The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Life  % width posts: 30

Poles always ask how much money you earn. Why do they do this?


Sebastian 6 | 108
16 May 2012  #1
I was having a discussion with my friend (Polish, but born in Canada). He was telling me about his latest trip to Poland. He told me he was annoyed when him and his family were constantly asked how much money they make by relatives, and relatives friends. When I went to Poland last year, I experienced the exact same thing. My relatives friends all asked me how much money I make, after 5-10 minutes of meeting them!! I told them straight up "none of your business" and they seemed to be a bit down. I don't understand because if I were to ask them the exact same question, they would not answer me. I wouldn't ask them that question because I have class.

One of my aunts lives in UK, and I have Polish relatives in Germany as well, and they tell me that in Germany and UK, acquaintances and people you just meet would never ask you how much money you make. But why do Poles do this? Its rude, and quite honestly, whenever they ask me, I always sense some jealousy.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
16 May 2012  #2
you're being a little too hard on them. I feel they are asking these questions in an effort to gauge how Polish wages compare with non-Polish wages. During my time back in the 80's, the Poles did the same thing. It's in their nature to be constantly comparing. I'm guilty of the same thing actually to a fault :) I agree though, It is a bit irritating. Try not to get so upset next time. I don't beleive they mean to upset you.

It's just Staś being Staś
Wulkan - | 3,251
16 May 2012  #3
Poles always ask how much money you earn. Why do they do this?

I'm Polish and I never do this.
Wroclaw Boy
16 May 2012  #4
nobody ever asked me either
scottie1113 7 | 898
17 May 2012  #5
I have lived in Poland for five years. Nobody has ever asked me how much I earn now or how much I earned before I came here.
Wulkan - | 3,251
17 May 2012  #6
We even have a common saying in Poland: "Dzentelmeni o pieniadzach nie rozmawiaja" which means "Gentelmen do not talk about the money"
terri 1 | 1,621
17 May 2012  #7
The problem is that it's very hard to find a rea; Gentleman......and there the problem lies.
pip 10 | 1,661
17 May 2012  #8
my daughter has a friend whose mother is obsessed with the cost of everything. she is typical nouveau riche. I have had somebody ask me how much we paid for our house.

generally speaking some people ask and some people don't- like anywhere- not specific to Poland
Richfilth 6 | 415
17 May 2012  #9
I wouldn't ask them that question because I have class.

Be careful about making sweeping statements like that. It's not classy where you come from but that doesn't mean class is universal. Did you kiss the hands of all the Polish women you met? Why not, don't you have class?

But why do Poles do this? Its rude

again, rude for you, not them. Poles seem to respect directness; give a straight answer to a straight question and you're a man. Dodge, avoid, deceive and you're a coward or worse, a politician.

and quite honestly, whenever they ask me, I always sense some jealousy.

Possibly jealousy, possibly just curiosity. Possibly even pride, if it's you're family. Once you've left, they'll sit around the table and say "Oh, that Sebastian, living in another coutnry and making all that money. And he's one of us! Imagine that! One of us, out there in the West, so rich!" Then they'll be able to tell their neighbours and make THEM jealous.

Odd as it sounds, my family in England do exactly this.
ReservoirDog - | 132
17 May 2012  #10
I'm polish and it happens, that's true and it pi.s me off also. But...my friends never ask me about that...the ones that do are not my friends. There are also some members of my family (grandfather with dementia) who ask that question 3 times per day ;))) but I forgive him :D
terri 1 | 1,621
17 May 2012  #11
The best answer when somebody asks is to say:
I get exactly what I am worth- no more, no less.

Funny, though, when I was working in Poland in 1994-1996, and I tell people how much gross I was earning they all assume I was working 'on the streets'...but I wasn't and I have the records to prove it.

Poles do not want anyone else to be better off then they are and that's why they will even borrow money just to show off.
ReservoirDog - | 132
17 May 2012  #12
Poles do not want anyone else to be better off then they are and that's why they will even borrow money just to show off.

oh really ??? fcuk off with this generalization. If you want to find real gentelman in Poland you should firstly be a lady.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
17 May 2012  #13
I feel they are asking these questions in an effort to gauge how Polish wages compare with non-Polish wages.

regardless, it's pretty rude, at least in my culture.

regardless of how rude it is, what's the motivation to ask the question in the first place? why is someone's income of such interest to them?

like i said, it was always odd for me to be asked, where i'm from, it's completely off limits. absolutely nobody will ask you.
terri 1 | 1,621
17 May 2012  #14
oh really ??? fcuk off with this generalization. If you want to find real gentelman in Poland you should firstly be a lady.

a person who attacks another one (p[ersonally) has already lost the argument.
There is an old Polish saying: Zastaw sie a postaw sie - meaning 'even if you go in hock show off'-

Telling someone how much you earn is not a reflection on you as a person i.e. a person who earns 2k is 'worth less' as a person who earns '10k'. The worth of a person is not measured by the amount of money he/she earns. But tell that to someone in Poland.+
Hipis - | 227
17 May 2012  #15
I have had this conversation with my family members too. My UK earnings seem like a fortune to them but when I then tell them how much I pay for rent, council tax, utility bills etc plus the cost of food and transport expenses they soon realise that comparatively speaking I'm no better off than they are.
ReservoirDog - | 132
17 May 2012  #16
a person who attacks another one (p[ersonally) has already lost the argument.

hehe, you wish.....but , I've never said you are not a lady...you just did this :D

There is an old Polish saying: Zastaw sie a postaw sie - meaning 'even if you go in hock show off'

yes there is, it's old - that's true, but came from polish aristocracy not ordinary people and it's malice statement, not flattering.

I didn't mean to offend you before, It was just general statement (advise)...not personal journey.
f stop 25 | 2,513
17 May 2012  #17
I was surprised at how much of a secret the wages are in the US. Within a company, disclosing your wages can even be a cause of dismissal!

While it may cause some discontent among those on the lower tiers of the payscale, it may be beneficial to see how much the high earners get, compared to the work they actually do.

I, myself, don't think that our earnings should be such a taboo.
pip 10 | 1,661
17 May 2012  #18
I believe a lot of it had to do with the fact that even if you were a woman or a different colour than somebody you would make less than a white male- so everyone except the bosses knew how much people made.

Poland is only starting the equal work/equal pay thing- I hear the commercials on the radio. 20 years late, no?
OP Sebastian 6 | 108
17 May 2012  #19
regardless, it's pretty rude, at least in my culture..

I agree, I don't understand why they would even care about my salary. When it comes to vacations, when they ask me and my family where I went for vacation, or a place where I am going to go for vacation and we tell them, they always have a tone of jealousy and sound all down. I'm not joking.

I wouldn't do this. If I had relatives who were going on a nice vacation, I would be happy for them, not sulking about it.
pawian 159 | 9,552
17 May 2012  #20
I was having a discussion with my friend (Polish, but born in Canada).

If that`s the main problem you have in your life, you must be a happy lucky man.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
17 May 2012  #21
Prolly Poles ask because Poles want to know.
modafinil - | 418
17 May 2012  #22
It seems very forthright and not so subtle. Though I tend to ask people on first meeting them "So what is it you do [for a living]". If they say something like "I'm a waiter" Not only do I know they are low paid but probably quite thick, to boot.

But, I'd guess it is just a way to gauge differences in Salaries across countries. Job titles like manager or engineer are distorted in the UK at least. I have known directors well into six figures who call themselves managers as well as office supervisors on five times less that use the same title. There's no bullspit job titles when it comes down to how much you earn which is your worth to an employer.
Tamara 9 | 202
17 May 2012  #23
I have to admit it was difficult to get used to. I don't think that they are purposely being rude. It is just what you are used to and they are including you with their friends and family when they ask you. When you think about it, why is it considered "rude" -just because someone told us when we were young that it was rude when we asked them a similar question. It is no more "private" an issue than most of what people today tell the world. Weren't you ever curious how much someone made or paid for something? When they ask you, you can then take your turn and ask back. Just because someone is different doesn't necessairly mean that it's a bad thing, does it?
strzyga 2 | 993
18 May 2012  #24
whenever they ask me, I always sense some jealousy.

So how much do you make? Tell me first, and then I'll tell you if I'm jealous.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
18 May 2012  #25
When you think about it, why is it considered "rude" -just because someone told us when we were young that it was rude when we asked them a similar question.

You could use that argument for absolutely anything to argue whether something is rude or not.

Off topic, but that statement becomes far more interesting when you use it in a religious discussion about what parents tell their children at young ages, how they're raised, etc.
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
18 May 2012  #26
Downright rude,my income is non of your concern and your income is non of mine. But,as Modalfini hints for many people there are three questions you ask of someone new, Whats your name,where do you come from and what do you do for a living. Its just a subtle way of being judgmental .
sobieski 107 | 2,128
18 May 2012  #27
I am living here eight years, also never got such a question.
f stop 25 | 2,513
18 May 2012  #28
In Poland I knew how much everyone was making. In US, I have no idea.
Jimmu 2 | 157
22 May 2012  #29
I've had people ask me that question.
Maybe it's not so much prying into your personal space as it is doing research for their own future. If you're thinking of going out of country for work it would be nice to know what "real people" earn where you're headed.

The same conversations usually include questions about what it costs to live there.
Also, I get less personal questions about how much different professions make.
pawian 159 | 9,552
22 May 2012  #30
I was having a discussion with my friend (Polish, but born in Canada).

I thought about it and realised that Poles don`t ask other Poles about their earnings. I don`t remember being asked such a question during my 21- year career. Whenever I revealed it, it was my own initiative.

The fact that foreigners who come to Poland are confronted in this way, suggests certain Polish stereotypical perception of Western countries. The stereotype is the following: most Poles believe that people in the West earn decent sums and in result, can freely talk about their earnings. If they don`t, it might mean they are insincere and dishonest. No wonder those relatives looked a bit down. After hearing it is none of your business, I would smell sth illegal, e.g., drugs or prostitution.

My advice to guys from Western countries. Don`t shun discussions about your salaries. It is a purely innocent question. Avoiding it may only provoke distrust and suspicion. Do you really need it?


Home / Life / Poles always ask how much money you earn. Why do they do this?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.