Visions on Dutch work

Since May 1, 2007 a citizen from Eastern Europe can work in the Netherlands. This gave the Poles a chance to look closer at the Dutch working style. Below we present 10 (a bit satirical) observations by Dorota Mazur, who worked in Dutch companies between 2005 and 2015 as a temporary employee. She generally remembers her work in the Netherlands well.

Dorota stands on the right

  1. A Dutchman is never in a hurry. “Easy, easy” or “rustig, rustig” are the words most often used by Dutch workers. A Pole is always in a hurry because he is afraid he will not be able to do his job in time. If not – he will have to work longer.
  2. The Dutchman will never stay in work longer than it is specified in his contract. However, work has to be finished so it is Pole supposed to do it.
  3. Most of the hard work is often thrown on the shoulders of a Polish worker. The Dutchman CAN do such a job, while Pole HAS TO.
  4. Christmas Eve is an important day for a Pole. For the Dutch the day is normal, so work looks like at a normal day. But because the next day is Christmas, on Christmas Eve the Dutchman comes home earlier (“Bijna Kerst Dag”!) [Almost Christmas] and the Polish worker has to stay at work.
  5. Friday, “bijna weekend”! The Dutchman is working slowly and leaves out work earlier, while the Polish worker has to stay up to the end of work. However, there are also companies where on Friday all work shorter and after work they drink beer on the canteen and integrate with the boss.
  6. Vrijdag [Friday] is a day when it is more difficult to settle a case, like the car service. “Bijna weekend”!
  7. The boss wants to know more about the employee so he can tell him about all his troubles.
  8. Even if the job does not have any norms of duty (officially), the norm exists anyway (unofficial), probably to increase competition among employees and, consequently, greater productivity.
  9. Pole does not speak Dutch or English? No problem! The Dutchman will explain everything with his hands and in all other languages ​​of the world.
  10. “Koffie time” is a holy time for a Dutch worker. Very often he starts his day at work just from “the koffie”.

Dorota Mazur

Published: October 4th, 2017

Read also: Netherlands by Dorota

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