesladies. Someone enters some small shop and is greeted by the cold stare. He, as customer, expects something like "Hello, how can I help you?". The saleslady expects "Dzień dobry". Because in Poland you are expected to say it first when entering somewhere. Even if you are the Queen - you are still expected to say it. Try it next time - you'll see.

enkidu:
I am not saying, that my opinions are universal.

Thus the question.

But nonetheless I am Polish. And I think that even if my point of view is not universal, it's better than none. :-)

Does Poland really have the 'o-kari' system of indebtedness like in Japan? Do Poles really feel that they must return the favour?

Well - it's a matter of politeness and honour. Of course - a lot of people don't care for it.
It's not an exchange. It's not like "You give me something, I give you something. Get lost."
Let's say that you help someone. This automatically makes you his friend.
If you ask this guy for a favour in the future - he just can't decline your request.
That's why my advice is: Do not make a favour to the Pole unless he asked you for it.

Of course - it's not so simple. There are a lot of exceptions and special situations, but as a "rule of thumb" this advice is sound.
king polkakamon - | 544
15 Aug 2010 #39
Poles behave EXACTLY THE SAME as the Russians

I have also noticed that.Although Russians are a bit more aggressive.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #40
youtube.com/watch?v=eu7OK3xyLMw
be observant ;)
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
15 Aug 2010 #41
be observant ;)

OMG, that is funny and so spot on!!!!!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #42
Yeah, a Polish valley girl :) Those that gibber at the rate of knots and forget their manners.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
15 Aug 2010 #43
Because in Poland you are expected to say it first when entering somewhere.

I bet a lot of English people do not know this...and don,t realise that the Polish person may be being rude because you have been rude to them...

When you don,t understand the culture and way of thinking , its quite easy to offend somebody and get rudeness in return...

Of course , some people are just ignorant sods , but thats not exclusive to Polish people , i met far more such people back in the UK....
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
15 Aug 2010 #44
First of all, everyone (or most people anyway) enjoy politeness

Umm i dunno what part of Poland you were in, in most parts people are polite especially in the cities, but most people from around Rzeszow, Krosno, Bialystok are as we say chamy i buraki.
poland_
15 Aug 2010 #45
You just blackmailed this poor guy. I don't see why are you happy.
The rules are the rules. It was this guy's job to execute it. He wasn't a man who invented them. It simple like that - If you don't accept the rules of WARS - don't go there. :-)

Enkidu - with a response like that, I can only imagine you are a traffic warden...
If the Wars had been full and we were occupying space that could be turned into money, then Of course I would have obliged. But the fact we had sat there for two hours and the place was empty- it fall into the category "of more than my jobs worth" He was flexing his muscles and probably heard us speaking english - if my wife had not been there I would have told him to fcuk off and stop wasting my time, so he got off lightly.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #46
We should always remember that we are guests here but we also have standards to abide by, often determined through years of conditioning. Compromise becomes key but when rules are as blatantly unreasonable as you showed, war, we should take a stand. We can grin and bear it perhaps (it lies within tolerance) but the infuriating thing is their rigidity in following the letter of the law to an absolute tee. For those versed in civil disobedience, it is their duty to challenge :)
Ironside 51 | 11,499
15 Aug 2010 #47
And

hey I have never thought about it ! but you are right!
poland_
15 Aug 2010 #48
We should always remember that we are guests here but we also have standards to abide by

Seanus,it is very rare that I will say anything negative about Poland. The fact is there is a steady decline in service in Poland. The country is well and truly in the midst of a yuppie boom, which means profit first and service second. Too many people expect to get rich quickly and the spiv mentality has taken over. It is a real shame because if the attitude was medium or long term you could see it lasting. But it is all get in and get and make as much as possible.
escapee3 8 | 63
15 Aug 2010 #49
What a fascinating thread. I've held doors open in Paris and had the same lack of response, so I guess it might be more widespread than Poland alone. I'm interested to see for myself when I come to Poland for the first time later in the year.

It never occured to me that it's up to me to say good morning first or risk bringing the wrath upon myself - what an interesting thought.

What about the great British bane of queue jumping - is that usual in Poland?

Steve
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #50
I don't think it's solely confined to yuppies but PO is encouraging them with their lower taxes for high earners. Those people who want to make a quick buck are about as impolite as they come.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
15 Aug 2010 #51
What about the great British bane of queue jumping - is that usual in Poland?

it does happen

worse is when there is a stooge planted in the queue and then someone comes along with a full trolly and plants themselves in front of you.

when it comes to queues some are polite and some take the pi$$.
plk123 8 | 4,148
15 Aug 2010 #52
True, if you haven't learned basic manners like those, we can't expect you to apply them, enkidu. Fair point! You just do it differently :)

Does Poland really have the 'o-kari' system of indebtedness like in Japan? Do Poles really feel that they must return the favour?

I mentioned this on more then one occasion but what it really is, it's that respect is forwarded in PL not earned like in the west.. of course one can still earn "more" respect, if you will, but respect precedes everything else and thus politeness is kind of more noticeable..

escapee3:
What about the great British bane of queue jumping - is that usual in Poland?

it does happen

it does happen? lol.. poles are masters at it and at using their elbows.. ;) :D
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
15 Aug 2010 #53
but PO is encouraging them with their lower taxes for high earners.

PO and PiS alike, to be fair. Both parties are all for low taxation - it's why PiS has some supporters among the yuppie set.

The fact is there is a steady decline in service in Poland.

Decline? If anything, it's massively improved - I remember the state of PKP Intercity service in 2006 and then now - it's vastly, vastly better.

The fact that more people have money to open businesses tells you that bad service isn't being tolerated, especially in the food and beverage market. I can also tell you about one bar in Warsaw that I went to a few days ago - the service was beyond spot on and professional to the point of ridiculousness.
Natasa 1 | 580
15 Aug 2010 #54
Although Russians are a bit more aggressive.

Level of their aggressiveness for me was just fine ;)

I unfortunately never visited Poland, but Poles that I observed/met during vacations seemed really polite and friendly.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #55
Don't expect politeness here,
youtube.com/watch?v=gU3fFEJvB5E&feature=related

There are many more where that came from. This is a subculture of virtually every country that plays football, with the possible exception of Japan as I never heard about J League fights.

But PiS aren't in power, delph ;) ;)
plk123 8 | 4,148
15 Aug 2010 #56
There are many more where that came from. This is a subculture of virtually every country that plays football, with the possible exception of Japan as I never heard about J League fights.

no brawls in USA at the soccer matches ..
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Aug 2010 #57
Only when Beckham kicks them off ;)

Anyway, let's stay on topic. They are a law unto themselves those guys.
poland_
15 Aug 2010 #58
The fact that more people have money to open businesses tells you that bad service isn't being tolerated, especially in the food and beverage market. I can also tell you about one bar in Warsaw that I went to a few days ago - the service was beyond spot on and professional to the point of ridiculousness.

Polish people are risk takers by nature. Why work for 4,000 PLN a month when you can run a small business and make 6 to 10,000 PLN. But this is not business it is all about becoming self employed or lowering your tax threshold to 19% as an entrepreneur. We can all highlight venues were the service level is very high but this goes hand in hand with its clientele and tips.

What I am focusing on is the attitude across the board you walk into a shop and ask for something that may require effort and it is met with a negative response or when you enter a store and the assistant is on the phone or chatting about last night. There is a lack of commitment to the company. The attitude is this is what I get paid and why should I do more than the minimum. I have quite a few friends in warsaw that have restaurants and it is a complete nightmare to get the right staff and keep them, there is a complete lack of loyalty in the younger generation. This self serving attitude is deep rooted in Poland and it goes back to communist times, the state was always the mother that provided and whatever else they could make by scheming was cream on the cake, this attitude has not changed, As I said in a earlier post - the surface appearance may have changed but the veneer is very thin and it is still the same old underneath. You mention this to a Polish person and they will agree, it will take another generation for real change to happen.

Getting back on track regarding " Polish people and Politeness" there are more Polish" British gentlemen" than there are British gentlemen.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
15 Aug 2010 #59
What I am focusing on is the attitude across the board you walk into a shop and ask for something that may require effort and it is met with a negative response or when you enter a store and the assistant is on the phone or chatting about last night.

To be honest, what the Poles need to learn is that when someone does this, you don't stay and negotiate with them, you just walk out and spread the word about their lack of skills. There is this defeatist attitude here that "nothing will change" - when in reality, many business owners are very quick to deal with such attitude problems.

To give an example - me and my friends would visit this pub every Thursday as our usual haunt was closed for summer (which is fair enough - the economics didn't add up for the place to be open during summer!). We would bring about 20-25 people every Thursday, until the owner went on a massive sulk one night. Have I been back since? Nope. We found somewhere else that welcomed us with open arms.

There is a lack of commitment to the company. The attitude is this is what I get paid and why should I do more than the minimum. I have quite a few friends in warsaw that have restaurants and it is a complete nightmare to get the right staff and keep them, there is a complete lack of loyalty in the younger generation.

I wouldn't say just the younger generation - it isn't helped by this attitude that women should get married, pregnant and stay off work as much as possible - rubbish propogated by Babcia.

I guess it's swings and roundabouts - if people want to have strong laws in favour of the employee, then they need to accept that employees will act like idiots if you give them half a chance.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
15 Aug 2010 #60
What about the great British bane of queue jumping - is that usual in Poland?

Polish Babcias have it down to a fine art...


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