You are on page 1of 197

ICA ENGLISH

MAESTRO

TRAINER’S MANUAL

Welcome to ICA English

1
If you’re holding this document in your hands, it’s because you’ve been selected to undergo
training to become an ICA English Trainer. Please read the information contained here carefully,
it is meant to give you a better sense of what ICA English expects of you and how you’ll fulfill
the expectations of your students.

Requisites of an ICA English Trainer

Knowledge
An ICA English trainer:
➢ knows the course well.
➢ knows the material backwards and forwards.
➢ knows why every right answer is right and every wrong answer is wrong to every
question in every book.

This training is designed to give you all the tools to become an expert in the course; actually
achieving the expertise will take time, dedication, and energy on your part. And that too is what
we expect from our trainers.

Empathy
An ICA English trainer
➢ cares about his/her students. Your efforts will help learners achieve their goals and
dreams.
➢ worries and frets and tries to figure out what can be done to improve a learner’s
performance.
➢ doesn’t wait for a learner to ask for help if it’s obvious that extra help is needed.
➢ is available to learners during the working hours.
➢ is disappointed when learners don’t do well and exhilarated when they do well.
➢ tries to instill confidence and dispel anxiety.
➢ provides learners a positive experience.

Entertainment
An ICA English trainer:
➢ doesn’t just train, he/she entertains too.
➢ makes the learners laugh.
➢ is full of energy and humour.
➢ is flexible and ready to improvise.
➢ notices when a class is dragging and takes a moment to lighten things up.

Uniqueness
An ICA English trainer
➢ is different from other teachers
➢ is the smart, cool, older sibling
➢ breaks mindsets about learning, by making learning fun.
➢ Makes learners behave in class because they want to, not because they have to.
Motivation
The ICA English trainer:
➢ is also a cheerleader
➢ wheedles and cajoles, pushes and supports

2
➢ doesn’t wait for learners (who are shy) to ask questions they may never ask
➢ does whatever it takes to motivate the learners

Learners are responsible for learning, but you, as the trainer are responsible for motivating them
to learn, for laying out a plan of attack, for helping them develop their best strategy, for
facilitating the educational process. You’re responsible for helping them identify, isolate,
conquer and compensate for their weaknesses.

What does the Maestro course consist of?

This course is spread over 35 sessions of 90 minutes duration, with five tests interspersed. Each
session comprises classroom interaction of 45 minutes, followed by DLL practice of 45 minutes.
The first five sessions are a primer in grammar with lots of exercises. Sessions 6-35 follow the
following scheme:
1. A narration and role play of a common office situation
2. Analysis of the case therein
3. Meanings explained
4. Pronunciation and spelling of important words
5. Question and answers
6. Grammar Practice
7. Vocabulary building
8. Idioms and phrases

How are these components to be taught?

Maestro Session 1

3
Grammar Revision

Verbs and Tenses

As you may be aware, the present tense describes a habitual action, the past tense describes a
past action, and the present continuous tense describes an action that is going on at the moment
of speaking. The uses of the present perfect tense will be described later. Let us first look at the
different forms of verbs.
Verbs have different forms for different tenses. E.g.
I work long hours. (simple present tense) Meaning – it is a habit, a customary occurrence.
I worked long hours. (simple past tense) Meaning – action completed in the past, not right now.
I am working long hours. (present continuous tense) Meaning – action is going on at present.
I have worked long hours. (present perfect tense) Meaning – I have done this in my life up to
now.

You may observe that the form or spelling of the past tense verb and present perfect tense verb is
the same - ‘worked’. This is because ‘work’ is a regular verb. In regular verbs, the form of the
past tense and the past participle (as it is known) is the same.

When do we use the past participle?

• All perfect tenses use the following structure – have/has/had+past participle.
E.g. I have completed the report.
The man has eaten almost everything.
Anil had torn the agreement before I could stop him.
The train will have left the station by the time I reach.

• The past participle of verbs is also used in passive sentences. E.g.
The book is torn.
It is said that honesty is the best policy.
This work is completed by the accounts department.
His finger is cut.

Verbs can be regular or irregular. Regular verbs form their past tense and perfect tenses (past
participle) by adding –ed to the base form. Look at the table below:

Base form Past tense Past Participle
Walk Walked Walked
Laugh Laughed Laughed
Paint Painted Painted
Dance Danced Danced
Cultivate Cultivated Cultivated
Develop Developed Developed
Manage Managed Managed
Economise Economised Economised

4
Browse Browsed Browsed

Irregular verbs form their past tense and past participle in a different way from adding
–ed to the base form. In fact there are three types of irregular verbs:
A) those in which all three forms are the same (cut – cut – cut)
B) those in which two of the three forms are the same (sit – sat – sat)
C) those in which all three forms are different (ring – rang – rung)
Let’s look at an example for each:

A) All forms the same
a) I cut the apple (always)
b) I cut the apple (yesterday)
c) I have cut the apple (task accomplished)

B) Two forms the same
a) I sit for a long time
b) I sat for a long time
c) I have sat for a long time

C) all three forms different
a) I ring the bell
b) I rang the bell
c) I have rung the bell

Below is a list of irregular verbs according to the Types A, B, and C. Some of them can also be
regular. In such cases the regular forms are also given.

Type A- all forms the same

Base form Past Tense Past Participle
bet bet bet
burst burst burst
cost cost cost
cut cut cut
hit hit hit
hurt hurt hurt
let let let
put put put
read read read
set set set
shut shut shut
split split split
spread spread spread

Type B – two forms the same

5
Base Form Past Tense Past Participle
beat beat beaten
become became become
bend bent bent
bleed bled bled
breed bred bred
bring brought brought
build built built
burn burnt/burned burnt/burned
buy bought bought
catch caught caught
come came came
creep crept crept
deal dealt dealt
dig dug dug
dream dreamt/dreamed dreamt/dreamed
feed fed fed
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
get got got (American – gotten)
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hold held held
keep kept kept
lay laid laid
lead led led
lean lent/leaned lent/leaned
learn learnt/learned learnt/learned
leap lept/leaped lept/leaped
leave left left
lend lent lent
light lit lit
lose lost lost
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
pay paid paid
run ran run
say said said
sell sold sold
send sent sent
shine shone shone
shoot shot shot
sit sat sat

6
sleep slept slept
smell smelt/smelled smelt/smelled
spell spelt/spelled spelt/spelled
spend spent spent
spill spilt spilt
speed sped sped
spit spat spat
spoil spoilt/spoiled spoilt/spoiled
stand stood stood
stick stuck stuck
sting stung stung
strike struck struck
sweep swept swept
swing swung swung
teach taught taught
tell told told
think thought thought
understand understood understood
win won won
wind wound wound

Type C – all three forms different

Base Form Past Tense Past Participle
be Was/were been
begin began begun
bite bit bitten
blow blew blown
break broke broken
choose chose chosen
do did done
draw drew drawn
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
fly flew flown
forbid forbade forbidden
forget forgot forgotten
forgive forgave forgiven
freeze froze frozen
give gave given
go went gone
grow grew grown
hide hid hidden
7
know knew known
lie lay lain
mistake mistook mistaken
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
see saw seen
sew sewed sewn
shake shook shaken
show showed shown
shrink shrank shrunk
sing sang sung
sink sank sunk
speak spoke spoken
spring sprang sprung
steal stole stolen
stink stank stunk
swear swore sworn
swim swam swum
take took taken
tear tore torn
throw threw thrown
wake woke woken
wear wore worn
write wrote written

Exercise with answers in bold: Fill in the Past Tense or Past Participle of the verbs given in
brackets to complete the following sentences:

1. My patience _________ out at last. The fabric has _______ away with use. (wear)
wore/worn
2. In a fit of rage she ________ up the letter. The country is _______ with conflict. (tear)
tore/torn
3. He has been ______ by a scorpion. The remark ______ him. (sting) stung/stung
4. You look as if you had _____ all the way home. He ______ for his life. (run) run/ran
5. Computer technology has ________ a long way since the 1970s. (come) come
6. The boy has ________ across the English Channel. He _________ well. (swim)
swum/swam
7. I think he ________ to us. Honesty is _________ on his face. (write) wrote/written
8. He ____ the book on the table. He had not ________ a finger on him.(lay) laid/laid

8
9. Recently the price of sugar has _______ up. The verdict _______ against him. (go)
gone/went

10. He had __________ his speech before we arrived. He ________ to talk nonsense. (begin)
begun/began

11. Has the warning bell _______? I _____ him up last night.(ring) rung/rang

12. Someone has ____________ my watch. She _____ his heart. (steal) stolen/stole

13. He was much _________ by the news. His voice ________ as he spoke. (shake)
shaken/shook

14. Has Anita _____ you her camera? She _________ some photographs.(show)
shown/showed

15. I was _________ by a stone. It never _______ me before that he was old. (strike)
struck/struck

16. I found upon enquiry that I had _______the house. He ______ me for my brother.
(mistake) mistaken/mistook

17. He has ________ from the ranks. He proved himself and _______ to the position of
General Manager. (rise) risen/rose

18. He ________ his rival in the semi-final match. It was not the only battle in which they
were ______. (beat) beat/beaten

19. The faithful dog ______ his blind master.(lead) led

20. He has ______ his collar bone. (break) broken

Activity 1
ARM exercises - speaking activity to wake up a sleepy class
This is a great way to start a lesson with a free speaking activity. I call it ‘ARM exercises’ which
is simply short for Accept, Reject or Modify statements.

Choose a controversial statement. For example:-

1. ‘Women are the best drivers’
1. ‘Mobile phones should be banned from public spaces’
1. ‘Homework should be optional’
1. ‘Burgers are better than pizzas’

9
Either dictate or write the statement on the board. Students decide if they accept, reject or modify
this statement, according to their personal opinion. When they have made their decision, you
would then say ‘OK go round the room and try to find somebody who has the opposite opinion
to you’ or ‘OK go round the room and find someone who has a similar opinion’. Alternatively,
they could mingle in the class to find the range of opinions, like a small survey – how many
students accepted, rejected, or modified the statement.

This activity can really stimulate discussion and the focus is very much on the students rather
than the teacher.

To round of the activity, finish with a short whole class feedback stage.

Maestro Session 2

Comparison of Adjectives
Adjectives are words that describe the quality or quantity of persons, animals, places or things.
E.g.
Swimming is a healthy pastime.
The victory was decisive.
This place has historic importance.
There are several mistakes in this document.

But sometimes we need to compare the quality or quantity of two or more things, places, animals
or persons. In that case how do we express it? Consider the following:
Swimming is a healthier pastime than watching movies.
Swimming is the healthiest pastime of the available ones in the institute.
The victory was more decisive than the one in Delhi.
The victory was the most decisive of all.
‘Healthier’ and ‘more decisive’ are comparative forms of adjectives; they are used when the
comparison is between two things or entities. ‘Healthiest’ and ‘most decisive’ are the
superlative forms of adjectives; they are used when the best of three or more things or entities is
to be indicated.

10
In comparative forms, the –er ending is used for short adjectives (eg. Cheap, fast, large, thin etc);
in case of long adjectives, the word ‘more’ is used before the adjective (modern, serious,
expensive, comfortable, etc.).
Similarly in superlative forms, the –est ending is used for short adjectives, and ‘most’ is used
before the long adjectives.
The following is a list of adjectives that do not form their comparatives and superlatives by
adding the above-mentioned words and endings.
Positive Comparative Superlative
Good, well Better Best
Bad, evil, ill Worse Worst
Little Less, lesser Least
Much More Most
Many More most
Late Later, latter Latest, last
Old Older, elder Oldest, eldest
Far Farther Farthest
In Inner Innermost
Up Upper Uppermost
Out Outer outermost

Exercise 1 with answers in bold: Complete the sentences using adjectives with –er, -est, more,
or most.
1. It’s too noisy here. Can we go somewhere -------------------? (quiet) quieter
2. The hotel was surprisingly cheap. I expected it to be --------------. (expensive) more
expensive
3. It was an awful day. It was the -------- day of my life. (bad) worst
4. I prefer this chair to the other one. It’s ----------. (comfortable) more comfortable
5. What’s the ---------- way of getting from here to the station? (quick) quickest

Exercise 2 with probable answers: Complete the sentences using the appropriate form of
adjectives.
1. My job is a bit boring sometimes. I’d like to do something --------------------more
interesting
2. It’s a very valuable painting; it’s the -------- in the gallery. best
3. What is the ----------- sport in your country? most popular
4. You’re standing too close to the camera. Can you move a bit --------- away?
Farther/further
5. There were a lot of people on the bus. It was ----------- than usual. More crowded

Exercise 3 with answers: Read the following situations and complete the incomplete sentences
using the comparative forms of adjectives. The first one is done for you.
1. Yesterday the temperature was nine degrees. Today it’s only six degrees.
Ans: It’s colder today than it was yesterday.
2. The journey takes four hours by car and five hours by train.
It takes----------------------------------------------------- longer by train than by car.

11
3. You can go by bus or by train. The buses run every 30 minutes. The trains run every
hour.
The buses ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ are
more frequent than the trains
4. We were very busy at work today. We’re not usually as busy as that.
We -------------------------------------------------------------------------- were busier than
usual.

Exercise 4 with probable answers in bold: Compare the given words for each sentence with
the help of the adjectives given below, to write sentences of your own. Follow the samples given:

List of adjectives:

interesting, important, fragrant, skillful, expensive, dangerous, nervous, spectacular

1. Rose, orchid: A rose is more fragrant than an orchid.
2. Juggling, lion taming, the trapeze: Lion taming is the most spectacular of the three acts.
OR Lion taming is more spectacular than juggling or the trapeze.
3. Mountain climbing, parachuting, hunting: Hunting is the least dangerous of the three
sports/ as compared to mountain climbing and parachuting.
4. Cleaning your teeth, brushing your hair, exercising: Exercising is as important as
cleaning your teeth or brushing your hair.
5. The dentist, a savage dog: A savage dog makes me more nervous than a dentist
does.OR The dentist makes me as nervous as does a savage dog.
6. Football players, pianists, sculptors: Football players are as skillful as pianists and
sculptors.
7. Books about stamps, books about history, books about explorers: He finds books about
explorers more interesting than books about stamps and history.
8. A bicycle, a skipping rope: A bicycle is more expensive than a skipping rope.

Activity 2
Hot seat
This is a good activity for getting your students going in the morning. It is also excellent for
revising vocabulary.

1. First, split your class into different teams (two is best, but if you have a large class, any
number could be used).
1. Sit the students facing the board.
1. Then take an empty chair - one for each team - and put it at the front of the class, facing
the team members. These chairs are the 'hot seats'

12
1. Then get one member from each team to come up and sit in that chair, so they are facing
their team-mates and have their back to the board.
1. As the teacher, have a list of vocabulary items that you want to use in this game.
1. Take the first word from that list and write it clearly on the board.
1. The aim of the game is for the students in the teams to describe that word, using
synonyms, antonyms, definitions etc. to their team mate who is in the hot seat - that person can't
see the word!
1. The student in the hot seat listens to their team mates and tries to guess the word.
1. The first hot seat student to say the word wins a point for their team.
1. Then change the students over, with a new member of each team taking their place in
their team's hot seat.
1. Then write the next word…

This is a very lively activity and can be adapted to different class sizes. If you have many teams,
perhaps some teams wait to play. Or if the team sizes are large, you can restrict how many team
members do the describing. Have fun!

Maestro Session 3

Present Continuous Tense

The present continuous tense is used for an action going on at the time of speaking. E.g. The
boys are playing hockey.
An important thing to note here is that the following verbs, on account of their meaning, are not
normally used in the continuous form:
a) verbs of perception : see, hear, smell, notice, recognise, taste
b) verbs of appearing: appear, seem, look
c) verbs of emotion: want, wish, desire, feel, like, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer
d) verbs of thinking: think, suppose, believe, agree, consider, trust, remember, forget, know,
understand, imagine, mean, mind.
e) Have (=possess), own, possess, belong to, contain, consist of

13
Wrong Right
This soup is tasting good This soup tastes good
I am thinking we must go I think we must go
He is seeming upset He seems upset
I am preferring tea I prefer tea
She is possessing a license I possess a license
The boy is having a cell phone The boy has a cell phone

However, the verbs given above have other meanings in other contexts; in those meanings they
can be used in the continuous tense. E.g.
They are having lunch. (have = eat)
I am thinking of going to Malaysia. (think of = consider the idea of)
The chef is tasting the soup to see if it needs more salt. (taste = test the flavour of)

Past Continuous Tense

This tense is used to denote an action going on at some time in the past. The time of the action
may or may not be indicated. E.g. We were listening to the radio all evening.
It was getting darker.
The light went out while I was reading.
When I saw him, he was playing chess.
Notice that in the last two examples, the Past Continuous and Simple Past are used together
when a new action happened in the middle of a longer action. The Simple Past is used for the
new action.
This tense is also used with ‘always’, continually’, etc. for persistent habits in the past. E.g. He
was always grumbling.

Future Continuous Tense

a) We use this tense to talk about actions which will be in progress at a time in the future. E.g. I
suppose it will be raining when we start.
This time tomorrow I will be sitting on the beach in Singapore.
“Can I see you at 5 o’clock?” – “Please don’t come then. I will be watching the tennis match on
TV.”
b) we also use this tense to talk about actions in the future which are already planned or which
are expected to happen in the normal course of things. E.g. I will be staying there till Saturday.
The postman will be coming soon.

Exercise with answers in italics:
1. Choose the correct verb form from those in brackets:
a) She _________ worried about something. (looks, is looking, look) looks
b) I ___________ a strange noise. (hear, am hearing, hears) hear
c) Don’t disturb me. I _________ my homework. (do, did, am doing) am doing
d) Ashok fell off the ladder when he _________ the roof. (is mending, was mending,
mended) was mending

14
e) I ________ you one of these days, I hope. (see, will have seen, will be seeing)
will be seeing
f) I ________ your house tomorrow, on my way back home from work. (will be
passing, am passing, was passing) will be passing

2. Choose the correct form of the verb for each sentence:
a) When I get home, my dog will be sitting/is sitting/was sitting at the gate waiting
for me. Will be sitting
b) Look! The sun rises/is rising/will be rising over the hills. is rising
c) She jumped off the bus while it is moving/was moving/ will be moving. was
moving
d) John was criticising/is criticising/will be criticising my work when I noticed his
mistakes. was criticising
e) I was expecting/am expecting/will be expecting a call from my aunt this evening.
am expecting
f) By 2020, robots are taking/will be taking/were taking over many of the jobs that
people do today. will be taking

3. Write three sentences in the present continuous tense, using each of the following words:
meditating, harvesting, operating
Ans:
The master cannot be disturbed as he is meditating.
The farmers are harvesting the crops.
The surgeon is operating on the cancer patient.

4. Write three sentences in the past continuous tense, using each of the following words:
developing, damaging, supporting
Ans:
He had to wait as the photographer was developing the film.
The damp weather was damaging the crop.
The agitators were supporting the opposition party.
5. Write three sentences in the future continuous tense, using each of the following words:
touring, cultivating, emphasizing
Ans:
The Prime Minister will be touring Mexico next month.
The farmers will be cultivating mushrooms in their spare time.
I shall be emphasizing the importance of conservation in my presentation.

Activity 3

Games for question practice 2
An essential skill in communicating and keeping up a conversation is the ability to ask questions.
Students sometimes get lots of chances to answer questions but here is how you can get them to
make some questions themselves! These activities can be used with a whole range of levels.
15
Guess the object

1. Divide class into groups. Each group makes a list of three or four objects. Focus on words
recently studied, words for objects in the room or words for objects related to a topic e.g. home,
studying, music etc.
1. One group must guess the objects of another group by asking questions e.g. 'Is it made of
metal? Can you find one in this room? Is it bigger than this table?'
1. Set a limit to the number of questions possible for each object (e.g. six to eight
questions).
1. Give a point to the team if the object is not guessed/guessed within the number of
questions allowed.
1. Guide students by providing the lists of objects yourself or focussing on specific question
types to suit your classes.

Maestro Session 4

Present Perfect Tense

This tense is made up of two words: have/has + past participle.
e.g. Regular verb
I have applied for the job
You have applied for the job
He/she has applied for the job
They have applied for the job.

Irregular verbs
Type A
The news has spread
Type B
He has paid off all his debts.
Type C
The company has risen from a slump.

When should we use the present perfect tense? In the following situations:
a) to talk about events or activities that are recently completed. E.g.
I have just prepared the slides. (Words such as ‘just’, ‘already’ and ‘recently’ are used in
this function)
**Compare this with – I prepared the slides yesterday. This is a simple past sentence that
indicates an action completed in the past, not the immediate or recent past. Generally

16
simple past tenses are accompanied by words or phrases indicating time – such as:
yesterday, a week ago, last year etc.

b) to talk about past actions whose time is unspecified. E.g.
Have you read the company’s annual report?
**Compare this with – Did you read the company’s annual report in the morning? This is
a simple past sentence that talks of a specified time (‘in the morning’) and not an
unspecified time.

c) to talk about something that began in the past but still has an effect now. E.g.
I have lived in Singapore for seven years. (and I still live there)
I have waited since three o’clock for you to come. (and I am still waiting)
(words such as ‘since’ and ‘for’ are used in this function)
**Compare this with – I lived in Singapore for seven years. This is a simple past sentence
that means ‘I don’t live there any more.’

Present Perfect Continuous Tense
This tense is used for an action which began at some time in the past and is still continuing. E.g.
He has been writing for three hours. (and is still writing)
They have been building the bridge for several months.
They have been playing since four o’clock.

Exercises with answers:
1. Choose the correct tense:
a) He departed/has departed for Japan this morning. departed
b) Joy has worked/worked for his uncle for a few years now. has worked
c) Ajay worked/has been working here for the last five years. has been working
d) You must apologise to her. You have hurt/hurt her feelings. have hurt
e) Please hurry! The interviews began/have begun. have begun.
f) The men collected/ have collected the funds last week. collected/
g) I am studying/have been studying English for five years. have been studying

2. Read the advertisement below and underline all the present perfect tense verbs.

Student required for part-time gardening work
A family who has lived in the Range Hills area for twenty years, requires the services of a strong,
enthusiastic student who likes gardening. The owner of the garden has had an accident. Someone
who has studied horticulture is preferred, as the owner has planted many exotic and rare plants
that need special care. The pay will be Rs. 20 per hour, but applicants who have had experience
in caring for exotic plants may be paid higher.
Please call 25436778, if you are interested.

17
3. Jay has applied for the advertised job in Exercise 2, and Mr. Bhatia is interviewing
him. Complete the interview with suitable present perfect or present perfect
continuous forms of the verbs given in the box. The first one has been done for you.

Choose be work have
Convince want show start

Mr. Bhatia: Hello Jay, I am Suraj Bhatia. As you know I need a hand with my
garden. You seem very young. (1) Have you worked as a gardener
before?

Jay: No but I (2) ___________ an interest in gardening since
childhood.

Mr. Bhatia: What got you interested in plants?

Jay: My grandfather loves gardening and he (3)
________________ me how to look after many kinds of orchids. I
love exotic plants too. That’s why I (4) ____________ to study
horticulture, instead of biology.

Mr. Bhatia: How long have you been studying horticulture then?

Jay: I (5) __________ just ______________
university and so (6) __________ on the course for only about
three months.

Mr. Bhatia: What made you apply for this job? What are your plans for the
future?

Jay: I (7) _________ always _____________ to
work at a large botanical garden and I thought this work would
give me some practical experience.

Mr. Bhatia: Well, Jay, you (8) _____ _________ me that you are the person
I’m looking for. I will start you on Rs.20 an hour and after you
have worked for me for a couple of months, I’ll review your salary.

Answers:

2. have had
3. has been showing
4. have chosen
5. have (just) started
6. have been

18
7. have(always) wanted
8. have convinced

4. Read the following sentences and write what you think has happened. Use the present
perfect tense and the adverb given in brackets in your answer. A possible answer is
provided for the first one as an example.

a) The floor is wet. (just)
Ans: The maid has just mopped it.

b) The dishes are dirty and the table is covered in crumbs. (just)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ans: The family has just had breakfast.

c) The new neighbours are unpacking the cartons of books and clothes. (already)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ans: The new neighbours have already arrived.

d) Thousands of villagers are left homeless and are in urgent need of medical aid
and food. (recently)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ans: A flood has recently occurred in West Bengal.

e) Mr. Sharma is afraid of travelling and never leaves the country. (always)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ans: Mr. Sharma has always been afraid of travelling.

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is expressed by two words: had + past participle
e.g. The man had left the office by the time the squad arrived.

When should we use the past perfect tense? In the following situations:
a) to talk about an event or action that was completed before another past event. It is
common to use words such as ‘before’, ‘when’ and ‘after’. E.g. She had worked in Japan
before she moved to Singapore.
b) To refer to an earlier time in the past. When you talk about a time in the past, you use the
simple past tense, but if you want to refer to a time even earlier that that time, you use the
past perfect. E.g. All the crops were ruined by the time the rains had arrived. (‘were
ruined’ is the event that happened first and hence uses the simple past tense; ‘had arrived’
is the later event and uses the past perfect tense)

19
c) With the conditional ‘if’ to show that something didn’t happen. Conditional sentences
usually include ‘could have’, ‘would have’ or ‘might have’. E.g. If I had known you were
coming, I would have baked a cake.

Exercises with answers:
1. Underline all the past perfect verbs in the following passage:
Paresh and Naresh had become best friends as soon as they had enrolled at the business
school. Paresh had travelled from Allahabad with his family and Naresh had arrived from
Nagpur. Both of their fathers had moved to Singapore, so the boys had been forced to
leave their cities and move with their families. They had been very nervous on the first
day, until they met each other in the canteen. Since that day, they had caught the same
train to school and had studied together every day.

2. Put the verbs, shown in brackets, into the past perfect form:
a) Before I could open the umbrella, it _________ ________ (start) to rain. had
started
b) By 7.00 pm, Dolly _______ _________ (eat) her dinner and left the restaurant.
Had eaten
c) They were ushered to their seats after they __________ _______ (show) their
tickets. Had shown
d) I bought the new jeans after I _________ __________ (try) them on for size. Had
tried
e) The pod of dolphins _________ ___________ (swim) away by the time the
Greenpeace boat reached the oil slick. Had swum

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

This tense is used for an action that began before a certain point in the past and continued up to
that time. E.g.
At that time he had been writing a novel for two months.
When I met him, Mr. Mukherji had been suffering from cancer for four years.

Exercise: Complete the sentences using the past perfect continuous tense.
a) At fifty, he ______________________ for 20 years. Had been investing
b) Before the island got independence, it _______________ for a decade. Had been
struggling
c) I ______________________ on the project for two months when I was asked to
abandon it. Had been working

1. Complete these sentences from newspaper articles using the past perfect tense form of the
verbs in the box and other suitable words:

Engulf return clear cause embezzle
Sustain collide strike reach break into

20
a) Eye witnesses reported that the two vehicles……………………………….
Ans: had collided on the expressway.
b) It was Thursday, before relatives of the victim noticed that he ……………..
Ans: had sustained injuries
c) The thief confessed that he …………………………………
Ans: had broken into
d) Parliament resumed today after the Prime Minister ………………………
Ans: had reached a compromise
e) Farmers reported that heavy rainfall ………………………………..
Ans: had caused damage to the crops.
f) Within an hour, the jury ………………………………………..
Ans: had cleared the accused of the charges.
g) By the time the fire fighters arrived, the flames …………………….
Ans: had engulfed the whole building.
h) The extent of the damage could be seen after the smoke …………………..
Ans: had cleared.
i) An oil tanker sank off the Alaskan coast after it ………………………..
Ans: struck an iceberg.
j) The accountant stood in the dock and admitted that he …………………
Ans: had embezzled 50,000 rupees.

Activity 4
Predicting language for context
This simple activity encourages students to predict language for situations before they listen. Its
main use is in listening skills development.

1. Choose a lexical group, such as feelings, locations/places, types of people, jobs.
2.
3. For example:-
1. Locations / places - A bank, a petrol station, a school, a hospital…
2. Jobs - A doctor, a shop assistant, a bus conductor, an office worker…
3. Feelings - Happy, excited, sad, disappointed, bored, fascinated…
1. Place the students in small groups. Put each word on a separate piece of paper and put
them in a pile for each group, face down.
1. A student takes a slip of paper and says something that would be spoken in the context
given by the piece of paper. The other students have to guess the context.

21
1. For example, a student picks the word 'doctor' and says, 'I'll give you these, and you
need to take them twice a day, before meals.' The other students shout out the word 'doctor'. The
fastest wins a point. The next student draws a card…

You could use more than one context at a time, but be sure the students know which lexical sets
are in use.

Once students are used to this kind of work, you should find that pre listening tasks such as
'Predicting the language used in an argument between a parent and a teenager' are more fruitful.

Maestro Session 5

Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used to talk about actions that will be completed by a certain future
time. E.g.
I shall have written three pages by then.
He will have left before you go to ask him.
By the end of this month I will have worked here for five years.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

This tense is used for actions which will be in progress over a period of time that will end in the
future. E.g.
By next March, we shall have been living here for four years.
I shall have been teaching for twenty years next July.
This tense is not very commonly used.

Exercise with answers:
1. Fill in the blanks with the future perfect tense or future perfect continuous tense of the
verbs in brackets:
a) The child _________________________ ( complete) two years of his life this December.
will have completed
b) By 14th July next year, I _____________________ (work) in this college for 20 years.
Will have been working
c) When you retire, you _______________ (add) more feathers to your cap. Will have
added
d) In the next Olympics, Chinese players ________________ (dominate) the table tennis
arena for four decades. will have been dominating
e) The newspaper vendor ____________________ (leave) by the time you wake up. Will
have left

22
1. Construct three sentences in the future perfect tense using the following phrases:
------------ by then.
------------before you -------
------------------------- for five years.

Answers:
a) I will have reached the NH14 by then.
b) I will have boarded the flight before you arrive at the airport.
c) By this June, I will have played billiards for five years.

1. Construct three sentences in the future perfect continuous tense using the following
phrases:
By next year----------
----------------- in 2009.
By the time he comes --------------

Answers:
a) By next year I will have been participating in this contest for a decade.
b) I shall have been flying for ten years in 2009.
c) By the time he comes, I will have been gardening for two hours.

Direct and Indirect speech

When we report a conversation to someone, we may do it in two ways:
We may quote the actual words – He said, “I am feeling sad today”. (Direct speech)
OR
We may report what he said without quoting the exact words – He said that he was feeling sad
that day. (Indirect speech or reported speech)

Notice the following changes in the two ways given above:
a) The conjunction ‘that’ has been added to the indirect sentence.
b) The pronoun ‘I’ in the direct sentence has been changed to ‘he’ in the indirect sentence
(after ‘that’).
c) The present continuous verb ‘am feeling’ is changed to the past continuous ‘was feeling’.
d) The adverb ‘today’ is changed to the adverb phrase ‘that day’.
e) The inverted commas of the direct sentence are removed in the indirect sentence.

These changes occur because in reported speech we give the meaning of what was said rather
than the exact words. In reported speech we also use verbs such as announce, answer, explain,
mention, promise, reply, say, suggest, tell etc. instead of ‘say’. E.g.
➢ The girl said, “I promise you I’ll do it”.
➢ The girl assured/ promised him that she would do it.

23
Sometimes we also report thoughts instead of words. E.g.
➢ We think the meal was expensive.
➢ Nick knew Rita wanted to be with someone else.

Changes in reported speech
Changes from direct speech to reported speech depend on changes in the situation. We may have
to make changes when we are reporting something another person has said, or when we report it
in a different place or at a different time. Here are some typical changes:

Direct Indirect
Person: I he/she
my his/her

Place: here there/at the flat etc

Time: now then, at the time
today that day/on Monday etc
yesterday the day before, the previous day
tomorrow the next/following day, on Saturday etc.
this week that week
last week the week before, the previous week
an hour ago an hour before/earlier

When do we change the tense?

After a past tense verb (e.g. said) there is often a tense change. E.g.
Vicky said, “It really is cold today” = Vicky said it was really cold that day.

➢ If the statement is still up to date when we report it, then we have a choice. We can either
leave the tense the same, or we can change it.
You said you like/liked chocolate.
Asha told me her father owns/owned a racehorse.
Sarah said she is going/was going to Rome in April.

➢ If the statement is no longer up to date, then we change the tense. E.g.
Asha once told me that her father owned a racehorse. (he may no longer own one)
Sarah said she was going to Rome in April. (now it is May)
Now Sarah’s trip is over, so it is no longer true that she is going there.

➢ We usually change the tense if we think the statement is untrue or may be true. E.g
You said you liked chocolate, but you aren’t eating any.

➢ When the reporting verb (i.e. ‘said’) is in the past tense, all present tenses of the direct
(sentence in inverted commas) are changed into the corresponding Past Tenses. Thus:
○ Simple present becomes simple past – am unwell becomes was unwell
○ Present continuous becomes past continuous - is eating becomes was eating
○ Present perfect becomes past perfect – have eaten becomes had eaten

24
➢ The ‘will’ of the future tense is changed into ‘would’ or ‘should’ – will write becomes
would write
➢ The simple past in the direct becomes past perfect in the indirect. E.g. He said, “The
horse died in the night.” Indirect – He said that the horse had died in the night.
➢ If the reporting verb (outside the inverted commas) is in the present tense, the tenses of
the direct sentence do not change. E.g. He says, “I am unwell”. Indirect – He says he is
unwell.

Exercise: Change the following sentences from direct speech to indirect speech. The first one is
done for you:
1. When Jack heard about the holiday plans, he said, “I’m excited and happy.” = When Jack
heard about the holiday plans, he said that he was excited and happy.
2. “My computer is not working” said Ann.
Ans: Ann complained that her computer was not working.
3. “I feel sick”, said Peter.
Ans: Peter complained that he felt sick.
4. The salesman says, “This watch is very expensive.”
Ans: The salesman says that the watch is very expensive.
5. Mr. Chopra said, “I have been a lawyer for thirty years.”
Ans: Mr. Chopra said that he had been a lawyer for thirty years.
6. Lily said, “I shall visit the zoo tomorrow.”
Ans: Lily decided to visit the zoo the next day.

Reported Questions
A. Wh-questions
We can report questions with verbs like ask, wonder, or want to know.

DIRECT QUESTION REPORTED QUESTION
“When did you join, Malini?” Gaurav asked Malini when she had joined.
“What’s the time?’ I just asked what the time is.
“Which way is the post office?” Someone wants to know which way the post
office is.
“How can we find out?” I was wondering how we can find out.
“Where can we eat?” They’re asking where they can eat.

B. Yes / No questions
We can report yes/no questions with the addition of if or whether.

DIRECT QUESTION REPORTED QUESTION
‘Has the taxi arrived yet?’ No, not yet.
Someone was wondering if/whether the taxi
has arrived yet.
“Can we take photos?” Yes, of course. The visitors want to know if/whether they
can take photos.
Is there a café nearby? No. Danny asked if/whether there was a café
nearby.
“How much money have you got, Vicky?” I was wondering how much money Vicky
had?

25
“Does Nick need a lift?” Tom asked if Nick needed a lift.
“Can you type?” They asked me if I could type.

C. Word Order
In a reported question the subject comes before the verb, as in a statement.
Gaurav asked Malini when she had joined. (Not ‘when did she join’)
Someone was wondering whether the taxi has arrived yet. (Not wondering whether has
the taxi arrived yet)

Exercise: Vineet Kumar, CEO, is talking to a reporter about his business career. He can still
remember his first job interview after leaving college. The first two are done for you. Fill in the
rest.

Interviewer Vineet Kumar
1. “Where do you live?” The interviewer asked me where I lived.
2. “Have you worked before?” She asked me if I had worked before.
3. “Why do you want the job?” She wanted to know ………………..
4. “Can you work on Saturdays?” Then she asked me……………………
5. “How will you travel to work?” She wondered…………………………
6. “How much do you hope to earn?” She also asked…………………………
7. “When can you start?” And finally she asked…………………

Answers:
3. why I wanted the job.
4. if I could work on Saturdays.
5. how I would travel to work.
6. how much I hoped to earn.
7. when I could start.

Reported Orders and Requests
A. We can use the structure tell/ask someone to do something, in indirect requests or orders. E.g.
➢ “Please move this car.” = A policeman told me to move the car. OR A policeman told me
that I had to move the car.
➢ “You really must be careful” = She told him to be careful.
➢ “Would you mind turning the music down?” = We asked our neighbours to turn the
music down. OR We asked our neighbours if they would mind turning the music down.
➢ “You mustn’t leave the door unlocked.” = Mr. Agarwal told Anil not to leave the door
unlocked.
➢ “Please don’t wear those boots in the house”. = I asked you not to wear those boots in the
house.

B. We can also use the structure ask to do something.
➢ “Can I see your ticket, please?” = The inspector asked to see my ticket.

C. We use ask for when someone asks to have something.
➢ “Can I have some brochures, please?” = I asked (the travel agent) for some brochures.

26
Exercise with answers: Convert the given orders and requests into indirect speech. The first one
is done for you.
1. His mother: Can you park my car please, Ankit? = Ankit’s mother asked him to park her
car.
2. The doctor: You must take more exercise. = The doctor asked him to take more exercise.
3. His boss: Would you mind not playing computer games in the office? = His boss
requested him not to play computer games in the office.
4. A traffic policeman: You can’t take a right turn here.= A traffic policeman stopped him
from taking a right turn there.
5. Lara: Could you put some shelves up, please Rajesh? = Lara requested Rajesh to put
some shelves up.

Reported offers, suggestions

A. We can use agree, offer, promise, refuse and threaten with a to-infinitive (to+verb) E.g.
“We’ll pay for the damage”. = We offered to pay for the damage.
“I’ll definitely finish it by the end of next week.” = You promised to finish the work by the end
of this week.

B. We can also use an object + to-infinitive after advise, invite, remind and warn. E.g.

“I think you should take a taxi.” = Mark advised us to take a taxi.
“Don’t forget to ring me”. = I reminded Philip to ring me.

C. We can use an –ing form after admit, apologise for and suggest. E.g.

“I really must take rest.” = Esha insisted on taking rest.
“Shall we go to a restaurant?” = Karan suggested going to a restaurant.

Exercise: Find the most suitable match.

A B
Sarah invited Lara not to touch the wire
Tom agreed Vicky to post the letter.
Matthew advised that they sing a few songs.
Mike apologised Claire to stay for lunch.
Tom suggested Andrew to take a break.
Rachel reminded not to talk about football.
Mr. Atkins admitted for forgetting the shopping.
Tim warned that he made a mistake

Answers:
Sarah invited Claire to stay for lunch.
Tom agreed not to talk about football.
Matthew advised Andrew to take a break.
Mike apologized for forgetting the shopping.

27
Tom suggested that they sing a few songs.
Rachel reminded Vicky to post the letter.
Mr. Atkins admitted that he had made a mistake.
Tim warned Lara not to touch the wire.

Activity 5
The last time
This is a speaking exercise for pre- intermediate level learners and above. It revises time
references and past simple.

Example: ' When was the last time you were really happy?' - 'Two weeks ago - it was my
birthday'.

Target language here is flexible and depends on the level of your learners and your aims. They
can answer using a simple time reference + simple past, as above, or can develop their answer.

Example: 'The last time was actually last week, when I was … and…'.

Preparation
Prepare enough photocopies of the worksheet for each learner to have a one.

Procedure

1. Ask the learners when was the last time they missed a class. Elicit possible structures for
answers and highlight your own target language.
1. Hand out the questions and put the learners into pairs. Ask them to read the questions and
add 2 or 3 more of their own using the same structure.
1. Model the activity with one learner if necessary. Then ask them to ask and answer the
questions in pairs.
1. Monitor the class, help with any tricky vocabulary and listen for errors.
1. Elicit any interesting answers with the whole class once finished.
1. Ask learners to write a short description of their partner, possibly as homework. They can
also explain about their partner to others in the class

The last time

Read these questions and then complete the last three yourself.

28
1. When was the last time you did something new?
2. When was the last time you had fun?
3. When was the last time you were really sad?
4. When was the last time you went on holiday?
5. When was the last time you did something you really didn’t want to do?
6. When was the last time you took a photograph?
7. When was the last time you were in a special photograph?
8. When was the last time you did something that made you feel ashamed?
9. When was the last time you did your homework?
10. When was the last time you
11. When was the last time you
12. When was the last time you

Maestro Session 6

Listen and Reflect

The management assigned Suraj a project that he felt interfered with his success. Suraj did not
know why he was chosen for the project as it fell outside his competencies. He discussed the
problem with the supervisor.

Suraj: I appreciate your sparing time for me. I have an important matter which I need to bring to
your notice.
Supervisor: I wanted to meet you any way. You are most welcome to express your concern. I
have reserved thirty minutes for you. Is that enough?
Suraj: I think so. It is really a difference of opinion here.
Supervisor: On what?
Suraj: We all know that we are already behind schedule on our present project. I think we should
review what kind of work we take on and how we assign it.
Supervisor: Are you questioning my decisions?
Suraj: I’d like to make a few things clear from the start. One, I am neither blaming nor pointing a
finger at anyone. Two, I’d like to have your opinion about the division’s showing. Three, I am
offering a suggestion that you should consider and, four, my interest is in helping the
organisation.
Supervisor: Stop avoiding the issue Suraj. What is the cause of dispute?
Suraj: It is about the new project assigned to me. It is not related to my field of expertise.
I am busy with other projects and I want the new project to be assigned to someone else.
Supervisor: We do not have someone as good as you. You will have to accept the new project. It
will help you in impressing the management and getting a promotion.

Let’s summarise:
The supervisor assigned a new project to Suraj without realizing maybe that he was already on
another project. Suraj was not happy with this added responsibility; but the supervisor compelled
him to take it on.

29
A Solution

Suraj: I am currently busy on a project which needs my attention. The new project will have to
wait till the present project is over. I will need some time for transition to the new project. I will
have to choose an experienced team as I have no experience in the new project.
Supervisor: You should handle the project as it is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in a
new field. I will give you ample time to finish off the old project and I will speak to the
management to give you the freedom to choose your team.

Meanings:

Assign- give, allot, allocate
Competencies- skills, capabilities, proficiencies
Concern- worry, distress, anxiety
Expertise- skill, knowledge, proficiency
Management- executive administration
Organisation- company, firm
Project- job, assignment
Showing- performance
Target- aim, goal, objective
To impress- to get others’ admiration, make a favourable impression

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Appreciate
Assigned
Blaming
Chosen
Competencies
Concern
Decided
Decisions
Difference
Expertise
Impressing
Interfered
Management
Offering
Opinion
Organisation
Pointing
Project
Promotion
Questioning
Schedule
Suggestion

30
Supervisor
Targets
Welcome

Answer me:

1: Why was Suraj concerned about the project?
Ans: Suraj was concerned about the project because he felt that his job experience was not
suitable for the project. He did not have the right work experience to handle the project which
would hamper the progress of the project. A failure would have negative effect on his record and
future growth in the organisation.

2: How was the supervisor’s initial response?
Ans: The supervisor’s behaviour was arrogant. He responded as if he was doing a favour by
listening to Suraj’s complaint. The supervisor felt that Suraj was challenging his decisions. He
was in no mood to listen to Suraj’s complaint.

3: How did Suraj respond to the supervisor’s question?
Ans: Suraj was angry with the supervisor’s attitude. He bluntly pointed out that he was not
blaming anyone and that the supervisor should listen to his complaint as it is in the interest of the
organisation.

4: What was wrong with the supervisor’s suggestion?
Ans: The supervisor had said that working on the project will help Suraj in impressing the
management and getting a promotion. It was a wrong suggestion because the project would not
have helped Suraj as he was not experienced to manage the project. If the project would have
failed the company would have suffered.

5: Could the whole incident be handled in a better way?
Ans: The supervisor should have behaved in a friendly manner while talking to Suraj. He should
have assured Suraj that if he felt that he is not capable of managing the project he would reassign
it to someone else.

Suraj, on the other hand should have stayed calm and express his inability to take up the project
as he was not qualified for it and should have asked it to be reassigned to someone else.

Active and Passive voice:

Look at the following two sentences carefully:
The company launched the new car.
The new car was launched by the company.
The two sentences say the same thing but in different ways.
 The first sentence tells us what the company did; the second sentence what was done to
the new car.
 In the first sentence, the company is the doer of the action, and thus it can be called the
subject of the sentence. Such a sentence, in which the subject is the doer of the action, is
said to be in the active voice.

31
 In the second sentence, the new car is not the doer of the action, but the ‘object’ or
receiver of the action. Such a sentence, in which the subject is not the doer of the action,
is said to be in the passive voice.
 To decide which voice is used in any particular sentence, ask the question, “Who is the
doer of the action?” If the doer comes before the verb, the sentence is in the active voice.
If the receiver of the action comes before the verb, the sentence is in the passive voice.

Exercise with answers: Underline the verb in the following sentences. If the doer of the action
comes before the verb, mark the sentence as “A” for active voice. If the receiver of the action
comes before the verb, mark it “P” for Passive voice.
1. Political instability affected the share market badly. A
2. The company was set up by ex-IIM graduates. P
3. Hackers will be tracked down by the cyber crime cell. P
4. The lead vehicle carried staff of the minister. A
5. The walls and ceilings were painted by a professional painter. P

Use of the two voices
The passive voice can be used for different reasons:
a) When the cause of the action is not known. E.g. My laptop was stolen last night. (I don’t
know how, or by whom)
b) When the action is more interesting or important than the cause of the action. E.g. The
murderer was caught after a lengthy chase. (so now we can be at ease)
c) When it is not necessary to describe the cause because it is commonly known. E.g. The
premises are cleaned every day. (we all know who does it and how it’s done)
d) When you want to put the most interesting or important information at the beginning.
E.g. A new school is being built in our street.

The passive voice should be avoided when none of the reasons above matter. For instance, if we
want to give information on who inaugurated a new venture, which one of the following
sentences would you prefer?
The President inaugurated the new enterprise
OR
The new enterprise was inaugurated by the President.
In such an instance, the active voice is preferred.

Passive forms of tenses:
1. Simple present tense: am/is/are + past participle. E.g. The crops are harvested in April.
2. Simple past tense: was/were + past participle. E.g. The crops were harvested in April.
3. Present Continuous: am/is/are + being + past participle. E.g. The crops are being
harvested now.
4. Past Continuous: was/were + being + past participle. E.g. The crops were being harvested
in April.

32
5. Simple future tense: shall/will/ + be + past participle. E.g. The crops will be harvested in
April.
6. Present Perfect tense: have/has + been + past participle. E.g. The crops have been
harvested in April.
7. Past Perfect Tense: had been + past participle. E.g. The crops had been harvested before
May came.
8. Future perfect tense: will have been + past participle. E.g. The crops will have been
harvested by May.

Exercise: Convert the following sentences from Active to Passive and remember to make the
correct tense changes too. The first one has been done for you:

1. Leonardo da Vinci painted the ‘Mona Lisa’.
The ‘Mona Lisa’ was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
2. Beekeepers use smoke to chase bees from their hives.
Ans: Bees are chased out of their hives with the use of smoke by beekeepers.
3. Australian swimmers have broken many world records over the years.
Ans: Many world records have been broken over the years by Australian swimmers.
4. The station is broadcasting two new programmes today.
Ans: Two new programmes are being broadcast today (by the station).
5. Doctors and health workers are dealing with the flu epidemic.
6. The loggers were loading the timber on to the trucks last night.
Ans: Last night the timber was being loaded on to the trucks by the loggers.
7. Madame Curie discovered radium.
Ans: Radium was discovered by Madame Curie.
8. Jenny had done a great story for the contest, but she decided not to submit it.
Ans: A great story had been done for the contest by Jenny, but it was decided by her not
to submit it.
9. Susie will deliver the messages today.
Ans: The messages will be delivered today by Susie.
10. The zoo-keepers will have fed the polar bear long before you reach the enclosure.
Ans: The polar bears will have been fed by the zoo-keepers long before you reach the
enclosure.
11. You may take photographs of the President when he arrives.
Ans: Photographs of the President may be taken when he arrives.

33
Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple past tense: The management assigned Suraj a project that he felt interfered with his
success.
Simple present tense: The management assigns Suraj a project that he feels interfere with his
success.
Simple future tense: The management will assign Suraj a project that he feels will interfere
with his success.

2) Simple past tense: He discussed the problem with his supervisor.
Simple present tense: He discusses the problem with his supervisor.
Simple future tense: He will discuss the problem with his supervisor.

3) Present Perfect tense: I have reserved thirty minutes for you.

Simple present tense: I reserve thirty minutes for you.
Simple past tense: I reserved thirty minutes for you.
Simple future tense: I will reserve thirty minutes for you.

4) Present tense: One, I neither blame nor point a finger at anyone.
Simple past tense: One, I am neither blamed nor pointed a finger at anyone.
Simple future tense: One, I will neither blame nor point a finger at anyone.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Suraj said, “I appreciate your sparing time for me.”
Indirect: Suraj said that he appreciated his sparing time for him.

B) Direct: The supervisor said, “I wanted to meet you anyway.”
Indirect: The supervisor told him that he wanted to meet him anyway.

C) Direct: The supervisor asked, “Are you questioning my decisions?”
Indirect: The supervisor asked him whether he was questioning his decisions.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: He discussed the problem with the supervisor.
Passive: The problem was discussed by him with the supervisor.

B) Active: The management assigned Suraj a project.
Passive: A project has been assigned to Suraj by the management.

34
C) Active: I have an important matter that I need to bring to your notice.
Passive: An important matter that I have needs to be brought to your notice.

D) Active: You will have to accept the new project.
Passive: The new project will have to be accepted by you.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: I have an important matter that I need to bring to your notice.
Comparative: I have a more important matter that I need to bring to your notice.
Superlative: I have the most important matter that I need to bring to your notice.

B) Positive: We do not have someone as good as you.
Comparative: We do not have anyone better than you.
Superlative: You are the best.

Vocabulary Building:

Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Interfere obstruct facilitate
B) Appreciate understand ignore
C) Important essential insignificant
D) Consider contemplate disregard

Idioms and Phrases

A) “You are most welcome to express your concern.” can also be written as “You are most
welcome to air your opinion.”
B) “What is the cause of dispute?” can also be written as “Tell me what’s eating you? OR
What’s on your mind?
C) “Stop avoiding the issue Suraj.” can also written as “Stop beating about the bush and come
to the point Suraj”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form three sentences of your own:
A) You can air your opinion in the staff meeting.
B) You seem to be disturbed. What’s eating you?
C) Let us stop beating about the bush and come to a decision.

Maestro session 7
Listen and Reflect

35
Mohan runs a restaurant. Lately, new hires are quitting after only a few days on the job. Mohan
considered giving higher wages but the situation never improved. This affected the service
quality, and the restaurant lost customers. The restaurant has a staff of twenty. Mohan, the
restaurant manager spots a fight between two cooks. Out of the two cooks, Anil is an old
employee and Vijay has joined recently.

Mohan: What’s the matter with you? What seems to be the cause of quarrel? Why have you
stopped work?
Vijay: Anil abuses me every day. He passes vulgar remarks in the local language. But today he
hit me.
Anil: You cannot blame me for this conflict. He doesn’t do his job well so I have to guide him.

Mohan starts yelling at everyone.
Mohan: You fools! I can’t trust you on anything. You two can forget your differences and get
back to work. I have bigger problems to handle.

After an hour loud noises are heard from the kitchen. All the customers hear the commotion. As
Mohan approaches the kitchen, the door flings open and Vijay comes out fuming. He tells
Mohan that he is quitting the job.

Let’s summarise:

Mohan had problems of employee retention in his restaurant, which led to bad service and loss of
customers. The way he handled a conflict between his employees also showed that he was
lacking in people skills. This could be the main reason for employees quitting the job.

A Solution

Mohan should have called Vijay and Anil to his cabin or a private place, stop being abusive and
should have tried to convince them in a pleasant manner.
Mohan: Why don’t the two of you settle the matter in a professional way? Anil, being a senior
employee, you should be more careful while managing junior employees. Everyone has
differing capacities of learning. So instead of yelling at them, you should be more polite. Vijay,
you should learn fast and be more efficient. We are already short of staff and we cannot afford
losing them. If you have any problems, come to me. Don’t fight or talk in loud voices as it gives
a bad impression to the customers.

Meanings:

Abuses- insults, mistreats
Commotion- disorder, uproar
Employee- worker, staff
Fuming- angry, mad
Mend- change, fix
Quit- leave, give-up, relinquish
Remarks- comments
Vulgar- bad, rude, improper

36
Wages- pay, salary
Yell- shout, scream

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Abuses
Affected
Anything
Approached
Bigger
Blame
Commotion
Conflict
Considered
Everyone
Fuming
Guide
Higher
Improved
Kitchen
Language
Problems
Quality
Quitting
Remarks
Restaurant
Situation
Vulgar
Yelling

Answer me:

1: What problems was the restaurant facing?
Ans: Mohan’s restaurant was losing employees. Most new employees were leaving work within
a few days. This resulted in less number of employees to serve a large number of customers. As a
result the services were suffering and the restaurant was losing customers.

2: Why were the two cooks fighting?
Ans: Anil, the senior cook used to abuse Vijay, a new employee passed vulgar remarks in the
local language which Vijay could not follow. Anil’s rude behaviour had angered Vijay. This had
led to a quarrel. Anil, on the other hand justified his behaviour by saying that he was trying to
train Vijay.

3: What did Mohan do?
Ans: Mohan directed his anger on all employees. He scolded Anil and Vijay and told them to
settle their differences. Mohan instructed Anil to change his behaviour or he would fire him. He
said that he had no time for such issues and he had important matters to take care of.

4: What happened after Mohan left the kitchen?

37
Ans: An hour after Mohan left the kitchen, the restaurant was filled with loud noises of people
quarreling. The kitchen door was flung open by Vijay who looked angry. Vijay said that he was
quitting the job.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:
1) Simple present tense: Mohan runs a restaurant.
Simple past tense: Mohan ran a restaurant.
Simple future tense: Mohan will run a restaurant.

2) Simple past tense: Mohan considered giving higher wages but the situation never improved.
Simple present tense: Mohan considers giving higher wages but the situation never improves.
Simple future tense: Mohan will consider giving higher wages but the situation will never
improve.

3) Simple present tense: The restaurant has a staff of twenty.
Simple past tense: The restaurant had a staff of twenty.
Simple future tense: The restaurant will have a staff of twenty.

4) Simple present tense: He passes vulgar remarks in the local language.
Simple past tense: He passed vulgar remarks in the local language.
Simple future tense: He will pass vulgar remarks in the local language.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Vijay said, “Anil abuses me every day.”
Indirect: Vijay complained that Anil abused him every day.

B) Direct: Anil said, “You cannot blame me for this conflict.”
Indirect: Anil said that he could not be blamed for that conflict.

C) Direct: Anil said, “He doesn’t do his job well so I have to guide him.”
Indirect: Anil explained that he did not do his job well so he had to guide him.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Mohan runs a restaurant.
Passive: A restaurant is run by Mohan.

B) Active: All the customers heard the commotion.
Passive: The commotion was heard by all the customers.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: Mohan considered giving high wages.
Comparative: Mohan considered giving higher wages.
Superlative: Mohan considered giving the highest wages.

38
B) Comparative: I have bigger problems to handle.
Positive: I have a big problem to handle.
Superlative: I have the biggest problem to handle.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Quitting give up take up
B) Improve recover worsen
C) Stopped discontinued started
D) Conflict quarrel peace

Idioms and Phrases
A) “What seems to be the cause of quarrel?” can be written as “What seems to be the bone of
contention?”
B) “You two can forget your differences and get back to work.” can be written as “You two can
bury the hatchet and get back to work.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The withholding of the bonus was the bone of contention between the management and the
union.
B) The two countries can bury the hatchet and start serious negotiations.

Maestro Session 8

Listen and Reflect

Rahul, an unfriendly and uncooperative person, is a bad performer. Lately, he has missed a few
deadlines. Rahul’s boss approaches his cubicle and talks in a raised voice.

Boss: I would like to see you in my cabin immediately.
Rahul: Yes boss. I will be with you in a few minutes.
Boss: Make it quick.

39
The boss enters his cabin. Rahul follows after five minutes.
Boss: Rahul, I want to talk to you about a situation that seems to be developing and needs urgent
attention.
Rahul: Am I in any trouble?
Boss: Let’s get this straight. Lately you have missed your deadlines, which is not to be expected
from any employee. It has an adverse effect on the image of the department. Why aren’t you
working?
Rahul: I am doing my best.
Boss: Then how come you missed the deadlines?
Rahul: Sir, I have been working hard but faced some problems with net connectivity, server
problems and also I was not keeping well.
Boss: You are making silly excuses. You have been a constant source of trouble. Focus on your
work or face the consequences.

Let’s summarise:

Rahul’s boss did not have a compassionate manner with employees, nor did Rahul have a
cooperative attitude. This led to delay in work assigned on Rahul’s part, and an autocratic
behaviour on the boss’s part.

A Solution

The boss should not talk in a raised voice to an employee when other staff is around.
Boss: Rahul, you have missed a few deadlines and it is affecting our performance. Do you have
any problems at work?
Instead of reporting after five minutes, Rahul should have met the boss immediately. He should
have stated the real problem instead of giving excuses. If he had problems with the infrastructure
like net connectivity or server problems, he should have informed the boss.
Rahul: I am sorry that I have missed my deadlines. I will do my best to achieve my targets.

Meanings:
Average- ordinary, not special
Connectivity- connection to the Internet
Cooperative- helpful, supportive, accommodating
Cubicle- modular work station
Deadline- time limit, target, goal.
Focus- concentrate
Server- Computer storage equipment OR a computer program that controls or supplies
information to several computers connected in a network; the main computer on which this
program is run
Silly- trivial, minor

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Approaches
Attention
Average

40
Connectivity
Cooperative
Cubicle
Deadlines
Developing
Excuses
Expected
Friendly
Immediately
Problems
Situation
Straight
Usually

Answer me:

1: How was Rahul’s image in his office?
Ans: Rahul’s performance on the job was bad. He was unfriendly and never cooperated with
fellow employees.

2: When the boss enquired about the reason behind his non-performance what did Rahul do?
Ans: Rahul had missed on a few deadlines and when his boss enquired about it, Rahul at first
said that he was working hard but later blamed it on problems like net connectivity, server
problems and his bad health.

3: Could Rahul have handled the situation in a better way?
Ans: Rahul has to learn to be friendly and cooperative with his colleagues. This will help him in
creating a good working relationship and positive image in the office. Instead of making excuses
he should have apologised for the delay and promised to finish off the assignment as soon as
possible.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple present tense: Rahul, an unfriendly and uncooperative person, is a bad performer.
Simple past tense: Rahul, an unfriendly and uncooperative person, was a bad performer.
Simple future tense: Rahul, an unfriendly and uncooperative person, will be a bad performer.

2) Simple present tense: Rahul’s boss approaches his cubicle and talks in a raised voice.
Simple past tense: Rahul’s boss approached his cubicle and talked in a raised voice.
Simple future tense: Rahul’s boss will approach his cubicle and talk in a raised voice.

3) Simple present tense: Rahul follows after five minutes.
Simple past tense: Rahul followed after five minutes.
Simple future tense: Rahul will follow after five minutes.

4) Simple present tense: It has an adverse effect on the image of our department.

41
Simple past tense: It had an adverse effect on the image of our department.
Simple future tense: It will have an adverse effect on the image of our department.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: The boss told him, “I would like to see you in my cabin immediately.”
Indirect: The boss told him that he would like to see him in his cabin immediately.

B) Direct: Rahul said, “I am doing my best.”
Indirect: Rahul said that he was doing his best.

C) Direct: The boss said, “You are making silly excuses.”
Indirect: The boss told Rahul that he was making silly excuses.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Lately, he has missed a few deadlines.
Passive: A few deadlines have been missed by him lately.

B) Active: It has an adverse effect on the image of our department.
Passive: The image of the department is being adversely affected by it.

C) Active: You are making silly excuses.
Passive: Silly excuses are being made by you.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Superlative: I am doing my best.
B) Positive: I am doing well.
C) Comparative: I am doing better.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Cooperative supportive uncooperative
B) Quick fast slow
C) Adverse bad favourable
D) Best excellent worst

Idioms and Phrases
A) “You have been a constant source of trouble.” can be written as “You have been a thorn in
the flesh.”
B) “Focus on your work or face the consequences.” can be written as “Focus on your work or
face the music.”
C) “I was not keeping well: can also be expressed as “I was feeling under the weather”.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Corruption has been a thorn in the flesh for the country’s growth.

42
B) Do your homework or face the music.
C) I could not attend the meeting as I was feeling under the weather.

Maestro Session 9

Listen and Reflect

Sohan is unfriendly and arrogant. His boss talks to him about his performance.

Boss: Good morning, Sohan. How are you?
Sohan: Good. How are you?
Boss: Fine, Thanks. I want to discuss with you a situation that’s creating problems for our
customers, for me and for you. I thought we’d get control over it before it gets out of hand. This
will take a few minutes and save you from a great deal of trouble.
Sohan: How am I in trouble? I missed a few days of work. That’s not a big deal. I sent memos
about the delays.
Boss: According to these memos, you missed the deadlines twice this week. Is that right?
Sohan: I gave them a notice that the reports would be delayed. They should be better prepared.
Boss: Sohan, this is going too far. You are not above the rules. Your attitude is making this
difficult for all of us. You deliberately choose to be arrogant. Don’t ignore your responsibilities. I
am afraid I have no other option but to place a formal complaint with the HR department.

Let’s summarise:

Sohan’s unfriendly and arrogant manner led to his boss issuing a warning to him that if he didn’t
mend his ways, he would have to be reported to the HR dept.

A Solution

Boss: Sohan, you should learn to be friendly and co-operative. Sending notices does not give you
a right to miss deadlines. It is a team effort and when you miss the deadlines it affects others too.
If you have any problems at work you are free to approach me.
Sohan: Sir, I am sorry that I have missed the deadlines. I will do my level best to fulfill my
commitment.

Meanings:

Arrogant- proud, superior
Deliberately- on purpose, purposely
Memo- memorandum, note, letter
Notice- note

Pronunciation and Spelling:

43
Arrogant
Complaint
Cooperative
Creating
Deadlines
Delayed
Deliberately
Department
Friendly
Missed
Performance
Prepared
Problems
Situation
Trouble

Answer me:
1: How was Sohan’s performance on the job?
Ans: Sohan was given an important assignment of gathering data which would be use for a
project. However, Sohan showed slow progress on his assignment.

2: Why did Arvind want to meet Sohan?
Ans: Sohan had to submit important data but he was flagging behind. This affected the work on
the project. Arvind wanted to know the reason behind the delay. He also wanted to know the
reason behind Sohan’s abrupt absence during the project work.

3: What was Sohan’s response?
Ans: Instead of accepting his responsibility, Sohan said that missing a few days at work was not
an offence. He tried to justify the delay by saying that he had sent a memo that the work would
be delayed and that the project team should not complain.

4: What did Arvind decide to do?
Ans: Arvind could no longer tolerate Sohan’s indiscipline. He tried hard to discipline Sohan but
Sohan chose to be arrogant. As a last resort Arvind decided to file a complaint with the HR
department.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple present tense: His boss talks to him about his performance.
Simple past tense: His boss talked to him about his performance.
Simple future tense: His boss will talk to him about his performance.

2) Simple past tense: I sent memos about the delays.
Simple present tense: I send memos about the delays.
Simple future tense: I will send memos about the delays.

44
3) Simple past tense: I gave them a notice that the reports would be delayed.
Simple present tense: I give them a notice that the reports are delayed.
Simple future tense: I will give them a notice that the reports will be delayed.

4) Simple present tense: I have no other option but to place a formal complaint with the HR
department.
Simple past tense: I had no other option but to place a formal complaint with the HR
department.
Simple future tense: I will have no other option but to place a formal complaint with the HR
department.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: The boss said, “I thought we’d get control over it before it gets out of hand.”
Indirect: The boss said that he had thought he would get control over it before it got out of hand.

B) Direct: The boss said, “This will take a few minutes and save you from a great deal of
trouble.”
Indirect: The boss told him that it would take a few minutes and save him from a great deal of
trouble.

C) Direct: Sohan said, “I sent memos about the delays.”
Indirect: Sohan said that he had sent memos about the delays.

D) Direct: The boss said, “You deliberately choose to be arrogant.”
Indirect: The boss told him that he deliberately chose to be arrogant./The boss accused him of
deliberately choosing to be arrogant.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: According to these memos, you missed the deadlines twice this week.
Passive: According to the memos, the deadlines were missed by you twice this week.

B) Active: I missed a few days of work.
Passive: A few days of work was missed by me.

C) Active: I have no other option but to place a formal complaint with the HR department.
Passive: A formal complaint with the HR department will be placed as I have no other option.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:
A) Positive: Your attitude is making this difficult for all of us.
Comparative: Your attitude is making this more difficult for all of us.
Superlative: Your attitude is making this most difficult for all of us.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms

45
A) Unfriendly unsociable friendly
B) Arrogant proud humble
C) Delayed late on time
D) Prepared ready unprepared

Idioms and Phrases
A) “You are not above the rules.” can be written as “You are not above the law.”
B) “Don’t ignore your responsibilities.” can be written as “Don’t turn your back on your
responsibilities.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Politicians here think that they are above the law.
B) You parents will never turn their back on you.

Maestro Session 10

Listen and Reflect

Anjali, whose child died, joined the office after returning from a two-week leave of absence. Her
boss, Kartik summons her to discuss an urgent matter.

Boss: How are you?
Anjali: I am fine sir. I have gone through a very bad experience. I will try to make a fresh start.
Boss: You don’t look fine to me. You look tired. There is a pile of work waiting for you. How
will you cope with it?
Anjali: I admit that I am not physically fit. But I will try to cope with the work load. I cannot stay
back at home for long as I need to be involved in some work. It will help me forget the tragedy
which I have gone through.
Boss: If you think you can handle the work load I have some work for you which needs urgent
attention. I will assign you a project of a very important client. It will require occasional
travelling.
Anjali: I will try to perform well but I am not in a position to travel.
Boss: But Anjali, travelling is an important part of this project. You are the only experienced
person for it.
Anjali: You cannot assign the project to me. I want to be reassigned to some other job.
Boss: I want your refusal in writing. I will talk to the senior manager regarding your assignment.

Let’s summarise:

Anjali’s child had died and she had just joined the office. Since she was the most experienced,
her boss gave her an important assignment. It involved travelling. Anjali refused to take the
assignment as she was not in a position to travel. The interaction which had started pleasantly
enough, quickly deteriorated into an ugly exchange because of the boss’s insensitive attitude and
Anjali’s strong words.

A Solution

46
The boss’s response should have been:
Boss: If you are not well I will extend your leave. You can relax for a few days. You can join
when you feel that you can handle the work load. The project can be handled by others for a few
days. If we need your assistance we will contact you by mail. Even if you don’t want to go on
leave I will assign you a job which will not be demanding.

Anjali’s response should have been:
Anjali: I am not physically fit to travel so I may not be in a position to handle the project. I
request you to assign me a job which does not involve travelling. I will take up the new project
after some time.

Meanings:

Occasional- sometimes, once in a while
Position- state, condition
To Summon- to call

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Absence
Assigning
Experienced
Important
Joined
Matter
Occasional
Perform
Position
Project
Reassigned
Returning
Summons
Travelling
Urgent

Answer me:
1: What was Anjali’s situation?
Ans: Anjali was a project manager in a software firm. She had recently lost her child. She was in
mourning for a few days. After a two-week leave she decided to resume her duties. However, she
was still not physically fit to do so.

2: What kind of work did Kartik have for Anjali?
Ans: Kartik had a project of an important client. He wanted Anjali to handle it because she had a
lot of experience in handling such projects. The project also included frequent travelling.

3: What did Anjali request for?
Ans: Anjali was not in a position to travel as she was under immense emotional turmoil. As the
project involved travelling she refused to take it up and asked to be reassigned to another job.

47
Grammar practice:-

Tenses:
1) Simple Present tense: Kartik summons her to discuss an urgent matter.
Simple past tense: Kartik summoned her to discuss an urgent matter.
Simple future tense: Kartik will summon her to discuss an urgent matter.

2) Simple Present tense: There is a pile of work waiting for you.
Simple past tense: There was a pile of work waiting for you.
Simple future tense: There will be a pile of work waiting for you.

3) Simple Present tense: I admit that I am not physically fit.
Simple past tense: I admitted that I am not physically fit.
Simple future tense: I will admit that I am not physically fit.

4) Simple future tense: I will assign you a project of a very important client.
Simple Present tense: I assign you a project of a very important client.
Simple past tense: I assigned you a project of a very important client.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Anjali said, “I am fine sir.”
Indirect: Anjali reassured Kartik that she was fine.

B) Direct: Kartik said, “You don’t look fine to me.”
Indirect: Kartik said that she did not look fine to him.

C) Direct: Anjali said, “I admit that I am not physically fit.”
Indirect: Anjali admitted that she was not physically fit.

Active and Passive voice:
A) Active: Kartik summons her to discuss an urgent matter.
Passive: She was summoned to discuss an urgent matter by Kartik.

B) Active: It will require occasional travelling.
Passive: Occasional traveling will be required.

C) Active: I will assign you a project of a very important client..
Passive: A project of a very important client will be assigned to you by me.

D) Active: You cannot assign the project to me.
Passive: The project cannot be assigned to me by you.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: You are the only experienced person for it.
Comparative: You are more experienced than any other person.

48
Superlative: You are the most experienced person for it.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Absence non attendance presence
B) Tired exhausted energetic
C) Cope manage crumble
D) Involved occupied freed

Idioms and Phrases
A) “I will try to make a fresh start.” can be written as “It’ll take some time for me to get my
rhythm back”. Or “I’ll try to get my bearings”. OR “It’ll be a while till I get into the groove”.
B) “I want your refusal in writing.” can be written as “I want your refusal in black and white.”
C) “You can relax for a few days” can be expressed as “You can take it easy for a few days”.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) After the injury, the cricketer took some time to get his rhythm back.
B) I need your permission in black and white to complete the process.
C) You should take it easy after the major operation.

Maestro Session 11

Listen and Reflect

A company’s General Manager, who is on a surprise visit, wants to hold a sales meeting the next
day. The sales manager was supposed to prepare the sales report for the presentation. He has
assigned Jyoti, the sales administrator to gather data and prepare the report. He calls her to his
cabin.
Jyoti: Good morning sir.
Manager: Jyoti, I need to know about the progress on the sales report.
Jyoti: I have made little progress. I sorted the data from our old reports. Last month’s reports
have not yet come. I am in a state of confusion.
Manager: You are a senior employee in this organisation. You should know where to get the
relevant information. Why don’t you speed it up?
Jyoti: I am finding it difficult to finish the report at such a short notice.
Manager: Finish it off by this evening.
Jyoti: I am working on it but Ravi from sales administration is yet to submit the figures. I have
reminded him on more than one occasion, but he leaves everything till the last minute. This
increases my workload.
The manager summons Ravi.

49
Manager: You are not meeting the deadlines.
Ravi: There is too much pressure on me due to unrealistic deadlines.
Manager: You are a senior employee in this organisation. You should be able to handle your
juniors and get the work done. You have not met the deadline and the report is yet to be
completed. Get the work done by today evening.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how important it is in an organisation to do one’s work in a timely fashion. If
one person does not do his work in time, it impacts others’ performances too. The sales manager
has not prepared the sales report because Jyoti has not gathered the data, and Jyoti hasn’t
gathered data because Ravi has not submitted the figures.

A Solution

Manager: Jyoti, the sales team should always be prepared with the sales data. Co-ordinate with
the sales department and prepare weekly and monthly sales reports for ready reference. You are a
senior employee so you should be aware of the procedures. Let your juniors know about these
procedures and ask them to follow them strictly.

Jyoti: I will co-ordinate with the sales department and prepare the report by evening.

Ravi: I am doing my best to compile the sales figures. I will send it to Jyoti as soon as I am
finished with them.

Meanings:
Deadlines- time limit, target, goal
Figures- data, numbers, information
Pressure- demands, strain
Unrealistic- unlikely, impractical, unworkable
Workload- amount of work

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Cabin
Completed
Deadline
Everything
Following
Increases
Manager
Morning
Occasion
Pressure
Progress
Reminded
Sales report
Summons

50
Surpassed
Unrealistic
Urgently
Working
Workload

Answer me:
1: Why did the manager summon Jyoti?
Ans: The manager summoned Jyoti because as a sales administrator he wanted her to gather data
and prepare the sales report for the meeting.

2: What according to Jyoti delayed the report?
Ans: The report was delayed because Jyoti had to sort data from the old reports and she had not
yet received last month’s sales reports. Also, Ravi from sales administration was yet to submit
the figures. Jyoti had sent reminders but Ravi had not submitted the data.

3: What was Ravi’s excuse for not completing the work?
Ans: Ravi said that Jyoti set unrealistic deadlines which increased his work load and put a lot of
pressure on him.

4: What did the manager tell Jyoti?
Ans: The manager told Jyoti that, being a senior employee, she had to learn to manage the junior
employees and get work out of them. He said that she had to complete the report by evening as
the deadline was already past.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple past tense: I had to sort the data from our old reports.
Simple present tense: I have to sort the data from our old reports.
Simple future tense: I will have to sort the data from our old reports.

2) Simple present tense: You are a senior employee in this organisation.
Simple past tense: You were a senior employee in this organisation.
Simple future tense: You will be a senior employee in this organisation.

3) Simple present tense: This increases my workload.
Simple past tense: This increased my workload.
Simple future tense: This will increase my workload.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: The manager said, “Jyoti, I need to know about the progress on the sales report.”
Indirect: The manager told Jyoti that he needed to know about the progress on the sales report/
The manager asked Jyoti about the progress on the sales report.

B) Direct: Jyoti said, “I am still working on it.”

51
Indirect: Jyoti said that she was still working on it.

C) Direct: The manager said, “You are a senior employee in this organisation. You should know
where to get the relevant information.”
Indirect: The manager told Jyoti that since she was a senior employee she should know where to
get the relevant information.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: The sales manager was supposed to prepare the sales report.
Passive: The sales report was supposed to be prepared by the sales manager.

B) Active: I sorted the data from our old reports.
Passive: The data from old reports was sorted by me.

C) Active: You are not meeting the deadlines.
Passive: The deadlines are not being met by you.

D) Active: There is too much pressure on me due to unrealistic deadlines.
Passive: Unrealistic deadlines have put too much pressure on me.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: I have made little progress.
Comparative: I have made less progress than before.
Superlative: I have made the least progress.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Senior older junior
B) Relevant appropriate irrelevant
C) Difficult hard easy
D) Unrealistic impractical realistic

Idioms and Phrases
A) “I am in a state of confusion.” can be written as “I am at sixes and sevens.”
B) “I have reminded him on more than one occasion, but he leaves everything till the last
minute.” can be written as “I have reminded him on more than one occasion, but he does
everything at the eleventh hour.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Due to the strike the students are at sixes and sevens about their examination dates.
B) Do your vehicle maintenance regularly and don’t wait till the eleventh hour.

Writing Skills

52
In this lesson you think about the different types of business correspondence and what makes them
different in terms of structure and use. You see that there is now a modern style of writing suitable for
today's business people.
The lesson also allows you to develop some of your existing knowledge of writing business letters.

Activity 1:

How many different kinds of business correspondence can you think of? Make a list. Here are a couple
of ideas to start with:
• letter
• notes / post-it notes
Answer: Other examples include:

• fax
• e-mail
• e-mail attachment (EA)
• memo
• reports
• in-house forms
• minutes of a meeting

Activity 2 with answers:

Which of the different kinds of business correspondence from the last activity would you choose for
the following? The first one has been done for you.

1. Applying for a job letter / e-mail attachment (EA)

2. Booking a conference room at a hotel Fax

3. Telling colleagues to attend a meeting e-mail

4. Ordering stationery fax / e-mail

5. Telling colleagues about a new member of staff e-mail

6. Complaining about a delivery service e-mail / EA / fax

7. Thanking a customer e-mail / letter

53
8. Sending out a meeting agenda e-mail

9. Resigning Letter

10. Apologising to an important business contact Letter

Do you receive different types of business correspondence? If the answer is 'yes' then
try and keep some copies. There is not always one correct way of writing a business
letter so these can be useful to compare with the examples given during this course.

Activity 3: The structure of letters

How you set out your letter is important. This is a layout of a letter but the different parts of the letter
have been replaced with boxes. You have to decide what should go in each box. Choose from the list
below. One has been done for you as an example.

54
55
Choose from
this list:
opening sentence (reason
for writing)
greeting / salutation
(Dear...)
date
signature
receiver's name and
address
sender's name
company logo
l look forward...
main body of text
sender's title
indication of an
attachment
subject heading
Yours ...
closing sentence (request
for action)

56
Activity 4 with answers
The layout above is known as the block style layout and is now internationally accepted for business letters. The
receiver's address is usually top left hand corner, especially if envelopes with 'windows' are being used. How the
individual components are written is now looked at in more detail.
Now decide whether the following statements are true or false when writing a business letter. Look at the
example letter in the feedback from the previous activity if you need some help with this activity.

True / False?

1. It is normal to write Mr John Tan in the first line of the receiver’s address, and
true
underneath to write Dear Mr Tan without the initial.

2. The subject heading usually comes after Dear Mr Tan. true

3. In a modern business letters Dear Mrs Lee and Yours sincerely are followed
false
by a comma.

4. Even if you know the person’s name, you don’t have to use it, you can still use false, use the name if
Dear Sir/Madam. you know it

5. You should not use abbreviations in letters and emails. false

6. Short, simple sentences are better than long complex ones. true

7. Memos have a different structure to letters. true

8. Bullets and numbers can’t be used in letters, as they’re too informal. false

9. Enc is used when you are sending something in addition to the letter e.g. a
true
cheque.

10. In modern business documents punctuation is not used in the receiver’s
true
address.

11. You should always, when possible, copy someone else’s letter or memo. It
false
will save you time!

Note: The use of Dear Sir or Dear Madam is less popular now. It is much better to use the name of the person
you are writing to. If you do not know the name try and find out before writing, perhaps by telephoning the
company if this is possible. You may find being friendlier means your letter or e-mail will be replied to more
quickly!

57
Activity 5 with answers

How you address somebody is also important. Look at the letters below to different people and decide
what is the correct way to start the letter. The first one has been done for you as an example.

Addressee British English American English
Company Dear Sir or Madam Dear Gentlemen
Man (name unknown) Dear Sir The rest is the same as British
English
Woman (name unknown) Dear Madam
Name and sex unknown Dear Sir / Madam
not appropriate
Man Dear Mr Blair
Sincerely yours
Married woman or widow Dear Mrs Blair (Very) Truly yours
Unmarried woman Dear Miss Blair Yours sincerely / truly
Woman (the modern way) Dear Ms Blair The rest is the same as British
English
Woman (marital status unknown) Dear Ms Blair
Married couple Dear Mr and Mrs Blair
Unmarried couple Dear Mr Cain and Ms McAvoy
Friend / acquaintance Dear Jackie
Dear Sir or Madam Yours faithfully
Dear Gentlemen not appropriate

Dear Mr / Mrs / Ms Jones Yours sincerely
Dear John (With) Best wishes /regards
Family and close friends (With) love

Note the modern use of 'Ms' which is becoming increasingly popular. Also never write Dear Sir if
you are unsure if the addressee is a man or a woman - a woman could be very offended!

58
Maestro Session 12

Listen and Reflect

Prakash is a welfare officer in an auto manufacturing company. Mohit is an HR assistant and
also a part time assistant to Prakash. The relations between them are strained. They are
discussing their problems with Ganesh, the HR officer.

Ganesh: The staff has complained that you two had a quarrel yesterday. What was the cause of
the quarrel?
Mohit: It happened due to Prakash. It’s all his fault.
Ganesh: Prakash, what seems to be the problem?
Prakash: Mohit disobeyed my orders. Yesterday, I had told him to prepare a list of employees
who are to be felicitated at the annual function. I was out to check the preparations for the
function. When I returned I found that Mohit had not prepared the list. The function is to be held
in two days. What am I supposed to do? This is not the first time he has disobeyed the orders.
Ganesh: What do you have to say to that Mohit?
Mohit: I have my own work to do so I cannot spare time for additional assignments. Also the
computers were not free when I needed them.
Ganesh: Prakash, why don’t you prepare the list on your own?
Prakash: I could but I cannot operate a computer.
Ganesh: What? That’s surprising. We conducted a computer training course last month. Didn’t
you attend the course?
Prakash: I could not attend the course as I was unwell. But I have been allotted an assistant to do
the work.
Ganesh: Prakash, the management is spending money to conduct the course. It is expected that
the managers should have knowledge of new technologies. The company will be adopting an
electronic work system next year. You should be ready for that. Meanwhile, forget the bad
feelings between you and cooperate.

Let’s summarise:

Prakash and Mohit quarrel because Mohit is not taking Prakash’s authority seriously. He is guilty
of insubordination and defying orders. .Prakash, on his part, should know how to get work done
without the matter going out of hand.

59
A Solution

Ganesh: Prakash, you need to change your attitude. Mohit is supposed to help you but that
doesn’t mean that he is your fulltime assistant. Your reason for not completing the computer
training is unacceptable. Next time you should settle matters in a professional way and not
quarrel in the office.
The manager could have referred them to a counsellor for advice

After the enquiry about the quarrel Mohit should have said:
Mohit: Sir, I am sorry I had a quarrel with Prakash. I had not completed the work he had given
me. Next time we will settle our differences amicably.

Prakash: I feel bad that such an incident took place. In future I will cooperate with Mohit and
settle our differences without quarreling. I am sorry that I did not complete the training as I had
not understood the implication. I will complete the training and try to do all my work myself.
.

Meanings:

Adopting: accept, implement
Allotted: given
Assignments: work, job
Disobey: refuse to follow orders, go against
Felicitate: To offer congratulations or show gratitude for some good work
Knowledge: information, understanding
Preparations: arrangements
Strained: under pressure worried, tense
Technology: scientific knowledge used in industry
Unwell: sick, ill, in poor health
Welfare officer: is a part of the HR department. Looks after the needs of workers, for instance,
uniform, canteen, transport, financial help, medical assistance etc.

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Additional
Adopting
Allotted
Assignments
Assistant
Complained
Conducted
Discussing
Disobeyed
Electronic
Expected
Felicitated
Function
Knowledge

60
Management
Manufacturing
Preparations
Quarrel
Relation
Spending
Strained
Technologies
Unwell
Welfare
Yesterday

Answer me:
1: Why did Ganesh, the HR manager summon Mohit and Prakash?
Ans: Ganesh, the HR manager summoned Mohit and Prakash because they had a quarrel in the
office.

2: What was the reason behind the quarrel?
Ans: Prakash had told Mohit to prepare a list of employees who were to be felicitated at the
annual function. When he enquired about the progress, Mohit said that he had not completed the
report. Prakash was in a fix as the function was to be held in two days. Prakash felt that Mohit
was delebrately ignoring his orders.

3: What was Mohit’s reason for not completing the assignment?
Ans: Mohit could not complete the assignment as he had his own work to complete and he could
not find a spare computer when he wanted to work on the assignment.

4: Why couldn’t Prakash do his own work?
Ans: Prakash could not do his own work as he could not use a computer.

5: What suggestion did Ganesh give Prakash?
Ans: Ganesh told Prakash that Mohit was not his full time assistant and would not be able to do
all his work. He was supposed to complete his computer training as the company was spending a
lot on it. The company will be adopting an electronic work system next year for which computer
knowledge would be essential.

Grammar practice:-
Tenses:

1) Simple present tense: Prakash is a welfare officer in an auto manufacturing company.
Simple past tense: Prakash was a welfare officer in an auto manufacturing company.
Simple future tense: Prakash will be a welfare officer in an auto manufacturing company.

2) Simple present tense: The relations between them are strained.
Simple past tense: The relations between them were strained.
Simple future tense: The relations between them will be strained.

3) Simple past tense: I was out to check the preparations for the function.

61
Simple present tense: I am out to check the preparations for the function.
Simple future tense: I will be out to check the preparations for the function.

4) Simple past tense: Mohit disobeyed my orders.
Simple present tense: Mohit disobeys my orders.
Simple future tense: Mohit will disobey my orders.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Ganesh said, “The staff has complained that you two had a quarrel yesterday.”
Indirect: Ganesh informed them that the staff had complained that the two of them had a quarrel
the previous day.

B) Direct: Ganesh asked, “Prakash, what seems to be the problem?”
Indirect: Ganesh asked Prakash what the problem was.

C) Direct: Prakash said, “Mohit disobeyed my orders.”
Indirect: Prakash said that Mohit had disobeyed his orders.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Mohit disobeyed my orders.
Passive: My orders have been disobeyed by Mohit.

B) Active: I have my own work to do so I cannot spare time for additional assignments.
Passive: Time for the additional assignments cannot be spared by me as I have my own work to
do.

C) Active: We conducted a computer training course last month.
Passive: A computer training course was conducted by us last month.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: It would have been easy for you.
Comparative: It would have been easier for you.
Superlative: It would have been the easiest for you.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Strained tense peaceful
B) Disobey violate obey
C) Attend be present miss
D) Prepare plan unprepared

Idioms and Phrases
A) “What was the cause of the quarrel?” Can be written as “What was the bone of contention?”

62
B) “Meanwhile, forget the bad feelings between you and cooperate” can be written as
“Meanwhile, forget the bad blood and cooperate”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The family property was the bone of contention between the brothers.
B) Let us forget the bad blood between our families and be friends again.

Writing Skills

Activity 6:
Let’s continue the discussion of the previous session.

What are the main differences and similarities between letters, faxes and e-mails? Think about the
answers to Activity 2 - why would you not send a fax to apply for a job, and why would you send an
e-mail if you're telling colleagues to attend a meeting?

Answer:

Differences Similarities

63
• Letters are usually written to just one • E-mails can be used to do everything
person a letter or a fax does. How this is done
• E-mails can be sent to many people, makes the difference (and this is looked
and both internally and externally at the at in more detail in lesson 3)
same time
• Letters are usually external (but not
always)
• Letters are usually more formal with
complete sentences
• Letters are more appropriate as an
official record
• E-mails can be very informal
• E-mails can be linked to internet
services
• Letters have an original signature
• A fax is usually external
• Sending a fax is a lot quicker than
posting a letter but e-mails are
immediate
• A fax is usually used to confirm or
arrange a business transaction
(reserving a hotel / ordering books /
organising transport)

Activity 7

Here are three different business writing tasks: a letter, a fax and an e-mail. They are all written by the
same person, Andrew McDonald, but there is a different reason for writing each one.

A letter
Read the letter first and then answer these questions: answers in italics

64
1. What is the purpose of the letter? To ask Mr Conran to present awards at an annual
conference
2. Which day is Mr Conran asked to attend the conference? October 15
3. Who should Mr Conran contact if he needs more information? Sara Hewson or Andrew McDonald
4. Who does Andrew McDonald work for? CCB
5. What is his job? Conference organiser

Dear Mr Conran 4 August 2004

I am writing to ask if you would be able to present the CCB Design Awards for Innovation at this
year's conference. We would be delighted to have such a successful designer as our guest of
honour.
The conference takes place on October 14 and 15 at the Riverside Conference Centre. We would
very much like you to be part of the awards ceremony which starts at 10.00 am on the second day.
It would be much appreciated if you could confirm your availability as soon as possible. Do not
hesitate to contact me, or my colleague Sara Hewson, if you require further details.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely
Andrew McDonald
CCB Conference organiser

A fax
Now look at the fax and answer the following questions:

1. Who is the fax to? The manager of the Hotel Cosmopolitan
2. What is the purpose of the fax? To ask for a quote
3. Where is the conference taking place? The Riverside Conference Centre
4. How many participants are there for the conference? 150
5. How many nights are the participants staying at the hotel? One

To: Hotel Cosmopolitan From: Andrew McDonald CCB
Attn: The manager Date: 4 August 2004

65
Re: Hotel accommodation Pages including this one: 1

CCB are considering booking the Hotel Cosmopolitan for participants attending the annual
conference at the Riverside Conference Centre. Details as follows:
• Date 14 October 2004 (one night)
• No of Rooms 150
double with bathrooms
• Type of rooms internet connection
bed and breakfast (other costs to be paid by guests)
I would be very grateful if you could give me a quotation based on the above.
Best regards
Andrew McDonald
CCB Conference organiser

An e-mail

Finally, read the e-mail and answer these questions:

1. Who is 'Chris'? Christopher Eames is a work colleague of Andrew McDonald
2. Who does Chris work for? CCB
3. What does Chris have to do? To check if any of the participants have any special dietary requirements
4. Who is 'Andy'? Andrew McDonald

66
Maestro Session 13

Listen and Reflect

A bank has a very high attrition rate and new employees join every day. Mr Sharma was a
customer of the bank and wanted to know the status of his loan application. Tanisha, the
executive at the loan department was a new employee.

Tanisha: Welcome sir, how may I help you?
Sharma: I had applied for a loan at your bank last week. I would like to know the status of my
application.
Tanisha: You will have to wait for some time. I will check and get back to you.

Mr Sharma took a seat near the reception. The executive comes back after ten minutes with the
application.
Tanisha: Sir, your application seems to be incomplete. The required documents for verification
have not been attached.
Sharma: How is that possible? I have submitted the application in full with all the required
documents. The previous executive had checked the documents. He said that the application will
be processed soon. This has come as a surprise.
Tanisha: Sorry sir, but the documents were not attached with the application. May be they have
been misplaced by the previous employee.
Sharma: This is frustrating. I can’t understand how you can misplace important documents. You
can’t expect a customer to get new ones whenever you demand. Now even if I give new

67
documents what’s the guarantee that they will be safe? I would like to speak to the branch
manager.
Tanisha: You can fill the complaint form and we will get back to you.
Sharma: You cannot ignore my complaint. I want to meet the branch manager now.

Branch Manager: I understand your problem. The bank is going through a bad phase. The
situation is out of my hands and I am helpless.

Let’s summarise:

Mr Sharma had applied for a loan at the bank which had high attrition rate. When Mr Sharma
asked Tanisha about the status of the application she said that the application was incomplete due
to the lack of certain documents. When Mr Sharma said that he had submitted it to the previous
executive, Tanisha said that they must have misplaced it. When Mr Sharma enquired with the
branch manager, he expressed his helplessness. This caselet shows an example of very bad
customer service.

A Solution

The employee’s response should have been:
Employee: Mr Sharma, I am sorry but I find that your application is incomplete. I am sure you
must have submitted the documents but they are not with the application form. It is a mistake on
our part that the process has been delayed. We should have informed you earlier but we keep
losing our old staff. I will contact the previous employee if he remembers where he has kept the
documents. If we don’t find it, kindly submit new documents and I will personally see that the
loan is cleared at the earliest. I am sorry for the trouble.

The manager’s response should have been:
Manager: I am sorry for the delay. We are trying to manage the situation. I will see to it that the
loan is cleared. Take my card and if you have any problems you can call up anytime.

Meanings:

Attrition: the condition in which a company keeps on losing employees as a result of job change.
Constantly: all the time, repeatedly
Frustrating: annoying, trying
Product: item for consumption

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Attrition
Background
Coming
Constantly
Customer
Employees
Frustrating
Product

68
Somewhere
Understood

Answer me:
1: What kind of crisis was the bank facing?
Ans: Many of the banks employees were leaving their jobs and new ones were joining. As a
result they were not aware of the nature of work they were supposed to do.

2: What problem did Mr Sharma face?
Ans: Mr Sharma had applied for a loan at the bank and submitted all the required documents.
After one week he wanted to know the progress but was surprised to know that the documents
were incomplete.

3: What according to Tanisha was the reason for the delay?
Ans: According to Tanisha, the documents were not attached to the application form. She felt
that the previous employee had misplaced it. She requested Mr Sharma to submit the new
documents.

4: Why was Mr. Sharma angry?
Ans: Mr Sharma was frustrated as he was asked to submit the documents again. He couldn’t
believe that the bank has misplaced the documents. He no longer trusted the bank employees and
wanted to discuss the issue with the manager.

5: How did the branch manager react to Mr. Sharma’s complaint?
Ans: The branch manger showed his helplessness as the situation was out of his control.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple future tense: I will check and get back to you.
Simple present tense: I check and get back to you.
Simple past tense: I checked and got back to you.

2) Simple past tense: Mr Sharma took a seat near the reception.
Simple present tense: Mr Sharma takes a seat near the reception.
Simple future tense: Mr Sharma will take a seat near the reception.

3) Simple present tense: The executive comes back after ten minutes with the application.
Simple past tense: The executive came back after ten minutes with the application.
Simple future tense: The executive will come back after ten minutes with the application.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: I had applied for a loan at your bank last week.
Passive: A loan was applied for by me at your bank last week.

69
Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Sharma said, “I had applied for a loan at your bank last week. I would like to know
about the status of my application.”
Indirect: Sharma informed her that he had applied for a loan at the bank the previous week and
would like to know the status of his application.

B) Direct: Tanisha said, “Sir, your application seems to be incomplete.”
Indirect: Tanisha told him that his application seemed to be incomplete.

C) Direct: The branch manager said, “I understand your problem.”
Indirect: The branch manager said that he understood his problem.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: The bank is going through a bad phase.
Comparative: The bank is going through a worse phase.
Superlative: The bank is going through the worst phase.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Incomplete unfinished complete
B) Verification confirmation contradiction
C) Accepting agreeing rejecting
D) Misplaced lost found

Idioms and Phrases
A) “This has come as a surprise.” can be written as “This has come as a bolt from the blue.”
B) “You cannot ignore my complaint.” can be written as “You cannot brush aside the
complaint.”OR “You cannot turn a deaf ear to my complaint”.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) My exam results were a bolt from the blue.
B) You cannot brush aside your responsibilities.

Writing Skills

In the previous sessions you have:

looked at the structure (layout and letter writing conventions) for a modern business letter
identified different letter types and considered their appropriacy for different tasks
had model texts for letters, faxes and e-mails

70
This section looks at writing styles - tone (formal and informal) and writing clearly:

People have been writing business letters for a very long time so the style of writing them has
developed slowly. Writing e-mails is relatively new. However, their use as a form of business
correspondence is increasing at great speed. They are also written and sent much faster too.
We do not say e-letter, or e-note or e-message. All correspondence sent electronically has the same
name and therefore the differences in style has become less clear. Because of this there is a less
accepted convention about how business e-mails should be written. This lesson looks at guidelines for
the etiquette of writing e-mails.
The first activities ask you to think about how you send and receive e-mails now.

Activity 2 : Style of writing

When you receive e-mails can you tell immediately if they are business letters? When you write an e-
mails do you think about a different style depending on who you are writing to, or do write the same to
everybody?

Answer: It is difficult to recognize business e-mail. How to write and send one is looked at in this lesson, but
you should not write in the same way to a business contact as you would to a colleague or friend.

Activity 3: Thinking about time

Finally, do you read all the e-mails you receive? What percentage do you delete without reading? How
often do you check your e-mails? Do you read e-mails faster than you would a conventional letter
arriving in an envelope? Do you sometimes receive e-mails that you don’t need? Do you send e-mails
to the person sitting next to you?

Answer: It is a good idea to set aside certain times during the day to check your e-mail. Some computer
systems tell you when have a new e-mail - why not turn this off?!
Think about other people’s time too – do you really need to send so many messages? Sometimes speaking to
someone is better.

Activity 4 with answers: Understanding the jargon

71
What do the following mean?

1. cc (carbon copy) You can send a copy of the message to someone else.

2. bcc (blind carbon copy) You can send a copy of the message
to someone else without the receiver knowing. Be careful, many companies do not allow their
employees to use this feature.

3. Format plain text the text looks like a typewriter: This is plain text.
(hypertext markup language) allows you to change the typeface style on a web
html
page (including e-mail)

4. A draft The computer can save a copy that you can send later.

5. Threads This is a way of linking several, connected e-mails. When the person replies to your e-mail
by clicking ‘reply’ instead of
creating a new message the original subject line is kept so it is
easier to follow the thread of a discussion.

6. Forward You can send a message you have received to someone else.

7. Insert a file This is the same as sending an attachment to a ‘normal’ letter.

8. Signature This is the ‘letterhead’ of your e-mail. It should include your name, title, e-mail address,
company name, phone and fax numbers and website address.

9. Abbreviations ASAP, BTW and FYI are examples of abbreviations

10. Emoticons are examples of emoticons. They express feelings such as happiness, anger,
irritation, surprise etc.

Activity 5: Quick Quiz

Are the following questions true or false?
1. Business e-mails should always be very formal.
2. Legal documents can be sent by e-mail.
3. Internal e-mails in general can be very informal.
4. Business e-mails don’t need the traditional opening and closings (as discussed in Lesson 2).
5. E-mails are confidential and private.

72
Answers:
1. No, these should have a friendly but business-like tone (see Lesson 2)
2. Yes, and ‘digital signatures’ are acceptable.
3. They can be, but is this appropriate when writing to your boss?
4. This is wrong. It is still important to use openings and closings.
5. No. If you are using your employer’s equipment they have a right to read your e-mails. Even if you delete a
message a computer expert will be able to find it

Activity 7: Making Improvements

The subject you give an e-mail is very important. People often receive many e-mails every day so it’s
important to give as much information as possible in the subject if you want your e-mail to be read.
a) Look at the following subject lines and decide which one is best and why:

Visitor tomorrow
Regional Director visit 12/12/03
Mr Ahmed is visiting

Answer: Regional Director visit 12/12/0 is the best. It clearly states who is coming and when.

b) What subject heading could you give for the following e-mails?
1. You want to take two weeks leave next month.
Ans: Leave request for next month.

2. You’re e-mailing a client with product information after they telephoned you with an enquiry.
Ans: Information on Sony Vaio PCG-K215B

73
3. There has been a policy change regarding working hours.
Ans: Working hours – new policy

4. Communal e-mail about an in-house customer care training course next week.
Ans: . Training course next week for everyone.

Activity 8: Making comparisons

Look at the following two e-mails and compare the language and layout. Which one is better for a
business e-mail following a first telephone conversation?
Try and identify the differences between

• The subject heading
• The typeface
• The style
• The signature
• The tone

74
Answer: The second one is much better because:
• The subject heading is clearer
• The typeface uses html and is easier to read, and more professional
• The style is more formal with openings, closings and paragraphs
• The signature only appears on the second one
• The tone is businesslike but friendly, and again more professional.
Remember: the first one may seem friendlier but which one would you prefer to receive?

Activity 9: Using Abbreviations

75
Look at the following examples of abbreviations from e-mail and online chats. Can you understand
them?
1. IDK what the answer is ATM. I’ll tell U ASAP.
2. TYVM for the proposal.
3. BTW, I’m going away on holiday next week so CU when I get back.
4. …so it’s quite difficult, UC.
5. I’m busy now. PLS can you call me L8R?
6. OK, CUL8R.
7. FYI I’m not here tomorrow.
8. THX for your MSG.
9. What are the advantages of using abbreviations? What are the disadvantages?
10. Do you think it is possible, after you have developed an “e-mail relationship” with a client, that
abbreviations can be used?
Answers:
I don’t know what the answer is at the moment. I’ll tell you as soon as possible.
2. Thank you very much for the proposal.
3. By the way, I’m going away on holiday next week so see you when I get back.
4. …so it’s quite difficult, you see.
5. I’m busy now. Please can you call me later?
6. All right, see you later.
7. For your information I’m not here tomorrow.
8. Thanks for your message.
9. One obvious advantage is that it is quicker to write using abbreviations. The disadvantage though is that the
style of the message can sometimes be less professional.
10.Using ‘pls’ and ‘asap’ may be acceptable once an ‘e-mail relationship’ has developed, but remember that
rushing an e-mail message is no more acceptable than writing a ‘normal’ letter quickly, especially to business
clients.

Activity 10: Good Email practice

Look at the following suggestions about using e-mails for business writing. Which ones are good

76
advice, and which ones are bad advice?
1. All e-mails look the same so the subject heading should be clear.
2. E-mails are normally read quickly and need to be easily understood. It is important that the first
paragraph includes any action that is requested.
3. If an e-mail is too long it may not all be read. Remember the four Ss when writing an e-mail: keep it
Short, Simple and Straightforward, and Spell correctly.
4. Only include one subject in each e-mail. A new subject needs a new e-mail with a new subject
heading.
5. People often reply very quickly to e-mails and this means that the message is not always clear.
Make sure your e-mails are as long as possible.
6. Before you press “reply to all” make sure that everyone needs to see your reply. Copying
unnecessary mail to colleagues can add to e-mail overload.
7. Some internal message systems show the first line of a message on the screen before it is opened so
imagine how this will read.
8. Don’t use emoticons. Many people don’t like them, and some people don’t understand them.
9. Avoid using abbreviations unless you are sure that your reader will understand them.
10. Don’t type words IN CAPITAL LETTERS – this looks like you are shouting.
11. If somebody hasn’t replied immediately to an e-mail, don’t resend the message. They may be away
from the office or busy, and will feel that you are bothering them.
12. If your message is very urgent, follow it up with a phone call, or consider phoning rather than e-
mailing.
13. The law regarding e-mailing is still unclear. It is safest to treat an e-mail, even one sent on an
internal system, like any other form of published material.
14. Don’t use ‘bcc’ – many companies disapprove, and it can cause problems.
Answer: All the suggestions are good except no 5; e-mails should not be as long as possible! Keep e-mails
short but make sure that it is not a one-line response that makes no sense.

Turn off you “you have mail” function so that you don’t stop what you are doing to read
it.

Activity 11: Writing an email

Frank Sony has replied to Peter Philips about the delivery of the computers. However, the e-mail
needs to be improved. Look at all the advice and examples of good practice, and re-write the message.

77
Answer: Here is one example for improving Frank Sony’s e-mail

In this lesson you have:

considered the role of e-mailing for business correspondence
identified problems associated with e-mailing
had model texts for good e-mails
identified good practice when sending e-mails
re-written and improved a poor e-mail

78
Maestro Session 14

Listen and Reflect

Amina is a marketing executive. She is attending a meeting of the sales staff which is being
conducted by Ankit, the marketing manager. The manager favours Amina from the start.

Ankit: I went through the sales performance of the team. Amina has exceeded her targets for the
past three months. She is the best employee in the sales team. Sales targets of those who have not
performed will be drastically increased. Start thinking of achieving targets like Amina.
Amina: Thank you sir.
Ankit: As you are the top performer, I have a very important assignment for you. I would like
you to fulfill the assignment as it is for a very important client. If you handle it successfully it
will be good for your career growth.

After a week, at a review meeting…..

Ankit: Show me the progress on the assignment.
Amina: I have made some progress but I am burdened with so much work that I cannot
concentrate on the assignment. I am under a lot of stress due to the workload.
Ankit: The assignment will enhance my credibility. It will also help you get a promotion. You
have to finish it off by tomorrow.

Amina felt that she was exhausting herself. Her colleagues felt that Ankit was showing undue
favouritism to her and started ignoring her. She resigned from the job as a result of declining
performance and low morale.

Let’s summarise:

Ankit is guilty of favouritism. In the meeting he praises Amina for exceeding her targets and tells
others to follow her example. He keeps on burdening Amina with work. Amina’s colleagues feel
that she is getting undue credit and stay away from her. Finally, Amina resigns due to work
overload and lack of goodwill.

A Solution

Ankit’s response at the meeting should be:
Ankit: I was going through the sales report for the past three months and found that although
most of you have made improvements Amina has still maintained her performance. I want all of
you to follow her example and improve on your performance. I have an important assignment for
you if you can handle it.

79
Amina’s response should have been:
Amina: Sir, I am busy with my work and cannot spare time for any more assignments. You can
assign it to someone else.

While asking for the progress on the assignment, Ankit should have said:
Ankit: The assignment you have is very important. It would be good if you complete it on time.
If you have any problems feel free to contact me. Please give me regular updates on the progress
by email. If you can’t do it at least suggest someone who can handle the assignment.

Meanings:

Admiration- respect, appreciation
Cope- manage
Dependable- loyal, faithful, trustworthy
Opinion- view, belief, outlook.
Praises- honour, acclaim, applaud

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Achievements
Admiration
Banking
Cheated
Cope
Corporation
Credibility
Declined
Dependable
Employee
Ignoring
Morale
Opinion
Overworked
Performance
Praises
Resigned
Uncomfortable

Answer me:
1: What did Ankit do in the sales meeting?
Ans: During the sales meeting, Ankit went through the sales report and found that Amina was
the top performer. So he praised Amina and increased the targets of other employees. He told
them to learn from Amina and complete their targets.
2: What did Ankit do out of favouritism for Amina?
Ans: During the meeting, Ankit praised Amina and offered her an assignment of a very
important client. He also pointed out that if she completed the assignment it would be good for
her career.

80
3: What happened at the review meeting?
Ans: At the next review meeting Ankit asked about the progress on the assignment. Amina said
that she was already burdened with work and could not spare time for the assignment. Hence the
progress had been slow. Ankit told Amina that she has to complete the assignment the next day
as it would enhance his credibility and help her get a promotion.

4: How did it affect the team members?
Ans: The team members felt that Ankit was favouring Amina by praising her and allotting her
important assignments. This would affect their chances of progress in the organisation. As a
result they started ignoring Amina.

5: What was the end result of Ankit’s favouritism?
Ans: The end result of Ankit’s favouritism was that the employee morale went down and Amina
resigned due to work overload.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Simple present tense: Amina is a marketing executive.
Simple past tense: Amina was a marketing executive.
Simple future tense: Amina will be a marketing executive.

2) Simple past tense: I went through the sales performance of the team.
Simple present tense: I go through the sales performance of the team.
Simple future tense: I will go through the sales performance of the team.

3) Simple present tense: She is the best employee in the sales team.
Simple past tense: She was the best employee in the sales team.
Simple future tense: She will be the best employee in the sales team.

4) Simple future tense: The assignment will enhance my credibility.
Simple present tense: The assignment enhanced my credibility.
Simple past tense: The assignment enhances my credibility.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Ankit said, “I was going through the sales performance of the team.”
Indirect: Ankit said that he was going through the sales performance report of the team.

B) Direct: Ankit said, “As you are the top performer, I have a very important assignment for
you.”
Indirect: Ankit said that since she was the top performer, he had a very important assignment for
her.

C) Direct: Ankit said, “Show me the progress on the assignment.”
Indirect: Ankit asked for the progress on the assignment.

81
Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Amina has exceeded her targets for the past three months.
Passive: Targets for the past three months have been exceeded by Amina.

B) Active: The assignment will enhance my credibility.
Passive: My credibility will be enhanced with the assignment.

C) Active: She resigned from the job as a result of declining performance and morale.
Passive: The job was resigned by her as a result of declining performance and morale.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Superlative: She is the best employee in the sales team.
Positive: She is a good employee in the sales team.
Comparative: She is better than all other employees in the sales team.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Drastically significantly slightly
B) Increased greater than before decreased
C) Achieve attain fail
D) Concentrate focus wander

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Start thinking of achieving targets like Amina” can be written as “I want you to pull up
your socks and match Amina’s performance”.
B) “I would like you to fulfill the assignment as it is for a very important client.” can be written
as “I would like you to do justice to the assignment as it is for a very important client.”
C) “Amina felt that she was exhausting herself.” can be written as “Amina felt that she was
burning the candle at both ends.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The authorities should pull up their socks and help the victims of the earthquake.
B) The inexperienced executive could not do justice to the task he was entrusted with.
C) The workers burnt the candle at both ends to complete the task.

82
Writing Skills

There are many different reasons for writing a letter, e-mail or fax. You may want to write an e-mail to
everyone in your new job to introduce yourself, or you may receive a fax from a hotel confirming a
reservation. These messages have different functions: to introduce, or to confirm. This lesson looks at the
most common reasons for business writing and it gives advice on how to write these.

This lesson only looks at the content of the communication. Have a copy of previous
lessons with you to remind yourself of the layout for different types of business
correspondence.

Activity 1: Thinking about different functions

The introduction mentions an e-mail for introduction and a fax for confirmation. What other functions can
you think of?

Answer: Apart from a letter (e-mail or fax) of introduction or confirmation, other types of functions include:
Complaining / inviting / enquiring / apologising / recommending / requesting / refusing
These reasons for writing are different from Lesson 3 on e-mailing which looked at the more day-to-day
correspondence with colleagues and clients you know.

Activity 2: Identifying the function of a message

Read the fax message given below and answer the questions:

83
Dear Wind and Water
I am writing to enquire if it would be possible for you to have a look at a plan of our office and
redesign it according to Feng Shui principles. This is in order to improve our company’s present
difficulties.
We would be most grateful if you could let us have an estimate for this service. In addition, please
could you tell us when would be a suitable date for a consultation.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully
Dan Donaldson

1. What is Feng Shui?
2. Mr. Donaldson works for a company that has many problems. Productivity has fallen and it is not
making any money. Nobody is happy in the company. He has written to a Feng Shui consultancy
company called Wind and Water. Read his message. What is the function?
3. What four things does Mr. Donaldson want Wind and Water to do?
4. What is the reason?

5 What words or phrases are used for the function?

6 What other words or phrases can be used?

Answers:
1. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study. It analyses how a building and environment
interact with the occupants and gives recommendations how to improve this
relationship. Some people think Feng Shui can bring good luck

2. Mr Donaldson is making an enquiry.

3. Mr Donaldson would like Wind and Water to
i have a look at a plan of the office
ii redesign the office according to Feng Shui principles
iii provide an estimate
iv give a suitable date for a consultation

4. To improve the company’s present difficulties

5. I am writing to enquire if
We would be most grateful if you could
please could you

84
6. Other phrases can include:
I am writing to ask the price of this model
if the model is already available

We should like to know further details
where we can obtain further details

Activity 3: Writing a message of enquiry

You are going to spend a few days in Delhi on company business. You are interested in staying at the Palace
Hotel. Write a fax to the hotel. Include the following information:
1. Ask about the services they offer
2. Give a reason for making the enquiry.
3. Ask them to send you information on
• Room rates
• Restaurants
• Gym facilities and swimming pool
• Accepted credit cards or methods of payment
4. Also ask what the latest time for checking-out is
Look at the example in Activity 2 to help you.

Answer:

Remember, these expressions can be used for other types of correspondence.

85
I am writing to ask if you could check my salary payment for this month.
I would also like to know how many of you are thinking of taking leave soon.

Activity 4: Replying to an enquiry

When replying to an enquiry you must make sure that you answer all the enquiries exactly. A good
method is to go through the original letter (e-mail or fax), and make a list of all the enquiries / key
words. Then to answer the enquiries. Here is an example:

The list of enquiries to Palace Hotel And the answers from the Palace Hotel looks
looks like this: like this:

1. Room rates 1. $140 per night, does not include
breakfast

2. Restaurants 2. three excellent restaurants

3. Gym facilities and swimming 3. Gym facilities, yes and large swimming
pool pool, free to guests

4. Accepted credit cards or 4. cash or credit cards. Accept Visa,
methods of payment MasterCard and American Express

5. Latest time for checking-out 5. 3pm for extra charge $15

Now look at how the answers have been included in this reply.

Dear Mr Hewson
Thank you for your fax requesting information about the Palace Hotel in Delhi.
The room rates for a double room are $140 per night. I am afraid that this rate does not include
breakfast. However, we are pleased to inform you that we have full room service or you may visit
any of our three excellent restaurants in the hotel.
I can confirm that we have a large outdoor swimming pool and gym facilities. These are available
free of charge to all guests. In addition you may settle your account by cash or credit card. We
accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Finally, we are happy to offer you late checkout until 3pm for an extra charge of $15. If you would
like to arrange this service, please inform the reception on arrival.
If there is anything else you require, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to
receiving your booking.

86
Yours sincerely
Tapash Roy
Manager Customer Service

Now do the same. First, your name is Dora Lewis and you work for Air Fresh International. You have
received this enquiry from ETG Services.

1. What is the reason for writing?

Dear Sir/Madam
Fresh Air-Conditioner, model number 2V3
ETG Services needs to replace its air-conditioners. I am writing to enquire about the cost of your
model 2V3, and if there is any discount for bulk purchase. Could you also let us know the
estimated delivery time, and if there is a guarantee with the equipment. If so, how long does it last?
Finally, we should like to know if your company operates a maintenance service.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Patricia Butler
ETG Services

2. Now fill in this table. The first one has been done for you. Decide the answers yourself.

List of enquiries: Answers:

1 cost 1 $1,200

2 2

3 3

4 4

5 5

6 6

3. First look at the table in the answer key with the trainer to check. Now write a reply to the enquiry.
Don’t forget to thank Ms Butler for her enquiry. Look at the example to Mr Hewson above to help
you.

87
Answers:

1 ETG want to buy some air-conditioners and need some information

2
List of enquiries: Answers: (these are suggestions)

1 cost 1 $1,200

2 discount 2 20% if three or more ordered

3 estimated delivery time 3 2 to 3 weeks from receipt of order

4 guarantee 4 Yes

5 length of guarantee 5 1 year

6 maintenance service 6 Yes - $750 a year covering maintenance and
replacement parts

3
This is a good example:

88
Note the phrases: I am pleased to inform you (that)… / I can confirm (that)…

Other phrases can include: I can tell you (that)…/ I can let you know (that)…
Try and use some of these phrases in your reply.

Activity 5: Complaining 1

Read this complaint.

1. Where does Mr Bevan work, and why is he complaining?

Dear Mr Brown
We have just received delivery of order no. 2601 placed with you on 16 February. We regret to
say, however, that the goods delivered do not meet our requirements.
The quality of the goods appears to be far below that of the samples which were sent earlier and are
therefore not acceptable. Furthermore, as you can see in the copy of the invoice we enclose, we
requested 1,500 shirts but have only received 1,400 of those.
We have received many requests from our regular customers for these shirts but have been unable
to fulfil the orders and have lost considerable revenue as a result. We therefore hope you will let us
know by March 20 what action you can take to help us solve this present difficulty. If we do not
hear from you by that date we will regretfully be forced to cancel the order and ask for
compensation.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours sincerely
Winston Bevan

2. Read the message again. What is the tone? What is the main aim of each paragraph?

Answers:
1. Mr Bevan works in a clothes shop. He is complaining about a delivery of shirts.
2. The tone is firm but polite. Mr Bevan is not rude at all. (We regret to say…)
Paragraph 1: reason for writing and introduction to the problem
Paragraph 2: details of the problem
Paragraph 3: closing down and request for action

Activity 6: Complaining 2

89
1. In the first paragraph it is a good idea to start by giving your reader the background – details
about the event that has caused you to complain:
• I spent three nights, 2 – 4 March, at your hotel. The room number was 310.
• I wanted to buy some equipment in your electrical department yesterday, 18 March, 2004.
2. The second paragraph should explain the exact problem or complaint you are writing about:
• On my third night, there was so much noise from a party being held in room 314 that I could
not get to sleep.
• I am sorry to tell you that the members of staff on duty were very unhelpful and could not
give me any details about the CD player I was interested in buying.
You should then give the details of any action that you took to try and solve the problem:
• I complained to your staff on night duty but they were unable to persuade the guests to keep quiet.
• I asked to see the department manager but was told that he was not on duty.

3. The last paragraph is important because it can be used for two purposes.

a) to save face of the organisation to which you are complaining by paying a compliment.
• I had thoroughly enjoyed my stay up until then, but this incident rather spoilt my visit.
• I was surprised by this lack of politeness, as I had been very impressed by the helpfulness of staff in
other departments.
b) to suggest ways of solving the problem or of preventing it from happening again.
• May I suggest that staff on night duty should get the security staff to follow up complaints if
necessary.
• Perhaps it would be a good idea to give your staff some training in customer-care.
Paragraph 3 also includes a request for action:
• I would be grateful if the hotel could compensate me for the inconvenience caused.
• Meanwhile I am reluctant to return to your shop until I receive an apology.
Notice how polite all these phrases are.
Activity 7: Writing to complain

Your name is Mr Martin Black and you work for a shoe shop. You are not happy about a delivery you
received and you want to complain. Write to the company Instep using these notes. The manager’s
name is Mr Gordon Richards.
Paragraph one includes details about the event that has caused you to complain:
• 24 March received order PB327, 3 dozen pairs of sports shoes
Paragraph 2 explains the exact problem:
• several pairs incorrectly labeled
• laces missing from some shoes

90
Paragraph 2 also includes action you have taken:
• repacked faulty shoes to be taken away

Paragraph 3 pays compliment and requests action:
• dealt with Instep for several years, first complaint
• replace faulty pairs
Remember to remain polite when complaining!
Answer: This is a good example:

The message should be polite and have clear paragraphs whether you are writing a letter, e-
mail or fax. The content is the same even if the type of correspondence is different. Never forget
how the reader will feel reading the complaint. Perhaps ask someone else to read the message
before sending it.

Activity 8: Apologising

We all make mistakes. It is important to be able to apologise sincerely, it has a positive effect on the
people you work with or do business with.
1. Ms Jones has received an apology from the hotel she was staying at. Read it

91
and say what the main aim of each paragraph is.

Dear Ms Jones
Thank you for your letter dated 5 March complaining about the noise while you were staying at our
hotel.
We are very sorry that you were unable to sleep because of the loud music from a nearby room.
This was because of a small party the occupants were having to celebrate a 21st birthday.
Please accept this voucher for two free dinners at our hotel restaurant which you may use anytime
during the next 6 months.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused you and assure you it will not be repeated.
As a valued customer we look forward to you staying with us again in the future.

2. What words or phrases are used for the function of apologising?
3. What other words or phrases can be used?
Answers:
1
Paragraph 1 acknowledges the letter of complaint
Paragraph 2 apologises and offers an explanation
Paragraph 3 a solution
Paragraph 4 closes the letter / e-mail / fax and gives an assurance that the mistake will not happen again

2
Thank you for your letter / e-mail / fax dated …
We are very sorry that …This was because of …
Please accept …
We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused you and assure you it will not be repeated.
3
Other phrases for apologising include:
We regret that you had a problem while staying at our hotel.
We apologise for the late delivery of the books you ordered.
Other phrases for offering an explanation include:
This was due to a mistake in our records.
It was the result of a fire in the warehouse.
The delay is due to our supplier having gone out of business.

Other phrases for offering a solution include:
We will replace the goods as soon as possible.
We suggest that we send out engineer to check the equipment.
Other phrases for closing down include:
We shall do our best to make sure that this does not happen again.
We assure you that we shall do our best…

92
We do hope you will have no further cause for complaint.

Activity 9: Writing an apology

You are Mr Gordon Richards, the manager of Instep. You have received the e-mail from Mr Martin
Black complaining about the sports shoes he received. Write a reply to apologise. Look at the example
above to help you.

Answer: This is a good example:

In this lesson you have:

identified different functions for corresponding
written an enquiry
replied to an enquiry
93
written to complain
written to apologise

Maestro Session 15

Listen and Reflect

Rakesh is summoned by the manager to discuss an important project.

Rakesh: Good afternoon sir. You wanted to see me?
Manager: Yes Rakesh. I am giving you a very important project which will involve two teams.
These teams will be selected by our overseas head office.
Rakesh: I object to the fact that I will not be consulted for the team selection. I have selected the
teams for all my projects. And I wish to continue doing so.
Manager: This is a management decision and you have to accept it.
Rakesh: But sir, I need the freedom to decide in order to successfully complete the project.
Manager: Ok, I will try to come to a settlement. I will contact the head office and see what can
be done.

That afternoon the manager summoned Rakesh…..

Manager: Rakesh, I have spoken to the General Manager at the Head office and he has decided
that you will handle two interdependent teams. You can select one team and the other will be
selected by the head office.
Rakesh: That is ok. I will select my team in one day.

Rakesh finalised the team the next day. The team held a meeting where Rakesh gave all
information on the project and discussed the team’s requirements. The team selected by the head
office arrived in four days. The team was led by Allen who was a senior employee. Rakesh
handed him the information in hard copies and the two teams left for the project site. On the first
day Rakesh held a meeting of his team while Allen’s team was on site inspection.

94
Allen: Rakesh, you should have informed us about the meeting. We would have postponed the
site visit.
Rakesh: Don’t worry. I will give you details of the discussion.

On the third day Rakesh and his team prepared the blue print for the project without involving
Allen’s team….

Allen: Rakesh, You have put me in a bad situation. Being a project manager you are supposed to
encourage the team. But it seems you are not interested in involving us in the project. An
important thing like the blueprint has to include our opinion. You have been behaving like this
since my team has arrived. The team feels left out.
Rakesh: Allen, me and my team have handled bigger projects. I will pass on all the relevant
information whenever you ask.

Rakesh’s behaviour affected the performance of both teams and communication was poor. Allen
filed a formal complaint with the head office and Rakesh was removed from the project.

Let’s summarise:
Rakesh is guilty of uncooperative behaviour. He does not believe in teamwork and does not
share information with the other team leader he is supposed to work with. Perhaps he is insecure
and feels that his position is threatened by Allen. Rakesh’s behaviour affects the performance of
both teams and he is removed from the project.

A Solution

When Rakesh was informed by the manager about the project, his response should have been:
Rakesh: Sir, I am happy to be a part of the project. Although I have selected my own project
teams for all the projects I will enjoy working with the team which the management has selected.
It will be great to share and learn from the team at the head office. I will extend full cooperation
to the team.

Rakesh’s response to the team at the head office should have been….
Rakesh: Welcome to India. I am Rakesh and I will be leading the team. Allen, I see that your
team is well experienced. We can pool our knowledge to make this project successful. I and my
team will give you full cooperation. We will discuss all the important events in our meetings and
you are welcome to share your views.

Meanings:

Blueprint- plan, drawing, design
Consult- ask, discuss, check with
Freedom- choice, freewill.
hard copies- information on paper
Interdependent- depend on each other, co-dependent, inter-reliant
Opinion- Point of view

95
Overseas- in a foreign country, out of the country
Postpone- put off, delay
Successfully- fruitfully, productively.
Summon- call for, send for

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Afternoon
Behaving
Blueprint
Communication
Consulted
Discussion
Finalised
Freedom
Handled
Important
Information
Inspection
Interdependent
Interested
Involving
Manage
Management
Manager
Meeting
Communication
Opinion
Overseas
Performance
Postponed
Project
Relevant
Selection
Successfully
Summoned

Answer me:
1: Why did the manager summon Rakesh?
Ans: The manager summoned Rakesh because he wanted him to work on a very important
project which involved two teams selected by the head office.

2: Why did Rakesh object to the project?
Ans: Rakesh had always selected his own team for projects. He did not like the idea of the two
teams being selected by the head office. He wanted the freedom to select his own team. So he
objected to the proposal.

3: What did the manager say in the afternoon?

96
Ans: The manager said that he had spoken to the General Manager at the Head office and he had
decided that Rakesh will handle two interdependent teams. While Rakesh had the freedom to
select one team and the other team will be selected by the head office.

4: What did Rakesh do after selecting the team?
Ans: After selecting the team, Rakesh held a meeting of his team and gave all information on the
project and discussed the team’s requirements. After the team from the head office arrived, he
handed them the project information in hard copies. In the field, he took a meeting of his own
team.

5. Where did Rakesh go wrong?
Ans: Rakesh should have waited for the team from the head office before holding the first
meeting. Even on the field he should have involved the team from the head office.

6. What did Allen’s team feel?
Ans: Allen’s team felt that Rakesh was hesitating from involving his team in the project. They
felt that he has been ignoring them from day one. The team now felt left out.

7. What was the end result of Rakesh’s behaviour?
Ans: Rakesh’s behaviour affected the performance and morale of both teams; as a result
communication between them was poor. As a last resort, Allen filed a formal complaint with the
head office and Rakesh was removed from the project.

Grammar practice:-
Tenses:

1) Simple present tense: Rakesh is summoned by the manager to discuss an important project.
Simple past tense: Rakesh was summoned by the manager to discuss an important project.
Simple future tense: Rakesh will be summoned by the manager to discuss an important
project.

2) Simple future tense: These teams will be selected by our overseas head office.
Simple present tense: These teams are selected by our overseas head office.
Simple past tense: These teams were selected by our overseas head office.

3) Simple present tense: This is a management decision and you have to accept it.
Simple past tense: This was a management decision and you had to accept it.
Simple future tense: This will be a management decision and you will have to accept it.

4) Simple past tense: Rakesh finalised the team the next day.
Simple present tense: Rakesh finalises the team the next day.
Simple future tense: Rakesh will finalise the team next day.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Rakesh said, “I object to the fact that I will not be consulted for the team selection.”
Indirect: Rakesh objected to the fact that he would not consulted for the team selection.

97
B) Direct: Manager said, “This is a management decision and you have to accept it.”
Indirect: The manager said that it was a management’s decision and Rakesh had to accept it.

C) Direct: The manager said, “You can select one team and the other will be selected by the head
office.”
Indirect: The manager said that Rakesh could select one team and the other would be selected by
the head office.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Passive: These teams will be selected by our overseas head office.
Active: Our overseas head office will select these teams.

B) Active: I have selected the teams for all my projects.
Passive: The teams for all my projects have been selected by me.

C) Active: Rakesh finalised the team the next day.
Passive: The team was finalised the next day by Rakesh.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: You have put me in a bad situation.
Comparative: You have put me in a worse situation than before.
Superlative: You have put me in the worst situation.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Freedom independence restriction
B) Interdependent mutually supporting independent
C) Postponed delayed proponed
D) Relevant appropriate irrelevant

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Ok, I will try to come to a settlement.” can be written as “Ok, I will try to strike a bargain.”
B) “Being a project manager you are supposed to encourage the team.” can be written as “Being
a project manager you are supposed to egg on the team.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The employee union struck a bargain and got a good deal for the employees.
B) The teacher egged on the students to complete their projects.

Writing Skills:

In this lesson you look at different types of styles of writing in terms of tone (being formal, neutral or
informal). You may be surprised to find out that nowadays letters are less than formal than in the past,

98
and that a friendly but business-like tone is more important.
In the previous lesson you wrote a letter and a fax. You need both of these for this lesson.

Activity 2: Identifying purpose

Here are six different types of correspondence. Read each one and decide why each one has been
written. Choose from the list of reasons below.

Which of the above is

99
• complaining about something • advertising
• giving a personal message • apologising
• asking someone to do something
• providing information

Answers:
• complaining about something C • advertising F
• giving a personal message D • apologising B
• providing information A • asking someone to do something E

Activity 3: (with answers)
Read the six types of correspondence again and decide which of the above is

• very informal (the two people know each other very well) D
• very formal (it is written to an individual the writer does not know) C
• neutral (the two people are work colleagues) A
• informal (it is written as if the writer knows who they are writing to) F
• formal (it is written to an individual the writer knows but not very well) E
• very formal (the two people know each other well) B

Maestro Session 16

Listen and Reflect
Nisha, an executive assistant, had problems with her manager.
Manager: You will have to handle more assignments as two of your colleagues will be on leave.
It is time to prepare the monthly expense report which has to be sent to the head office.

100
Nisha: Sir, I am already loaded with work and struggling to meet deadlines. It is affecting my
performance and my growth prospects. Why don’t you assign the work to someone else?

Manager: All other staff members are busy with their own work. I don’t want to disturb them. It
would be good if you learn to handle additional work load. I don’t care if you have to work
overtime. Get it done by today.

Nisha: Sir, you don’t seem to understand my problem. I am tired of your biased behaviour
towards me. You are asking for trouble. I will be filing a complaint with the HR department.

Manager: Nisha, you have never met any deadlines, and always ignore my orders. I don’t have to
put up with your arrogant behaviour. Your only way to retain credit is to follow my orders.

The next day the HR personnel told both to settle their differences on their own. But the situation
didn’t change. The two parties were unable to work together in the same office and both went on
lengthy medical leaves and finally Nisha resigned.

Let’s summarise:

Nisha is a victim of the unreasonable attitude of her boss. She is overburdened and harassed. But
she goes wrong in her handling of the situation and has to give up her job.

A Solution

The manager’s response should have been:
Manager: Nisha, it’s time we prepare the monthly expense report. We are short of staff so it
would be better if you prepare it. I know you are busy with your own assignments but we have
no other option. It is a temporary assignment and you won’t have to do it again. The required
data would be given to you. If you have any problems let me know.

Nisha’s response should have been:
Sir, I can spare some time for the assignment and I will finish it at the earliest.
OR ‘I understand the urgency sir. Although it will be a very tight schedule for me, I’ll do it. I
hope you don’t mind if my other commitments take a back seat till then.”

Meanings:

Arrogant- proud, superior
Assignment- work, task
Biased- unfair, influenced
Colleagues- co-workers, fellow employees
Executive assistant- administrative assistant to the manager
Growth prospects- scope for growth
Ignore- pay no attention to, overlook
Overtime- working extra hours

101
Pronunciation and Spelling:
Additional
Arrogant
Assign
Assignments
Assistant
Behaviour
Biased
Colleagues
Complaint
Deadlines
Differences
Executive
Expense
HR department
Ignore
Loaded
Monthly
Overtime
Performance
Prospects
Resigned
Sickness
Situation
Someone
Understand

Answer me:
1: Why was Nisha given the assignment?
Ans: Nisha had to prepare the monthly expense report as two of her colleagues would be on
leave. The monthly expense report had to be prepared urgently and sent to the head office. So
Nisha was given the assignment.

2: What was Nisha’s situation and what did she request?
Ans: Nisha was already loaded with work and struggling to meet the deadlines. She felt that her
non performance was affecting her growth prospects. Nisha was sure that she would not be able
to complete the assignment. So she requested that the assignment be given to someone else.

3: How did the manager react to Nisha’s request?
Ans: The manager said that all other staff was busy with their own work and he didn’t want to
disturb them. Nisha had to learn to handle additional work load. The manager wanted Nisha to
complete the work immediately and he didn’t care if she had to work overtime.

4: What did Nisha plan to do?
Ans: Nisha planned to lodge a complaint with the HR department to find a solution.

Grammar practice:-

102
Tenses:

1) Present continuous: It is affecting my performance and my growth prospects.
Past continuous: It was affecting my performance and my growth prospects.
Future continuous: It will be affecting my performance and my growth prospects.

2) Present continuous: All other staff members are busy with their own work.
Past continuous: All other staff members are busy with their own work.
Future continuous: All other staff members will be busy with their own work.

3) Future continuous: I will be filing a complaint with the HR department.
Present continuous: I was filing a complaint with the HR department.
Past continuous: I am filing a complaint with the HR department.

4) But the situation didn’t change.
Present continuous: But the situation is not changing.
Past continuous: But the situation was not changing.
Future continuous: But the situation will not be changing.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: The Manager said, “You will have to handle more assignments as two of your
colleagues will be on leave.”
Indirect: The manager told her that she would have to handle more assignments as two of her
colleagues would be on leave.

B) Direct: Nisha said, “Sir, I am already loaded with work and struggling to meet deadlines.”
Indirect: Nisha said that she was already loaded with work and struggling to meet the deadlines.

C) Direct: The manager said, “Nisha, you have never met any deadlines, and always ignore my
orders.”
Indirect: The manager told Nisha that she had never met any deadlines and always ignored his
orders.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: You will have to handle more assignments as two of your colleagues will be on leave.
Passive: More assignments will have to be handled by you as two of your colleagues will be on
leave.

B) Active: It has affected my performance and my growth prospects.
Passive: My growth prospects and performance have been affected by it.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: It would be good if you learn to handle additional work load.
Comparative: It would be better if you learn to handle additional work load.
Superlative: It would the best if you learn to handle additional work load.

103
Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Struggling strain carefree
B) Deadline time limit extension
C) Biased unfair unbiased
D) Arrogant proud humble

Idioms and Phrases
A) “You are asking for trouble.” can be written as “You are fishing in troubled waters”
B) “Your only way to retain credit is to follow my orders.” can be written as “Your only way to
save face is to follow my orders.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) By trespassing into the restricted area, you are fishing in troubled waters.
B) In order to save face, he had to resign.

Speaking skills:

Group discussion
A Group Discussion can be defined as a formal discussion involving ten to twelve participants
in a group.
It is a methodology used by an organisation to gauge whether the candidate has certain
personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members. In this methodology, the group of
candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then
asked to discuss it among themselves for 15-20 minutes.
As in a football game, where you play like a team, passing the ball to each team member and aim
for a common goal, GD is also based on team work, incorporating views of different team
members to reach a common goal.
Here are some of the most important personality traits that a candidate should possess to do well
at a GD:
• Team spirit
• Reasoning ability
• Leadership
• Flexibility
• Assertiveness
• Initiative
• Creativity/ Out of the box thinking
• Inspiring ability
• Listening
• Awareness

104
1. Team Spirit
It is essential for managers to be team players.
The reason: Managers always work in teams.
At the beginning of his career, a manager works as a team member. And, later, as a team leader.
Management aspirants who lack team skills cannot be good managers.

2. Reasoning Ability
Reasoning ability plays an important role while expressing your opinions or ideas at a GD.
For example, on India's growth and its effects:
Any answer for this should be based on reasons, not assumptions.

3. Leadership
There are three types of situations that can arise in a GD:
~ A GD where participants are unable to establish a proper rapport and do not speak much.
~ A GD where participants get emotionally charged and the GD gets chaotic.
~ A GD where participants discuss the topic assertively by touching on all its nuances and try to
reach the objective.
Here, a leader would be someone who facilitates the third situation at a GD.
A leader would have the following qualities:
~S/he shows direction to the group whenever the group moves away from the topic.
~S/he coordinates the effort of the different team members in the GD.
~S/he contributes to the GD at regular intervals with valuable insights.
~S/he also inspires and motivates team members to express their views.
Caution: Being a mere coordinator in a GD does not help, because it is a secondary role.
Contribute to the GD with your ideas and opinions, but also try and steer the conversation
towards a goal.

4. Flexibility
You must be open to other ideas as well as to the evaluation of your ideas: That is what
flexibility is all about.
But first, remember: Never ever start your GD with a stand or a conclusion.
Say the topic of a GD is, 'Should India Ban night work for Women at night hours?'
Some participants tend to get emotionally attached to the topic and take a stand either in favour
or against the topic, ie 'Yes, India should', or, 'No, India should not'.

By taking a stand, you have already given your decision without discussing the topic at hand or
listening to the views of your team members.

105
Also, if you encounter an opposition with a very strong point at the 11th hour, you end up in a
typical catch-22 situation:
~If you change your stand, you are seen as a fickle-minded or a whimsical person.
~If you do not change your stand, you are seen as an inflexible, stubborn and obstinate person.

5. Assertiveness
• You must put forth your point to the group in a very emphatic, positive and confident
manner.
• Participants often confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness.
• Aggressiveness is all about forcing your point on the other person, and can be a threat to
the group. An aggressive person can also demonstrate negative body language, whereas
an assertive person displays positive body language.

6. Initiative
A general trend amongst students is to start a GD and get the initial kitty of points earmarked for
the initiator.
But that is a high risk-high return strategy.
Initiate a GD only if you are well versed with the topic. If you start and fail to contribute at
regular intervals, it gives the impression that you started the GD just for the sake of the initial
points.
Also, if you fumble, stammer or misquote facts, it may work against you.
Remember: You never ever get a second chance to create a first impression.

7. Creativity/ Out of the box thinking
An idea or a perspective which opens new horizons for discussion on the GD topic is always
highly appreciated.
When you put across a new idea convincingly, such that it is discussed at length by the group, it
can only be positive. You will find yourself in the good books of the examiner.

8. Inspiring ability
A good group discussion should incorporate views of all the team members.
If some team members want to express their ideas but are not getting the
opportunity to do so, giving them an opportunity to express their ideas or opinions will be seen
as a positive trait.
Caution: If a participant is not willing to speak, you need not necessarily go out of the way to ask
him to express his views. This may insult him and hamper the flow of the GD.

9. Listening
Always try and strike a proper balance between expressing your ideas and imbibing ideas.

106
10. Awareness
You must be well versed with both the micro and macro environment.
Your awareness about your environment helps a lot in your GD content, which carries maximum
weightage.

Sample GD:

Group discussion between six students. The topic for the discussion is “Should pocket money
be given to children?” Each participant is given a number from 1 to 6.

Should pocket money be given to children?

No.2: Good afternoon friends. The topic for our discussion today is: Should pocket money
be given to children? It is a very interesting topic.
N o .5 : Yes certainly. I think we must speak on it turn by turn starting from No.1 if it pleases
him. We have 30 minutes for our discussion and we have already lost 5 minutes. Each
one of us has 4 min. to speak.
Should we begin? .
N o.1: Good afternoon friends. According to me pocket money should not be given to children
as it can develop bad habits as smoking, drinking etc. At a younger age children do not
have the wisdom to understand what is right or wrong. So getting money in hand can be
disastrous.
N o .2 : I think otherwise. Pocket money is needed to meet emergency situations when the child
is away from home. Giving pocket money to children is important as it makes them
responsible kids. They will learn how to handle money and develop the decision-
making capacity. Therefore, pocket money is not harmful.
N o.3: I am of the opinion that pocket money does more harm than good. Teenage is the time
when you are neither a child nor an adult.
They do not understand the ways of the world. Getting money in hand at a tender age
could land them in trouble. All the bad things are there in society and if children are
given some fixed allowances daily, weekly or monthly, they will be tempted to try out
those things. So in my opinion pocket money should not be given.
No.4: Excuse me, but I beg to differ. Pocket money must be given to children. There should
be transparency in the parent-child relationship. Parents must ask them how they spend
their money and children must openly tell the truth. If there is trust and faith in the
107
parent-child relationship, then money will not matter. Children need money for
travelling, petrol, stationery, snacks etc. in school, and colleges. So parents must give
some amount to the child depending on his needs, age and maturity level.
No.5 : But what if children do not tell the truth? If they fall into bad company, they will
misuse the money given by their parents and betray their trust. If parents satisfy all
their needs, why do they need money? If at all they need it, they must do a part time
job so that they will understand the value of money. That's all what I have to say.
No.6 : I think all of you have already spoken whatever I had to say. I will sum up
the discussion. Pocket money in itself is not bad. It depends on the children how to use it.
Thank You.

Maestro Session 17

Listen and Reflect

Megha is an administrative assistant She has a close group of friends who work in the other
departments and are constantly chatting on the computer. Reena joined as a manager in Megha’s
department. Megha was due for promotion as a manager but the management decided against it
and hired Reena who was much more experienced. Megha held a grudge against Reena and
started sending vulgar comments to her friends through the intranet. Reena approached Paul, the
HR manager to discuss the issue.

Paul: Reena, You look troubled. Are you facing any problem?
Reena: I am disappointed with the work culture in the office. The staff seems to be undisciplined.
If it continues I will have to quit.
Paul: Reena, stop the baseless talk and come to the point.
Reena: Megha, one of my subordinates has been harassing me. She has been acting weird lately.
From day one she has been ignoring me. I have to communicate with her because she is a senior
employee and I need her help to get started on my job.
Paul: It is just a case of insubordination. You should be able to handle it.
Reena: Sir, it is much more serious. She has been passing vulgar comments about me on the
intranet. The staff seems to believe her and have been ignoring me. She keeps chatting with her
friends all the time.
Paul: She and her friends are misusing the office equipment and the intranet, eating up precious
bandwidth. She is setting a bad example for her friends. It will affect the performance of all
employees.
Reena: What am I supposed to do now?

Let’s summarise:

Reena was appointed by the management in place of Megha, who was due for promotion. So
Megha started maligning Reena by posting vulgar comments about her on the intranet. Reena
and her friends misused the intranet by chatting on it all the time. Paul, the HR manager felt that

108
such behaviour would affect the performance of other employees and set a bad example, but was
unable to provide a solution.

A Solution

While complaining Reena should have said:
Reena: Sir, I am having trouble with Megha, one of my subordinates. She has been ignoring me
and I find it difficult to communicate with her. I need her guidance to start with my work but she
has been uncooperative. Lately she has been passing vulgar comments on the intranet, as a result
of which, other employees are ignoring me.

Paul: Reena, the work culture over here is not bad just because one person is undisciplined. You
must not quit because someone abuses you. Misusing the intranet is a serious matter. Since you
have brought the issue to my notice I will discuss the issue with Megha immediately.

Meanings:

Bandwidth: a band of frequencies used to send electronic signals
Chatting: any kind of communication over the Internet, but is primarily meant to refer to direct
one-on-one chat using instant messaging applications.
Grudge: a feeling of anger, dislike.
Harassing: causing trouble, irritating
Hire: appoint, employ
Intranet: a private computer network used to securely share part of an organisation's information
or operations with its employees
Vulgar: bad, offensive, improper

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Administrative
Approached
Assistant
Bandwidth
Chatting
Comments
Communicate
Constantly
Department
Experienced
Grudge
Harassing
Hired
Ignoring
Insubordination
Intranet
Management
Misusing

109
Performance
Precious
Promotion
Situation
Subordinate
Supposed
Vulgar
Worse

Answer me:
1: How was Megha’s behaviour in the office?
Ans: Megha was an irresponsible employee. She had a close group of friends and they were
always chatting on the internet.

2: Why did she hold a grudge against Reena?
Ans: Megha held a grudge against Reena because instead of promoting her as the manager, the
management had hired Reena. Megha felt that Reena was responsible for the situation and hated
her. She also passed vulgar comments about reena to her friends in order to humiliate her.

3: What had Reena decided to do?
Ans: Reena did not find the work environment conducive to work. So she had decided to resign.

4: What was Paul’s opinion about Megha’s behaviour?
Ans: Initially, Paul felt that the case was of simple insubordination and expected Reena to handle
it. But later, he found that Megha’s behaviour was affecting other employees. She and her
friends were misusing the office equipment and the intranet, which was taking up precious
bandwidth. This would affect important communication among the employees.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:
1) She has been ignoring me
Present continuous: She is ignoring me.
Past continuous: She was ignoring me.
Future continuous: She will be ignoring me.

2) Reena approached Paul, the HR manager to discuss the issue.
Present continuous: Reena is approaching Paul, the HR manager to discuss the issue.
Past continuous: Reena was approaching Paul, the HR manager to discuss the issue.
Future continuous: Reena will be approaching Paul, the HR manager to discuss the issue.

3) Lately she has been passing vulgar comments on the intranet.
Present continuous: Lately she is passing vulgar comments on the intranet.
Past Continuous: Lately she was passing vulgar comments on the intranet.
Future Continuous: Lately she will be passing vulgar comments on the intranet.

Direct and Indirect speech:

110
A) Direct: Reena said, “I am disappointed with the work culture in the office.”
Indirect: Reena said that she was disappointed with the work culture in the office.

B) Direct: Paul said, “Reena, tell me what the problem is?”
Indirect: Paul asked Reena what the problem was.

C) Direct: Paul said, “It is just a case of insubordination.”
Indirect: Paul said that it was just a case of insubordination.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: I am disappointed with the work culture in the office.
Passive: The work culture in the office has disappointed me.

B) Active: From day one she has been ignoring me.
Passive: I have been ignored by her from day one.

C) Active: It will affect the performance of all employees.
Passive: The performance of all the employees will be affected by it.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: She is setting a bad example for her friends.
Comparative: She is setting a worse example for her friends.
Superlative: She is setting the worst example for her friends.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Constantly continuously intermittently
B) Disappointed upset satisfied
C) Undisciplined disobedient disciplined
D) Weird strange normal

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Megha held a grudge against Reena and started sending vulgar comments to her friends
through the intranet.” can be written as “Megha had an axe to grind and started maligning
Reena on the intranet.”
B) “Reena, stop the baseless talk and come to the point.” can be written as “Reena, stop beating
about the bush and come to the point.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The representatives of the press had an axe to grind, so the film star did not get any publicity.
B) When he has nothing substantial to say he beats about the bush.

Speaking skills

111
Topic for group discussion:

Love marriage or arranged marriage. Which is better?

Maestro Session 18

Listen and Reflect

Anjali, a sales supervisor is complaining to Rajiv, the operations manager about Sheela, a
customer care executive.

Anjali: I am here to lodge a formal complaint against Sheela.

Rajiv: What is your complaint?

Anjali: She is a senior customer care executive. But her way of handling customers’ calls is bad.
She is ruining the work environment. I no longer want her to be a part of my team. We have a lot
of customer complaints against her. She has brought disrepute to the department. Even the
employees prefer to stay away from her.

Rajiv: Could you give me more details?

Anjali: She talks loudly while on call and ends most phone calls by slamming down the receiver
and blurting, “Idiot!” She criticises all suggestions and plans she was consulted on. Most of the
staff respect her knowledge and competence but don’t dare ask her any questions because of her
demeanour. She has become habitually negative.

Rajiv: I will be attending to the complaint.

Rajiv calls Sheela and discusses the problem.

Rajiv: Such behaviour is not expected from a senior person like you. You are ruining the work
environment and demoralising your co-workers. You can take the day off and think about what
you can do to rectify matters.

Sheela: I can’t help it sir, it’s become a habit.

Let’s summarise:

Anjali the sales supervisor complains about Sheela’s rude behaviour with customers. Sheela also
criticises all suggestions and plans she is consulted on. She has ruined the work environment and
demoralised her colleagues. When Rajiv questions Sheela about it, she admits that it has
inadvertently become a habit.

112
A Solution

While complaining Anjali should have said:
Anjali: Sir, I’d like to discuss Sheela’s behaviour with you. Her way of handling customer calls
is unprofessional. After taking a call she slams the receiver and abuses the caller. She doesn’t
cooperate with the staff. I suggest that you talk to her. She might need counselling.

While discussing with Sheela, Rajiv should have said:
Rajiv: Sheela, your behaviour while taking customer calls is unprofessional. This is not expected
from an experienced employee. Are you facing any problems at work or at home? If so you can
discuss it with me. In order to maintain a good work environment I would suggest that you
change your way of handling customer calls and be cooperative with your fellow employees.

When Sheela met Rajiv the next day she should have said:
Sheela: I spent some time thinking about this and I agree that my behaviour had become much
too negative. I wasn’t doing it consciously. I’ll try to be polite in future.

Meanings:

Blurting: saying something suddenly without thinking
Competence: skill, ability
Consciously: on purpose, knowingly.
Demeanour: manner, behaviour, conduct, character.
Demoralise: cause to lose confidence and hope
Formal: proper, official
Habitually: regularly, usually
Lodge: file, record
Ruining: damaging, harmful, negative
Slamming: banging with force, making a loud noise

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Behaviour
Blurting
Competence
Complaining
Complaint
Consciously
Consulted
Co-workers
Criticises
Customer care
Demeanor
Demoralising
Discusses
Environment
Executive
Formal

113
Habitually
Handling
Immediately
Knowledge
Lodge
Negative
Operations
Receiver
Respected
Ruining
Slamming
Suggestions
Supervisor

Answer me:

1: Why did Anjali file a complaint against Sheela?
Ans: Sheela was a senior customer care executive but her way of handling customer calls was the
worst. Her behaviour was demoralising other staff members. So Anjali had decided that Sheela
should be removed from the team.

2: How did Sheela behave in the office?
Ans: While taking a call she used to talk loudly and end the call by slamming down the receiver
and blurting “Idiot!” She criticised all suggestions and plans she was consulted on.

3: What excuse did Sheela give to Rajiv?
Ans: When Rajiv asked about the reason for her rude behaviour, Sheela said that it had become
her habit, she couldn’t help it.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) I am here to lodge a formal complaint against Sheela.
Present continuous: I am lodging a formal complaint against Sheela.
Past continuous: I was lodging a formal complaint against Sheela.
Future continuous: I will be lodging a formal complaint against Sheela.

2) Future continuous: I will be attending to the complaint.
Past continuous: I was attending to the complaint.
Present continuous: I am attending to the complaint.

3) Present continuous: Rajiv calls Sheela and discusses the problem.
Past continuous: Rajiv called Sheela and discussed the problem.
Future continuous: Rajiv will call Sheela and discusses the problem.

Direct and Indirect speech:

114
A) Direct: Anjali said, “Sir, I am here to lodge a formal complaint against Sheela.”
Indirect: Anjali said that she was there to lodge a formal complaint against Sheela.

B) Direct: Rajiv asked, “Could you give me more details?”
Indirect: Rajiv asked her to give him more details.

C) Direct: Rajiv said, “Such behaviour is not expected from a senior person like you.”
Indirect: Rajiv said that such behaviour was not expected from a senior person like her.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: She is ruining the work environment.
Passive: The work environment is being ruined by her.

B) Active: Rajiv calls Sheela and discusses the problem.
Passive: Sheela is called by Rajiv to discuss the problem.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: But her way of handling customers’ calls is bad.
Comparative: But her way of handling customers’ calls is worse than the others.
Superlative: But her way of handling customers’ calls is the worst of all.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Formal official informal
B) Worst bad best
C) Criticise condemn praise
D) Habitually routinely unusually

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Even the employees prefer to stay away from her.” can be written as “Even the employees
prefer to give her a wide berth.”
B) “She has brought disrepute to the department.” can be written as “She is the black sheep of
our department.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The educated class prefers to give a wide berth to corrupt politicians.
B) His family had no expectations of him as he had always been the black sheep of the family.

Speaking skills

Sample GD:
Group discussion on ‘beauty or brains-what is more important in life?

115
Participant one: Good morning friends. Today we have a very interesting topic for discussion,
'Beauty or brains-what is more important for success?' I think we should speak turn by turn that
is number wise, if all of you agree?
I feel brains are more important for success in life. Just having a beautiful face is not going
to give you your daily bread and butter. Knowledge, studies, career, a good job, stability,
security-all these things can be achieved only through brains. Beauty will help you feel good
only till you are young but brains will help you to feel good throughout your life.

Participant two: My views are slightly different from yours. For me beauty is more important
in life. Not only brains but beauty can also give you lasting pleasures and satisfaction. Take the
example of beauty contests. It is primarily on the basis of beauty of the face that participants are
selected and then in the subsequent rounds the brains come into the picture. However talented
you may be, an ugly face cannot get an entry into beauty peagants and even customer-facing
jobs. Beauty can give name, fame, wealth and power to a person.

Participant Three: I beg your pardon, but only 20% of the population is beautiful. Even if
you are beautiful you may not get a chance to reach the top. There are so many beautiful girls
and boys in the cities and rural areas but how many of them get selected for filmdom or beauty
contests? Only the lucky 1 %. The others have to use their brains to become successful in life.
Therefore, in my opinion brainpower is more important than beauty in life.

Participant four: I do not support that. Why are we restricting the meaning of success only
to beauty contests and filmdom? Even in everyday life it is good to have beautiful faces
around. A beautiful person is a smart, well groomed person. Smartness can win almost
everything for you in life. Have you heard about the face that launched a thousand ships?
Beauty is eternal.

Participant five: Let us look at life in the practical sense and not with rose-tinted glasses.
Good looks may b e an asset at the time of marriage, interviews or personality contests but it
can make only a first impression. To make a lasting impression it needs life skills in which
brain are an important part. Hence, I feel brainpower is more important than beauty.

Participant six: Participants, can’t we conclude from the ongoing discussion that a combination
of brains and beauty is required for success? If you have brains but no beauty you can at least
fight the battle of life boldly. But if you have beauty but no brains your beautiful face will land
you in trouble. It needs a sensible mind to protect the beauty of the face.

Maestro Session 19

Listen and Reflect

116
Two workers died while testing a design modification of a captive power plant. An investigation
was ordered which involved Venkat, the senior manager, Raman the union leader and Rajan, the
supplier. All of them were in a meeting.

Venkat: Good morning sir, what can I do for you?
Inspector: This is a serious matter. I have to understand the reason behind the incident. I need to
know if it was a technical or manual error. I would like to speak to the union leader.
Raman: Yes sir, how I may help you?
Inspector: Do you have any important information about the incident that would help me?
Raman: The workers at the site believe that it was a design failure.
Rajan: I object to what Raman is saying. There was no fault in design. We have supplied many
such power plants to reputed companies in India and abroad. We have excellent reviews for our
products. Our products comply with international standards. I feel that it was the workers’ fault.
They were totally inexperienced to handle such a complicated machine.
Inspector: What do you have to say to that Mr Raman?
Raman: I disagree. My workers have operated many power plants. This one was of a new design
and it was up to the supplier to train the workers. The management should have taken care of this
when they gave the contract to the supplier.
Inspector: Mr Venkat, were the workers trained?
Venkat: Yes, ten workers were sent to the supplier to be trained.
Rajan: Some of them had turned up but only two of them completed the training.
Raman: The workers said that the working conditions were bad there; hence most of them didn’t
complete the training.
Rajan: I was out of town during that period so I am not aware of it.
Inspector: A very important fact has been revealed. Raman, aren’t the workers aware of the
hazards at work?
Raman: Sir the workers are doing their best. But after the incident their morale is low. They are
demanding compensation for the dead workers from the management and to stop payment to the
supplier.
Rajan: Withholding the payment violates the terms of the contract and I will have to file a law
suit.

Increasing hostilities on both sides created the threat of expensive and prolonged lawsuits.

Let’s summarise:

Two workers died while testing a design modification of a captive power plant. During enquiry,
Rajan, the supplier, defended the design as it was being used by reputed companies. He alleged
that the workers were not trained to operate the plant. Raman, the union leader objected to this
and said that the workers were sent for training to the supplier. But most of the workers did not
complete the training as the working conditions were bad. Rajan refused to take the
responsibility saying that he was out of town and had no knowledge of it. Matters reached a dead
end as workers demanded compensation and ‘stop payment’ and the supplier threatened to sue
for violations of the contract.

117
A Solution

Raman to the inspector:
Raman: The workers were of the opinion that there was a design flaw. The workers have handled
power plants. My workers were sent for training to the suppliers but they were not given proper
working conditions. Hence most of them did not complete the training. After the incident, the
morale of the workers is low. It would be good if the management pays the compensation for the
dead workers and takes necessary action against the supplier.

Rajan: Our products are used by many reputed companies and comply with international
standards. However, I am sorry to know that the workers were not provided with good facilities
during the training. I could not attend to it as I was out of station. This will not happen again. Let
the enquiry be completed and then you can release the payment. If it is found that there was a
design flaw I am ready to compensate.

Meanings:

Abroad- out of country, overseas
Captive- within the company premises
Compensation- payment for damages
Complicated- difficult, complex
Hazards- risk, danger
Hostilities- conflict, disagreement
Inexperienced- no experience, not proven
International standards- globally accepted quality standards
Investigation- inquiry, examination
Lawsuit- court case
Manual- human labour
Modification- change, adjustment
Prolonged- extended
Site- place of work, location
Technical- mechanical
Violated- dishonoured

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Abroad
Captive
Compensation
Complicated
Comply
Contract
Demanding
Design
Disagree
Error
Expensive
Failure
Fault

118
Handle
Hazards
Hostilities
Incident
Inexperienced
Information
International
Investigation
Involved
Lawsuits
Management
Manual
Modification
Morale
Operated
Ordered
Payment
Power
Prolonged
Reputed
Standards
Supplied
Supplier
Technical
Testing
Trained
Union
Violated
Withholding

Answer me:

1: What was the accident?
Ans: The workers were testing the power plant which had undergone a design modification.
While testing, the power plant exploded killing two workers. The company ordered an enquiry to
find the reason for the incident.

2: What was Raman’s opinion about the incident?
Ans: Raman, the union leader put forth the workers’ opinion that the accident happened due to
some design failure of the power plant.

3: How did Rajan, the supplier, react to Raman’s comment?
Ans: Rajan objected to Raman’s comment that it was a design failure. He said that there was no
design fault. Rajan had supplied many such power plants to reputed companies in India and
abroad. The products complied with international standards. Rajan felt that the workers were
inexperienced to handle the power plant.

4: How did Raman react to Rajan’s comments?

119
Ans: Raman said that that his workers had operated many power plants and they were
experienced to operate any power plant. However, he felt that the latest power plant was of a
new design. The management should have taken care that the supplier trained the workers.

5: Why did the workers not complete the training?
Ans: Ten workers were sent to the supplier for training but most of the workers did not complete
it as they were not satisfied by the working conditions provided by the supplier. Most of the
workers didn’t turn up for the training and in the end only two workers completed it.

6: What did the workers demand?
Ans: The workers were demanding compensation for the dead workers from the management
and to stop payment to the supplier.

7: What did Rajan plan to do?
Ans: After hearing the workers’ demand to stop payment, Rajan said that defaulting on the
payment violated the terms of the contract. If the payment was not released, Rajan planned to a
file a law suit.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) I object to what Raman is saying.
Present continuous: I am objecting to what Raman is saying.
Past continuous: I was objecting to what Raman is saying.
Future continuous: I will be objecting to what Raman is saying.

2) We have supplied many such power plants to other factories.
Present Continuous: We are supplying many such power plants to other factories.
Past Continuous: We were supplying many such power plants to other factories.
Future Continuous: We will be supplying many such power plants to other factories.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: The inspector said, “This is a serious matter. I have to understand the reason behind
the incident.”
Indirect: The inspector said that it was a serious matter and that he had to understand the reason
behind the incident.

B) Direct: The inspector asked, “Do you have any important information about the incident that
would help me?”
Indirect: The inspector enquired if he had any information about the incident that would help
him.

C) Direct: Raman said, “The workers at the site believe that it was a design failure.”
Indirect: Raman said that the workers at the site believed that it was a design failure.

120
Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: We have supplied many such power plants to reputed companies in India and abroad.
Passive: Many such power plants have been supplied to reputed companies in India and abroad
by us.

B) Active: My workers have operated many power plants.
Passive: Many power plants have been operated by my workers.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: They were totally inexperienced to handle such a complicated machine.
Comparative: They were more inexperienced than others to handle such a complicated machine.
Superlative: They were the most inexperienced of all the workers.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Reputed Well-known unknown
B) Inexperienced new experienced
C) Complicated complex simple
D) Withholding custody release

Idioms and Phrases
A) “I have to understand the reason behind the incident.” can be written as “I have to get to the
bottom of this.”
B) “I disagree.” can be written as “I beg to differ.”
C) “A very important fact has been revealed.” can be written as “This has thrown light on a
very important fact.” OR “A very important fact has emerged.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The detectives decided to get to the bottom of the murder.
B) The salesman tried to convince me but I begged to differ.
C) The documentary film has thrown light on the issue of child labour in the firework factories at
Shivakashi.

Speaking skills:

Giving Speeches:
People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out
of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The
purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react
in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional
response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a
different perspective; election speeches recommend actions the audience can take.
As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

121
• What do you want the audience to learn or do?
• If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
• If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
• How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?
Audience analysis
If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are
(or who you're pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you
can make your speech interesting and useful.
As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:
• What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
• Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new
ideas?
• Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
• What level of detail will be effective for them?
• What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
• What might offend or alienate them?
Creating an effective introduction
Get their attention, otherwise known as "The Hook"
Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic.
Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing
the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience's
attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the
audience, or enlisting audience participation.
Establish context and/or motive
Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this
audience. You may also want to connect the material to relate or larger issues as well, especially
those that may be important to your audience.
Get to the point
Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don't spend as
much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you
would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech
quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by
keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of
your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

Helping your audience listen
Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures
Don't get too complicated when you're asking an audience to remember everything you say.
Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

122
Too complicated:
The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGill cuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and
which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well
Easier to understand:
Orville Z. McGill cuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly
afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.
Limit pronoun use
Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what "it," "they," or "this" refers to.
Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.
Pronoun problem:
The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television,
which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.
Why the last sentence is unclear:
"This" what? The government's failure? Reality TV? Human nature?
More specific:
The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television,
which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot
continue.
Watch your tone
Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don't be condescending
either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, will only
make the audience tune you out.
Create an effective conclusion
Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge
or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic.
Sample speeches
Write a speech for the send off party to a teacher retiring from school service.

Today we all have gathered here to bid farewell to our friend and colleague Mrs. P.
Pataki. I stand here and experience mixed feelings of joy and sorrow. I am happy for Mrs.
Patki that now she will get the rest and relaxation she deserves. I am sad because we all will
miss her good company.
In her long and successful career of 32 years, she served the school with devotion and
perseverance. Her knowledge and approach towards the students made her a popular teacher.
She was an asset to the organisation and source of inspiration and encouragement for the
students.
It is indeed a loss to the institute to lose a trained and experienced hand. But Mrs. Patki’s
memory will always be like a shining light to her successors.
We wish you good health and a long life. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous life
ahead.

Thank you.
123
Write a speech for the send off of a colleague who is transferred to another city.

It is hard to believe that a friend so cheerful cooperative and efficient will not work with
us from tomorrow. It is with a heavy heart that we all have gathered here to bid farewell to
Mr. Saran Dinar of the Production Department who is transferred on promotion to
Bangalore. It is indeed a time t o celebrate his promotion and success as it is well deserved
but it will be difficult for us to adjust to our work environment without the dynamic
presence of Mr. Dinar. We are confident that you will take strides in your illustrious career
as you are talented and hard working. We will miss you very much and will cherish the
memory of the times we spent with you. May God bless you with all the good things of life.
We will pray for your happiness and success. Best wishes for a bright career ahead.

Thank you.

Maestro Session 20

Listen and Reflect

Salim is a sales manager for a company making pumps and valves. He and his team are based in
Pune, some 200 miles from the head office in Mumbai. For a long time Salim has been working
towards getting orders from Dyson engineering, which is a family-owned multinational
company. Finally he gets an appointment with the managing director and two board members.
He wants Rajendar, the sales director, to accompany him. So, Salim gives him a call.
Salim: Hello sir, I am Salim. I want to inform you that we have an opportunity to get a huge
order from a big client. We have to use this opportunity. It would be good if you accompany me
for the meeting on Friday 10th at 3pm.
Rajendar: That is good work. I will be there. I will bring all the presentation material for the
meeting. You come to pick me up at the railway station.
Salim: Ok sir.

On the day of the meeting Salim waits for two hours at the railway station but Rajendar does’t
show up. Salim tries to contact him at the head office but the secretary is absent and no one had
any idea where Rajendar is. Salim decides to go to the meeting without him.

Salim: I have an appointment with Mr. Khan.
Receptionist: Sir, you are ten minutes late. You will have to wait for twenty minutes as the
managing director is in a meeting.

124
After thirty minutes Mr Khan approaches Salim and usheres him to his cabin. In the cabin there
is Martin, a board member who looks angry.

Martin: What the hell is your company up to? This is an embarrassment for me.
Salim: Sir being late for a meeting is hardly a crime and my sales director Rajendar must have
had some problem. So he is not here.
Martin: Then how do you explain this?
Martin hands Salim a copy of an email which is addressed to Rajender’s colleague Kedar and
sent to the customer by mistake. The content is as follows:

Dear Kedar

I’ve just flown from Kolkata and came across your urgent message. I’m supposed to be at a
boring presentation in Pune on Friday with some second division company I’ve never heard of;
but I will skip the meeting and come to meet you. I’ll get my secretary to call Salim to make my
excuses and handle the meeting. I’ll be with you at 10 o’clock.

Regards

Rajendar

Salim: I apologise for this sir. I have worked hard for this opportunity. But all my efforts were in
vain.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how miscommunication can wreak havoc in professional relations. After a lot
of difficulty, Salim reaches the meeting venue, only to be ticked off by the clients, who had
accidentally received a mail that belittled them.

A Solution

When Rajendar could not attend the meeting his response should have been:
Rajendar: Sorry Salim, I will not be able to attend the meeting. However, I will send the
presentation material by courier immediately. I know you will be able to handle the meeting
alone. If you have any problems feel free to contact me. All the best for the meeting.

Salim: I am sorry you received such a message from my manager. I apologise on behalf of the
company and express my regrets on this unfortunate event.

Meanings:

Appointment- meeting, engagement
Embarrassment- shame, humiliation
Family-owned - company with family members on the management board.
Multinational- international, global, worldwide
Presentation material- material used to promote a company’s product or service
Secretary- assistant to the manager

125
Ushered- accompany, guide

Pronunciation and Spelling
Accompany
Addressed
Appointment
Approached
Colleague
Company
Director
Dyson
Embarrassment
Engineering
Managing
Material
Mistake
Multinational
Opportunity
Presentation
Pumps
Secretary
Ushered
Valves

Answer Me:

1: Why did Salim call Rajendar?
Ans: Salim had been working hard to get orders from Dyson engineering, which was a family
owned multinational company. Finally he got an appointment with the managing director and
two board members. So he wanted Rajendar, the sales director to accompany him during the
meeting.

2: What did Rajender tell Salim?
Ans: Rajender complimented Salim on getting a new customer. He promised to bring all the
presentation material for Salim. He also told him to come and pick him up at the railway station.

3: What happened on the day of the meeting?
Ans: On the day of the meeting Salim waited for two hours at the railway station but Rajendar
didn’t show up. He tried to contact him at the head office but the secretary was absent and no one
had any idea where Rajendar was. So Salim decided to go to the meeting without Rajender.
Salim was late for the meeting by ten minutes and was made to wait for twenty minutes as the
managing director was in another meeting.

4: Why was Martin angry with Salim?
The Dyson Company received an email which was sent by Rajendar to his colleague Kedar and
which was accidently sent to the company. In the mail, Rajendar said that he had received the
urgent message from Kedar. He said that he had to attend a boring meeting with some unknown
client which he planned to skip and meet Kedar.

126
Grammar practice:-

Tenses:
1) I will bring all the presentation material for the meeting.
Present continuous: I am bringing all the presentation material for the meeting.
Past continuous: I was bringing all the presentation material for the meeting.
Future continuous: I will be bringing all the presentation material for the meeting.

2) So, Salim gives him a call.
Present Continuous: So, Salim is giving him a call.
Past continuous: So, Salim was giving him a call.
Future continuous: So, Salim will be giving him a call.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Salim said, “I want to inform you that we have an opportunity to get a huge order
from a big client.”
Indirect: Salim informed Rajendar that they had an opportunity to get a huge order from a big
client.

B) Direct: Rajendar said, “I will bring all the presentation material for the meeting.”
Indirect: Rajendar promised to bring all the presentation material for the meeting.

C) Direct: The receptionist said, “Sir, you are ten minutes late.”
Indirect: The receptionist brought it to his notice that he was late by ten minutes.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: I will bring all the presentation material for the meeting.
Passive: All the presentation material for the meeting will be brought by me.

B) Active: Martin hands Salim a copy of an email.
Passive: Salim is handed a copy of an email by Martin.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:
A) Positive: I have worked hard for this opportunity.
Comparative: I have worked harder than anyone for this opportunity.
Superlative: I have worked the hardest for this opportunity.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Late delayed early
B) Angry annoyed calm
C) Urgent critical trival
D) Boring dull interesting

127
Idioms and Phrases
A) “We have to use this opportunity.” can be written as “We have to take advantage of this
opportunity.”
B) “I have worked hard for this opportunity.” can be written as “I have put my nose to the
grindstone for this opportunity.”
C) “But all my efforts were in vain.” can be written as “But all my efforts have gone to the
dogs.” OR “All my efforts have come to nought.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Consumers will take advantage of this annual sale.
B) I had to put my nose to the grindstone to complete the assignment.
C) The sacrifices of the freedom fighters came to nought when the country was partitioned.

Speaking skills:

Topic for group discussion:

Is twenty20 cricket killing real cricketing skills?

Maestro Session 21

Listen and Reflect

Nisha is the personal assistant of Jatin, the chairman of a leading multinational company. Jatin ia
having good contacts with political leaders and businessmen. He is negotiating a take-over of an
oil company. All that remains is the signature on the contract in the presence of the petroleum
minister.
Jatin: Nisha, you need to take charge. The meeting is at 10.30 am. Make sure the board room is
ready, order fresh flowers, and send all the managers an email saying that they have to be present
on time. Some managers from the oil company will be visiting. Send a car to pick them up at
their hotel. I will be attending a meeting in the morning and would be back on time for the
signing of the contract.
Nisha: I will handle it.

The next day Nisha was busy making arrangements when she got a call from the receptionist.

Receptionist: The representatives from the oil company have arrived.

Nisha: My god! They are early. Usher them to the board room immediately.

Kadir, one of the representatives spoke to Nisha.

128
Kadir: How are you Miss Nisha? I am sorry we arrived early. We decided to walk down from the
hotel. Meet my colleagues Sajeed and Habeeb. The minister has sent us to check out the
arrangements.

Nisha: Welcome to India. Please follow me to the board room. You will have to wait as
The Chairman is attending another meeting. Would you like to have some breakfast? I will have
to leave you for sometime as I need to inform the chairman that you have arrived.

Kadir: No problem. We don’t mind waiting. All we need is an extra copy of the contract to check
some details.

Nisha: I will get it for you.

Mr Jatin arrives at 10.20 and enters the board room to find it empty.
Jatin: Nisha, where are the representatives?
Nisha: I left them over here. I will check with the receptionist.
Receptionist: The visitors have gone to get some gifts for the host.

The visitors didn’t come back but after some time the real representatives arrive with the
minister.
Jatin: We are in a tight situation. Those people were fake. Now they have the contract details too.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how a company can be duped when protocol is not decided or followed by
the people in charge. Jatin inadequately instructs Nisha, his personal assistant to make the
arrangements as he would be out attending another meeting. Three people who claim to be
representatives of the oil company come to the office and ask for a copy of the contract, which
Nisha gives them. Later the real representatives arrive and Jatin realises that the copy of the
contract has fallen into the wrong hands.

A Solution

Before leaving for the meeting Jatin should have told Nisha:
Jatin: Nisha, you are responsible for the arrangements for the meeting. Be sure to stay with the
guests all the time and provide them with access cards to the office. If they move outside the
office be sure to escort them in the company car as the guests are new to this city. Be sure to
bring them back on time for the meeting.

Nisha should have thought twice before giving them a copy of the contract, or at leat checked
with Jatin beforehand.

Meanings:

Board room- a room where meetings are held
Contract- agreement documents
Fake: false, bogus, phony

129
Negotiate- discuss, bargain.
Take-over – purchase

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Arrangements
Assistant
Attending
Businessmen
Chairman
Colleagues
Company
Contacts
Contract
Fake
Immediately
Leaders
Leading
Multinational
Negotiating
Personal
Petroleum
Political
Receptionist
Refreshments
Representatives
Signature
Take-over
Welcome

Answer Me:

1: What was the purpose of the meeting?
Ans: Mr Jatin was leading his company into a takeover of an oil company. The negotiations were
already complete and only the signatures of the contract were left. The meeting was arranged so
that the representatives of the oil company could sign the contract in the presence of the
petroleum minister.

2: What was Nisha’s responsibility?
Ans: Mr Jatin told Nisha to take charge of the arrangements for the meeting. She had to keep
some flowers in the board room, send emails to all the managers to attend the meeting and send a
car to the hotel to pick up the representatives from the oil company.

3: What did Nisha do when the representatives arrived?
Ans: She was taken by surprise as the representatives arrived early. She led them to the board
room and told them to wait till Jatin arrived. She offered them refreshments but the
representatives declined. They asked for a copy of the contract, which Nisha promptly provided.

130
4: What did the representatives do?
Ans: After getting the copy of the contract, the representatives told the receptionist that they
were going out to buy some gifts for the host. The left the office and never returned.

5: What did Jatin realise?
Ans: When the representatives did not return Jatin realised that the representatives were fake and
they were here to steal the copy of the contract.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Present continuous: The chairman is attending another meeting.
Past continuous: The chairman was attending another meeting.
Future continuous: The chairman will be attending another meeting.

C) Future continuous: Some managers from the oil company will be visiting.
Present continuous: Some managers from the oil company are visiting.
Past continuous: Some managers from the oil company were visiting.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Jatin said, “Nisha, You need to take charge. The meeting is at 10.30 am.”
Indirect: Jatin told Nisha to take charge as the meeting was at 10.30 a.m.

B) Direct: Kadir said, “We have been sent by the minister to check out the arrangements.”
Indirect: Kadir informed Nisha that they had been sent by the minister to check out the
arrangements.

C) Direct: Kadir asked Nisha, “All we need is an extra copy of the contract to check some
details.”
Indirect: Kadir told Nisha that all they needed was an extra copy of the contract to check some
details.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: He is negotiating a take-over of an oil company.
Passive: A take-over of an oil company was being negotiated by him.

B) Active: The minister has sent us to check out the arrangements.
Passive: We have been sent by the minister to check out the arrangements.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: Nisha, you are responsible for the arrangements of the meeting.
Comparative: Nisha, you are more responsible than anyone else for the arrangements of the
meeting.
Superlative: Nisha, you are the most responsible for the arrangements of the meeting.

131
Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Presence attendance absence
B) Decided determined hesitant
C) Inform notify keep in the dark
D) Empty vacant full

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Nisha, you need to take charge.” can be written as “Nisha, You need to take the reins in
your hands.”
B) “We are in a tight situation.” can be written as “We are in a fix.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) After the failure of the enterprise, the overseas head decided to take the reins in his hand.
B) Because of the cancellation of the flight, we were in a fix.

Speaking skills:

Sample speeches

1) Write an inaugural speech for the inauguration of a n e wbuilding in an educational
institute by a VIP.

Today it gives me great pleasure to inaugurate the new premises of your institute on this
auspicious day. It is indeed a moment of pride that you have marched on the path of
progress and upheld the ideals of education.
I have closely observed the development of this institute right from its nascent stage. Over
the years, you have made your mark for quality education and high standard o excellence.
f With
the limited resources at your disposal, you have taken strides and today you enter this
magnificent building with the latest and best facilities, infrastructure and faculty. l congratulate
all those who are directly and indirectly involvedin this venture.
I wish you greater success in the days to come. The future belongs to those who dare and
do, and therefore the future belongs to you.
Thank you.

2) Write a speech to welcome a new boss in your office.

Welcome speech
Good morning friends. Today we all have gathered here tocome
wel Mr. R.K. hSeikh, our new
Manager who is transferred to
our organisation from Mumbai. I extend a hearty welcome to you, Sir
and wish you a smooth and successful career.

132
We all are very happy that we have a man of wide knowledge and understanding as the head of our
organisation. Under his dynamic leadership,am
I sure the organisationwill march towards progress
and prosperity.
On behalf of all my colleagues, I wish you a pleasant
s t a at
y this new place and assure you of our
whole-hearted support and co-operation

No organisationis free from problems and we are no exception to it. We regard your arrival on the
scene as the beginning of all the good things. Let us hope and that
wishy o uusher in an era of co-
operation, mutual understanding andunited efforts so that we meet the organisational goals
effectively. Once again we welcome you to our office and extend our best wishes to you.

Thank you

3) Write a speech to welcome the first year students to t h enew college.

On behalf of the staff and students of this institute, I welcome all the first year students
who have taken a d m i s sto
i o nthe Royal Institute of Engineering, P u n eCongratulations
. for
getting admission to this prestigious i n s t i t and
u t e consider this as the first step in your journey
of thousand miles.

This institute will equip you with all the skills and knowledge so that you make your
presence felt in this highly competitive world. Let me assure you that w ea r e your
~ friends
here, always ready to extend our helping h a n din whatever difficulty you face. Henceforth,
shed all y o ufears,
r doubts and tension about this course and the institute. Many of you have
come from distant places and w i lls t aaway
r from your houses but believe me this institute will
be your second home from now onwards.
Once again I welcome you to this institute and let us together promise to strive to uphold
the ideals of our institute.
‘Welcome and have a good time’

Maestro Session 22

Listen and Reflect

133
Harish is a member of the quality control committee and is making important contributions to
make it work. He has been told to take over the chairmanship of the committee. He is convening
his first meeting as the chairman. Rahul is the design manager in the company.

Harish: We have nearly come to the end of the meeting. Does any one of you have any issue to
discuss before we end the meeting?
Rahul: Will you explain to all of us what exactly the powers of the committee are?
Harish: I have not seen the written constitution but all I can say is that the powers were formed
by customs and traditions, and that the management accepts our recommendations.
Rahul: This is bad news for the committee. It should have a proper mandate and agreed working
procedures to avoid waste of time. I think all the other members agree with this.
Harish: I will talk to the management and get back to you.
Rahul: We all know what the committee does. Why do we need to involve bureaucracy? We
shall write our own rule book.

In the next meeting Harish introduced a set of rules which was implemented. In the fourth
meeting:
Harish: These rules were useful in the previous meeting but I have found that it has slowed the
decision making process.
Rahul: But every recommendation has to be tabled, challenged, votes cast and the rule book has
to be changed. That takes time.
Harish: Most of the meetings are ending without any results. I think we should go back to the old
method.
Rahul: I object to it.
Harish: You and your supporters are deliberately derailing the committee’s functionality. It
seems that you and your supporters are in close alliance. You will have to follow orders or else
the management might discontinue the committee.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how a difference of opinion between colleagues can derail teamwork, and
spoil relations between team members. Harish, the chairman of the quality control committee is
of the opinion that the management should be consulted in deciding the powers of the committee.
But Rahul thinks otherwise. When Harish proposes reverting to the old methods, Rahul objects
again. Naturally, Harish feels that Rahul and his supporters are obstructing the committee’s
functioning.

A Solution
When asked about the constitution Harish’s response should have been:
Harish: I am sorry but I have no idea about the written constitution as it does not have any
written record. I will enquire with the management and inform you in the next meeting. We have
to involve the management in the decision making process as they are the ones who accept or
reject our proposals.

Rahul: I would like to know about the powers of the committee as I have not come across a
proper mandate. There have to be some procedures which will help in guiding the work of the
committee. I am welcome to the suggestion that the management should be involved in the
process.

134
In the next meeting Harish’s response should have been:
Harish: The rules which we implemented have helped a lot in refining the process but somehow
it is seen that it has slowed down the decision making process. I feel that the committee members
should discuss the rules and refine them so that it doesn’t slow down the process.

Meanings:

Bureaucracy- the system of official rules and ways of doing things that a government or an
organisation has, especially when these seem to be too complicated
Derail- disrupt, interrupt
Functionality- function, process, operation
Implement- put into practice, apply
Mandate- order, directive
Quality control committee- a group of people who give inputs to maintain the quality of goods
and services Constitution- system of laws and principles followed by the committee
Recommendation- advice, suggestion

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Bureaucracy
Chairmanship
Challenged
Committee
Constitution
Contribution
Control
Customs
Deliberately
Derailing
Discontinue
Functionality
Implemented
Introduced
Management
Mandate
Procedures
Quality
Recommendation
Traditions

Answer Me:

1: What issue did Rahul raise during the meeting?
Ans: Rahul enquired about the powers of the committee. He and other members felt that the
committee should have a proper mandate and agreed working procedures to avoid waste of time.

2: What reply did Harish give?

135
Ans: Harish said that he had not come across any written constitution. The powers of the
committee were formed by customs and traditions and the management accepted its
recommendations. If any more clarification was required he offered to discuss it with the
management.

3: What did Rahul object to?
Ans: Rahul did not want to involve the management at any stage. He said that the rules should be
made by the committee members themselves.

4: What did Harish find after the rules were implemented?
Ans: Harish formulated some rules and implemented them. But he found that the rules slowed
down the decision making process. Every recommendation had to be tabled, challenged, votes
cast and the rule book had to be changed. Most of the meetings ended without any result.

5: What did Harish propose? How did Rahul react to it?
Ans: Harish proposed to go back to the old ways of doing things. Rahul objected to it. Harish got
angry and accused Rahul and his supporters of deliberately derailing the committees functioning.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Present continuous: Harish is making an important contribution to make it work.
Past continuous: Harish was making an important contribution to make it work.
Future continuous: Harish will be making an important contribution to make it work.

2) We shall write our own rule book.
Present continuous: We are writing our own rule book.
Past continuous: We were writing our own rule book.
Future continuous: We shall be writing our own rule book.

3) Present continuous: Most of the meetings are ending without any results.
Past continuous: Most of the meetings were ending without any results.
Future continuous: Most of the meetings will be ending without any results.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Harish asked, “Does anyone of you have any issue to discuss before we end the
meeting?
Indirect: Harish asked if anyone of them had any issue to discuss before they ended the meeting.

B) Direct: Rahul asked, “Will you explain to all of us what exactly the powers of the committee
are?”
Indirect: Rahul enquired if Harish would explain to them what exactly the powers of the
committee were.

C) Direct: Harish said, “I will talk to the management and get back to you.”

136
Indirect: Harish said that he would talk to the management and get back Rahul.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: We should write our own rule book.
Passive: Our rule book should be written by us.

B) Active: You and your supporters are deliberately derailing the committee’s functionality.
Passive: The committee’s functionality is being deliberately derailed by you and your
supporters.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:
A) Positive: These rules were useful in the previous meeting.
Comparative: These rules were more useful in the previous meeting.
Superlative: These rules were most useful in the previous meeting.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Important essential trival
B) End finish start
C) Agreed approved disagreed
D) Implemented executed impeded

Idioms and Phrases
1) “It seems that you and your supporters are in close alliance.” can be written as “It seems that
you and your supporters are hand- in-glove with each other.”
2) “You will have to follow orders or else the management might discontinue the committee.”
can be written as “You will have to fall in line or else the management might discontinue the
committee.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The underworld and the film world are thought to be hand-in-glove.
B) The rebellious recruit refused to fall in line with the orders.

Speaking skills

Topics for speech:
• You have been invited to address a condolence meeting for a national leader. Draft a
speech you would make on the occasion.
• A reception is being given to a group of foreign students in your college. As a secretary
of the reception committee draft the speech that you would make on the occasion.
• Mr Doshi the General Manager of your company is resigning his post and leaving for
Italy on a government mission. Draft a speech in your capacity as secretary of the
company’s officers Association for delivery on the occasion of the send off function.
• Draft a speech for the delivery on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the firm.

137
Maestro Session 23

Listen and Reflect

Pyramid is a midsize IT firm with 200 employees. It develops software for banking, insurance
and transport sector. It has a number of employees working from home and uses internet for
communication. Arjun is the process manager and Basu is the General Manager in the company.
Basu: Well Arjun, how is your work going on?
Arjun: It’s fine sir. But I am concerned about the rising incidents of data theft in the industry. It
is a matter of serious concern.
Basu: We need to find a fool-proof solution.
Arjun: At present we have virus scanners and firewalls protecting our database from outside
threats, such as competitors or hackers.
Basu: So what seems to be your concern?
Arjun: Sir, I feel that the threat is not external but internal.
Basu: What do you mean by that?
Arjun: We have many employees working from home and on field. The head office manages
almost 1,000 laptops and desktops spread over nine development centers. A number of mobile
storage systems, PDAs, laptops and USB sticks are being used by sales staff and technicians. I
fear that we might lose important data through them.
Basu: But our sales staff and technicians use the gadgets to avail of ready information. It would
be a bad idea to ban them. It will affect their performance and the company’s reputation. They
might turn against the management.
Arjun: Lately I have observed an increased use of USB memory sticks within the premises.
Basu: We are in a precarious situation; on the one hand, the need for functional data, and on the
other hand, the risk involved in allowing mobile equipment to leave the building. We need to do
something fast.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet underlines the need for managers to be good at problem-solving. Arjun, the process
manager of Pyramid, feels that the company is threatened with the problem of data theft. Many
of the company’s sales staff and technicians use mobile storage systems, PDAs, laptops and USB
sticks to access information. Restricting their use will hamper their performance. There seems to
be no solution in sight.

A Solution

A solution:
Basu: I am concerned about increased incidents of data thefts in the industry. Even our company
is vulnerable to it. Although we have secured our data from competitors and hackers, we need to
monitor our employees as most of them are using mobile storage systems. We need to restrict the
usage of devices like PDAs, laptops and USBs to higher level executives and ban the rest of the

138
staff from carrying mobile storage systems in the office premises. The executives will be
responsible for providing data to the staff on a need-to-do basis.

Meanings:

Ban- disallow, prohibit, forbid
Concerned- afraid, worried
Database- important record and information used by the company
Foolproof- fail-safe, perfect
Hackers- a person who illegally targets a company’s database and takes vital information
Precarious- difficult, insecure, uncertain
Reputation- image, position, status
USB sticks- pen drives used to store and carry data
Virus scanners and firewalls- Software which detects viruses and prevents them from entering
computers

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Banking
Banning
Communication
Competitors
Concerned
Database
Desktops
Development
External
Firewalls
Foolproof
Functional
Gadgets
Hackers
Information
Insurance
Internet
Laptops
Midsize
Mobile
Performance
Precarious
Premises
Protecting
Reputation
Scanners
Sector
Software
Solution
Storage
Systems

139
Technicians
Threats
Transport
Virus

Answer Me:

1: What was Pyramid’s nature of business?
Ans: Pyramid was a midsize IT firm which created software for the banking, insurance and
transport sector. It had a number of employees working from home and used internet for
communication.

2: What was Arjun concerned about?
Ans: Arjun was concerned about the rising incidents of data theft in the industry. He felt that his
company might also face the risk of data theft.

3: What kind of protection did the company have from external theft?
Ans: The company had virus scanners and firewalls protecting the database from outside threats,
such as competitors or hackers.

4: What kind of internal threat did the company face?
Ans: Pyramid had employees working from home and on field. The head office managed 1,000
laptops and desktops spread over nine development centres. A number of mobile storage
systems, PDAs, laptops and USB sticks were being used by sales staff and technicians. There
was a chance that vital data might get stolen by some employee through their use.

5: What kind of dilemma did the company face?
Ans: The management could not ban the use of electronic gadgets as most of the staff used it to
get ready information and access to database. On the other hand the company staff was using
USB sticks in increasing numbers. This could be a source of data theft. The company could not
come to an effective solution.

Grammar Practice:-

Tenses:

1) It develops software for the banking, insurance and transport sector.
Present continuous: It is developing software for the banking, insurance and transport sector.
Past continuous: It was developing software for the banking, insurance and transport sector.
Future continuous: It will be developing software for the banking, insurance and transport
sector.

2) Present continuous: Well Arjun, how is your work going on?
Past continuous: Well Arjun, how was your work going on?
Future continuous: Well Arjun, how will your work be going on?

Direct and Indirect speech:

140
A) Direct: Basu said, “We need to find a fool-proof solution.”
Indirect: Basu said that they needed to find a fool-proof solution.

B) Direct: Arjun said, “I am concerned about the rising incidents of data theft in the industry.”
Indirect: Arjun said that he was concerned about the rising incidents of data theft in the industry.

C) Direct: Basu said, “Our sales staff and technicians use the gadgets to avail ready
information.”
Indirect: Basu said that their sales staff and technicians used the gadgets to avail ready
information.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: We need to find a fool proof solution.
Passive: A fool proof solution needs to be found by us.

B) Active: It will affect their performance and the company’s reputation.
Passive: The Company’s reputation and performance will be affected by it.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: We need to do something fast.
Comparative: We need to do something faster than before.
Superlative: We need to do something the fastest.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Autonyms
A) Concerned worried carefree
B) Rising increasing decreasing
C) Solution answer problem
D) Precarious unstable stable

Idioms and Phrases
A) “They might turn against the management.” can be written as “They might take up arms
against the management.”
B) “We need to do something fast.” can be written as “We need to pull out all the stops.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The hostel inmates took up arms against the college authorities for the shabby conditions of
the hostel.
B) He pulled out all the stops in order to expedite the delivery of the consignment.

Speaking skills:

Topic for group discussion
No night shifts for women after 8.p.m

141
Maestro Session 24

Listen and Reflect

Walter and Frank, customers of a multinational bank complain to Meera, the customer service
executive.

Walter: I have received an email from the bank. But the email shows many other email addresses
of your customers. I think that is top secret information. If this is the case then even my email
address will be visible to others. This is highly unprofessional of you.

Frank: I am facing the same problem. But with me the problem is much more serious. After I
received your email, my out-of-office messages began to respond. It has my home and mobile
telephone numbers. Now my information is openly available to online scammers.

Meera: Sir, I have no details on this and you will have to take it up with the senior manager.

Walter: We are your oldest customers. You are the customer service executive and the customer
comes in contact with you first. Why is it that you have no information? Do you plan to leave us
at the mercy of the circumstances?

Meera: Sir, the information was not passed on to me.

Frank: We would like to speak to the manager.

Manager: The mistake was made by one of our senior payment advisors. He sent three e-mails to
groups of more than 800 customers asking them to call a new helpline number.

Walter: Are you aware of the mess you have put us in? Now all your customers are open to
fraud.

Manager: Don’t worry, we have been sending emails to customers for quite some time and we
never faced such a situation.

Frank: I can’t take a chance. I will have to sue you for damages. You cannot escape punishment.
I will set up an online forum for affected people to get their support.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet emphasises the importance of customer service. If a bank does not protect the
privacy of its customers’ information, the situation could backfire. Walter and Frank complain to
the customer care executive as well as to the manager, but are not offered any reassurance.
Finally, they decide to sue the bank and get other customers’ support in their fight against the
bank.

142
A Solution

The bank manager should have said:
Manager: This problem was due to human error. We have been using e-mails but never faced
such a situation before. In this instance we made a mistake, and we unreservedly apologise for it.
This incident has brought to our notice that communicating bank details through e-mails is no
longer safe. We will find a fool-proof solution to this issue. We feel that this incident was a
breach of data protection law and we have decided to credit the affected people's accounts with
compensation. We have asked our customers to contact us and make an appropriate claim.

Meanings:

Fraud- the crime of cheating in order to get money or goods illegally
Helpline- a telephone service that provides advice and information about particular problems
Mess- a situation that is full of problems
Multinational- global, worldwide
Online scammers- people who practice internet fraud
Visible- seen by all, noticeable

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Addresses
Advisor
Complaining
Customers
Email
Fraud
Helpline
Information
Messages
Mistake
Multinational
Online
Out-of-office
Payment
Problem
Received
Respond
Scammers
Senior
Telephone
Visible

Answer Me:
1: What were Walter and Frank complaining about?
Ans: Walter and Frank had received an email from the bank which showed email addresses of
many other customers of the bank. These email addresses were secret information of the bank.

143
But due to the carelessness of the bank they were now visible to everyone and had left them open
to online scammers.

2: What was Meera’s reply?
Ans: Meera said that she had no details on the issue. The information was not passed on to her.
She told Walter and Frank to meet the senior manager for more details.

3: What according to the manager had created the problem?
Ans: According to the manager the mistake was made by one of the senior payment advisors. He
sent three e-mails to groups of more than 800 customers asking them to call a new helpline
number. By mistake, the emails showed email addresses of all 800 customers.

4: What did Frank decide to do?
Ans: When the manager showed his helplessness, Frank got angry and decided to sue the bank
for damages. He also planned to set up set up an online forum of the affected bank customers and
get their support.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) I received an email from the bank.
Present continuous: I am receiving an email from the bank.
Past continuous: I was receiving an email from the bank.
Future continuous: I will be receiving an email from the bank.

2) Past continuous: I was facing the same problem.
Present continuous: I am facing the same problem.
Future continuous: I will be facing the same problem.

3) I will set up an online forum for affected people to get their support.
Present continuous: I am setting up an online forum for affected people to get their support.
Past continuous: I was setting up an online forum for affected people to get their support.
Future continuous: I will be setting up an online forum for affected people to get their
support.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Walter said, “I have received an email from the bank.”
Indirect: Walter said that he had received an email from the bank.

B) Direct: Meera said, “Sir, I have no details on this and you will have to take it up with the
senior manager.”
Indirect: Meera said that she had no details on that and they would have to take it up with the
senior manager.

C) Direct: The Manager said, “The mistake was made by one of our senior payment advisors.”

144
Indirect: The manager admitted that the mistake was made by one of their senior payment
advisors.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: One of our senior payment advisors made the mistake.
Passive: The mistake was made by one of the senior payment advisor.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Superlative: We are your oldest customers.
Positive: We are your old customers.
Comparative: None of your customers is older than us.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Multinational international domestic
B) Visible observable invisible
C) Available obtainable unavailable
D) Mess confusion neatness

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Do you plan to leave us at the mercy of the circumstances?” can be written as “Do you plan
to cast us adrift?”

B) “I will set up an online forum for affected people to get their support.” Can be written as “I
will set up an online forum for people sailing in the same boat to air their views.”

C) “You cannot escape punishment.” can be written as “You cannot get away with this”.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Without language human beings are cast adrift.
B) While waiting outside the commissioner’s office I realised there were others sailing in the
same boat.
C) It was surprising how he got away with murder!

Speaking skills:

Topic for group discussion:
Hard working or smart working?

Maestro Session 25

145
Listen and Reflect

Indian Agro is a fertilizer-manufacturing unit employing 1000 employees. Komal, the HR
manager is having a hard time coordinating activities to compile the employee performance
report. Anil is the General Manager and Meena is the HR executive. Komal and Meena have
approached Anil with the problem.
Anil: Good morning Komal. What’s the status of the employee performance report?
Komal: I am having a difficult time handling data of all the employees. As the number of
employees is increasing every year the performance evaluation becomes difficult. Coordinating
with all the department heads and supervisors is a harrowing task.
Meena: Managers come to the HR department at various times throughout the day to drop off
appraisals. The managers leave the appraisals at our desks and it is extremely difficult to track
the receipt. Sometimes it is difficult to convince the managers and supervisors to take part in the
appraisal process.
Anil: Why do you think this is happening?
Komal: Sir, we are using a paper-based employee performance and talent management system
where employees are required to fill out MS Word documents, then print them off and have them
signed. Once signed, appraisals are hand-carried to the Human Resource department. Handling
the paper and managing the logistics of the process is a challenge, as it is difficult to track where
documents were in the process or actually located in the office.
Meena: Sir, upon completion, the data from each appraisal is manually processed using a
spreadsheet to log employee performance and competency scores. We are spending hours
logging data, reminding employees to complete their reviews, and tracking those who had and
hadn’t completed them. The managers are also finding it difficult to circulate the appraisals to
obtain feedback from the right people. Sir we desperately need to make a new beginning.
Anil: We need to streamline our process and free the managers to focus on employee
development, not paperwork.
Komal: Even the employees are complaining that quality of feedback received from managers do
not meet expectations, and that the process itself is complicated and time consuming.

Let’s summarise:
This caselet discusses the common problems faced by big companies that have to find ways to
collect and compile employee data. The employee performance report is inordinately delayed
due to the faulty coordination between departments. Moreover, the paper-based appraisal system
creates too many documents, making it difficult to track them. Anil realises that the process
needs to be streamlined, but can’t come up with any solution.

A Solution

After listening to the problems Anil’s response should have been:
Anil: The paperwork system is an outdated method for performance appraisal. It is time
consuming and other important activities are put on hold. What we need is a centralised solution.
It should be easy to manage and to use. Let us go for an online appraisal solution. This will
make the appraisal process completely paperless and automated.

Meanings:

146
Appraisal- review, evaluation, assessment
Competency- skill, capability
Feedback- opinion, reaction, comment
Fertiliser- a natural or artificial substance added to soil to make plants grow more successfully
Harrowing- worrying, disturbing
Logging data- sorting, taking down
Logistics- movement of paper work or physical systems
Streamline- update, modernise, restructure
Talent management system- a system which is used to monitor and enhance employee skills
Tracking- follow-up

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Circulate
Competency
Compile
Complaining
Completion
Complicated
Consuming
Coordinating
Department
Development
Employing
Evaluation
Expectations
Feedback
Fertiliser
Handling
Happening
Harrowing
Logging
Logistics
Management
Manually
Manufacturing
Paper-based
Paperwork
Performance
Processed
Reminding
Signed
Spreadsheet
Streamline
Supervisors
Talent
Throughout
Tracking

147
Answer Me:

1: What kind of problem was the HR department facing?
Ans: Komal, the HR manager was having a hard time coordinating activities to compile the
employee performance report. Since the number of employees was increasing, the performance
evaluation process had become lengthy and difficult. It was difficult to coordinate with all the
department heads and supervisors to complete the appraisal on time.

2: What was the problem with the appraisal system followed by the company?
Ans: The company was using a paper-based employee performance and talent management
system where employees were required to fill out MS Word documents, then print them off and
have them signed. Once signed, appraisals had to be hand-carried to the HR department.
Handling the paper and managing the logistics of the process was difficult. It became difficult to
track the documents in the process. When the appraisal was done the data from each appraisal
was manually processed using a spreadsheet to log employee performance and competency
scores. Also, logging data, reminding employees to complete their reviews, and tracking those
who had and hadn’t completed them, took a long time.

3: Why were the managers and employees not satisfied with the appraisal process?
Ans: The managers were finding it difficult to circulate the appraisals to obtain feedback from
the right people. The whole process was taking up a lot of their time. Even the employees were
complaining that the quality of feedback received from their managers was not meeting
expectations.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Past continuous: Komal, the HR manager was having a hard time coordinating activities and
compiling the employee performance report.
Present continuous: Komal, the HR manager is having a hard time coordinating activities and
compiling the employee performance report.
Future continuous: Komal, the HR manager will be having a hard time coordinating activities
and compiling the employee performance report.

2) Komal and Meena approached Anil with the problem.
Past continuous: Komal and Meena were approaching Anil with the problem.
Present continuous: Komal and Meena are approaching Anil with the problem.
Future continuous: Komal and Meena will be approaching Anil with the problem.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Anil asked, “What’s the status of the employee performance report?”
Indirect: Anil asked Komal about the status of the employee performance report.

B) Direct: Komal said, “I am having a difficult time handling data of all the employees.”

148
Indirect: Komal said that she was having a difficult time handling data of all the employees.

C) Direct: Anil said, “We need to streamline our process and free the managers to focus on
employee development, not paperwork.”
Indirect: Anil said that they needed to streamline their process and free the managers to focus on
employee development instead of paperwork.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Komal and Meena have approached Anil with the problem.
Passive: Anil was approached by Komal and Meena with the problem.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: As the number of employees is increasing every year the performance evaluation is
becoming difficult.
Comparative: As the number of employees is increasing every year the performance evaluation
is becoming more difficult.
Superlative: As the number of employees is increasing every year the performance evaluation is
becoming most difficult.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Coordinated organised uncoordinated
B) Harrowing difficult easy
C) Manually by hand automatic
D) Streamline simplify complicate

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Sir we desperately need to make a new beginning.” can be written as “Sir we desperately
need to forge a new beginning.”
B) “Sometimes it is difficult to convince the managers and supervisors to take part in the
appraisal process.” can be written as “Sometimes it is difficult to bring the managers and
supervisors round to take part in the appraisal process.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) She forged a new career in the music business.
B) It took all my persuasive skills to bring him round to agree to my proposal.

Writing skills

Documentation of Meetings

149
Meetings are an important facet of corporate life today. A group of people from an organisation
participate in a meeting because people performing different functions may have to come
together to get a specific task done. Generally tasks are allocated, issues resolved, problems
discussed, or progress reviewed in meetings. However, meetings are often poorly conducted,
with many people considering them a waste of time.
If the usefulness of meetings is to be achieved, the persons responsible for meetings have to
ensure that the documentation connected with meetings is up-to-date. The four documents that
are imperative for meetings are:
• Notice
• Agenda
• Notes
• Minutes

Notice and Agenda are pre-meeting documents, Notes are taken during-meeting and Minutes are
post-meeting documents. Let’s look at each.
Before we generate these documents, it is a good idea to get the following clarifications:
➢ Why the meeting is being held (its purpose)
➢ Who will attend, who will chair the meeting and who will write the minutes
➢ When the meeting will be held
➢ Where the meeting will be held
➢ What the meeting will be about

The first four clarifications will help in drafting the notice and agenda and the last point will help
in drafting the minutes.
Contents of notices:
• Name of the organisation, department/committee
• Date of notice
• Number of the meeting (if regular)
• Type of meeting (if not routine – special/emergency/ AGM)
• Date, time, venue

Contents of Agendas:
An agenda is a list of items to be discussed in a particular meeting. If the number of items to be
discussed is small, the agenda is appended after the notice. If it is long, it is sent as a separate
document. A notice and an agenda is circulated at least seven days in advance.
Why have an agenda? It is a map of the journey the meeting will take. Its purpose is to :
➢ To give advance warning to all participants
➢ To state the purpose of the meeting
➢ To indicate what preparation is required
➢ To give the order of items
➢ To give the chairperson control of the meeting
➢ To help the minute-taker to write up the minutes

Consider the following example of a notice and an agenda:

150
RADIUM GROUP OF COMPANIES
Management Committee
10 January, 2007
You are invited to attend the fifth meeting of the Management Committee of Radium Group of
Companies, to be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday 18th January 2007, in the Venus Hall, at 58, Park
Road, Jamshedpur – 11.

Agenda:
1. Minutes of the last meeting
2. Recruitment of management trainees
3. Opening a branch in Allahabad
4. Innovations in travel packages
5. Any other matter

Vishwaraj Mehra
Member

Activity:
Draft the notice, with the agenda, for a special meeting of the executive committee of a company
which is seeing product failures in the market.

Answer:
SPECTRUM INDIA LTD.
Executive Committee

16th June 2008
All members of the Executive Committee of Spectrum India Ltd. are requested to attend a
special meeting on 20th June, 2008 at 3.30 p.m. in the Conference Room, at 125, Shivaji Park,
Bangalore- 91.

Agenda:
1. An address by the Chairman of the Executive committee.
2. Report by Customer Service department
3. Reports by R&D and Manufacturing Division on product – Spaco
4. Analysis and redress of Customer complaints

Note: In the fast pace of working today, it is quite possible that emergency or urgent meetings
are held, in which notices and agendas are not circulated. The information may be transmitted

151
only orally. In department or team meetings it may not matter so much; but it is not a good idea
to rely only on oral exchange. It should always be followed by an email giving all the contents
that we have discussed above.

Maestro Session 26

Listen and Reflect

Karan is an IIT graduate and a green card holder based in the US. He joined a leading
multinational company in Japan as a software engineer. He is facing problems with the
management from day one. Karan reported to his senior manager, Taibo Jonichiro. After one
month of Karan’s joining, Taibo summoned Karan to his office.

Taibo: I see your progress at work is very slow. Don’t you find the work interesting? This is an
opportunity of a life time. You should take advantage of the circumstances. I will not tolerate
your slow progress anymore.
Karan: Sir, please listen to my side of the story. I am not conversant with the Japanese language.
I am finding it difficult to communicate with my colleagues. I find it hard to understand what is
being discussed at the meetings. According to the job contract I was assured that my lack of
Japanese-language skills would not be an obstacle. I am waiting for the offer of Japanese
language training from my supervisor. But no such offer ever came. I need to achieve a
reasonable level of fluency in Japanese. Can the company help me with the expenses or
recommend me a good school?
Taibo: I cannot help you financially as the management doesn’t have any such policy. I cannot
recommend a good school.
Karan: But the Japanese employees are given English training at company expense! Most of the
contract employees are given Japanese training in good schools by the company. Am I supposed
to fend for myself? You cannot say that you have nothing to do with it.
Taibo: You will have to figure a way out. I am helpless.

The next day….

Karan: Sir, I was supposed to test some computers but the operation manual was in Japanese.
Can you help me get some material in English?
Taibo: I am afraid it’s not possible.

Karan set out in search of a language school but the schools nearby were expensive. The only
option he got was a day time school which was quite far. His boss did not allow him to work
flextime to attend the class. Karan paid his own expenses. One day Taibo summoned him.

Taibo: You have been working for four months. Now you should understand the Japanese
language. I want you to start submitting reports in Japanese.
Karan: I object. I cannot do it. Not without some kind of help with the cost of language training.
Taibo: Go and learn Japanese by watching television, like all Asians do.

152
Finally, Karan gave up and decided to discuss the issue with a lawyer.

Karan: I am finding it difficult to work over here. I am being harassed by my co-workers. A
union leader has threatened me that he will force me to quit. The management has told me to
vacate the company flat which I am entitled to. I am fed up of negotiating with the company and
I would like to sue them.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows the plight of Karan who is handicapped because of his lack of Japanese
language when working in Japan. His reporting manager is extending no help to remedy the
situation and Karan is struggling to learn the language on his own and meet the deadlines. After
four months the management tells Karan to vacate the company flat. He is also threatened by the
union leader. So Karan decides to hire a lawyer and sue the company.

A Solution

During the first meeting Taibo should have said:
Taibo: I find that you are making very slow progress. What’s the matter? Are you facing any
problems at work? Feel free to discuss it with me.
After listening to the Karan’s complaint Taibo should have said:
Taibo: I understand your problem. Basic knowledge of Japanese language would be helpful in
the long run. I will see to it that the management gives you proper language training as it is doing
with other employees. If that is not enough, we will recommend some good school and provide
financial assistance. We will offer flexi-timings to you if required.

Meanings:

Assured: guaranteed.
Contract: working for a short period
Conversant: aware, familiar
Fend: to take care yourself without any help
Flexitime: a system where an employee can choose when to start or end work each day.
Fluency: the ability to speak or write a language without difficulty
Green card: (United States Permanent Resident Card) it is a proof of permanent resident status of
an outsider in the US. He is permitted to stay and work in the US.
Harassed: to worry or annoy by saying or doing unpleasant things.
Helpless: unable to help
Multinational: worldwide, global, international
Operation manual: a book which gives directions on how to use the product.
Reasonable: fair, practical, acceptable
Recommend: suggest, advise
Software engineer: A person who develops computer software
Sue: take legal action.
Tolerate: accept, put up with
Vacate: leave, move out.

153
Pronunciation and Spelling:

According
Asian
Assured
Based
Card
Colleagues
Communicate
Contract
Conversant
Co-workers
Difficult
Discussed
Engineer
Entitled
Expensive
Financially
Flextime
Fluency
Green
Harassed
Holder
Interesting
Japanese
Language
Leading
Management
Manual
Material
Multinational
Negotiating
Obstacle
Operation
Opportunity
Option
Progress
Reasonable
Recommend
Software
Submitting
Summoned
Supervisor
Television
Threatened
Tolerate
Watching

154
Answer Me:

1: Why did Taibo summon Karan?
Ans: After one month Taibo found that Karan was making slow progress in his work. So he
called Karan to warn him that he would not tolerate his slow progress and that he has to learn his
work quickly.

2: What problems was Karan facing?
Ans: Karan was not conversant with the Japanese language and was finding it difficult to
communicate with his colleagues. He could not understand what was discussed in the meetings
so could not take part in the discussions nor contribute in the meetings. While joining he was
assured that he would be given training in Japanese language but he had not received any offer
from the supervisor since he joined.

3: What request did Karan make to Taibo? What was Taibo’s reaction?
Ans: Karan asked Taibo to request the management to help him with the expenses or recommend
him a good school to learn Japanese. However, Taibo refused to help Karan as the management
did not have any such policy.

4: What difficulties did Karan face while in search of a language school?
Ans: Karan found that the language school nearby was too expensive. The only option he got
was a day-time school which was quit far. To attend the classes Karan had to have flexible work
timings but Taibo refused to grant him permission. In the end Karan had to pay all the expenses
to learn Japanese.

5: What assignment did Taibo give Karan? How did he react to Karan’s reply?
Ans: Since Karan had been working for nearly four months, Taibo told him to start filing reports
in Japanese language. Karan objected to it as he was not yet conversant with the language and
needed financial help to complete the course. Taibo reacted angrily and said that Karan should
learn Japanese by watching television as all Asians do.

6: What did Karan decide to do next?
Ans: Karan met a lawyer and told him how he was being harassed by the management and his
co-workers. The company had told him to vacate the company flat which he was entitled to.
Tired of negotiating with the management, Karan decided to sue the company.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) He joined a leading multinational company in Japan as a software engineer.
Present perfect: He has joined a leading multinational company in Japan as a software
engineer.
Past perfect: He had joined a leading multinational company in Japan as a software engineer
Future perfect: He will have joined a leading multinational company in Japan as a software
engineer.

2) Karan reported to his senior manager, Taibo Jonichiro.

155
Present perfect: Karan has reported to his senior manager, Taibo Jonichiro.
Past perfect: Karan had reported to his senior manager, Taibo Jonichiro.
Future perfect: Karan will have reported to his senior manager, Taibo Jonichiro.

3) I am finding it difficult to communicate with my colleagues.
Present perfect: I have found it difficult to communicate with my colleagues.
Past perfect: I had found it difficult to communicate with my colleagues.
Future perfect: I will have found it difficult to communicate with my colleagues.

4) Karan paid his own expenses.
Present perfect: Karan has paid his own expenses.
Past perfect: Karan had paid his own expenses.
Future perfect: Karan will have paid his own expenses.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Taibo said, “I see your progress at work is very slow.”
Indirect: Taibo pointed out that Karan’s progress at work was slow.

B) Direct: Karan said, “I am not conversant with the Japanese language.”
Indirect: Karan clarified that he was not conversant with the Japanese language.

C) Direct: Karan said, “I was supposed to test some computers but the operation manual was in
Japanese.”
Indirect: Karan said that he was supposed to test some computers but the operation manual was
in Japanese.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: After one month of Karan’s joining, Taibo summoned Karan to his office.
Passive: Karan was summoned to his office by Taibo after one month of joining.

C) Passive: I am being harassed by my co-workers.
Active: My co-workers are harassing me.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: I see your progress at work is very slow.
Comparative: I see your progress at work is slower than before.
Superlative: I see your progress at work is the slowest of all.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Interesting exciting boring
B) Tolerate bear forbid
C) Conversant familiar unfamiliar
D) Reasonable acceptable unreasonable

156
Idioms and Phrases
A) “You should take advantage of the circumstances.” can be written as “You should seize/grab
the opportunity with both hands”.
B) “You cannot say that you have nothing to do with it.” can be written as “You cannot wash
your hands off it.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The college is offering you a scholarship, so you should grab this opportunity with both
hands.
B) He tried to wash his hands off the incomplete project by making silly excuses.

Writing Skills

Let’s continue our discussion of meeting documentation…….

Notes
This is an essential requirement that is often neglected. Although the notes taken during a
meeting are often untidy, abbreviated and written in a hurry, they are the basis on which the
minutes are drafted after the meeting. Therefore they test the writing skills of the note taker. The
note taker has to participate in the meeting, listen, process information and put it down in a way
that will aid the writing of minutes.

Minutes
Minutes are a written record of discussions, decisions, and agreed actions in meetings. They
should be accurate and objective; their style should be crisp and clear. Above all: they should be
brief!
Why write minutes? Minutes perform a number of vital questions:
➢ A permanent record of what happened
➢ Evidence for legal or professional reasons
➢ A reminder of actions to be done
➢ An aid in writing the next agenda

Contents of minutes:
• The name of the meeting
• The venue, date and time
• The names of participants
• Names of absent members
• A record of the meeting, item by item, numbered exactly as on the agenda
• Three columns in which to write
• Headings and sub-headings
• The date of writing and the signatures of the chairperson and minutes writer.

Minute-taking involves three main skills.

157
Listening
Not just hearing what is said, but identifying the central points: the core of the discussion, the
crucial piece of information, the final decision, the agreed action.
Note-taking
Ideally you cannot listen and write at the same time. The trick is to find a way of note-taking that
allows you to listen.
1. Prior to the meeting prepare some sheets (A4 size) and write down each item on the
agenda on separate pages.
2. Divide each page into three columns: the central one is half the width of the page
3. Column 1 for names of speakers, column 2 for keywords of the discussion, and column 3
for actions and information, deadlines, persons responsible etc.

The great advantage of this method is that you can follow the course of the discussion,
wherever it goes, and at the same time, organise the material into a logical structure. It forces
you to listen creatively, as there is only room for keywords, and encourages you to find the
connections between ideas.
Writing and editing
Lengthy minutes will not be read. The readers only want to know what was decided and what
will be done. Once written, read through and check for accuracy, brevity, clarity, spelling,
punctuation.

Sample of Minutes
RADIUM GROUP OF COMPANIES
Management Committee
Minutes of the fifth meeting held at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 18th January 2007, in the Venus Hall,
at 58, Park Road, Jamshedpur – 11.
Present : Rakesh Chouhan (President)
Nishan Ahuja (Vice-President)
Vivek Pai (Secretary)
Lakshmi Deshpande (Joint secretary)
Sunil Kadam (Treasurer)
Amrita Arora (member)
Absent: Naresh Gupta (member)
Item Subject Details of discussion
5.01 Minutes of last Minutes of Dec. 10 ’06 meeting were read, approved and signed by the
meeting president.
5.02 Recruitment of Nishan Ahuja stressed the need for recruiting five management
management trainees, 2 for the delhi branch and 3 for the Bangalore branch.the
trainees committee discussed the matter at length. It approved the idea and
decided that the secretary will place the advertisement in all leading
dalies within a week.

158
5.03 Opening a Laxmi Deshpande presented the findings of a survey conducted in
branch in Allahabad and concluded that there was no need for a branch in
Allahabad Allahabad. The committee unanimously agreed with her.
5.04 Innovations in Rakesh Chouhan proposed that certain innovations in the travel
travel packages packages for this summer will promote revenue arising out of tourism.
The committee discussed the issue; a three-member committee
consisting of Vivek Pai, Laxmi Deshpande and Sunil Kadam was
formed and was asked to work out on this matter and report to Rakesh
Chouhan latest by 25th April, 2007.
5.05 Complaints Nishan Ahuja expressed great concern over the complaints that he
regarding received regarding service in Chennai branch. He read out the
service complaints and the committee accepted that out of the ten complaints,
six appeared to be genuine. Hence the committee decided to call for
explanation from Seema tiwari, the manager of Chennai branch.

The next meeting of the committee will be on May 6, 2007.
Submitted by Approved by
Vivek Pai Rakesh Chouhan
Secretary President
Jan 18 2008 Date:

Maestro Session 27

Listen and Reflect

Pulsar Electronics Ltd manufactures electronic home appliances. Reena, the HR manager was
finding it hard to make the different departments collaborate and work together. Rajiv, the
General Manager and Reena were trying hard to find a solution.

Rajiv: Reena, the situation is bad. I see the various departments functioning without any
coordination. The managers don’t seem to care. The situation is totally out of control.
Reena: Sir, from what I have observed, demarcation barriers and the mistrust between
management and employees are the biggest obstacles to teamwork.
Rajiv: What kind of barriers are you talking about?
Reena: These communication barriers exist between management and shop floor employees and
also between employees of different levels within the workplace. This has contributed to a
culture of departmental self-interest. Most employees are resistive to change.
Rajiv: We need to face the difficulty boldly. What do you think the management should do? I
think it would be a good idea to appoint a committee with equal representation from
management and employees.

159
Reena: Sir, such an attempt has been made but it failed. Most committees focused on
interpersonal conflicts and departmental issues. As a result, the workforce remained alienated
from the consultation process and divided by the self-interest of their respective departments.
Rajiv: Did the company ever try to train the employees to solve the problem?
Reena: The company has not developed the culture of perfect learning and training. Even the
technical training was informal, unplanned and based on a need-to-know basis, consisting of a
“buddy system” in which an employee passed on skills to others while on-the-job. The result was
a range of inconsistent performance levels from employees who did not have a clear
understanding of the whole production process.

Let’s summarise:

The HR department of Pulsar electronics is finding it difficult to get all the departments to
collaborate and work. Reena, the HR manager feels that the communication barriers between the
management and shop floor employees and between employees of different levels within the
workplace are the causes. Committees that were set up to solve the problem were a failure as
they focused on interpersonal conflicts and departmental issues. This problem is compounded by
the lack of a training culture in the organisation.

A Solution

Rajiv: Non-cooperation between the departments is not acceptable to me. Such behaviour from
department heads is totally unprofessional. I will call a meeting of all the department heads to
settle their differences and find a solution. Meanwhile, you try to formulate a training program
which includes interpersonal and interdepartmental communication skills for managers and
employees. Schedule the training programs and pass on the information to all managers and
employees. Make the training compulsory for all.

Meanings:
Demarcation- limit, separation, isolation
Barrier- hurdle, difficulty
Mistrust- doubt, distrust, suspicion
Obstacle- problem, obstruction
Self-interest- selfishness, self-interest
Interpersonal- between people
Alienated- separated
Consultation- discussion
Buddy- companion, partner, friend
Inconsistent- lot of variation, not in agreement
Interdepartmental- within the department

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Alienated
Appliances
Barriers
Buddy

160
Collaborate
Committee
Communication
Conflicts
Consultation
Coordination
Demarcation
Departmental
Electronic
Employee
Existed
Focused
Formulate
Functioning
Inconsistent
Informal
Interdepartmental
Interpersonal
Management
Manufactures
Mistrust
Need-to-know
Observed
Obstacles
On-the-job
Performance
Production
Formulate
Representation
Representatives
Self-interest
Situation
Teamwork
Understanding
Unplanned
Whilst
Workplace

Answer Me:

1: What kind of problem did Pulsar Electronics face?
Ans: The HR managers were facing difficulties in making the various departments work in
coordination. The managers chose to be totally ignorant of the problem. There were many
demarcation barriers and a lot of mistrust among the staff, which created problems.

2: What kind of barriers existed in the organisation?

161
Ans: Communication barriers existed between management and shop floor employees and also
between employees of different levels within the workplace. This contributed to a culture of
departmental self-interest.

3: Why did the committees fail to solve the problem?
Ans: The committees failed to find a solution because most committees focused on interpersonal
conflicts and departmental issues. As a result, the workforce remained alienated from the
consultation process and divided by the self-interest of their respective departments.

4: What was the drawback of the company’s training program?
Ans: The company did not have a culture of continuous learning and training. Even the technical
training was informal, unplanned and based on a need-to-know basis, consisting of a “buddy
system” in which an employee passed on skills to others while on-the-job. The result was a range
of inconsistent performance levels from employees who did not have a clear understanding of the
whole production process.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Reena, the HR manager found it hard to make the different departments collaborate and work
together.
Present perfect: Reena, the HR manager has found it hard to make the different departments
collaborate and work together.
Past perfect: Reena, the HR manager had found it hard to make the different departments
collaborate and work together.
Future perfect: Reena, the HR manager will have found it hard to make the different
departments collaborate and work together.

2) Rajiv, the General Manager and Reena tried hard to find a solution.
Past perfect: Rajiv, the General Manager and Reena had tried hard to find a solution.
Present perfect: Rajiv, the General Manager and Reena have tried hard to find a solution.
Future perfect: Rajiv, the General Manager and Reena will have tried hard to find a solution.

3) Present perfect: This has contributed to a culture of departmental self-interest.
Past perfect: This had contributed to a culture of departmental self-interest.
Future perfect: This will have contributed to a culture of departmental self-interest.

4) Most committees focused on interpersonal conflicts and departmental issues.
Past perfect: Most committees had focused on interpersonal conflicts and departmental
issues.
Present perfect: Most committees have focused on interpersonal conflicts and departmental
issues.
Future perfect: Most committees will have focused on interpersonal conflicts and
departmental issues.

Direct and Indirect speech:

162
A) Direct: Rajiv said, “Reena, the situation is bad.”
Indirect: Rajiv informed Reena that the situation was bad.

B) Direct: Reena said, “Sir, from what I have observed, demarcation barriers and the mistrust
between management and employees are the biggest obstacles to teamwork.”
Indirect: Reena observed that demarcation barriers and the mistrust between management and
employees were the biggest obstacles to teamwork.

C) Direct: Rajiv asked, “What do you think the management should do?”
Indirect: Rajiv asked Reena what she thought the management should do.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Pulsar Electronics Ltd manufactures electronic home appliances.
Passive: Electronic home appliances are manufactured by Pulsar Electronics Ltd.

B) Active: Most committees focused on interpersonal conflicts and departmental issues.
Passive: Interpersonal conflicts and departmental issues were focused on by most committees.

C) Active: The company has not developed a culture of learning and training.
Passive: A culture of learning and training has not been developed by the company.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:
A) Positive: The technical training was informal and unplanned.
B) Comparative: No other technical training was more informal and unplanned.
C) Superlative: The technical training was the most informal, unplanned.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Different unlike similar
B) Demarcation separation unity
C) Mistrust doubt trust
D) Informal casual formal

Idioms and Phrases
A) “We need to face the difficulty boldly.” can be written as “We need to take the bull by its
horns.”
B) “Sir, such an attempt has been made but it failed.” can be written as “Sir, such an attempt has
been made but it fell through.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) After an increase in the crime rate the police decided to take the bull by its horns.
B) All attempts to save the accident victim fell through due to a road block by a political party.

Speaking skills:

163
Topic for speech:
Draft a speech for delivery on the occasion of a ceremony in your company to felicitate the
oldest worker –a peon –for having completed 35 years of uninterrupted service.

Maestro Session 28

Listen and Reflect

Jena is an assistant accountant at a tyre manufacturing company. She met with an accident and
was hospitalised for a month. After resuming her duties, she has been working in the office for
one week. However, she is facing problems with her work condition since she joined. She is
discussing the problem with Sunita, her manager.

Jena: I am facing a serious problem with my work condition.
Sunita: You have to approach the HR manager with your problems.
Jena: But I need to inform you about my complaint since you are in-charge of the department.
Please don’t ignore my complaint.
Sunita: Ok, I am listening.
Jena: During an accident my right leg was fractured. According to the doctors, it might not heal
completely. There might be some permanent disability. I still have difficulty walking and
climbing stairs. Therefore I requested the supervisor to shift my work station to the ground floor.
But I was given a place at the back of the room where there is no proper lighting and ventilation.
I have to walk across the room to reach the washroom.
Sunita: So what do you want me to do?
Jena: I would like to be shifted to a more convenient place.
Sunita: You cannot shift your workplace twice. There are many senior staff members who work
under worse conditions. It will look like I am giving you a preferential treatment. So I cannot do
anything in this matter. I will put the matter under consideration. If you still have problems you
are free to approach the HR.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how employee welfare is ignored in some organisations. Jena has a genuine
problem but is the victim of the insensitivity of her superior. A matter that could have been
settled internally is blown out of proportion.

A Solution

After listening to Jena’s complaint Sunita’s response should have been:
Sunita: We can settle the matter at our level. There is no need to approach the HR. I will
personally see to it that you have a convenient place. If you have any problems you can contact
me.

164
Meanings:

Convenient: proper, suitable
Disability: a condition in which one cannot use a part of one’s body completely or easily
Fractured: bone breakage
Hospitalised: to stay in the hospital for treatment.
Preferential: special, favoured
Ventilation: circulation of fresh air

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Accounts
Assistant
Climbing
Completely
Convenient
Department
Disablement
Discussing
Fractured
hospitalised
Listening
Manufacturing
Permanent
Preferential
Requested
Supervisor
Treatment
Ventilation
Washroom

Answer Me:

1: What problems was Jena facing?
Ans: Jena had an accident and had broken a leg. The doctors had said that it might not heal
completely. There might be some permanent disability. She had difficulty in walking and
climbing stairs.

2: What kind of problem did Jena face with respect to her work conditions?
Ans: After the accident, Jena had trouble walking and climbing stairs. So she had requested the
supervisor to shift her workstation on the ground floor. But she was given a place at the back of
the room where there was no proper lighting and ventilation. Also, Jena had to walk across the
room to reach the washroom.

3: Why did Sunita refuse to fulfill Jena’s request?
Ans: Sunita said that she cannot shift Jena’s workplace twice. The office had many senior
employees who worked under worst work conditions. If she fulfilled Jena’s request other staff

165
would feel that she was favouring Jena. So she refused to do anything in this matter. Sunita said
that if Jena still had problems she was free to approach the HR.

Grammar Practice:-

Tenses:

1) Jena is an assistant accountant at a tyre manufacturing company.
Present perfect: Jena has been an assistant accountant at a tyre manufacturing company.
Past perfect: Jena had been an assistant accountant at a tyre manufacturing company.
Future perfect: Jena will have been an assistant accountant at a tyre manufacturing company.

2) She is discussing the problem with Sunita, her manager.
Present perfect: She has discussed the problem with Sunita, her manager.
Past perfect: She had discussed the problem with Sunita, her manager.
Future perfect: She will have discussed the problem with Sunita, her manager.

3) I am facing a serious problem with my work condition.
Present perfect: I have faced a serious problem with my work condition.
Past perfect: I had faced a serious problem with my work condition.
Future perfect tense: I will have faced a serious problem with my work condition.

4) It will look like I am giving you preferential treatment.
Present perfect: It looks like I have given you preferential treatment.
Past perfect: It looked like I had given you preferential treatment.
Future perfect tense: It will look like I will have given you preferential treatment.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Jena said, “I am facing a serious problem with my work condition.”
Indirect: Jena complained that she was facing a serious problem with her work condition.

B) Direct: Sunita said, “You have to approach the HR manager with your problems.”
Indirect: Sunita advised her to approach the HR manager with her problems.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: You cannot shift your workplace twice.
Passive: Your workplace cannot be shifted twice.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Comparative: There are many senior staff members who work under worse conditions.
Positive: There are many senior staff members who work under as bad conditions as these.
Superlative: There are many senior staff members who work under the worst conditions.

Vocabulary Building:

166
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Serious crucial funny
B) Approach come near retreat
C) Complaint grievance praise
D) Permanent lasting temporary

Idioms and Phrases
A) “Please don’t ignore my complaint.” can be written as “Please don’t turn your back on my
complaint.
B) “I will put the matter under consideration.” can be written as “I will put the matter on the
anvil.
Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The teacher cannot turn her back on the responsibility of providing good education.
B) The proposal to provide cheap food grains to the poor is on the anvil.

Writing skills:

At the third meeting of the executive committee of the Staff Association of Nehru Institute of
Technology, New Delhi held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, the 21st of Nov. 2007 in Gandhi Hall.
Following business was transacted:

Changing the duration of semesters
Study leave for staff members
Celebration of the New Year
Minutes of the last meeting
Any other matter with the permission of the chair
Setting up a separate gym for the staff

Arrange this agenda items in the most appropriate sequence and prepare the formal minutes as
discussed.

Answer:

NEHRU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Staff Association
Minutes of the third meeting held at 5.00 pm on Thursday 21st November 2007, in the Gandhi
Hall, at 58, Park Road, Jamshedpur – 11.

Present : Rakesh Chouhan (President)
Nishan Ahuja (Vice-President)
Vivek Pai (Secretary)
Lakshmi Deshpande (Joint secretary)
Sunil Kadam (Treasurer)
Amrita Arora (member)

Absent: Naresh Gupta (member)

167
Item Subject Details of discussion
3.01 Minutes of last Minutes of the meeting held on 10th July ’07 meeting were read,
meeting approved and signed by the president.
3.02 Changing the Nishan Ahuja stressed the need to change the duration of semesters in
duration of the year 2008-2009, taking into consideration the intervening elections.
semesters The President asked Vivek and Lakhsmi to draft the academic calendar
for the same.
3.03 Celebration of Laxmi Deshpande proposed that students would be acquainted with
the New Year traditional ways of celebrating the New Year this time with events such
as rangoli competition, semi-classical music programme and dances of
India. All members welcomed the idea.
3.04 Study leave for Rakesh Chouhan suggested that those staff members that desire to
staff members undertake higher studies should be granted study leave to do so. It would
also be in the interest of the institute to have highly-educated staff. The
President promised to take up the issue with the Board of Studies.
3.05 Setting up a Nishan Ahuja brought it to the notice of the members that it was
separate gym awkward for staff members to frequent the common gym, so a separate
for the staff gym could be set up for their use. It was discussed in great detail and
finally decided that it would be taken up for consideration next year.
Meanwhile, a convenient time slot would be reserved for use of the gym
by staff members.

The next meeting of the committee will be on May 6, 2007.
There being no other matter to be discussed, the meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the
Chair.

Submitted by Approved by
Vivek Pai Rakesh Chouhan
Secretary President
Jan 18 2008 Date:

Maestro Session 29

Listen and Reflect

168
Indus technology is a manufacturer of aircraft engines. The company is facing a major crisis due
to failure of one of its engines. Rajiv, the sales manager rushes to meet Shasank, the General
Manager.

Shasank: What seems to be the problem Rajiv? You seem tense.
Rajiv: An aircraft, which was on a test flight using our newly developed engines, just crashed
killing five crew members.
Shasank: What? This is a major problem. I am caught unawares by what has happened. What
went wrong? Do you have any more details?
Rajiv: I don’t have any more information. I am in touch with the authorities.
Shasank: What should we do now? Do we have to wait till the authorities complete the enquiry?
The development of our products will be delayed. It might lead to losses.
Rajiv: Sir, my suggestion is that instead of waiting we should conduct an internal enquiry to find
the facts.
A committee, consisting of representatives from the management (Shasank), Research &
Development (R&D) Manager (Vasant), union leader (Khurana) and an independent inspector, is
appointed.
Inspector: First, I would like to talk to the R&D manager.
Vasant: How can I help you?
Inspector: What could have gone wrong? Were the engines you had developed flight-worthy?
Vasant: The technology is the latest and it is being used by other manufacturers also. Quite a few
aircrafts are already using it. We have got good feedback from our customers. We had no
problems during in-house testing of the new engine.
Inspector: I would like to speak to the union leader.
Khurana: I am Khurana, the union leader.
Inspector: Are your workers well-trained to work on the new engine?
Khurana: Yes sir, they are a responsible lot. They have worked hard to complete the project.
But some workers who worked closely on the project were worried about the engine’s
worthiness. Many felt that it should not be used at all. The workers weren’t surprised by the
outcome.
Shasank: Why didn’t the workers inform the management?
Khurana: The management wanted to make the project a success at any cost. This put a lot of
pressure on the workers. What contributed to the disaster was the pressure people felt that any
hold-up of the new engine would be costly in many ways. Nobody wanted to face the personal
ramifications for doing so.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet describes an unfortunate situation that is the cause of the deaths of five crew
members. Indus technology faces a crisis due to failure of its aircraft engine. The company
decides to conduct an internal enquiry by an independent inspector. Vasant, the R&D manager
says that the technology was the latest and many other manufacturers used it. The engine did
well during testing. Union leader Khurana tells the inspector that the workers were worried about
the engine’s worthiness. But none of them dared to bring it to the notice of the management
because the management put pressure on them to complete the project quickly. It is a classic
case of lack of communication leading to disaster and the barrier of hierarchy obstructing
communication.

169
A Solution

Being a GM Shasank should have taken the lead in managing the situation. When Shasank heard
the news of the accident his response should have been:
Shasank: We are facing a major crisis. I feel sorry for the loss of life and property in the
accident. We can stop our product development at present. Instead of waiting for the authorities
to complete the enquiry we could conduct our own internal enquiry.

During the enquiry
Khurana: The workers were qualified to work on the project but some of them had doubts about
the engine’s worthiness. None of them dared to tell the management as the project had to be
successful. I was aware of the problem but I failed to bring it to the management’s notice for
which I am sorry.

Meanings:

Crisis: emergency, disaster
Test flight: first flight during which the aircraft and its parts are being tested
Internal enquiry: an investigation within the company.
Research & Development: studying new technical aspects
Technology: scientific knowledge practically used in the industry
Pressure: force put by the management
Worthiness: suitability
Disaster: tragedy, misfortune
Ramification: result, outcome

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Aircraft
Authorities
Committee
Consisting
Contributed
Crashed
Crisis
Developed
Disaster
Engines
Enquiry
Internal
Facing
Failure
Immediately
Independent
Information
Inspector

170
Internal
Management
Manufacturers
Ordered
Pressure
Ramifications
Representatives
Research & Development
Responsible
Surprised
Technology
Testing
Union
Worried
Worthiness

Answer Me:
1: What kind of problem was the company facing?
Ans: Indus technology, which manufactured aircraft engines was facing a major crisis. One of
the aircraft which was on a test flight using the company’s newly developed engines crashed
while on a test flight, killing five crew members. The authorities had called for an enquiry to
investigate the accident.

2: What did Rajiv suggest?
Ans: Rajiv suggested that instead of waiting for the authorities to complete the enquiry they
should conduct their own internal enquiry. For this, a committee included Shasank, who
represented the management, Vasant, who represented the R&D, Khurana, the union leader and
an independent inspector.

3: What was Vasant’s opinion about the new engine?
Ans: The technology being used is the latest and it is being used by other manufacturers also. It
is being already being used in quite a few aircrafts. They had no problems during the in-house
testing of the new engine.

4: What according to Khurana was the cause of the accident?
Ans: All the workers had worked hard to complete the project. But some workers who worked
closely on the project were worried about the engine’s worthiness. Many felt that it should not be
used at all. For the workers the accident was not a surprise.

5: Why didn’t the workers inform the management of the engine’s drawbacks?
Ans: The workers were under a lot of pressure from the management to make the project
successful. They felt that if the project was delayed because of their complaint, it would prove
expensive for the company and have serious implications on their careers.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

171
1) Indus technology is a manufacturer of aircraft engines.
Present perfect: Indus technology has been a manufacturer of aircraft engines.
Past perfect: Indus technology had been a manufacturer of aircraft engines.
Future perfect: Indus technology will have been a manufacturer of aircraft engines.

2) The company is facing a major crisis due to failure of one of its engines.
Present perfect: The company has faced a major crisis due to failure of one of its engines.
Past perfect: The company had faced a major crisis due to failure of one of its engines.
Future perfect: The company will have faced a major crisis due to failure of one of its
engines.

3) The development of our products will be delayed.
Present perfect: The development of our products has been delayed.

Past perfect: The development of our products had been delayed.
Future perfect: The development of our products will have been delayed.

4) Present perfect: They have worked hard to complete the project.
Past perfect: They had worked hard to complete the project.
Future perfect: They will have worked hard to complete the project.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Rajiv said, “An aircraft, which was on a test flight using, our newly developed
engines, just crashed killing five crew members.”
Indirect: Rajiv said that an aircraft, which was on a test flight, using their newly developed
engines, had crashed killing five crew members

B) Direct: Shasank said, “The development of our products will be delayed and it will be a big
loss.”
Indirect: Shasank feared that the development of their products would be delayed and it would be
a big loss.

C) Direct: Vasant said, “The technology is the latest and it is being used by other manufacturers
also.”
Indirect: Vasant said that the technology was the latest and it was being used by other
manufacturers also.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: The company is facing a major crisis due to failure of one of its engines.
Passive: A major crisis is being faced due to failure of one of the company’s engines.

B) Active: Quite a few aircrafts are already using it.
Passive: It is already being used in quite a few aircrafts.

D) Passive: The workers weren’t surprised by the outcome.

172
Active: The outcome didn’t surprise the workers.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: We have got good feedback from our customers.
Comparative: We have got better feedback from our customers.
Superlative: We have got the best feedback from our customers.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Tense nervous relaxed
B) Complete total partial
C) Independent free dependent
D) Trained qualified untrained

Idioms and Phrases
A) “I am caught unawares by what has happened.” can be written as “I am taken aback by what
has happened.”
B) “Sir, my suggestion is that instead of waiting we should conduct an internal enquiry to find
the facts.” Can be written as “Sir, my suggestion is that instead of waiting we should conduct an
internal enquiry to get to the bottom of the issue.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The man was taken aback by the sudden verbal attack.
B) The police decided to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Speaking skills:

Topic for speech:
At a condolence meeting called to mourn the death of Mr.Desai (one of the partners of the firm
in which you are the accountant), you have been asked to speak. Draft the speech you would
deliver on the occasion.

Maestro Session 30

Listen and Reflect

Sunil is a customer care executive in a nine-member team comprising one junior manager
(recently appointed), three team leaders (TLs), and five representatives. Sunil and Rajesh, among
their colleagues, are the best performers. Sunil and his colleague have problems at work. Sunil
met Raman, the HR manager to discuss the issue.

173
Raman: How are you Sunil? What brings you here?
Sunil: I am fine sir. I have a problem at work and want to discuss it with you.
Raman: You are welcome to discuss it.
Sunil: I have problems with Nishant, our junior manager.
Raman: What kind of problems? We can discuss it in detail.
Sunil: He was our team leader earlier. I never approved of the way he worked. He was biased
against employees who he felt were not performing. Since he has become our junior manager, he
has been harassing me and Rajesh, one of my colleagues. We have a shift change every month
but he makes sure that we don’t get the same shift.
Raman: But Nishant has a lot of experience and that is why he was promoted as the junior
manager.
Sunil: As far as I know, he is the weakest where process knowledge is concerned.
Raman: Sunil, you and your colleague will have to learn to work under all circumstances. Just
forget the differences and get back to work. I can’t do anything more at this stage.

A few days later Sunil was removed from the TLship within a week after the junior manager
complained to his boss that there are three representatives who did not want to work with Sunil
as TL.

Let’s summarise:
This caselet describes how Sunil loses his team leadership because of his immediate boss’s
grudge against him. Sunil has brought it to the HR manager’s notice, but instead of resolving the
issue, the HR manager asks Sunil to forget everything and carry on work. This is no solution at
all as the junior manager’s grudge costs Sunil his position.

A Solution
After hearing Sunil’s complaint, Raman’s response should have been:
Raman: Sunil, don’t let your previous experience with Nishat influence your opinion about him.
Although he is a senior manager with experience such behaviour is not expected from him. I will
personally discuss the issue with Nishant. Meanwhile, you two continue with your work
normally and don’t do anything which would worsen the situation.

Meanings:

Biased: unfair, partial
Circumstances: situation, condition
Comprising: including, consisting of
Customer care executive: a person who looks after the needs of the customer
Favour: support, help
Harassing: troublesome, irritating.

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Appointed
Approved
Biased
Circumstances
Colleagues
Complained

174
Comprising
Concerned
Customer
Employees
Executive
Experience
Favour
Harassing
Junior
Knowledge
Manager
Member
Performers
Performing
Promoted
Representatives
Team
Weakest

Answer Me:

1: What kind of problems were Sunil and his colleague facing?
Ans: Sunil and his colleague Rajesh were having problems with Nishant, the junior manager.
He was their team leader earlier. Sunil never approved of the way he worked as he was biased in
favour of employees who are not performing. Since he has become Sunil’s junior manager, he
has been harassing him and Rajesh. There was a shift change every month but Nishant never
gave them the same shift.

2: What happened after Sunil complained to the HR manager?
Ans: After listening to the complaint, the HR manager told Sunil and his colleague to learn to
work under all circumstances. He expressed his helplessness in helping them. Within a few days
Sunil was removed from the position of the team leader as Nishant had complained to his boss
that three representatives did not want to work with Sunil as team leader.

Grammar practice:-

Tense:

1) Sunil and his colleague have problems at work.
Present perfect: Sunil and his colleague have had problems at work.
Past perfect: Sunil and his colleague had had problems at work.
Future perfect: Sunil and his colleague will have had problems at work.

2) I never approved of the way he worked.
Present perfect: I have never approved of the way he worked.
Past perfect: I had never approved of the way he worked.
Future perfect: I will never have approved of the way he worked.

175
3) He was biased against employees who he felt were not performing.
Present perfect: He has been biased against employees who he felt were not performing.
Past perfect: He had been biased against employees who he felt were not performing.
Future perfect: He will have been biased against employees who he felt were not performing.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Sunil said, “I am fine sir. I have a problem at work and want to discuss it with you.”
Indirect: Sunil said that he was fine and added that he faced a problem at work and wanted to
discuss it with him.

B) Direct: Sunil said, “I have problems with Nishant, our junior manager.”
Indirect: Sunil said that he had problems with Nishant, their junior manager.

C) Direct: Raman said, “Sunil, you and your colleagues will have to learn to work under all
circumstances.”
Indirect: Raman told Sunil that he and his colleagues would have to learn to work under all
circumstances.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Since he has become our junior manager, he has been harassing me and Rajesh, one
of my colleagues.
Passive: Since Nishant has become our junior manager, Rajesh, one of my colleagues and I have
been harassed by him.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Superlative: He is the weakest, as far as process knowledge is concerned.
Positive: He is weak, as far as process knowledge is concerned.
Comparative: He is weaker than others, as far as process knowledge is concerned.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Comprising include exclude
B) Approved accepted unapproved
C) Biased unfair unbiased
D) Promoted advanced demoted

Idioms and Phrases
A) “You are welcome to discuss it.” can also be written as “You are welcome to speak your
mind”
B) “We can discuss it in detail.” can be written as “We can thrash it out.”
C) “Just forget the differences and get back to work.” can be written as “Just bury the hatchet
and get back to work.”

176
Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The supervisor was reluctant to speak his mind, afraid of a union backlash.
B) The manager invited the two engineers to thrash it out.
C) The union and the management should bury the hatchet and settle their differences.

Writing skills

The following e-mail is to your boss. However, as you have worked with your boss for a number
of years now it is far too formal. Rewrite the same e-mail but use a more neutral tone. Decide
which information can be omitted. Your boss is called Sarah Wellington.

Answer:

177
Maestro Session 31

Listen and Reflect

Sandeep, a newly-appointed branch manager of a bank is not happy with the type of clothes the
employees are wearing. He calls a meeting to find a solution. The meeting is being attended by
Sushil who represents the supervisors of all the departments.

Sandeep: Good morning everyone! I have called you to the meeting to discuss an important
issue. I am disappointed to see that the employees in our office have an unprofessional dressing
sense. What you people wear is totally inappropriate. I will implement a dress code. It would be
good for our image.
Sushil: Sir, no other manager had any objection on how the staff dressed. Why does it bother
you?
Sandeep: Our bank is a contact center for customers. We need to create a professional
environment. A well-dressed executive always looks confident. It will help in increasing
customer confidence.
Sushil: There is no dress code in any of our branches. Not even in our head office.
Sandeep: I have recommended it and it is likely to happen very soon. But I want to implement it
in our branch immediately. I have decided that Monday to Friday will be formal dressing and
Saturday will be casual. I need the staff’s cooperation to implement it. If you have any objections
or suggestions we can discuss it. We are all in a similar position, so do cooperate.
Sushil: Formal clothes are expensive to buy and maintain. We need to get some financial help,
some type of allowance. Apart from being expensive they are quite uncomfortable during the
summer. It would be rather difficult for us to commute wearing these dresses.
Sushil: Don’t make silly excuses. You will have to manage the expenses as there is no such
provision.

Let’s summarise:

Sandeep, the branch manager of a bank is very highhanded in the way he imposes his ideas on
his subordinates. Although his reasons for implementing a dress code are legitimate, his manner
of conveying it to the staff is not democratic. His interaction with the staff starts on the wrong
foot and deteriorates further towards the end.

A Solution

Sushil’s response should have been:

178
Sushil: I agree with you. But it will help in enhancing the image of our bank. Although it would
be inconvenient in the beginning I am sure the staff will get used to it. But buying and
maintaining formal clothes are a costly proposal. I think we need to get some financial help like
dress allowance to reduce the financial burden.

While placing the proposal Sandeep should have said:
Sandeep: I need your cooperation for a new proposal. I would like to implement a dress code for
all the staff. I am aware that it is not implemented in any of our branches but I think it will be
helpful in gaining customer confidence. Please come up with any objections or worries you may
have regarding the matter.

Meanings:

Allowance: expense money, grant
Commute: travel
Confident: sure, certain
Implement: apply, put into action
Inappropriate: wrong, improper, unsuitable
Objection: oppose, doubt
Professional environment: a work environment where all the systems and procedures are in
place.
Weird: odd, strange

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Allowance
Appointed
Branches
Commute
Confidence
Cooperation
Departments
Disappointed
Dressing
Employees
Environment
Excuses
Expensive
Implemented
Inappropriate
Management
Meeting
Objections
Professional
Solution
Suggestions
Supervisors
Uncomfortable
Wearing

179
Weird

Answer Me:

1: Why did Sandeep call the meeting?
Ans: Sandeep was appointed as the branch manager of a bank. He did not like the dressing sense
of his employees. His opinion was that the employees should dress in formals which will make
them look confident and create a professional environment. So he had called the meeting to
discuss the issue.

2: What was the reason behind Sushil’s objection?
Ans: Sushil objected to the proposal of a dress code because no other manager had any objection
on how the staff dressed and there was no dress code at the head office and in any of the
branches.

3: What was the problem with formal clothes?
Ans: The problem with formal dresses was that they were expensive to buy and maintain. Apart
from being expensive they are quite uncomfortable during the summer. It was difficult for the
staff to commute wearing these dresses.

4: What was Sushil’s demand and why did Sandeep reject it?
Ans: As the formal dresses were expensive to buy and maintain, Sushil demanded some sought
of financial help or allowance. Sandeep rejected the idea and said that the staff should manage
the expenses as there was no such provision for any allowance.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) He calls a meeting to find a solution.
Present perfect: He has called a meeting to find a solution.
Past perfect: He had called a meeting to find a solution.
Future perfect: He will have called a meeting to find a solution.

2) The meeting is being attended by Sushil, who represents the supervisors of all the
departments.
Present perfect: The meeting has been attended by Sushil, who represents the supervisors of
all the departments.
Past perfect: The meeting had been attended by Sushil, who represents the supervisors of all
the departments.
Future perfect: The meeting will have been attended by Sushil, who represents the
supervisors of all the departments.

3) I will implement a dress code.
Present perfect: I have implemented a dress code.
Past perfect: I had implemented a dress code.
Future perfect: I will have implemented a dress code.

180
4) It will help in increasing customer confidence.
Present perfect: It has helped in increasing customer confidence.
Past perfect: It had helped in increasing customer confidence.
Future perfect: It will have helped in increasing customer confidence.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Sandeep said, “Our bank is a contact center for customers.”
Indirect: Sandeep said that their bank was a contact center for customers.

B) Direct: Sushil said, “There is no dress code in any of our branches.”
Indirect: Sushil observed that there was no dress code in any of their branches.

C) Direct: Sushil said, “Formal clothes are expensive to buy and maintain.”
Indirect: Sushil objected that formal dresses were expensive to buy and maintain.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Passive: The meeting is being attended by Sushil, who represents the supervisors of all the
departments.
Active: Sushil, who represents the supervisors of all the departments, attended the meeting.

B) Active: It will help in increasing customer confidence.
Passive: Customers’ confidence will be increased by it.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: Formal clothes are expensive to buy and maintain.
Comparative: Formal clothes are more expensive to buy and maintain than other clothes.
Superlative: Formal clothes are the most expensive to buy and maintain.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Happy glad unhappy
B) Solution answer problem
C) Disappointed upset satisfied
D) Inappropriate unsuitable appropriate

Idioms and Phrases
A) “We are all in a similar position so do cooperate.” can be written as “We are all in a similar
position so please toe the line.”
B) “I have recommended it and it is likely to happen very soon.” can be written as “I have
recommended it and it is on the cards.” OR ‘it is in the pipeline’.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:

A) The police forced the witness to toe the line or face action.

181
B) A loan waiver for the farmers is on the cards.

Speaking skills:

Topic for speech:
College speech: You are a professor and have to give a welcome speech to first year students.
Deliver a speech which you are going to deliver

Maestro Session 32

Listen and Reflect

Vishal is a marketing manager in a garment export company. He is disturbed at work due to
constant interference by one of the fellow administrators. He is discussing the issue with Khanna,
the senior manager.

Khanna: Vishal, what brings you here?
Vishal: I’d like to discuss a situation at work which requires your urgent attention.
Khanna: What kind of situation?
Vishal: In my absence, Dinesh, one of the administrators starts dictating my staff as he sees fit.
Khanna: Try to be more specific.
Vishal: Once, I had given two of my staff an important assignment and he came along and told
them to stop working on it and assigned them some other work. When I returned my work was
incomplete; as a result we lost one customer. It was a bad experience for me.
Khanna: Why is that a problem? You are always on tour and Dinesh is the only one who can
guide them in your absence.
Vishal: But sir, my staff is caught between the two of us. They are not clear as to whom to follow
and so they follow the one who is there at the time - usually Dinesh. My staff is working hard but
they are not getting the credit they deserve. This has demoralised my staff and their productivity
is down. Even my work suffers.
Khanna: In the organisation who is the senior, you or Dinesh?
Vishal: I am senior to him.
Khanna: Listen Vishal, you and Dinesh will have to learn to coordinate. I don’t want the work to
suffer because of your difference of opinion.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet shows how work suffers if subordinates serve two masters. The line of command is
not clear and so the employees are demoralised. Before going on tour, Khanna needs to give
clear instructions as to who is in charge and what are the priorities work-wise.

A Solution
After listening to Vishal’s complaint, Khanna’s response should have been:
Khanna: Vishal, since you are always out on field, there has to be someone to guide the staff.
Dinesh, being a senior employee is doing his bit to guide them. However, if you find it

182
inconvenient, I will ask him to consult you before giving your staff any additional work load. A
better option would be to appoint some senior employee in your staff as a team leader who will
coordinate between you and your staff when you are on field.

Meanings:

Administrator: managers
Assignment: job, task
Dictating: ordering, directing
Export: sending goods out of the country for sale
Garment: clothes
Interference: obstructing, disturbing
Specific: exact, detailed

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Administrator
Assignment
Company
Constant
Credit
Deserve
Dictating
Difficulty
Discussing
Export
Facing
Fellow
Garment
Important
Interference
Manager
Marketing
organisation
Returned
Situation
Specific
Tension

Answer Me:

1: What problem was Vishal facing?
Ans: Vishal had problems with Dinesh, a fellow administrator. When Vishal goes on tour Dinesh
comes behind him and starts dictating to his staff. He gives them his own assignments and tells
the staff to discontinue the work assigned by Vishal. So Vishal’s work remains incomplete; as a
result the company lost one of its customers.

2: How did Khanna justify Dinesh’s behaviour?

183
Ans: Khanna said that Vishal should not have any problem with Dinesh’s behaviour. Since
Vishal was always on tour, Dinesh was the only senior person who could guide the staff.

3: How did this affect the staff?
Ans: The staff was confused as to whom to follow. So they followed the one who was present at
the time and it was usually Dinesh. The staff was working hard but they were not getting the
credit they deserved. This demoralised the staff and their productivity had decreased.

4: What was Khanna’s decision?
Ans: Khanna told Vishal to learn to coordinate with Dinesh as he did not want the work to suffer
because of their difference of opinion.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Vishal is a marketing manager in a garment export company.
Present perfect: Vishal has been a marketing manager in a garment export company.
Past perfect: Vishal had been a marketing manager in a garment export company.
Future perfect: Vishal will have been a marketing manager in a garment export company.

2) Present perfect: This has demoralised my staff and their productivity is down.
Past perfect: This had demoralised my staff and their productivity was down.
Future perfect: This will have demoralised my staff and their productivity will be down.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Vishal said, “I’d like to discuss a situation at work which requires your urgent
attention.”
Indirect: Vishal said that he would like to discuss a situation at work which required Khanna’s
urgent attention.

B) Direct: Vishal said, “But sir, my staff is caught between the two of us.”
Indirect: Vishal complained that his staff was caught between the two of them.

C) Direct: Khanna asked, “In the organisation who is senior, you or Dinesh?”
Indirect: Khanna asked Vishal who was senior in the organisation, Dinesh or Vishal.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: He is disturbed at work due to constant interference by one of the fellow
administrators.
Passive: Constant interference by one of the fellow administrators at work has disturbed him.

B) Active: This has demoralised my staff and their productivity is down.
Passive: My staff has been demoralised and their productivity was down.

184
Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: It was a bad experience for me.
Comparative: It was a worse experience for me.
Superlative: It was one of the worst experiences for me.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:

Synonyms Antonyms
A) Constant stable irregular
B) Attention concentration inattention
C) Incomplete unfinished complete
D) Demoralised discouraged optimistic

Idioms and Phrases
A) “In my absence, Dinesh, one of the administrators starts dictating my staff as he sees fit.” can
be written as “Dinesh, one of the administrators, starts dictating my staff as he sees fit, behind
my back.”
B) “But sir, my staff is caught between the two of us.” can be written as “But sir, my staff is
caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”.
C) “They are not clear as to whom to follow and so they follow the one who is there at the time -
usually Dinesh.” can be written as “They are all at sea as to whom to follow and so they follow
the one who is there at the time - usually Dinesh.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The manager didn’t like the plotting going on behind his back.
B) The union leader and the management were making contradictory statements and the workers
were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
C) I was all at sea when asked to operate the new machine.

Speaking skills:

Topic for group discussion:

Is rural life left behind in the Indian economy?

Maestro Session 33

Listen and Reflect
Kamat, the union leader approached Haren, the HR manager. He wanted to lodge a complaint
against the canteen service in the company premises.

185
Kamat: I am here to talk to you about a very important issue regarding the working conditions of
the workers. This has continued for quite a long time and the workers have decided to take strong
action. We might go on strike if our demands are not addressed.
Haren: If the workers are suffering for a long time, why have you not brought it to our notice
earlier? Being a union leader, you are partly responsible for the workers’ welfare. But since you
have come to me, tell me what the problem is.
Kamat: I am here to bring to your notice the deteriorating services offered by our canteen. The
quality of food is bad. The canteen employees are not cooperative. Even the canteen contractor
does not seem to be in control of the situation.
Haren: This is a big fuss about nothing. Have you brought it to the notice of the canteen
contractor?
Kamat: Yes, twice in the last three months. But he doesn’t seem to care.
Haren: What other complaints do you have?
Kamat: Twice this week the breakfast was stale. During lunch hour, most of the workers have to
wait for more than twenty minutes for the food to be served. Sometimes the food gets over
before every one is finished. Second serves are hard to come by. Even the dishes are not properly
cleaned.
Haren: But I didn’t find any problems with the food being served at the canteen for managers.
Kamat: The contractor is diverting all the resources and men to the management canteen. That is
why the workers are suffering. Most workers have started bringing their own lunch packs. But
there is no place to sit and eat. The canteen doesn’t allow workers to bring outside food. Eating
at the work place is prohibited by the management. The contractor is making easy money and the
management is ignoring the issue.

Let’s summarise:

Kamat, the union leader while complaining to Haren, directly threatens to go on strike if their
demands are not met. Secondly, he should have complained earlier, than waited for three months.
The contractor is at fault too because he has turned a deaf ear to the complaints. Haren also fails
to provide the resolution.

A Solution
While complaining, Kamat should have said:
Kamat: Sir, I would like to bring to your attention a very important issue which needs your
urgent attention. It is about the deteriorating canteen service being provided by the canteen
contractor. We have complained to him but he has not cooperated. The workers are disappointed
with his behaviour and want the HR department to look into it. We will be grateful if you find a
solution at the earliest.

After listening to Kamat’s complaint, Haren should have said:
Haren: This is a serious problem. If you have any problems do bring it to my notice before the
situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, I will personally talk to the contractor and find a solution
at the earliest.

Meanings:

Contractor: service provider
Cooperative: helpful, supportive

186
Deteriorating: becoming worse
Lodge: file
Premises: site, location, property
Resources: funds
Stale: old, not fresh
Worse: poor, of bad quality

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Approached
Breakfast
Canteen
Company
Complaint
Contractor
Cooperative
Deteriorating
Dishes
Diverting
Finished
Leader
Lodge
Management
Premises
Prohibited
Quality
Resources
Served
Service
Situation
Sometimes
Stale
Suffering
Union
Worse

Answer Me:

1: What was Kamat, the union leader complaining about?
Ans: Kamat was complaining about the deteriorating services offered by the company’s canteen.
The quality of food was bad. The breakfast had been stale twice in one week. During lunch hour,
most of the workers had to wait for more than twenty minutes for the food to be served.
Sometimes the food got over before every one was finished. Sometimes, even the dishes were
not properly cleaned. The contractor had ignored the workers complaints.

2: What according to Kamat was the cause for the bad canteen service?

187
Ans: According to Kamat, the contractor was diverting all the resources and men to the
management canteen, to keep the managers happy. The contractor was making easy money and
the management was ignoring the issue.

3: What kind of problems did the workers face when they brought lunch packs?
Ans: The workers who brought lunch packs found that there was no place to sit and eat. The
canteen did not allow workers to bring outside food and eating at the work place was prohibited
by the management.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Kamat, the union leader approached Haren, the HR manager.
Present perfect: Kamat, the union leader, has approached Haren, the HR manager.
Past perfect: Kamat, the union leader, had approached Haren, the HR manager.
Future perfect: Kamat, the union leader, will have approached Haren, the HR manager.

2) He lodged a complaint against the canteen service in the company premises.
Present perfect: He has lodged a complaint against the canteen service in the company
premises.
Past perfect: He had lodged a complaint against the canteen service in the company premises.
Future perfect: He will have lodged a complaint against the canteen service in the company
premises.

3) During lunch hour, most of the workers have to wait for more than twenty minutes for the
food to be served.
Present perfect: During lunch hour, most of the workers have had to wait for more than
twenty minutes for the food to be served.
Past perfect: During lunch hour, most of the workers had had to wait for more than twenty
minutes for the food to be served.
Future perfect: During lunch hour, most of the workers will have had to wait for more than
twenty minutes for the food to be served.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Kamat said, “I am here to talk to you about a very important issue regarding the
working conditions of the workers.”
Indirect: Kamat said he was there to talk to him about a very important issue regarding the
working conditions of the workers.

B) Direct: Haren asked, “Have you brought it to the notice of the canteen contractor?”
Indirect: Haren asked him whether he had brought it to the notice of the canteen contractor.

C) Direct: Haren said, “But I didn’t find any problems with the food being served at the canteen
for managers.”
Indirect: Haren expressed surprise that he hadn’t found any problems with the food being served
at the canteen for managers.

188
Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Kamat the union leader approached Haren, the HR manager.
Passive: Haren, the HR manager was approached by Kamat the union leader.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: The workers are disappointed with his behaviour.
Comparative: The workers are more disappointed with his behaviour than anyone else’s.
Superlative: The workers are the most disappointed with his behaviour.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Continued continuous discontinued
B) Strong powerful weak
C) Cooperative helpful uncooperative
D) Stale decayed fresh

Idioms and Phrases
A) “This has continued for quite a long time and the workers have decided to take strong action.”
can be written as “This has continued for quite a long time and the workers are up in arms.”
B) “This is a big fuss about nothing.” can be written as “This is just a storm in a teacup.”
C) “The contractor was making easy money and the management was ignoring the issue” can be
said as “The contractor was making easy money and the management was paying no heed”.

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The public is up in arms against the corrupt officials.
B) The sting operation turned out to be a storm in a teacup.
C) The driver of the bus paid no heed to the stop sign and drove through the railway crossing,
which led to the accident.

Speaking skills:

Topic for speech
You are the administration manager and you are inaugurating a new office. Write an inaugural
speech for the occasion.

Maestro Session 34

189
Listen and Reflect

Kamal joined as an assistant in a public library. Ahmed is the senior librarian.
Ahmed: Welcome to our library.
Kamal: Thanks. It’s nice to meet you.
Ahmed: So, is this your first job?
Kamal: Yes, my first turn as a librarian.
Ahmed: This is a nice place to work and the people are very friendly. You will be a happy person
working here.

The next day, as they talked, Kamal fished through her oversized handbag, which Ahmed
estimated could have doubled as carry-on luggage. He watched as Kamal pulled out pens,
writing pads, and other items that all bore the library’s name and logo. Kamal pulled out her
cellphone and plugged it in a socket for charging. That evening, before he left for home, Ahmed
thought he saw Kamal take a packet of computer printer paper and slip it into her bag. One
afternoon on the job, Ahmed again noticed Kamal slipping a package of paper into her bag. He
found this annoying and decided to discuss it.

Ahmed: I’ve got to ask you something. That’s the second time I’ve seen you put printer paper in
there and your bag already is loaded with library pens and pads. Stop this behaviour or I will be
forced to take action.
Kamal: Well, that’s what I like to call borrowing privileges. These things are free to patrons. So
why shouldn’t we be able to take them too? I pay the same taxes, so my money is equally
funding the library. Also, I do some of my administrative work at home. It’s library business, so
why should I pay for the paper? I do many things here that I’m not paid for at all. I call the
technician to fix the printers and the copy machine. So, I make sure I’m compensated in other
ways. Everyone takes little things from their job. I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with it.
It’s not like I’m stealing PCs or money from the fines box. What’s the big deal?”
Ahmed: You have an unscrupulous attitude Kamal. With that attitude you will be a constant
source of trouble.

Let’s summarise:

This caselet describes a common situation in most offices, where misuse of office property and
material is rampant. What is required is better monitoring from the management and good
counselling to people who have been misusing office equipment and material.

A Solution

After listening to Kamal’s excuse, Ahmed’s reply should have been;
Ahmed: It is disappointing to see that you have been taking office stationery for personal use. Do
not try to justify your behaviour by saying that you do office work at home. You should finish
your office work during office hours. You are not the only person who pays taxes. Others do it
too. By taking office material from the library, you are not only damaging your image but you
are misusing others’ money. Calling the technician to fix something is a part of your job. You
should learn to help out in all the work in the library.

190
When Ahmed enquired, Kamal’s reply should have been:
Kamal: I am sorry that I have been taking office supplies home. I apologise for my behaviour.
This will not happen again.

Meanings:

Fished: search, look for, rummage around
Oversized: extra-large, huge
Estimate: guess, judgement not based on facts
Doubled: also worked as, could be used as
Bore: (past tense of ‘bear) had on it, showed
Plug: to insert in the socket
Socket: a device in the wall used to supply electrical devise with electricity.
Package: bundle, box
Annoying: angry, irritating
Borrow: to use something which belongs to someone else and return it at a later date
Privilege: freedom, benefit, right
Patrons: regular customers
Compensated: to be paid or rewarded for.
Unscrupulous: without moral principles; not honest or fair

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Administrative
Annoying
Assistant
Borrowing
Carry-on
cell phone
Charging
Compensated
Computer
Doubled
Estimated
Fished
Funding
Handbag
Librarian
Library
Logo
Luggage
Oversized
Package
Packet
Patrons
Plugged
Printer
Privileges
Slipping

191
Socket
Stealing
Technician

Answer Me:

1: What did Kamal pull out from her bag?
Ans: Kamal pulled out pens, writing pads, and other items that all bore the library’s name and
logo.

2: What made Ahmed angry?
Ans: Once, Ahmed saw Kamal take a packet of computer printer paper and slip it into her bag.
Then one afternoon Ahmed again noticed Kamal slipping a package of paper into her bag. He
found this annoying and decided to discuss it.

3: What excuse did Kamal make for taking library stationery?
Ans: Kamal tried to justify her behaviour by claiming that she paid taxes which fund the library.
She did some administrative work of the library from home so she need not pay for the paper.
She did additional work like calling the technician to fix the printers and the copy machine, for
which she was not compensated. She felt that there was nothing wrong in taking little things
from her job as everyone did it. According to her it was not stealing but borrowing privileges for
patrons.

Grammar practice:-
Tenses:

1) Kamal joined as an assistant in a public library.
Present perfect: Kamal has joined as an assistant in a public library.
Past perfect: Kamal had joined as an assistant in a public library.
Future perfect: Kamal will have joined as an assistant in a public library.

2) Also, I do some of my administrative work at home.
Present perfect: Also, I have done some of my administrative work at home.
Past perfect: Also, I had done some of my administrative work at home.
Future perfect: Also, I will have done some of my administrative work at home.

Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Ahmed said, “Welcome to our library.”
Indirect: Ahmed welcomed Kamal to the library.

B) Direct: Ahmed said, “This is a nice place to work and the people are very friendly.”
Indirect: Ahmed said that it was a nice place to work and the people were very friendly.

C) Direct: Ahmed said, “That’s the second time I’ve seen you putting printer paper in there and
your bag already is loaded with library pens and pads.”

192
Indirect: Ahmed said that it was the second time that he had seen her putting printer paper in the
bag and it was already loaded with library pens and pads.”

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Everyone takes little things from their job.
Passive: Little things are taken by everyone from their jobs.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: You will be happy working over here.
Comparative: You will be happier working over here.
Superlative: You will be the happiest working over here.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Friendly sociable unfriendly
B) Oversized big small
C) Annoying frustrating pleasant
D) Compensated rewarded unpaid

Idioms and Phrases

A) “Stop this behaviour or I will be forced to take action.” can be written as “Stop this behaviour
or be prepared for the worst.”
B) “You have an unscrupulous attitude Kamal.” can be written as “Don’t get on your high
horse Kamal.”
C) “With that attitude you will be a constant source of trouble.” can be written as “With that
attitude you will rub others the wrong way.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) The administration should make preparations for the monsoon or be prepared for the worst.
B) The supervisor was on a high horse during the internal enquiry conducted by the
management.
C) She blamed her colleagues for her failure and rubbed them the wrong way.

Writing skills:

Mary McCartney works for an international publishing company (Blackbird Books) which have
their headquarters in Liverpool. She works in the sales department of a branch in Delhi. Last
week Mary McCartney went to Liverpool for a conference. During the conference she met the
director, Paul Harrison, of her department for the first time. Now back in Delhi she has written
him an e-mail.
Read the e-mail: what are her two reasons for writing?

193
Answer: She is thanking him a) for his help for her presentation, and b) for showing her around
Liverpool.

Maestro Session 35

Listen and Reflect

Dinesh started in a new position with a new company. But he has issues with Niraj, one of his
subordinates. Dinesh is discussing the situation with his senior manager, Girish.
Girish: Good morning Dinesh. What brings you here?
Dinesh: Good morning sir. How are you?
Girish: I am fine. How is your new job? Find it interesting?
Dinesh: This job is good. I am facing some problem with a co-worker.
Girish: What seems to be the problem?
Dinesh: Niraj, one of my subordinates, is bothering me. From day one, he has been passing
comments about me. He said that the loss of the previous employee was a big loss for the
company. The previous employees in my position hadn’t lasted long.
Girish: I know that Niraj is not a people person. He is known to create problems.
Dinesh: When I asked him to give information about the activities of the department, Niraj either
claimed that he didn’t understand what I was asking for, was non-committal or said that he’d get
back to me and then didn’t. Once, he suggested that I should set up a booth for an upcoming
trade show which is out of my job description.
Girish: Niraj has been acting like this for a long time. He is arrogant. Yet the HR people seem to
ignore his behaviour. I wonder why.
Dinesh: Sir, I have checked out his background and found that he was hired by our company’s
founder. Once, when he was asked to leave, he circumvented his previous boss and went straight
to the founder who apparently asked the President to save him by promoting him to his current
position. His boss at the time was fired soon after. I think he is taking unfair advantage of his
proximity to the founder.

Let’s summarise:

194
This caselet talks about the problem of nepotism (favouritism to kith and kin) at the workplace.
Niraj has become a problem employee because he has the founder’s backing. This results in
inefficiency and bad blood in the team.

A Solution

After listening to Dinesh’s complaint, Girish’s response should have been:
Girish: Such behaviour is not expected from an employee. Niraj has a bad reputation. Now that
we know his background it is not surprising that he behaves in an arrogant manner. I will talk to
Niraj and if required I will discuss the issue with the HR and the management.

Meanings:

Background: past history
Bother: trouble, problem, difficulty
Circumvented: avoid, evade
Comments: remarks, opinions
Co-worker: partner, associate
Discuss: talk about, converse
Founder: creator
Hired: employed
Job description: a list of the general tasks, or functions, and responsibilities of a position.
Non-committal: not giving an opinion
Subordinate: a person who has a position with less authority and power than someone else in an
organisation
Upcoming: future, approaching

Pronunciation and Spelling:
Background
Behaviour
Bothering
Checked
Circumvented
Comments
Co-worker
Department
Description
Discussing
Founder
Hired
Ignore
Information
Interesting
Passing
Position
President
Previous

195
Promoting
Situation
Subordinates
Suggested
Threatened
Understand
Upcoming
Wonder

Answer Me:

1: What kind of problems was Niraj creating for Dinesh?
Ans: Niraj has been creating problems for Dinesh from day one. He had been passing comments
about Dinesh and said that the loss of the previous employee was a big loss for the company. The
previous employees in my position hadn’t lasted long. When Dinesh asked him to give
information about the activities of the department, Niraj either claimed that he didn’t understand
what Dinesh was asking for, avoided the subject, or said he’d get back to him and then not do so.
Once, he suggested that Dinesh should set up a booth for an upcoming trade show which was
out of his job description.

2: What did Dinesh find when he did a background check on Niraj?
Ans: When Dinesh checked out Niraj’s background, he found that he was hired by the
company’s founder. Once, when he was asked to quit, he circumvented his previous boss and
went straight to the founder who apparently asked the President to save him by promoting him to
his current position. Niraj’s boss at that time was later removed from his position.

Grammar practice:-

Tenses:

1) Dinesh started in a new position with a new company.
Present perfect: Dinesh has started in a new position with a new company.
Past perfect: Dinesh had started in a new position with a new company.
Future perfect: Dinesh will have started in a new position with a new company.

2) He said that the loss of the previous employee was a big loss for the company.
Present perfect: He said that the loss of the previous employee has been a big loss for the
company.
Past perfect: He had said that the loss of the previous employee had been a big loss for the
company.
Future perfect: He said that the loss of the previous employee will have been a big loss for
the company.

3) He is known to create problems.
Present perfect: He has been known to create problems.
Past perfect: He had been known to create problems.
Future perfect: He will have been known to create problems.

196
Direct and Indirect speech:

A) Direct: Dinesh said, “I am facing some problem with a co-worker.”
Indirect: Dinesh informed Girish that he was facing some problem with a co-worker.

B) Direct: Girish asked, “What seems to be the problem?”
Indirect: Girish asked what the problem was.

C) Direct: Girish said, “I know that Niraj is not a people person. He is known to create
problems.”
Indirect: Girish said that he knew Niraj was not a people person and was known to create
problems.

Active and Passive voice:

A) Active: Niraj, one of my subordinates is bothering me.
Passive: I am being bothered by Niraj, one of my subordinates.

Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees:

A) Positive: He is arrogant.
Comparative: No other person is as arrogant as him.
Superlative: He is the most arrogant person.

Vocabulary Building:
Find Synonyms and Antonyms for the following words:
Synonyms Antonyms
A) Interesting attractive boring
B) Previous earlier subsequent
C) Ignore overlooks notice
D) Checked confirm unchecked

Idioms and Phrases
A) “He is known to create problems.” can be written as “It is an open secret that he creates
problems.”
B) “I think he is taking unfair advantage of his proximity to the founder.” can be written as “I
think he is throwing his weight around.”

Use the above idioms and phrases and form two sentences:
A) Their affair is an open secret.
B) Why don’t you get down to some real work, instead of throwing your weight around?

Speaking skills:
Topic for speech
You are the host for a college annual day function. Writ a speech you will deliver on the
occasion.

197