Monthly Archives: April 2011

You’re a foreigner so learn to live with it.

If you hate feeling like this:

Then as an English speaker maybe you shouldn’t live in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t matter what you do, until you’ve gained some mastery of the Czech language they’ll always view you as:

You can stand on your head, you can try and fight for your rights, you can try actively participate in conversations, but eventually you realize you’re fighting a loosing battle. You’re just a foreigner, nothing more and nothing less.

Czechs do not like foreigners. They treat foreigners a bit like a kid treats a new toy. At first it is all shiny and new and they’ll give you lots of attention, but after they have a general idea of what you’re about, and you can’t speak their language, unless they can speak English there interest in you will drop faster than a floating shit might travel down the flooded Nile.

There is just no way around this, no matter how nice a person you might be, you’re a foreigner who can’t communicate in their language and are hence perceived as being stupid.

The solution you might be thinking is to learn Czech, yet Czech is more closely related to a security algorithm rather than a spoken language. Yes it’s extremely difficult to crack. If you’re not naturally gifted in learning new languages, then either fuck off or get used to “forever alone”.

There is a reason why you don’t see many foreigners living here. Sure you might find loads of backpackers looking for adventure, or a fair amount of English teachers, but the true native English speaker who’s moved here and integrated is a rare discovery, and outside of Prague about as rare as hens teeth.

Yours truly – the foreigner!



Let’s rope you in on the budget.

I’m what you might call a highly paid slave, but since moving to the Czech Republic, I guess I’m just a slave.

I work; Moday to Friday and sometimes on weekends and I get what is an average (basic) salary. It does keep the house paid and food on the table, so I shouldn’t complain.

It is just that in any other country where I’ve work as a slave, I’ve had little input into the company budget. I’ve worked for smaller, medium and large sized firms as a programmer in 5 different countries, and mostly my managers expect me to do the job, and I expect them to pay me every month.

How well or how bad the products I develop have very little consequence for me. If I develop a great product and it sells to 100 customers, I don’t get any residual income. If I develop something and it runs at a loss, it literally is not my problem.

This is because developers (like me) usually get called into the picture after the vision phase, and we’re expected to develop software based on the vision of someone else, typically the guy who pays the bills.

This is why I was mostly surprised to see this in Czech Republic:

Alright, I pulled the image from Google images, but why would a developer be interested in the extreme and vast details of a company budget?

If someone is working for you and gets a fixed static income every month, why would you think they are interested if you make 100k profit every month, or 2 million? It simply does not matter to the people lower down in the ranks.

Yet, I’ve found in Czech Republic every member of the organization is expected to take an interest in the “company budget”, I’m not talking high level overview either. Mostly employees have access to a great deal of information that is typically hidden to them in fully western companies. Typically because in the west it is none of your business! Very literally too.

I’m all for knowing if the situation is bad, so bad that staff are getting retrenched, and the internet is getting cut, you know this type of thing! Don’t worry this happens too! Infact it seems no matter how well a company might be doing there is definitely enough ways to explain the company budget as to dump some guilt on the small guy. As they say keep them lean and mean, and hungry.

I have a Polish friend, and this type of thing is nothing new in Eastern Europe, but boy does it suck. Note to self, work for a prosperous company in future.