they have terrible work ethics.
Could that be a legacy of Communism? There was no way you could be fired under that system, no matter how bad a job you did. My husband says there were loads of guys who were heavy drinkers and went AWOL for weeks and even months at a time and then returned to their jobs. The most that might happen is that you'd be moved to another employer. Also under Communism there were no tangible rewards for hard work, no improvements in your material situation, no promotion, no pay increases, no building yourself up professionally, no chance to start your own business etc.
I wouldn't agree that Poles have no work ethic. It's true of some Poles, but probably more of Poles in Poland than abroad. Like most immigrants they work pretty hard. In Poland I think there is quite a high level of incompetence and 'coasting' but you know it's a post-communist society, still in recovery. Who knows what the future holds.
A week off for a runny nose, two days in bed for a temp over 39
Cultural thing. Awful bunch of hypochondriacs. When I first lived with my husband, he used to report on the state of his mental and physical wellbeing every morning - it cracked me up. I joked that we should have a chart hanging at the end of the bed. But they can be trained out of this Yosemite, take my word for it!
Poor driving skills
inability to think on their own
It starts with the education system. Polish schools still rely a lot on rote learning, memorising, ticking boxes in multiple choice questions etc rather than any form of independent thinking. That's not a problem only in Poland. There are far too many countries where education consists of learning to follow instructions. As for the workplace, Husband (the source of all wisdom!) says that even today, in some Polish companies run along old strictly hierarchical lines, you're not encouraged to have ideas or show initiative. Management generally don't like it. If you're too much of an innovator it can work against you rather than for you.
Brits have way superior genetics to Poles
Just look at our history in comparison to yours.
Read 'The Polish Way' by Adam Zamoyski (sic). I'm afraid that's the worst kind of British ignorance/arrogance, which thankfully is rare enough.
Look at our economy in comparison to yours
Enjoying a thousand years of peace at home without being invaded gives a country a chance to build an economy. Also of course, colonising other lands, taking their crops, their minerals, engaging in the slave trade, smuggling the tea plant from China and planting it in one of your colonies etc. All that contributes to a nice healthy bank balance.
Look at your neighbours Germany and how powerful their country is in comparison to yours.
Ja, Herr Ober Leutnant. Reasons for that too.