ТОП 10:

Read the conversation, say who the decision-maker is.


YUKIO It's quite true that this machine is not scheduled for replacement under our


capital investment programme until 1994. But it is costing us more than it's


worth in lost production and unscheduled maintenance.


HARRY Well, perhaps we could do our sums on that and see how it comes out. We


have agreed on several previous occasions that the spending limits on


capital expenditure mustn't be overstepped


YUKIO But these production shortfalls are quite unacceptable, especially when the


market is just beginning to recover.


FRANK We may have to be a bit flexible on this one, Harry.


HARRY Being flexible’s one thing, bending over backwards is something else.


There's plenty of leeway in the production schedules – we've got two months'


supply of hinge and door fittings stockpiled in the warehouse. And for the last


five years, all the maintenance on that injection moulder has been done



entirely in-house, and we haven't had to purchase a single spare part.


YUKIO Look – in today's 'Financial Times': "The economy is on the upturn. Any


slack in production capacity will soon be taken up".


FRANK We can't afford to be wrong-fooled if demand does start to recover.


YUKIO Two hundred thousand – can we meet that out of revenue reserves?


HARRY You're joking. The total reserve is only two fifty, and we're holding a


proportion of that against deferred taxation.


YUKIO Well, of course, I'm only a production engineer, so I don't pretend to


understand these things. But I thought we could set off capital investment


against tax, with a one hundred per cent depreciation allowance in the first




HARRY Not these days we can't. They've changed the rules. The thing is that our


tax position for the last financial year is still very unclear. It may have to


go to arbitration, and that could take months. We can't afford to get a big


tax assessment if we've just spent all the money on a machine – even if the


machine is tax-deductible in the long run.


YUKIO What about a grant? This is a Development Area! Look at all the jobs we


have created!


HARRY We might be able to get a cheap loan from the Welsh Office.


YUKIO And we can sell the old machine. It must be worth something.


HARRY From what I've heard, it's only fit far scrap. Scrap value won't be more than


five hundred – we'll probably end up paying someone to take it away. No,


leave it with me, Yukio. I've got your payback figures, I may be able to


swing it.


Fill in the chart with the expressions from the conversation in 3.2.5.


Making suggestions /



Giving opinions


3.2.7. In the conversation above the management committee choose their words carefully to express disagreement in a polite way. Read it and find the words or phrases that show you the following:


1. I don't believe what you have just said is correct.


2. Don't you remember that we all said we wouldn't spend more money than we had planned?


3. We can't allow the factory to make fewer goods than we planned for.


4. Perhaps we should treat this as a special case.


5. It's not as special as you say it is.


6. We shall lose money if we aren't ready for an increase in orders.


In this conversation a human resource manager and two colleagues are discussing ways of improving the staff’s health and fitness. Arrange the phrases in the correct order. Say who is chairing the meeting.

TANYA a) Mm, I don't think I like the idea very much. It wouldn't be good
    for morale. A lot of our staff smoke – they'd be against it, I'm sure
    of that. I think we should improve the food. A lot of the dishes
    aren't healthy – there's far too much fatty food, not enough fish,
    fruit and vegetables.
  b) Mm, I don't know. It sounds interesting, but it could be very
    expensive. A group fee for all our staff would probably cost a
  c) Yes, it's worth checking out, I suppose. A lot of staff might enjoy
    having a swim at lunchtime or after work. And a sauna is very
    relaxing, I must admit.
VINCENT d) I think we should do a lot more to improve our staff's health and
    fitness. What do you think, Monica?
  e) Right. That's a good idea. A lot of firms do that. And how about
    having a no-smoking policy in the staff restaurant? What do you
    think about that, Tanya?

f) True. We could change the menus and offer healthier meals. I like that idea.


g) I don't know, Monica. It'd be very expensive to set up a service like that. Anyway, we have a company doctor. That's her job, isn't it? I've got another suggestion. We could talk to the manager of our local sports centre and arrange a company membership. What do you think, Tanya?


h) What's your opinion, Monica?


i) I can't agree with you there. It's got a very good pool and sauna. If we could negotiate a low membership fee, it might be worth considering, surely.

MONICA j) I agree. There are all sorts of things we could do to help staff to
      become more healthy and stay healthy. For one thing, we could
      offer them a free medical checkup every year.      
    k) What about setting up a counselling service, Vincent? Some staff
      are under a lot of stress. It affects their work and they need
      professional help.              
    l) I think you're right, Tanya. It'd cost a lot and I'm not sure how
      many staff would actually use the centre. Some people say it hasn't
      got many facilities.              
    m) Maybe, but there are so many other things we could do. Things
      which are less expensive, but they'd improve people's health just
      as much. Let me tell you about a few ideas I have...    


Work in groups of three, choose who will lead the discussion. You are members of the human resources section of a large company. Discuss how to deal with the given problems. Use advice given in the text and expressions from


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