The closest shop, worth talking about, to our new domicile is a Makro “cash & carry” warehouse. My company has an account with Makro & I’m a member of the board of the company, in the KRS, so one would think that getting a card to allow us to use the shop would be pretty easy. You’d be wrong.
I asked the people in our office who go regularly (albeit to Jerozolimskie and not Bielany) how it works and they said “Easy, just give them the NIP number and you’re sorted. You don’t need a card.”. One word for that advice – bullsh*t!
Armed with a sense of something being easy for once in the last few months, the family trolls off to Makro on Saturday gone to see what’s going on. No sooner do we walk through the door than we are eyed mysteriously by the official on the left hand side under a sign suggesting information might be gained there. She’s shaking her head and looking at our child. I’m assuming that Zosia is not wearing enough layers of clothing or something and we’ve broken the first Polish rule of parenthood “Children must be overdressed at all times” and we need to go home and flog ourselves. No such thing, it is just that children are not allowed in Makro on any day except Sundays.
The family leave the shop and I intend to just quickly walk around to see what is inside that is so child-unfriendly. I head towards the entrance gate. It doesn’t open. I then notice the scanner where you wave your Makro card to open the gate. I do my best puzzled look and the official on the right – an altogether nastier piece of work – starts shouting at me. I explain that my company has an account but I don’t have a card with me. She’s all for escorting me from the premises but the child-head-shaker comes over and starts trying to intervene on my behalf. I have a cute 5yr old, it helps sometimes!
Nasty lady decides that she might put herself out enough to print me a one-visit pass and even says that we can get another one tomorrow when we can all come back and buy stuff. We use those over the weekend and ask how we get ourselves a card. I’m told that I have to go to Jerozolimskie, because that’s where the company account is based, along with my personal papers and a current signed print of the KRS (company register listing the board members). Give these to the person over there and they will give me a card immediately.
I gather together the pile of papers I need to get a Makro card allowing make to make them a little richer and go to Jerozolimskie. Not easy in this traffic and roadworks. I get in the 20 minute queue for the registration desk. Eventually, the most miserable of the bunch decides to get off the phone to her mother and try to deal with some clients. She’s the one wearing the blue trouser suit, glasses and fractious demeanour. I explain the whole situation and present my papers. Her reply is a terse but very pleased with herself “I can make the application but you’ll have to wait 7 days for us to decide if we want to give you a card and then you’ll have to come back here to get it!”.
I ask why. She says “Procedures.”. We repeat that little conversation a few times but I never get more of an answer than procedures. I suggest she might like the KRS. She doesn’t want the KRS. My eyes glaze over as the blood is bursting through the veins. I decide to leave rather than face a jail sentence.
I get back to the office. I tell our admin folk what I think of Makro in no uncertain terms. I decide to call Makro, find someone who speaks my lingo and let them know what I think as well. Credit to Makro, their website gives the number to the ‘duty manager’. I call him and he actually answers the phone, more fool him! I give him the benefit of years of complaining, essentially asking him just how hard I’m supposed to work to be allowed to get a Makro card so I can spend more money in their shop than our company already is doing? My language may have got a bit flowery at times and I certainly played up the członek zarządu card (although not as much as all Poles would have done!). Thankfully, this seemed to have the desired effect. He started running around like a headless chicken (sounded like it from the other end of the phone at any rate) and shouting things in Polish at people around him. I distinctly heard the phrase KRS used a few times. he then came back and promised to send me a card in the post immediately.
We did the usual foxtrot of trying to spell my name when neither party is quite sure if we’re doing this in English or po polsku, always a good laugh. Then he confirmed the address of the company. Naturally, our admin peeps had not bothered changing the address since we left Puławska and moved to Złota nine months ago, so now he thinks I’m scamming him. He changes the address anyway and I await the card in the mail. (please note earlier post about things going missing in the mail – we’ll see)
It really shouldn’t need to be this hard. So often.