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Unit 2. Occupations

pair.jpgLook at the pictures. In pairs, ask and answer the following questions:
• What do you think the people in the pictures do every day?
• What are the good things about their jobs?
• What are the bad things?
• Would you like to have any of these jobs? Why / Why not?

You are going to read about four different jobs.
Read the paragraphs as quickly as you can, and write on the line beloweach paragraph which job you think the person is describing.

Key.1 lawyer
2 lorry driver
3 journalist
4 librarian

  1. 'I spend about half of my time in my office, and the other half incourt. I don't have customers. I have clients. They come to me withlegal problems and I represent them. Its a very demanding job, becauseyou feel responsible for what happens to your clients, but it's alsovery satisfying. One of my clients was recently arrested for a crime hehadn't committed, and I was able to persuade the police they'd made amistake. It's a great feeling helping people when they're in trouble.
    'What's their job? _________________________________
  2. 'Many people think that this is an easy job, but in fact it can getvery tiring and lonely. You're often away from your family for longperiods of time - maybe two or three weeks, if you have to go to Germanyor somewhere. That can be difficult. I do love it, though. I like beingon the road behind the wheel, and being able to look down on all thecars. But it's a pain when you have to unload all the boxes and stuff atthe end of the journey. Still, its all part of the job.'
    'What's their job? _________________________________
  3. 'Well, I used to work for a tabloid, but now I work for a moreserious paper. I generally write two or three pieces a day. You reallyhave to keep up with current affairs in this job, though. I'm oftengoing to press conferences and interviewing politicians and famouspeople, so I have to know what questions to ask. The most satisfyingthing is seeing my name in print above a story. I look at it and think,'I wrote that yesterday, and today millions of people are reading it.'Amazing!'
    'What's their job? _________________________________
  4. 'People have this image of us being very boring and old-fashioned,but I don't think that's true at all. Where I work, it's often verylively and interesting and, these days, people don't have to whisper allthe time. Kids are welcome, and it's a very friendly place. Of course,you couldn't do this job if you didn't love books. I adore literature,and it's great being in an environment where everyone around you alsogets pleasure from it. I think we provide a very valuable service to thepublic. People can borrow books from us which they would never be ableto afford to buy for themselves.'
    'What's their job? _________________________________
In pairs, discuss your answers. Do you agree?

Key.1 in court / clients / legal problems / represent / arrested for a crime / the police
2 lonely / away from your family / on the road / behind the wheel / cars / unload / journey
3 tabloid / paper / write / current affairs / press conferences / interviewing / name in print
4 whisper / books / literature / service to the public / borrow books

Write TWO words or phrases from each paragraph which helped you make your decision.

1 _________________ _________________    
2 _________________ _________________  
3 _________________ _________________    
4 _________________ _________________

Now answer these questions about the four paragraphs.
Key.Part 1
Paragraph 1 c
Paragraph 2 a
Paragraph 3 b
Paragraph 4 a
Part 2 a3 b1 c4 d2
Paragraph 1   
What does the writer enjoy most about the job?
a working in two places
b having a lot of responsibility
с being able to help clients
d arguing with the police
Paragraph 2
What does the writer dislike most about the job?
a being on the road for so long
b the fact that the work is so easy
с driving through foreign countries
d the fact that the work is physical
Paragraph 3
According to the writer, one of the skills required to do this job well is ...
a being able to write quickly and accurately.
b knowing what is happening in the world.
с making sure your questions are answered.
d getting your name printed in the newspaper.
Paragraph 4
The writer suggests that modern libraries ...
a have a better atmosphere than they used to.
b have more books than they used to.
с provide a better service than they used to.
d employ more caring librarians than they used to.
Now match these headings with the four paragraphs in A.
a Member of the media ___________ 
с A good atmosphere ___________ 
b Serious consequences ___________ 
d A long way from home ___________  
Here are two more descriptions of different jobs.
Quickly read them, and underline the best heading for each description.
Key.A An actor's life for me
B Building a building

A. An actor's life for me / Luck is so important / The same every night
'I can't imagine being in any other profession. This job is my life.I dodo a little TV work, but I'm mainly based in the theatre. Every night,Monday to Saturday, and twice on Thursdays. At the moment, I'm in aproduction of King Lear. I'm playing Cordelia. It's a great role, andI've been lucky to have some very good reviews. The rest of the cast areso supportive - we're like a family - and John, the director, ismarvellous. I just can't wait to get on the stage every night. And theaudiences are so appreciative, too. We got a standing ovation lastnight'
В. Low cost housing / Building a building / I'd rather be inside
'You actually feel a real sense of achievement once a houseis finished. You know, you've seen it grow from just a hole in theground to somewhere for someone to live in. And you've made it happen.You've dug the foundations, laid the brickwork, put the roof on, put inthe windows and the doors. It's actually very creative. Of course, it'shard work too, with all the carrying and lifting you have to do. Youhave to be prepared to get dirty, and work outside in all weathers, butthat's a small price to pay, if you ask me.'
Here's another description of a job. Can you think of a good heading for the paragraph?
Key.Suggested answers:
Dangerous but important
Trained to help
Careful and useful

'I have to be very careful in my job. Working with wires, cables andplugs can be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If youmake a mistake, you could be electrocuted. But of course I've beentrained, so I make sure nothing like that happens to me. I do all sortsof things each day, from changing an old lady's light bulbs to rewiring awhole factory. That's why I like my job - it's so varied. You're in anew place almost every day and, without you, people wouldn't be able tocook, or listen to music, or even see at night.'
In pairs, discuss your headings.
Which one do you think is better? Why?

Now write the letter of one of the three job descriptions above, А, В or C, next to each idea below.
Key.1 B   2 A   3 B   4 C   5 C   6 A
1   It's satisfying taking something to completion.       
2   I really value the people I work with.       
3   You have to put up with some unpleasant working conditions.
4   Safety is a very important issue.       
5   I'm always on the move.       
6   I wouldn't want any other job.
In pairs, discuss your answers. Which words and phrases helped you make your decision?

Read these sentences and then use the words in bold to complete the sentences below.
Key.1 raise / pay rise
2 retire
3 C.V. / Curriculum Vitae / Resume
4 work as
5 commute
6 pension
7 salary
8 redundant
9 wages

  • When I worked on the building site, I was paid my wages every Friday afternoon.
  • The salary is ?15,000 per year and you will be paid at the end of every month.
  • Most people retire when they are about sixty-five years old.
  • When you retire you get a pension, which is paid every month.
  • 450 workers were made redundant when the company went bankrupt.
  • I'm going to get a raise/pay rise next week!
  • John has just been promoted to Senior Manager.
  • I live outside the city, so I have to commute to work every day by train.
  • I'd love to work as a clown in a circus, but only for a few months.
  • Please send a C.V./Curriculum Vitae/Resume with your application form.
1   I haven't had a _____________ for over twoyears; it's not fair!
2   When I _____________ I'm going to travel round the world.
3   You need to update your _____________ if you're going to start job hunting.
4   Jan's parents were furious when she decided to _____________ a waitress.
5   The best thing about working from home is that you don't have to _____________ to work
every morning.
6   Although she's ninety-two years old, she still walks to the Post Office to get her _____________ every Thursday.
7   I love being a nurse, even though the _____________ isn't very good.
8   Derek hasn't had a job since he was made _____________ two years ago.
9   You'll get your _____________ every night before you leave the bar.
10  In this company, you generally get _____________ every two years or so.

Exam know-how
When you do Reading Part 2:
• Always quickly read the text FIRST, before you look at the questions. This is so you have a general idea what it is about.
•When you answer the questions, always UNDERLINE in the text the wordswhich give you the answer. This will help you make sure your answer isthe correct one, and will allow you to check your answers more easily atthe end.

You are going to read an extract from an autobiography. For questions1-7, choose the answer (А, В, С or D) which you think fits bestaccording to the text.
Key.1C    2B     3D      4C     5A     6D     7B

Although I left university with a good degree, I suddenly found that itwas actually quite hard to find a job. After being unemployed for a fewmonths, I realised I had to take the first thing that came along or I'dbe in serious financial difficulties. And so, for six very long months, Ibecame a market research telephone interviewer.

I knew it wasn't the best company in the world when they told me thatI'd have to undergo three days of training before starting work, andthat I wouldn't get paid for any of it. Still, I knew that the hourlyrate when I actually did start full time would be a lot better thanunemployment benefit, and I could work up to twelve hours a day, sevendays a week if I wanted. So, I thought of the money I'd earn and put upwitn three days of unpaid training. Whatever those three days taught me —and I can't really remember anything about them today — I wasn'tprepared for the way I would be treated by the supervisors.

It was worse than being at school. There were about twenty interviewerslike myself, each sitting in a small, dark booth with an ancientcomputer and a dirty telephone. The booths were around the walls of thefifth floor of a concrete office block, and the supervisors sat in themiddle of the room, listening in to all of our telephone interviews. Weweren't allowed to talk to each other, and if we took more than abouttwo seconds from ending one phone call and starting another, they wouldshout at us to hurry up and get on with our jobs. We even had to askpermission to go to the toilet. I was amazed how slowly the day went.Our first break of the day came at eleven o'clock, two hours after westarted. I'll always remember that feeling of despair when I would lookat my watch thinking, Tt must be nearly time for the break', only tofind that it was quarter to ten and that there was another hour and aquarter to go. My next thought was always, T can't believe I'm going tobe here until nine o'clock tonight.'

It wouldn't have been so bad if what we were doing had been useful. Butit wasn't. Most of our interviews were for a major telecommunicationscompany. We'd have to ring up businesses and ask them things like, 'Isyour telecoms budget more than three million pounds a year?' The chancesare we'd get the reply,'Oh, I don't think so. I'll ask my husband. Thisis a corner shop. We've only got one phone.'And so the day went on.

The most frightening aspect of the job was that I was actually quitegood at it. 'Oh no!' I thought. 'Maybe I'm destined to be a marketresearcher for the rest of my life.' My boss certainly seemed to thinkso. One day — during a break, of course - she ordered me into heroffice. 'Simon,' she said, 'I'm promoting you. From tomorrow, you're offtelecoms and onto credit card complaints. I'm sure you can handleit.There's no extra pay, but it is a very responsible position.'

Three weeks later I quit. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

1    Why did the writer become a market research telephone interviewer?

A He had completely run out of money.
В He had the right university degree for the job.
С It was the first job he was offered.
D He knew it was only for six months.

2    The writer had doubts about the company when

A they only offered him three days of training.
В they told him he wouldn't receive payment for his training.
С they told him he had to be trained first.
D he was told what the hourly rate would be.

3    His workplace could best be described as

A large and noisy.
В silent and dirty.
С untidy and crowded.
D old-fashioned and uncomfortable.

4    How did he feel when he realised it wasn't time for the break yet?

A He felt that he would have to go home early.
В He felt that he wouldn't survive to the end of the day.
С He felt that the end of the day seemed so long away.
D He felt that he must have made a mistake.

5    What would have made the job more bearable?

A knowing that he was carrying out a valuable service
В being able to phone much larger companies
С not having to talk to shopkeepers
D not having to ring up businesses

6    What was unusual about Simon's promotion?

A It showed how good he was at his job.
В It meant he would be phoning different people.
С It involved greater responsibility.
D There was no increase in salary.

7    What would be the most suitable title for this extract?

A Typical Office Life
В Unpleasant Employment
С How To Earn a Decent Salary
D You Get What You Deserve
In pairs, discuss the words you underlined that gave you the answers. Did you underline the same things?

Present simple: always/usually/sometimes/generally/never
Sally commutes to work every day by bus.
Present continuous: now/at the moment/around now
John is working in a restaurant for the summer.
Present perfect simple: before now/from then until now/since
I've had lots of jobs; I've been a singer, a comedian and a truck driver!
Present perfect continuous: from then until now/since (without stopping)
She has been working as a civil servant for the past six years.

Now read these sentences and circle the correct time word or phrase, a or b.

Key.1 a   2 b    3 a    4 a    5 b
1    My boss is giving me a hard time at work.
      a  at the moment
     b generally
2    You've worked at Microtech Industries, haven't you?
     a  until now
      b before now
3    Simon deals with any customer complaints, doesn't he?
     a generally
      b at the moment
4    We've been thinking about setting up an office in London.
      a We're still thinking about it.
      b We were thinking about it, but we're not now.
5    'Are you going your cat lots of water to drink? asked the vet.'
      a always
      b around now

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