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Have many Poles had enough of one another?


JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
20 Aug 2011 #151
Shops are the best places to witness silent hostility (a nice paradox).

it varies and i am happy to see it is getting better and people are getting friendlier. a lot of times yes, you will be treated like any other customer, take your shopping, pay and you get a dry "dziękuję zapraszam" but if you smile or make a joke there are high chances you will be met with a positive response. i have to say that everytime i go, year after year, there seem to be more and more positive people around, smiling and welcoming you into their stores, they will be very helpful and try to say something funny. you just have to encourage them. best thing you can do is have the exact change and offer it before they ask ha ha. in my local Polish shop the lady is ever so friendly and she actually doesn't shut up and talks to everyone who's in there :).

Out of Poland Poles swarm together like honey bees looking out for each other. That's what I have seen.

like honey bees? ;) let me put it this way, if you have the honey or they think you have the honey (in place of honey put anything such as money, ability to help out with a job or English documents etc. etc.) they will swarm to you and seek you out and be your best pal. once the honey runs out or they find out there's no honey here they'll act as if you have never met before and like you don't exist. so basically, no gain - no love. this may sound bitter but it is my experience of meeting Polish people in UK and in 99% it proves to be true. i leave 1% for a friend who's been there for 6 years and never let me down. as a rule i am very careful about meeting Polish people around here, I even have a Polish neighbour and as soon as she found out I was Polish (mail delivered to the wrong door) we kind of avoid each other, guess she had some crap experiences too. i am happy to chat and get to know other Polish people but it so often leads to a hidden purpose, a question that you know they will ask about something to do with their agenda that really, most of the time i just don't bother. i can't recall if i ever met anyone British, Asian, European where one of the first questions they would ask about me was 'how much do you earn?' and Polish people ask this notoriously, as if it's a competition. if these Polish people arrive together or are related they will stick together like glue and only let other Polish people in if they can be of any 'assistance'. i would really appreciate not being attacked for this paragraph, i am willing to bet that most Polish people living abroad will have similar sentiments.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
21 Aug 2011 #152
In Poland, if I want to pass someone while walking, I slow down. They will invariably try to move slower than me which allows me to pass them. Should I want to merge into the area where someone is walking (or driving), I just make a move like I want to pass, they'll speed up and I get to amble in to where I wanted to go. It does seem that many Poles age 30 and up really do act out of spite more than one might expect in an emerging society.

When things are broken, stolen or misused, I vent. There is always at least one Pole scoffs at me (or anyone observant of the matter) for expecting things to work properly and then give some advice that completely avoids solving the original problem. It's frustrating in that it's so f*cking counter productive yet it is the norm amongst whole generations.

Who wouldn't have enough of that after a lifetime? But then again that whole social game just seems to be how Poles "test" one another.
wielki pan 2 | 250
21 Aug 2011 #153
Thanks Justysia for a lovely response, without a doubt customer service and staff attitudes are getting better and better, its important for customers to at least be friendly and display some sort of humour..I have to say though that when it comes to business transactions Poles are very dishonest, YOU CANNOT TAKE A POLE AT HIS WORD and this is sad. a lot of Poles steal and they front church every sunday... I feel sorry for Seanus who has yet to learn social communication skills, it seems he will never have a nice thing to say about any person and will never be happy...
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
21 Aug 2011 #154
Avoiding responsibility? Maybe it's due to a lack of delineation of duties? Any examples of how they cover their own butts?

well, the student calls in and cancels the lesson with me, I don't get the message, when I ask who got the message, all the people receiving those calls say: No, it was not me. I know it was one of them. So this is an example of avoiding responsibility and covering their butts. If one admitted making a mistake, I would have no problem with that, now I do and I know who didn't pass the message. That is just one example. This is common enough in social and professional circles to be a problem. I have numerous examples and I think this is childish.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2011 #155
Aha, wp. I see your hypocrisy now. It's not ok for me to share my observations (not opinions, observations) but it's somehow ok for you to throw out half-truths like "Poles are very dishonest" or "YOU CANNOT TAKE A POLE AT HIS WORD". Do you know how generalising and disingenuous that sounds? I know plenty Poles that I could take at their word, plenty.

"A lot of Poles steal". Can you prove it? Do you often see it with your own eyes? Do those that go to church steal or is it those uneducated and poor people from poor estates that do it? You see, you actually attacked them with statements I'd argue were based on the bare minimum of observation. More on loose stereotypes and WAY too much tarring with one brush. Unless you begin to write 'some Poles', I will have no respect for you.

I teach social communication skills in many functional contexts. It comes naturally to me. I have many nice things to say about many people. In fact, I am known for that. Ask anyone that knows me. I am happy, I just observe the bad with the good and not through rose-tinted spectacles.

Now, any more posts attacking me and you will be reported and suspended. Clear??

Thanks, aphro. I know exactly what you mean by that. Of course 'wielki prick' above will criticise you but let him do it.
wielki pan 2 | 250
21 Aug 2011 #156
Now, any more posts attacking me and you will be reported and suspended. Clear??

No need for those sort of comments on this forum, I stand by what I have said, firstly I have had 4 business dealings in Poland, 3 have ended in disaster due to people changing there mind, better offer elsewhere etc, I talk from hard experience, stealing well open your eyes, most would agree with what I say. Things are getting better, lets remember the communist system forced people to steal and be dishonest... I might add that its even worse in other old Soviet countries. I would love to talk about corruption, pay backs in Local and Government Departments, but thats for another day.

Interesting reading by Martin Denmark: https://polishforums.com/work/poland-salary-expectations-16723/8/
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
21 Aug 2011 #157
if these Polish people arrive together or are related they will stick together like glue and only let other Polish people in if they can be of any 'assistance'.

Probably the most truthful comment I've ever seen on this forum. I bet delphiandomine will still call you a "Plastic Pole" for not living in Poland, but it's so obvious that you know the deal. I have some Polish neighbours, but for the same reasons above, I don't make them aware of this. I just hope my letters don't get delivered to the wrong door lol :)
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2011 #158
Wp, sorry if I came across too strong but you have to realise that you can't just make blanket statements like you did against Poles (I assumed you were Polish) and then not allow others to make observations. A forum is about discussion and I have the right to comment on both the bad and good as Admin himself recommended. I have many good things to say too.

Yes, quite a few steal I gather. 'I gather' means a lot here as I really don't see it with my own eyes and some people speak an awful lot of rubbish sometimes. I think foreigners need to show tolerance of Poles on this point as the system was imposed on them from outside. If you are made to work against your nature for long enough, you begin to do funny things.

More evidence for the thread? At football early afternoon. They wouldn't even look at each other sometimes. I had to shout at them to get them going. They don't seem to want to engage other at all. Not all of them, of course. Others are great and they play with spirit.

How about in bank queues? The last time I was in Lukas bank, one of the waiting clients was so close to telling another old woman to shut up as she was feeding him her life story. Many Poles come up short when it comes to personal space and respecting it. Foreigners from different countries have pointed this out as being highly noticeable. I just claim not to speak Polish and they leave me alone :)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
22 Aug 2011 #159
firstly I have had 4 business dealings in Poland, 3 have ended in disaster due to people changing there mind, better offer elsewhere etc

That's what contracts are for. Incidentally - if you haven't allowed for people changing their mind, what kind of business person are you? I guess you're talking about property - in which case, a golden rule in Poland is only to deal with professionals and never get involved when there's more than one owner.

I bet delphiandomine will still call you a "Plastic Pole" for not living in Poland, but it's so obvious that you know the deal.

She's not plastic though - she lives in the UK, but she speaks Polish and is undeniably one ;) Plastic is when you don't speak the language and have never lived here and yet act like some sort of authority just because you have a Polish passport (see - wielki pan).

I actually get the impression that many Poles in the UK are ashamed of their countrymen - hence the utter ignoring of even neighbours.

It does seem that many Poles age 30 and up really do act out of spite more than one might expect in an emerging society.

I wouldn't say so young, but rather the 45+ generation seems to be exceptionally spiteful in my opinion. They just don't seem at ease - even though there's no excuse for someone that was 25 in 1990 not to achieve in life.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Aug 2011 #160
Spiteful, delph? In what way?
pip 10 | 1,659
22 Aug 2011 #161
I am not going to answer for him- but give my opinion. I agree that those in the 45+ age range are spiteful. Almost like they have a jealousy for those in the younger generations that have more opportunities because communism is all but a distant memory.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Aug 2011 #162
I have seen it, yes. However, Poland was changed for the better in many ways whilst Yugoslavia was changed for the worse. What do they really have to be spiteful about?
pip 10 | 1,659
22 Aug 2011 #163
because they live in crappy communist blocks and work crappy jobs. meanwhile those who were hardcore communists managed to come out of communism and make bank while doing so. one only needs to look at Polish banks, orlen, media, and the gov't to see this example.

they got left behind. they fell through the cracks. they didn't want communism and when it was all over- they got nothing. I would be bitter too- especially when those who did all the preaching of the wonders of communism are now millionaires and their former lives have not caught up with them yet.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Aug 2011 #164
Are you talking about the appearance of the blocks or the almost enforced closeness? Yes, some blocks look bad on the outside (like mine) but my flat looks really modern on the inside (stylish furniture, tv and Japanese look). I've seen this in other Polish flats too. Why include the word communist so often? Some Scottish blocks are ghastly but it doesn't have much in common with the political system.

I think spirituality was lacking. I mean, people are chasing invisible paper half of the time. Why not copy what the rich did if you know the method? I also feel for them. I've seen middle-aged and elderly folk complaining in Scotland and Japan (quite a lot) but they never experienced communism. Given the much better conditions they lived under, they shouldn't really moan so much.

Oh, the old guard will get caught eventually. The timing must be right.
gumishu 11 | 5,991
22 Aug 2011 #165
because they live in crappy communist blocks and work crappy jobs.

it's more like the small business get the brunt of taxation pressure and also not-so-fair competition from bigger business or business 'with connections'
pip 10 | 1,659
22 Aug 2011 #166
Are you talking about the appearance of the blocks or the almost enforced closeness?

ya, I have seen some of those blocks in Scotland- pretty rough. but this is not the norm. these are council flats, no?

I mean the old blocks that were built after the war- particularly during the 70's. In Warsaw there are loads in Ursynow, Bielany and Pruszkow. I am aware of these places. They house a family of four, two dogs and the mother in law. All in 50 m2.

I have recently done a renovation in one and it turned out great (this is my job), but there are many many many that are still in the same condition as when they were first built.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Aug 2011 #167
They are council flats, yes, but there are plenty around in the big cities.

Good point about renovation, pip. I was lucky enough to have an expert onboard who knew exactly what to do at every turn. Without him, it would have cost so much more. I think that haggling is likely common here as people need to get the best deal possible for themselves.
pip 10 | 1,659
22 Aug 2011 #168
I experience this with my in laws. they own a pre war house in a beautiful area of Sopot. The house is a dream. However, they insist on renovating it with crap- if you buy quality then it will last. I am not a snob- it is possible to finish a house with cost effective materials but they buy cheap garbage from China. There are European companies that have good quality materials at decent prices but most importantly it will stand the test of time.

I have before and afters of a 25 m2 flat in a communist block- i can pm you the website if you are interested in how it turned out.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Aug 2011 #169
Oh, the flat we got was in a horrible state. They had made a total hash of the renovation job before it got fixed. Another situation where Poles were fed up with other Poles. The previous owner was a know-all type who actually knew nothing. His work was a catalogue of disasters and my father in law wanted nothing to do with him after some time. He worked things out for himself and severed contact with those losers.

Yeah, I can have a look at your work if you want. I like photos :)
wielki pan 2 | 250
23 Aug 2011 #170
I wouldn't say so young, but rather the 45+ generation seems to be exceptionally spiteful in my opinion

Can I test you for some examples??? The only way a person a person 25 was able to achieve something in the 90's was to work in the US.. Unless he was a old party member who purchased cheap state owned companies and land/building, usually for peanuts after the fall of communism.

in which case, a golden rule in Poland is only to deal with professionals and never get involved when there's more than one owner.

Absolutely correct.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
23 Aug 2011 #171
Actually - someone 25 in the early 90's would have just finished university or would have just finished training for a trade, and would have been in a prime position to do something with themselves. There's plenty of people now aged 45-50 who have really achieved something with themselves without being a party member - it seems to me that most of the spite from that generation comes from realising that they could've had it all, but they didn't.

I mean, in the beginning, it wouldn't have been easy - but plenty of people got their start by taking advantage of the price differences between the newly-free Eastern countries. I'll try and dig up one article for you that I found - people were making a fortune from travelling between Warsaw and Moscow and exploiting the huge price differences. I know one guy who actually paid his way through university by going to Germany, buying TV's and selling them in Poland for a handsome profit - same era, but it mostly involved bribing the Polish border guards a few deutschmarks to turn a blind eye.

The money was definitely there, but it wasn't easy money like nowadays. Probably best to say that it involved that old Polish sport, kombinowac - but what Pole wouldn't have been used to it at that point?

Absolutely correct.

To elaborate a bit more - I think a golden rule in Poland is to avoid any business dealings where there are more than two people involved. It just ends in tears - I know people who have got caught up in a mess when buying a flat, because there were too many owners wanting to make as much money as possible. I'd actually steer well clear of any place that was the result of an inheritance.

because they live in crappy communist blocks and work crappy jobs. meanwhile those who were hardcore communists managed to come out of communism and make bank while doing so. one only needs to look at Polish banks, orlen, media, and the gov't to see this example.

I think a lot of it is because they didn't seize the opportunity while it was there. Like I said above - there was a lot of money to be made in the early 90's by ducking and diving a bit. The bitterness, at least to me, seems to come from the fact that they chose to stay doing what they were doing and ended up worse off as a result - although, it seems to me that many of them were working in dead-end State owned businesses anyway that were bound to close down.

Even plenty of people who were in the opposition came out well - perhaps because the lessons learnt during Communism allowed them to apply it in the free market. It certainly seems to me that the only people who ended up worse were the ones who perhaps didn't really want the system to change at all.

I mean the old blocks that were built after the war- particularly during the 70's. In Warsaw there are loads in Ursynow, Bielany and Pruszkow. I am aware of these places. They house a family of four, two dogs and the mother in law. All in 50 m2.

You don't even want to know what I've seen recently, but all I can say is - 60m2 flat, 3 rooms, 4 generations. And a dog, of course - and none of them appeared to work. And funnier still, they wanted the same price as a newly renovated flat in the same place. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ;)

it's more like the small business get the brunt of taxation pressure and also not-so-fair competition from bigger business or business 'with connexions'

Actually - small businesses don't have it so bad. The real issue is with ZUS payments - but can Poland really afford to pay pensions for entrepreneurs who didn't save for their own pensions? The now-900zl a month payments is what guarantees their retirement pensions - I know you and I would save for a rainy day, but there's plenty of people out there who would see "oo, 500zl a month, let's buy a new TV and sound system!" and have nothing left when they reach 65.

The problem for a small business isn't their own taxation, but rather the ZUS payments for employees. I wanted to hire someone a while ago on umowa o prace - but it was just impossible :(
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
23 Aug 2011 #172
Probably the most truthful comment I've ever seen on this forum. I bet delphiandomine will still call you a "Plastic Pole" for not living in Poland, but it's so obvious that you know the deal. I have some Polish neighbours, but for the same reasons above, I don't make them aware of this. I just hope my letters don't get delivered to the wrong door lol :)

naaa ;) i think people around here know that i don't say stuff about anyone out of spite, just sharing my experiences. i'm sure there are plenty of nice Polish people here who will befriend you unconditionally, if i find one i'll let you know ;). it's natural to help each other out when you're friends but it's not right to be friends with people just because you wanna use them and i seriously had enough of that... i've been really good friends with another Pole at my old workplace and a couple of months after i moved because i got a better job she stopped replying to my txts and when i tried to contact her husband about her whereabouts he said her phone was 'in the shop' and she'd call me when she gets it back. it was all rubbish excuses, she never called and i just left it. i should probably accept that once they can't think of anything else i can do for them i have been rendered useless and therefore - invisible ;D

since the letter incident the Polish neighbour is not having as many screaming arguements with her kid and sister outside as she used to lol
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Aug 2011 #173
Justy's sincerity shows her class. She is really candid yet maintains tact. Quite a skill!

Not really much to add to the thread today. The only addition would be the complaints made against those drunken bums that urinate outside the school where I teach. I go round the area where they probably widdle but always get the distinct impression that some has latched onto the underside of my shoe. They are shameless people and it stinks very badly indeed. Many Poles, to their credit, expect some class and rightly have had enough of it.
pip 10 | 1,659
23 Aug 2011 #174
I think that parents teach there boys from a young age that it is ok to **** anywhere. This past week end I was at the sea side at a beach bar. There was a family of four sitting next to us- the kid had to pee but instead of taking the kid to the bathroom, which was literally 15 metres away, the father pulled the kids pants down so he could **** in the bushes next to the table where we were sitting. seriously. why is this ok.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Aug 2011 #175
Yeah, I've noticed that some do this here. Poles don't seem to mind at all.
wielki pan 2 | 250
23 Aug 2011 #176
To be frank Seanus at some places they charge 2zl for doing no 1's, I saw one person walk out in disgust and just done his business in full view of people in the subway, I suspect he purchased a can of beer for what he saved...The lack of public toilets (no charge) is a disgrace in Poland.
OP Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Aug 2011 #177
True enough! There was a comment to that effect in a series where foreigners comment on life in Poland. I think she was Peruvian-Polish. It's a great series.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
23 Aug 2011 #178
I think that parents teach there boys from a young age that it is ok to **** anywhere..

Same crap in the UK - it seems to be common in Europe as a whole. No idea why it's acceptable - but then again, society fails to do anything about it.

Mind you, I've shouted at a few morons for doing so - the sad part is that it's practised by all parts of society, not just stupid people.

I suspect he purchased a can of beer for what he saved...The lack of public toilets (no charge) is a disgrace in Poland.

Most countries don't have free toilets in Europe - though you can normally find one quite easily if you try.

(free toilets tend to be in a terrible state)
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
24 Aug 2011 #179
Same crap in the UK - it seems to be common in Europe as a whole. No idea why it's acceptable - but then again, society fails to do anything about it.

yup, seen that at a train station couple of days ago but truth be told there is no toilet there as it's only a small station. still! and yes it's notorious at the beach in most places but i also noticed a lot of small kids still run around naked on the beach in PL and hell knows who's watching them apart from their parents, there are perverts everywhere these days :/.
gumishu 11 | 5,991
24 Aug 2011 #180
the British paedophillia paranoia finally got you Justysia


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