English at Work – Episode Episode 60 : Stepping aside

BBC Learning

English at Work – Episode Episode 60 : Stepping aside



Transcript of the podcast

Narrator: Hello again and welcome back to English at Work. Last time we heard the team from Tip Top Trading having a smashing time at the launch of its plastic aubergine. Tom threw one at Dave from the IT department, but it missed him and went through a window! It’s time for Paul to hand out some harsh words

(Door shuts)

.Paul: That behaviour just isn’t on

?Tom: Sorry Paul… but it was quite funny wasn’t it

.Paul: No it wasn’t

Anna: Sorry Paul, Tom was just angry with Dave. I thought he liked me but we saw him with Julie from accounts

Paul: Really? He seemed such a decent chap… anyway, don’t do it again. OK? In the meantime, you’re going to have to pay for that broken window

…Tom: What… hey? Bbbut

(Phone rings)

Paul: Now, excuse me, I need to take this. (Answers phone) Hello, Paul Smith speaking. Ah, Mr Socrates… yes… ah, you’ve heard

.Tom: (Whispering) Crikey, come on we’d better go

(Door shuts)

Denise: That was a good shot Tom! Looks like it’s made an impact on Dave. Look, he’s sent Anna some flowers

.Anna: Oh there’s a note on it. It says “You can count on me” but no name

.Denise: That is a strange thing for him to write

.Anna: Hmm, it is and it’s not his handwriting

?Tom: Maybe a secret admirer eh? I wonder who it could be

(Door opens)

.Denise: Are you OK Paul? You look as white as a sheet

.Paul: I’m not actually. Mr Socrates says he’s having a strategic review

?Anna: A what

Narrator: He means he’s been looking at how the business is operating and how it should operate in the future

.Anna: That sounds serious

Paul: And as part of his review, he says he wants to downsize and he’s asked me to… step aside

?Anna: Why? What are you in the way of

Narrator: No Anna. To step aside is a polite way of saying to leave your position in the company

?Anna: Oh. I don’t understand Paul. Why

.Paul: He says the company needs new direction and more dynamic leadership

.Tom: Crumbs Paul, you can’t get more dynamic than you! (sniggers)

.Anna: Tom! But Paul, you’ve been a great boss

Paul: Thanks Anna. I guess it’s the economic climate, we’re not making enough money so cutting staff is inevitable

.Tom: Yeah but you cut Denise’s job

Paul: Yes but we had to get her back because she was necessary for the smooth running of the department

.Denise: That’s right

.’Paul: But Mr Socrates says I’m ‘surplus to requirement

?Anna: Oh, that doesn’t sound good… does it

Narrator: If Paul’s job is ‘surplus to requirement’, it means his input to the business is no longer needed. So it’s not good news

?Paul: Anyway Anna, Mr Socrates wants to know if you got his special message

?!Anna: Special message? The flowers

?Denise: That’s strange. Why is Mr Socrates sending you flowers

Narrator: It is a bit strange. Anyway, Paul’s news has come as a shock for everyone. Here are some of the phrases Mr Socrates used to break the bad news

.I’ve been doing a strategic review of the company
.I need to downsize
.I need you to step aside
.The company needs a new direction and more dynamic leadership
.You are surplus to requirement

.Anna: Right, I’m going to have to call Mr Socrates and find out why he’s sent me flowers

(Anna phones Mr Socrates)

?Mr Socrates: Socrates… who wants me

.Anna: Erm… hello Mr Socrates… it’s Anna here, in London

.Mr Socrates: Anna! My favourite girl. Please call me Brad. So glad you called

Anna: I needed to speak to you about the flowers you sent me. I’m very flattered but I don’t think

Mr Socrates: The flowers?! Sorry honey, I haven’t sent you any flowers but I have sent you an email – have you read it yet

?Anna: No. What did it say

?Mr Socrates: I was saying that as I’m giving Paul the chop, would you like a promotion

?Anna: A promotion

Mr Socrates: Yes. You have been an outstanding member of the team so how would you like to be the new manager of Tip Top Trading’s London office

Narrator: What a fantastic opportunity and one that Anna surely can’t refuse – or can she? And who did send Anna those flowers with a message saying “You can count on me”? Find out what her answer is in the next English at Work. Bye

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