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Unit 7 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness

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1 Unit 7 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness
Part I Reading Comprehension and Language Activities Part II Extended Activities

2 Part I Reading Comprehension and Language Activities
Pre-reading Tasks Notes Translation Comprehension work Language work (A, B, C)

3 Part I Reading Comprehension and Language Activities
Pre-reading Tasks Discussion Why is punctuality a necessity in all public affairs in a civilized society? The importance of punctuality: unifalicize, respect, competition, order Have you ever noticed the difference in people’s attitudes toward the keeping of time in the rural and urban areas? Urban/ rural differences: a. Urban: more punctual b. Rural: less punctual

4 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness by Hari Bedi
Turn to p. 121 There are always a couple of people in every office who are habitually late for work. How should a manager handle the problem in a multicultural environment? Should he be patient because different cultures have their own concepts of time? Or should he take disciplinary action? Scholars tell us that Westerners and Asians approach time differently. Culturally, Westerners live more in the present and the near future. Asians live more in the ancient past or in the distant future. Asians try to avoid a neurotic slavery to time, viewing life as a passing moment in eternity. They enjoy the sense of "zero gravity" that comes from travelling without an immediate goal or an urgent objective. To many Asians, life is a long journey and happiness is simply not a matter of time. Instead of rushing, they prefer to maintain a steady pace. Quietly watching the seasons change or children grow is certainly not considered a waste of time.

5 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness
Westerners believe that happiness is just over the next hill. A little more time, money or struggle will get them there. Americans, in particular, live by time –pressing schedules and deadlines. But how does this insight, so studiously compiled by academics, relate to the need for punctuality in the office? Should we extrapolate from this difference in cultural outlook that it's justified for some employees to be tardy in today's office life? Does it mean that a manager should disregard punctuality as an office discipline? On the surface, it might seem that a manager may have to be more tolerant about punctuality with some cultural groups than others. But this is unwarranted in an urban civilization. It would give credence to the academic literature that implies the time orientation in such a culture is inferior to that in the West. This confuses two entirely different things: observance of punctuality and the philosophical perception of time.

6 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness
A person's belief that time is measured in centuries rather than in seconds has nothing to do with his ability to show up on time at the office every day. No Asian employee would ever use a cultural excuse for being late. He may certainly employ more modern excuses such as a traffic jam, a slow watch, or a parking problem. These excuses are the same as those used by office workers in the West. Why is it considered acceptable to be consistently late for these reasons in Asia, while in the West such a person would be considered undependable and untrustworthy? The problem, perhaps, is that in our social life in Asia we tend to be more tolerant of friends and relatives who make us wait for half an hour at a downtown rendezvous. We do not think they are taking our friendship or affection for granted. We do not consider them guilty of disrespect. What is worse, we let them exonerate themselves with dubious excuses. But how we react to latecomers in our social lives is a matter of individual choice. In the world of modern business we cannot afford that flexibility.

7 Time to Stop Excuses for Lateness
Nobody minds if a person is late to work once in a blue moon. Punctuality should not be allowed to become a fad. But in an office environment, there has to be a climate of discipline in which people respect the keeping of time. Even in those companies which maintain flexible time, there are set hours when employees must be present in the office. Otherwise it is impossible to call a meeting of people from different departments. Some companies may choose to stagger the opening and closing time of their offices to enable employees to avoid the rush hour. But that does not mean there is no longer a need for punctuality. Being late is, generally, a problem relating to only a small number of employees. A manager should try to break their bad habits through counselling, repeatedly if required. It's not an easy task and in some cases requires fair amount of patience. But it's about time we got rid of the academic notion that an expectation of punctuality is an intolerance of culture. It's a cliché and should be discarded forthwith.

8 handle the problem: here, deal with lateness
approach time differently: have different understanding of time. a neurotic slavery to time: an attitude in life which makes one bound to busy schedules, rush to meet the deadlines all the time so that one has no leisure or freedom to enjoy life zero gravity: a concept from physics. It means a situation in which an object is not subject to the pull of a mass, such as the earth, like the experience of the space-man walking in the space. a matter of: a question of …的问题 e.g. This is just a matter of opinion. 这只是看法不同的问题。 a little more or less than 左右, 大约 e.g. We only had to wait a matter of ten minutes. 我们只要等10分钟左右。

9 over the next hill: a metaphor that means achievable with one effort.
so studiously compiled by academics: (The theory) is worked out painstakingly by scholars. extrapolate: obtain a conclusion, make an inference be tardy: here, be undisciplined unwarranted: groundless It would give credence to the academic literature: It would show that the academics’ theory( that the Asian time orientation is inferior to that of the West ) is true

10 has nothing to do with: has no connection with 与…无关
e.g. His job has nothing to do with his ability. 他的工作与他的能力无关。 show up:[I] to arrive as expected or arranged (按预期或安排)到达 e.g. Did everyone you invited show up? 你邀请的人都出席了吗? at a downtown rendezvous: at a pre-arranged meeting downtown. cannot afford that flexibility: this means that in the business world everyone must observe punctuality.

11 flexible time: a work system in which the staff of a company are allowed to work at different time schedules. stagger the opening and closing time: arrange the opening and closing time differently for staff so that they don’t need to come to work or leave the company all at the same time. break their bad habits through counselling: make them give up their bad habits by taking to the latecomers until they understand the importance of punctuality in the modern business world e.g. He can not buy it because of his lack of money. 他因缺钱买不起这个。

12 别再为迟到找借口 每个办公室总有那么几个人习惯上班迟到。管理者该如何处理多元文化环境里的这一问题呢?文化背景不同,时间观念也大不相同,作为老板,应持何种态度,是忍气吞声还是采取惩罚措施呢? 专家告诉我们,西方人和东方人对时间的看法是不同的。从文化角度来说,西方人更多地生活在当前和不远的将来,而亚洲人却更多地生活在古老的过去和遥远的未来。 亚洲人尽力避免成为时间的神经质的奴隶。生活在他们看来只是永恒中的匆匆一瞬。他们喜欢旅游所带的那种“失重”感,没有近期目标,也没有紧急任务。 对许多亚洲人来说,生活是一次漫长的旅行。幸福绝对不是一个时间问题。他们喜欢按部就班,不愿来去匆匆。静观季节的变化、儿女的成长也不认为是在虚度光阴。 西方人相信幸福就在不远的前方。多花点时间,多费点金钱,多下点功夫就能达到。尤其是美国人,他们就靠时间紧迫的日程安排和最后期限而生存。

13 别再为迟到找借口 但是学究们深思熟虑悟出的这一见解又是如何与上班守时这一问题联系起来的呢?是否我们应该从这种文化方面的差异得出结论,一些雇员上班拖拖拉拉就是合情合理的?还是说这意味着一个管理者应该忽略守时这一工作守则呢? 表面上看来,管理者会不得不对一些文化群体比对另一些文化群体在守时方面更宽容一些,但是这在城市文明中是站不住脚的,它将使人相信此种文化的时间观念比西方的时间观念逊色这一学术论调。 这便混淆了两种截然不同的事情:遵守时间和对时间的哲学观。 一个人认为时间是以百年来度量的,并非以秒来计算。这与他每天能够按时到办公室上班并无关系。没有哪一个亚洲雇员会为自己的迟到找一个文化背景方面的借口。他可能会寻找一些更现代化的借口,如交通堵塞、表慢了以及停车麻烦等。这些措施与西方办公室人员所用的藉口并无区别。为什么在亚洲经常以这些借口迟到可以被接受,而在西方这样一个人却被认为是不可靠、不可信赖的呢?

14 别再为迟到找借口 问题可能是,在我们亚洲人的社会生活中,对于那些让我们在市区约会的地点等侯半小时的亲友们,我们往往比较宽容。我们不会认为他们不把我们的友谊和亲情当回事儿。我们也不会认为他们失礼。更糟糕的是,我们还容许他们用含糊其辞的借口来为自己开脱。 可是,如何对待社会生活中的那些迟到者却是个人问题。而在现代商业领域,我们不容许有这种灵活性。 如果一个人偶尔一次上班迟到,谁也不会在意。遵守时间不应成为一时的风尚。而在一个办公环境中,应该有这样一种纪律约束的氛围来使人们遵守时间。 即使那些实行弹性工作时间的公司,也会规定哪些时间雇员必须在办公司,否则就无法召集各个部门一起开会。 一些公司可能会主动改变他们的上下班时间,以使雇员能够避开交通高峰期。但那并不是说就不再需要守时。 一般来说,迟到这一问题只和少数雇员有关。管理者应该试图通过劝告——必要的话可反复教育——来改变他们的坏习惯。这并非易事,而且有时还颇需要些耐心。 但是,我们也应摆脱那种认为期望别人守时就是不能容忍某种文化的迂腐观念。这种陈词滥调应当立即摒弃。

15 Comprehension work (P 123) (Discuss the following questions.)
1. According to the scholars, what is the Asian concept of time? 2. How do Westerners view time? 3. What figure of speech does the writer use to illustrate the cultural difference regarding the concept of time? 4. Does the writer agree to the claim that unpunctuality is related to a certain cultural outlook? Why?

16 Comprehension work (Discuss the following questions)
5. How do Asians and Westerners react to unpunctuality? 6. What is the writer's view on punctuality in the business world? 7. Should a manager ignore unpunctuality in his/her office? What, in the writer's view, should the manager do?

17 Language work (A, p. 124) 1. He said on the eve of the New Year that he wanted to make a list of New Year resolutions. But, his sister sneered and said that she was dubious about his decision. 2. Movies that are nothing but cliché of sentimental love have little appeal to today’s audience. 3. Some editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide unwarranted details of famous people’s private life. 4. The Prime Minister delivered a speech to justify the government’s decision to participate in the UN peace keeping action.

18 Language work (A, p.124) 5. Years of experience as a salesman gave him a/an insight into the toughness of the business world. 6. Mrs. Jones always finds her cleaning maids untrustworthy and she hires and dismisses them with such a frequency that she has never got a chance to remember their names. 7. Language students should, first of all, discard the misconception that they can learn a language with clear and ultimate success. 8. Traveling to remote areas, or even to unhabitated regions has become a/an fad among city dwellers.

19 Language work (B, p.124) 1. Many people tried their luck in the lottery, although they knew the probability of winning the first prize was once in a blue moon. 2. Those who recklessly destroy rainforests should feel guilty for their stupid act. 3. The earth has offered all it has to nourish human beings, but they take the generosity of the planet for granted. 4. Goods on sale are not necessarily inferior in quality to those sold at normal prices.

20 Language work (B, p.124) 5. On the surface, primates are the suitable candidate for xenotransplants, but the same viruses that infect monkeys and apes are very likely to infect humans. 6. The host had expected thirty guests but finally more than forty showed up at the party. 7. Bad habits are easier to make than break. 8. Experts in education disregard boys’ assertiveness as the only reason for classroom sexism.

21 Language work (C, p.125) 1. a. To many people, skating is just a matter of practice. b. Dealing with these problems is all a matter of experience. c. Success in business is simply a matter of knowing when to grab a chance.

22 Language work (C, p.125) 2. a. There’s a general feeling that the president has been too tolerant of corruption. b. It seems that people in this town are more tolerant of children in public places. c. It is said that her own mistakes made her very tolerant about the faults of others.

23 Language work (C, p.125) 3. a. The company director claimed such criticism was unwarranted and unjust. b. Such fears are completely unwarranted now. c. The white, male supremacy in the West is totally unwarranted in today’s civilized world.

24 Language work (C, p.125) 4. a. Many young people take their parents’ love for granted. b. We take it for granted that students should be punctual for class. c. Their relationship had become boring and they started to take each other for granted.

25 Language work (C, p.126) 5. a. He was guilty of a serious misjudgment.
b. Their parents are guilty of gross neglect, abuse and cruelty. c. I saw that I had been guilty of irreparable blunder.

26 Language work (C, p.126) 6. a. They made it a habit to lunch together twice a week. b. I’m trying to get him to break the habit of switching on the TV when he comes home at night. c. Some children like to bite fingers nails—a bad habit very difficult to break.

27 Part III Extended Activities
Dictation Read more Grammar work Work with words Translation

28 Dictation Script of the Dictation
I used to work for a moving company. One day, after we had packed a truckload of furniture, our customer instructed us to go on ahead and meet her at the new house. We waited there but then concluded that we had the wrong address. So we drove to a corner, hoping to catch her as she went by. “That’s her car!” my boss yelled. He jumped from the truck, dashed across the parking lot, stopping the car, and said, “Why don’t you let me follow you home? ” As he quickly rolled up her window and hurried off, he realize that he had the wrong woman.

29 Read more Exercise for words Answers: 1.b 2.a 3.c 4.a 5.d 6.b 7.a 8. c

30 Grammar work Answers a. 1. My mother burnt her fingers while/when/as she was lifting the kettle off the stove. 2. When the dog saw the burglar, it barked and barked until its master woke up. 3. The pupils pretended to be hard at work when/as they saw their teacher coming down the corridor. 4. When all the guests had left, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson started to clean up the house. 5. While/When Mr. and Mrs. Smith were out to attend an evening party, Mr. Smith’s sister looked after their children. 6. Mary was cooking the lunch while we were playing chess. While Mary was cooking the lunch, we were playing chess. 7. The divers quickly swam to their boat when/as they saw some sharks approaching them menacingly. b c 2.d 3.a 4.b 5.a/c 6.b 7.d 8.a 9.c

31 Work with words Answers 1. job vacancy 2.advertisement 3. job title
4. job description 5. salary working conditions 7. career prospects 8. application 9. curriculum vitae 10. personal details experience short list 13. interview candidate appointment

32 Translation 1. An opportunity as good as this arises/ occurs only in a blue moon. 2. The boy felt guilty for taking money from his mother’s handbag without permission. 3. She did not give credence to a single word of his story. 4. Generally speaking, teachers are tolerant of their students’ mistakes. 5. I took it for granted you’d want to come with us, so I bought you a ticket. 6. Thanks to the manager’s repeated counseling, the staff soon broke the bad habit of coming late to work. 7. He’s furious with her now, but he’ll forgive her soon. It’s just/only a matter of a few hours, that’s all.

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