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I'm British in Poland and I think that it's time to go back to the UK!


Oryctes - | 9    
27 Jul 2008  #91
Everybody can make similar or completely opposite theories about above problem.

As most theories, they are based on fairly sweeping genarilisations and don't explain everything, but I think they do explain the contrast between British and Polish bureaucratic realities. Clearly, any bureaucracy serves primarily itself, but in Poland people have been trodden upon so long (since the Partitions) that it has become part of the culture, the way things are done here. People think it can't be helped. I'm sure most British bureaucrats don't see themselves as eager servants of the citizen, but the difference is that the British citizens will not accept the situation that the Polish ones think as normal or at least unavoidable.

Ps where did you get that theory from? I mean about Byzantine influence?

I didn't refer to the Byzantine empire, I meant it as a common adjective meaning "highly complicated, intricate, involved, labirinthine etc". It is true the Russians claimed (and still do) to be the heirs of Byzantium, the third Rome, but I don't know if they specifically modelled their bureaucracy on Byzantium

Feliks Koneczny once wrote some similar theories
What about Mongol influence on Russia and communism's bureaucracy ?

I agree Mongols or Tartars might have more to do with it than Byzantium, but I'm out of my depth here. One might also add the Chinese imperial model of bureaucracy into the equation, as a main inspiration of the Mongols. Without delving into detailed historical analyses, I would say that Polish bureaucracy resembles the Eastern models rather than the Western ones.

Speaking as a Civil Servant working in a British Government department, the above statement is crap........I am employed to serve the Crown.

Obviously you're employed to serve your employer. When I said you're meant to serve the citizen I spoke about the expectations of citizens, who are after all the employers of the legislative bodies and governments. In Poland I think most people don't even realise they are indirect employers of officials.

I get frustrated with the bureaucracy where I work, rules and regulations that were set in stone 150 years ago

Daisy, that's the whole problem here: rules and regulations are changed every year and they're so vague or contradictory nobody really knows what they mean - you're entirely at the mercy of individual bureaucrats and their interpretations. I think, given the choice, most people in Poland would gladly opt for rules "set in stone 150 years ago" rather than what we've got.
Daisy 3 | 1,229    
27 Jul 2008  #92
rules and regulations are changed every year and they're so vague or contradictory nobody really knows what they mean

And there are procedures here that no one knows what they mean or why we follow them, because they were made up a very long time ago by a man writing them down in ink with a quill, in an age when only men who owned property were allowed to vote.

I have questioned many things in the department where I work and I always get the same stock answer "we do it that way because it's always been done that way" but nobody can tell me why.

But we also suffer change for change sake, because some tin pot Senior Civil Servant wants to build a little empire for him/herself and make a name for themselves, they move on to head another institution and have long since disappeared by the time others have to suffer the consequences.

I'm not saying it's better, worse or the same in Poland, every country has it's own brand of bureaucracy.

As for working with dinosaurs, I probably have more experience than the average paleantologist
noimmigration    
27 Jul 2008  #93
Polands a dump end of story thats wh we in britain have suffered 2 million polish immigrants. They hate their own country so they come here in swarms
Del boy 20 | 255    
27 Jul 2008  #94
any bureaucracy serves primarily itself, but in Poland people have been trodden upon so long (since the Partitions) that it has become part of the culture.

Yes any bureaucracy primarily serve itself and have tendency to modification to achieve its own goals rather, that to what for they have been originally created but I wouldn't go to far with deep downed explanation to effects of partitions. Rather than that I would focus on side effect of strong communism's influence. Digging down to partitions can not be answer because polish bureaucracy during 1918 -1939 Polish Republic had completely different attitude than present one.

Again compare imperial British bureaucracy to polish one have no sens to me, they had different purposes and scale.
During partitions we had three completely different imposed models of bureaucracies, that short time during Second Polish Republic they had achieved a lot, merged all of these and created solid one - very hard POLISH achievement, communistic one was NOT POLISH ONE and the last one - banana one merely is not so different from commies when compare their attitudes
telefonitika    
27 Jul 2008  #95
They hate their own country so they come here in swarms

you are forgetting noimmi that we in the uk are immigrant children anyway if you look into your family history there is not one individual who is truly one nationality .. im sorry to say

and also we had polish people living here following the war who fought alongside the RAF did they hate their country then as well that we had to put up with them as you so put it .. so do the world a favour and stop with your spouting of the same old sh1t you have done since you joined it is blantantly biased and opinated and seriously you eject more excretement out your mouth(or thoughts to type) than possibly your own backside .....

its growing tiring and YAWN!!!!!!!!!!
Del boy 20 | 255    
27 Jul 2008  #96
noimmigration:
They hate their own country so they come here in swarms

telefonitka dont even bother to respond him. His is an orange scum, that he really is

I would say that Polish bureaucracy resembles the Eastern models rather than the Western ones.

yes, now and because of last 50 years of commie and so on
You can not say that about period of 1918-1939 when they were no any influences of any oriental models. Polish constitution from 1921 was based on the best achievments of western philosophies and bureaucracy followed that way as well
Oryctes - | 9    
27 Jul 2008  #97
You can not say that about period of 1918-1939 when they were no any influences of any oriental models.

I would agree with you on most points but I still don't think those 20 years made a great difference in the way people approached officialdom. Even if Polish bureacracy during 1918-1939 was dramatically different from the oppresive bureacracies imposed by the occupants, my argument about the way people perceived the official-citizen relationship still stands. In my opinion twenty years was too short an intermission for the new ideas to really sink in. You can see how slowly things are changing now even though it's been almost 20 years since the fall of communism. Now you might object that we haven't really done away with communist ways, but there it is: old habits die hard. Besides, we haven't even had a proper decommunisation .
Del boy 20 | 255    
27 Jul 2008  #98
In my opinion twenty years was too short an intermission for the new ideas to really sink in

belive me WASN'T and not a new ideas cos they were already here among polish aristocracy and bourgeois class and after 123 years of three occupants we recovered much faster than after 50 of commies
noimmigration    
27 Jul 2008  #99
you are forgetting noimmi that we in the uk are immigrant children

Immigrants of WHO ? The saxons, the angles etc. every country in the world has had historical migrations. just because the normans and the saxons came 1000 years ago does NOT mean that we should put up with an invasion of 2 million low skilled, poorly educated toilet cleaners.

Do you really think poland would except 2million immigants from one country alone.
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,184    
27 Jul 2008  #100
2 million more are going to come in the next 2 years.
Andrew78 - | 97    
27 Jul 2008  #101
Is he happy now,or is he busy cleaning toilet's right now.Ha ha
SeanBM 35 | 5,817    
27 Jul 2008  #102
I'm British in Poland and I think that it's time to go back to the UK!

No country is perfect and Poland is a great country and it is changing fast, perhaps not fast enough for some and perhaps even too fast for others.

I find Poland changing the same way Ireland did. I think if you stick it out here you can make a good living but I think more importantly it is the quality of life here that I like.

Do you really think poland would except 2million immigants from one country alone.

I really think it depends on which country the immigrants come from.
I think this is the wrong thread for this conversation.
olivier    
27 Jul 2008  #103
Oh guys what a pile of rubbish .....Im sorry to sum it all this way..... I honestly think that most of the issues you touched –dnz- are totally groundless.....what exactly you said was.... impossible to obtain any services from Polish banks, Telephone companies.. Insurance etc...... dnz with the greatest respect .....do you really think people will believe all you wrote...it just doesn’t make sense....surely if they allowed you to conduct your of business there you must’ve at least had sum services..did you not...... .....and pls take a deep breath and sensibly explain what the nature of your problems are........

I found polish system very efficient and modern Yes they ave some catching up to do in some areas of public services.... but as far as the access to the services goes its pretty compatible with the rest of the EU...... yes Miranda its just so easy to moan......

dnz the whole eu has long had so called ID cards which to my best knowledge you in the uk ditched in the fifties and trying to reintroduce again..... ones you sort this it’ll be easier....... dnz you will not set up bank account or access public services anywhere in eu without it......your utility bill will not do the trick....... neither I nor anyone I know had these problems.....

And –dnz -I found your comments (I believe that a similar disregard and lack of respect for people from outside the UK should be implemented to people trying to obtain these simple services in the UK) very inflammatory.

Shame on you dnz.

olivier
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 433    
28 Jul 2008  #104
I have approached several real estate agents I have found on Gratka and they have clearly stated that I cannot rent a property due to not having a Pesel?

DNZ, I recommend that you forget about Real Estate agents just deal with direct owners for instance have a look at Gumtree Poland or have someone put an ad for you ( free) then visit the place and tha's it.

Or Best put an ad on PF and maybe a member will have the place of your dream and not ask you too much red tape.

Real Estate agents need to get loads of info from potential tenants to reassure owners and present the different candidates.
If you had a nice place for rent you would not want to rent it to someone who could destroy the place or misbehave and not have full confirmation he can be tracked in Poland, or would you?
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
28 Jul 2008  #105
Shame on you dnz.

Olivier, you can hardly wag your finger at someone for posting what 90 percent of non-Polish citizens believe to be true. Polish bureaucracy operates at every level in society and what would be a simple task in the UK becomes inordinately difficult and long winded in Poland. It's taken me well over a year to be registered amd apply for a dowod, despite having Polish citizenship, a Polish wife and a flat in Poland, and this is primarily due to lazy / incompetent staff and an outdated system. You will ind most Poles agree with me too.

Now say sorry to dnz.
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654    
28 Jul 2008  #106
Oh guys what a pile of rubbish .....Im sorry to sum it all this way..... I honestly think that most of the issues you touched –dnz- are totally groundless.....

You do write as if you have never actually experienced Polish bureaucracy, or have been very very lucky when doing so. It's not just non-Poles who believe the problems to be true.

Those Poles fortunate enough to have experienced life elsewhere hold the same opinions. As Mr B says, it's an outdated system run by lazy and incompetent staff
mafketis 16 | 5,772    
28 Jul 2008  #107
I must be very lucky, because while I've certainly not always been pleased with Polish bureaucracy (no one is ever pleased with a bureaucracy, even the people that work there usually find it frustrating and irrational) I can't really complain at my treatment overall in Poland.

A few hints from someone who's been on both sides (I worked in a bureaucracy for several years):

Assume the bureaucrat and you are on the same side. Really, usually they are. The bureaucrat that takes pleasure in frustrating people is pretty rare anywhere, bureaucrats who don't mind frustrating rude or aggressive clients who don't or can't follow simple instructions are not.

To avoid being classified in this category, it's helpful to:

Be cheerful, pleasant and polite. Many people approach bureacracy already in snarl-mode and this does nothing to help things along.

Assume you're going to get what you want even if there's a delay or two and some inconvenience (this ties in with the first point).

Repeat what you've been told in your own words. IME (not only) Polish people are hesitant to do this but it's a very good way to catch misunderstandings (before you do a bunch of wrong stuff that doesn't help anyone).

Ask questions. IME many Polish people are hesitant to ask questions and therefore often end up acting on poorly understood (or plain misunderstood) information. This does nothing to help anyone. One big difference between Polish (and some anglophone) bureacracies (sometimes) is that Polish bureaucrats tend to answer only the question you actually ask and don't try to give you the information you need (but don't know how to ask for). "Do I have to do anything before X?" "Do I have to do anything after X?" "Is there anything else I need to do?"

Take notes in writing (just say "I'm afraid I'll forget something important if I don't write it down") ask the bureaucrat to verify that what you've written is correct. Often this will lead you to be supplied with written info from the bureaucracy or the bureaucrat will just write it down themselves (which can also be helpful).
ukpolska    
28 Jul 2008  #108
Take notes in writing (just say "I'm afraid I'll forget something important if I don't write it down") ask the bureaucrat to verify that what you've written is correct. Often this will lead you to be supplied with written info from the bureaucracy or the bureaucrat will just write it down themselves (which can also be helpful).

Good idea, although I can see a problem in many government officialness being totally intimidated by this :O)
miranda    
28 Jul 2008  #109
yes Miranda its just so easy to moan......

I wasn't moaning but stating the facts.

PS, you must have been under some kind of influance when you wrote that. LOL
or perhaps you are really charming or have been bribing the ladies in Polish offices.
olivier    
28 Jul 2008  #110
Mr Bubbles......I'm so sorry....... but..... I'm not gonna say sorry...though I feel very sorry for dnz.... in my opinion he just needs to grasp that different cultures are going to be different....adopt and imply some of the ideas mentioned in the comment by makfetis.... which I think is spot on...... we just cannot slag off the whole system and blame everyone but ourselves for the failures, which mostly are due to the fact that we didn’t do our homework before moving to another country ......... grumpiness jus doesn’t help.........
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
28 Jul 2008  #111
Assume the bureaucrat and you are on the same side. Really, usually they are

Well, I suppose maybe 1 in 10 of the office fauna I've had to deal with have been genuinely helpful. The attitude of the rest could be placed on a scale from 'pleasant but incompetent' through 'passive aggressive' up to 'actively hostile'. Though, I don't believe they're necessarily bad people, just people trapped in a bad system that was the product of a bad system. Every day, they sit in a job with little respect, no hope for promotion, low pay, no job satisfaction and the knowledge that they could easily be replaced by a machine or the boss's daughter.

They have trouble accepting that they're only there to fill in a form or two and ask questions rather than making big decisions themselves. We see them as the short order chefs of the administratum, but they consider themselves the restaurant owners and the general public to be mere waiters. They p1ss poeple off to pass the time and make them feel as if they are really in a proper job.

Most importantly, they'll do as little as they possibly can. They'll only answer direct questions. They'll give a different answer to the same question on different days as it suits them because they don't know the answer and they're too lazy to check. Curiously enough, they often work unsupervised and so, should you have a problem with them, there's no complaints procedure and nobody to turn to.

They'll send you off to do their work for them as their messenger boy - why make a phone call when I can send this idiot to find their own data from the other office? And if they have trouble at the other office why should I bother?

Oh, and if there's something small that prevents them processing you, they'll shrug and smugly say it can't be done. If you ask why, they'll dig their heels in. If you really go to town on them and make it look as if you're going to be trouble, they'll miraculously do an about turn and process it for you. 'Cost benefit' exercise, you see - anything to avoid the most work.

In contrast, I went to the UK the other year for a copy of my birth certificate. I prepared as I would for an expedition for the delegatura - water, food, first aid kit, emergency beacon - and set off with instructions to my wife as to what she should do if I didn't return. I approached the desk, dropped the 10Kg of documents I'd brought 'in case' and asked the man for a birth certificate. He smiled (!) and gave me a form. I filled in the form and paid the fee with a card. He told me I'd have the cert in 1 week. Would I like it sooner? Would I like it posted to me? No thanks I said.

When I turned up to collect it a week later, it was there. I told him I'd been in Poland for a few years and things are totally different. I asked him if he was going to verbally abuse me or make me wait a few weeks. He said he could if I wanted him to. Now that's service! Not wanting to be a burden, I politely turned him down and accepted the standard service that anyone else in England is accustomed to.
miranda    
28 Jul 2008  #112
.. grumpiness jus doesn’t help.........

did you bribe them or you have some kind of secret which most people born in Poland don't have. LOL
olivier    
28 Jul 2008  #113
Miranda Id call it jena se qua........

Mr Bubbles

suppose maybe 1 in 10 of the office fauna I've had to deal with have been genuinely helpf

oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.............. whats the reason to live in a country where 9 out of 10 people are trying to shoot you in the foot..........
Avalon 4 | 1,068    
28 Jul 2008  #114
I have to start at the beginning of this story as what happened today will not make sense, so a brief summary:-
In January, 2005, booked holiday flight to Greece for Sat. May 15th from Warsaw.
12th of May, informed by travel agency that flight has been changed to 21.00. Friday night. Cannot go as partner (doctor) has to work and its a 4-5 hour drive to Warsaw from where I live, also, flight arrives in Greece at 2.00AM in the morning and hotel in not booked until noon that day.

Thursday 13th May, call in to see travel agent who offers me 75% refund of the cost of my flight and nothing for the cost of hotel, its her company's regulations.

Explain to travel agent that in accordance with EU regulation 261/004, not only do they have to give me a full refund, they also have to pay 400 euros per ticket in compensation + the cost of my hotel. Travel agent explains that I have no chance!!!!.

I explain in "Anglo Saxon" that I will take the matter further.
Consult relevant EU website which tells me to contact Polish "Civil Aviation Office" and gives telephone number. Call office to be informed that they are "not ready to deal with clients and to call back in AUGUST"!!!!!. Consult EU website which states that if the "Civil Aviation Office is not yet formed to go through the normal channels and sue through the civil courts.

I started legal proceedings in June 2005 and the first hearing was to be held in Poznan (Holiday company's reg.office address. 9 hour train ride for me + overnight in hotel) in October 2005. My lawyer contacted the court on the Monday as the case was to be heard on the Wednesday, he had already asked for a sworn translator and checked to make sure that there would be one in attendance.

Arrive at court on time, told by judges that they did not have time to find a sworn translator. I became slightly agitated which resulted in the judges telling me that I could give my evidence in my home town of Tarnow, so, a completely wasted trip as I could have saved myself the journey if anybody had bothered telling me!!!!.

6 weeks later, called to the local court, sworn translator provided this time, explained to judge what happened and was told that the verdict would come from Poznan.

6 months later, was sent letter from court in Poznan which said that EU laws did not apply in Poland?
Appealed the courts decision, 6 months later appeal rejected.
Appealed to the 2nd extansion court, one year later, appeal rejected.
This has now gone on for just over 3 years and the Polish court still refuses to recognise EU law.
In the bank last Friday, I was handed a note by my manager, in Polish, that stated that my bank had been instructed by the courts to take 1400 PLN in costs from my account (to be awarded to the Holiday company). I have not received any corresponce from the court since the rejection of my last appeal.

Went to the Court Baliff's office in Tarnow to be told ( I took my partner with me to translate)( I was told I could not have a translator for English even thought this is part of the citizens rights act sign by Poland) that "I am subject to Polish Law and that Poland does not intend compliance with EU law for at least the next 5-15 years".

Got back home this afternoon to find an e-mail from the Polish Civil Aviation Office advising me that my case has been passed to the court in Warsaw on the 28th MAY!!! and I will be notified of the hearing date!!!

God!!!! I love this country!!!! never boring.....lol
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
28 Jul 2008  #115
whats the reason to live in a country where 9 out of 10 people are trying to shoot you in the foot

Oh, that's a good answer. "If you don't like our crap system then go home"? Let me refresh your memory from my previous post:

despite having Polish citizenship, a Polish wife and a flat in Poland

Anyway, it's good to see you don't disagree with the content.
ukpolska    
28 Jul 2008  #116
I was told I could not have a translator for English even thought this is part of the citizens rights act sign by Poland

That's strange because when I was cautioned by the Police for a problem I had (which you can read about on page two), I was told by a lawyer in the family that the Police cannot do anything until I had a sworn translator present.

Seems to me as the rules are made up as they go.......
Avalon 4 | 1,068    
28 Jul 2008  #117
ukpolska.....my point exactly...nobody in authourity seems to know what they are doing or what laws are applicable. I find it strange that a court can issue an order to access my bank account (joint account so are they taking mine or my partners money?) when I have never committed a criminal offence. All I did was start a civil action against a Polish company. If the court had sent me an account to pay, I would have, knowing I would get it back eventually.

If the court in Warsaw refuses to reverse the judgement then the next step is to take the case to the European Courts of Justice and sue the Polish Government (which will be a formality as case judgement has already be given against Sweden for the same non-compliance) which was never my intention. I hope that they do not take this as personally as I have. I obey the laws here and expect the same treatment and protection in return.
Lir    
28 Jul 2008  #118
..nobody in authourity seems to know what they are doing

Wonder what you would think if you were in China ? Russia, any other East European Country. Any third world country. Why do foreigners always knock the Country they emigrate too !

I think the UK laws can stink sometimes if truth be known !

:)
miranda    
28 Jul 2008  #119
Miranda Id call it jena se qua......

well, maybe you have been lucky, but the truth is that anybody who is living in Poland will eventually face some kind of problems. Ce la vie. Not that I wish you anything like that.
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
28 Jul 2008  #120
Why do foreigners always knock the Country they emigrate too !

Read Avalon's post for a clue.

Wonder what you would think if you were in China ? Russia, any other East European Country

So you say that "We're crap but not as crap as China"? Fantastic...




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