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Small change in shops in Poland!?

Trevek 26 | 1,702
18 Jun 2010 #1
Just had it happen and I need a rant!

What the hell is the problem in Polish shops that everyone needs the exact change?

Almost every shop I go into gives me the "Don't you have the exact change?"... and then you can be sure to asked the same question in the next shop.

Haven't these places worked out the concept of floats in small change?

Example: I needed to go to the supermarket and the bread shop this morning (on the way back from running my wife to work). I had 100zl from last night in my pocket. I go into the supermarket, get the things... 50 zlots, 25 grosze. I hand her the 100.

"Don't you have the 25 grosze?"
"No, sorry."
(sigh, roll of eyes)
"Well, I'm sorry, but the ATM doesn't give me loose change"
"How interesting, but what am I supposed to do, I don't have change!"

In the end I just handed her my card, commenting I didn't know how much money was in the account and i didn't want to pay that way.

So now, I have 100 zlot note and still need the bread shop, so i end up going home to find 6-7 zlots in lose change because I'm not going to buy a couple of loaves with a 100 and have the same scenario.

The worst thing was, this was 08.30 this morning in a large supermarket... how long does it take to empty a till of change?
frd 7 | 1,401
18 Jun 2010 #2
What the hell is the problem in Polish shops that everyone needs the exact change?

I don't believe you really, I shop daily and it happens in one shop in 5, and it was ALWAYS like that before. The reason for it is that there's only paper money in the register hence the clerk lady would find difficult to give you the change, I prefer giving her spare change that weights a bit than having her go to another register and lengthen the whole process.

Moreover if I see that I probably have some spare money I offer that I can give exact spare change...

In other cases I really haven't noticed anyone making a dumb face over me paying with a bill...
Ajb 6 | 232
18 Jun 2010 #3
Finally someone said it!, this one of the most annoying things

Every Saturday we go to Bedronka (the only supermarket without driving), to get some supplies for the weekend, of course we don't buy the same things every week, so are unaware of the EXACT cost.

Every Friday/Saturday is always really busy, all four tills open and still massive cues, we have now realised the problem, they have no float, and thus spend all their time running around swapping change, running over to the deli or bread shop!

the busiest supermarket around and no float! OK so i will pay by card, Ah problem they don't accept cards!

The look they give you when you don't have the correct change is amazing! i think you are supposed to carry tons of change around for them!

Also why is a 100zl note like some kind of taboo like a £100 pound note (if they existed)


Ahhh rant over....
mark007 - | 58
18 Jun 2010 #4
lol try paying by cheque and seeing the look of astonishment on their faces!!
Cardno85 31 | 976
18 Jun 2010 #5
£100 pound note (if they existed)

They do, and I used to love getting them from customers because it was easier to count at the end of the shift.

As for the change issue. It has often been something that has annoyed me. When I worked back home we had 2 safes, a big one from which we ordered a certain amount of change per day to go in the smaller one, then we always had money in the till. But now I know to bring a little change with me, and try to break down any big notes I get.

The problem is a lack of large amounts of change in bank branches. Last weekend, my boss went to WBK, PKO and that yellow and turquoise on on Starowislna and came back with only about 20-30zl worth of 5s and 2s...if the banks don't have change then how can we expect shops to have it.
18 Jun 2010 #6
"How interesting, but what am I supposed to do, I don't have change!"

"Why don't you call your boss over here and I'll explain to him/her the importance of having change to give to customers and how it is his/her responsibility to ensure that customers can be given change without the staff running back and forth between tills trying to get change?"

Personally when it's 78.37 and they ask for the 37, I just tell them to make it 79.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
18 Jun 2010 #7
This has been one of the most annoying things about Poland for a long time. God forbid you have a 200 in your pocket!!!
Myszolow 3 | 157
18 Jun 2010 #8
I think this aspect of Polish life is actually improving. You are still expected to provide change if you can, but more and more private shops are getting this right with a service mentality. Never had an issue with Tesco. Biedronka is a low-budget supermarket isn't it? Wouldn't expect much of a service ethic there.

Like all things, it takes a couple of generations to change. In the local shops near where we stay, if they don't have change they let you pay them later (for small stuff).
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
18 Jun 2010 #9
The problem is a lack of large amounts of change in bank branches.

Yep, that's what I've been told here as well - a friend owns a restaurant and struggles to get change from the bank.

I was once in the Carrefour Express in Galeria Dominikanska in Wroclaw - and we worked out that it was taking at least 20-30 seconds longer for each customer, simply by asking for the exact change from each person. But - to be fair - it's not the staff's fault if the shop is so inept at providing change.
Myszolow 3 | 157
18 Jun 2010 #10
I've never worked in a large shop. How does it work with change? Is it normal that the change from today gets fed back into the tills tomorrow? Or does it get banked and more withdrawn from the bank? How does it work in the supermarkets in the UK?
Rogalski 5 | 94
18 Jun 2010 #11
"How interesting, but what am I supposed to do, I don't have change!"

Tell her to round it down to the nearest złoty. It's her problem, not yours.
Ajb 6 | 232
18 Jun 2010 #12
How does it work in the supermarkets in the UK?

It's as simple as, the cash office team makes orders with there cash collection company, and they do an exchange, they bring them 1,000's of pounds in change and take the takings to be banked.

For small businesses, who bank with a branch (which i used to do), i can just walk in with proof of my business account and exchange cash for change up to 5,000 a day, anymore its better to call the counter manger and she will order what you need ready for the next day.

The fee is something like 16p per £100 exchanged, well that was with Natwest. I'm sure big supermarkets pay much less
smurf 39 | 1,981
18 Jun 2010 #13
It's coz they're moron that like nothin better than to pass on their grumpy mood onto other people.

I understand them, my Polish is gettin better, but as soon as they ask for change and I've only got notes I just answer and talk in English until they cave and give me the change that they actually always have.

It always happens in my local Tesco and I just don;t get it, I used to work in a job where we needed a lot of change and we hardly ever ran out, it's not like there's a shirtage of money in the country, they're just bein *******, so **** 'em and start so speakin to them in tongues and they'll give in
Seanus 15 | 19,706
18 Jun 2010 #14
Interesting to see the Poles defending this. I think you have to have lived in other countries to see it, it's noticeable. I make a point of giving the exact change but many Poles just throw a note and a frown down. They like me for that, that I always try and help. However, I still get the humphs and grumphs from them when I put a note down as that's all I have.

The lack of cooperation is quite incredible. A defiant NIE on both sides is a far cry from compromise. They are forever ping-ponging back and forth in the 2 shops out front.

Oh, and don't get me started about old people that start ordering halfway through your order. I felt like physically escorting an old hag out today for doing that. Now come in and try again, LOL :)
cms 9 | 1,255
18 Jun 2010 #15
It is down to a mixture of ingrained mentality and a bit of laziness. It does help the staff get out of the store at the end of the day a few seconds quicker if they have nice clean amounts to cash up as well.
BevK 11 | 248
18 Jun 2010 #16
Thing is that they should WANT notes not counting up. I think they just want to be on Sesame Street really. "One gr... TWO gr.. hahahahaha".

They are a lot nicer to you, though, if you make an effort to pay exactly - so long as these are shops you use often and they remember you anyway :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
18 Jun 2010 #17
Very good point, BevK. They come to expect certain behaviour from you and they are more understanding when you put down a note as they know you usually don't.

If they aren't willing to budge then they have to accept small losses. Trevek should never have had to use his card there. They should have waivered the extra groszy cost out of convenience.
BevK 11 | 248
18 Jun 2010 #18
Well in my local shop I got to know all the ladies in there - and they were very patient of my poor Polish. Then one day... they all disappeared and I mean ALL of them.

The next lot also did...

Now this newest lot are used to me but I fear they too will disappear in time (I will be back in the UK by then, for reasons of the heart not reasons of wanting to leave Poland). My colleagues at work have asked me if I have noticed lots of cheap tinned meat products there!
POLENGGGs 2 | 150
18 Jun 2010 #19
damn, all toffs around. i bet when your in the UK u also sya, nah mate keep the change and all, I bet you probably give better tips than americans....

sh!t philanthropists deluxe

You should understand, people over 25 years of age, were brought up using only NOTES , and this 1,2 5 groszy is ridicicoulous...... should be 10, 20, 50, 1,2 , notes; 5,10,20,50
beckski 12 | 1,617
18 Jun 2010 #20
What the hell is the problem in Polish shops that everyone needs the exact change?

Is this happening in only one demographical region, or in various locations?
scottie1113 7 | 898
18 Jun 2010 #21
In the local shops near where we stay, if they don't have change they let you pay them later (for small stuff).

The same thing happens to me, which is why I like to go to the same small shops all they. Once they get to know you, they're very helpful. Sometimes they don't have enough change and they tell me they'll gime me my 1 zl the next time I'm in. They always do.

Biedronka is the worst, though. Grumpy checkers who scowl and roll their eyes when you don't have exact change.

And you have to love the old ladies who wait until they see the total before rummaging in their huge purses to find their wallets, then begin counting out what seems like mountains of small change at the kasa. And of course, then the checker has to count it again. Oh well. That's life in Poland.
frd 7 | 1,401
19 Jun 2010 #22
I have to say 2 thing struck me lately as very negative - and it's not some "small change" problem in shops, I do understand that, those people have a really tough work it might be hard for them to keep their nerve all the time and smile at everyone.

First of all I was at a bowling place lately in Gliwice, when we finished playing I was paying with my card the guy took the card and run out of the room, I'm asking the other guy in the room - slightly exasperated - where did he go? "He has too get into the antenna range!", I run out after him and was pretty angry about why didn't they inform me they are walking out of the compound with my card in the reader.. those guys instead of saying sorry started shouting back at me - what am I supposedly suspecting them of.

I don't think I'm gonna visit the place ever again, and I really hate that behaviour still visible in various shops, that "being on your clerks mercy thing", someone should really give them a lesson of capitalism and economy. They are the last chain between the client and product and they are effing it up big time. I'm about to write a complaint right now.

Another thing is the other behavciour - that happaned to me long time ago and it still happens from time to time, I was about to buy new shutters in a "widow,doors store" I went in with a usual good morning I wanted to ask "this or that" and the clerk lady there answer with "sorry but do you know how much does that cost?", I just barked out "You should learn some good manners" and slammed the door behind me..

I don't really think that the change problem at a register where clerks are earning the lowest amount is a really big problem next to those 2 thing which you can stumble upon in polish shops...
Rogalski 5 | 94
19 Jun 2010 #23
POLENGGGs: "You should understand, people over 25 years of age, were brought up using only NOTES , and this 1,2 5 groszy is ridicicoulous...... should be 10, 20, 50, 1,2 , notes; 5,10,20,50".

There were ridiculous amounts of coinage during Communist times too but POLENGGGs' point is valid. Am currently in Romania where the leu is roughly equivalent to the złoty and there are NONE of those fiddly coins and prices roughly the same in Poland AND are in whole figures. A can of Coke = 3 lei. Bought one yesterday with a 100 lei note and not a murmur from the cashier as she counted out my 93 lei change, in notes.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
19 Jun 2010 #24
Plus, they will rarely say 'oh, just take it'. There's seldom a problem elsewhere. When I was in Durres, Albania, the guy just gave me the beer for free as I had next to no change and huge notes. Many Poles are overly precise and don't let things go. Thankfully, your faith can be restored by some people. They are fine out front as they know I am regular and will pay the difference the next time when I have change.
jwojcie 2 | 763
19 Jun 2010 #25
Well, it is not first time I see that foreigners have this "small change" problem. And frankly I don't get it. In my case 100% of time it goes like this:

- "Don't you have some grosze"
- me: "Let me see"
- me: "yes, I have" -> no problem
- me: "no, sorry I've not" -> in which case it is always ends that somehow salesclerk finds some change...

You guys are shopping in strange places or just have some bad luck...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
19 Jun 2010 #26
Jwojcie, when 'plastic' use plastic ;) ;)

Try living in Poland.
Tlum 10 | 191
19 Jun 2010 #27
I noticed it too, shop assisants expect you to give them exact change. The good news is that it's a great way of exercising brains when you have to count your change often ;).
frd 7 | 1,401
19 Jun 2010 #28
Try living in Poland.

I'm living in pl and I agree with jwojcie... with the exception of things I've mentioned above.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
19 Jun 2010 #29
Frd, take the blindfold off, my friend ;) Believe your eyes :)

Small change is a problem in many shops, fact! You are just used to it so don't see it like a foreigner frd, that's all.
frd 7 | 1,401
19 Jun 2010 #30
I'm not saying it happens in many shops, read jwojcies post again, he is not saying that it doesn't exists he is just saying it's not a problem...

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