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INVISIBLE MAN in shops and offices in Poland?


wildrover 98 | 4,451
2 Sep 2010 #1
When i was in the UK , i could be seen quite clearly it seems , people would wait patiently behind me while i stood in line in a shop , and nobody walked in front of me in order to get served first...the down side , was that once i got on my motorcycle , both me and my bike could not be seen by other road users untill i had got within inches of crashing into them....

In Poland , it seems to be the other way round , despite the terrible accident figures on Polish roads , i have hardly ever had anyone try to wipe me and my motorcycle off the face of the earth , but walk in a shop or post office , and i become invisible...!!!

I have just been up to the 24 hour garage to get a snack . parked my car , went inside and picked out some crisps and chocolate , put them on the counter , and got my dosh out , it all seemed to be going pretty well , untill some guy that had just got some petrol , came in to pay , and get a load of beer too... He did not need to push in front of me , as the guy behind the counter just served him as though he hadn,t seen me stood directly in front of him for a good 20 seconds before the other guy had even entered the shop....

Just to rub it in a bit . he then turned to deal with another guy that walked in after the beer buyer.... I think he might have begun to notice me when the crisps and chocolate went flying over his head and landed on the floor behind him , but it was too late then , i was on my way out of the door....

I have got used to people walking in front of me as i wait in a post office que , and have them stick their heads in front of mine if i don,t stand right up to the counter when i am being served , but this last event has really got on my tits....

Do the Poles do this to each other all the time , or is it that they can tell i am not Polish and therefore don,t count as a person...????
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699
2 Sep 2010 #2
When i was in the UK , i could be seen quite clearly it seems , people would wait patiently behind me while i stood in line in a shop , and nobody walked in front of me in order to get served first...

its like that Where I live to, but the occasional impatient customer will throw money at
the attendant and tell them what pump to put it on.. that never usually works , especially since they cut in front of someone ( and clearly pissed them off) so they usually take care of

the customers and you walk out to the pumps to see a angry impatient idiot still standing
there while your driving away. heh heh.

you were to easy on him by only throwing them , you should have ripped them up
like cookie monster does on sesame street!!

;D
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
4 Sep 2010 #3
Do the Poles do this to each other all the time

I'm afraid yes. Don't connect that with your nationality ;)
Start attract their attention using a loud Dzień Dobry :)
poland_
4 Sep 2010 #4
Do the Poles do this to each other all the time , or is it that they can tell i am not Polish and therefore don,t count as a person...????

Not in civilized cities like Warszawa
kondzior 12 | 1,099
7 Sep 2010 #5
I such a cases you need to use a magic phrase: "Gdzie się kurwa pchasz!" Believie me or not, a boor will not say a word and go right behind you ;)
OP wildrover 98 | 4,451
7 Sep 2010 #6
Gdzie się kurwa pchasz!"

well..i understand the kurwa bit...does it mean ..get the fcuk out of my way...?
Richfilth 6 | 415
7 Sep 2010 #7
Not in civilized cities like Warszawa

You must be joking? This happens all the time; teenagers, old ladies, guys who look like Super Mario...

Without wishing to resort to five-letter-words, and not being much of a hard-man, I find that staring at them and saying "kolejka jest" at least gets an apology from them.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
7 Sep 2010 #8
I find that staring at them and saying "kolejka jest" at least gets an apology

... that and a toy train car if you hit the pronunciation particularly well.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Sep 2010 #9
I know what you mean, wildrover. It's a bit like Basil Fawlty in one of those episodes where everyone ignores him. I've had it done to me before now. Either that or one of the shop assistants mysteriously decides that she needs to do some stock checking all of a sudden.

Barging in is odd. If more people were thankful, I'd sometimes let them in ahead of me but most take it that they are deserving of their place ahead of you, the foreigner.
Wroclaw Boy
7 Sep 2010 #10
Ive experienced that, i just start saying quite loudly in English - words like "what the fcuk do you think im standing here for". It makes my blood boil.
terri 1 | 1,665
7 Sep 2010 #11
You can always say: ..."gdzie sie Pani/Pan pcha, tu jest kolejka"...although gdzie sie k....pchasz is so much better.
southern 75 | 7,096
7 Sep 2010 #12
Generally you have to push like in Germany.Just push everyone in front of you next to you and behind you.
convex 20 | 3,978
7 Sep 2010 #13
Ive experienced that, i just start saying quite loudly in English - words like "what the fcuk do you think im standing here for". It makes my blood boil.

yup
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Sep 2010 #14
Yeah, Scottish conflict resolution is often through a banjo (headbutt). Back in a while :)
mafketis 24 | 8,712
7 Sep 2010 #15
I'd probably, just say "Halo! Kolejka!" (hey there! there's a line!) if I felt strongly about it (how strongly I felt about it would have a lot to do with the age, sex and behavior of the person cutting in.

On the other hand, I remember one very busy day I had to run several errands (including the post office and pharmacy and somewhere else with annoying lines) in a very short period of time.

Anyway I just went to the head of the line in each case muttering to those politely waiting their turn something like "Przepraszam, ale bardzo się śpieszę" (sorry, but I'm in a real hurry) and amazingly enough no one seemed to mind or at least no one called me on it. I was personally appalled at my behavior but I thought I didn't have much choice.

I have got used to people walking in front of me as i wait in a post office que , and have them stick their heads in front of mine

In Poland it seems to be generally acceptable to ask questions out of line (and then go back and wait your turn). They may just be making sure they're at the right window first. (I'm trying to be generous here).
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Sep 2010 #16
It doesn't change the fact that they are to wait their turn before asking if this or that is available, mafketis. I don't appreciate the shop assistants being distracted by some old biddy asking for a few things. Asking still constitutes part of your turn and it is just rude to start asking when sb is being served.

Anyway, a song for wildrover. Being English, he should know very well who the artist is. Syd Barrett. 'I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here' ;)

Next time, wildrover, go in with a compressed airhorn. Anybody that doesn't pay attention, honk it loudly!! Give it some!!

Failing that, wildrover, throw some really cheap beans over them and burst into a gazoo rendition of Corporal Clegg (Pink Floyd) :) :)
youtube.com/watch?v=RTtXVrANEhU
Trevek 26 | 1,702
7 Sep 2010 #17
it's worse in a supermarket when you are a male and the line is filled with women. My wife once left me standing in a line while she went to get something. The line of women kind of moulded around me and I found the sides of the line fluctuated until i was standing further back with some old biddy loudly saying 'prosze pana, tu jest kolejka' or something like that.

It was only after i blew up and stated loudly in bad polish about how my wife had been there but for them I'd go to the back of the queue, that they all got embarrassed and started saying "oh yes, there was a pani there, wasn't there..." and 'kindly' offering me my place in the queue.

COWS!
pgtx 30 | 3,158
7 Sep 2010 #18
it's worse in a supermarket when you are a male and the line is filled with women. My wife once left me standing in a line while she went to get something. The line of women kind of moulded around me and I found the sides of the line fluctuated until i was standing further back with some old biddy loudly saying 'prosze pana, tu jest kolejka' or something like that.

LOL
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Sep 2010 #19
queuing in Poland

howd.ie/c6aAd08
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Sep 2010 #20
The commonality is where the old foglets are. Those fogies can really get on your wick and right up your nose. I intentionally buy a little bit more to keep them waiting, taking a while to choose in the process. Well, when I'm in that kind of mood anyway. They just can't hold back for the world of them. You can see them itching to get served but having to wait. Doesn't the Catholic Church teach them that patience isn't a virtue? It's not like they are the most important people in the world with places to be. They've had their heyday and need to start acknowledging people around them.

Nice thread, wildrover :)
mafketis 24 | 8,712
7 Sep 2010 #21
It doesn't change the fact that they are to wait their turn before asking if this or that is available, mafketis. I don't appreciate the shop assistants being distracted by some old biddy asking for a few things. Asking still constitutes part of your turn and it is just rude to start asking when sb is being served.

I've done the same thing, especially at the butcher shop, I'll ask if something is available before committing to standing in line. I do try to wait for a conversational lag for that kind of question, many people don't which I find a lot more annoying I'm in the middle of asking fo- "Excuse me, ma'am, do you have bonless pork chops?" -r something when th- "Are they fresh? How fatty are they?" -ey butt right in. That drives me crazy.
trener zolwia 1 | 940
8 Sep 2010 #22
I think he might have begun to notice me when the crisps and chocolate went flying over his head and landed on the floor behind him , but it was too late then , i was on my way out of the door....

Good for you. That's one way to handle it.
Zed - | 195
8 Sep 2010 #23
Wow..... this has never happened to me... in Warszawa or elsewhere. Stand your ground people!!! :-)
OP wildrover 98 | 4,451
8 Sep 2010 #24
Maybe i am being a bit over sensitive...We Brits are very good at queing , and don,t take kindly to que jumpers , but it seems the Poles are much more tolerent of people leaping in front of them....

I wonder how the Poles who go to work in Germany get on , because the Germans would be even less likely to accept such behavour , and for sure would make a very verbal complaint to any que jumper...We Brits would probably just mumble about it , but not say too much...
trener zolwia 1 | 940
8 Sep 2010 #25
I don't think you're being overly sensitive.

Do you suspect this was a case of nationalism; the guy saw you as a foreigner and elected to disregard you while taking care of his fellow Polish peeps?

If this is the case then you should go back to the store night after night and keep throwing chips and leaving without buying until he gets the hint. Or you can alert the store owner that his employee is losing him business.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
8 Sep 2010 #26
It's very simple really. If you want to be acknowledged as an actual buyer who is standing in the line (as opposed to kinda making up your mind as to what to do next and accidentally loitering near the counter), you must position yourself firmly against the counter and opposite the sales assistant, say "Dzień dobry" and establish eye contact with the sales person. If they start serving someone else at this point, then they are ignoring you. Otherwise, it's your fault for not using the appropriate body language. ;-)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
8 Sep 2010 #27
Do you suspect this was a case of nationalism;

I don't think so - aren't Poles known for not respecting queues generally?

Before I get accused of Poland bashing, the Poles I know say this and I'm sure I've seen it mentioned on this site a few times.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Sep 2010 #28
Another bizarre scenario is where you let a person ahead of you because they say they only have 1 thing to get. They then proceed to buy 6 or 7 things. I won't be making that mistake again. Due to the limited gratitude on display, for sure not.

It's interesting to see the difference between cultural behaviour and inner nature. I saw it more acutely in Japan. They would completely blank you there (in the bookstore outside my work) but would be chatting away quite the thing in class 10 mins later. It's just their way! Characters need a chance to shine and often the culture doesn't allow for that. Poland is a little the same.

Hehehe, the tricks of the trade! I hate when they park their trolleys up your arse in Tesco. I just lean on mine which means they have to move back as I am no longer standing upright. A guy did it in Kaufland. I put the 'next customer' bar down so he could start putting his things up but he kept nudging the bar ever closer to my things, almost so much so that they were overlapping. He also stood right beside me, rather than behind me. I put things up pretty quickly so it wasn't as if I was going slow. Other Poles plod along, putting them up at a snail's pace. I don't know what he thought he was playing at so I just stared at him which made him uncomfortable. The Japanese level of distance was much better. Other than in trains, they maintain a fair gap at all times. You have ample space and time.
OP wildrover 98 | 4,451
9 Sep 2010 #29
I hate when they park their trolleys up your arse in Tesco.

Some people would pay good money for that....!
bimber94 7 | 254
28 Oct 2010 #30
We Brits are far too polite. I know exactly how you all feel, and empathise. But hey, look on the bright side. At least we don't have any more old bags with a carte blanche to queue-jump, just because they lived through the war ("don't mention the war!"). In 1979 I was waiting for a taxi at a taxi rank in Gliwice (it used to be a sad place and smelt of coal dust wherever you went) for over an hour, then an old lady came and stood in front. Like I'm going to wait for six months, yeah right.


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