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So I went to Warsaw - my thoughts after visiting Poland


WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
5 Oct 2018  #1
Last week I was in Warsaw for a few days. I have visited Poland many times in my life, but never been to see Warsaw properly [normally only passing through].

It's a nice city with a lot of interesting things to see. I enjoyed the sites. A lot of foreign faces too, although I was expecting it. 2 things I really didn't like. The police [or straz miejska] are extremely rude [this might not be exclusive to the capital]. They treat you like dirt. I was spoken to very rudely when I, not knowing, tried to get from one side of the street to the other, not where the lights are. I understand getting a telling off, but he literally spoke to me like I was 2 inches tall and he was the kind of the world.

The other issue is the customer service, that I have mentioned before. There is none. The people who serve you have miserable faces like a smacked ass. Seriously, I know in England the shop assistant smiles are fake, but I think I prefer that to having to deal with somebody who acts like they are doing you a favour in serving you.
Rich Mazur 5 | 1,725    
5 Oct 2018  #2
The other issue is the customer service, that I have mentioned before.

For this you will have to wait until the old commie mentality of you, as a customer, are nothing but a pain in the ass goes away with the passing of that generation.
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
5 Oct 2018  #3
You say that, but some of those who served me didn't look older than 30, and still had an attitude. It seems they have picked up the commie ways from their parents, as have the police.
Americanforums    
5 Oct 2018  #4
Anyone who expects customer service and fake smiles from the minimum wage slave employees should just stay in USA
Lyzko 17 | 4,920    
5 Oct 2018  #5
Did you bother to speak to them in Polish?
Sparks11 - | 336    
5 Oct 2018  #6
You do realize that crossing in the middle of what I will go ahead and assume was some busy street, like Jerozolimskie or Emilii Plater, in the center makes you look like a total burak or Ukrainian. They were right in telling you off. I will admit that I too cross on red lights from time to time and have only every had pleasant encounters with the police when stopped. I politely hand them my residence card, speak to them in Polish and usually end up having a chat about what I think about old Polska as an American. Time after time they let me go with a smile and no ticket. If you find the law enforcement officials here to be unpleasant, don't go to America.
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
5 Oct 2018  #7
Anyone who expects customer service and fake smiles from the minimum wage slave employees should just stay in USA

What if they're not from the US? You know that isn't the only place in the world where you get good customer service right?

Did you bother to speak to them in Polish?

Of course. I always speak Polish to Polish folk.

in the middle of what I will go ahead and assume was some busy street, like Jerozolimskie or Emilii Plater

Actually it wasn't busy. It was a road by the Russian embassy and near the presidential palace. No cars were anywhere near, that's why I went to the other side. Didn't stop the policeman hidden in the box by the embassy [that I was unaware of\ being an ass to me though.

I politely hand them my residence card, speak to them in Polish and usually end up having a chat about what I think about old Polska as an American.

Well I spoke to this one politely in Polish and it didn't stop him being rude. I was actually told later that if I had pretended not to know Polish, he might have treated me better, as apparently the cops in Poland seem to treat their own much worse.
Rich Mazur 5 | 1,725    
6 Oct 2018  #8
...which is exactly what I did during my last visit.
G (undercover)    
6 Oct 2018  #9
Can't comment on cops as I didn't see it.

But in case of customer service, 99,9% of cases it's fine in my opinion and majority of people actually living here, think the same. You dudes should understand that we simply don't want your "hello ! nice to see you !" bullshits here.
cms neuf - | 459    
6 Oct 2018  #10
Right - 99 percent of the time ?

I have been out to run a few errands this morning and already had 3 instances of poor service - in Smyk (not enough cashiers meaning a long line of stresses parents) in the Dry clean (card terminal not working) and in pizza hut (cold pizza, only margarita)

Its perfectly valid to call out poor service in Poland - its not about fake smiles but more about whether people can make your life a bit easier
G (undercover)    
6 Oct 2018  #11
That's not what I was talking about. Things like not enough cashiers in (usually foreign owned) retial chains are common but It's not like these people sit in the back and don't give a ****. There's simply not enough of them. Retail chians simply exploit the employees and thus the customers - nothing to do with people that actually carry out these jobs. The effects of "privatization", "liberalisation" etc. Funny that people, who complain about the effects at the same time are calling for more of the causes.

Besides, I guess the guy (and other "expats") wasn't really talking about the cashiers. These folks expect that people will bow to them because they decided to spend $20 USD in some place. That's not what we are doing here. Don't like it, so go elsewhere next time.
cms neuf - | 459    
6 Oct 2018  #12
All of those three businesses are Polish and not having a spare terminal or putting on enough staff on the Saturday morning has got nothing to do with neo liberalism and everything to do with common sense.
G (undercover)    
6 Oct 2018  #13
There's a damn lot of foreign owned too that follow the same model. People may throw kurwas around when standing in long line in Biedronka but they will be back there again and again as it's more important for them to save 8 PLN. it would cost money to put more workers there and in the end customers would have to cover it. Many wouldn't, they would go elsewhere. What do you expect from people working there ? To buy more terminals for their own money ? Work extra hours for free to make the lines shorter ? I find it amazing that you guys always "know better" when in fact you often don't understand the basics. Price is the king, that's still the reality here in many cases and that "model" leads to some fuckups, that's obvious, it will be getting better and there are two points to back it up.

1. It used to be worse, If you are here long enough, you should know it.
2. Folks coming here from poorer countries often comment how great many things here are operating, oh the bus is on time - simply because where they came from it often gets broken in the middle of nowhere or there's no schedule at all, you have to wait till it's full, including the roof section, things usually work better the more affluent the country is, that's a master of the obvious kind of thing.

But again, folks usually commenting on "poor customer service" here usually (like in this case) mean "they weren't smiling to me" and so on. Well, shove up your "nice to see you", we don't need it here and no one will be doing it to make some "expat" happy.
Lyzko 17 | 4,920    
6 Oct 2018  #14
I'm glad, WielkiPolak.

The rest then is up to them:-)
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
6 Oct 2018  #15
These folks expect that people will bow to them because they decided to spend $20 USD in some place.

Why do you immediately assume I am American? It looks like you have some serious insecurities, assuming that anyone who complains about poor service in Poland must be some high and mighty yank who expects too much.

You say most opinions in Poland are that customer service is fine, well perhaps Polish people are used to crap customer service? If they went abroad, they would be pleasantly surprised.

Don't like it, so go elsewhere next time.

That's what I'm sure I and many customers in Poland could well do. Doesn't help the business much does it? To think all they had to do was be friendly. Nobody is asking for 'have a nice day' or to be treated like a king, but friendly service and a smile, is that too much to ask? Is that something a paying customer should not get, according to you? Must the customer always feel like he is causing the store clerk, or whoever, hassle, just by asking for something? Get a grip man.

Well, shove up your "nice to see you", we don't need it here and no one will be doing it to make some "expat" happy.

Is that what this is about? An expat should not get any good treatment? I'm not an expat. I'm Polish, I live abroad, my family is from Poland and I went there for a few days, although it was my 1st time in Warsaw. I was surprised at how poor the service is. I spoke Polish and I sound just like somebody who lives there, so they probably assumed I did. It really doesn't take a lot to be friendly, just like it doesn't take a lot to hold a door open for somebody or generally have good manners. They don't cost anything, as people say. Seriously, don't be so insecure and assume I am some foreigner telling people in Poland how to live. It's friendly advice and they would do well to take it on board. It might help their businesses do a lot better.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,172    
6 Oct 2018  #16
if I had pretended not to know Polish, he might have treated me better,

As you spoke to him in Polish, perhaps he presumed that you lived in Poland and that you should have known better than to cross the road at a place other than at the lights. He could have given you an on the spot fine. Tourists would not necessarily know about the law regarding crossing.

customer service

I've had good and bad when visiting Poland. It's going to come up as lacking if you compare it to England and the US. Personally, I loathe the fake smiles and ' have a nice day ' crap they dish out in the UK, which has worked its way over from the US. I notice that in supermarkets now I am constantly asked how my day is going. I feel sorry for the poor workers who have to churn out this spiel. Plus, I think the attitude towards work differs in Poland. Workers are there to work, not make small talk as is often the case in the UK. A couple of years ago I was staying with friends in Poland, and I went into Intermarche where one of them was working. As I was waiting to pay at her till, she said under her breath," Don't try and talk as the manager is watching and I'm not allowed to talk when I'm working. He will fire me." Different mentality.
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
6 Oct 2018  #17
As you spoke to him in Polish, perhaps he presumed that you lived in Poland and that you should have known better

Perhaps he did, until I told him that I didn't live in Poland, hence giving him the information. He said he didn't care where I was from or if I was from another planet. Like I said, just rude.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,023    
7 Oct 2018  #18
If I were you, I would make a complaint to the Stra┼╝ Miejska m.st. Warszawy telling them as many details as you can: the day, the hour and the circumstances of the incident. Here is the e-mail address they receive "skargi i wnioski" (under the link provided you will find what info you should give them in order to receive a reply to your complaint. I myself would especially underline the rudness of the intervention) :

wkw@strazmiejska.waw.pl

strazmiejska.waw.pl/kontakt/dane-teleadresowe.html
G (undercover)    
7 Oct 2018  #19
It looks like you have some serious insecurities

I don't have any damn "insecurities", I'm just telling you that...

but friendly service and a smile, is that too much to ask?

...if you go buy something here, smiling isn't a part of the service you buy, anyway we aren't doing much of that in general unless there's a really good reason for that. You might be Polish but living most of your life abroad, you just got assimilated to many things and now expect it in PL. Well, it isn't here because we don't need it...

He said he didn't care where I was from or if I was from another planet.

...and where is the problem... ?
G (undercover)    
7 Oct 2018  #20
LOL ! You dudes can now hold your hands and sing about evil Polish clerks that are not smiling to you but guess what no one will give a feck about your "opinions".
Dougpol1 25 | 2,000    
7 Oct 2018  #21
The rudeness and lack of care is one of the reasons why a million Poles are in the UK. Because they want to live normally. Deny it all you want. Service is the first rule every school kid learns. Only stuck up people think they are too grand to actually offer a service, and be pleasant about it.

All those staff in Bedronka, for example, which you use as an example, would be sacked at the end of their shift in any country but Poland, for being rude to the customer and frightening them away.

But you enjoy it. You actually enjoyed communism. A fiction writer really couldn't make it up.
G (undercover)    
7 Oct 2018  #22
The rudeness and lack of care is one of the reasons why a million Poles are in the UK.

I guess the same rudeness and lack of care are the reason why 2 million Ukrainians are in Poland. Here goes your "logic" :)))
terri 1 | 1,429    
7 Oct 2018  #23
I spend 6 months in Poland and have experienced good and bad service. Sometimes people in supermarkets (large or small) forget that it is the customers who ultimately pay their wages/salaries. I also believe that if you are nice to people they will be nice to you back. There is nothing wrong in saying 'good morning' (or Dzien dobry Pani) when you are at a checkout or anywhere, they will say the same in return.

If you don't like the service in a shop, then do not go back there.
I find it strange though, that when someone tells you how much you owe them, they never say 'please', like they do in the U.K. it's just the amount and nothing else. Once, years ago, when I pointed this out to the girls at Krakow Balice airport who were complaining that no one left a tip, they told me that nobody ever taught them to say 'please and thank you' in the same way that it is customary in the U.K.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,172    
7 Oct 2018  #24
The rudeness and lack of care is one of the reasons why a million Poles are in the UK

I would have to disagree with that. No-one is going to move thousands of miles away from home because 'please' and 'thank you' are not used as routinely as they are in the UK. Poles came for the money and job opportunities they didn't have at home. Back in 2004 there was 7 PLN to the pound. Some came for a new life, but many came to save money and send it home. Besides which, as I said before, it is only in comparison to the UK, that the attitude is perceived as being rude. Here in the UK we are taught to always be polite and good-mannered, but as terri has pointed out above, this isn't always the case in Poland. I've had many Poles expressing surprise at how friendly people in shops are in the UK.
mafketis 16 | 6,008    
7 Oct 2018  #25
There is no such thin as universal ideas of 'polite' or 'good-mannered'. What's polite in one culture might be rude in another. I remember once being in a cukiernia with a Polish friend and the lady behind the counter was super-polite and smiling. After we left, my friend said "She smiles too much, I don't trust her".

Politeness in Poland, means, among other things, keeping your distance from people you don't know. If you go to the same store often enough that they recognize you there is a subtle but real change in how they behave toward you.

I think some people (those from the British Isles seem especially prone to this) just have major problems in adapting to different cultural norms. It's been years since I've thought that a cashier in a store wasn't being friendly enough....
Dougpol1 25 | 2,000    
7 Oct 2018  #26
Your post is an over simplification in my view Maf. It is not only people from "*the British Isles" who find Polish service to be outwardly four on occasion.

After 30 years here I have my opinion - you have yours. The academic argument that Poles have different forms of politeness to Anglo Saxon a is well documented, but this is not a socio-economic study, but an observation of people in jobs that appear to demean them, or they treat the customer as an inconvenience, as their antecedents oft did in communism.

It's intolerable in today's busy world. As WP said, manners cross borders and there is no excuse for blatant rudeness.
mafketis 16 | 6,008    
7 Oct 2018  #27
I think people find what they expect to find. I've had my fair share of experience with rude people in stores, but... I can barely remember when the last time was. But also my attitude has changed, when I go to a store it's to buy something and not have a personal interaction with the sales staff....
delphy no mates    
7 Oct 2018  #28
The rudeness and lack of care

So sayeth the entitled narcissistic baby boomer whose generation spent a life time thumbing its nose at society.

Woe is you and your first world problems.

Poles see you as just another obnoxious British OAP on holiday.

You are owed nothing.
G (undercover)    
7 Oct 2018  #29
@terri
Are you a native Polish speaker ? Here you don't have to add 5 X "please" into a sentence in order to be polite. Perhaps you people need it in the UK but we don't need it here and If some immigrant wants to live here it's up to him to adjust, not the other way around.

It is not only people from "*the British Isles" who find Polish service to be outwardly four on occasion.

OK let's say it's not only British people who find Polish service to be "outwardly four" - whatever that means... So what ?
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
7 Oct 2018  #30
wkw@strazmiejska.waw.pl

I might just do that. Thanks for the info.

You might be Polish but living most of your life abroad, you just got assimilated to many things and now expect it in PL. Well, it isn't here because we don't need it

Sounds to me like you just got used to **** service and now it's normal for you. By the way I am not saying shop assistance, store clerks etc. should be polite to foreigners, as that's what they expect. I think they should be polite to Polish people first and foremost, but they're not. I actually get the impression they are more rude to their own.



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