Uint5
II. Basic Listening Practice

  1. Script
W: Why do some people stay in one job for life while others switch jobs from time to time? M: Some people want a fixed routine so that they don’t have to adapt tot new circumstances over and over again, while others think variety is the spice of life. Q: According to the dialog, why do some people stick to one job for life?

  2. Script
M: Kathleen, you’ve been late for work so many times lately that I have to warn you that any repetition will result in your dismissal. W: I’m sorry. I’ll try my best to get here earlier in the future. Perhaps I could work later to make up the time I’ve lost. Q: What does the woman say?

  3. Script
M: Mr. Brown, my time here has been frustrating for me. I have a better opportunity with another firm, and I’m taking it. W: We won’t be sorry to see you leave, Richard. You’ve done your best to make everyone here as miserable as you are. Q: How does the woman feel about the man’s leaving?

  4. Script
W: Mr. Armes, I wanted to tell you in person that at the end of this month I’ll be leaving the company. M: Well, Sylvia, we are certainly going to miss you here, but I wish you the best of luck. Q: What does the woman want?

  5. Script
W: Time, I hate to tell you this, but we’re caught in a budget crunch, and we must lay you off. I’m sorry. M: I understand. I’ve enjoyed my time here, and I’m confident I can find something else. Q: What is the man’s response?
Keys:
  1.B
  2.D
  3. A
  4.C
  5.D
1
III. Listening In
Task 1: How to Avoid Bankruptcy
Manager: Adam! Have you any suggestions about how we can avoid bankruptcy? Adam: Downsizing would certainly reduce our operating costs. You know, make us lean and mean, the way you have to be in today’s market. Manager: Where do you suggest we start making these staff cuts? Adam: The logical place to start would be in administration. They usually overstaffed. Manager: That’s not going to go over very well with our employees. Some of them have been with the company for years. Adam: It’s painful process, but there’s no choice. They’ll just have to get used to the idea. Manager: We can give them a fairly decent severance package when they’re fired. Adam: I know. And I think that if we computerize the office, we could reduce office staff by about 20 percent just by eliminating a lot of paperwork. Manager: OK. If we lay off 20 percent of the administrative staff, will that be enough to get the company back on its feet? Adam: Unfortunately not. We’ll also need to make some cuts in the service department. Manager: How can we do that and maintain the level of service that we offer our passengers? Adam: Well, we’ll have to retrain the service staff and streamline our operations, so we won’t need as many people to run things smoothly. Manager: Well, this is serious, but I really don’t think we have any other choice. If we keep losing money like this, we’ll have to shut everything down.
  1.
  2.
  3.
  4.
  5. What is the dialog mainly concerned with? What does the man mean by “make us lean and mean”? What is the difficulty in cutting the administrative staff? What will happen as a result of firing the administrators? What does the man think will happen after they cut 20 percent of the administrators?
Keys: 1B
  2.D
  3.A
  4.C
  5.C
For Reference
  1. He suggests retaining the service staff and streaming their operations, so they won’t need as many people to run things smoothly.
2

  2. That is a serious step, but she thinks they haven’t any other choice. If they keep losing money, they will have to shut everything down.
Task 2: A Hard-nosed Boss Script
Mr. Stone was known far and wide as a hard-nosed boss who (S
  1) watched his employees like a hawk. He was making one of his regular tours of the factory (S
  2) when he spotted a young man leaning against a (S
  3) pile of boxes just outside the foreman’s office. Since George, the foreman, wasn’t around. Stone stood off to the side and watched to see just how ling the young men would stand (S
  4) around doing nothing. The young man yawned, scratched his head, looked at his watch, and sat on the floor. After ten minutes or so he yawned again and (S
  5) leaned back on the pile of boxes. Stone stepped from his (S
  6) hiding place and walked up to the young man. “You!” he yelled, “How much do you make a week?” The young man looked up (S
  7) indifferently. “Two hundred and fifty dollars,” He said. (S
  8) Stone rushed into the cashier’s office, took$250 from the cash box, and returned. “Take it,” he said, “and get out! Don’t let me see you around here again!” The young man took the cash, put it in his pocket, and left. (S
  9) Seeing the young man showed no sign of embarrassment, Stone got furious. Then he went looking for George. When he found him, Stone was red with anger. “That lazy boy in front of your office,” Stone said, “I just gave him a week’s pay and fired him. What’s the matter with you, letting him stand around as though he has nothing to do?” “You mean the kid in the red shirt?” George asked. “Yes! The kid in the red shirt!” George said, “(S
  10) He was waiting for the 20 dollars we owe him for lunch. He works for the coffee shop around the corner.”
Task3: Layoffs can be predicted.
Script
In some cases companies inform their employees in advance that layoffs are coming. In other cases, they come without warning: You arrive on time for work on a Friday,
3
but you are told not to come next week. Ouch! In either case, you may be able to sense some bad signs in advance. Maybe the company has tried very hard to avoid layoffs; maybe it has been preparing for the worst for quite some time. If you think about the bad omens carefully, you might know as much or more than some of the employees in managerial positions with management responsibilities. For example, if you work in sales, you might know that quotas have not been met. If you work in field engineering, you might notice far fewer customer installations. If your company’s competitors, suppliers or customers are laying off employees, it’s likely your company will too, especially if economic conditions are affecting your industry. Check the layoff statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Search the Net and your local newspaper too for articles concerning layoffs in your industry. Do things like bad sales always mean that layoffs are coming to your company? Not necessarily. Companies have seasonal and economic sales dips all the time, and are always looking for ways to improve their performance. So, if you see only one or two bad signs, don’t jump to a hasty conclusion. But if you see more, especially along the lines of earnings warnings, budget cuts, hiring freezes, restructuring, and massive layoffs in your industry, it might just be time to get your resume up to date and start looking for a new job. Also, it might e a good idea to cancel your vacation, implement money-saving measures, and become more useful on your job. You should prepare in advance if you think you might get the axe soon.

  1.
  2.
  3.
  4.
  5.
What is the passage mainly about? According to the passage, when can one sense layoffs are coming? What is mentioned as a bad sign for the field engineering department? According to the passage, what do bad sales signal? Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a sign for you to update your resume?
Keys: 1D
  2.C
  3. B
  4.C 5A
For Reference You may get your resume up to date and start looking for a new job. Also, it might e a good idea to cancel your vacation, implement money-saving measures, and become more useful on your job.
4
IV. Speaking Out
MODEL 1 We’re going to miss you.
Susan: Excuse me, Helen, do you have a minute to talk? Helen: That question always carries some weight, Sue. What’s up? Susan: Well, uh…Here goes…My university wants me to go back to update the university website. Helen: So what? You can go back on the weekend, or in the evening. Susan: But it’s a large project. So I’m afraid I have to terminate my work here before my internship is over. I have to go back next Thursday. Helen: Oh? This is quite a surprise, Sue. I’m sad that you’ll be leaving us. You run this place with clockwork efficiency, you know. We’re going to miss you. Susan: I hope this one-week notice will give you time to hire and train a replacement. Helen: Thanks for the notices, Sue. Assistants like you are one in a million. I guess we’d better start looking as soon as possible. Susan: With your approval, I’ll put out notice today and screen the application myself. Helen: That would be great. Schedule them in as you see fit. Oh, Sue, things certainly won’t be the same without you around here. Susan: Thank you for your kind words. If you have any problem, please feel free to call me.
MODEL2 Script
We have to let you go.
Helen: Tom, the reason I called you into my office is your work. Tom: Really? Helen: The truth is ..I’m not satisfied with your job performance. Tom: Are you sure I haven’t been doing a good job? Helen: Tom, you’ve been reprimanded a number of times for being late and for using company time for personal matters. What’s more, you use the company phone to talk with your friends for hours. Tom: I know I’ve been late a couple of times; my motorcycle has been breaking down. I’m really sorry. I promise to do better in the future. Helen: I’m afraid it’s too late. Right now, your tardiness is the least of my problems. Tom: What do you mean? Helen: My secretary has proof that you have misappropriated company funds on several occasions. We won’t be prosecuting, but this simply can’t be allowed. Tom:: I didn’t steal any money! Your secretary is lying!
5
Helen: I’m sorry, we have to let you go. Tom: You’re firing me? You are giving me my pink slip? Helen: Exactly. I’m sorry it had to turn out this way. Your termination is effective immediately.
MODEL3 Script
I’m the one you’ve been looking for.
Helen: So, Bill, tell me about your last job. What kinds of work did you do? Bill: Market investigation, sales promotion, after-sale services, risk analysis, investment planning ?to name just a few. Helen: Why did you leave? Bill: Downsizing. The company wasn’t performing efficiently. It’s been operating at a loss. So the only way out was to lay off redundant employees. Helen: Why do you think our corporation makes a good career move for you? Bill: My experience at the last company is completely transferable to your company, since you deal in the same products. Helen: Go on. Bill: What’s even better, your corporation is a well-known multinational, and it’s working to become an industry leaser. I like that. Helen: And that would be a real boost to your career? Bill: Definitely. My last employer dealt with only small investments. But your company is handling large projects. That will help me grow professionally.
Now Your Turn Task 1
SAMPLE DIALOG
Pamela: Excuse me, Mr. Atkin, do you have a minute to spare? Atkin: The question suggests something serious, Pamela. What’s up? Pamela: Well, uh…Thank you very much for offering me a permanent job. But now I’ve received a notice of admission to a Master’s degree program in my university. I’m afraid I have to leave. Atkin: Oh, what a pity. You did an excellent job here, and everyone likes you. Pamela: I really enjoyed working here. But further studies will give me more opportunities to grow professionally. Atkin: Your skills in software development are almost irreplaceable here. Would you stay if I promote you to the department head and give you a raise in
6
pay? Pamela: Thank you very much indeed, and I do appreciate the golden opportunity. But I really need to acquire more knowledge while I’m young. With a Master’s degree in my hands, I’ll be more competitive in the future. Atkin: In that case, I won’t keep you, Pamela. I just want to tell you that I’m sad you’ll be leaving us. You run this place with clockwork efficiency, you know. We’ll all miss you a lot. Pamela: I hope this one-month notice will give you time to hire and train a replacement. Atkin: Thanks for the notice, Pamela. Assistant like you are rare. I guess we’d better start looking as soon as possible. Pamela: With your approval, I’ll post notice today and interview applicants for you. Atkin: That would be great. Schedule them in as you see fit. Pamela, without you, things here will be different. Pamela: Thank you for your kind words. If you have any problem, please feel free call me.
V. Let’s Talk
Script
Kathy: Well, now that everybody I here, let’s call the meeting to order. Today we have to discuss the operation of our software development department. We’re all aware that nowadays market competition is becoming more intense than ever before. If we want to keep our competitive edge, the only way is to offer excellent and considerate service to our customer and, at the same time, lower our prices. So, what I’m thinking is, maybe we could outsource the software side of out business to another company. But what impact will it have on our engineers? It’s a big problem. Mm, I’d be interested to know your thoughts, Warton. Warton: I totally agree with you. Kathy: Could you go into more detail about your opinion? Warton: I think that outsourcing this part of our operation to another company certainly makes a lot sense. Our software engineers ate getting a bit to
 

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