A swarm of summer students

If you’re planning on visiting Warsaw this summer, any summer for that matter, I apologise profusely and urge you not to judge the city too harshly. You see, what happens in the summer is that all the normal workers leave the city and are replaced by students.

Students are nice people on the whole but they are young and a bi-product of this youthfulness is inexperience in the ways of the real world. Students are good at things like smoking dope, getting legless without any good reason, cheating at exams, listening to strange music, sleeping until mid afternoon and lounging around. They are utterly pants at any proper job that does not draw on these strengths, which, lets face it, is every job aside from acting the part of a student in a play or something.

This fact does not seem to have got through yet to the ever resourceful entrepreneurs and business owners of Warsaw though. Their thought process follows a very simple line of logic – the city is a bit quieter in the summer, many people go on holiday, my excellent service staff will want a holiday, students are cheap and available, they can work all summer for peanuts, I’ll replace my excellent service staff with students, I’ll be away all summer so what do I care if it doesn’t work out! Notice the complete absence of any consideration of customers.

So this is exactly what happens. All the people you used to interact with in the shops are gone and in their place stands a student.

You used to have this.

And now you have this.

You can guarantee the students will have had a maximum of 15 minutes training, which they immediately forgot. They will be everywhere – shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, offices, cleaning windows, sweeping streets, gardening, repairing cars, driving buses, walking dogs. They will only be doing this to earn a little cash so they can buy more dope and booze and maybe pay someone to do the statistics exam for them or write their thesis. They won’t be doing it because they’ve been dreaming of getting any of these jobs when they have their PhD in “Corporate Sustainability” or whatever bloody silly subject they are supposed to be studying. They therefore couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you as a customer or a baboon’s backside about the owner of the shop/hotel whatever who just swanned off to a spa resort for 8 weeks. End result – bloody disaster!

Mind you, there is one place I wish would employ students and that’s Carrefour Express. Their normal recruitment drives appear to be held in hospitals and lunatic asylums as you will find out when you eventually get to the end of the immense queue you’ll find at every single cash point. They sometimes have one person whose body and mind are functioning normally to act as a kind of slave-driver for the unfortunates and abuse-meister for the customers daring to try the automatic check-outs but it makes little impact on the 20 minutes required to buy a loaf of bread. I’m all for bringing sick people into the workplace, equal rights and all that but Carrefour really are taking the pi** with this and I’ll bet you anything you like they’re paid even less than the students.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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4 thoughts on “A swarm of summer students

  1. I saw the title and was kind of aghast (or just thought it would be about me ;-). Is the guy on the photo that new intern at your office?

    Regarding the content – there’s a bit exagerration, not all students are ready to accept a lousy job to get little cash, not all cheat on exams or have someone else taking those more difficult ones and their favourite pastime activity is not necessarily dossing about. From this post you should draw some conclusions on how to handle students when they come to work with you. Inexperience is one point, the only thing they can do about it is to get a first serious job possibly early. I look with a sort of disdain at fourth-year students or graduates who have no work experience and struggle to find their way in their first jobs, which, at that stage of their education are usually quite serious and I feel sorry for their supervisors at work. The best idea is to slowly move up, step by step, from simple “McJobs” towards positions involving more responsibility, as I did and got on with.

    Thanks once again for the meeting and (hopefully) see you soon.

  2. Ohhh no, my poor cousin Aga just got labeled. But her mom tells me she just got her marks ….A +’s Go Aga. She is now job hunting. (wonder if the guy broke out into a rash from having to work) ;D

  3. Haha. Not about you Bartek but I expected a few people to stand up for students even though I was writing with tongue in cheek! ;)

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