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So I went to Warsaw - my thoughts after visiting Poland


G (undercover)    
7 Oct 2018  #31
Sounds to me like you just got used to **** service and now it's normal for you.

It's normal for me because If I want to buy something, I want to get the goods, not the smiles or chit chats. News flash - British people are not particularly polite in genral... just look at all the British crazies showing up here. Or British tourists - known worldwide for vomiting all over and causing other problems. So when the shop clerks are similing etc. they are simply told to do it. It's FAKE and you actually pay for it. You pay for it in the price of goods. They waste time on the whole "polite" nonsense and that generate the costs, which in the end are covered by customers. So you pay for the fake smiles and expect us to do the same. Yes, i rather prefer to stay with our "**** service" and I think it's more normal.
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
7 Oct 2018  #32
You actually believe things cost more in England because of the good customer service? You think they add £5 to the price of a pair of shoes for the smile you get from the store clerk? You're more delusional that I realised.
jon357 65 | 13,636    
7 Oct 2018  #33
That's very true.

I find customer service varies from place to place in any given country. Warm and friendly in Northern England, more formal but still ok in London, cordial (if you're lucky) in a few parts of Poland, but still rude and abrasive very often in Warsaw.

There's nothing fake about someone in a customer-facing job smiling and being friendly; they actually enjoy their job more when they do that. One thing that a lot of people haven't quite worked out in Poland is that there's a lot of competition now. If someone in a shop is rude to a customer (and sometimes they are downright rude, even argumentative) the customers will go elsewhere.

Good, polite, friendly customer service costs nothing and does increase revenue.
terri 1 | 1,444    
8 Oct 2018  #34
@terri
Are you a native Polish speaker?...YES
...If some immigrant wants to live here it's up to him to adjust... Forgive me, but I was under the impression that all people within the EU were not 'immigrants' to Poland.
mafketis 16 | 6,295    
8 Oct 2018  #35
There is no immigration within the European Single Market, there is the free movement of citizens, one of the. Immigration to an ESM country can only come from outside the EU. Polish people who go to Ireland are not immigrants and Germans who move to Poland are not immigrants.
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
8 Oct 2018  #36
I think people find what they expect to find.

I agree. I have come to expect rudeness in certain Biedronka stores, and it doesn't exist to the same extent in other stores such as Lidl. Obviously the Biedronka management have a low service culture and don't care. Clearly as others have stated, I have to vote with my feet, which is a shame as Biedronka do some good lines.

The market traders, on the other hand, who have to get up early, pay their taxes and their ZUS, etc..etc.etc, and have to take on risk, as well as having their rights to trade curtailed by Sunday closing, couldn't be more affable.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,104    
8 Oct 2018  #37
Obviously the Biedronka management have a low service culture and don't care.

I myself have never met with rudness in a Biedronka store (nor in any other for that matter).As Maf said, I can barely remember when the last time was. Please define "rudness" in a Biedronka store.
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
8 Oct 2018  #38
Sure - but I can't hunt for the old threads here. I leave that sort of thing to Dirk and others. Too many instances of sourness, deliberately unhelpful behaviour, and when you have the temerity to shyly challenge apologetically, that's when they act like they do, with a "If you don't like it here, go back to America" on one occasion,when I asked if the shop was open on the Sunday, and a "I'm not opening another line because nobody else has complained" from another, then turning her back. Other instances include refusing to have a look in the storeroom for stock "If it's not on display it's not in the store...." Basic lazyness, and intransigence. It turned out the LPs I was looking for were in the store room all the time. If the girl had said to me, sorry, I'm busy, go and ask at the desk - sure, no problem. Instead I got the "don't bother me, it's 7 am." treatment.

Somebody will be along to say I shouldn't have asked the girl if she could look in the storeroom, as "that's not we do in Poland - we have learnt to be subservient and be happy in fact that we are being served at all".

I could write a book on how hopeless Biedronka is with regard to customer service. Maybe Tri-City men let their women get away with rudeness and they take the same attitude to work with them ( all is fine and friendly in Katowice Biedronka - there it's the street shops where you get the "Co?!")
Ziemowit 12 | 3,104    
8 Oct 2018  #39
I have never experience that kind of attitude in a Biedronka store in Warsaw myself. On the contrary, they are very helpful when I ask them about something.

Btw, I remember that some years ago you complained of SKM trains in the Tricity not waiting for you and your dog in winter time in case you arrive one or two minutes late at the platform. So maybe your standards of customer service are a bit... weird?
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
8 Oct 2018  #40
some years ago you complained of SKM trains in the Tricity not waiting for you and your dog in winter time

Ah - the old Ziemowit notes pulled out again. I don't remember the context of that one myself. And wouldn't you find some things a little annoying in England? Actually now I remember that the local bus service to the mainroad a mile from my village was once every three hours and depending upon his character, the driver would take great pleasure in leaving would be passengers floundering in the country lanes as he pulled away.

Ludzi...........

And just because the ladies in your local Biedronka are good to you, you believe that is the proof of the pudding? I wouldn't have made the allegation if it had no substance, would I?
Atch 16 | 2,643    
8 Oct 2018  #41
My contribution to the Biedra controversy: it varies. I have two Biedronka locally. In one they're pleasant on the whole though they have their moments, in the other they're dog-rough. You'd swear they were habitual, petty offenders forced to do a few shifts on community service :)
Ziemowit 12 | 3,104    
8 Oct 2018  #42
because the ladies in your local Biedronka are good to you,

I'm not talking about one Biedronka. I am talking about other Biedronkas and about many other stores. I am used to doing my shopping in different places.
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
8 Oct 2018  #43
in the other they're dog-rough.

I suppose that is it. Case closed. I will just have to learn to avoid my local Biedronka. It is sadly one of such establishments. A lot of the clientele are ex-shipyard workers, so they're used to having it rough:)
G (undercover)    
8 Oct 2018  #44
You actually believe things cost more in England because of the good customer service?

I'm sure the UK retail chains employ crowds of "coaches" teaching clerks such things... just one instance of the extra costs. Who do you think cover them ?

If some dude was smiling to me during shopping I would rather not go there anymore. We simply don't want such things, is it so difficult to understand ? Go read maf's posts in this thread, he explained it well enough.

I have never experience that kind of attitude in a Biedronka store in Warsaw myself.

Given that dude's approach, I'm fairly sure he is provoking some mess out of nothing on the daily basis. Actually, sometimes I wonder how it is possible he's still alive.
Atch 16 | 2,643    
9 Oct 2018  #45
I'm sure the UK retail chains employ crowds of "coaches" teaching clerks such things..

Where did you get such a weird idea from? Of course they don't. Have you ever lived in the British Isles? It's a different culture, that's all. I smile a lot during my interactions with people, but it's genuine. I actually feel like smiling, would you believe that's possible?

I'm sorry if it upsets you to learn this, but staff can be very friendly in Poland too, if you're a regular customer. They also appreciate being spoken to politely, not snapped at by rude customers which happens all to often. One aspect of Polish customer service that's always impressed me is the patience they show with elderly people, especially when they pay in cash and the coins have to be sorted. A little bit of courtesy and kindness makes the world a much more pleasant place to live in. Being a rude, ignorant lump with a sour face and no social skills, is not a national characteristic to be encouraged and is nothing to be proud of.
mafketis 16 | 6,295    
9 Oct 2018  #46
I smile a lot during my interactions with people

A friend who visited Ireland told me it took her _forever_ to buy anything as soon as they heard her accent: "Oh and where are you from? Bumflap, Arkansas! Well my isn't that interesting! Now what brings you hear to Ireland? Let's discuss it in great detail!" She didn't mind a time or two, but the same routine X times a day got old in a hurry.
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
9 Oct 2018  #47
a rude, ignorant lump with a sour face and no social skills, is not a national characteristic to be encouraged

Eactly Atch. Thank you for putting succintly what I have been babbling about for ten posts. G is obviously one of them. Most of us don't want his vision of a world with no social niceties and decorum. If I go into a local shop with my troubles, then the next time I pop in I always have a laugh with the people there and apologise for having a bad day the last time I was in.

I personally don't think it's much to do with "different" cultures and all that sociological clap trap, and wishing people to be somebody else (in this case British, as Maf suggests - a popular theory though it be). For me it was always about making the day go easier with just a nod and a smile. Now that we pay real money for real products, and not that communist rubbish, we the customer should be feeling entitled - even though G thinks we should be sneered at and pushed from pillar to post.

Of course when a Pole is treated in such a way he (G) would start crying and call for a plebiscite:) and his xenophobic type reckon a foreigner shouldn't be commentating. But some of us are not "in Rome....". 30 ******* years is not a short time by any stretch of the imagination.
Atch 16 | 2,643    
9 Oct 2018  #48
Now what brings you hear to Ireland? Let's discuss it in great detail!"

Oh God, yes I know. But I'm afraid we're just like that. I remember once stopping to ask directions to somewhere in Co Wexford and when she heard my non-local accent, the woman responded with "What do you want to go there for? There's nothing there but a church and one house. Now, I'll tell you a lovely place you should go......." I had to stop her and tell her that my friend had recently moved into the 'one house'. She very begrudgingly gave me the directions but I could see she thought I really should go the place she'd recommended instead :D Yes, the Irish are very, very chatty and love talking to strangers. We're genuinely extremely curious and interested in people.

I personally don't think it's much to do with "different" cultures

Well I think it is really Doug. Social interactions differ from country to country in terms of what's considered acceptable. Poles are weird though. My husband once had a discussion with a work colleague about the lack of basic manners often exhibited in casual exchanges and the logic was "why should I say please when I buy something, I'm paying for it. Why should I say thank you when they give me change, it's my money." I'd better not think about it too much or I'll get 'annoyed' :))
OP WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
10 Oct 2018  #49
the logic was "why should I say please when I buy something, I'm paying for it. Why should I say thank you when they give me change, it's my money."

This is interesting. I used to think like this. Why are customers thanking cashiers when they give them change? It's their money, they paid for the goods and the money they are getting back is their money, so the cashier isn't doing them any favours by giving them their money back. I got over that now though. It's just politeness, so why not say thank you? The cashier can say thank you too, when receiving the money for the goods, even though in many cases [unless she owns the store] this money doesn't go to her, but to the store she works at. It just makes the entire transaction more pleasant though.

Having said that I do occasionally get frustrated with myself for giving somebody an undeserved 'thank you', like when I'm in my car and I think a car is letting me through, so I thank them, then I realise they are actually just parked up on the side of the road. It doesn't matter though. So they got an underserved thanks, big deal. I have sometimes given people a very underserved 'sorry' though. It's usually in a crowded place, when somebody barges past me. Then I think, ah man, they frigging barged in to me, why did I just apologise? I was standing there, it isn't my fault.

By the way, speaking of the 1st incident with the car, I was recently reading a humorous but semi serious article about road etiquette, and it said that the driver who let's another through, should return the 'thank you' wave after being thanked. So say you move to the side of the road and stop, in order to let a car from the other side past because the road is too narrow for both of you to get through at the same time, when they raise their hand to thank you as they go through, you should raise it back to acknowledge their thanks. The explanation was that it isn't really a return thank you, but more of an acknowledgement of their thanks. Apparently if you don't do it, the other driver might think you begrudgingly let them through and weren't happy doing it. It seems a bit over the top and I never used to give the acknowledging return wave, but I've done it a few times now. I can't imagine a Polish person would be keen on all this though, most drivers are maniacs. Anyone heard of this 'road etiquette?'

Oh, the reminds me of something else that annoyed me in Poland. Why the heck can cars run a red light, while if a person walks to the other side of the road when they have a red, they could be fined? It seems cars have more rights than pedestrians in Poland.
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
10 Oct 2018  #50
The smartest 'thank you" to say is when you get pulled over for speeding right after the cop tells you why he stopped you, followed by "...for letting me know I was going too fast.". Never, "thank you for letting me know I was speeding".
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
10 Oct 2018  #51
It seems cars have more rights than pedestrians in Poland.

Yep. A very dangerous place - the streets of Poland. A dead pedestrian has no rights, and the driver just signs a form to say the sun was in his eyes, he never saw the pedestrian, and he "promises not to offend again". I guess what Maf means by quality of life is that he is doing alright and has a nice home. Outside of the home, attitudes and infrastructure are still pretty backward, if not downright dangerous.
mafketis 16 | 6,295    
10 Oct 2018  #52
Yep. A very dangerous place - the streets of Poland.

For god's sake, give it up, your non-stop whining about every single thing is beyond wearysome, why don't you join rich in a b1tch fest?

Your gripes would have more impact if they came from within a general positive attitude rather than wanting to lift the roof off of Poland and move a new country underneath...
Dougpol1 26 | 2,155    
10 Oct 2018  #53
The death of cars would be a good thing - banning Polands' relatively large percentage of dangerous drivers by removing the right to drive and replacing with automation. There might have to be opt-outs, but e can presume that only the rich could afford highly skilled and certified advanced drivers as chauffeurs of their supercars - professional drivers who are psychologically assessed for their suitability - eliminating the majority of Poles from ever being allowed behind the wheel.

Can't wait!
bbc.com/news/business-45786690

a general positive attitude

Wot you on about? At least I am being real. Your tedious post above about Poland being somehow above San Francisco, London et al in living standards albeit in your view was dumb enough.
mafketis 16 | 6,295    
10 Oct 2018  #54
? At least I am being real.

Being a negative jerk about every possible topic =/= being "real"

I'd far rather live in any city in Poland than the homeless junkie encampment currently known as San Francisco (do some research, it's a pit unless you have gazillions of dollars)
TheOther 5 | 3,587    
10 Oct 2018  #55
the homeless junkie encampment currently known as San Francisco

Here's some food for thought:
splinternews.com/why-does-san-francisco-seem-to-have-such-a-huge-homeles-1793854796
medium.com/@josefow/the-one-stat-that-explains-sfs-street-homeless-crisis-e863329ba8ed
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
10 Oct 2018  #56
Poland being somehow above San Francisco

I have to confess that choosing between the feces in Frisco and the Muslim scarecrows in the Europe's cities that were once free of that scourge would be a major dilemma. Facing this, I would pick Poland any day, especially after this endorsement from the EU commission on discrimination. They made so proud.
Miloslaw 8 | 874    
10 Oct 2018  #57
My only input to this thread is this;
Many Polish drivers are absolute maniacs.....maybe not as bad as Italians,but probably even worse than the French....
PolAmKrakow 1 | 19    
11 Oct 2018  #58
Try driving in Chicago. Worst city in the word for driving. Though I will say Warsaw and Krakow can be bad simply due to congestion.

Customer service in most places in Poland I have experienced is very good. Sometimes slow, but in major cities, at busy times its to be expected. In general though, I don't find anyone being artificially nice in stores or anywhere else.
mafketis 16 | 6,295    
11 Oct 2018  #59
Many Polish drivers are absolute maniacs.....

Polish drivers can be pretty bad but not the worst in Europe by any means. Vehicle per vehicle Maltese drivers are awful beyond all imagining...

food for thought:

Neither article mentions a phenomenon I've heard about (maybe it's further south in California) of rehab clinics getting federal money for treating addicts from other places and then kick them out on the street once the federal money gives out. Drug dealers knowing a good deal when bureaucrats are setting it up for them followed to prey on this convenient group of vulnerable people with a history of weak willpower.

The bigger problem is that in real life progressives are terrible at reigning in dysfunctional behavior and in fact usually end up increasing it with their non-disciplinarian solutions.
Atch 16 | 2,643    
15 Oct 2018  #60
Polish drivers can be pretty bad but not the worst in Europe by any means.

Kind of depends on whether you're talking about the European Union or the whole European continent. As soon as you start adding all the Eastern and Balkan places outside of the EU Poland probably doesn't look too bad, but in terms of the EU, Poland has still has one of the highest rates of road deaths. You know that that in the European Day Without a Road Death event over the last two years, about 15 EU countries had zero fatalities on that day whilst Poland came bottom with about 18 deaths on that day in 2016, and an even higher number the following year!! Don't know about this year.

One of the truly staggering stats about road deaths in Poland, is how many fatal accidents occur on pedestrian crossings. Excessive speed is one of the main factors of course but it's also lack of the most basic defensive driving skills, no 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre' routine, no reading the road ahead, driving up the arse of the car in front, road positioning, slowing down for a junction etc, none of that. Just get in to the car, start the engine and don't stop until you reach your destination. And of course lack of basic manners. In the same way that people on the pavement here never go into single file but simply shoulder their way through, they drive the same way, never slow down, never yield.



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