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International House and Wages
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:53 am    Post subject: Customer service Reply with quote

How many Polish waitresses does it take to change a light bulb? Smile
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greggie



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:07 am    Post subject: again Reply with quote

Looks like IH Koszalin are loosing teachers already,or why are they recruiting?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 858
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: ahem Reply with quote

TwinCentre wrote:
You know, I usually agree with you MasterShake, but on this one I am a wee bit perplexed.

I cannot understand how 4k could be a livable wage in Warsaw right now. I mean, just look around, this is an expensive city! More so than many US cities and more so than say Liverpool or leeds IMHO (the recent listings suggested such too).

I would say 6k is the minimum to get by with at least some entertainment and a decent pad.

Are our lifestyles that different? Could be..


I'm single, live in a 30-something square meter studio apartment in the center and eat 2/3's of my meals out bec I'm always on the go. I go out 2-3 times a week for drinks, but not to places where drinks cost more than 10zl.

I had to get by on 4,000/mo. or less for most of last winter/spring bec I was doing DELTA and couldn't teach that many hours.

Of course, doing DELTA meant that I had hardly any free time at all and didn't spend much on going out, just on DELTA Wink
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are so many factors that go into whether say.....4K is enough.

do you have a car?

how much clothing do you buy? new shoes every season? jacket?

is your apartment nice or a dump?

do you have hobbies?

vacation? if you're american, do you go home ever? how often do you travel outside of poland? when you travel, do you stay in hostels or hotels?

everyone has different standards, different lifestyles, etc. etc.
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nickienines



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I last worked in Poland I earned 5000zl a month and about another 1000-2000zl per month in privates. Some of my hours were in a snack producing company who paid their packers more than 1600 take-home. The reality is that this salary is not a living wage in Poland and somebody should think very carefully before accepting. After the birth of my son I had to leave as I could no longer work enough hours to pay the bills and spend time with my son.

400 euro a month is a disgrace and IH should be ashamed as should any teacher who takes this job as it drives down wages in the sector making life very difficult for anyone with a family.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nickienines wrote:

Quote:
After the birth of my son I had to leave as I could no longer work enough hours to pay the bills and spend time with my son.


and this is something that should be brought up. sure, 24 year old whippersnapper, doable. when it becomes time to be all grown up, Poland ain't the place.
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greggie



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoke to a friend that works there and apparently all the salaries were paid late and one teacher is still awaiting their pay. nickienines is right in what he says they should be ashamed to treat staff like that, as its the teachers that bring in students. What is so amazing is that if they dont have the money to pay the teachers that they have, why are they recruiting new teachers?I remember 5 years ago when i was there and all the staff asked about the payrise which was supposed to coincide with inflation and we were told there was no inflation, so why has the cost of living gone higher?in the whole year i was there Marlboro went up 1pln and a pint was ridiculous, eating out on 1600 isnt possible. Ashamed isnt strong enough for what they should be feeling. If the minimum pay for Poles is 1374pln means youre only getting 226pln for being a foreigner/native speaker teacher, whatever happened to expats getting paid. People should think of going to bigger cities and schools that respect and take care of their staff.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: ha ha Reply with quote

At last we're all reading from the same script. Long ago I predicted the 'end of the road for EFL Poland.'

I was in Poland 5 weeks ago and will be there again next week. I stopped teaching there in 99, the year that my son was born because it just wasn't doable with a child and slacker of a wife (still a babe but now ex). Looking at the ads, it isn't even a goer for the singlies anymore. All of my friends who teach in Poland are potless. Only 1 has made it and that's because he bought a 100m flat a long time ago which has almost quadrupled in value. That said, he's been asking me for contacts. Nope, as soon as kids come along ie real life forget it. And, it's getting worse. A look at oferty.net will tell you that Poznan flat prices still average 6100Zl/metre, (less than Warsaw), but more than Berlin. Madness. Every Pole I know is skint, so why do they continue to rise? Who is buying them all? Stinks of oligopoly and price collusion to me. Bought my son a pair of ECCO winter boots in October, 520 Zloty....insanity. Even basics like bread have gone up a lot in terms of per centage points. You will never survive on what IH, Bell, Berlits, Callan etc pay you. Most Polish teachers can barely survive and they live at home with mum and dad or are married to men who have better jobs. Not too long ago a rack of ribs in the cheapo place in Poznan's rynek were 24 ZL, they're now 60. Beer starts at 9 ($3), which is darn cheap in the big cities. It was great while it lasted. Schools won't up the dough as they've just been stung with that new policy. Also, there are a lot of very good Polish teachers around nowadays....let's not forget, many have lived in the UK for extended stints.

I went there in 95, left in 99, worked there again in 2005/2006 and visit 5 times a year. I've lived in Warsaw, Poznan and Bydgoszcz and have been to most of the big cities. Great place, lovely nature, good food and grog, loads of history and culture.......beautiful but totally neurotic work shy women, a place where even bad dancers look good....BUT YOU JUST CAN'T AFFORD IT NOW......and come to think of it, Poles are a rude and miserable bunch that lack any kind of spatial awareness.....you know, they stand between you and your friend when you're sitting at a bar....that sort of thing...and watch the queue jumping babcias....may look all old and innocent but the devil lurks within every one of them. When you see a woman over 80 just remember, she probably dated a Nazi once.

Bottom line: You will be skint if you go to Poland without a lot of savings because it is expensive.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

right on Sharter. i don't go out of my way (contrary to popular belief) to throw Poland under the bus but I lose patience with people that can't call a spade a spade.

cost of living is at the top of my list of "What pushed me out of Poland" but a close 2nd may have to be the country's unavoidable homogeneity in basically every aspect of life. there's just an utter lack of variety here.

i was really gung ho when i first got to poland but after about a year, i started seeing the country for what it really is. by the end of 2 years, i had already known that I simply cannot live here much longer and need to go back to the USA.

in all honesty, if someone had the choice of living in any European country and needed advice as to where to live, I would never recommend Poland. ever. crap weather, overpriced, awful currency, an abismal road system, inconvenient, bureaucratic and yes...in general.....unhappy gloomy faces everywhere you go. Poland is not the place to go for a "pick me up".

I'm outta here in January and I can honestly say that I cannot wait to leave. Dynow has had enough.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: ha ha Reply with quote

Sorry that should've read Berlitz with a z and I know I put the brackets in the wrong place, couldn't be arsed to check it....anyhow Dynow thanks for the support. Sad thing is, most of my expats teaching mates have become gloomy bstards....they've gone native.

Back in 98 I was making 6000Zl per month, sometimes more. Then, a big 3 roomed flat was 1,400/ month to rent with bills, a pizza was about 12 Zl, a beer not more than 6Zl in an expat pub. You could stay in a hotel for under 80 Zl.

In 96, a beer was 3Zl, a 3-roomed flat was about 600Zl/month and we used to have a sit down Chinese for the princely sum of 20Zl for two. You could also find bars in which you could smoke weed.

Poland was a blast. I loved the place and had the time of my post university life. I've travelled most of it, experienced the good, the bad and the ugly side of dating there, love the home cooked food and late nights. However in 2010, it's financial suicide to stay there long-term unless you have another source of income. It used to be a good place to cut your teeth professionally, but now native speakers are largely there for the marketing and have been reduced to gimp status, no matter how important they tell you they are. Brits used to be well loved, but more than a decade of drunken drop-out teachers has erased any kudos we once had. Before you get your back up.....what career were you in before you got into EFL and why aren't you in it any more? EFL everywhere is the also ran cemetery. Poles have cottoned on to that. Summer is beautiful there, but does its benefit truly outweigh the cost of winter on the psyche? I think not. At the end of the day people will go where they want and good luck to all of you. Most men I know remain in Poland because they've got a girlfriend they couldn't get anywhere close to back home....often much younger.

The reason I consistently post about the high cost and the cruddy pay is because naive TEFLers get roped into life changing scenarios in this game; nowhere more so than in Poland, where it looks western, but acts Russian.
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Jack Walker



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got out back in August and have never been happier.I had a great 7 years there but my old school were implementing pay CUTS for a third straight year while the cost of living continued to skyrocket.I just couldn't manage it anymore.

Last year I was looking for a flat to rent in one of the southern provincial cities and anything under 1,200zl plus per month wasn't worth looking at.You wouldn't put your dog there.

You basically needed to shell out at LEAST 1,500 zl per month for a decent,reasonably comfortable one room flat. It was all getting too much for me.

In many parts of Canada,1,500zl per month would rent you a nice HOUSE.

Poland is going to the financial dogs.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sharter wrote:

Quote:
nowhere more so than in Poland, where it looks western, but acts Russian.


Very Happy

we'll have to meet up one of these days, sharter. oh, and americans don't run tabs Wink


jack walker wrote:


Quote:
Poland is going to the financial dogs.


and at some point you start to wonder how anyone sticks it out here. all that money........for what?
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Jack Walker



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
sharter wrote:

Quote:
nowhere more so than in Poland, where it looks western, but acts Russian.


Very Happy

we'll have to meet up one of these days, sharter. oh, and americans don't run tabs Wink


jack walker wrote:


Quote:
Poland is going to the financial dogs.


and at some point you start to wonder how anyone sticks it out here. all that money........for what?





Yeah exactly,in 2003 I was earning close to 5,000zl net.In 2010 I was earning earning 3,300 net. All that for leaving the flat at 6:30am for company classes and returning home at 9pm with many breaks in between and classes all day on Saturdays.

No fun at all with the long days and split shifts.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:43 am    Post subject: ha ha Reply with quote

Anyone up for Moldova? Only joking. Actually, I think the situation is quite sad. It isn't just Poland either. Out here in the land of the Colonel (and I don't mean KFC), we have Bulgarian and Romanian engineers who constantly gripe that their countries have become unaffordable.....they earn cracking salaries. If well-paid engineers are finding it tough, how are normal people getting by? My ex-wife often says 'it's a miracle if you can get to the end of the month' and she earns more than the average and I pay loads too.
The big business of globalization really sucks for your average Joe. I was on Mamdom yesterday looking at kamienice flat prices in the $200,000 range just out of interest. For that you get 120m in 3 rooms on the second floor in Grunwald, which isn't the centre of Poznan. Oferty.net had more than 2,500 flats advertised, so why are prices going up? When demand falls, prices fall....that is the law of demand. However, in Poland the invisible hand doesn't work in the housing market. Where prices have fallen, it's been by very little. And then, the Euro entry looms....which we all know means that life gets more expensive.
The sad thing is for TEFLers is that very few places pay a living wage. Even in the Gulf salaries have become very stagnant. 50-60 grand US is hardly worth the suffering you endure here. I've worked in three countries in the Middle East and have been treated like shyte in all of them by the locals.
So ,what to do? it's the old 'nice places pay crap Vs crap places pay nice' conundrum. I have a rotation, 6 weeks on 3 weeks off, which kinda allows me to have a bit of sugar and a bit of shyte. However, I don't enjoy 1 second I spend living within such intolerant, racist and discriminatory people of a certain religious persuasion. I never got into to EFL thinking about the money, but real life happens and real life costs a shed load, which makes Poland long-term a no-no.
I feel sorry for the newbies heading off there full of hope.
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Scawie



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: ha ha Reply with quote

sharter wrote:
And then, the Euro entry looms....which we all know means that life gets more expensive.


EUR is toast and will probably collapse before that happens...
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