Additional Telephone Conversations
Дополнительные телефонные разговоры
A Letter of Application
JOE: Peatley two-seven-one.(1)
BOB: Hello, is that you, Joe?
BOB: Bob here. How's things? (2)
JOE: Oh, hello, Bob. Fine. How are you?
BOB: OK. Listen, I've decided to apply for that job I was telling you about. You remember?
JOE: Yes. I remember. What was it, a car factory?
BOB: No, light engineering. Rather like that place I was at in Leeds.
JOE: Oh yes, of course. Light engineering. I remember now. And it was for a manager, wasn't it?
BOB: Yes. Personnel Manager.
JOE: Very nice too. Do you feel optimistic about it?
BOB: Well, I wouldn't say I exactly feel optimistic, but at least my training and experience have put me in with a chance. (3) So perhaps I could say I feel reasonably optimistic about getting short-listed. (4) But the interview - that's different.
JOE: Why, for goodness sake? (5) You're not scared of interviews, are you?
BOB: No, I'm not scared of them, but I don't feel at my best in interviews. Not when I'm on the receiving end, (6) that is. I suppose I spend so much of my time interviewing other people that I feel off balance when I'm in the hot seat (7) myself.
JOE: Oh, I shouldn't worry too much about it if I were you. (8) As you say, the job is absolutely made for you. I shouldn't think they'll get many applicants with your qualifications. (9)
BOB: Well, we'll see.
JOE: Yes. You're bound to get an interview. What's the pay like incidentally?
BOB: Oh, the pay's good. Nearly twice what I'm getting now.
BOB: But then it is in London, and the rates tend to be a lot higher there, anyway.
JOE: Yes, but even so, it'll make a big difference if you get it. You'll be loaded! (10)
BOB: Well, I don't know about loaded. I should need a damned sight more than twice my present wages to be loaded.
JOE: Was the money the main reason for applying?
BOB: One of the reasons. Probably, not the main reason.
JOE: What was that then?
BOB: Well, I don't know, it's just that I... well, I like working at Yorkshire Engineering, but I'd like more scope (11) for putting a few ideas into practice. You know, old Billings (12) is all right, he's very understanding and pleasant to work for and all that.
BOB: And he'd never do anyone a bad turn, (13) but...
JOE: He's a stick-in-the-mud. (14)
BOB: Well, no, not exactly, but he's very slow to respond to new ideas. He will accept changes, but it takes him so long to come round to a new idea that by the time he's trying it out it's not new any longer.
JOE: And that doesn't suit you.
BOB: Well, it doesn't really bother me, but, I mean, you've got to move with the times (15) these days or you're soon left behind.
JOE: Too true. (16)
BOB: So, anyway, I thought I'd have a bash. (17)
JOE: Good for you. (18) I hope you fed (19) them all that guff (20) about your qualifications and experience in your application.
BOB: Oh yes, of course.
JOE: But you didn't lay it on too thick, (21) did you? They can go off (22) if you make yourself sound too good, you know.
BOB: Well, I don't think I did. I just tried to be factual and emphasize the most important points.
JOE: I bet you'll cake walk it. (23) I'll keep my fingers crossed (24) for you, at any rate.
BOB: Thanks, I'll need it.
JOE: But what about the prospect of going South? Does that bother you at all?
BOB: Well, I know it's got its disadvantages. Housing's very expensive and travelling in the rush hour can be a bit of a bind. (25) But no doubt it's got its compensations, too, and if you want to get on you've got to be prepared to move around, haven't you?
JOE: Well, that's true. But you've always lived in Yorkshire and you'll find things very different in London. No more Sunday mornings on the moors. (26)
BOB: Hey, steady on! (27) I haven't got the job yet.
JOE: No, but if you do get it you won't be able to pop out (28) of the back door and run up a mountain.
BOB: True. That is something that I'd miss. That's one thing about these parts - you're never very far from some real country. Still, I suppose I could get used to country lanes in the Home Counties (29) if I had to.
JOE: Ugh! You don't call that walking, do you?
BOB: Well, no, not really, but .you can't have everything, so I'd have to amuse myself in other ways. They do have a few more theatres and museums than we do, you know.
JOE: You'll get fat, middle-aged and civilized. What a fate.
BOB: I'll have to ring off now. I've got one or two things to do before I turn in. (30)
JOE: OK. But don't forget to let me know if you get an interview.
BOB: I will. Cheerio.
JOE: Cheerio, Bob. Thanks for ringing.
- Peatley two-seven-one - although more and more telephone exchanges in Britain are being converted to all-figure numbers, some are still identified by a name
- How's things - a colloquial variant of How are you
- have put me in with a chance - have given me a chance
- short-listed - placed on the short list of people who are selected from all the other applicants and given an interview
- for goodness sake - a mild exclamation often used to express varying degrees of exasperation
- on the receiving end - in the position of receiving something
- in the hot seat - a colloquial metaphor used of any uncomfortable situation
- I shouldn't worry too much about it if I were you - this sentence, or something very much like it, is used so often in these circumstances that it amounts almost to a fixed phrase
- with your qualifications - the sense is that there are unlikely to be many applicants "with such good qualifications", rather than "with the same qualifications"
- loaded - loaded with money - a colloquialism
- scope - opportunity
- old Billings - a common informal way of referring to people, especially men. The adjective old does not necessarily carry its normal sense, and its use in this way often implies a measure of affection.
- do anyone a bad turn - harm anyone
- a stick-in-the-mud - someone lacking in enterprise and averse to change. It is a classic English "idiom" which used to be collected in phrase books; and it sounds rather odd and a little old-fashioned as so many phrase-book idioms do, probably because they are not used very much nowadays. The most famous of all is perhaps "It's raining cats and dogs" which no Englishman would ever be likely to say any longer unless he was trying to be funny.
- move with the times - keep pace with current thinking. Another idiom that to some people might sound a little old-fashioned.
- Too true - an emphatic way of agreeing
- have a bash - have a try
- Good for you - a common way of expressing approval of someone's action " fed - gave
- guff - a colloquialism for information, often used with the implication of irrelevance
- lay it on too thick - exaggerate
- go off - take a disliking to
- cake walk it - the sense here is "get the job easily". A cake walk is a simple undertaking.
- keep my fingers crossed - the reference is to the traditional belief that crossing one's fingers is a way of guarding against bad luck
- a bit of a bind - a nuisance
- the moors - охотничье угодье (there are a great deal of open moorland in Yorkshire within easy reach of the large towns, and Sunday mornings walks there are popular)
- steady on - a means of asking someone to be slower or more cautious in their behaviour or statements
- pop out - go out
- the Home Counties - the counties adjacent to London
- turn in - go to bed