Opening page of Everyday English
English for Everyday Living
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In the Office
|This is a traditional-style telephone.||A desk calendar can be used to keep track of daily appointments.||Mail from the office can be put in a regular metal mailbox.||Being "behind the 8-ball" means you are in trouble.||An attaché case or brief case is used to carry work papers.|
The office can be in many different places as part of many different businesses or organizations. It can consist of one or two rooms set off from a small manufacturing plant (factory). It can be several rooms handling the business of a chain of retail stores. It can be a several-story tall building handling the business of a national insurance or banking company. There are several features that all types of offices have in common:
They all have one or more persons to type memos, letters, reports, etc.
They all have one or more persons to file records, memos, reports, orders and other paperwork.
They all have at least the basic office machines: telephones, copiers, typewriters or word processors, fax machines, computers and a coffee maker.
They all have somebody who is in charge: the Boss, the President, the Manager, the Supervisor or some other title.
They all handle information that comes from the various branches or departments of the business or organization.
They all keep records on employees: attendance, productivity, benefits, salaries, deductions, payroll taxes, retirement plans and others.
From that point on, Offices begin to differ. Some deal with production figures, material purchases and product sales. Others deal with sales volume, profitability, overhead and advertising. Still others deal with actuarial tables, policies, benefits and claims. This lesson will deal with offices in general, with the things that most of them have in common.
|Most business people carry a cell phone everywhere they go.||The most popular view in many offices is the wall clock.||The computer has replaced the typewriter in most offices.||This is a style of copier that might be used in a small office.||More office messages are sent by E-mail than by regular mail today.|
Expressions heard in an office:
|Each of these buildings contains office space: the small gas station may have one little room, Cooper Tire may have ten rooms, and the tall buildings may have hundreds of office rooms. They all handle paperwork for the business.|
|Most businesses still send important letters in an envelope.||A fax-copier can send and receive messages as well as copy papers.||A file clerk arranges papers in drawers in a file cabinet.||The file clerk puts the papers in a folder like this.||This young man is "goofing off" instead of working.|
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Exercise A: The following list of verbs can all be used in an office. Write the meaning for each verb and use it in a sentence that has something to do with an office.
|Verb||Meaning||Used in a Sentence|
|get, gets, got, getting, got|
|speak, speaks, spoke, speaking, spoken|
|help, helps, helped, helping, helped|
|come, comes, came, coming, come|
|meet, -meets, met, meeting, met|
|call, calls, called, calling, called|
|make, makes, made, making, made|
|leave, leaves, left, leaving, left|
|bring, brings, brought, bringing, brought|
|pick, picks, picked, picking, picked|
|punch, punches, punched, punching, punched|
|show, shows, showed, showing, showed|
|hire, hires, hired, hiring, hired|
|jam, jams, jammed, jamming, jammed|
|ring, rings, rang, ringing, rung|
|park, parks, parked, parking, parked|
|interview, interviews, interviewed, interviewing, interviewed|
|set up, sets up, set up, setting up, set up|
|The work day for many office workers ends at 5:00 p.m.||New telephones have many features that old telephones do not have.||Companies located outside of cities often use a mailbox like this one.||A good office chair is well-padded and can swivel and rock.||A piggy bank is a symbol of saving in the United States.|
|An office manager may pull his hair if his staff makes a serious mistake.||This mouse doesn't eat cheese. It just wants you to move it and push its buttons||It is not good to keep a client waiting in your office.||The custodial crew cleans the offices after the office workers go home.||Some people do not work. They wait for workers to give them money.|
Nouns used in the office: For each of the nouns below, write in the space provided a definition that has something to do with an office.
|file clerk||fax machine|
|stock option||fire extinguisher|
|A drawing board or chalk board is often used at business meetings.||This young man is delivering the report he just finished.||A scanner can "read" pictures, diagrams or print and send it to a computer.||This woman is writing down an order from the computer screen.||In many companies, workers must "punch" in or out on a time clock|
Exercise C: Fill the spaces in the following sentences with the correct nouns from the list above. More than one noun may be correct in some of the spaces.
1. Mr. Jones told his ______________ to hold all of his calls until the ___________ was over.
2. Harold was an ______________ of a large _____________ in Detroit.
3. He started working for this ______________ because it had a good ___________ package and a liberal ________________.
4. Janet had just graduated from a good business school and now she worked as a _____________ for the ________________ of a company.
5. A qualified office worker should know how to operate a ______________, a ______________, a _______________ and a _________________.
6. Jim had worked his way up from _______________ to ________________ and now had his own ________________ with a ______________ to handle his typing and calls.
7. A ______________ has a ________________ similar to an old-fashioned ______________, but the words are viewed on a screen instead of on paper.
8. Marie had to see the ______________ about a mistake in the ______________ on her pay check.
9. Put the card into the ______________ until you hear it click.
10. The _____________ of the company scheduled a _______________ with the heads of all the departments.
Answers: Some of your answers may be different from ours. That is fine as long as your answers are compatible with the rest of the sentence and you can explain them.
1. secretary (receptionist), meeting (conference)
2. employee (manager, CEO, bookkeeper), company (corporation)
3. company, benefits, retirement plan
4. secretary, president (manager, executive)
5. copier, typewriter, fax machine, computer
6. custodian, salesman (executive), office, receptionist
7. computer, keyboard, typewriter
8. bookkeeper, deductions
9. time clock
10. CEO, conference (meeting)
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