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

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Average: 5 (2 votes)
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Submitted by javibuendi on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 09:59

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I reckon a good boss is the one who is able to treat his/her employees as a leader and as a friend at the same time. Besides, he or she should be able to communicate with the rest of the team in an assertive way. Many times, they (bosses) are under preasure because they usually have huge responsabilities, and this fact makes that they treat you rudely. Cheers from Madrid.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 11:28

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I do not agree with that if people in the workplace will take credit for other's ideas, even if he would be a boss in the office. Being in someone's good books would not help if the employee has not a creative idea. A genius Boss might be reached praises, but it doesn't mean you have to keep your mouth shut in front of him.

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Thu, 01/10/2020 - 18:56

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According to the name, "Boss" is like a person that only given orders or assignments whereas a "Leader" is a person who act such as guide align to the company goals or team goals to improve their results in orden to get the best results, hence a good boss should be a leader, and having the skills and capabilities for their team walking successfully, is a person who harness the best skills in each one member of their team and help to find out better ways to the work.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 09:08

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Honestly, talking about good or bad boss' behaviour we talking about behaviour in general. I don't think a "good" boss act opposite in his private life or a "bad" boss becomes such a lovely person outside the office. Of course, I don't mean professional qualifications. If one's doesn't skilled enough to cope with the bank or factory, just because he/she doesn't have much experience and knowledge, he will be a bad boss, no matter how kind and wise he is. You just must be quite confident in that sphere you're working in. But, irrespective of your readiness as a professional, you have to know how to communicate with people. No one can do one's work by oneself. And even if your job doesn't need a teamwork, you anyway can't escape interaction with others. So, the main point of being a "good boss" is communication. The good one has to be qualified (to make the right decisions), fair, and convincing. The good boss also has to know how motivate people and even better ру has to know how to point out some errors tactful way.

Submitted by fahri on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 15:45

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Dear team. From the lesson above. Kiera: It won an award, didn't it? The question: Pronoun 'it' refers to 'idea of kiera' or refers to John???? The second: About 'it' as dummy subject or object. https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/it-and-there-as-dummy-subjects The question: Anything of 'it' from this lesson as dummy subject or object??? Thank you very much for your answer

Hi fahri,

  • It won an award, didn't it?

It refers to 'the project', which was mentioned by Will in the previous sentence. 

I can't find any examples of it as a dummy subject or object in this transcript.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Razan Mahairy,

Thank you for your kind words. It's great to know we're helping people.

 

A quick note on the vocabulary: when you copy phrases that you want to learn/remember, make sure you copy them correctly! You made a few errors:

to take credit for something (not a credit)

to be in someone's good books (not book)

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Yes I agree with you. For me B2 level more difficult. I must study hard