Sunday 12 August 2007

The Polish brain drain

The stars have departed

My hotel stands on the site of one of the grandest palaces in Warsaw which was taken down in the 60s.

I was afraid that the supposed migration of Poles to better paying jobs in Western Europe might impact on the quality of service that one would encounter in the hotel and other places.

Things have been alright, though the phone probably rings up to 10 times before someone picks up the phone at the front desk, I even had to call to have a “Do Not Disturb” notice sent to my room to prevent housekeeping staff from opening my door especially if I was perchance in a state of indecent exposure.

I have stayed in many a 5* hotel, but I sometimes feel the stars in my current hotel have emigrated to Western Europe too.

Nowhere was this fear of the brain, skills and knowledge drain of Poland more evident than when I walked across the Pilsudski (Victory) Square to the trendy bar on the ground floor of a Norman Foster building (Biurowiec Metropolitan Building, Warsaw) – all the bartenders were busy flipping bottles delivering exotic vodka cocktails with aplomb.

The bar did not have a sherry, not a drop, then I asked for a port and the bartender did not know what a port was – I settled for an orange juice as I waited for the abatement of rain to return to the relative sophistication of my hotel.

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