Talking about rumours

Listen to two people talking about a colleague to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Will: Kiera, have you heard John isn't coming back and they might even fire him?

Kiera: No! I knew he was away but I thought it was for personal reasons?

Will: I'm pretty sure that's not the full story. Have you ever worked with him?

Kiera: A long time ago, but … well, I've heard stories about him for years.

Will: I've never worked with him directly but I know people that have and they say he was always shouting and screaming, threatening to fire people. And Susanne told me he took credit for one of her ideas. She had this idea for a project and she brought it up at the monthly creative workshop and he liked it – everybody did. But she saw the notes from the meeting and there was no mention of her name anywhere. John had agreed with her and repeated some of the things she said and the notes made it look like they were his ideas in the first place. He made her do all the work planning it, then when the project actually got started – it was that cars one – Susanne was moved to something else.

Kiera: It won an award, didn't it?

Will: Yeah, but Susanne didn't get to share it – there was zero recognition of her contribution. She was furious but she couldn't do anything about it. Not if she wanted to keep her job.

Kiera: Yeah, it's almost impossible to report people who are as high up as John is, or was.

Will: How did you find working with him, then?

Kiera: Well, you know what you said about him shouting at people? I've been in meetings with him and we all learned to keep our mouths shut. It was horrible. People were genuinely afraid of him.

Will: Did you ever see him stealing people's ideas?

Kiera: It was never that obvious. He was a genius. He had incredible vision but, you know, there was a whole team of people working with him. Not every single idea came from him and after a while it's not easy to say, 'Oh, this idea was mine and this idea was yours.' For me, the bigger problem was that you could be in his good books and then suddenly, with no explanation, you were out. And if you were out, life got very difficult.

Will: I heard women in particular had a hard time working with him.

Kiera: Yeah, well, like I said, you had to stay in his good books. So, if there was a comment that made you feel uncomfortable, you didn't say anything.

Will: Did that happen to you?

Kiera: Not to me, no, but we all knew … and no one said anything. And I was lucky I didn't have that much contact with him myself.

Will: They're doing a full investigation so I suppose a lot of these stories are going to come to light.

Kiera: I hope so. I really hope he's not coming back.

Discussion

Download
Worksheet80.16 KB

Language level

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Submitted by anasolis on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 11:17

Permalink
In my opinion John wasn't a good boss. Why would a boss steal ideas from his own workers to keep the benefit for himself? I understand that everyone has a different way to think but he didn't really think about it. Letting that girl make her project and winning the award would have made the business look much better. Also, why does he need to scream and shout? I think he is just a selfish person that wants to be the best and doesn't accept others progress. It's good that he gets fired, maybe he will learn about it and he will change.

Submitted by Wesley54 on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 23:56

Permalink
In my opinion a good boss is never allowed to exclude their coworkers and has to take their whole points of view. Besides, he must be thorough with the relationship to their teammates and help them in case there would be a difficulty. However, his main role must never be put into doubt, since he must be able to lead their teamwork through decision-making and attend to frequent meetings, as section as company ones.

Submitted by Aina Menéndez on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 17:23

Permalink
In my opinion what makes a good boss is the ability to comprehend the people who are working for you. I also think that is important to not make feel workers are inferior or that their opinion doesn’t count, listening is important!

Submitted by Bunga on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 09:21

Permalink
What's make a good or bad boss is how they treat her team and how boss facing the problem in the team. A good boss have a good integrity.

Submitted by yoyoraw on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 14:58

Permalink
what makes a boss a good one is the way he treats his employees so first he has to have great manners in talking and dealing with others plus he should give attention to his employees problems and complaints .
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 00:15

Permalink
A good boss must be logical having a strong mind with a team work attribute aided by an interpersonal skills and an effective communication skill in mobilizing other subordinates to achieve organizational goal while a bad boss possess none of this skills but rather demoralised which can lead to ruins of the firm.

Submitted by armando on Tue, 18/02/2020 - 06:35

Permalink
A good boss must be decent, gentleman, and he must respect his workers, if our boss respects all of us we will also respect him. Attention calls should not be made in front of classmates, I think you should call the person who made the mistake and speak privately with him.

Submitted by I P on Fri, 03/01/2020 - 21:16

Permalink
I think that the boss need to have authority at some point, but to give democratic atmosphere - to listen everyone and vaule them as a person, and everyone have to participate during project, and bring ideas, reaching throughout the their goal and achive it.
Profile picture for user Magedelabd

Submitted by Magedelabd on Wed, 11/12/2019 - 16:20

Permalink
What makes good boss is , he is a quit man , kind , fair and gentleman. What makes bad boss is nervous , unfair .

Submitted by HelianG on Tue, 26/11/2019 - 18:20

Permalink
I think that a good boss is who knows how to give feedback to his employees,recognize the work of his employees,also is important that he listen to his workers's complaints,otherwise,they will to have to deal with people like jhon and that is a huge problem because the others will not feel like giving their opinion or ideas which help to improve the business