Video: Case History - Robert Bondar
PUBLISHED: 18:22 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010
CASE HISTORY Name: Robert Bondar. Age 25: Work: hostel warden and health and safety officer. Arrived in Britain: Four years ago from Poland. ROBERT was studying law in a small town in Poland when he took a break to come to Gs. He has been here, on and of
Name: Robert Bondar. Age 25:
Work: hostel warden and health and safety officer.
Arrived in Britain: Four years ago from Poland.
ROBERT was studying law in a small town in Poland when he took a break to come to Gs. He has been here, on and off, for four years and seems something of a lynchpin in the Gs office set up, his stack of health and safety files a testament to his absorption in the English employment system. He was a quality controller for Gs initially, then worked his way up to an office position. Although he has a Polish partner, who also works in the site office, he intends to stay here for the foreseeable future.
If anyone in the company has a translation issue, a medical issue or even a banking issue, the indispensable Robert does his best to help in one of the three languages he speaks - Polish, German and Russian. "If somebody has toothache, we take them to the dentist," he says. "If someone has a problem, 99 per cent of the time, they come to us first. It's amazing how many times people can ask the same question, in different ways and in different languages. Sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder." He denies that the money earnt by his fellow workers goes straight back to their home countries. "There is a Polish aisle in Tesco now and lots of people go to spend the money here, and buy presents for their families when they go home."
"But Polish people love car boot sales," he adds. "If they go and buy things that English people throw away and then take them back to Poland what is the problem?"
Robert paints a lively picture of Saturday night discos at the social centre, where everyone starts off in their own social circles, often based on nationality, but as the drink flows, by the end of the night everyone is mingling together.