Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Shangri-La found in Warsaw

A mystical land of happiness, peace and tranquility is lost somewhere out there. The mythical Shangri-La, untainted by civilisation or troubles of the modern world. Is it only a dream, a hallucination? Do you have to travel to the Himalayas to search for it? No, it turns out it is right here in Poland. In Warsaw to be exact. I can even give you the address and the number to its switchboard.

Lost in the mists of the Communist era and just south of downtown Warsaw stands the magical kingdom of the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS). It is a land untouched by the global crisis, hard work, the perils of the modern day. Day in and day out people come to leisurely work at 8 in the morning and leave promptly at 4 pm.

It now turns out it also a land of riches. According to this report, which was obviously rejected by GUS as untrue, people working at the stats office received extra cash for work they should normally do. By some I mean a lot. For example, the GUS spokesperson received a bonus of 60,000 zloty (19 average salaries) for organising press conferences. One director signed a deal with himself worth over 40 average salaries.

Unfortunately, just as with Shangri-La, there are dark forces at work planning to destroy this happy land. The prime minister, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and others are crying foul and demanding heads, investigations and austerity.

Me? I think I am going to polish up my CV.

1 comment:

  1. The GUS building is also a black, faceless hole in the urban fabric on Warsaw. What a waste of space.