Episode 14

Episode 14

Mei speaks up at work in episode 14, and Milton gets some bad news. What do you think has happened?

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


Mei: Hi, Jiang. How are things with you? I hope the family are all well. I'm feeling a bit happier than the last time we spoke. I had dinner the other day with Robert, the man who's learning Portuguese with Milton. He's really nice. We talked about my problems at work and he gave me some good advice, although I didn't really want to hear it at the time. I have to say more at work – I have to speak in meetings and I have to tell people when they do or say things I don't like. You probably don't believe me, your bossy friend, but it's very difficult for me to do that. But I decided I was going to do something …

Colleague: So, I'll get that new design job finished by the end of the day so I'll be ready to start on the programming first thing tomorrow. Steve?

Steve (boss): OK. Great. Two days should be enough to get that done. Get one of the other guys in the team to have a look at it tomorrow evening.

Mei: Steve ...

Steve (boss): Yeah, Mei.

Mei: When you said 'one of the other guys' then – did you mean the men in the team or are you including me too?

Steve (boss): I meant everybody in the team. Why?

Mei: Because when you say 'the guys' like that, it sounds like you mean the men and not me.

Steve (boss): No. I mean all of you. I say 'the guys' when I mean everybody. Now …

Mei: But Steve …

Steve (boss): Yeah, Mei?

Mei: I'm the only woman in the team and if you keep calling us 'the guys' I feel like I don't have a place.

Steve (boss): Really?

Mei: Yes.

Steve (boss): Well, it isn't only me. All the guys … I mean, everybody uses 'the guys' all the time.

Mei: I know. That's what I'm saying – everyone does. Do you think we could all say something else? Like 'everybody', for example. Or 'people' – 'the people in our team'.

Steve (boss): Well, yes, I suppose so. But it isn't easy to change. Leave it with me for a while, Mei. Let me think about it.

Mei: OK. Thank you, Steve.

Mei: Ha ha! I said something! So now we'll have to see if anything changes … No more 'the guys in your team'. And to change the subject, I have to tell you about poor Milton. I was at home yesterday evening …

Mei: Hello.

Delivery man: Hello. Do you know anything about Mr Milton da Silva?

Mei: Yes. Milton. He lives over there in that flat – 4B. This is 4A.

Delivery man: Yeah, I know. I've got 4B on the paper but there's no answer. I came here yesterday too.

Mei: Yes – he's away. He's in Belfast. Filming.

Delivery man: Well, good for him. But his parcel will be going back to France tomorrow – unless you can sign for it? Can I leave it here?

Mei: Well, what is it?

Delivery man: No idea. It's heavy though.

Mei: Who's it from?

Delivery man: It just says Carolina.

Mei: Oh. That's his friend Carolina. She has the flat downstairs. OK, I'll take the parcel. Where do I sign?

Mei: Milton talks a lot about Carolina. He met her at university in Newcastle. She used to live downstairs but she went to France to visit another friend – a woman who's just had a baby, I think. So I sent Milton a message to say this heavy parcel had arrived and should I send it to him in Belfast or keep it here? And he sent me a message back saying that I should keep it here because his mother is very ill and he has to go to see her in the States as soon as he can. So Milton will be back here at the end of next week to get his things organised and then he'll go to America. His mother must be very ill. Poor Milton. He was really enjoying himself in Belfast. So, Jiang, I was thinking that my problems at work are very small – my family is happy and healthy and my friends too. And that's the most important thing.


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Submitted by Hannalara on Wed, 12/06/2024 - 15:58


I never talked during the meetings. I'm very shy and I felt uncomfortable when I need to speak in public or with a team. I only talk when the general manager asks me my opinion about something.

I hate conflicts and I avoid when hapens this it.I like paying attention to what people say and I eIaborate on my opinion and If it necessary I speak to them.

Submitted by svet1ana on Tue, 26/04/2022 - 07:40


I didn't try to speak about my worry in first time,but if I worked about 1 year,I started to do this.
Now, I can say,but it isn't all of my trables, because sometimes it's right don't hurry to speak in complicating questions. I try to work without conflicts.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 23/11/2021 - 15:13


Yes, I have spoken a few times when I felt uncomfortable at my actual work, I spoke to my boss and every time I did that we tried to solve the problems to the benefit of both parts, I think everybody should express their feelings when something is bothering them because if no one says nothing and let the time pass, that thing would get bigger and could turn into a problem more difficult to solve. A toxic work environment without good communication tend to drain lots of energy and damage the good mood in a shared workspace.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!